LUMBERTON — A request for “in excess of $10,000” to help with security costs associated with an upcoming annual celebration that draws tens of thousands of people to Pembroke was presented Monday to the Robeson County Board of Commissioners.
The Lumbee Regional Development Association asked board members to provide to help offset spiraling costs for security at the annual Lumbee Homecoming celebration. The two-week event, which has been celebrated every summer for the past 49 years, is scheduled for June 23 to July 8.
“Last year it cost us almost $20,000 for security,” said James Hardin, executive director of the Lumbee Regional Development Association. “In the past, security has cost us $9,000, $10,000 or $11,000.”
Hardin attributed the increased security price tag to stricter federal regulations adopted after the bombings at the Boston Marathon in 2013 that killed three people and severely injured hundreds more, including 16 who lost limbs. If more than 1,000 people are present at an event on an open street, the new federal guidelines kick in and increases security costs.
Ben Jacobs, festival vendor coordinator for the Lumbee Regional Development Association, updated the commissioners on the homecoming’s economic impact on Robeson County and its municipalities.
“Direct spending by visitors and participants is about $1.5 million,” he said. “Add in the multiplier and that spending is about $3 million.”
The Lumbee Homecoming is usually attended by about 40,000 people, Jacobs said. Event attendees are of all races and from all across the United States.
Lumbee Homecoming, which celebrates the heritage and culture of the Lumbee people, includes beauty pageants, arts and crafts, a parade, vendors, fireworks, musical entertainment, sporting events and more.
The commissioners took no action on the funding request.
In other business, the commissioners:
— Appointed George McPhaul, of Red Springs, to serve on the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council of Robeson County. They also approved the state’s recommended funding for council programs this year of $426,621. The funds are used to subsidize local programs and services, according to the council’s Web page.
— Passed a resolution adopting a policy for mutual assistance with other law enforcement agencies. Among other things, the resolution authorizes the county sheriff to enter into mutual assistance arrangements with other municipal and county law enforcement agencies, provided the head of the requesting law enforcement agency makes such a request in writing.
— Approved an agreement between Jail Health Services and Dr. Tyler J. Collins and Dr. Benjamin Collins for dental services at the county jail.
— Approved an agreement between Jail Health Services and Dr. Herman Chavis for physician medical director services at the jail.
— Approved an agreement between Jail Health Services and an addendum to the contract for Dr. Herman Chavis and Jamie Jones, a nurse practitioner.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165