HAMLET — City Council members voted Tuesday night to let the Seaboard Festival off the hook for costing it $650 in legal fees, considered new gateway signs and moved to formalize the ordinance governing alcohol use on city property. It also bought the town a garbage truck.
Marching quickly through a 23-point agenda, council members:
• Decided not to charge the Seaboard Festival board for a contract it drew up after the festival offered it land last June. The festival board came up with another plan before the ink was dry on the document, provoking irritation among some council members.
On Tuesday, council member Jesse McQueen said the board had showed “intense disrespect” by failing to inform the city officially of its change of mind until the council’s August meeting.
But, keeping in mind the tens of thousands of dollars the festival pumps into city coffers and in the spirit of quashing rumors that some council members want to harm the popular festival, the body agreed by consensus to forget about the lost legal fees.
• Set up a committee to consider new signs for roads entering Hamlet.
Council member Eddie Martin said he disliked the subtle designs proposed by one sign maker — they depict a silhouette of the Hamlet Depot — preferring instead something a little more obvious, such as the train engine in the city seal.
• Asked the city attorney to come up with language that would let the city rent out property for weddings and other parties that offered alcoholic drinks. That way, said council member Johnathan Buie, “we can actually get something (going) in downtown Hamlet.”
• Accepted a $122,903 bid for the purchase of a rear-load, refuse-collection truck from Newlife Environmental Inc. of Easley, South Carolina. The city retired one of its older trucks this year, and has sold at least one other during an online auction in August.
Hamlet has reaped $35,000 in round 1 of that auction of surplus city equipment, public works Director Billy Stubbs said before Tuesday’s meeting.
“That’s a lot more than what we normally do” with person-to-person sales, he said.
The auction ran online for several weeks, sporting dynamic views of crashed Crown Vics, a Caterpillar “crawler loader” and a fire engine. The only things that didn’t sell, Stubbs said, were a street-sweeping vacuum and an old television.
The city has begun the second phase of the auction, which Stubbs hopes will net as much as $18,000 for several “big-ticket items.”
The new items also are listed at govworldauctions.com. To take a gander at them, enter the word “Hamlet” in the search box.
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673.