M’boro Council issues debated

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 30, 2004

MURFREESBORO – On Tuesday, the Murfreesboro Town meeting was host to a variety of topics as members of the council and the community engaged in discussions concerning everything from the display of holiday lights and decorations to the formation of a separate, non-profit entity for the Murfreesboro Fire Department.

Citizens kicked off the meeting by expressing their disappointment that the town had not yet hung its holiday d\u00E9cor and asked the council to revisit the unsigned contract proposal from Dominion Power that would grant the town permission to hang its holiday decorations on their utility poles.

Town Administrator Molly Eubank asked the council to consider a motion to sign the contract, as is, for a period of one year so that the town could begin hanging its holiday decorations as soon as possible. The council subsequently voted in favor of the suggested motion with possible renegotiation of terms in the future.

A motion was made to approve Christmas bonuses, followed by a charge by council member Wayne Brown to move forward with securing bids to pave the alley behind the library were also supported.

Mayor Ben McLean asked Eubank to submit a letter to the merchants and business owners along that street, requesting their cooperation in cleaning up the area in keeping with the town’s commitment to beautification, suggesting that the clean-up be completed before the upcoming Candlelight Tour.

Council member Bill Stephens initiated a discussion to about establishing a non-profit entity for the Firefighters Association to keep monies from dues and donations separate from the town.

&uot;If someone wants to make a donation to the fire department,&uot; said Eubank, &uot;they can designate those funds for a particular item and when we increase the line item for donations, we will also increase the line item for whatever piece of equipment it has been designated for so the department can purchase what they need.&uot;

Eubank explained that the difference between the non-profit donations and those deposited in the general fund for specific allocation is that the funds deposited on behalf of the non-profit could be used to support extracurricular events not covered by the town.

Eubank also updated the town on the status of additional funds needed to cover projects such as the Town’s Enhancement Grant for replacement of the traditional light poles with decorative lamps, the Holly Hill Road Dam damaged from Hurricane Isabel and the $200,000 shortage of funds to repair the adjacent bridge and the funds for the sewer expansion stating that she still had sent out letters to the representatives requesting help in getting action to be taken on the matters, but she has heard nothing as of yet.

Public Works Director Gene Byrd stated that he spoke with Senator Robert Holloman earlier in the week and that he would be meeting with some key people in the process. The mayor also commended him for his successful repair of catch basins in various locations in town, including the much-needed repairs on Hart Street.

The town also approved moving forward in the process of annexing the land, formerly the site of Old Union Camp Tree Farm across the Meherrin River Bridge, that was purchased for the planned sewer expansion.

However, according to Town Attorney Bob Lee, Hertford County is still under the 1964-1965-sewer rights act, requiring the town to obtain approval from the Department of Justice before it is able to make any further decisions.

Murfreesboro Police Chief Darrell Rowe praised the results of the &uot;Top 10 Most Wanted&uot; section recently added to the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald, stating that two of the alleged criminals had either been arrested or turned themselves in.

&uot;It’s working really well,&uot; he said. &uot;One guy even had the photo from the newspaper in his pocket when we arrested him.&uot;

At the close of the meeting, Eubank stated that a special meeting might be needed to conduct business in December and suggested meeting December 14. No decision was made regarding the suggestion.