LUMBERTON — “Lumberton Strong” was celebrated Monday as the City Council honored leaders of the Lumberton Youth Baseball Association for their efforts to host the Dixie Youth World Series.
Earning Pride in Lumberton awards were Tim Locklear, Bruce Mullis, Mira Kenney, Adrian Lowry, Roy West and Alan Fowlkes. Mullis was also awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from Gov. Roy Cooper for four decades of work with Lumberton recreation and LYBA baseball.
“The national president of Dixie Youth Baseball said this was the best World Series he’s seen in a city our size,” said Mayor Bruce Davis. “It was an outstanding team effort.”
LYBA President Tim Locklear called it “a great event.” He thanked the parents, kids, volunteers, city maintenance and recreation, fire, police and EMS for their work.
“After Hurricane Matthew, we believed the city needed something to pull us together, and we believe we accomplished that,” Locklear said.
Mullis said he was “speechless” after receiving the state’s highest award for a civilian. Mayor Davis said the honor was well- deserved.
“Forty years ago, I appointed Bruce to the city Recreation Commission, and he has served ever since,” Davis said. “He has positively shaped the lives of untold numbers of youth in our city.”
Mullis was joined by his wife Barbara, and daughters Brooke and Lauren. His son Travis was out of town.
In other business, the Jaycee Hut in West Lumberton was named for the late City Councilman Leon Maynor. When it is renovated after the flood, a dedication ceremony will be held.
Maynor served six terms on the City Council, beginning in 1995 before passing away in July.
The aftermath of Hurricane Florence weighed on the council and in public comments. Nancy Wyer, a resident of the hard- hit Mayfair subdivision, asked the council to form a study committee to learn more about the river and drainage surrounding it.
Parts of Mayfair are in the 100-year flood plain and were flooded twice. During flooding from Florence, the city sanitary sewer system failed, leaving residents with portable toilets for several days.
“During both hurricanes, residents had to depend on each other for food, supplies and other help,” Wyer said. “Residents with boats on either sides of our community were lifesavers to us.
“Flooding was not a major concern for us until Hurricane Matthew, from which many of us had not recovered when Hurricane Florence came along,” she said. “There are many questions among our residents, and we would like to find out if there are answers.”
Wyer asked if there are solutions for future flooding in her neighborhood. She also noted that crime surfaced in the aftermath of flooding, and asked that French Park, located at the entrance to the subdivision, be closed permanently.
The city made contributions to nonprofits that helped during the flooding and afterward. N.C. Baptist on Mission and United Methodist Committee on Relief received $1,900 each and Christian Aid Ministries and Hope Force received $1,400 each.
The council observed a moment of silence for former Mayor Ray Pennington, who died Thursday. He served 20 years as mayor and four as a councilman. A memorial service is Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Lumberton.
Finally, the city approved the annexation of a property at 2485 E. Fifth St.
Due to conflicts in council schedules, the two November meetings will be held on Nov. 14 and Nov. 19.
Scott Bigelow can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.