MCEDP responds to 103 business leads in 9 months

Robbins Town Commissioner Kevin Stewart discussed a Resolution Declaring Support for the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution at the Feb. 11 Town Council meeting.

Stewart recited a historic passage about the town’s founding written by the son of David Kennedy. It began with “when I think of the blessing, my heart glows” about the willingness to encounter battle for freedom.

“Today, our rights are under attack. We have an administration who want to circle back, and we will not go against anything against our Constitutional right,” Stewart said, and the resolution passed.

According to the town’s website, Robbins began in 1795 when gunsmith Alexander Kennedy and his family left Philadelphia and settled along Bear Creek. Kennedy set up a rifle factory to produce for American soldiers. The Kennedy rifle works continued in operation until 1838, and the site became known as Mechanics Hill.

After a nearly two-hour-long closed meeting, council members announced “no action taken” to replace Mayor Lonnie English. The State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) is investigating English on allegations of obstruction of justice, and he resigned Feb. 4.

“The SBI was requested to conduct an obstruction of justice investigation in November of 2020, involving Lonnie English,” said the public information director of the SBI to Sandhills Sentinel in an email. “Once the SBI investigation is completed, the case file will be submitted to the DA for review.  The DA will determine what, if any, charges, etc.”

English served the people of Robbins as the mayor for 10 years.

In other business, Town Manager Jon Barlow discussed finance with a detailed report on why Robbins has a high tax rate.

“Low property values,” Barlow said.

The average cost of a home in Robbins is $70,000, and a comparative analysis showed that in Robbins, .01 cent generates a value of $6,673, allotting a .75 cent tax rate.

Whereas in other Moore County towns, the average cost of a home is $238,000. In Pinehurst, .01 cent generates a value of 375,336, allotting a .30 cent tax rate.

Barlow said the city employee budget, covering 14 employees, with salary, benefits and expenses is $860,000 yearly, and the town was bringing in $495,000 in property tax. Sales tax and water and sewer revenues increases the town’s revenues.

To cut approximately $4,000 in expenses, the town discussed removing the recycling center across the street from the town’s municipal building at 101 Middleton Street.

“Things are about to change anyway,” Mayor Pro-Tem Nikki Bradshaw said. “We just got notice from Moore County,” about updating the recycling program.

The council also discussed cemetery landscape bids and is extending the bid deadline. It plans to meet with Deep River Land Management to further explain what is required after their bid of $150 for each completion. In a manager’s report, the cemetery maintenance using four men takes seven and a half hours to complete. The gas expense alone for one year was $990.

A plaque honoring Moore County native Laura Ann Brady was presented to her family by the council. Brady was an accountant and had served the town as a commissioner and mayor. Brady died Jan. 22, 2021.

The council approved a proposal for Grace Church in Southern Pines to conduct free community-wide events, such as their first, a food donation event, at Milliken Community Park. The council approved on a condition they provide proof of liability insurance and agree to a reduced users fee with a refundable deposit.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Stephanie M. Sellers.

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