About 600 teachers from the PSRC attend the orientation as the start of the summer school approaches
LUMBERTON – A 2% hike in the cost of living adjustment for city employees and an increase in water and sewer charges for residents are in the 2021-22 fiscal year budget approved on Wednesday by Lumberton City Council.
The budget also includes a general fund of $ 30,338,740, a water and sewer fund of $ 14,203,550 and a lighting and electricity fund of $ 36,218,090.
The property tax rate remains at 65 cents per $ 100 of property.
The cost of living adjustment for payroll comes into effect on or after July 1. And on Wednesday, the recommendation was to increase water and sewer rates by 7.2% after July 1. Basic residential water rates for 1,000 gallons or less within the city would increase from $ 9.23 to $ 9.90 and from $ 22.90 to $ 22.55.
City Councilor John Cantey has called for council to meet in January to review the cost of living adjustment, with the aim of expanding it.
“It will depend on our finances when we return in January,” said City Manager Wayne Horne.
The Board also approved the authorization of the Director of Emergency Services, Bill French, to accept a funding review of $ 87,565 from the NC 911 Board of Directors. The funding will help replace the consoles of radio dispatch and will help fire and police departments to switch to Viper 800 MHz radios.
French said that when the project is completed, the funding will be paid through grants or the 911 Fund administered by the state’s 911 board of directors, not using city money.
“I would like to thank you, Bill, for your time and effort in this area,” said Councilor Karen Higley.
Council members also approved a late-summer community event, complete with fireworks, at the start of Labor Day weekend on September 3. The event will replace the fourth family celebration of 2021.
Recreation director Tim Taylor said the department had been unable to set a date for the family’s fourth celebration with COVID-19 collection limits still in place.
Also on Wednesday was approved the award of contracts to demolish and rebuild residences at 530 Swann Drive and 1703 Maryland St.
“Both of these properties will be completely demolished and rebuilt,” said Brian Nolley, deputy director of planning and neighborhood services.
“I would just like to thank you and the management,” Cantey said. “We are rebuilding our community one or two houses at a time. “
The council also approved the formal acceptance of the US bailout grant funds, which Horne estimated Lumberton could receive $ 5.9 million.
A memorandum of understanding was also approved supporting the inclusion of Robeson County in the distribution of the Opioid Settlement Fund, a national lawsuit brought by governments against opioid manufacturers. The approval was a step in the process of obtaining funds.
Council members also heard Director of Public Works Rob Armstrong say that the Rosewood Mobile Home Park CDBG sanitary sewer extension project is nearing completion.
Due to COVID-19 and delays in obtaining materials, the project was extended for an additional 75 days, resulting in the need for an additional $ 74,000 for additional services from The Wooten Company, Armstrong said. The funding will be covered by a block grant for community development for infrastructure, and the application has been approved by the city council.
Council also approved the surplus and transfer of a 1992 Grumman fire truck from the Lumberton Fire Department to Robeson Community College for use in firefighter training.
The truck has been taken out of service since August 2020 and no longer meets state safety regulations for the use of the department, Acting Fire Chief Chris West said. The contingency of the donation was that the truck would not be used for indoor firefighting operations.
“However, the device can be used for training and education purposes,” West said.
Council members voted to approve the Lumberton Police Department’s authorization to apply for and accept a 2022 North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program grant in the amount of $ 130,500.
Lumberton Police Chief Mike McNeill said after the meeting the ministry was looking to renew the grant it first received about three years ago. The police chief told council members that the grant funds 85% of the positions of two DWI officers.
City Council also approved the donation of $ 1,300 to The Village, which plans to hold a celebration on June 19, a day historically celebrated to mark the emancipation of slaves.
Another contract was awarded for the dismantling and reconstruction of a property at 144 Spearman Street. The project will be funded through the Risk Mitigation Grant Program – Matthew Grant Funding.
Board members selected The Wooten Company to provide engineering services for the Well Relocation Project and the Asset Infrastructure Assessment Water System Mapping Project. The projects are funded by a $ 2.3 million grant from the NC Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
Council members on Wednesday approved reimbursement of $ 129.41 to West Lumberton Kiwanis for the construction of a wheelchair ramp at a Lumberton resident.
A resolution supporting the House Bill 500, also known as the Disaster Relief and Mitigation Act of 2021, was also approved. The law seeks to make the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency permanent and establish “targeted funding” for flood mitigation, according to the House bill.
Council members approved Barbara Benton’s annexation request for the property at 101 Arbor Lane, and revisions to the city’s land use ordinance to comply with state guidelines. A request from Steven Branch to withdraw an application to rezone a property on Country Club Drive was also approved.
The council forwarded requests to the city’s planning council to use special permits by Sharon Smith to move from 202 to 215 E. Third St. and operate her natural hair care school, and by Shanese Spaulding to open a beauty academy at 312 N. Elm St. City Planning director ArTriel Kirchner has been authorized to set dates for public hearings.
Council members also accepted a donation of property from the Conservation Fund and Scottish Packing, Inc.
The Conservation Fund, a non-profit organization, donated 10.35 acres on Campbell Street to the town to add it to the Lumber River trailhead and to add an access area for canoeing / kayaking . Scottish Packing, Inc. donated 1.58 acres on Kinlaw Street for a future park and canoe / kayak access area on the Lumber River.
Cantey said the land donation and plans are part of the city’s revitalization efforts.
“A grant from the Attorney General’s Environmental Improvement Grant program will cover transaction costs, site clean-up and construction of canoe / kayak access,” according to information in the diary. the city.
After a closed session, council accepted a donation of land on rue Noir, which is adjacent to the public works department.