ELLERBE – The Ellerbe Town Council held its October meeting Monday night, with many discussion points on the agenda.
The meeting began at 7:15 p.m. with a prayer by Pastor Brian Perry of Pee Dee United Methodist and Zion Methodist Churches. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and citizen time. There were several positive comments and thanks directed at council and city employees by citizens in attendance.
The minutes of the September meeting were reviewed and approved as well as the routine review of the monthly bills and monthly tax report.
In new business, David Richardson, of the Lumber River Council of Government (LRCOG) came to present the NC Tomorrow Plan. Richardson told the board to, “Please think of the COG as an extension of this council.”
Richardson outlined some of the services they have provided previously, such as sewer work, asset mapping, and assistance with the Senior Center and the Meals on Wheels program. This program provides home delivered nutrition to the senior citizens of the area.
“One thing we are excited to be doing is in November we’re going to have a kickoff for a Dementia Friendly America here in Richmond County,” Richardson said. “We do have an aging population and we are losing a lot of caregivers.”
Money is available to supply respite care for individuals who are primary caregivers of family or friends going through any form of dementia. Richardson encouraged the city council if they know of anyone in need of this assistance to, “please send them our way.”
Richardson wrapped up his presentation by noting the COG also works with workforce development, job training, and job placement skills to help people improve their job placement opportunities and their work. Lastly, Richardson thanked Councilwoman Elise Freeman for her service on the LRCOG Board of Directors as Ellerbe’s representative.
In other business, Mayor Lee Berry stated the bridge near Mineral Springs School will be dedicated to Henry Frye and will be noted with Markers. Berry said Frye was, “probably the most famous person that’s ever come from Ellerbe.”
Additional markers will be placed at the park and a few other locations. A motion was brought to allow the markers to be placed in Ellerbe and was passed unanimously.
There was discussion on the library construction project and Berry indicated work would begin by the end of the month. A decision has been made not to pay for an engineered design due to the excessive pricing of $20-$30,000. Berry said funds are limited and “we just can’t afford that design fee, and trying to get a computer center is the biggest thing”.
Berry further stated that once the project is complete, Ellerbe citizens would have access to computers at the library.
Berry noted that there was an agreement reached to purchase the rest area on Highway 220 for $18,000. He said an acre of land was being added onto the deal and additional funding would be necessary to complete this transaction.
Berry committed to communicating to the council members as soon as he has the final figures so they can be prepared to make a decision at the next meeting. The money for this project was originally procured by Senator Tom McInnis.
A final topic of funding for the library was discussed. Funding had been reduced by $5,250 in the current budget. The library is faced with reducing open hours from 32 hours per week to 19 hours due to the shortfall. Berry discussed the needs of the citizens and youth of Ellerbe to have access to the library and the internet and asked council to reconsider adding the money back to the current budget. A motion was brought to add back the $5,250 and approved by the full board.
For additional information contact Ellerbe Town Hall at (910) 652-6251.