During the Newton Grove meeting earlier this week, the town board reported in departments, finalized the mowing contract, postponed the annual cleanup, and delved into a situation with the Monk House.
Departmental reports revealed that the Police Department is doing well, and Chief Frankie Harrell said that during this time of year there can be an uptick in the crime rate because of the warmer weather.
Streets are also in good shape, the board was told.
“Everything’s good,” said Commissioner Steve Jackson. “We’ve had some potholes scattered about town, but we’ve got some of those filled in, and we’ve got a few more. As soon as we get one filled another one comes up.”
Everything’s running smoothly in parks and recreation, too.
“I saw where they have done some more work down there,”said Commissioner Teresa Wilson. Trees have been trimmed back she said.
There were no complaints on sanitation either; however, the group that the town uses for trash pickup has requested that they delay the town cleanup until June.
“We were going to do a May cleanup and Waste Industries has asked if we could delay it until June because they have had an influx of other communities doing the same thing,” said Jackson. “I told them I didn’t see an issue with it unless someone was opposed. We were going to set the dumpsters out here to bring in metals and any large objects…like refrigerators, stoves.”
A new cleanup date has not been set yet, but town officials noted that the last week of June is the one currently being eyed. The locations of the dumpsters for the cleanup have also not been determined.
Mayor Barbara Burch asked Jackson to let them know about the new date at the next meeting, which is scheduled for June 9.
The town is also expected to have a litter pickup in town for people to pick up trash on each street, but that had not been settled yet either.
In another matter, commissioner Laura Wheeler said she is planning on making arrangements to discuss the liner in the water tower and refurbishing and repainting that needs to be done.
NC Lawn Service and E&J mowing bids were also discussed.
“Orignial bids were for the library, town hall, circle, water tower and well site on Goldsboro Street,” said town clerk Amanda Turner. “That’s what they normally have been doing.”
“Based on the estimates we should go with NC Lawn Service,” she stated. “Then it was asked to add lift stations and welcome signs which would be another $260 a month.” The town had the option to decide about whether or not to add the lift stations and welcome signs or not, and the bids included spraying as needed. Trimming trees and things like that would be extra, Turner explained.
“How long has E&J been doing it?” asked Jackson.
“A long time,” replied Turner. “From what Gary Mac (Herring) said … every time they have had it come up for bid they couldn’t find anybody who was certified or licensed to spray…. They have always been the only ones to put in a bid.”
Since the board was pleased with E&J’s services the town decided to continue on with them even though their bid was $50 higher than NC Lawn Service.
“There’s got to be a little bit of loyalty on both sides of it,” said Jackson. “They have been doing I know for at least ten years…. When we need extra things done we call them up and they get them right doing it.”
“Window panes are falling out of the Monk house,” reported Burch in opening up discussion about the historic home. She said that concerned citizens have brought it to her attention again. Recommendations for the situation are being explored to see about working on the house. It would cost around $150 to replace each window, Jackson added.
More information, they said, would be forthcoming.
Thomas Williford, the chairman of the town’s Zoning Board, resigned from the board in a letter read aloud during the meeting Monday night. He is leaving after over 20 years of service.
Williford said in his letter that he was humbled to be asked to serve on the board for the past 20 years. It said that he had learned a great deal through the process and that he appreciated the work that had been done for the citizens of Newton Grove. He added that he thought it was time for a change and wished each of them his very best.
Right now they have to have seven members but only five voting members and Burch said that she will be in contact with Faye Lewis, who is the town’s Rural Planning Organization Planner. No recommendations were made to replace him until Burch has had a chance to speak with Lewis.
Following the regular meeting a reception was held for Lark Thornton. Thornton was the branch manager of the Newton Grove library, Bryan Memorial, for over 31 years and she officially retired on April 30 of this year.
Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122. Follow us on Twitter: @SampsonInd