Hamlet City Council members announced the selection of Dewey Brower to fill the council seat left vacant by the death of Dr. Diane Honeycutt.
Brower took the oath of office at the council’s Tuesday night meeting. The term expires in November 2013.
“There is nothing in the city’s ordinances about the need for another election process to fill a seat left vacant on the council,” said Hamlet Mayor Jeff Smart. “Council voted unanimously to select Mr. Brower to fill the seat. He put his time and resources into running in the last election, and came up a bit short. He’s a long-time citizen of Hamlet and, by running in the last election, he expressed his desire to serve the city.”
Brower is the owner of Brower Taxi Service in Hamlet. He is married to Bertha Brower, and he has a daughter, April.
“I want to serve the city, and I look forward to bringing new ideas to council,” said Brower. “My main hope is to continue to see more jobs come to Hamlet.”
In other action Tuesday, council members announced their excitement about two new companies coming to Hamlet — FerroFab and Therafirm — which are expected to bring almost 100 new jobs to the town, in addition to 56 current North Carolina employees that will come with Therafirm.
An ordinance to abolish a structure at 8 Hamlet Avenue was approved. City code enforcement officers have deemed the structure an “eminent threat,” according to Smart.
Council member Pat Preslar commented on the high cost of having to demolish structures.
“It’s been a sticking point with residents that the city doesn’t do enough to make people maintain their properties,” said Preslar. “It costs $10,000 to $15,000 for each structure that has to be demolished. That’s including inspections for lead paint, asbestos and then the demolition. On a $2,000 or $3,000 property, the city never makes back the money. The taxpayers have to pay to handle this, when the money could be used for other things.”
Sarah Mammarella, from the Richmond County Cooperative Extension, updated council on ideas concerning the community garden project.
“We’ve chosen a spot between the VFW and the Senior Center, near the city lake,” said Mammarella. “We’ve done soil testing there, and we’re working on architectural sketches, bylaws and other details now.”
Mammarella asked the council for support in helping her spread the word about the project. Interested participants can contact her at the cooperative extension. The next community garden planning meeting will be July 19 at 7 p.m. in Hamlet City Hall.
Hamlet Water Plant Superintendent Robert Brown announced that the plant has received an award from the state for the city’s success with turbidity removal. This is the second year that the plant has received the award.
William Thames was appointed to the Hamlet Historic Depot and Museum board. Volunteers interested in serving on the board can pick up applications at city hall.
It was announced that youth soccer registration is going on now through Aug. 3.
Aug. 3-4 is tax free weekend, and City Manager Marchell Adams David encouraged residents to utilize the school shopping discounts locally, and support Richmond County businesses.
The next Hamlet City Council meeting is scheduled for Aug. 14 at city hall, located at 201 Main Street.
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com