HOPE MILLS — The Hope Mills Board of Commissioners on Monday heard an update on the new public safety building from architect Scott Garner.
Garner told the board work is progressing but there is still work to be done.
“They have had their final electric inspection and have the permit to put in appliances,” he said.
“We’re chipping away one thing at a time,” Garner said.
Garner told the board he expects to get a permit of occupancy this week, which would allow personnel inside to work on the building. “But no visitors are allowed,” he said.
“We’re 85% complete, and we should be finished with the entire project by the first of March,” Garner said.
The next phase of the project is the demolition of the Fire Department.
The board passed a non-contiguous annexation of 3.32 acres that includes the intersection of Brooklyn Circle and U.S. 301. The board’s next step is to request staff to present initial zoning to the planning board.
Before the vote, Planning Director Chancer McLaughlin presented the board with a detailed flowchart that outlines the town’s legal annexation process. Last month the board was put into a tough spot when residents from the Pinewood Lakes neighborhood showed up to protest a proposed apartment complex that would border their neighborhood.
The board had no choice but to approve the apartment development due to policies that state the developer had satisfied all legal requirements for building.
McLaughlin said the flowchart was “not intended so much for the council as it was the general public.”
McLaughlin also said the flowchart has been put on the town’s website so the public can see the step-by-step process for annexation. The chart outlines when the town will have a public hearing during the process and when the public will be notified and can attend the hearing.
In other business, the board passed its consent agenda, which included approval of an ordinance amendment that states a violation of a city ordinance may be a misdemeanor “only if the city specifies such in the ordinance.” Further, violation of a local ordinance may not result in a fine in excess of $50 “unless the ordinance expressly states that the maximum fine is greater than fifty dollars.”
Under new business, Commissioner Grilley Mitchell asked the board to discuss the town helping with the beautification of Trade Street for the upcoming Christmas holidays. Mitchell said he has received emails from businesses on Trade Street who would like to decorate their area.
The area of Trade Street is often overlooked by the town, he said in an email to the board. Town Manager Scott Meszaros told the board, “We have a budget and we stick to it.”
Currently the town’s decorations budget only covers Main Street. The board agreed to put wreaths up on the poles on Trade Street this year and to discuss a larger and more long-term beautification project in their budget planning for next year.
After the Trade Street discussion, Lamarco Morrison, the Parks and Recreation director, told the board that dogs were not allowed at Hope Mills Lake. He asked for a temporary suspension of the policy so dog owners who wish to take a family photo with their pets and Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the lake could do so.
The board voted to suspend the policy. The temporary suspension will take place on Dec. 3 from noon to 3 p.m.
Jason Canady covers Hope Mills for CityView. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.