Last updated: February 11. 2014 1:13PM - 861 Views
By Emily M. Hobbs Staff Writer



Emily M. Hobbs/Sampson IndependentNewton Grove commissioners address their vacant commissioner's seat Monday night, voting in Laura Wheeler, who, in her letter of intent stated that she has returned to her hometown after 41 years.
Emily M. Hobbs/Sampson IndependentNewton Grove commissioners address their vacant commissioner's seat Monday night, voting in Laura Wheeler, who, in her letter of intent stated that she has returned to her hometown after 41 years.
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The town of Newton Grove will be welcoming a new member to its board after seated commissioners voted to fill the open position Monday night.


Laura Warren Wheeler, who in a letter of intent to the town stated that she had previously been a longtime resident of the Newton Grove, has been selected. She was not present at the meeting but will be sworn in during the town’s next meeting on March 10.


In her letter, Wheeler said she spent the first 18 years of her life in the town, and that she is “happy to call Newton Grove home once again after being away for 41 years.” She went on to detail that she graduated from East Carolina University, owned and operated a business, and has management and adult education experience.


Wheeler said it would be an honor if commissioners selected her and she welcomed the opportunity to assist with the duties to make “Newton Grove the best it can be.”


The commissioner’s seat became vacant after Barbara Burch left the position when she was elected mayor in November. Wheeler will be expected to finish Burch’s term, which was to end in 2015.


Wheeler could not be reached for comment by press time.


In other business, town officials turned their focus to maintenance of the library.


“The library’s soffits have not been painted,” reminded Commissioner Teresa Wilson, who heads up that department, along with Parks and Recreation.


“We need to get someone else to paint,” Wilson added, noting that the person hired to do the work previously has been unable to do so due to medical conflicts. She also pointed out that there has already been money allocated for the job, so at this point it is just a matter of getting it done.


The commissioner also addressed the town’s Beautification Committee, saying that she is still working on the members for the committee. Mayor Barbara Burch agreed to one more week for Wilson to get the group together.


The board is also looking into tearing down the Cu-Pep building after speaking with the town attorney about the situation.


“If he says tear it down, we will,” expressed Burch. Minutes from the January meeting reveal that the building is not an asset to the property and it should be removed, which could improve the property’s value.


Next on the agenda was addressing the trees on the circle in the heart of the town.


“The flag is getting hung up on the trees,” Burch explained. “I contacted the Department of Transportation about it.” A meeting with DOT has been planned to address the cutting back and trimming of the trees. Streets Commissioner Steve Jackson also requested to be present at the meeting in order to discuss with DOT the ditches in the town that are state responsibility.


Citizens, board members said, are reminded that the town’s meetings have been moved to the second Monday of the month, instead of the second Tuesday. The board convenes at 6:30 p.m.


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

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