The Hamlet City Council met Tuesday afternoon to hold a work session.
Hamlet Mayor Jeff Smart said that over the past few years, come November — which is four months into the fiscal year — the city gives an update on revenue and expenditure goals, shares opinions and opens the discussion to the public.
City Manager Marchell Adams-David presented a PowerPoint, which listed Hamlet’s departments, supporting agencies and people who help foster and maintain partnerships. Among the “Who We Are” points, Adams-David pointed out that Hamlet Rescue Squad is a non-profit entity, Hamlet’s City Hall currently has no city clerk, and the City of Hamlet’s water has received state awards three years in a row for cleanliness.
Among other funding topics discussed were:
• City Lake Walking Trail, a project which initially called for $25,000 in improvements, but will need an extra $15,000 to be completed.
• Upgrades to the Memorial Park, which required demolition and new construction and at first only required $70,000 but due to “unforeseen electrical issues” according to the council, ended up costing a total of $80,000. Smart said, “I’ve heard nothing but good things about the bathrooms and the concessions. We had to replace the transformer. We have a nice facility there now.”
• Painting of the Depot, which is being funded through a state grant of $62,000, which will pay for 90 percent of the project. A 10 percent match is required by the city.
• Delinquent taxpayers who don’t pay Hamlet property taxes may be met with foreclosure, and Adams-David said there are already two foreclosures taking place; one on McDonald Avenue and one on Jefferson Street. Normally the county handles foreclosures.
• Dead-zone, which Smart called the area between Hamlet and Rockingham on N.C. Highway 74, which consists of several run down buildings that housed businesses once. These buildings are in the process of being cleaned up. Adams-David said one of the properties was turned over to the city, while the other owes $475,000 in federal taxes. Smart called the progress “a huge success story for us.”
• The Hamlet Christmas Tree has been purchased and placed at the Depot Park. The artificial tree originally in the works would have cost $3,500 while the live tree, a cedar, cost $150.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.