According to City Manager Monty Crump, a representative from DWR, Jeff Bruton, visited Rockingham at the end of February to review the grant application and to take a tour of Hitchcock Creek.
“Fallen trees and storm debris prevent any pleasurable paddling along Hitchcock Creek,” said City Planning Director John Massey. “These types of blockages must be cleared before we can open/begin promoting the creek for canoeing/kayaking. We have applied for grant funding from the NC Division of Water Resources to clear these blockages along the 10-mile stretch between Roberdel Dam and the Pee Dee River. Hopefully, we’ll known in the next couple of months if/when grant funds will be available.”
“We appreciate (Bruton’s) visit and the help that Representative Goodman is giving in Raleigh to support this project,” said Crump.
The project will be further discussed at tonight’s Rockingham City Council meeting. Massey will present pictures of some of the blockages to the council.
In other news
-Rockingham may soon take a few more steps into the future. Ellerbe Telephone Communications (ETCOM) has submitted a proposal to Crump for the deployment of WiFi services in downtown Rockingham, along Washington Street from the First Methodist Church to Rockingham Hardware.
The coverage area will require seven WiFi radios at selected sites with special emphasis being placed on Harrington Square and the Discovery Place areas, since that will be the areas of most concentration and use, according to ETCOM. Future expansion to Browder Park and Hinson Lake will be discussed.
Since the radios will need to be installed on utility poles, Progress Energy will need to approve installation.
“Due to the fact that we have not received approval from Progress Energy, this matter should only be discussed and reviewed by council with any final decision to be pending until Progress Energy gives approval,” wrote Crump in a memorandum to the city council. “I look forward to getting Mayor and council’s direction on how you want to proceed on the WiFi proposal as provided by ETCOM.”
-Hinson Lake and Rotary Lodge has now been in use about five years and as such it is time for some general maintenance. Over the last couple of weeks Public Works staff has redone the road, re-screened a porch, replaced fan blades on outdoor fans, tiled kitchen walls, upgraded sink hardware, repainted lodge interior, replaced bad boards on pier, and pressure washed outside of the lodge.
“Please note that some of these items are still in process of being completed,” said Crump.
-Several new signs have been installed at various city facilities: Public Works, Wastewater Treatment, Civitan Park, Midway Business Park. The signs incorporate the city logo. There are several entrance welcome signs that need to be updated and replaced including new signs on US1 entrance.
“I asked Mayor and council to take a little time to look at new signs at city facilities to get a feel for using this type of sign (color, style, etc.) at entrances,” said Crump.
-Public Works has completed construction and installment of sidewalk on Fayetteville Road that was not included in the US1 widening project. This newly completed section of the sidewalk will tie all existing sidewalks with new sidewalks included in the widening project.
-The Rockingham Wastewater Treatment Plant is now hauling sludge to Anson County. A round-trip haul takes about an hour and twenty minutes and consists of hauling about 77,000 pounds of sludge per trip, just shy of the 80,000 that they can legally haul.
Three to four trips per day will allow for all sludge generated to be disposed of without any storage required. The process is working just as planned, and Larry Cobler and his crew are being commended for their work.
- Caroline Thomas resigned from the Planning and Zoning Board because she moved outside the city limits.
-Paullett Wall, Homeless Coordinator (Richmond County Schools) will give a presentation, referencing the need for a shelter for women/children.
-Rockingham Police Chief Robert Voorhees will present his annual report.
-The council will hold a public hearing on a request for annexation of about 2 acres at 350 U.S. Highway 1 South. Norman and Rita Bland submitted the petition. The property is located immediately adjacent to the city’s existing city limit boundary. It’s 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.
Staff Writer Dawn Kurry can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ex. 43, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.