Odds and ends I’ve collected over the past week.
Could it be?
In October, aldermen approved $15,876 to allow for New Bern Police special operations to attack the opioid epidemic. I sent an inquiry to the city for additional information about this. Here is the response:
Chief (Toussaint) Summers is at a conference & I (city public relations director Colleen Roberts) wanted to make sure to touch base with him about the New Bern Police Department budget and your inquiry. He has responded that the money will be used for special investigative purposes. That is all the detail that can be provided.
Well that wasn’t very informative, but a law enforcement source I spoke with this week speculated the money could be used by undercover agents to buy drugs from drug dealers. Sort of a revolving loan, so to speak.
If you build it, will they come?
Coming up Tuesday at New Bern’s Planning and Zoning Board is a proposed subdivision of 546 acres to create two residential subdivisions totaling 253 lots near Carolina Colours and almost as big as it.
Like Carolina Colours, Taberna and Greenbrier, it would replace former Weyerhaeuser timberlands with a fairly dense residential neighborhood. Collectively it will be called Bluewater Rise.
It has been more than a decade, before the Great Recession, since a housing development this large has been proposed for New Bern.
Hutton Pointe at Bluewater Rise would subdivide 115 acres into a 151-lot planned unit development.
Bendigo Bay at Bluewater Rise would subdivide 61 acres into a 112-lot planned unit development.
A knowledgeable source was hoping the units will be in the $200,000 range rather than the $300,000-plus range at neighboring — and not yet built-out — Carolina Colours. New Bern still has a surplus of 300k-plus housing, while houses in the $200k range are selling well, my source said.
Bluewater Rise joins Craven 30 (off U.S. 70 and the N.C. 43 Connector) as major housing subdivisions in the area that are envisioned but not quite there yet.
An idea whose time has past
Craven County Commissioner Scott Dacey was ready to jump at the opportunity for the county to convey its tax office for a city parking structure at Craven and Pollock streets. His idea was for the tax office to move into the New Bern-Craven County Public Library building on Johnson Street, and move the library to the campus of Craven Community College, joining a library project that is being planned and is already funded there.
Dacey’s plan included enhancing public transportation to get people to the new library location, with the added benefit of providing better transportation service to the college.
His idea never got off the table; he could not muster the support to form a feasibility study committee.
Dacey is giving up his seat on the Board of Commissioners and is running against U.S. Rep.-for-life Walter Jones.
The Craven County Board of Commissioners meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the county administration building on Broad Street. Among other things, the board will select a new chairman and will hold a public hearing on a proposed animal cruelty ordinance. A key provision of the ordinance is a rule that says that animals will not be tethered, unless they are. Agenda details here.
Hat’s off to the Firemen’s Museum
The New Bern Firemen’s Museum dedicated a fire house bell on Friday commemorating the three
firefighters who gave their all in the line of duty. The New Bern Fire Department has a long and rich history, and the museum is filled with a treasure trove of fire exhibits, vintage firefighting equipment, a narrative history of the Great New Bern Fire of 1922, and one horse head. Really, you need to go see it all. The building and collection are owned by the city, but managed and funded by volunteers who raised around $1 million to move into the current location and enhance the exhibit. More here. Videos here.
In your face, Matthew!
From a City of New Bern tweet: Perfect morning to be on the dock! The docks at Union Point Park that were lost during Hurricane Matthew have been rebuilt and are being installed today. Thanks FEMA.