It's Friday December 6, 2013
News From The Village Updated Almost Daily
This summer and fall, three and then four boats took up much of the available anchoring space in Oriental’s small anchorage. That left visiting boats with the option of anchoring in shallow waters and less protected waters. There were repeated instances of such boaters opting not to stop in Oriental.
The presence of the homesteading boats in the anchorage prompted many in town to wonder why the Town couldn’t impose a time limit to give more boats a chance to visit. It was generally thought that the Town didn’t have jurisdiction. One Town Commissioner, Larry Summers has been urging his colleagues for months to pass a resolution asking the legislative delegation next May to pass a “local bill” giving that jurisdiction to the Town of Oriental. At at Town Board meeting December 3, Scott Davis, who is the Town’s Attorney, questioned whether the Town could gain such jurisdiction. (The New Bern based attorney also said that he’d only considered the matter while driving to Oriental for the meeting.)
The resurfacing of the jurisdiction issue prompted a Letter To The Editor.... read more »»
Oriental’s Town Board voted 4-0 on November 1 to provide water service to Walmart’s planned Express store outside of town. Walmart will not be required to annex in to town upon completion of its 12,000 square foot building as the Town had stipulated earlier in October. Walmart balked at that and the Town Board acquiesced. Instead, Walmart’s grocery store will give the town a “donation” every year of the amount of money it would have been taxed if it were in town and subject to Oriental property tax. (If the property were assessed at 1 million dollars, the Mayor said, the tax would be $2,000.)
Members of the Board described it a win-win. Mayor Sage said a negotiating committee from the Town engaged in a conference call with three representatives of Walmart on Thursday because Walmart said it couldn’t meet face-to-face and had to meet this week.
While the Town required annexation for Ruth Ireland’s Town-n-Country grocery 27 years ago, and required annexation for three homeowners on White Farm Road in recent years when they sought town water, the Board did not require that of Walmart. That means that unlike businesses in town, Walmart need not comply with Oriental’s Growth Management Ordinance. With this intentional action, the Board sets a precedent; future, out-of-town landowners who want Town water could ask for what Walmart got — not having to annex and be held to the Town’s development standards.
The decision has sparked some letters.... read more »»
As reported on TownDock.net on Wednesday, October 9, local resident and Provision Company manager, Pat Stockwell has been helping the crew of the vessel, Primadonna, since it came to Oriental almost a year ago. Two weeks ago, Stockwell co-endorsed a check for $2,980.42 made out to Primadonna owner, Pascal Ott. The check bounced and Stockwell had to pay First Citizens Bank the $2,980.42 it had given to Ott. Stockwell says he’s asked Ott to pay him back but has received, two weeks on, nothing. That’s sparked several letters….... read more »»
Guest Columnist Alan Propst has pointed out that a 4,500 acre tract between the Florence-Whortonsville Road and Trent Road could be converted from wetlands to farmland. Some of the land has already been clear-cut and Propst raises concern that state and federal officials could approve the conversion of that land to agriculture. He estimates that 75 % of it is wetland, which under federal law, would prohibit its conversion to farmland. He wrote that if it remained wetland, it would serve to absorb pollutants as a sponge would, but that as farmland that would likely be sprayed with chemicals, those would quickly run-off in to ditches and then creeks that lead to the nurseries for fish and shrimp in the Bay and Neuse Rivers. He urged readers to contact the state and federal agencies the are supposed to enforce the environmental laws.
His column prompted a letter from Mindy Schmitz.... read more »»
A word of appreciation. Joe Bliss writes.... read more »»
The possibility of the Town Board backing down on requiring annexation has prompted some letters.... read more »»
On Tuesday, October 1, Oriental’s Town Board voted 4-0 to let a proposed Walmart Express store outside the town limits tap on to the Town of Oriental’s water system, so long as Walmart agreed to be annexed in to town once its building is constructed. Opponents concerned about Walmart’s impact on in-town businesses wanted the Town to not provide the water. At the meeting, Commissioner Larry Summers said “this is a racial thing” and to decide “we don’t like Walmart is a grievous mistake and harkens back to the days of Jim Crow.” That drew looks of surprise in the audience and, after the meeting, letters to the Editor. Among the letter writers, Larry Summers, Bob Kruger, Penny Flaherty, Doug Sligh.... read more »»
Oriental’s Town Board could vote on Tuesday October 1 to let Walmart tap on to the Town’s water system for a planned store just outside the Town limits (where Walmart would pay no property tax and be subject to none of the Town’s zoning.) Some members of the Board say that providing Walmart with water is a chance to have another water customer (annual charge to Walmart would be $720-$840) “But as reported, some of those opposed to the Walmart opening say the Town Board should think first about its own constituents — the in-town businesses who will likely be hurt financially if the retail giant opens just outside of town — and say no to providing Walmart with water.”:news/walmart-getting-oriental-water-up-to-town-board
As reported on TownDock.net on Thursday August 22, Town Hall sent an email to Town Commissioners that day saying that the “Town of Oriental will be welcoming a Wal Mart Express” store. The email went on to say that the store — a smaller version and new business plan of the giant retailer — would be just outside the Town limits.
The prospect of Walmart coming to Oriental has prompted several reactions. Initially, some receive the words “Walmart in Oriental” as if it were a punchline to a joke. Others, though, say it will be like a punch to the Mom and Pop businesses here, and ask what can be done to keep WalMart from coming to (the edge of) town. Among the letter writers… Tony Tharp, Steve Kenney, Kathy Kellam, John Zeren, Nelda Coats, Carolyn Howell, Ben Giacchino, Joseph Kershner, Marlene Miller, R. Scott Williams, Walter Lane, Craig Strautin, Mike Page, Bruce Minor, Barbara Stockton, Darrell Jorgensen, Janet Chinea, Glenn & Beth Larsen, Linda Page, Susie Hiller, Martha Gail Good, Randy Durham, Scott Pickard, Bama Lutes Deal, Bob Miller, John Norris, Paula Valinoti,... read more »»
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