The council voted unanimously to demolish the Lucas property at 516 Pine Street.
This is the third such order the council has entered thus far in 2010.
“We’ve had this process in place for many years, but we’ve become more aggressive with it recently for a number of reasons,” Hamlet Mayor Jeff Smart said Wednesday. “First, we give the owner the opportunity to take care of their own property through a letter from the city and then a renotification, but after the owner has been given ample opportunity to take care of their own property and it remains a public safety concern in the city, if they still haven’t done it the city will.”
Smart said all three of the homes that have been ordered demolished this year in Hamlet were public safety concerns.
Often, children or the homeless congregate in dilapidated and vacant buildings, where someone could be hurt in any number of ways.
“Obviously, we want the owners to take care of their own property, because then it isn’t done with taxpayer money, but if we have to we will step in and do it to protect our citizens,” Smart said.
The council also voted unanimously to allow motorized all-terrain vehicles in the city’s fleet to travel on the streets, as long as it is for work purposes.
City Manager Marchelle Adams-David explained the move was made so the city’s public works department could ride their mule vehicle from City Hall to the City Lake to monitor the water supply.
In addition, the council received an update from Jetzabel Dixon on the importance of Hispanic residents filling out the census.
“We really want to stress the importance of getting census forms filled out and turned in,” Adams-David said.
Federal allocations are dependent on the population information collected in the census every four years.
“We do have a substantial number of Hispanic residents in our city and our county,” Smart said. “We feel that it’s important that they understand the census, so we asked Jetzabel Dixon to come in and explain it to them.”
Main Street Cafe owner Ron Mayo also updated the council on efforts to support Relay for Life in the city, and made an appeal for support from Hamlet citizens.
The Richmond County Relay for Life is planned for May 14 at Raider Field at the Richmond Senior High School.
“Relay for Life is a huge event that takes place the entire year, but that night at the high school is just a special night,” Smart said. “We want to encourage all citizens of Hamlet to come out for a great cause.”
The council also adopted a resolution to make April “Purple Ribbon Month,” in honor of Relay for Life.
Similar measures have been adopted by the county and the City of Rockingham
In other business:
Adams-David updated the council on budget planning for next year. Municipal budgets operate on a July to June basis, rather than the calendar year.
She said several tentative dates are being considered for budget work sessions for council members, but no date has been set.
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 32, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.