LUMBERTON — Without comment, the City Council on Monday sent to the Planning Board permit requests for two skilled gaming establishments, awarded money to an organization doing Hurricane Matthew relief work and placed rabbits in the ordinance regulating cats.
It took council members less than 40 minutes to go through a three-page agenda during their regular meeting at City Hall. The action regarding the skilled gaming businesses was included when council members approved on a unanimous voice vote a 14-item consent agenda. There was no discussion Monday of any of the consent agenda items, which were discussed during the council’s Council Policy Committee meeting on Wednesday.
Council members sent to the Planning Board conditional-use permits sought by Joe French, of Charlotte, who wants to operate a skilled gaming arcade at 1702 W. Fifth St.; and PMP Properties LLC, which wants to operate a skilled-based online gaming business, with complimentary online work stations for email, bill paying and internet research, at 3487 Lackey St.
The Planning Board later this month is expected to review a draft ordinance regulating sweepstakes or electronic gaming. It has such restrictions as 1,000 feet from schools, churches, residential property, and includes requirements as to parking and limitations on hours of operation.
The requests sent Monday night to the Planning Board will be handled under the city’s existing ordinance relating simply to “gaming facilities,” according to City Attorney Holt Moore.
Council members also approved giving $13,775 to Christian Aid Ministries, one of several nonprofits helping renovate homes in Lumberton and Robeson County damaged by Hurricane Matthew. The money is the last of more than $100,000 the city had in a GoFundMe account. All of the money in the account was dedicated to making repairs and supplying necessary items for displaced residents trying to get back into their hurricane-ravaged homes.
Cats and rabbits are equal under the law in the wake of council members approving, without comment, an amendment to a city ordinance.
City Attorney Holt Moore wrote to city council members, “Some citizens and one or more members of the council have reported problems with pet rabbits leaving the property of the owners and causing problems for those nearby. In an attempt to address this, staff has amended the cat ordinance to include rabbits.”
The amended ordinance now applies to rabbits over the age of 4 months. The ordinance stipulates that an owner shall have no more than four cats or rabbits or any combination of the two within city limits, except in a pet store, or animal shelter. Unlike cats, rabbits need not be vaccinated for rabies.
After a public hearing during which no one rose to speak, council members approved two rezoning requests.
One was from Greenstate Investments LLC, which asked that the property at 2610 W. Carthage Road be rezoned from Agricultural to Residential Single/Family Duplex to allow for the subdivision of the lot for the construction of duplex housing.
The other was from Bruce or Pat Davis Rental, which asked that properties at 1600, 1604 and 1606 Godwin Ave. be rezoned from Light Manufacturing to Business General Commercial in order to establish a tire repair and sales business. Mayor Bruce Davis recused himself from discussion and voting request because he owns the property.
Also on Monday, council members approved awarding three contracts totaling more than $270,000.
One was an $83,801 bid from Smith’s Refrigeration, of Lumberton, for the electrical and mechanical work that is part of the construction of the city’s 911 Backup Center project at 1608 E. Fifth St.
Forms & Supply Inc.’s bid of $32,578.71 to replace flood-damaged office furniture at the city’s Utilities Department was approved.
City council members approved a $154,300 bid from Smith’s Refrigeration to install HVAC units in the Bill Sapp Recreation Center gymnasium.
Council members approved buying a 200KW generator with fuel tank from Gregory Pool Power Systems, of Garner, for $49,770. The generator would replace a generator at the city Wastewater Treatment Plant that would cost almost as much to repair as replace.
A change order, totaling $50,835.97, for work at the city Electric Utilities office, was approved Monday by council members. The change order for work being done by Driven Contractors addresses unforeseen problems discovered as storm repairs were being made. Money to pay for the change order will come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Golden LEAF.
Council members allocated community revitalization funds to help two local churches. At the request of Councilman John Cantey, St. Mary’s Holiness Church will receive $600 to help fund Holy Convocation Week and Bethany Presbyterian Church will receive $650 for its anniversary event on Sunday.
In other business on Monday, council members:
— Directed the city clerk to investigate a request by Sanderson Farms to have the city annex 12.88 acres of land located at 6762 N.C. 41 North
— Adopted a resolution directing the city clerk to certify the petition for a ditch tiling assessment for Bryan Britt for property at 301 Cambridge Blvd.
— Adopted ordinances directing the building inspector to demolish and remove unsafe structures at 1110 E. 11th St. and 830 E. Seventh St.
— Approved the designation of $300 of community revitalization funds to Southern Sapphires Dance Company, $200 of community revitalization funds to Cheer XCEL for cheerleading competition and $100 to Robeson Community College Foundation for its golf tournament.
— Referred the proposed ordinance addressing sweepstakes to the Planning Board for its review and authorized the Planning Board to set a public hearing date.
Reach T.C. Hunter at 910-816-1974.