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City Council to discuss homeless encampments


The Fayetteville City Council on Monday is expected to hear from a task force that has been looking at ways to address homeless encampments in the city.

The Homeless Encampment Task Force is comprised of more than 40 city employees from a number of departments, including the city manager’s office, the city attorney’s office, the Police Department and the human relations department. It was created to research homeless encampments, or tent cities, and recommend solutions to address the issue.

The recommendations include a city policy that sets out a standardized procedure governing the cleanup of public property used for temporary shelter. The task force is also recommending a city ordinance that addresses camping on public and private property, according to background material in the agenda packet.

Mayor Mitch Colvin has said those living in tent cities around the town need to be moved closer to services that will assist them.

“We cannot allow people to live in danger and live close to our highways,” he said.

Colvin said the City Council will hear a presentation from the community development department and the city’s legal team about options the city has to address the issue.

Some city officials and homeless advocates say they have seen an increase in the number of encampments around town.

In other business, the council is expected to hear about a proposed African American museum. A similar presentation was made to the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners in April. The commissioners voted April 18 to set aside $450,000 for the proposed museum.

The proposed museum would spotlight black history in the county and in the Fayetteville community.  The history would range from pioneering black author Charles Chesnutt, who lived in Fayetteville, to hip-hop rapper J. Cole, who grew up in the city.

Sir David Adjaye has been selected to design the building. Adjaye is known for, among other projects, designing the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.

Fayetteville State proposal

The City Council also is expected to hear a proposal from Fayetteville State University regarding its Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub.

The university plans to repurpose a 6,500-square-foot space in Bronco Square to serve as the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub. The hub would provide workspace, meeting facilities, business counseling expertise, workshops and technology to support regional small businesses and associated organizations, according to background material from FSU.

The university has invested approximately $600,000 of the $1.7 million needed to get the project started. FSU is asking $500,000 collectively from the city and the county for additional renovation expense requirements, the background materials state.

The council work session begins at 5 p.m. in City Hall.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Fayetteville, City Council, homeless encampments, homelessness, African American museum, Fayetteville State University, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub