Pembroke approves budget

PEMBROKE — The Pembroke Town Council unanimously approved a $6.2 million 2018-19 fiscal budget Monday after making a few adjustments, including increasing the pay raise for town employees.

Town Manager Tyler Thomas’ approved spending plan keeps the tax rate at 64 cents for every $100 of property, and does not increase water and sewer rates. No new positions have been added.

“There’s two things here that I see I like,” Mayor Greg Cummings said. “One, there’s no tax increases and two, 93 percent of the taxes have been billed and collected.”

Changes made Monday to the budget include giving all full-time employees a 2.5 percent cost-of-living increase instead of the proposed 2 percent, and setting aside 30 percent of the capital outlay until December, when the council can review its revenue. The town also increased funding to the Pembroke Rescue Squad from the proposed $5,000 to $17,000.

Flora Lowery, a Pembroke Rescue Squad board member, suggested during a public hearing that the town consider giving more money so the unit can replace a motor in an ambulance. Lowery said the squad will not be able to fulfill its obligations at Lumbee Homecoming until it is fixed.

“Our goal is patient care,” she said.

Other budget highlights include the purchase of three new police cars, work on a soccer field at the town’s recreation complex, a system-wide replacement of all water meters, improvements to the Fire Department building and an additional Public Works equipment building.

“Manager, I think the budget looks good,” Councilman Channing Jones said.

The approved budget takes effect Sunday, the start of the new fiscal year.

In other business council members also:

— Set a public hearing date on Aug. 6 for Calvary Way Baptist Church, which has requested a conditional-use permit to operate the church at 210 N. Main St. The church, which is located next door at 208 N. Main St., wants to expand.

—Approved the site plan for The Village at Hunter’s Run apartment complex. The village will consist of 10 apartment buildings with 24 single-, two- and three-bedroom units in each building. The first construction phase is scheduled to begin at the end of the year.

— Set a hearing date of Aug. 6 for a conditional-use permit request to operate a private membership club at 703 W. Third St. in Pembroke.

— Set a public hearing date of Aug. 6 for a request to rezone an area on Harvard Road from a Residential District to a Multi-Family Dwelling District to allow for the construction of student housing. The building would have an estimated 150 units.

—Approved an updated ordinance that reflects changes in the town’s cruising laws .

— Approved a resolution of support for the Robeson County Vision Zero task force, which is led by the state Department of Transportation. The task force’s goal is to reduce to zero the number of traffic fatalities by addressing factors that lead to accidents.

— Approved a suggestion by Pembroke Police Chief Edward Locklear to allow blockades on Vance Street during Lumbee Homecoming to prevent golf cart traffic from interrupting business at the ABC Store.

Pembroke Police Chief Edward Locklear tells town council members on Monday what streets will be open and closed to golf carts during the 50th Annual Lumbee Homecoming. Police Chief Edward Locklear tells town council members on Monday what streets will be open and closed to golf carts during the 50th Annual Lumbee Homecoming.

Tomeka Sinclair

Staff writer

Tomeka Sinclair can be reached at or 910-416-5865.