Hamlet leaders OK rezoning requests, tower ordinance

By: By Jasmine Hager - Staff Writer

HAMLET — The City Council and Hamlet residents held a moment of silence Tuesday in remembrance of Sept. 11 before moving forward with the council’s monthly meeting.

Council member Johnathan Buie recognized Nic Wilkes for the extensive Disney-themed decorations he contributed to the Taste of the Sandhills Showcasing Dancing with the Stars fundraiser benefiting Richmond County Hospice, which was held Saturday at Cole Auditorium.

“These events are what bring people to the city of Hamlet,” said Buie, after presenting a slideshow with photos of several decorations Wilkes created for the event. “I commend you on the artwork you put together, and I hope your siblings follow in your footsteps.”

Mayor Bill Bayless said Wilkes is a “tremendous asset to the community” and hopes he can find more opportunities to showcase his art.

“People like you are the future,” Bayless said.

Council members discussed two rezoning requests and one tower ordinance amendment.

The first request was to rezone Richmond Community College from residential to business. City Clerk Gail Strickland explained that the school has several upcoming projects that require the property to be rezoned.

The second rezoning request was for 6.21 acres of land encircled by Oakhurst, Spear and Bridges streets. The land must be rezoned from light industry to heavy industry to allow a cell tower to be built, Strickland said.

The council unanimously approved both requests and the tower amendment.

In other business, council members approved $3,700 to fund a fence around South Hamlet’s basketball court to prevent parking on the pavement once it’s been repaved. In addition to the fence, City Manager Jonathan Blanton suggested adding more lights to the park and around the concession stand.

Council member Eddie Martin proposed adding picnic tables and a shelter to the park, and Council member David Lindsey asked to look into replacing the backboards and poles for the basketball hoops. Blanton said he’d look into quotes for costs of their proposals.

Before council moved into closed session, Bayless advised people to stay safe during Hurricane Florence, which is predicted to hit Thursday, and to “stay indoors if all possible.” He said Richmond County will declare a state of emergency at noon Wednesday.

Council member Jesse McQueen also asked that residents keep the Hamlet Police and the Fire departments in their prayers over the next few days.

“I appreciate all ya’ll do to keep the city running,” McQueen said.

By Jasmine Hager

Staff Writer

Reach Jasmine Hager at 910-817-2675 or [email protected]

Reach Jasmine Hager at 910-817-2675 or [email protected]