08/05/14 — City OKs $20,000 for meals program

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City OKs $20,000 for meals program

By Ethan Smith
Published in News on August 5, 2014 1:46 PM

Expect to see Meals on Wheels serving more seniors in the city after Goldsboro City Council decided to allocate $20,000 to the meals program.

Monday night's council meeting began with a request by Martha Bryan, who was representing the program, asking for more funding to meet an increased need in the community.

"Last year, Meals on Wheels served 58,291 meals to 587 seniors in the city of Goldsboro," Mrs. Bryan said. "We added 16 new members to the program in July, but there is a wait list to get on the program."

She said it takes about $1,000 to feed one person for a year, meaning there will now be funding for 20 new clients.

After Mrs. Bryan's comments, Councilman Chuck Allen made a motion for City Manager Scott Stevens to give the program $20,000. The motion was seconded by Councilman Charles Williams, and the vote was unanimous.

During the work session before the regular meeting, council members decided to move forward in accepting the proposal for $14.6 million in TIGER V grant funding, which will be used to fund the Center Street and Walnut Street Streetscape projects, as well as the construction of a new Gateway transfer center. The grant provides $10 million for the project. The city must match 25 percent of that funding, adding roughly $4 million to the project. A loan of $4.6 million for the project has been finalized for the city's share of funding.

Also during Monday's work session, council decided to move forward with an attempt to get funding from the state Department of Transportation for the completion of a sidewalk project in the city. The DOT would pay $50,000 of the cost of the project, with the city providing another $50,000 in matching funds. After a brief discussion about which location they should pursue, the council decided to work on sidewalks along Wayne Memorial Drive should the city receive the funding.

Also on the agenda was a discussion about several properties, including the Internet sweepstakes business on Arrington Bridge Road. The business is requesting 20 more game machines, which would bring the total number of machines to 40. That would require more than 80 parking spaces.

The business is requesting the parking space requirement be reduced to 52 spaces, saying that 52 would be enough to accommodate the expected increase in business. The council was unable to decide what should be done about the matter.

Marty Anderson, the city's director of engineering, also presented the council with a request for funding to fix the recently collapsed Mulberry Street sanitary sewer line, with the low bid coming in from Keen Plumbing at $340,000. Anderson said notices were placed on residents' doors last week to notify them of the issue, and as they move forward with fixing the line they will be patching the affected areas. Anderson will present to the council at a later date a plan to resurface the area when the line is fixed.

Scott Barnard, director of Parks and Recreation, presented a plan to the council for a study to be conducted at H.V. Brown park as to what the best method is to move forward with replacing the bathrooms and shelters at the park. He said the study would cost $14,000 and that he is concerned with "not just putting the buildings back in place, but putting them back in the right place."

Some council members weren't pleased with the request for a study.

"I hate spending money on studies," Allen said. "It seems like we get very little done and spend all our money on studies."

Barnard said the study could be done internally, but that it would be better suited for a professional to evaluate what must be done.

Councilman Gene Aycock said he felt the cost of the studies was unnecessary when the council can't fund the completion of the master plans that have been developed for other parks in the city. The issue was tabled.