The New Board of Aldermen held a work session that was designed to bring the Board up to speed on several issues.
There has been a call for a more informative city government and the Board explored one possibility…a PEG channel on Suddenlink.
Using funds available from the State, the City could set up a channel, possibly two, that would allow public access as well as programming designed to inform residents of services, activities and an Emergency Alert System.
The firm of Action Audits was on hand to answer questions and provide examples of other municipalities and counties that have accomplished this.
The Board feels this is a worthwhile project that will cost the city very little and may even assist in paying for the post of a Public Information person to assist media and to provide information to the public. Further research and action is to be carried out.
Swiss Bear presented information on a proposal to literally bridge the gap to Jacks Island and establish a Transient Marina and display various nautical artifacts. While the board had some questions about liability and potential costs, as most of the dollars needed will be from grants and public donations, the consensus of the board was to move forward, although a formal vote will not be taken until the next regular meeting.
A new development from Weyerhaeuser was explained and the City’s part in the development was clarified. The Board was generally supportive and deferred a formal vote until a new ordinance regarding sewer allocation is adopted.
The location of a proposed public rest room facility proved to be somewhat controversial. The proposal brought before the Board would have eliminated two parking spaces from the city owned lot at Craven and Pollock Streets.
When Alderman Outlaw indicated he had some comments to make, Alderman Bengel replied “Bring it on”.
During a lively and open discussion, another possibility regarding location was brought to light. The Civic Theater with modifications and upgrades to allow access was proposed as an alternate location, being closer to Middle Street and an existing structure.
After further discussion, Alderman Bengel and the Theater Committee were asked by Mayor Bettis to see if there is a possibility of working together to make the idea a reality.
The Board later went into executive session.
For highlights of the meeting, please see the video.