Due to July 4 holiday falling on the fist Thursday, Butner Town Council met on July 11 for their Regular Monthly meeting.
Habitat for Humanity Board Member, Linda Jordon presented information on the new Habitat house that will be built on East E Street (behind the old Town Hall). The groundbreaking was held on July 8. They hope to complete the house by the end of the year. This is the first habitat house in southern Granville County. She asked for volunteers from the community. A volunteer sign-up sheet to assist with construction will be available through Town Hall. Any questions can be directed to her at 919-622-4685.
A public hearing was continued from the June 6 meeting to rezone 2.37 acres between Gate #2 and Will Suitt Rd. from Rural Residential to South Interchange Gateway (SI) district as requested by the applicant. The SI district accommodates a mix of convenience, retail and restaurants, moderate intensity commercial development, as well as a neighborhood serving commercial and professional office uses. A rezoning workshop was held on June 25 that included questions about this rezoning. The public had concerns about the type of business being considered, increased traffic, additional driveways, development around residential homes, and businesses that might compete with local convenient stores and gas stations. The applicant stated that rezoning was sought to increase the property value. There was no buyer for the property. Planning Director Ciriello reminded the public that when an area is rezoned, anything that is allowed in that zoning district can be built and must meet the restrictions for that district. Following discussion, Council voted to deny the zoning request but approved a motion to study a larger area for possible rezoning to SI.
The Town adopted the codified version of the Town’s Municipal Code of Ordinances. This process helps to organize local legislation and allows for ease of updating ordinances, enforcement, and provides public on-line access to the ordinances. In addition to technical changes and updates to comply with state legislation, amendments included clarification to parking in the public right-of-way, clarification to burning, and better enforcement of visual blight. New ordinances prohibited vehicles, basketball hoops, and objects in the right-of-way that impede traffic and a new ordinance addressing excessive number of false alarms. A link to the Butner Code of Ordinances has been placed on the website from the pull down menu “About Butner” on the home page.
A resolution was adopted to award retiring BPS Director and Chief Danny Roberts his badge, sidearm and fire helmet. Chief Roberts will be retiring August 1, after 33 years of service. Chief Roberts thanked the Council for their support and cooperation over the years and enjoyed working with the Board.
The Town will receive bids to harvest approximately 106 acres of timber along B, D, & 12th Streets that is associated with the Town’s 750-acre wooded tract. Most of the recommended timber harvest is adjacent to property owners. Cutting this area will avoid falling limbs and trees onto personal property.
Through state legislation, the Town will receive the Umstead Correctional Property that runs along B & 12th Streets from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Corrections. The cost of the transfer is $1.00. Once the transfer is complete, the Town will be responsible for among other items, maintenance and building safety issues, pond management, insurance, stormwater and planning the future of the property. Town Manager Marrow explained the immediate needs, maintenance and recurring costs. Mayor Turner presented possible ideas on how to utilize the property.
In other announcements, Mayor Turner announced that two outdoor grills are now installed at Lake Holt for public use. St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church will be celebrating 75 years on August 25. With 1000 members strong, they will become a stand-alone parish.
The Old Fire Station renovation should be done by Labor Day. Construction on the VLC Center is moving forward with possible completion by April 2020. They will have 80 beds initially and hope to fundraise enough money to accommodate 150 beds.
Council Member Birdsong announced that due to health reasons, he will not be running for reelection. Becoming a Council Member and serving the public is one of the best things that has happened to him in a long time. He plans to finish out his term, which will be December 5. 2019.