LUMBERTON — In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, a Lumberton city councilman will provide Tanglewood Elementary School with $1,000 in discretionary money for security upgrades.
“I know it would be impossible to prevent a similar incident as Newtown in our city,” Councilman Erich Hackney after the council’s policy meeting on Wednesday. “But I do think it’s incumbent on us to do everything we possibly can to try to prevent something like this from happening here. I just think (Tanglewood Elementary), like a lot of schools, is looking for security enhancements and to be proactive. It’s our responsibility to the children, teachers and staff to keep them safe any way we can.”
On Dec. 14, Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed 21 children and several adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in what became the nation’s second deadliest school shooting.
Tanglewood will use the money to enhance its intercom system, and add keypad entrances and cameras throughout the school.
In a letter addressed to Hackney, Angela Bobo-Severy, president of the school’s Parent and Teachers Association, expressed concern for the safety of the students.
“The faculty and staff at Tanglewood Elementary already take specific steps to ensure the safety of the children while in the building,” Bono-Severy wrote. “… Although we realize no one can guarantee Tanglewood Elementary will be impervious to outside threats, we feel that these are measures we can take to try and come as close as possible to achieving that goal. We do not want our children to be afraid to go to school.”
In other business, the council:
— Approved repair work to lighting and signage at Lumberton Municipal Airport at a cost of $800,000, most of which will be paid for with a state grant.
— Approved $561,332 in sewer improvements to Old Whiteville Road that will be paid for with a Community Development Block Grant.
— Approved the purchase of two spare pumps for lift stations at a cost of about $40,000 that will come from the Water and Sewer Capital Fund.
— Decided to seek a Clean Water Management Trust Fund grant for a drainage project on First Street that is projected to cost $744,860.
— Approved the purchase of six voltage regulators from Siemens Energy Inc. that will be used to replace existing smaller generators. The cost is $116,040.
— Approved a contract with the Lumberton Housing Authority, which will pay the city $10,293 a month to provide police officers for security at the authority’s public housing complexes.
— Approved the purchase of the vacant Lumberton Dying and Finishing plant between First Street and Town Common as the first step in a drainage improvement plan.
— Approved $200 from Councilman Leon’s Maynor’s Community Revitalization Fund for W.H. Knuckles Elementary School’s Positive Behavioral Intervention Support Program.
— Approved an exchange of defibrillators between Southeastern Regional Medical Center and the Fire Department.
— Approved $300 from Councilman John Cantey’s Community Revitalization Fund for a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at the Friendship Chapter 558.
— Referred to the Planning Board a request by Lumberton Christian Care Center for a conditional-use permit it needs to operate as a soup kitchen and a homeless shelter that will be constructed to replace its current building on First Street.
— Referred to the Planning Board a request by Tonya Simpson for a conditional-use permit she needs to operate a nursery school and day care at 1706 Case St.