City honors retiring employees
By Sarah Willets
LUMBERTON — The Lumberton City Council on Monday honored two long-time employees who recently retired.
Mayor Raymond Pennington presented James Moore, director of the city’s Human Resources Department, and Lumberton police Lt. Sheron Shooter with plaques recognizing their service as a small crowd of family and friends watched.
Moore, whose retirement took effect Jan. 1, worked for the city for 30 years. Shooter had been with the Police Department for 27 years when her retirement took effect on Dec. 31.
“Sheron has been an exemplary employee and police officer and lieutenant,” Pennington said.
“I thank each one of you,” Shooter said to the council. “I really enjoyed it. It’s been an outstanding career.”
Moore did not speak when he accepted his plaque, but noted the highlights of his career in a resignation letter to City Manager Wayne Horne in November.
“My career with the city of Lumberton has been very fulfilling and I will forever be thankful for the role that I was allowed to play in helping to make the city of Lumberton ‘a great place to live, work, shop and call home’,” he wrote.
Moore helped form Robeson County’s United Way program, transportation programs for the elderly and the disabled and the Mayor’s Committee for the Disabled.
“We appreciate everything you’ve done and we wish you much success in your retirement,” Pennington said to Moore.
Susan Walker was appointed to the Planning Board by Councilman Burnis Wilkins, who represents Precinct 3, where she lives. Walker owns Candy Sue’s in downtown Lumberton.
According to Pennington, the terms for many of the city’s committee members expired in December, and the council will have to fill those spots as soon as possible.
Laney Mitchell-McIntosh, the city clerk, said members of autonomous boards, like the trustees for the Robeson County Public Library, Alcohol Beverage Control and the Lumberton Airport Commission, are not part of the group that needs to be replaced or reappointed.
The meeting was also host to public hearings on two rezoning projects. Ordinances accepting those rezoning requests were adopted at the meeting. No one in the crowd elected to speak during the public comment period.
Local businessman Rob Redfearn answered the council’s questions regarding his request to rezone property located at 101 Chestnut St. Redfearn will convert the space, which was zoned for light manufacturing, to an art studio. Redfearn said he hopes to have the studio open in April. Artists will be able to rent out work spaces, where they can also teach classes, he said.
“We’re not expecting to make a lot of money of it,” Redfearn said, explaining the project was intended for “public service.”
A request from B.G. French to rezone property at 5019 Dawn Drive from Office-Residential to Business-General was also approved.
In other business, the council:
— Struck from the Council Policy Committee’s Jan. 8 agenda a request from Ben Chavis to rezone property at 3450 Capuano Drive to allow for a doctor’s office. Brandon Love, director of the Planning Board, recommended the council remove the item from the agenda because the applicant said he wanted to make some changes to his application.
— Voted in favor of a contract already approved by the Council Policy Committee to transfer the city’s financing software to Harris Local Government. The city’s current existing software was purchased in 2000. It will cost just about $70,000 initially to update the software.
— Approved a grant from the state Department of Transportation to update signs and lighting at the Lumberton Regional Airport. The state will contribute up to $711,376 to pay for the improvements, but at least 10 percent of the total cost must be split evenly between Lumberton and Robeson County, which has not yet acted on the request.
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