LUMBERTON — The zoning on a piece of land was changed Tuesday from Residential/Agricultural to Heavy Industrial months after construction on the land began.
The Robeson County Board of Commissioners unanimously agreed to rezone the 45-acre tract along N.C. 711 across from COMtech business park so Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation can continue to build its new headquarters, at a projected cost of $23 million. Red Springs currently is LREMC’s corporate home.
Commissioner Roger Oxendine declined to vote on the issue because he serves as chairman of Lumbee River EMC’s board of directors. Commissioners Jerry Stephens and Lance Herndon were not present.
No one came to the podium Tuesday during a public hearing to speak for or against the zoning change. None of the commissioners commented before voting on the change.
Oxendine, however, told The Robesonian after the meeting that the zoning had to be changed so construction that began in June can continue.
“We’re on schedule,” Oxendine said. “But there has been a little delay in construction due to the rain.”
Having Lumbee River EMC’s headquarters at COMtech is going to benefit the county, Lumbee River EMC and consumers, he said.
“It’s going to speed up our service to our customers in the southern part of the county and be a shot in the arm to COMtech,” he said. “I think we are going to see COMtech grow.”
Lumbee River EMC’s headquarters has been at 605 E. Fourth St. in Red Springs since 1949. It currently employs about 117 people.
In other business, the commissioners awarded a $128,640 contract to Cornerstone Construction for renovations to the county’s backup Emergency 911 Center.
Cornerstone was the lowest of two bids and was recommended by Anderson Engineering & Associates of Lumberton.
The commissioners on Tuesday also:
— Approved a conditional-use permit request from Brenda Davis that allows for the placement of a third dwelling on a 1.71-acre tract in a Residential/Agricultural District of Back Swamp.
— Approved a conditional-use permit from Tonya Locklear Goins that allows the placement of a third dwelling on a 3.55-acre tract in a Residential/Agricultural district of Alfordsville.
— Approved a conditional-use permit request from Jimmie Lynn Stone that allows the establishment of a beauty salon on a .46-acre tract in a residential/Agricultural District of Lumberton.
— Approved a conditional-use permit request from Randy Wayne Ransom that allows the establishment of an auto and diesel repair shop on one acre of land in a Residential/Agricultural Aistrict of Burnt Swamp.
— Approved a conditional-use permit request from Perry Hardin that allows the establishment of a used car dealership, mechanic shop and office on a combined 7.99-acre tract in a Residential/Agricultural District of Saddletree.
— Approved several tax-related items, including a foreclosure list; the 2017 tax charge to the collector; the tax collector’s settlement for the year; and the collector’s request to remove taxes that have been on the books for 10 years and still remain uncollected.
— Heard a presentation from Twilla Allen, Area Agency on Aging Program administrator for the Lumber River Council of Governments, on 2017-18 Home & Community Care Block Grant funds.
— Approved a $2,500 donation for Pastor Jose Ortega, of the National Association of Christian Churches, to help his relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas. The National Association of Christian Churches, headquartered in Houston, has been assisting with Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts for almost a year.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.