Officer Swearing In

Southern Pines Mayor David McNeill swore in new Officer Mike Griffin on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Griffin’s wife, Stephanie, held the Bible. She is also a local law enforcement officer, employed with the Moore County Sheriff’s Office.

The Southern Pines Town Council will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 13, for a bond request that would fund a multi-million dollar improvement to the Brookside Park housing developments.

The $14 million project would impact the entire 150-unit complex, through bonds issued to the Foundation for Affordable Housing.

Addressing the council during Wednesday evening’s agenda meeting, representatives for the proposed project explained the public hearing was a necessary step to meet Internal Revenue Service regulations. Brookside Park was developed and operates with federal housing financing. The property uses federal housing subsidies to make rent affordable to lower income tenants.

Anticipated work would include substantial interior and exterior improvements, with work beginning this coming spring. The duplex apartments would be upgraded in sequence with vacant units prioritized. Current tenants would be rotated to “hospitality units” for on-site housing while work on individual units was completed.

“The project does not obligate the town to these bonds,” said Brandon Lofton, speaking on behalf of the foundation. “The foundation will be the borrower and will repay to a trustee that pays directly to bond brokers. The bonds are issued by a public finance authority and it is the obligation of the foundation to repay those bonds.”

In other action on Wednesday, the Town Council:

* Reviewed a draft lease agreement with Mary Kate Lambeth and Tori King to develop the downtown train depot warehouse building into a special event venue. The venue — to be called 305 Trackside — will include a $75,000 to $100,000 renovation with bathrooms, sprinkler systems, new electrical and plumbing wor, and rails on the outside decks.

The lease agreement stipulates a $5 a month rent while construction is underway, and an increase to $500 a month once the business is granted an occupancy permit. The warehouse is owned by the town and is located one block north of the Sunrise Theater and the Southern Pines Welcome Center, immediately adjacent to the railroad tracks.

* Scheduled a public hearing on Dec. 13, for a right-of-way abandonment request for an undeveloped street near the Hunter’s Ridge town home development. The 575-foot section of North Ridge Street is considered a “paper street” because it is not improved or readily accessible.

* Considered a recommendation to reappoint Damita Nocton and Kim Wade for a second three-year term on the Library Advisory Board. Lynn Thompson, Southern Pines’ director of Library Services, has described both as valuable and active members of the board.

* Considered annexation applications filed with the town for a 2.03-acre property on Yadkin Road and a 6.74-acre property on Camp Easter Road. Public hearings were scheduled for Jan. 10, for potential action on these requests.

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