MAXTON — Maxton officials plan to continue their efforts to acquire the Townsend Middle School gym for a community recreation center.
Mayor Gladys Dean told the town Board of Commissioners on Tuesday that she attended the Sept. 13 meeting of the Public Schools of Robeson County school board to express the town’s interest in the gym. Board members, however, could not comment or act on the request because she was not on the meeting agenda and spoke only during the public comment period, she said.
Dean said that schools Superintendent Johnny Hunt has not yet received a letter from the town asking that the gym be declared surplus property and turned over to the county recreation department.
“The county commissioners would then make a decision of how the building can be used,” Dean said.
Currently, the school district is using the building for storage.
Maxton officials contend that there has been an understanding at least a decade old between the school system and town that once a new gym was built for use by Townsend Middle School students, the old facility would be turned over to the town. School officials, however, have said they are not aware of any such agreement.
Dean plans to request being put on the agenda of the school board’s next meeting so that board members will be able to discuss the issue and possibly take action.
In other business, Commissioner Vivian Morrison, who serves as chairman of the local ABC board, told the commissioners that there has been a “great turn around” at Maxton’s ABC store.
“The store now is clean in appearance and orders are done in an efficient manner,” she said. “There are new store hours, a new manager, and two clerks.”
Maxton recently appointed a new three-member ABC board, which also includes Commissioner Chip Morton. Town Manager Vince Long was given the responsibility of handling financial matters.
Morrison said that overdue bills to liquor distributors are now being paid. Recently $6,000 in tax revenue was paid to the town for law enforcement, she said, calling it the first such payment in years.
“These payments will continue …, ” Morrison said.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting:
— Jacqueline Johnson was sworn in as Maxton’s new town clerk.
— Commissioners granted Leo McIntyre, of Laurinburg, a permit to operate a limousine service.
— Those addressing the board had an opportunity to use a new podium donated to the town by the Robeson County Training School R.B. Dean Alumni Association. The association raises money to award college scholarships to graduating high school seniors, the mayor said.
— Morrison reported that the town’s 21st Century after-school program will begin Oct. 18. Because funding has been reduced, there will only be 30 students and the program will be offered only three days a week instead of five days, Morrison said.
— Staff writer Bob Shiles can be reached at (910) 272-6117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.