Health costs stay same in Maxton

By: David Bradley - The Robesonian

MAXTON — Health insurance premiums will remain at last year’s rate in Maxton for town employees.

All the employees had to be screened in order to prevent a rise in premium costs — and that happened.

“The screenings were done by our insurance provider,” Town Manager Kate Bordeaux said Tuesday. “Each year the premium goes up if we don’t have 100 percent participation.”

During their regular meeting on Tuesday, Board of Commissioners members ensured town residents another year of access to the county public library system at the Gilbert Patterson Memorial Library. The commissioners renewed the contract the library on North Florence Street has with the Robeson County Public Library.

The commissioners also ensured party-goers will have a place for weddings, Christmas parties and other events for another year at the freight building downtown. The old CSX railroad freight building has been refurbished into an event venue called Authentix. The current leaseholders have an option to continue the lease until July. The contract was renewed by the commissioners through July 2020.

Also on Tuesday, Commissioner Victor Womack spoke about what he sees as a safety threat.

“The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is going through Robeson County with a 50- to 60-foot-wide area through people’s neighborhoods,” Womack said. “It’s harming the ecosystem.”

The habitat for foxes, timber rattlers and other animals is being torn apart, he said. With their ecosystem destroyed, animals are looking for new homes, he said.

Bordeaux said the displaced animals haven’t been seen inside town limits.

The North Carolina Wildlife Commission has scheduled a class for 6:30 p.m. Thursday to teach people what to do in case of an animal encounter. The class will be at Renaissance Event Center at 107 W. Central St.

That is the same time, day and location for a discussion by EcoRobeson about a liquefied natural gas facility to be built near Maxton. Piedmont Natural Gas plans a 1 billion-cubic-foot storage facility on 50 acres at a construction cost of about $250 million. The company plans to start building the facility in 2019.

The town leaders recognized the efforts of Hattie Lee McEachin, a town resident for many years who is working to keep the town free of trash and notifying the city of street light problems. Willis Sullivan was recognized for his efforts to repair the town clock, for placing flags in the cemetery, and being involved in the Tree City efforts.

In other business, the commissioners:

— Approved Bertha Hutchinson’s appointment to the Housing Authority Board.

— Heard that the first Economic Development Strategy Five-Year Plan committee will meet on Wednesday.

— Were told a back-to-school event was held Sunday for students in Maxton, with assistance from Campbell Soup, the Maxton Recreation Department, the Girl Scouts and others. School supplies and backpacks were given out.

David Bradley can be reached at 910-416-5182 or [email protected]

David Bradley

The Robesonian