NEWTON GROVE — Town officials are continuing to make improvements on streets in Newton Grove.
For 2018, Commissioner Cody Smith reported that paving work from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (N.C. DOT) includes Church Street and Old Goldsboro Road. Irwin Drive was also mentioned.
“Those are still owned by the state,” Smith said about the stretch of roads. “We never took ownership of those.”
Smith recently emphasized urgency about developing plans to improve deteriorating streets. One idea is to pave one or two street per year. He also reported that the town needs to fix several potholes throughout town. Newton Grove officials will collaborate with NC DOT on the project.
Through Powell Bill funding, Newton Grove receives about $20,000 per year. State funding is used to resurface streets or other related maintenance repairs.
The status of turning over ownership to property owners were also discussed. In the fall, some the questionable streets included Patrick Henry Street, Warren Lake Road and Jones Pond Road. At the time, some of the issues involved making sure people have right-of-way access to their property and that people were not getting cutoff from maintenance issues.
During the recent meeting, Board Attorney Lew Starling said that Patrick Henry Street is landlocked, which may become a complicated issue.
The matter and other street improvements will be presented during the future meetings.
With the assistance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the town recently completed work on Weeksdale Street to address flooding problems. FEMA assisted by adding a slope extension for a tunnel to move water under or next to a road.
In other business, commissioners unanimously voted for Alan Herring to continue as mayor pro tem. Herring will lead meetings if Mayor Gerald Darden is unable to attend. Appointments commissioner departments were also made during a recent meeting. With limited funding, the town does not have the luxury of hiring people to supervise various departments. Commissioners serve as advisors.
Herring was assigned to the police department; Commissioner Cody Smith, water operations; Commissioner Chris Raynor, streets and sanitation; Commissioner Teresa Wilson, parks and library; and Commissioner Gary Mac Herring will lead the sewer department.
PD to get salary hikes
Police Chief Frankie Harrell and Newton Grove town leaders reported that officers will receive salary increases of $2,500 — starting the next fiscal year.
Town leaders are hoping that it’ll help with recruiting efforts.
“We’ve been trying to recruit and it’s been tough,” Harrell said. “It’s one of the reasons I’ve asked for the increase in salary.”
The department has three full-time employees and receives assistance from seven part-time officers.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.