LUMBERTON — City Councilman John Cantey was surprised that no one spoke up during a public hearing at Monday’s City Council meeting that concerned a conditional-use permit for an Internet gaming center about a block from City Hall.
An application, submitted by Chung Young to open the gaming center at 306 N. Pine St., was denied unanimously by the council at the recommendation of the city’s Planning and Neighborhood Services board.
Brandon Love, director of the board, said the center would not be “in harmony with the surrounding neighborhood.”
“When you consider the proximity as the Planning Board has recommended, it’s less than 100 feet to the Lumberton Christian Care Center and it’s about 85 yards from our temporary Police Department,” Cantey said.
Young’s request was submitted during what Love called in a June 6 Council Policy Committee meeting “a window of opportunity” that was created by the lapse of an extension on a moratorium on new electronic or cyber gambling establishments.
The council voted in May to extend the moratorium, which expired on May 11, but according to Love, it was not advertised before the public hearing date of June 11.
At the June 6 meeting, Love said several people submitted applications for gaming centers, but after they learned of the fees associated with a center — $5,000 per business plus an additional $2,500 per gaming or computer terminal — all but Young decided not to submit an application.
Four city gaming establishments have recently filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court, saying that the city’s privilege license taxes are too high and unconstitutional. The Supreme Court will hear the case in the fall.
Also at the meeting, the council unanimously denied a conditional-use permit request from Kenneth Kelly who needed it for a cemetery at 275 Taylor Drive. Love said Kelly did not provide requested information, and that the Planning Board had recommended the permit be denied.
Councilman Don Metzger, who represents Precinct 1, was absent.
In other action on Monday, the council:
— Presented a Pride in Lumberton Award to Lumberton High School Valedictorian William Parker and Salutatorian Michael Bailey.
— Presented a Pride in Lumberton Award to Linda Carter and Jane McMillan, who assisted in the production of a community day in Precinct 2.
— Recognized retired police Lt. Danny Strickland for 24 years of service.
— Recognized Councilman Leon Maynor for 15 years of service to Precinct 7.
— Scheduled a public hearing for Sept. 10 for the annexation of property located on Fayetteville Road across from Robeson Community College. David Goode and Sonny Oliver have submitted site plans for a Bojangle’s restaurant on the property.
— Scheduled a public hearing for Sept. 10 to hear requests for a taxicab franchise from T&P Taxi Service and Rise An Shine Auto Service.
— Heard from Thomas Jones, deputy grand master of the 29th Masonic District, who announced Councilman John Cantey as being North Carolina’s Mason of the Year.
— Heard from Councilman Erich Hackney, who honored Director of Finance Alisha Thompson, Public Works Director Rob Armstrong and Director of Planning and Neighborhood Services Brandon Love for their efforts.
— Authorized the Police Department to accept the 2013 Governor’s Highway Safety Program grant that will be used to fund the department’s Traffic Enforcement Team.
— Authorized the Police Department to accept the three-year Edward Byrne JAG Grant that will be used to buy Tasers and pay for training and overtime.
— Adopted a resolution for loan assistance from the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund for the West Lumberton Sewer Separation Project.
— Authorized the city manager to enter into a service agreement with Power Services Inc. to move City Hall’s standby generator to the new police station on Godwin Avenue and purchase a larger generator for City Hall.
— Amended the city’s conditional-use permit for restaurants to include four sub-categories of provisional uses.
— Awarded Register’s Land Development a $2,194 contract for the demolition of a home on Oleander Street.
— Awarded a $75,200 bid to Ricky Morgan’s Plumbing for services that include the connection of 72 units to sewer service and the crushing and filling of septic tanks.
— Referred to the Planning Board a re-zoning request and a conditional-use permit request by Johnathan David Edwards, who wants to develop six duplex units at 2109 Griffin St.
— Approved $320 in discretionary funds from Precinct 4 for a handicapped ramp.
— Approved a draft franchise agreement from Robeson Community College to allow its solid waste collection to be handled by Robeson County.
— Approved about $4,200 in tax releases for the month of June.
— Approved an awning encroachment for a building on Fourth Street.
— Approved a special meeting for Aug. 22 at 10 a.m. to discuss the levee accreditation process.
— Approved the purchase of a new lawn mower by the Public Works Department at a cost of $6,935.
— Adopted a resolution accepting medians in Oakridge, Amberdale Village and Mayfair subdivisions under the city’s median irrigation policy.
— Designated $200 in community revitalization funds from Precinct 1 for pine straw on the median of Phase III on Pinedale Boulevard.
— Designated $245 in community revitalization funds from Precinct 5 for a meal from Abigail’s Tea Room.
— Designated $2,000 in community revitalization funds from Precinct 8 for community watch signs.
— Designated $2,050 in community revitalization funds for the Lumberton Youth Baseball Association as follows: Precinct 1, $200; Precinct 2, $200; Precinct 3, $200; Precinct 4, $200; Precinct 5, $150; Precinct 6, $200; Precinct 7, $200; Precinct 8, $200; and the mayor’s discretionary fund, $500.