03/03/09 — Concern raised on closures; city seeks stimulus

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Concern raised on closures; city seeks stimulus

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on March 3, 2009 1:46 PM

Concerned citizen and parent Charles Wright asked the Goldsboro City Council Monday night to consider carefully the proposed school reorganization that would mean merging Belfast and Southern Academy alternative schools into the same facility.

"I find that unacceptable for several sound reasons," Wright said.

Moving the two schools into the same structure would result in more empty seats in the Goldsboro Intermediate building than currently exist, he said.

"We must stress to the school board not only the importance of building new schools but utilizing the ones we have," Wright said.

Mayor Al King said he saw potential issues with the move, too.

"I have some concerns as well," King said. "If the building is for 500, why move 200 kids there?"

The school board will hold a hearing on the issue on March 16 at 6 p.m. in the central office.

In other business, the council voted to ask for about $3.3 million in funding for Goldsboro sanitary sewer main improvements from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The funds would be used to reline sanitary sewer lines and to install manhole covers.

The city also created a list of projects that could potentially be funded through the legislation, including redeveloping Union Station, resurfacing and streetscaping six blocks of downtown, redevelopment of the historic South William and John Street neighborhood and constructing the proposed Recreation Center.

The council also voted to hold the first-ever membership drive for the municipal golf course, which has seen membership drop within the past several months.

"Play will be increased as a result of this," Mayor King said. "It's a great course. The people who play it, love it."

During the membership drive, from March 3 to April 15, city residents, city employees and active military will be able to join the golf course by paying quarterly dues of $150 for senior citizens 60 years old and older, or $180 for others, while non-residents could join for an initiation fee of $100 plus the quarterly dues. Beginning April 16, the rate for individual membership to the course will increase from $100 to $300, while the rate for family memberships will increase to $400, plus quarterly dues.

Council also took action on several other agenda items:

*Mina Weil Park will get new tennis courts, thanks to a Community Development Block Grant. The city will pay Youngsville Recreational Ven-tures about $87,000 for the new courts, which will likely be built on top of the existing one.

*The city will pay $39,187.50 to PBC+L Archi-tecture for services already rendered in the bidding process for the currently tabled Recreation Center.

*Goldsboro will be included on a list of cities in a draft of a bill in the North Carolina General Assembly proposing to withhold issuing new building permits from people who are delinquent on paying taxes.

"I think it's just good business," said Ed Cianfarra, director of inspections.

*Dillard Middle School and the city of Goldsboro came to an agreement to use each other's sports facilities free of charge.

*The inspections office will request financial assistance from the state for mosquito control efforts. Usually the state contributes between $8,000 and $10,000, but that will change this year.

"This year, the most I can get back is $3,000," Cianfarra said. "Whatever I can get, I'm going to get."

*The city will annex 10.73 acres of land at the northwest corner of Gateway Drive and Challen Court.

*The city will within the next three years close a portion of Atlantic Avenue belonging to the railroad company to allow for the installment of another track.