Commissioners nix Dollar General development on NC 41

Robeson County Commissioner Faline Dial, fourth from left, changes chairmen on Monday with Wixie Stephens, sixth from left, after appointing Stephens chairman of the board at a regular meeting. Dial previously served as chairman of the board. Commissioner Tom Taylor has been appointed Vice-Chair of the Board, taking over the former title of Commissioner Pauline Campbell.

LUMBERTON – Robeson County Commissioners denied the creation of a Dollar General on NC 41 on Monday.

Commissioner Tom Taylor denied a request by Rhetson Companies to rezone an area from the Residential Farm District to the Neighborhood Commercial District and allow the placement of a general dollar at NC 41 North and Old Allenton Road. The motion to reject the request received a second from Faline Dial. The proposed Dollar General would offer items such as fresh produce, milk and meat.

Taylor told the Robesonian after the meeting that concerns about traffic and school bus travel in the area contributed to his decision. Littlefield Middle School is located near the proposed site.

“It was just going to make it tough there,” Taylor said. “A lot of people don’t want it.”

The fact that there was a Dollar General nearby, the economic effects and the future implications of the rezoning of the property were also important factors, according to Rob Davis, the attorney for Robeson County.

At the November 15 commissioners meeting, Taylor brought forward a motion to table the idea after a public hearing in which four community residents spoke out against the construction. Some raised concerns about future criminal activity, while a man raised concerns for business at a store across from the proposed store’s site.

Representatives from the company and the scope of his project left the meeting after the decision was made.

The Commissioners also appointed Commissioner Wixie Stephens as Chairman of the Board and Commissioner Tom Taylor as Vice-Chairman of the Board. Stephens replaces Commissioner Faline Dial and Taylor replaces Commissioner Pauline Campbell who previously served. Each year, the board appoints its chairman and vice-chairman.

Dial described her service as Chairman of the Board of Directors as “an honor and a privilege.”

“We know it will be a difficult task following our former Vice-President, Commissioner Campbell, and our former President, Commissioner Dial, as both have done a tremendous job leading us in the right direction,” said Stephens said.

“Thank you to each of you with all my heart as the best is yet to come for Robeson County,” added Stephens.

“I will do my best to do the best job for our country, thank you,” Taylor said.

The commissioners also approved changes to the county staff council recommendations presented by Angela Jones, the County of Robeson’s human resources manager.

The old smoking policy allowed county employees to smoke in county vehicles as long as there were no passengers with them. The approved change included a ban on smoking in “any vehicle or building belonging to the county,” Jones said.

Jones also said that employees who worked on public holidays were previously paid time and a half for the time worked. The county is struggling with staff during the holidays. The approved change means paying employees “with money instead of paying them for time.”

“We are struggling to get people to work, to hire them and we also ask that the current policy of overtime compensation as opposed to time compensation, we ask you to consider that employees will be paid according to the needs of the director or department manager with discretion and conversation with the county manager, ”Jones said.

Each department head should meet with the manager to discuss concerns and needs, she said.

Commissioner David Edge also called for more enforcement to bring homes in the county up to “community standards.”

Edge spoke about enforcing codes on properties where taxes were owed. He spoke of buildings seized and sold so that they can be renovated and add to the beautification of the communities.

“I would like to move forward as quickly as possible,” said Edge.

Robeson’s director of community development Dixon Ivey Jr. said he would speak to the county director and get on with it.

Edge also asked Robeson County Manager Kellie Blue to look for someone who could focus on the properties. Blue said she would “look into the matter.”

Ivey told the Commissioners and Blue that he would also need additional staff and would like to speak to her about this later. Ivey also provided an update on some properties that Edge asked him to review.

He said the owner of a property on Norment Road, which the county paid Greenstate Landscaping to clean up, should be billed for the services. The house is six to seven years in back taxes. Ivey said foreclosure was an option.

Robeson County Tax Administrator Robert Conner was also sworn in at the meeting. The commissioners renewed his three-year contract on 1 November. Conner was appointed tax administrator in 2019.

Commissioners also approved on Monday:

– A resolution supporting the passage of the Heartbeat Bill of North Carolina, or House Bill 31 entitled “A law prohibiting, except in a medical emergency, an abortion to be performed after the unborn child is determined to have a human heartbeat detectable “

– Renewal of obligations for the departments of finance, registry of deeds, sheriff, social services and taxes

– Resolutions to accept an offer of $ 3000 plus the cost of advertising three parcels of land at Fairmont, and an offer of $ 4000 plus the cost of advertising for land on Pansey Drive near Maxton

– A resolution in support of the Atlantic Telephone Corporation’s Broadband Project in Robeson County

– Appointment of Bobbie McNeil to the Lumber River Workforce Development Council and call for nominations at a later date for members of the Nursing Home and Adult Care Advisory Boards

The Commissioners also wished the residents of Robeson County a Merry Christmas.

Commissioners also urged residents to reach out to others who are ill, grieving or having suffered the loss of family members, to help brighten up their vacation.

The next Robeson County Council of Commissioners meeting will be on January 18 at 6 p.m. ET.

Contact Jessica Horne at 910-416-5165 or by email at [email protected]

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