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By Joy Warren

After approving the Elizabethtown Town Council Agenda without 2 listed items, Council members decided not to hold a public hearing and vote regarding a Code of Ordinance Amendment for Prohibition of the Carrying and Display of Handguns, Firearms and Other Weapons at Certain Public Locations.

Council member Paula Greene stated “I think this issue needs more discussion during a work session and the full participation of the Council.”

Dawn Maynard and Maurice Williams with the Elizabethtown White Lake Chamber of Commerce address the Ellizabethtown Town Council.

The request for the revision to the current Code of Ordinances came at the request of several parents and concerned citizens who wanted to prohibit weapons (concealed or open carry) in local parks such as Leinwand, Lloyd, Browns Creek, Tory Hole, Johnson, Martin Luther King and Cape Fear Farmer’s Market.

Dawn Maynard and Maurice Williams with the Elizabethtown White Lake Chamber of Commerce presented flowers to the Council along with the announcement that the Town of Elizabethtown has been selected to receive Member of the Year Award for the Chamber. Maynard thanked the Town for their support of Chamber projects and events during the past year. The official award will be presented during the annual Chamber Awards Banquet in June.

David Richardson of Lumber River Council of Governments

David Richardson, Executive Director of the Lumber River Council of Governments presented the NC Tomorrow Plan. LRCG is involved in many aspects of regional and local governments which include the following programs/services: Aging Services, Infrastructure Stability, Future with a Viable Water Source, Land Use Planning, Transportation Planning, Housing Assistance, Strategic Planning, Financial Viability Planning, Digital Mapping, Education and Leadership Support for Elected Officials, Disaster Recovery and Mitigation Planning, Redistricting Surveys and Mapping, Environmental Clearinghouse for the Region, Regional Support for Decennial Census, and Workforce Development.

Richardson also noted that the next Census will be held in 2020. Town Manager Eddie Madden stated the Town will be more involved and engaged in the implementation of the Census as it is very important for funding processes for the Town.

In administrative matters, Council appointed Michael Leinwand to the Elizabethtown Planning Board; approved an amendment to the Town personnel policy; approved change orders for the Tory Hole Park project; approved budget amendments, the monthly financial report and the Capital Improvement Plan – FY 2018-2022.

Parks and Recreation Director Rod Fritz gave updates on the Tory Hole Project. The approved change orders and contracts will include additional enhancements to the restroom renovations, covered stage area for the Amphitheater, and the Boardwalk Nature Trail and Fishing Pier/Scenic Overlook (ADA Accessible). Fritz hopes to have construction to start soon on the Boardwalk with completion by the end of May. All of the proposals and changes are covered through project grants.

Local businessman A.D. Tolar spoke with the Council about holding a four-day Carnival in Elizabethtown as he has done in the past. He was informed that it would require a Special Use Permit which is a 60-day process. Tolar thanked the Town for the information, but indicated that the time frame would not fit into his already scheduled engagements.

Madden informed the Council of an informational meeting scheduled for Wednesday at the Farmer’s Market regarding a proposed Solar Farm. No request for permits have been received from the company. Land owners surrounding the proposed site have received letters from the firm inviting them to the meeting.

The Council recessed their meeting tonight in order to attend the information meeting on Wednesday.