ST. PAULS — The town could be a shoo-in to receive one of three planning grants for which no one applied in 2012, a representative from the Lumber River Council of Governments told the St. Pauls Board of Commissioners at its Thursday meeting.
The Talent Enhancement Capacity Building grant, a Community Development Block Grant, would provide the town with $50,000 to pay for the application process for other grants through the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Adrian Lowery said.
“The way it reads here, it says it’s competitive but it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis, and from speaking to the state that basically says no matter how bad or how good the grant is, the first one in the door is the first one they’re gonna fund,” Lowery said.
The commissioners authorized Lowery to begin work on the grant application, and scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. at the board’s Feb. 4 work session. The state Department of Commerce requires that a public hearing be held before the town can apply for a Community Development Block Grant.
Also on Thursday, the board tabled a discussion on property owner Bernita McLamb Brown’s request for a conditional-use permit to place a manufactured home at 1025 E. Broad St. after the town’s Planning Board voted 4 to 2 to deny the request.
The lot, which is in the town’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, has had a burned-out home on it for several years. Brown wants to place a double-wide mobile home on the property, but Town Administrator Stuart Turille said the standard width of a double-wide would not allow her to place the home on the property so that it faced East Broad Street. The only way it would fit on the lot, he said, was if it were turned sideways.
“To be sure she wouldn’t back it in like that,” said Ronald McDonald, a member of the town’s Planning Board. “I’d hate for my front door to be facing your bathroom window.”
The commissioners held a public hearing on the permit, but no one was present to speak.
“It would be nice if Ms. Brown or some of the residents were here so that we could get some feedback,” said John Gudauskas, chairman of the Planning Board. “I think the question was, what size is she actually purchasing, that we don’t know. The second question would be: Does she realize how it would have to be oriented, according to the law?”
The commissioners voted to table the discussion until they could get more information on the exact size of the home Brown intends to purchase, and to be sure Brown knew it would have to be placed sideways.
“I think in fairness to her, we should table it,” Commissioner Jerry Weindel said. “… I just don’t want to make a rush decision and then she’d have to wait a year.”
In other action on Thursday, the town gave Turille the authority to advertise surplus equipment for sale.