LUMBERTON — A new business with plans to occupy a recently demolished site in Lumberton has been delayed over concerns about aesthetics and living up to promises on jobs that would be created.
Lumberton Councilman John Cantey wants to hear more details from N.C. Power Holdings LLC, which wants to do business in his district on Town Common Street.
The City Council on Monday had several items on its consent agenda, including moving forward with a lease for a new company, which is party to the biofuel plant on Hestertown Road in Lumberton. The company plans to use space on the city owned property to store railroad ties and then transport them to be used as fuel at the power plant.
Cantey expressed concerns that stacks of railroad ties and other equipment may become an eyesore. He also talked of businesses coming in and not living up to claims about how many people they will employ. N.C. Power Holdings has said it may create as many as 15 jobs when fully operational.
The site was home to two warehouses that were demolished and cleared using grant money from the Department of Commerce. The department has made it clear that it is pleased with a supplier of a renewable energy plant potentially occupying that space, City Attorney Holt Moore said.
Plans are for city officials to meet with representatives of the business in advance of the next City Council meeting.
In other action:
— Mayor Bruce Davis proclaimed Monday, April 10 as Troop 301 Day in recognition of the First Presbyterian-based Boy Scout Troop’s efforts during Hurricane Matthew. The scouts amassed more than 1,000 hours of community service in the aftermath of the storm.
There was special recognition for one Eagle scout, Ron King, a 14-year-old from Lumberton High School credited with mobilizing the scouts. He was one of 10 scouts from the nation who was selected to go to Washington, D.C., to speak with elected officials and President Trump. King told Trump he had his eyes on the Oval Office.
— Jane McMillan of Robeson County’s Guardian ad Litem urged council members to support the organization’s gala on April 21. The council members donated $1,000 from community revitalization funds and Davis matched that with $1,000 from his discretionary fund.
The program advocates for children who are caught up in the judicial system.
— The council voted to renew its contract with the CodeRED emergency messaging system, which used more than 107,000 minutes to reach residents during Hurricane Matthew. The new contract is for 37,500 general minutes with emergency minutes being free.
The cost of minutes used by the city during Matthew is recoverable from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
— Lisa Baxley, board president of the Carolina Civic Center ,presented council with a $2,000 check from money raised for Hurricane Matthew relief.
— Fiber Technologies Network, a wireless provider, will pay Lumberton to attach fiber optic lines to electrical poles throughout the city.
— Lumberton’s Public Works Department will install a 6-inch water pipe underneath the CSX railroad tracks near Cox Street.
— Patterson and Associates was selected to provide auditing services for the city for the next three fiscal years after submitting a low bid of $67,500.
Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly