MAXTON — The North Carolina Department of Transportation is looking at the needs of Scotland and Robeson counties and their municipalities.
The Maxton Board of Commissioners on Tuesday received a report on the department’s needs assessment, and approved its recommendations which, at present, only include the portion of Maxton that is in Scotland County. The Robeson County transportation report is not yet complete, according to Michael Abuya, a representative of the state DOT.
“It identifies the needs of transportation,” Abuya said. “It does not provide funding.”
Although it did include plans for bicycle paths, sidewalks, and a lane widening, most of the needs identified in the report were outside of the town of Maxton — a fact that worried some commissioners.
Commissioner James McDougald questioned the plan.
“I don’t see how this can benefit Maxton,” McDougald said.
“It appears that if Maxton approves it, it benefits Scotland County,” Commissioner Elizabeth Gilmore said.
Abuya said it is important to have a plan in order to receive federal funding for projects.
The plan also includes East Laurinburg, Laurinburg, Wagram and Gibson, as well as some unincorporated areas of Scotland County.
“The city of Maxton will be covered when Robeson County’s CTP plan is done. It will be coordinated with what we have done here,” Abuya said.
Abuya said sidewalks along Center Street and Martin Luther King Highway stop at the county line. When the combined plan is ready, approved and funded, the sidewalks will be continued inside Maxton town limits.
The commissioners voted unanimously in favor the plan, paving the way for Abuya to take it to other municipalities and ultimately, to Scotland County.
In other business, the board:
— Heard from Francine McLaurin of St. Matthews AME Zion Church’s Health and Wellness Ministry, who told the board about plans for a community garden called, Garden of Eatin’, where peoples can grow food for themselves and their families. The fall garden will include collards, kale, mustard greens and turnips. A registration and information session will be held Monday at 3 p.m. at St. Matthews Metropolitan AME Church’s fellowship hall. For information, call McLaurin at 910-610-5733.
— Heard from Angela Pitchford, interim town manager, who said grass on right of ways throughout town are being cut and the town is conducting smoke tests in the sewer system. She also said the sanitation truck is back in operation.
— Heard from Police Chief Tammy Deese, who said the department has partnered with the National Child Safety Council and has ordered supplies to educate children that they should think of police officers as their friends. Deese also said the department is hosting a medication disposal event on Oct. 22.
— Unanimously approved plans to tear down a house that the owner had not had demolished after it burned.
— Approved a request from North Carolina Indian Housing to donate 367 Patterson St. to turn into low-income housing.
— Signed an agreement stating that CSX rail would put crossing arms at Malloy and Central streets.
Reach Terri Ferguson Smith at 910-416-5865.