Hope for funding from the state for debris removal on Hitchcock Creek will be discussed at the February meeting of the Rockingham City Council.
“There is still work to do but the city is at the point ... where hopefully the public will be able to start using a complete portion of this project in the very near future,” wrote City Manager Monty Crump for the meeting’s agenda.
He wrote, “Approximately two years ago, when the city received funding to remove the Steele’s Mill Dam at Cordova, it also received a grant to restore and enhance Hitchcock Creek from the new U.S. 73/74 bridge to the former site of Steele’s Mill Dam. A condition of receiving that grant required all properties along the creek, which were to be restored (including former lakebed property) to be permanently protected by conservation easements.”
It has taken the better part of the last two years to get the conservation easements in place due to the establishment of ownership of the old lakebed that remained after removal of the dam.
“All neighboring property owners very graciously cooperated with the city/state,” wrote Crump.
One of the biggest challenges the project faced was trying to establish who owned the property of the lakebed. It was determined by Brent Neal that the property belonged to Craig McNeill, who did not have any interest in pursuing the property. McNeill understood the situation and agreed to relinquish his possible claim by providing the deed. The state was satisfied with the process, and will release funds so the restoration of the creek may proceed.
In other business:
-The City of Rockingham ran into an “unexpected and critical situation,” according to Crump, when the N.C. Wildlife Commission Sandhills Gameland staff said they will no longer accept bio solids from the Rockingham wastewater treatment plant. The main reason for this was impending budget cuts and staff reduction at the NCWRC.
“The city cannot simply shut down the wastewater treatment plant until we find a solution and we need a solution ASAP,” Crump said.
He said he and Larry Cobler are putting together a plan, but there are several details pending. They will present their plan at the meeting.
“It appears the most viable long-term solution will be to truck sludge to landfill which will entail the immediate (emergency purchase under State law) acquisition of new tractor/trailer and enter negotiated two-three year contract with landfill on tipping fees,” wrote Crump in the agenda.
-The city of Hamlet has requested to purchase a police vehicle from the Rockingham Police Department. The vehicle is a 2007 Ford Crown Victoria, priced at $4,500.
- The Rockingham Fire Department will present their annual report for 2010 at the Rockingham City Council meeting on Tuesday.
-A public hearing will be held for an ordinance to rezone about 1 acre behind 256 Mill Road. The hearing will give the surrounding residential property owners a chance to reject the proposal to rezone the property from ‘residential mill village’ to ‘highway business.’ The applicant is Richard Dunn, owner of E.R. Pawn, who wishes to build storage on the lot in question. The city staff finds the property not to be desirable for residential development.
Staff Writer Dawn Kurry can be reached at (910)997-3111 ext. 15, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.