Project OK’d for berm work

By: By T.C. Hunter - [email protected]

LUMBERTON — Flood prevention at the city’s water plant, repairs and upgrades to city water and sewer operations, video gaming, bees and an annexation request from Sanderson Farms were among the many issues addressed Wednesday by the Council Policy Committee.

City Council members, meeting as the CPC at Town Hall, approved a $78,000 contract with L.E. Wooten & Company for the construction of a berm to prevent floodwaters from entering the city water plant. The plant was inundated in October 2016 by floodwaters generated by Hurricane Matthew.

The berm project is being funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Wooten Company, a multi-discipline firm with offices in North and South Carolina, will undertake all design, bidding and construction administration services. The contract calls for the project to be completed within 16 months from the contract’s effective date.

The contract, as with all items approved by the CPC, now goes before the full City Council for approval. The council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday.

The CPC members approved a resolution Wednesday that clears the way for the city to accept a $1 million loan for rehabilitation and “priority repairs” to the city’s sanitary sewer collection system. The money will come from a Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The loan comes with a $500,000 in principal forgiveness.

“You only have to pay back $500,000,” City Manager Wayne Horne said.

A contract worth $90,003.41 for repairs to and the installation of a control valve to a water plant pump damaged by Hurricane Matthew floodwaters was approved by the CPC members. The contract, if approved by the full City Council, would go to Charles R. Underwood, Inc.,of Sanford. The approval action also includes reallocating $97,000 intended for other Public Works repair and upgrade projects.

Spending $17,700 to buy and install at pump for the Ramada Inn Lift Station was approved by the CPC. According to the Public Works Department’s funding request, there are three pumps at the lift station, but two of the pumps failed “several months ago” and were sent out for repair. As a result, one good pump was made from the two failed pumps, and the city was left without a backup pump at a station that handles a large volume of flow. State law requires the lift station to have three pumps at the station.

Amendments to the Land Use Ordinance pertaining to electronic gaming operations received CPC approval Wednesday. The changes more clearly defines an electronic gaming operation, clarifies where such an operation can be established, and sets hours of operation, among other regulations. The amended ordinance sets a $200-per-day civil penalty for violation of the ordinance.

Lumberton residents will be able to keep honeybee hives on their property if a revised ordinance approved by the CPC is approved by City Council. The revised ordinance limits to five the number of movable hives allowed on a lot 15,000 square feet in size or less. On lots larger than 15,000 square feet additional hives will be permitted on the basis of one hive per 5,000 square feet in excess of 15,000 square feet.

The bee ordinance also limits placement of the hives. Hives must be at least 150 feet from a neighboring residence or building. They can not be located next to a public street unless enclosed by a flyway barrier at least 6 feet in height “consisting of a solid wall, fence, dense vegetation or combination thereof.” Hive entrances are prohibited from facing adjoining rear or side property lines.

The CPC members set a Dec. 6 public hearing date so residents can comment on Sanderson Farms’ request to annex 12.88 acres of land on Elizabethtown Road near Snake Road.

In other business, CPC members:

— Agreed to donate $1,000 from City Council discretionary funds to the Christmas Toy Give-A-Way sponsored by Arrested Potential Inc. and Sandy Grove Baptist Church.

— Heard a presentation by Robeson Community College about potential classes to help better prepare people for employment.

— Approved a change order of $55,891.19 to a contract for the repair of a Public Utilities crew room and warehouse damaged by Hurricane Matthew. The work is funded by FEMA and Golden LEAF.

— Sent to the Planning Board a rezoning petition from Jonathan Wayne Hunt for 5.53 acres of land off Elizabethtown Road for the establishment of a manufactured home sales lot.

— Sent to the Planning Board a conditional use permit request from Metcon for property located at 500 N. Chestnut St. in Lumberton. The conditional use-permit is needed for the conversion of the building to government office space.

— Approved a utilities repair contract worth $211,799 for VFW Road near Interstate 95. The work, funded by FEMA, is to install a sewer force main and paving.

— Sent to the Planning Board a rezoning petition from Renee Perry for property located at 1502 Godwin Ave. for the establishment of a manufactured home sales lot.

— Approved a resolution for preliminary assessment and directing the project be undertaken for a ditch tiling request for property located at 301 Cambridge Blvd. The project calls for placing pipe in 285 feet of open ditch. The $13,705.69 project cost is to be shared by the city and the property owner.

— Approved allowing City Attorney Holt Moore to give final approval to contracts if no changes are made to the contract as approved initially by City Council. The purpose of the change is to streamline the approval process.

— Approved a resolution declaring certain city property, such as vehicles, office equipment, landscaping equipment, and more, as surplus. The property is to be auctioned off on Dec. 27 at Lloyd Meekins & Sons Auction Company, located at 4070 E. Fifth St. in Lumberton.

— Approved submitting a Rural Development Building Reuse Program grant request on behalf of Harry Jhala for property at 140 Wintergreen Drive. Jhala intends to buy the old Huddle House Restaurant building on Wintergreen Drive and convert it to a Cold Stone Creamery.

— Approved the designation of $400 of Community Revitalization Funds to Oakridge Homeowner’s Association for a community event.

— Approved the designation of $700 of Community Revitalization Funds for Rowland Norment Elementary School’s English as a Second Language class.

— Approved the designation of $650 of Community Revitalization Funds for Breath of Life International Ministries for Community Programming on Dec. 16 at the Bill Sapp Recreational Center.

— Approved the designation of $300 of Community Revitalization Funds to the Toys for Kids Program.

— Approved the designation of $1,750 of Community Revitalization Funds to multiple church holiday programs.

— Approved changing documents submitted to the North Carolina Office of Emergency Management listing Mayor Bruce Davis and City Manager Horne as agents authorized to sign such documents.

“It was a bookkeeping action,” Horne said.

By T.C. Hunter

[email protected]

Reach T.C. Hunter at 910-816-1974.

Reach T.C. Hunter at 910-816-1974.