04/21/09 — Mayor: Peacock pool will be open

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Mayor: Peacock pool will be open

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on April 21, 2009 1:46 PM

Despite previous budget and safety concerns, the swimming pool at Peacock Park will operate this summer, the Goldsboro City Council decided Monday night.

The council voted to pay the Goldsboro Family YMCA, which operates the city pools, to run both the Mina Weil and Peacock pools for the summer of 2009. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission originally planned to operate only the Mina Weil pool, the smaller of the two, citing cost and safety concerns.

Although the Mina Weil pool is in compliance with federal regulations under the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, the Peacock pool is in need of about $10,000 in improvements to meet the standards. The money for the upgrades is currently in the city's 2009-2010 preliminary budget, but the work has not yet been done on the pool.

The city can operate the Peacock pool without performing the improvements because North Carolina will not begin enforcing the Safety Act until 2010, said Gail Charles, Parks and Recreation interim director.

Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Allen said during the work session prior to the meeting that he would like to see the city open both of the pools this summer.

"With the economy the way it is, I definitely think we need to keep both pools open," he said.

Mayor Al King also spoke in favor of operating both pools to provide a summer activity for young people in Goldsboro.

"If we deny them that, we're not going to like" the activities they could pursue as an alternative, King said.

The council also voted to hire Jerry Hodge Engineer-ing, LLC to perform a structural investigation of the W.A. Foster Center. The evaluation will not cost more than $6,000 and will be paid for by the Parks and Recreation building maintenance funds.

The council heard comments from concerned property owners opposing the proposed construction of a 199 foot U.S. Cellular cell phone tower on the south side of Tommy's Road between U.S. 117 North and Deans Lane.

Goldsboro resident Gary Thigpen was one of several who spoke against the proposed tower.

"My big issue with this is it's an eyesore, for myself as well as others in my neighborhood," he said.

Citizen Vance Edwards brought up concerns about the potential for property value issues with the tower.

"I would be opposed to having this there. Of course, we don't want to detract from the property value," he said.

U.S. Cellular representatives Paul Fanning and Gary Miller spoke in favor of the conditional use permit the company requested from the city to allow construction of the tower.

"There is a lack of coverage in that area" that the tower would provide, Fanning said.

Business entrepreneur Cid Yow also addressed the council about proposed rezoning that would allow him to open a sports bar and Budget truck rental office on the corner of Berkeley Boulevard and Elm Street.

"The business I'm proposing would certainly not be a place where there would be any topless dancing or that sort of thing," Yow said. "I try to operate as clean a project and fair a project as I can."

The Planning Board will have a recommendation on the proposed rezoning of the land parcel, which would change from General Busi-ness Conditional District for a used car lot to General Business Conditional District for a place of entertainment wih ABC permits and a truck rental operation.

The Planning Board will have a recommendation on the items for the next city council meeting in May.

The council removed from the agenda an item opposing Senate Bill 1004 and House Bill 1252, known as the "Level Playing Field Act."

The measures would require cities that provide communications services to the public to comply with laws applicable to private providers.

The mayor proclaimed Coats and Ties Off for May through September, and proclaimed May 1 as Silver Star Banner Day.