LUMBERTON — The Lumberton City Council on Monday night unanimously voted to accept an over-budget bid for construction of an emergency shelter and soup kitchen downtown so that the building be redesigned in order to lower costs.
The council, meeting as the Council Policy Committee, on Wednesday had approved the $1,218,000 bid from Central Builders. The bid is more than $100,000 above the the amount of grant money available for the project.
Accepting the bid allows the city staff and The Wooten Company to amend design plans, potentially cutting square footage to lower costs.
Planning Board Director Brandon Love said cutting the 24-bed shelter’s size will be a last resort. The final design and cost estimate will be voted on by the council.
The council also voted unanimously to provide up to $30,000 in labor, materials and equipment to build a 200-stall stable at the Southeastern North Carolina Agricultural Center. Private and public donors have already raised more than $413,000 for the project, which proponents say is needed to accommodate mult-day horse shows that will boost the economy.
Led by Councilman Don Metzger, the mayor pro tem, the council recognized Jerry Walters, who is retiring after 20 years working with the city as an arborist. Walters was not at the meeting.
Mayor Raymond Pennington also missed the meeting.
In other business, the council:
— Agreed to help Southeastern Health apply for a $500,000 Building Reuse Grant to renovate Southeastern Regional Medical Center’s fourth floor to accommodate 50 residents and eight administrative staff from Campbell University’s residency program beginning in July 2015. The grant would be awarded to the city and loaned to the hospital, which would provide a 5 percent match.
— Approved the purchase of a CelleBrite 4PC system that will enable Lumberton police to decode passwords, emails, call history, texts, contacts, media files and location information from confiscated cell phones for investigative purposes. The system will be paid for with $9,000 in drug forfeiture money.
— Approved a resolution supporting negotiations for the sale of assets owned by the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency. The agency asked 32 municipalities that receive power from its power plants to show support for a potential sale of its assets to Duke Energy.
— Awarded a bid to renovate a hangar at the Lumberton Municipal Airport to B.W. Davis Construction Inc at a cost of about $34,937.
— Declared as surplus 17 voltage regulators, 11 control panels and six stands for step voltage regulators so they can be disposed of as part of a system upgrade.
— Voted to allow the Public Works Department to apply for a $50,000 Technical Assistance Grant to finish mapping the city’s sewer system and determine if wastewater from the Robeson Community College area can be rerouted.
— Referred a request for a conditional-use permit for 210 E. 15th St. to the Planning Board for review. Tony Reese intends to use the property as an intermediate care facility
— Approved a request that property located at 700 Roberts Ave. be rezoned to allow for residential and office use. Currently, the property allows for restaurants and night clubs.
— Voted to replace old signs at the entrances to Lumberton with new ones reading “Welcome to Lumberton Home of Miss North Carolina 2013 Johna Edmonds.”
— Approved amending an engineering services contract to allow $73,500 from a North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources loan to be put towards repairs to the Britt’s Farm sanitary sewer.
— Approved the designation of $1,000 for 911 Day in Precinct 7, as requested by Leon Maynor, the councilman for that precinct.
— Voted to lower the speed limit on East Oak Street from Roberts Avenue to the city limits from 35 to 25 mph and on Redwood Way from 25 to 15 mph.
— Approved the purchase of a low-profile dump truck at a cost of $68,969.40.
— Approved the purchase of two new street sweepers at a total cost of $414,040.
— Voted to demolish an unsafe structure at 508 Lumbee St.
— Approved March 2014 tax releases.