Carthage approves zoning for apartments road repairs

The Carthage Board of Commissioners held a public hearing at its April 19 meeting to rezone 13.25 acres, known as Hawthorne Hills, owned by Duncan and Barbara Kelly to allow 78 multifamily apartments and approved the rezoning request. Hawthorne Hills is located at the intersection of U.S. 15-501 and Union Church Road. Plans include a playground, community center, mail center, and nine acres of open spaces and walking trails.

Manager’s Report

Town Manager Thomas B. Robinson said 23 roads are in very poor condition and need repairs. The manager is recommending that six roads — Davis Street, Sanford Street, Park Street, Westview Road, Degraffenreid Road and Sunset Drive be paved using Chipseal, as recommended by Fred Smith Company. It was further recommended that Pinehurst Avenue from the county gas pump entrance to the town limit sign be fully repaved with asphalt.

The cost to complete the repairs of the seven roads is $200,000 from Fred Smith Company, and the cost would deplete the fund balance of the Powell Bill at $142,088 and take $57, 912 out of the fund balance.

“This would be a good start, but it would take a couple of years to build funds back up for additional paving in town,” Robinson said.

The Fred Smith Company’s proposal is a double Chipseal that includes cutting out and repairing the worst areas and then Chipsealing the entire roadways. Robinson said full repaving of all these roads would cost the town over $500,000 and given the low traffic on these roads, it is not justified.

There was not a formal decision made to accept Fred Smith Company’s bid, but instead, the board voiced their support of allowing town staff to move forward with planning for the repaving in the upcoming budget. 

A complete list of roadways needing repairs is seen in the spreadsheet below.

Town Manager Thomas B. Robinson provided a list of roadways needing repairs.

Kim Gibson said the Buggy Festival preparations for May 8 are going as planned and that there are only a few vendor spaces available. There will not be a beer and wine booth at the Buggy Festival because there was no response from potential vendors. The Buggy Festival will not have a Mister and Misses Buggy Festival from a nursing home due to the pandemic. Gibson said they will not have cloggers but hope to have a different dance group to perform, and everything else is traditional.

To encourage tourism by supporting tourism, a 6% occupancy tax is being lobbied by the County Convention and Visitors Bureau. At present, the tax is 3%, and Robinson said that he is going to get more involved in this effort.

New Business

R. Dustin Smith petitioned for adjacent annexation of 612 Summit Street, where it splits into Martin Street. The property is within city limits, owners have provided signatures, and would be eligible for town sewer and water. The board will vote on May 17, 2021.

Robinson said that Little Rivers Golf and Resort’s development plans are to first improve roadways and secondary fire access, so recorded lots may be developed and plans to begin housing construction within 45 days. Developers will provide a revised master plan to show the revised commercial village and medical complex. A public hearing was set for May 6, 2021.

Directional signage was discussed and approved with Bizzell Design for $14,300. The wayfaring sign plans begin with roadway signs and bring people into the community by targeting pedestrians with informative signage.

The board delegated May 17 at 5:30 p.m. for the preliminary budget meeting.

Old Business

The board voted to update the water meter system at a cost of $715,000 for the Advanced Meter Infrastructure project. Badger Meter will supply the 1285 E-series Ultrasonic Plus cellular-read meters. The new system will prevent inaccurate readings and will not increase water utility fees.

There will be a meeting with the board of education and commissioners on May 7 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Moore County board room in the Historic Courthouse in downtown Carthage to discuss the possibility of renovating or replacing Carthage Elementary School.

Developer Colin Webster of Grosvenor Properties, LLC revised his plans for Carriage Hills to meet requirements and a public hearing was set for May 17. The Town of Carthage voted to table the development proposal, Carriage Hills, at its March 15 meeting. The planning board rejected the proposed senior-living residential development between McNeill Street and Pinehurst Avenue. The planning board said the development proposed was not consistent with the 1999 Land Use Plan and not reflective of neighborhoods in the area. The applicant wanted R10 zoning to allow for 54 homes on 15.76 acres when the site is currently zoned R20 for 27 homes. The proposed development is in the middle of two developments of single-family detached dwellings.

The town is working with Partners in Progress to develop an entrepreneurial center in Carthage. The town is seeking an Economic Development Administration grant to provide 80% of the funding to renovate the Tyson-Jones building. The town asked Moore County to provide the $160,000 match for the grant since the program is countywide. The county will consider the fund appropriation at their April 21 board of commissioners’ meeting. With the costs over $1 million, the town voted to commit funding $60,000 into next year’s annual budget as part of the required 20% matching funds.

The CERRI working group offers data analysis and met with the N.C. Department of Commerce on April 13. The meeting showed that Carthage is lacking blue-collar workers, such as clerks. Another shortfall is in the job market of computer and mathematical occupations, arts, sports, media, architecture and engineering. The N.C. Department of Commerce asked the working group to send their data, so they can have an accurate picture of Carthage. The CERRI working group will be meeting again on May 11 at 4 p.m. in the board room of the town hall.

~ Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Stephanie M. Sellers.

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