ELIZABETHTOWN — Four years after completing phase one of the downtown revitalization project, councilmen with the town of Elizabethtown decided Monday to move forward with phase two.
Eddie Madden, town manager, said the utility burial project only made it to Main Street in 2011. After years of saving, the town will move on to a seven-block section between Pine and Gillespie streets for the second phase.
“Those overhead utilities looked really bad,” said Mayor Sylvia Campbell. “It’s like everything else — if you do part of it, it makes everything else look wrong.”
But the decision to move forward with engineer Gary Flowers didn’t come without discussion.
Madden revealed that extra money would be added to the contract with Flowers for the design of new light fixtures and some extras that were not included in the original contract, which cost the town $100,000 for the utility burial project.
“This is not chicken feed,” said Councilman Ricky Leinwand. “This is $81,000 dollars.”
With the addition of several new services, the new contract will pay Flowers and his team upwards of $180,000 for the utility burial. Flowers explained that the cost was just an estimate and that it could be even cheaper than that. The contract included custom designs, project managers and workers, electricians and Flowers team is even planning to deal with all of the paper work.
Councilman Herman Lewis motioned to approve the contract, and Councilwoman Paula Greene seconded. Councilman Dicky Glenn was the lone no vote on the contract. Flowers estimated that construction would be finished in the fall of next year.
The next step of phase two is to begin accepting bids for the work.
In other news, the town council:
— Heard from Billie Hall who requested that the board add the definition of a cemetery to Article 2 of the Elizabethtown Zoning Ordinance. The board unanimously approved the addition of the definition to the ordinance, saying that the amendment was consistent with the objectives of the adopted Land Use and Strategic Plans.
— Approved the consolidation of the Elizabethtown Housing Authority with the Clarkton Housing Authority. Campbell said that many smaller towns were making similar decisions to cut down on costs. She said that the merger would take effect in December of 2016.
— Authorized surplus property, including a utility trailer, telephones and phone system, to be sold by Madden and public services director.
— Voted to approve a grant application to be submitted for Waterline Installation at D’Vine Foods on U.S. 701 South. Madden said the installation would cost more than $65,000.
— Approved a proposal from Duke Energy to replace street lights with LED fixtures. The new lights will cost around $7,000 to install, but will save the town about $5,000 on the electric bill.
— Gave the go-ahead on the demolition of a building located on Morehead Street. Campbell said that some people had brought up renovating the building so that it could be used for other activities. But, Campbell said that black mold was found in the building, so it has to be torn down. The vote also gave a green light for asbestos abatement.
— Voted Molly Glenn and Andrew Robinson back onto the Elizabethtown Zoning Board of Adjustment for another term, and named Sybil Alsop to a vacant spot with the Elizabethtown Housing Authority board.
— Donated $250 to the Veteren’s Day Program on Nov. 10 at 11 a.m.
Gabrielle Isaac is a staff writer for The Robesonian in Lumberton. She can be reached at 910-816-1989 or on Twitter @news_gabbie.