Hamlet to auction surplus property, charge league fee

By: By Christine S. Carroll - christinecarroll@s24507.p831.sites.pressdns.com

HAMLET — City Council marched rapidly through a short agenda Tuesday night, agreeing to auction off surplus city property, charge a flat fee for league play on city fields and take City Manager Jonathan Blanton off probation.

City officials are working out a way to sell their surplus, which includes a 2004 Crown Victoria sedan. They want to do it online bidding but have yet to work out the details.

The fee for league play was set at $500 for organizations other than city teams — a fee in line with those in the area, Blanton told council members.

And council members made it official: Blanton is off probation and still on the job.

The city’s Public Works Department also promised new lids for damaged and topless garbage cans throughout town. The lids are on order and will be in within a month to six weeks.

Council members accepted congratulations on behalf of the city for its response to recent flooding at Cole Auditorium, on the campus of Richmond Community College.

More than 200,000 gallons of water spilled into the auditorium after a sprinkler pipe ruptured near the back of the building on June 26.

College President Dale McInnis earlier in the evening also thanked Richmond County inspector Gary Williams and Hayden Construction for helping resolve the issue.

The college promised a grand opening “real soon,” although it remains in the bidding process for repairs. However, McInnis said the banquet rooms were already back “open for business.”

Still smarting from criticism of Hamlet’s decision to forgo Fourth of July fireworks this year, council members lauded themselves and Police Chief Scott Waters for taking the controversial stance.

The decision was made the day before the annual event after police say they had heard of credible threats of retaliation for the shooting death of Tierrell Martin the week before.

That night, Waters said, he was able to send all 23 of his officers out on patrol until 1 a.m. to ensure residents’ safety.

“It’s a fight they will not win,” Waters said of those who intended residents or his officers harm.

By Christine S. Carroll