Rockingham Mayor Gene McLaurin and Rockingham City Manager Monty Crump have had discussions with Ellerbe Telephone about forming a partnership to make this happen. Herb Long of Ellerbe Telephone is scheduled to give a presentation on the matter to the Tourism Board on Tuesday.
“Hopefully, by the February 2011 meeting, staff can have a preliminary proposal for Council to review in regards to Wi-Fi,” wrote Crump in a memo for the January city council meeting.
In other news:
The January Rockingham City Council meeting on Tuesday could include an update on the progress of Discovery Place KIDS coming to Rockingham. Friday, Crump and McLaurin met with Discovery Place staff to conduct a complete review and update of the status of the project.
The wastewater projects in East Rockingham are proceeding well, on time and within project budgets, according to Crump. The Jefferson Street sewer project has a contingence of $62,000 which it won’t be needing. Therefore, the city has applied for permission to use the left-over funds to extend the sewer project to additional homes in the Jefferson Street project.
The council will set a public hearing for a voluntary, contiguous annexation petition for about 2 acres at 350 US Highway 1 South, submitted by Norman and Rita Bland. The property is located immediately adjacent to the city’s existing city limit boundary. It is currently a vacant lot and zoned Highway Business. A national retail store has an option to purchase the property. In order to connect to city sewer service, the property owner requested annexation.
The council will be asked to hold another public hearing for an ordinance to rezone an approximately 1 acre lot behind 256 Mill Road from Residential Mill Village to Highway Business. Originally, this area was “intended to accommodate the historic development patterns created in the mill village areas and thereby minimize the creation of nonconforming situations,” according to the Unified Development Ordinance.
The request was submitted by Richard Dunn, owner of ER Pawnshop, which is located beside the lot in question. Dunn is interested in building mini-storage warehouses on the property, but zoning restrictions do not permit this.
City staff wrote in a memo to the planning board, “In a rezoning request where valid reasons exist for both approval and denial, the final decision may be influenced by the sentiment of the surrounding residents.”
According to the opinion of city staff, the subject property is not the most desirable location for residential development considering the three lots back up to a railroad, are adjacent to a commercial business (ER Pawnshop), and have a view of the former Hannah Picket Mill which has become an eyesore.
If the surrounding property owners do not object, then city staff recommends the property be rezoned as proposed.
Staff Writer Dawn Kurry can be reached at (910)997-3111 ext. 15, or by e-mail at email@example.com.