Council takes first step toward amending municipal election structure
SOUTHERN PINES – The Town of Southern Pines Council met Thursday to vote on the allocation of lands into the corporate limits of the town, as well as to vote on various items on its regular business agenda.
To kick off the meeting, the council announced a change to their normal proceedings. Starting at the next meeting, the council will hear public comments at the start of the session so that citizens won’t have to wait through the entire meeting to speak.
“Starting in April, public comments will be at the beginning of our meeting immediately after the pledge, and they will be limited to three minutes,” said Mayor Carol Haney. “We thank our citizens in the past for sitting through some long meetings. We’re just trying something new.”
The council ruled on three public hearings on the agenda, with two of them dealing with the annexation of two multiple-acre properties into the corporate limits of Southern Pines. The goal for each property brought forth was to eventually have residential single-family homes built on them.
“It’s five lots that are existing and we just want to build five homes,” said Benjamin Stout, one of the two property owners. “The intent is to get public water. We’ve already got all the soil testing done and are set on permits. So we’re good to go there. Looking to be a good citizen and looking to take advantage of an opportunity.”
Both of the properties were approved to be incorporated into the town’s corporate limit, and the third hearing, an application for commercial development, was motioned to be taken up at the next meeting.
The council then went on to approve a series of items from the agenda including an expansion of The Murphy Insurance Agency for approximately 1,140 square feet, a Resolution of Intent to amend the town’s charter relative to municipal election structure and the demolition of an unsafe building on 274 N. Hale Street for the cost of $6,925.
The Town will also be doubling the amount of road miles for the FY 21-22 resurfacing project thanks to receiving a bid for much more than they had previously allocated for.
“It would appear that we got a bid way over our $275,000 allocation,” said Town Manager Reagan Parsons. “We came in $206,765 over the original budgeted amount so we’re doubling the amount of road miles we had originally contemplated back in July.”
An item that will now have to be addressed in a future meeting was a request by Longleaf Pines Storage, LLC to acquire a section of Hill Crest Road. Due to a public right-of-way being contained on the parcel of land, a public hearing must take place in order for the town to abandon it.
The next meeting will take place on April 12.