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Ahoskie adds to Historical Commission

AHOSKIE – The change from a committee to a commission is, to date, running smoothly.

During their meeting here last week, members of the Ahoskie Town Council heard an update from John Fritz in regards to several items confronting the infant stages of the Ahoskie Historical Commission. At an earlier meeting, council members had given the green light to the formation of the commission, one whose decisions carry more weight than a committee when it comes to helping guide the town in preserving its history.

Fritz, appointed by the council as the chairman of the Historical Commission, updated Ahoskie’s elected leaders in regards to East End Historic District. He said it’s hopeful to have that district approved by state officials by October.

In regards to building the membership of the commission, Fritz asked for and was granted permission to add two alternates to that public body. Earlier in the meeting, council approved Johnna Everett, Mark Boyd, Betty Castello and Tom Schwartz as members of the Ahoskie Historical Commission. Each had expressed an interest in joining the commission and submitted the required paperwork.

In an item related to the commission’s work, Fritz pointed out the recent renovations to the SCRUBS Uniforms building in the downtown business district. He informed council members that SCRUBS owner Barbara Lies had hired workers to remove the metal siding and pebbling from the building. Now the building is being painted and caulked.

Fritz mentioned the money ($20,000) that council approved to be placed in the 2006-07 budget to be used as grants to help business owners made facade improvements. Lies was awarded a $1,000 grant to assist in the removal of the metal siding. She is now asking for a 50 percent matching grant from the town to help complete the $3,500 project.

“I hope that more business owners will come forward and use this grant money for facade improvements,” Fritz said.

In other business from last week’s meeting:

**Following a public hearing where no one spoke in favor or in opposition, council approved a request to rezone nearly four acres of property located at the end of Everett Street and Pierce Street from Business and Light Industrial to Residential. Plans for the property, owned by the Ahoskie Housing Authority, call for the construction of single family housing.

**Council approved an agreement with the Wooten Company to proceed with architectural plans for the new Ahoskie Police Station. That station will be constructed on town-owned property along west Main Street near the old Ahoskie High School Band Room.

**Approved a work order totaling $15,221.19 for Dominion NC Power to install lights around the outer and inner perimeter of Edgewood Drive. These lights will be used for recreational and festival activities planned for that area of town.