LUMBERTON – The Dream Catcher Project took another step forward on Monday, propelled by a vote from the Robeson County Council of Commissioners.
The Lumbee Tribe’s request to place houses on approximately eight acres of land on Evergreen Church Road in Burnt Swamp was made to Robeson County Community Development in 2017 and heard by the Robeson County Planning Board in November 2017, Dixon Ivey said, Jr., director of RCCD. The request returned to the Planning Council in February 2018 for final platform approval and was approved by County Commissioners in May 2018.
“However, the card was never registered. He had been approved. The subdivision had been approved, ”Ivey said.
“It was never recorded and when they came back to start construction they had to register the map so that they could use the deeds for the lots. By then, our subdivision order had changed, ”he added.
The tribe had to rezon it so it could meet the subdivision requirements, Ivey said.
“The infrastructure and everything is already in this project. But like I said, they’re getting ready to start building houses, so they had to get the map re-approved, ”Ivey said.
Fifteen houses are to be built in the community. They are planned as houses built in sticks with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Commissioner Judy Sampson, in whose district the project is located, asked about the installation of fences around the community center that existed before the project began.
“We would say this is an additional expense that would actually reduce housing for other families,” said David McGirt, construction manager for the Lumbee Tribe.
He said a proposed fence along the community building and back corner could cost $ 19,000. McGirt also said house prices had risen 30% to 35% since the pandemic.
“The tribe has already spent $ 56,000 on repairs to this community building. We are there to help the community and with the price of housing and other things going up, it’s just that it might impact the housing of other families, ”he said.
Lumbee Tribe President Harvey Godwin Jr. was also present at Monday’s meeting, but did not address the commissioners directly.
Sampson brought a motion to approve the request to rezone the land from the residential agricultural district to the single-family residential district as long as the community building “is gated.”
The motion was seconded by Commissioner Tom Taylor and the request was approved without objection.
Commissioners also voted to rezone from the residential agricultural district to the single-family residential district approximately 43 acres of land on US 301 South for more housing in Union as part of the Dream Catcher project.
“The Lumbee tribe failed to save it,” Ivey said.
Bradley Locklear, director of Lumbee Tribe Housing, told the Robesonian after the meeting that there were about six to eight months left to complete the project on Evergreen Church Road.
“We are happy that the commissioners have worked with us,” he said.
The fence around the building could be cheaper than expected, and the fence materials have yet to be decided, Locklear said.
“It’s not a major problem at all,” he said.
Locklear said he was happy to be able to see the project continue after help from the commissioners.
An update to the Solid Waste Ordinance that puts in place higher fines for waste was also approved on Monday.
“What we did was we incorporated state law and state sanctions, criminal sanctions,” Robeson County District Attorney Rob Davis said.
The order sets the penalty for a first violation of GS 14-399 from $ 250 to $ 2,000. The first illegal dumping offense is a fine of $ 500, the second $ 600 and $ 800 for subsequent violations.
The maximum civil penalty for waste is $ 5,000, and the actual penalty is to be determined by the director of solid waste and the county director, according to the new ordinance.
The biggest quote the county’s solid waste department could have issued was $ 250 before the ordinance was passed, said Gene Walters, director of solid waste. The ordinance doubled that number.
“I think with the solid waste department and with the legal team, we just want to put some bite into this file so that people stop dumping and realize how bad it is,” Kellie Blue said. , Warden of Robeson County. “You know, and my philosophy is when, when you hit them in the wallet, they stop leaving garbage.”
Robeson County Commissioner Lance Herndon said he would like to see an update to the policy regarding illegal dumping on someone else’s property, in which case the owner of the property is not responsible, but ends up with financial responsibility.
Walters said that, generally, the department waives the disposal charge in this case when the owner cleans up the property. In these cases, homeowners are also encouraged to place barricades on their property to discourage entry by intruders.
Herndon said he has had incidents in his district where people dump trucks of materials on someone else’s property, often someone who does not live nearby. The owner is then faced with “huge expenses,” which can include the rental of equipment to clean the property, Herndon said. The commissioner was not referring to household garbage, but to items like shingles or furniture. Commissioner David Edge agreed with Herndon.
Walters said he was willing to meet with the commissioners and further amend the order if necessary. He also told the commissioners that the anti-waste signs were ready, but that they had to submit locations to the solid waste department for the placement of the signs.
Pauline Campbell, vice-chair of the council of commissioners, said she had received reports of spills on land in her district.
“I just want us to take a look at the approach,” Herndon said.
“We will definitely do it. I give you my word, ”said Blue.
Commissioners also voted to later seek the appointment of a representative to the Southeastern Community Action Partnership.
Blue also asked the commissioners to review the budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year and contact her for changes before the next meeting, at which time the budget can be adopted.
Robeson County EMS’s request for a surplus of 40 portable Viper radios was also approved on Monday. Commissioners voted to approve the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program grant in the amount of $ 93,528 to the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office. Another NCGHSP grant in the amount of $ 157,950 has been approved for the County DWI Treatment Court.
The next meeting of the Council of Commissioners is scheduled for June 21 at 6 p.m.