Murfreesboro Council discusses ordinances

Published 6:04 pm Tuesday, March 3, 2020

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MURFREESBORO – Ordinances were among the biggest topics of discussion at Murfreesboro’s Town Council meeting here Feb. 26.

Police Chief David Griffith submitted an example ordinance of sweepstakes regulations for consideration by the Council. He explained that a joint law enforcement operation, which included Murfreesboro Police officers, worked together last year to shut down several sweepstakes businesses within the county.

The one business located in Murfreesboro was amongst those shut down, and the only two currently remaining in operation in Hertford County are located in Ahoskie.

“While the law on sweepstakes is a gray area, we can rise above that and make our ordinance so it’s not very enticing to come to town,” said Griffith as he explained the recommendation.

“We didn’t have a good experience with our sweepstakes place,” he continued, noting the several armed robberies and other crimes that occurred there while in operation.

Griffith urged the Council to look at the example ordinance, which came from the city of Goldsboro, and consider adopting something similar.

Town Attorney Buddy Jones said the easiest process would be to repeal the current town ordinance regulating sweepstakes and then replace it with a new, more restricted one.

Council member David Brown asked if Jones could draft a similar ordinance to the Goldsboro example to keep the process moving forward.

Though there was no vote on the matter, Mayor Hal Thomas asked the Council for a consensus to move forward, and they agreed.

Other ordinance topics during the meeting involved the town’s plan to recodify all of their ordinances and continued an ongoing discussion about a potential food truck regulation ordinance.

In October 2019, the Council voted to contract Municode to recodify and update the town’s entire set of ordinances. At last week’s meeting, they briefly discussed whether to include the town’s personnel policy in those ordinances or to keep them separate.

“The more [information] you put in, the better off you are,” Jones explained.

The Council did not vote on the matter, but agreed to let Town Clerk Carolyn Brown continue to work on that project and make changes as necessary.

Following from previous meetings, the Council also continued to suggest changes and improvements to a proposed food truck ordinance. They had talked before about restricting food trucks from operating in the downtown district of Main Street near many of the town’s restaurants.

At last week’s meeting, they discussed additions to the ordinance such as charging an annual operation fee, making sure insurance coverage was adequate, and putting regulations on menu boards and other signs outside of the truck.

There was no action taken on the proposed changes at the meeting, and discussion is expected to continue until the new ordinance is ready for a public hearing.