The Morven Town Council met Monday evening. Mayor Houston Pratt and council member Theodore Carr Jr. debated the benefits of having the mayor update the council of pending unfinished business in each meeting. Carr stated that the council should be kept abreast of progress and Pratt maintained that if there isn’t an update to give he does not see the need to bring it up. The issue was tabled for the present.
Pratt informed the council that he talked with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) about putting up a children-at-play sign at the park but was informed that he would have to mark the curbing yellow, leaving no room for parking. Additionally, 30 feet of sidewalk, a crosswalk and three wheelchair-accessible entrances would have to be added. Carr motioned to allocated $2,500 with respect to the playground; it was approved unanimously.
The council also swore in new member Donnie Little, who will be filling the vacant seat after the resignation of Susan Woodburn earlier this year. After swearing in, Little was immediately seated with the council for the duration of the meeting.
Dave Smith, the director of the Anson County Tourism Development Authority, approached the council to propose a cornbread bake-off to bring income to Morven. Although it would not be immediately feasible, Smith suggested that the council hold the event either in spring or fall of 2013. He further added that the bake-off shouldn’t be held with ovens but with old cast-iron pans over open flames, making it inadvisable to hold it in the summer. The bake-off could be held in conjunction with Morven’s Oktoberfest, he suggested, and advised that they should immediately seek sponsors. Council member Marjorie Cole stated that the event sounded “interesting,” and that Smith could meet with them after hearing about sponsors.
Smith further suggested the possibility of involving HOLLA!, saying that the group is well-organized and would benefit from the bake-off.
Iris Tillman, on the zoning board, informed the board that she was communicating with property owners about beautifying Morven. The target owners were those of dilapidated or burned-down houses.
The council moved its December monthly meeting to Dec. 10 to correspond with a public hearing on the same date.
County Commissioner Jarvis Woodburn also approached the board to recommend that they send representatives to the Nov. 15 Centralina Council of Governments meeting at the South Piedmont Community College Lockhart-Taylor Center and to sign the memorandum joining 14 counties in the Carolinas to address growth expected in the next 20-40 years. “We’re one of the fastest-growing regions in North Carolina, and North Carolina is one of the fastest-growing states,” Woodburn said. He emphasized the need for counties to pool their resources and work “across city, town, county and state lines” to develop plans for regional growth while maintaining the character of the community. “If we don’t do anything we’ll have missed opportunities to work together,” Woodburn said.
The counties will work with Centralina to develop the regional frameworks for growth, according to Woodburn, but in order to that the county must form a board and sign the agreement to participate. “It will get us a seat at the table to talk about improving the character of the community of Morven,” he said, adding that part of the public engagement aspect of it is being fulfilled in the Nov. 15 open house at SPCC.
The final issue addressed by the board was that of parking in front of the post office. Cole said that she has received several complaints about the new no-parking signs and yellow curb paint. Pratt said that while he has received no such complaints he believes that the dangerous aspect of potential aspects outweighs the need for curbside parking in front of the post office, citing a letter from NCDOT and his personal observations at the site. With three accidents as a result of U-turns at the post office, one within the last couple of moths, Pratt said that the council could change the ordinance if they so chose but recommended against it.
After some consideration of the danger weighed against convenience for handicapped visitors and those loading packages, the council decided to leave the ordinance as it is with no parking in front of the post office due to safety considerations after a 3-1 vote with Cole’s dissension.
The council went into closed session following its regular meeting.