Schools look to sell Pembroke property

By: By Bob Shiles -

LUMBERTON — Local school officials will ask Robeson County commissioners on Monday whether they are interested in purchasing a small piece of property on the campus of the school district’s Indian Education center in Pembroke.

In a letter to County Manager Ricky Harris, Grady Hunt, attorney for the Board of Education for the Public Schools of Robeson County, said the school board is following state law and first offering the property to the county before offering it for sale to anyone else.

“The board decided that part of the campus of Indian Education was no longer necessary for public school purposes,” Hunt said. “… The Board of Education is obligated to offer the property to the Board of Commissioners at a fair market price or at a price negotiated between the two boards.”

If the commissioners don’t want the property, it will be sold to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. UNCP is interested in purchasing the 1.13-acre tract that is currently being used as a gravel parking lot located behind CIS Academy and adjacent to Shining Stars Preschool.

The university wants to obtain the property in order to re-establish a main entrance to West Hall. During the recent legislative session of the state General Assembly, UNCP received $10 million to be used for the “comprehensive renovation and re-purposing of West Hall.”

The commissioners on Monday will also hold two public hearings.

The first hearing pertains to a Community Development Block Grant specifically for funding of projects related to disaster recovery, and “any other CDBG program” that could provide funding for a project in Robeson County. The commissioners intend to submit a grant application this year.

The second public hearing concerns incentives to be offered to a new industry planning to locate in Robeson County.

Referred to only as Project Freezer, the new industry would invest $2.7 million in equipment and machinery and create 50 jobs with an average hourly wage of $10.50 per hour plus benefits.

In other business, the commissioners Monday will:

— Here a presentation from Robeson Community College President Kimberly Gold concerning RCC’s 2017-18 budget.

— Consider approving distribution of Community Development Funds, better known as discretionary money.

— Consider an agreement regarding economic incentives for Trinity Frozen Foods.

— Consider a resolution recognizing Infant Awareness Month.

— Convene as the Robeson County Housing Authority.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Monday at the Robeson County Administration Building. The administration building is located at 701 N. Elm St.

By Bob Shiles

Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.

Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.