Newport officials agree to funds for basketball court repairs, staff pay study

The Newport Town Council meets Wednesday in the town hall boardroom. From left are Councilwoman Rhonda Shinn, Councilman Mark Eadie, Mayor Dennis Barber, Councilman David Heath and Councilman Danny Fornes. (Mike Shutak photo)

NEWPORT — Town officials have given the green light to money for repairs to the basketball court at the Newport Community Park, as well as for a staff pay plan study.

The Newport Town Council met for its regular meeting Wednesday in the town hall boardroom on Howard Boulevard. During the meeting, the council unanimously approved a $9,500 budget amendment for repairing and resurfacing the community park basketball court. The council also unanimously authorized town manager Bryan Chadwick to sign a contract with Calico Racquet Courts for the repairs and resurfacing.

Prior to taking action, the council discussed the particulars of the repairs and resurfacing Nov. 8 during a work session. Mr. Chadwick said Wednesday the contract includes most of the repairs Councilman Danny Fornes said should be addressed in previous discussions. Some repairs, specifically removal of abrupt joints in the concrete, will be done in-house.

Councilman Mark Eadie said during council comments he was excited to see the repairs moving forward.

“We played a minor role,” he said. “It’s the citizens galvanized and got the council to work.”

This isn’t the only project the council approved funding for Wednesday. The council also unanimously approved a $13,600 amendment to conduct a pay plan and position classification study. Town officials will employ the N.C. League of Municipalities and the Municipalities and Personnel Services Group of North Carolina to conduct the study, which will include recommended career paths for the town departments and a five-year pay plan.

Wednesday’s meeting was also the first regular council meeting since the death of Mayor Pro Tem Bob Benedict Nov. 5.

Mr. Chadwick also informed the council and those in attendance of another town official’s death, that of wastewater treatment plant operator Scotty Rollins, who died Wednesday. Mr. Chadwick said during his manager’s report Mr. Rollins had worked for the town for 20 years.

“This is a sad day for Newport,” he said. “We understand life happens, but life can be difficult sometimes…I pray for both the families; they’re coming to a new territory they’ve never had to experience before now.”

The council expressed its condolences to both families. A group of Eagle Scouts attended Wednesday’s meeting in recognition of Mr. Benedict, who had been an Eagle Scout himself.

“Both Bob and Scotty were outstanding people,” Mayor Dennis Barber said. “We’ll never replace them.”

The following also occurred at Wednesday’s meeting:

  • The council unanimously approved a $15,945 budget amendment to pay for preparation costs for the Newport Fire Department’s Insurance Services Office rating inspection. Fire Chief Ben Whitley said they hope to receive the results of the inspection sometime early 2022.
  • The council unanimously approved the meeting’s consent agenda, including minutes from the Oct. 11, 14 and 28 council meetings, approval for closure of Chatham Street for the Newport Christmas Parade and approval of a $16,391.38 budget amendment for the sale of surplus property and the purchase of a monitor and defibrillator for the fire department.

 

Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email mike@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.

(6) comments

beachmami13

Maybe this is a dumb question, but I read this article right after reading that the county cleared 10million in occupancy taxes. Why can't we use some of the occupancy taxes to help our county in different areas instead of redistributing it to tourism development? I understand that 1/2 is given to help shoreline protection, which makes sense, but do we really need 5 million to use for tourism development when it sounds as though the overall county really struggles to even come up w/10k for a basketball court? Imagine how nice Newport could look and how much we could do for our residents with even $250,000! Why can't we start looking at how to use the occupancy taxes to benefit the overall county more?

crworsinger

This basketball court is in the Newport Community Park, which is owned and funded by the Town of Newport, not Carteret County. Totally separate organizations and pots of money.

beachmami13

Maybe they shouldn't be separate pots of $ and maybe they should allow the tourism $ to trickle down to the rest of the county.

drewski

The county commission could and has pony up money, recently for sidewalk in cape carteret. The tourism board obviously has done its job, does not need 6 million to bring in ever more tourists, and the commissioners should redesignate the occupancy tax money to a fun that local towns could apply for grants for infrastructure projects.

LifeMoreAbundant

How about the TDA money be used to fund lifeguards the length of the beach and to maintain the public beach accesses so the Towns don't have to? At that point, the paid parking can be done away with since it would no longer be needed and tourism is ultimately promoted because 1) the parking fees are a deterrent to some people visiting the beach and 2) some are deterred by lack of lifeguards in areas and the number of drownings that have occurred. The TDA could take the opportunity to address the safety of the beach issue directly by such a move.

drewski

Correction: non beach towns should be able to apply for grants from the commission, from the occupancy tax money. The beach towns already get the lions share of the ad valorem tax, notice the difference between raises and bonuses between say emerald isle and bouge or pelletier or any town down east.

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