First Posted: 1/15/2009
PEMBROKE - The town took steps Monday to protect its water supply with new rules governing how businesses and owners of septic systems deal with their own water systems.
The Pembroke Town Council voted unanimously to require new businesses to install systems to prevent back flow or the discharge of pollution into the town's water system. A public hearing was held before the vote. No residents spoke. The ordinance is effective immediately.
Town Manager McDuffie Cummings said that back flow has not been a problem, but the state is now mandating that all municipalities adopt such an ordinance.
“It would not apply to existing businesses, but would be done from here on out,” Cummings said before the meeting. “New businesses would not get a water permit without having a system to control back flow in place.”
The ordinance also prohibits septic tank owners from tapping on to the town's water system, which could cause cross contamination, according to Cummings.
Mayor Milton Hunt announced that the $12 million Wal-Mart superstore off N.C. 711 will open on Oct. 26.
“It is the one thing that I get asked about every day,” Hunt said. “I'm looking forward to that opening.”
The retail giant is expected to create more than 250 jobs and serve as an anchor for a shopping center for several other national retailers. Cummings said work should begin in the next 180 days on at least four other retail stores in and around the 27-acre Wal-Mart site. He did not identify the businesses.
In a related matter, the board voted to pay Kenneth Maynard $2,000 for an easement at the superstore. The board met in closed session for about five minutes before returning to open session and making that decision.
In other business, the council voted to accept a $177,000 Community Block Development Grant to install 1,400 feet of sewer lines to Porter Scientific on Old Main Road. The business plans to expand and add about 15 jobs. The project also will be funded by a $70,000 grant from the N.C. Rural Center and $50,000 from Porter Scientific.
“They want to grow and they can't do that because they have a septic tank system,” Cummings said. “This will mean more jobs and is good for the town and the county.”
New police officer
Police Chief Travis Bryant introduced his latest hire, Stephen Hammonds. Hammonds, 27, is a former sheriff's deputy with the county. During his five years there, he worked as school resource officer and with the bomb and canine units.
“I think he is going to be an asset to the department,” Bryant said. “He has a a lot of experience and knowledge with homeland security and should be able to contribute immediately.”
The Lumberton native began with the Pembroke Police Department on Sept. 16.
“I'll do my best,” he told the council.
The department, which now has 12 officers , plans to add an additional officer in the next 30 days.
In other business:
– Hunt announced that the council meetings will be audio recorded to help the town clerk record the minutes, he said.
– The town voted to rescind a $2,421 tax bill sent to Fleetwood Homes of North Carolina Inc. The manufacturing plant had been billed at its 2003 tax value, when the lower 2004 tax value should have been used. The town also voted to refund $221.10 to Westview Associates after the management company was mistakenly assessed twice for its University Plaza shopping center property, which includes the Food Lion store.