Carthage seeks citizen input on Christmas parade

The Town of Carthage delayed voting at its July 19 meeting on moving the Christmas parade from Tuesday nights to Saturday mornings or evenings. The town’s Facebook page will hold a poll to gather citizens’ input before a vote.

Mayor Jimmy Chalflinch said the parade was beautiful at night, and “it bothers me that Union Pines wouldn’t be there” because bands are booked for Saturdays.

Police Chief Bart A. Davis said there are safety concerns with traffic from people returning home from work and others traveling to the parade at the same time. He said there was a problem with children running toward floats in the dark.

After a two-hour quasi-judicial public hearing, the town and Little River Development Partners, LLC opted to scrap the special use permit request. Little River was directed to file a request for a conditional use permit the next morning.

Planning Director Kathy Liles said Little River was legislatively zoned in the late ’90s and was amended in 2006 for individual Planned Urban Development (PUD). Now, Little River wants townhomes, single-family, retail and a medical complex, which is consistent with the 2013 Carthage Zoning Map.

A conditional use permit would allow the approximate 678 acres to be mixed-use for single-family, townhomes, multi-family, luxury vacation rentals, cottages and villa rentals.

In Phase 1, million-dollar homes on half-acre lots would be built.

“We have enough utilities to complete a couple of phases,” Blaine East, one of the Little River Development Partners, LLC owners, said. “But if we don’t get approval now, the contractors will leave.”

A public hearing will be announced in early August on the conditional use permit.

In new business, the town approved seeking historical status for the Tyson and Jones Buggy Office at 207 McReynolds Street. The property will be marketed for sale or lease after historical status is granted as a step to ensure its preservation.

The town approved the authorization of eminent domain to acquire .184 acres of Elizabeth H. Williams’ land for expansion of the sanitary sewer pumping station. The town had first offered to purchase the land, but it had a bank lien, and the bank could not remove it in a timely manner. That time restriction jeopardized the town’s financing of a new sewer line.

The town will pay $4,000 for a grant assistance program through Triangle J Council of Governments.

The town will participate in Hometown Strong, a statewide program to build networking between agencies and towns to meet needs. A virtual meeting is scheduled for Aug.10 at 2:30 p.m. at the fire station.

Town officials are encouraged to attend to discuss funding needs, including the USDA sewer improvement project, the second sewer improvement project at Cox’s lift station, expansion of the water plant, and increasing public safety staff. Identifying fund needs for Tyson and Jones Buggy Office restoration, for the Wayfinding Plan to incorporate paths for pedestrians and bikers, for developing a new elementary school, more mural projects and improving the park systems.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Stephanie M. Sellers.

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