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Garland ponders softball, water system purchases

By Emily M. Hobbs Staff Writer

February 27, 2014

Water leaks in Garland are still something town officials are working to address, and Commissioner Ralph Smith made a motion during a meeting held Feb. 18, to have extra supplies on hand.


“We need to have the parts so we can get ahead,” agreed Commissioner S.J. Smith. He said he believed that when the materials for water meter installation were used that the town should go ahead and buy another set. Having another set on hand, he said, would eliminate someone having to wait on parts before having water service installed or for emergency repairs.


“I agree with you,” interjected Mayor Winifred Murphy. “We should have what we need without an emergency.”


Town Clerk Jennifer Gray asked if the board could approve another set, and the board agreed that it was a good idea to go ahead and do just that.


On another water issue, it was noted that town staff would notify water customers that their Annual Drinking Water Quality Report will be available for pick-up from the town office and also on the town’s web page.


Moving forward, the board addressed Parks and Recreation.


“I have some people in Garland that want to get the softball league back up,” stated Commissioner Michael Strickland. “We are looking for citizens to volunteer for that.”


Strickland said he hopes to get softball back in the fields in Garland, even though the town no longer has any equipment.


“Is there any money in the budget for that?” asked Strickland.


“We have a very little amount for this year,” Murphy responded, noting that the town needs to get organized and get citizens to help, and she stressed that now would be the time to get started.


“There’s a lot to be done with the field, lighting and equipment,” the mayor stressed, mentioning there might be some financial help available to get the program up and running. Murphy said she recommended to the potential sponsor that it might be best to wait until it was better organized.


“We’ve got to start somewhere, in terms of equipment and people, because unless we have people dedicated and committed, it’s not going to work,” Murphy advised.


“So do we need to have a special meeting of interested parties?” asked Strickland.


“The very first thing that needs to be done is check the lights,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Haywood Johnson. He said that the next thing would be to look at the field and see what needs to be done to prep it.


Strickland made a motion that they have a meeting for little league sports for interested parties.


“I would like to say one thing,” interjected Ralph Smith. “We need to speak to the county and see if we can get some money. I really feel we don’t get our share of the tax dollars. We pay just as much tax here in the Town of Garland to the county as anywhere else does. Just like our police department, we pay for that. That’s not coming out of their tax money. We pay for that. But I think the least they could give us some money for the recreation department.”


“Whenever you guys meet it is very important to itemize what you think the costs will be,” detailed Murphy. “In terms of what it would take to get the field together, the lights, the equipment, and so forth. And if we can go to the commissioners if they have any money left at this point, and tell them exactly what we need. But we can’t go to them unless we have it itemized. I doubt we will get anything this year.”


“I know but July will be here before you know it,” replied Smith. Smith also added that the poles need to be checked for woodpecker damage.


Commissioner S.J. Smith also commented that at one point the town had the best program in Sampson, before the county took over, and moved everything to Roseboro.


“The county has never tried to help us like they ought to, with the money they give to other towns,” added S.J. Smith. “We probably had three to four hundred children playing out there.


Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122 or via email at ebrown@civitasmedia.com.