ST. PAULS — The St. Pauls Board of Commissioners at its Thursday meeting adopted an ordinance limiting parking in its public downtown lots to two-hour stretches during business hours.
Town Administrator Stuart Turille said that he had heard complaints from business owners that the lot near the town’s War Memorial was filled with cars that did not belong to shoppers or restaurant patrons. Turille said that people leave cars parked there “overnight, and for days on end,” sometimes with “for sale” signs in the windows. Police Chief Tommy Hagens said that some leave their cars there while they ride to an out-of-town job with a friend.
The town will soon place signs informing motorists of the two-hour limit near the War Memorial, and at the lot behind the James Hall Hylton Pavilion. One of the board’s concerns was that businesses were leaving their company vehicles parked in the lot behind the pavilion, leaving no room for the Department of Motor Vehicles’ mobile unit to set up once a month.
“The goal is (parking spots) will turn over quicker,” Turille said.
The ordinance does not apply to special events, like the Folk Arts Festival and the downtown Night Outs. Parking will not be limited after 6 p.m.
In other action on Thursday, the board:
— Heard from Erica Quick, of St. Pauls Elementary School, who thanked the board for buying tree seedlings for the fourth-grade class.
— Heard from Tommy Hall, who presented a list of St. Pauls restaurants and grocery stores that he created to hand out to people visiting the area for a Civil War reenactment on April 6 and April 7 on Barker Ten Mile Road.
— Approved the use of two crepe myrtles, and the purchase of a plaque with the names of the founding members of the Tree Commission at $318.33, for use at an Arbor Day celebration on March 22 at 2 p.m. at the R.E. Hooks building. The plaque will bear the names of Chairman Sam Evans, Joe Loflin, Doretha Monroe and Mary Robinson.
— Heard from Turille, who said that a proposed contract between the town and Robeson Community College for use of the R.E. Hooks Building on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays “fell through” because the college did not have the money to hold the class.
— 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.. The board gave Brown six months to provide a detailed site plan that includes the location of a septic tank; drainage fields; driveway; and a permit from the county’s health inspector.
— Approved an $11,000 audit contract with Thompson, Price, Scott and Adams, the firm that has been serving St. Pauls for 22 years. The price is a $500 increase over last year’s fee.
— Approved the purchase of two “junior-sized” basketball goals for Bub Everette Park at a cost of $2,262.64. The goals, designed for use by young children, will replace skateboard ramps that have fallen into disuse.
— Approved a budget amendment for the Fire Department for a repeater in the communication system. Most of the repeater’s $10,000 cost was covered by the town’s insurance, with the town paying about $1,000.
— Accepted an official resignation from Turille, who will leave as town administrator on March 28. Turille read a page-long letter to the board about the time spent in St. Pauls, saying five-and-a-half years felt like one year. Commissioner Ghee Johnson made the motion to accept “regretfully, and with well wishes on your endeavors.”
Abbi Overfelt works for Civitas Media as editor of The St. Pauls Review and The Red Springs Citizen.