Recap of November 17, 2011 Special Call Meeting
Lumberton's Mayor and Board of Aldermen held another special call meeting last night to discuss issues of zoning, the 2012 FAA-AIP Grant Project Pre-Application, the water policy and water rates. There will be a public hearing on December 6, 2011 for the rezoning of land owed by Ben Winston and Paul Ockmond. There was discussion about the FAA-AIP Grant Project Pre-Application. Gary Hickman stated that the City of Lumberton should enter into a long term contract with the Gold Coast Skydivers before proceeding with the grant application. Hopefully, the City of Lumberton will manage to get a better contract than the one they currently have with the Gold Cost Skydivers. Recently, the skydiving group raised over $9,000 in one weekend for their wounded warrior program. The Gold Coast Skydivers are averaging about $10,000/week in revenue, and I think their contractually obligated to pay the City of Lumberton $100/month in rental fees. Like I stated, hopefully, they will get a better contract this time around because the numerous grants for the airport are only benefiting the skydivers and the City of Lumberton is not profiting at this point.
There was some discussion about the water bill policy. Ben Barrett, Jr., Public Works Director, no longer want the city to charge for re-reads of meters. He felt that it was something that could be done within his day to day duties. The city is still working on the issue of leaks and how to handle adjustments in case of a leak. A public hearing will be held soon to address the changes to the water bill policy. Also, there was discussion to raise the water bill rates. There will be a .25 increase for the all customers and for customers using water in excess of 4,000/month, there will be an additional .25 increase; this will result in an increase in sewer rates as well. Sewer rates are 75% of the water bill. The board will also set a date for a public hearing on this matter as well. This is the first water bill rate increase since 2008. There are still several issues that have not been resolved in the water bill department, but the board claim they are working to find a way to get those matters resolved. Unless there's another "special" issue between now and the end of the month, the next regular scheduled board meeting will be Tuesday, December 6, 2011 @ 6:00 p.m.