MAXTON — Ideas on how to keep Maxton clean, two grant discussions and a surprise announcement on a new restaurant dominated the Maxton Board of Commissioners’ monthly meeting on Tuesday.
Commissioner Cynthia Johnson blamed the town’s declining cleanliness on cuts to the Public Works Department.
“Public Works is down to four employees,” she said. “Four people working 36 hours a week cannot keep Maxton clean, whereas we had 11 employees a couple of years ago.”
Johnson’s ideas for how to clean up Maxton included asking residents to pick up litter where they see it, putting up more “Please Don’t Litter” signs and getting community groups to clean up certain spots around town.
“We’ve got to do something and not depend so much on the town because the town just does not have … the manpower to get it done,” Johnson said.
Town Manager Angela Pitchford said the town is getting less help from the state.
“I had two prisoners [from Scotland County], but now I’m down to one,” she said.
In other business, the commissioners agreed to wait to approve a bid to repair several lift stations and equipment at Maxton’s wastewater treatment plant until they talk to Campbell Soup about covering some of the cost.
Mayor Sallie McLean said the lowest bid for the project is $364,000, but the budgeted grant amount is about $280,000. McLean said the board will talk to Campbell Soup, which is near a force main discharge to be repaired, to make up some of the difference.
“If we could just wait to talk to Campbell Soup … and make a decision from there,” Commissioner James McDougald said.
The board also heard a report from Joyce McRae, chairman of the Maxton Chamber of Commerce, about the town’s breast cancer awareness walk on Saturday, during which about 60 people participated.
“I’m happy to announce … that we exceeded our goal of $5,000,” McRae said, adding that the next step is to have an appointed committee disperse the money earned from the walk.
“We enjoyed it and we look forward to making it more successful next year,” McRae said.
At the end of the meeting, McLean announced that “McDonalds is actually coming to Maxton” after more than a month of rumors, but did not know where the restaurant will be located or when construction will begin.
In other business, the board:
— Heard an announcement from McDougald that an informational meeting about creating a Cub Scout/Boy Scout troop in Maxton will be held at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church at 106 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m.
— Agreed to let Pitchford work with McGill Associates, an Asheville engineering company, on a Community Development Block Grant application for $750,000 to improve infrastructure.
— Approved a $5,000 budget amendment to pay for a new telephone system for the Maxton Police Department.
— Tabled a discussion on whether to revise the Freight Building Rental Policy to say that damages to the building exceeding the $100 deposit makes the deposit non-refundable.
— Welcomed Officer Sherman McQueen to the Maxton Police Department. McQueen, a Maxton native, said he wants to work with local youths “and lead them in the right direction.”