Aberdeen Weighs Lower Speed for N.C. 5
By Tom Embrey
The Aberdeen commissioners are exploring the option of lowering the speed limit on N.C. 5 to a maximum of 45 mph, citing safety concerns.
The town instructed Planning Director Kathy Liles to contact N.C. Department of Transpor-tation (DOT) officials to discuss the possibility of the change. DOT sets the speed limit on state roads, including N.C. 5.
Currently the speed limit on the road runs from 35 to 45 to 55 and back down to 35 as you travel from Aberdeen to Pinehurst.
Representatives from United Transport Services, which is located on the road, request d the town lower the speed limit to 45 mph on a stretch of the road that runs in front of their business, Liles told the commissioners.
The reason for the request, Liles said, is safety
DOT officials have said it is "appropriate" to lower the limit.
Commissioner Allan Parker said the limit on N.C. 5, "should never go to 55 mph." Mayor Betsy Mofield called the road a "perfect example of a speed trap," and argued that the limit should be 35 mph.
Commissioners also instructed the town planning staff to move forward with an application for the 2013 Historic Preservation Fund grant.
Town planner Pam Graham told the board that the grant would help pay for hiring a consultant to update the town's historic design guidelines. Graham said the guidelines were last updated in 2003.
She said the current guidelines are vague and lack rules for newer construction materials that were not available when the guidelines were adopted.
Graham said the total cost to hire the consultant would likely be between $12,000 and $20,000.
The application deadline is Feb. 15.
Commissioners also approved a new fee schedule for calculating privilege licenses for wholesalers, manufacturers and distributors. The changes go into effect on July 1. Fees will now range from $500 for a business with fewer than 25 employees to $1,200 for one with more than 200 employess.
The change came after business owners asked commissioners in November to review the fee schedule and consider changing it.
In July 2011, Aberdeen started calculating fees based on gross receipts. The town charged $200 for businesses with annual gross receipts of $500,000 or less. The fee increases by 50 cents for every $1,000 over $500,000.
The fees now are much easier for affected businesses to calculate ahead of time.
The town has called a special meeting for 6 p.m. Monday to discuss a proposal for an entrepreneur-based business opportunity in Aberdeen. The meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Robert N. Page Municipal Building, 115 N. Poplar Street.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or tembrey @thepilot.com.
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