Hoggard prioritizes Windsor projects

Published 10:47 am Tuesday, December 22, 2009

WINDSOR – New Windsor Mayor Jimmy Hoggard made it clear he doesn’t intend to sit back and enjoy a new title, but to get right to work.

During his first meeting at the helm of the town board, Hoggard presented a long-range plan to the commissioners. Those plans include both short-term and long-term goals that will benefit the citizens of Windsor.

“These are things we need to check into and find out how people feel about them and how the commissioners want to proceed,” the mayor said. “We are not going on a spending spree, I promise you that. We need to prioritize projects and begin getting to some of these important ones.”

One of the projects the mayor will take a vested interest in is the refurbishing of the Windsor Town Hall. He appointed Mayor Pro-Tempore Hoyt Cooper to help lead the project.

“It may be down the road a year or two,” Mayor Hoggard said of the town hall project. “This building was planned well because it has served the town well for 70 years. Still, it’s not laid out very well and it is not wired for computers, so we will be spending some time finding out what it would take to comprehensively remodel it.”

The town will also be looking to save money as Hoggard has appointed Commissioner Bob Brown to study bank funds, loans and investments. Part of the project will be looking at the feasibility of paying off a loan early for infrastructure at the Bertie Correctional Institute.

“We are earning about one percent on the money we have in the bank and the loan is costing us four percent,” Mayor Hoggard said. “We are going to look at the possibility of paying it off early and saving some money.”

Brown and Commissioner Joe Alexander will also be jointly looking at the possibility of switching some of the town’s vehicles over to L.P. Gas. The mayor said the cost of fuel would be less and many towns found they spent less on maintenance, but there would be an initial cost to make the switch.

The two commissioners will look at the feasibility and report back.

Another key issue will be handled by Commissioner Collins Cooper and that will be the upkeep and improvements at Edgecombe Cemetery and Hillcrest Cemetery.

“Right now Hillcrest appears to be in better shape than Edgewood,” Mayor Hoggard said. “The fence at Edgewood is dated and the pillars have been nicked up over the years because the driveways are so narrow.

“Hillcrest has a nice entrance, but does not have a gazebo like Edgewood, so that is something we may look at,” he added.

Commissioner Alexander will also be looking into streets in the town. The mayor has requested an inventory of each street with needed repairs so the town can prioritize the funds spent on streets.

“We have lost some ground on streets over the years and we need to get a list together of what needs to be done,” Mayor Hoggard said.

Also, Commissioner David Overton will be working to save funds in the electric department by cutting costs experienced in peak times of electricity use. He will also be in charge of organizing an energy fair to allow citizens to learn how to save electricity and cut back on usage.

Other projects include the possibility expansion of the river walk on the Cashie River, a fishing pier and adding historic markers.