The New Bern Board of Aldermen will conduct a public hearing and consider annexing an 11-acre West New Bern tract formerly called Craven Thirty.

Clifford Parson, on behalf of Weyerhaeuser NR Company, requested the annexation.

Once annexed, the area would benefit from city services such as water, sewer, and possibly power, as well as police, fire, and city development standards. Residents there would be New Bern citizens and can vote in municipal elections.

A public hearing was called for 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, at city hall, corner of Pollock and Craven streets.

Radio upgrade

During the meeting, the board will also hear a presentation about a Radio System Upgrade. The City purchased a radio system in 2011 that has been used citywide since that time. With the system being 8 years old, it is in need of a major upgrade, city staff said.

Each year that the upgrade is delayed, there is risk of significant or catastrophic failure to the system, and support for the radio consoles ceased in November 2019.

The cost to upgrade the consoles is $ 227,377.15, and the cost for upgrading the radios to the current platform is $ 1,276 million. There is an additional cost of $64, 104.44 to purchase a minimum of 25 portable radios.

The total cost of the project, about $1.57 million, would be split between several departments.

Downtown street dining

The city is also extending its Downtown Dining Street Closures through Oct. 10, 2020, an extension of more than two months.

The extension would be timed to include Friday and Saturday of Mumfest Weekend.

On May 12, 2020, the Board adopted a resolution permitting closures of one side of the 200-300 blocks of Middle Street, the 300 block of Pollock Street, and the 200 block of Craven Street from 5 p. m. until 11 p.m. for the purpose of accommodating street cafes on specified dates between May 22, 2020 and Aug. 1, 2020.

Lynne Harakal, Executive Director of Swiss Bear, has requested that the street closures be extended from Aug. 7 through Oct. 10 Oct. 10, 2020.

That would allow street dining on Mumfest opening night on Friday, Oct. 9 and on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Dangerous dogs

The board is also considering adopting an amendment to Section 6. 14 ” Dangerous or Potentially Dangerous Dog” of Chapter 6 of the Code of Ordinances.

The current ordinance pertaining to dangerous dogs provides that a veterinarian licensed to practice in the State of North Carolina and having a clinic in Craven County shall determine a dog’s status as dangerous or potentially dangerous.

A separate group of persons would be appointed to an appellate board to hear any appeals of that determination. It is proposed that the ordinance be revised to allow the Chief of Police or his designee to make the determination.

The appellate board would continue to exist and consist of three members who are either a veterinarian licensed in the State of North Carolina, a professional dog obedience trainer with 5 years of service, or a registered veterinary technician.

Noise is no longer in the ear of the beholder

The other really interesting thing the board will consider is adopting an amendment to Article III of Chapter 26 of the Code of Ordinances Relative to Noise.

It would update and modernize the noise ordinance to include the use of sound meters for amplified sound and music.

These changes will be applicable citywide, but were spurred on by the proliferation of night entertainment venues in Downtown New Bern, where residents were complaining about increased noise.


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