Signage, sidewalks, and sister cities were the topic of discussion at the Carthage Commissioners meeting Monday.

A digital billboard, recently installed in front of city hall, currently displays town announcements and public safety information, changing every 5 seconds or so. According to Town Clerk Dorothy Dutton, the sign has been a big hit resulting in churches and other organizations wanting to use the sign to promote their events.

After a spirited discussion, the commissioners agreed to allow Dutton to start adding information from some of those organizations to the sign. Any group wishing to have a display on the sign will have to apply and follow specific guidelines.

  1. Town sponsored events are a priority.
  2. All posting will have a 6-second duration.
  3. Only items of interest to the general public will be accepted.
  4. On-going events will be scheduled as a general message only and only run for three months.
  5. Postings are limited to three lines for maximum readability.
  6. Posting for special events may not be made more than two weeks in advance.

All postings required a signed and approved application submitted to Dutton, and all postings are at the discretion of the Town Clerk and Town Manager.

Mayor Pro-Tem Milton Dowdy expressed concern that utilizing the signs for non-town events could open the town up to claims of bias if some organizations were denied use of the sign and others were permitted. Town Manager Tom Robinson pointed out that the policy can be modified or eliminated at any time if issues arise.

Any organizations desiring more information on utilizing the sign can contact Dutton at (910) 947-2391.

In other business news, some sidewalks and streets in Carthage are getting some needed addition. The commissioners approved a request by Robinson to replace the sidewalks on Rocking Street and Martin Street.

Additionally, the town has already issued a purchase order for repairs to the sidewalk on Sauders Street and Morgan Street is getting needed repairs and patching. Additionally, plans are for Pinehurst Avenue and Leake Street to get substantial repairs in 2020. Overall, the board approved $75,000 for the needed repairs.

Carthage’s sister city was also a topic of discussion. The Village of Flavy-le-Martel is located in Northern France, and as of 2015, had a population of 1,167. The area has a connection to Carthage because James McConnel, a native of Carthage and a pilot, was found dead in a meadow near the town.

McConnel was a member of the LaFayette Escadrille, a group of American pilots who volunteered to fight for France prior to America’s entry into World War I. He was shot down and killed in March 1917 following an aerial battle with German Forces.

In 2017, a sister-city arrangement was completed with a declaration signed by Carthage Mayor McGraw. He noted that Flazy-le-Martel treated a Carthage delegation royally during a visit.

The council instructed Dutton to gather information for signs proclaiming the relationship. McGraw pointed out that “it is necessary to show them mutual respect.”

If you are interested in more information on McConnel and the LaFayette Escadrille, you can find it here.

Feature photo courtesy of Allen Smith from the Town of Carthage.

Sandhills_Sentinel~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.
Contact him at [email protected] or (910) 639-9303.

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