RED SPRINGS — The Red Springs Board of Commissioners voted on Tuesday to accept an $85,509 grant from the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program to hire a traffic officer for the Police Department for three years.
The grant pays 85 percent of the cost for the new officer for the first year with the town paying 15 percent, according to Town Manager James Bennett. In the final two years of the grant, local responsibility for funding will increase to 25 percent and then to 35 percent.
The total amount of the grant over the three-year period is $149,634. It will help pay the officer’s salary and benefits, and furnish that person with a car, uniform and equipment.
“We get a lot of calls. … about speeders,” Police Chief Ronnie Patterson said. “Most of our officers are out answering calls and this officer will be fully working with traffic enforcement.”
The board also discussed what the town should do with the “old museum” building at 225 1/2 S. Main St. that had housed GED classes offered by Robeson Community College. Options discussed were demolishing, renovating or selling it.
“The building has been riddled with termites,” Commissioner Robert Hollingsworth said. “It’s a mess.”
Commissioner David Shook said he was concerned about tearing down a town building without exploring alternatives.
“I don’t see any reason why we can’t sell it,” Shook said. “Why throw it away?”
The board voted to table the discussion until an inspection can determine the cost of repairing it.
The town heard from a representative from the Robeson County Communication Services about a problem with emergency calls forwarding to the Sheriff’s Office from the Police Department. Residents are urged to call 911 if they cannot reach the Red Springs Police Department at 910-843-3454.
In other action Tuesday, the board:
— Appointed Caroline Sumpter and Alexander Vincent to the Recreation Commission.
— Offered its support for the Recreation Commission to establish a soccer program.
— Appointed Commissioner Murray McKeithan as the voting delegate and Commissioner Duron Burney as the alternate for the North Carolina League of Municipalities Conference.