City maps for downtown pocket park

Lumberton City Council on Wednesday approved a master plan for the proposed downtown pocket park. The design includes two sidewalks running the length of the park, several seating areas and benches, several trees and bushes throughout, and an open area in the center, with murals on the side walls of adjacent buildings on either side.

LUMBERTON – City council on Wednesday approved a master plan for the proposed pocket park to be built in downtown Lumberton.

Council approval of the master plan was required before Main Street Lumberton, the council overseeing the revitalization efforts underway in downtown Lumberton, could move on to the next phase of the design process and open the appeal process. offers.

The property, located in an alleyway on the 300 North Elm Street block, a short walk from the Carolina Civic Center and Lumberton Downtown Plaza, was previously donated to the city by Dick and Lenore Taylor.

The proposed pocket park design, which will be between the murals on the sides of adjacent buildings on either side, includes two sidewalks spanning the length of the park, several seating areas and benches, several trees and bushes throughout, and an open area in the center.

“In the central space, we left this open as an opportunity to come in with a tent, possibly to do a small group (activities), and really serve as an adjacent property as we move forward with the addition of the l ‘Carolina Civic Center Annex, “said Dencie Lambdin, Main Street Lumberton Board Chair.” There may be activities that we want to do using the Annex and the Pocket Park together for an event We have deliberately left this space open so that there is flexibility in how we can use the park.

The main walkway went from eight feet wide in the original plan to 12 feet wide in this master plan, according to Sarah Beth Ward, who spoke on behalf of Main Street Lumberton.

The city previously included the embellishment of the pocket park as a budget item in its budget for the current fiscal year.

In addition, Council approved the lease of a city-owned downtown building at 301 North Water Street in Lumber River United Way at $ 1 per year for the next 15 years. As part of the agreement, the City will contribute $ 50,000 towards the cost of renovating the building.

The board had previously assessed several options, including selling the building to Centraide for $ 1 or a long-term lease. With a 15-year lease, the City retains ownership of the building and could take it back in the event that Centraide no longer occupies it.

“Staff believe this is a reasonable compromise that is satisfactory to both parties,” said Deputy City Manager Brandon Love. “He retains ownership with the town of Lumberton, but gives the United Way some capital for the renovations and also guarantees them at least 15 years there.” “

Council also heard an update on recent and ongoing projects with the Lumberton Housing Authority from Adrian Lowery, Executive Director of the LHA. The Authority received a $ 239,000 safety and security grant through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development in October to fund the full installation of security cameras at all LHA sites, said Lowery.

“It’s been really good for us,” Lowery said. “Any activity, we can record it and we can instantly share it with the police department, so this has been a very good investment on the part of the housing authority and we are very proud of the fact that now all of our locations are going to be covered by cameras.

The renovation has started in LHA’s administration building on Martin Luther King Drive and is expected to be completed around August or September of this year, Lowery said. A 72-unit development on Highway 72 is currently in the design and development phase, with this work being carried out by The Wooten Company.

In other news, Council approved a special use permit by RWDT Foods, Inc. to build and operate a Checkers restaurant on Fayetteville Road near Domino’s Pizza.

The plaintiff was Donnell Thompson, a Lumberton native who played 10 years in the NFL and is now a restaurant franchisee.

Thompson answered questions about the restaurant’s hours of operation; the hours offered are 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday, which Thompson says is comparable to other fast food restaurants including McDonald’s and Cook Out, giving people who go out late, such as second shift workers, an additional dining option. He also responded to a question regarding alcohol sales, saying none of Checkers’ 1,000 sites nationwide sell alcoholic beverages.

In other cases, the Council:

– Approved to change the language of the City Dangerous Dogs Ordinance; under the updated ordinance, landlords can be held accountable for violations when they facilitate violations by ignoring violations by their tenants.

– Approved for the purchase of a Yanmar excavator and trailer. The city’s current excavator was purchased in 2006; the city has been renting the unit since June, with a rental fee to help with the purchase price. Considering these, as well as the trade-in value of the existing excavator, the purchase price of Vermeer will be $ 36,250.50; this is well below the amount of $ 65,000 set aside for the purchase in the 2021-2022 municipal budget.

– Awarded a construction contract to AC Schultes of Carolina, Inc. for the raw water intake flood mitigation project at a cost of $ 701,623. The bulk of the project is funded by a grant from the North Carolina Golden LEAF Foundation, but approximately $ 265,000 is needed to fill a funding gap; Council approved Public Works’ proposal to withdraw this money from the Water and Sewer Capital Reserve Fund.

– Approval of an amendment to the professional services agreement with the Wooten Company for the rehabilitation of the sewers at Rosewood Mobile Home Park. The change involves a six-month extension and no additional cost to the city.

– Approved for $ 8,000 to be sent to the town of Mayfield, Ky., To help in the aftermath of a fatal tornado on December 10, 2021. Mayfield was one of the cities hardest hit by a tornado EF4 in western Kentucky. The city pledged $ 5,000, with the remaining $ 3,000 coming from community revitalization funds allocated by each council member in attendance.

– Approved the following allocation of CRF funds: $ 1,000 for a celebration of Martin Luther King Day by the Robeson County Black Caucus; $ 850 for COVID-19 mitigation efforts at First Baptist Church on West Second Street, $ 600 for COVID-19 mitigation efforts at McCormick Chapel AME Church and $ 600 for COVID mitigation efforts- 19 at Sandy Grove Baptist Church. A request for $ 500 from the FRC for COVID-19 mitigation efforts in South Lumberton was withdrawn by Councilor John Cantey after discussion.

Chris Stiles can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at [email protected]

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