City mayor outlines recovery progress since hurricanes

To the Editor,

As mayor of Lumberton, I would like to share with you my thoughts over the past four years, but more importantly my appreciation for those who stood tall when we needed them. As I reflect upon the devastation that Lumberton has endured through hurricanes Matthew and Florence, I marvel at the resiliency of our communities. It gives me hope and a swelling of pride for my city.

After Hurricane Matthew, I said we would make every effort to restore our city. At that time I stood on faith. Today, I stand as a testament of that faith and to the City Council’s commitment to make Lumberton whole. I would like to mention three of the 26 projects which we have ongoing or have completed:

— Canal debris-clearing: This scope of work includes clearing storm debris from Five Mile Branch, downstream to the Lumber River. The estimated cost for this project is over $2 million and will be paid for by FEMA.

— East Lumberton affordable housing: The city has been awarded a grant to help develop affordable housing outside the 100-year flood plain. The NC Office of State Budget and Management approved a grant of almost $3 million for housing construction. These homes will be sold at a discount to residents who lost their homes.

— Senior housing: The Development Finance Initiative at the School of Government partners with local governments to attract private investment for transformative projects by providing specialized financing and development expertise. They are currently working with the Lumberton to construct 70 apartments for the elderly at no cost to the city.

I would like to thank City Manager Wayne Horne and his staff for their hard work. Thanks to BB&T for providing its warehouse for supply distribution and to Mike and Vi Townsend for the use of their shopping center parking lot as a distribution location.

Thanks to all the local churches that housed faith-based groups and to Baptist Men who were stationed at Hyde Park Baptist Church, cooking up thousands of meals a day and have since purchased a building that sleeps 150 people per week to build and repair homes.

We have more to do and we are committed to a better tomorrow. It makes me proud to be a part of this recovery.

Mayor Bruce Davis