Maxton employees set for pay hike

By: David Bradley - For The Exchange

MAXTON — Maxton town employees got good and bad news during this week’s Board of Commissioners meeting.

They’re projected to get a 2.5 percent pay raise in the fiscal year 2018-19 town budget. The proposed budget also calls for town employees to pay 2 percent more for insurance co-pays and for emergency room visits.

The bits of financial news were raised during a brief review of the proposed spending plan, which must be in place by July 1.

Town Manager Kate Bordeaux told commissioners Tuesday that a strategic plan for the downtown area is in the works. Community leaders will be chosen by the chairs of town committees to work with commissioners to develop the plan.

The idea is for a seven-person panel to come up with ways to re-invent the downtown area, Bordeaux said. The panel also will work with the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division to devise economic development plans for downtown.

“The beauty of any town is the downtown area,” Bordeaux said.

The commissioners put off further discussion of the plan until their May meeting.

The commissioners also approved buying a boom truck for use in keeping Maxton’s streets clean and free of tree limbs and branches. The new vehicle will have a capacity of 15 tons, and be able to be used as a dump truck. Federal Emergency Management Agency funds that the town has received will pay for the truck. Its price was not disclosed.

Bordeaux spoke about trash Tuesday.

“Trash and litter are continuing problems here and in surrounding towns,” she said. “Public Works Department picks it up, and it looks good for a short period. Then it comes back.”

Bordeaux is working with Public Works to have a cleanup day.

Commissioner Paul McDowell requested a copy of the state statute that makes it illegal to make adjustments to water rates in North Carolina.

“I’ve gotten several requests about making adjustments because of leaks into the ground, and I need the copy to address this,” he said. “People are asking why can’t there be adjustments, even with the leaks running up the bills.”

In other business, the commissioners;

— Were told that the storm that came through Robeson County on Sunday tore off the east face of the tower clock. The hands had been removed already, but now the face is empty..

— Approved granting Mountaire Farms an easement to a railroad right of way at the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport. The city of Laurinburg will discuss a similar ordinance, because the two communities share the airport.

— Approved awarding accounting firm S. Preston Douglas & Associates a contract to conduct the town’s fiscal year 2018-2019 audit. The auditing firm has handled the town audits for several years.

— Were told that May 5 is a free tipping day at the county landfill in St. Pauls.

David Bradley

For The Exchange

Reach David Bradley at 910-739-2361 or [email protected]

Reach David Bradley at 910-739-2361 or [email protected]