Two busy hours -- Faison Town Board goes through long agenda
By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on August 5, 2004 1:57 PM
FAISON -- It seemed Wednesday night that the whole world wanted to talk to the town board.
Still, the board got a lot done in its two-hour meeting:
It replaced Faison's curfew ordinance, committed to helping build a new gymnasium, voted to prohibit off-premises beer and wine sales at any time on Sundays and gave the Faison Improvement Group permission to hold the first annual Market Day festival.
The board asked residents to call Town Hall if they want the sidewalks repaired in front of their houses. It directed the police chief to set up drivers license checkpoints inside the town limits and to request more driver's license checkpoints by the state and the county. It granted a privilege license for a taxi service, declined an offer for wireless Internet service and heard an impassioned plea from the owner of a towed truck.
Betty Jean Pike told the board her daughter cries herself to sleep every night since the town towed away her deceased husband's truck. Her 8-year-old daughter was four at the time he died, and she would go out to the truck and sit in the cab.
"It may be junk to a lot of people, but it belonged to my husband ... It has sentimental value. When she saw it was gone, my daughter screamed, 'Mama, daddy's truck is gone!'"
Mrs. Pike's son had taken the engine out and was replacing it. It had been road-worthy and could have been driven to Dudley if town officials had told her that her son couldn't do the work in her back yard.
"No, it isn't running," she said. "It's a time-consuming process. It's a costly process."
Police Chief Danny Brock had sent out eight letters to owners of vehicles that did not comply with the junk car ordinance. It gave them two weeks to move the vehicles. He told the board five people moved their vehicles, but he had three towed Monday. One was Mrs. Pike's truck.
"Why does anybody have the right to tell me I don't have a right to have that truck on my property?" she asked.
The mayor said town officials went to 21 places and found about 30 vehicles that were in a condition that violated the ordinance. The number of unsuitable vehicles in town is multiplying, he said. "We're not trying to prey on any one person or hurt anybody's feelings."
The board voted to rescind an old curfew and impose a new one on children under age 16 between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on week nights.
Exceptions will be those who are accompanied by a parent or someone authorized who is age 18 or older. They will be allowed on the sidewalk in front of their own house or their neighbor's house -- with permission.
The first offense brings a written warning to the parent. The second offense carries a penalty of the parent being charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor. Merchants who allow children to congregate in violation of the curfew will also be charged.
To build a new gym
Skip Tucker, the chairman of Faison's Recreation Committee, told the town board it's time to proceed toward finding the money to build a new gymnasium to replace the old one that was built in the 1930s. The town already has 100 children participating in recreational programs, he said.
The committee is ready to start applying for grants to pay for the $400,000 project, but the town's help is needed, he said. The committee is asking the town to commit $100,000 to the project and feels certain the remainder will come in the form of grants and donations.
The grant applications are due in December, and answers will come in February about who will receive them.
The board voted to help out, but did not specify a dollar amount. Mayor Igoe said the town will have an idea of how much it can contribute after the audit is completed this fall.
Can you hear me, R2?
Rick Kaiser of R2 Communications told the board he still wants to provide wireless Internet service to Faison customers. The board declined an offer from another company after finding out that company had no business dealings with the towns of Calypso and Mount Olive as Faison Mayor Bill Igoe said he felt he had been led to believe. The board tabled the matter.
"Over a year ago R2 Wireless pursued this issue with the town," said Kaiser.
But the mayor told him he had not been aggressive enough. "I thought Rick was backing off when Inbox came."
Kaiser said he is still interested, and he was just letting the town go through its process with the other company.
In other business, Public Works Director Richard Cameron told the board the water treatment plant upgrade is about a month away from completion, and the sewer upgrade is about 80 percent done.
The town is taking bids on its old police car until the end of September, and the board hopes to sell it at the September board meeting. Anyone wanting to bid on the car can do so at Town Hall.
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