Bladenboro board OKs paving plan

W. Curt Vincent -

BLADENBORO — The paving of three streets in the town of Bladenboro came before the Town Council on Monday as part of a short agenda.

The issue came before councilmen for the approval of bids to pave East Railroad Street and/or Harmony Homes Drive. But before the question of bids could be dealt with, Councilman Sarah Jane Benson asked the board to consider another scenario.

“I’d like to see Pecan Street done before Harmony Homes Drive,” she said. “It is a bad road.”

During the discussion, the issue of cost was brought up along with questions about having the same company pave the roads at different times or two separate companies doing the work.

“Because of the weather, we’re probably looking at a few months before the work would be started,” said Town Administrator John O’Daniel. “So I think we have time to seek bids on Pecan Street if that’s what the board wants to do.”

Councilman Billy Ray Benson, however, wasn’t sure about the process.

“I think we’ve identified two street in need, and without knowing the cost of doing Pecan Street, I don’t think we should change things now,” he said.

It was stated that, should the work on Pecan Street exceed the budgeted amount, then the board could always choose to go back to Harmony Homes Drive.

Benson offered a motion to approve paving on East Railroad and Pecan streets, but then amended the motion to include only East Railroad Street until bids can be received on the Pecan Street work. Councilman Jeff Atkinson seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-1, with Billy Ray Benson the lone dissenter.

The board then approved the bid from Sykes Paving of Bladenboro to do the work on East Railroad Street.

During the board’s open forum, Bobby Ludlum proposed moving the veterans monument and benches from the National Guard Armory to the downtown corner where the old Jones Building once stood.

“The estimate for having them moved is due this week, and I understand it would be an attraction,” Ludlum said.

Mayor Rufus Duckworth said the Boost the ‘Boro Committee also wants to do some landscaping at that site.

“But you could work with them to find a good place there, then this board would give the OK,” he said. “That’s also a DOT right-of-way, so we need to keep that in mind.”

Ludlum said he would attend the Boost the ‘Boro meeting to discuss the proposal, and Town Clerk Melanie Hester suggested that a plan be drawn up for that corner’s use before the board takes action.

In other board action:

— Hester administered the oath of office to re-appoint three members of the Bladenboro Housing Authority. They were: Margie Bridger for two years, Jan Hester Maynard for five years and Randie Harrelson for five years.

— No bids were received to operate concession stands at Wateree and McLean parks, so the board voted to leave the bids open until the next meeting in March.

— Voted to again table the issue of starting pay grade/step for the Bladenboro Police Department until the budget planning began in April.

— O’Daniel told the board the town has two trucks that need replacing and requested the purchase of two state surplus king-cab trucks at a total cost of $15,000.

“They are at the end of their usable life and in need of replacement,” he told the board.

The board approved the purchase, 6-0.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

W. Curt Vincent

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