Commissioners make second attempt to fix streets
By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
The Pitt County Board of Commissioners on Monday unanimously approved a second attempt to launch road repairs in a rural subdivision off N.C. 43 South.
Once again, the commissioners approved a preliminary assessment resolution for Woodmoor Farms. Five streets in the subdivision need repairs but the roads were never turned over to the state so the homeowners must pay for the work.
More than 75 percent have agreed to participate in a program where the county agrees to pay for the repairs if the streets are turned over to the state for future maintenance. The property owners then will repay the county through an assessment.
The resolution states the commissioners plan to pursue the project, collect bids and set a public hearing where bid information will be shared and the public can comment.
The public hearing will be on June 18, Pitt County Planning Director James Rhodes said.
The five roads that will undergo repairs are portions of Trails End and Wesley Lane and Mares Way, Saddle Way and Trotters Way.
The commissioners had to approve a second resolution because the county only received two bids on the project, not the three required by the state, Rhodes said.
The state requires a second bid process if only one or two bids are received. At that time, the bid packets can be opened and considered by the commissioners, Rhodes said.
A parent of a Wahl-Coates Elementary School of the Arts asked commissioners to work with the school system to improve on one proposal for upgrading the school’s security.
Ashley Cannan, who described herself as the mother of a second-grader and soon-to-be kindergartner at the school, thanked the commissioners for budgeting nearly $1 million to improve corridor security in Pitt County Schools.
“Securing the entrances at Wahl-Coates will require more money than at other schools because of its open layout,” she said.
Cannan said it is her understanding the school system wants to place a chain-link fence around the school. She likened such a proposal to placing “a band-aid on a shotgun wound.”
“Chain-link fences are commonly associated with prisons, with an emphasis on keeping the ugly inside, away from the world,” she said.
Cannan said Wahl-Coates is “filled with positive energy and it is filled with positive strength” with an arts focused curriculum and a large population of special-needs students.
We must continue to look as strong from the outside as we are in the inside,” she said.
“Give Wahl-Coates a perimeter that is fitting a school of the arts, not a juvenile detention center,” she said.
A Pitt County Schools spokesman said Monday night that fencing will be used to direct visitors to the school’s main entrance. However, the type of fencing has not been established.
The commissioners recognized more than a dozen South Central High School students who attended the meeting as part of Victoria Bridgers’ honors civics class.
“We come out to learn what is going on in our community and to be engaged,” said sophomore Telaina Garris, who was selected to speak for the group.
Monday’s meeting was brief, not quite 30 minutes.
“I’d like to tell our visitors meetings are not normally this short,” Commissioner Tom Coulson said.