LUMBERTON — Two local youth baseball teams were honored by Robeson County commissioners Monday as they prepared to travel to Mississippi this week to play in the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series.
The Board of Commissioners gave the Lumberton Youth Baseball Association’s AAA team, ages 9-10, and the West Robeson Baseball Association’s Majors All-Star team, ages 11-12, $1,000 each and coolers with cups inside to celebrate their achievements and help them as they travel to compete in the DYB World Series in Laurel, Mississippi. The tournament begins Friday.
The LYBA won the DYB Division I state tournament in Norwood this past week, qualifying for the championship. The WRBA Majors All-Star team won a state championship tournament July 24, with a score of 6-2 over Elizabethtown.
Eric Freeman, coach of the WRBA team, described the trip as a “once-in-a-lifetime experience for a lot of ball players.” It is a “big accomplishment for the team,” he said.
“These guys are all from the Pembroke, Union Chapel, Red Springs, Prospect and that side of Lumberton area,” Freeman said.
The players work very hard, according to the coach.
“They practice every day,” he said.
The team also worked over the weekend to sell food at a fundraiser in Pembroke to raise money ahead of the championship trip, Freeman said.
The team will leave Thursday to make their way to Mississippi.
Jaylon Locklear, a WRBA player, told the commissioners he is excited about the upcoming trip and tournament.
“It’s a new experience, so I’m thankful for that,” Locklear said. “Mostly, I want to win.”
Steve Stone, LYBA coach, spoke about his team and their efforts to bring home a win in the DYB World Series.
“This has not been, not just one season in the making. This has been three years in the making, a lot of weekends, a lot of travel ball, good things these kids is doing,” Stone said.
The team is going to Mississippi to win, he said.
“We’re going to do our best, that’s all we can promise,” Stone said. “But, I guarantee you they’ll have fun.”
The coaches said they would share links on Facebook so the public can watch the games.
“I just want to say one last time: Congratulations both our teams,” said Faline Dial, Board of Commissioners chair.
Dial also spoke of her excitement about Lumberton being the host of the DYB World Series in 2022.
“So if you guys make it again, hey, you won’t have to travel so far, and that will be a great thing for our county as well,” Dial said.
Also on Monday, commissioners approved $155 million in hospital bonds to be issued by the Public Finance Authority for the benefit of UNC Health Southeastern to help it finance and refinance projects on its campus.
“We have no obligation regarding these bonds … They have to have the approval of this board because the money will be spent on projects within your jurisdiction. So, the statute requires your approval before they issue these bonds,” said Rob Davis, Robeson County attorney.
Also approved was renewing the interlocal agreement between Robeson County and Red Springs for the town’s use of emergency services.
Commissioners also heard from Robeson County Community Development Director Dixon Ivey Jr., who said the county must update its comprehensive land use plan.
“I was able to manage with my staff to redo our zoning ordinance at no cost to the county,” Ivey said.
He was notified after the budget was passed that the plan needed updating, Ivey said. He doesn’t have the staff or budgetary capability to update the plan.
He said he would request funding at a later date and would speak further on the matter with County Manager Kellie Blue, Ivey said.
“It has to be done by July of next year,” he said.
No action was taken on the matter Monday.
The commissioners briefly discussed and approved an ordinance concerning golf cart usage on streets. Golf carts are only to be used in 35 mph speed zones “within the jurisdictional limits or on property owned or leased by the county,” according to the ordinance.
Anyone younger than 16 or without a driver’s license may not drive a golf cart on the streets. No golf cart is to be driven on the streets after sundown. The county is not liable for accidents, injuries or deaths as a result of golf cart operation.
Golf carts must have insurance and be inspected by fire departments, for a $25 fee, according to County Commissioner David Edge.
Robeson County Housing Authority Director Niakeya Cooper told commissioners the company with whom the authority contracts is short maintenance workers. She requested a five-year contract with Two Hawk Employment Services for maintenance workers, which was approved by the commissioners.
Cooper said the Housing Authority is working to collect rent as a result of the eviction moratorium ending Saturday.
“We have a lot of tenants who have not paid rent since the moratorium began a year and a half ago,” Cooper said.
Payment plans can be used for repayment over a 40-month period, she said.
Commissioners voted Monday to approve changing the language to set a $500 nonrefundable fee for a permit for mass gatherings to be paid to the County Manager’s Office before each event. Davis said changing the language closes possible loopholes that could prevent payment to the county.
“The application shall be submitted at least 60 days prior to the commencement of the mass gathering … Each separate event must receive a separate permit and pay a separate fee. Churches and other approved nonprofits must obtain a permit but are exempt form the application fee,” according to information in the commissioners’ agenda packet.
Commissioners reappointed Frank Smith to serve a two-year term on the Robeson Jury Commission. The term ends in June 2023.
Appointed to the Transportation Coordinating Committee was interim Town Administrator Debra McNeill and Robeson County Commissioner Wixie Stephens. Pauline Campbell, Board of Commissioners vice chair, said she would call in a candidate to be appointed at a later date.
Commissioner John Cummings was selected to serve on the Transportation Advisory Committee, with Commissioner Judy Sampson serving as an alternate member.
Also approved Monday was a resolution to accept a $2,600 bid plus the cost of advertising for surplus property on Tobermory Road in Parkton.
Commissioners also approved declaring 108 computers surplus property, or property the county government no longer needs and can be sold to members of the public.
Commissioners approved a Robeson County Jail Health Services contract that will give Jail Physician Dr. Herman Chavis $93,000 annually for physician supervision and medical services at Robeson Count Detention Center. The contract ends June 30, 2022.
A public hearing will be held at the meeting on Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. to consider an economic incentives agreement with Elkay.