The Spring Lake Board of Aldermen discussed residential organic waste management, approved a Caribbean American festival and moved forward with adding a human resources position, among other items, at their regularly scheduled meeting Monday.
Here are the highlights from the meeting.
Residential organic waste management
What happened: Steve Wing, the town’s interim public works supervisor, gave an overview to board members of how debris is removed from residential properties and what is allowed to be disposed of under landfill rules. Wing hopes to bring more awareness to established rules at the Ann Street Landfill where the town disposes of the organic waste from weekly residential pickups.
“Our largest pickup is vegetation, like leaves, pine straw and grass clippings,” Wing said. “The town produces a lot of organic material. However, if there is trash or plastic in it, the town could get a fine. First offense is $100, and by the third [offense], it is $500.”
He said the town had not been fined in the last year and a half by the landfill because of efforts to inform residents on which items are and aren’t authorized for pickup through distribution of bright orange door hangers with solid waste information.
Why it matters: Town residents are informed of their once-a-week pick-up times. Authorized debris is to be placed out on the curb by 7 a.m. and yard debris cannot be put in bags. Instead, Wing said it should be covered with a tarp or a similar material.
Authorized items include organic materials, “white goods” like washing machines and refrigerators, and “brown goods” like chairs and tables. Unauthorized goods include bricks, rocks, batteries, motor oil, hazardous material, medical waste and bulky items such as car bodies and storage buildings.
Wing said he is also working to ensure contractors remove construction trash themselves, rather than leaving it out to be picked up, an issue that sometimes takes full days for his team to do.
“Contractors should be hauling their own refuse,” Wing said. “We are going to enforce the rules and although it might be a shock to some residents, we are going to do it so that we don’t have to raise sanitation fees down the line.”
What’s next: Wing said his department will continue to inform residents and clean up illegal dumping sites in Spring Lake. He hopes to use cameras in unauthorized areas where people tend to dump, and also attach cameras to the town’s two new hauling trucks that were purchased last year.
Board approves returning festival
What happened: The board approved plans for the Spring Lake Caribbean American Unity Festival to be held Saturday, June 1, at Mendoza Park.
Why it matters: Tamiko Singleton, the festival organizer, who has organized the event previously, must abide by new rules through the town’s Special Events Advisory Committee. The committee was formed last year. According to the town, every event that has over 200 people has to be approved by both the committee, made up of town officials and residents, and the Spring Lake Board of Aldermen.
What’s next: Singleton said she expects 40-45 vendors for the June festival, which will feature food, children’s activities, entertainment and more.
“Having cultural activities in the community helps people learn about other cultures and lives,” Singleton said.
Upon adoption, the board clarified that the approval by the board was only for Singleton to host the event and they were not granting a town sponsorship. Singleton said she was planning on securing separate sponsorships on her own outside of the town.
County reminds board of available resources
What happened: Dee Taylor, director of the Cumberland County Community Development Department, presented county resources available for the town and its residents — specifically reviewing housing, economic development and infrastructure programs.
Other county staff were also present, including Assistant County Manager Heather Skeens and Community Services Manager Devon Newton.
Why it matters: According to Taylor, the county has spent over $7.5 million in Spring Lake to help provide affordable housing, sewer improvements and other projects through funds from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). Taylor also updated the board on affordable housing projects on Elizabeth Street and Chapel Hill Road.
What’s next: The Elizabeth Street project through the Kingdom Community Development Corporation has sold three houses out of five, Taylor said. The project is progressing on phase two, which will see six new units.
Starbucks plan is finalized
What happened: The board approved the final plat for a new Starbucks in the Skyland Shopping Center.
Why it matters: Town Attorney Michael Porter said that the town needs to review ordinances, which required agent George Rose on behalf of PES Development, LLC to come before the town board and county planning department several times before final approval. Porter said the developers for Starbucks had to come back to town and county staff for approval because of the way the town’s ordinances were revised a few years ago. Anthony said that ordinances needing revision will be discussed at an upcoming work session.
What’s next: The town will review ordinances so that other economic development projects do not need to go through the same numerous approval processes. Contractors for Starbucks are now waiting for a turn lane approval from the N.C. Dept. of Transportation before building the new coffee shop.
Adoption of policy amendments and resolutions
What happened: The board adopted three resolutions that were introduced by Mayor Pro Tem Soña Cooper as a part of her work as a regional director at large for the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) with the National League of Cities (NLC). One of the resolutions supports resources for community navigators to assist local entrepreneurs in accessing credit and Small Business Administration-backed loans, while another resolution supports a national agenda to invest in housing opportunities and efforts to end homelessness.
A third resolution focuses on energy consumption, environmental protection and natural resource management issues, according to Cooper. The resolution falls under the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Federal Advocacy Committee.
Why it matters: Anthony said that it was significant for this resolution to be included in the National League of Cities policy handbook for Energy, Environment & Natural l Resources. She said Spring Lake is home to Carvers Creek State Park and wetland areas that need to be enjoyed and protected. Concerns about air quality with the Pope Army Airfield flight line passing above Spring Lake were also brought up by Anthony.
“From conservation to sustainability, this is about our quality of life,” Anthony said.
What’s next: The resolutions will now need to be approved by the federal advocacy committees in order to be submitted for the NLC policy handbook.
Holiday schedule corrected and human resources position approved
What happened: The board added President’s Day to the holiday schedule, which had been overlooked when it was approved in January. The board also created a full-time human resources position.
Why it matters: The town has not had a position dedicated solely to human resources in years, according to Interim Town Manager Jason Williams.
Williams said that in the past, human resources had been a part of the town clerk’s job description, then it went to a payroll technician in the finance department. Anthony said she agreed that the position should be authorized and not folded into another person’s job.
What’s next: The board will look at salary ranges with help from the Local Government Commission (LGC) and add the position to next year’s budget.
In other news, Alderman Marvin Lackman announced that the banner program introduced by the Spring Lake Military and Veteran Affairs Advisory Committee had been approved by the LGC. Banners can be purchased at town hall. The cost is $188, which includes a photo, and the banners will fly on Main Street from Memorial Day to Veterans Day.
The board also spent an hour in closed session, citing N.C. general statutes for confidential information, attorney-client privilege, economic development and personnel. The board returned to open session with no action taken.
The next regularly scheduled meeting will be at 6 p.m. Monday, March 11, in the Grady Howard conference room at the Spring Lake Town Hall.
Jami McLaughlin can be reached at email@example.com or at 910-391-4870.
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