E’town Town Council says airport terminal can go

By Chrysta Carroll - ccarroll@civitasmedia.com

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Curtis L. Brown Jr. Field will soon have a new terminal, but first the Elizabethtown Town Council has to dispose of the old one. At Monday night’s meeting, they discussed possible uses and what needed to be done in order to get there.

The town recently received a grant from the Division of Aviation for a new terminal, and $20,000 of the grant was to cover the cost of demolition of the current building. When the project discussion arose with Elizabethtown architect Chris Adams, however, the suggestion was made that the town consider re-purposing the building.

Since a plan is currently in the works to renovate the Public Works Department, the cost of renovating the current building is being compared to the cost of moving the terminal building to the Public Works site. A second possibility involves donating the terminal to another municipality.

The airport work, however, is scheduled to start in August, so it was necessary for the Council to declare the building surplus property, which they did, while staff will continue to research possible uses for the building. The Airport Commission would have the ultimate decision in what to do with the structure. If the town desires to use the building for Public Works, it would bear the cost of having it moved.

In other business, the council:

— Held a public hearing for a special use permit for Elizabethtown Police Chief Tony Parrish for an 1,800-square-foot detached garage on Singletary Avenue. No comments were received by the public, and it was subsequently put to a vote. Councilman Dicky Glenn was the lone dissenting vote, which he stated was done because he had, in the past, registered a negative vote for a resident who wanted to add a pool house to his or her home on a single lot. At the earlier Planning Board meeting, Parrish told that board that the proposed plans would include a mother-in-law suite.

— Approved a grant agreement for $88,909 from the Department of Aviation to construct a taxiway to the Elizabethtown Industrial Park that would directly connect Curtis Brown Jr. Field to the town’s newly acquired property formerly owned by Rudy Potter. The board’s approval authorized work to begin on design and bidding for the $1.2 million project, which is being funded in conjunction with a grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce.

— Approved a $5,941.55 forgivable loan for Taylor Manufacturing. The loan would cover connection fees to the new production facility on Hwy. 701 South since the fees were not reimbursable under the grant received for the project. It would be forgivable with the stipulation that Taylor create 10 full-time jobs and retain them for 18 months. The loan was given as part of the town’s effort to be more business-friendly.

— Presented an update on the handicapped parking matter. Last month, a town resident appeared requesting additional parking in the downtown area. While the town is in compliance with regard to handicapped spots, the board agreed to look into the matter, and, on Monday, said that after consulting with an engineer, they are looking into an additional spot at the corner of MLK Drive and Broad Street.

— Heard from Boris Powell, who is in the process of renovating property on MLK Drive for use as an entertainment venue. Powell voiced frustration over what he called “roadblocks” that kept popping up in terms of permits. Town Manager Eddie Madden said the only “roadblock” was when Powell put in a request for an ABC permit, which changed the use of his facility and required a different set of steps. Madden and Powell disagreed on whether Powell had initially informed the town that he intended to use the property that way, and Powell asked for a list of steps that needed to be taken so there were no more surprises or delays. Madden informed the board that he had just received the ABC permit request last Wednesday and had acted in a timely manner, and Mayor Sylvia Campbell informed Powell that Planning Technician Billie Hall would assist him with the next step.

— Viewed a PowerPoint presentation by Hall on the progress being made enforcing minimum housing standards. Hall presented before and after pictures of numerous sites that have been cleaned up after property owners received letters about code violations.

— Presented a framed resolution and engraved miniature downtown street clock to Mary Greene in memory and honor of Ben Greene, who passed away in 2015, in appreciation for his work with the Industrial Park in particular and for his efforts to improve the whole of Elizabethtown.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.



By Chrysta Carroll


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