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Organizer hopes to bring a new festival to Spring Lake

The board to hear plans for a Caribbean American-themed event


At the Spring Lake Board of Aldermen meeting Monday, aldermen will hear presentations about a Caribbean American-themed festival and community development program updates.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. in the Grady Howard conference room at the Spring Lake Town Hall. Here’s a look at what’s ahead.

New festival in May and an applicant for the special events committee

Organizer Tamiko Singleton of Link Up Entertainment will introduce a festival for the board’s approval: the Spring Lake Caribbean American Unity Festival.

According to the agenda, the festival is an event showcasing culture from the Caribbean region with music, performances, food, children’s activities and more at Mendoza Park on Saturday, June 1.

Singleton said she plans to ask the town for help with securing vendors and sponsoring the event. She said she anticipates 200 people to attend the festival.

Town Clerk Carly Autry said that the event passed through the Spring Lake Special Events Advisory Committee on Thursday, which was one of the prerequisites for their application approval.

The town also received one application to serve on the Special Events Advisory Committee, which is on the consent agenda at Monday’s meeting. The applicant Dymon Bryant, who lives in Hoke County, is the CEO and founder of Pink D.Y.M.O.N.S. 

Bryant hosted a 5K Cancer Walk and Community Festival last September and the town co-sponsored the event. It was unknown if she plans to hold her event in Spring Lake again or apply for sponsorship funds from the Town of Spring Lake. She said in her application that she would not have a conflict of interest if she were to serve on the committee.

Additional holiday proposed and HR manager included

The board also is expected to amend the adopted 2024 holiday schedule to include President’s Day on Feb. 19.

According to Autry, the town has always recognized the day as a paid holiday and it was not included when the 2023-2024 budget was adopted.

She said the last holiday added was Juneteenth, which replaced one of their Christmas holiday dates, reducing their holiday schedule from three days to two.

The town also plans to add a human resources direction position to the budget. The town currently contracts with the North Carolina Council of Governments for the position, which is held by Paula Stewart, according to Autry.

Community development projects update

The board also expects to hear an action plan from the Cumberland County Community Development Department (CCCD) on issues including housing, economic development and infrastructure improvements.

The housing programs benefit low- and moderate-income families, aid in the prevention or elimination of any dwelling deemed as a “slum and blight,” and meet an urgent need that poses a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community, according to agenda materials. Programs for economic development “assist for-profit businesses with start-up or expansion loans,” while also addressing infrastructure improvements related to water and sewer, streets, and flood drainage, according to agenda materials.

Community Services Manager Devon Newton said they have helped with 92 projects in the Spring Lake area with their programs ranging from emergency repair and housing rehabilitation to first-time homebuyer and minor rehabilitation projects.

Other Spring Lake projects include a sanitary sewer project, the Spring Lake Family Resource Center, the FTCC Spring Lake Branch acquisition, the senior recreation center and Spring Lake Green, totaling over $4 million in investment overall.

Newton plans to update the board on affordable housing development projects and the public services program.

The board also expects to go into closed session, citing N.C. general statutes for confidential information, attorney-client privilege, economic development and personnel.

Jami McLaughlin can be reached at jmclaughlin@cityviewnc.com or 910-391-4870.

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spring lake events, spring lake caribbean american festival, cumberland county community development department