01/10/12 — Mount Olive OKs Land Use Plan; water project funds

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Mount Olive OKs Land Use Plan; water project funds

By Kelly Corbett
Published in News on January 10, 2012 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Mount Olive Town Board of Commissioners took two big steps forward on separate long-term projects affecting the future of the town Monday, adopting the 2030 Comprehensive Land Use Plan and accepting a $2.1 million contract from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

Town Manager Charles Brown also asked for the land use plan to be reviewed annually, which also was approved by the board.

"It's not only a guideline and a map going forward for the town in terms of our direction of growth, how we're going to grow and the appearance of the town -- just a whole look at the nature of Mount Olive as we go forward, but it's a legal document that you have to adhere to as we make changes in our zoning regulations," Brown said.

The approval came about after an 18-month process to create the plan, including public workshops, surveys and input from a 24-person steering committee.

Later, after meeting in closed session to discuss the price and other terms of the contract, Commissioner Kenneth Talton made a motion for the town to accept the $2,187,850 grant from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, with an 80 percent principal forgiveness totaling $1,750,280.

The funds will pay for four new pressure filters at the No. 3 well, which will produce an additional million gallons of treated water per day. The project is expected to take 12 to 14 months to complete.

Updates on the town's Comprehensive Transportation Plan and new redistricting plan were also discussed at the meeting.

Eastern Carolina Council Community Planner Patrick Flanagan gave members of the board the survey results received from research for the transportation plan, which focuses on five modes of transportation over the next 30 years.

"It's a two-year process," Flanagan said. "We're a little past halfway."

He said he expects to have the maps for the plan complete in late spring or early summer, at which time he will bring updated versions to the board.

Town Attorney Carroll Turner told the board the U.S. Justice Department had given pre-clearance to the new district voting lines, allowing the delayed elections to proceed.

Filing will start in February. Voting will take place May 8.

In other business, the board approved an audit of the town's finances.

The board also appointed Gena Knode to the town Planning Board and re-appointed Jonathan Scott and Gloria McCalop to the same board, all for two-year terms.

McDonald introduced a petition with 34 signatures asking for an ordinance banning horses within the town limits.

Angeline Parrish spoke at the December board meeting about her concerns regarding horses in town. Turner said he will check the names on the petition to make sure they are all legal residents of Mount Olive and will return his findings at the February board meeting.