By Catharin Shepard •
Staff writer •
A road name change, public utility substation and preliminary plat approval request for two major subdivisions in Hoke County were among the planning matters county commissioners approved Monday.
The board held multiple public hearings on the wide variety of different planning requests at the board meeting Monday night.
The board supported a petition to the state seeking to change the name of a 1,600 foot long portion of a 3,700 foot long unimproved private road. The road is currently called Homer Lane, and would be changed to Bitner Way. Jesus and Michelle Almonte submitted the road name change request.
The new name would honor the late Master Sgt. Benjamin F. Bitner, who died in April 2011 from wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device (IED). A representative for the project said Bitner’s surviving family members were excited to have their loved one recognized by the road name change. The commission voted to support the petition. The organizers behind the project plan to hold a special dedication during Memorial Week and place a memorial stone during the unveiling of the new road name.
The commission approved preliminary plat requests for two major subdivisions: an 18-lot subdivision named Beharry Acres, located at a 10-acre parcel of land near Calloway Road and Pine Lake Drive; and a 70-lot subdivision named Timberland, located at a 524-acre parcel of land near Calloway Road and Aberdeen Road. MAPS Surveying submitted the request for Beharry Acres, and Double D Engineering submitted the request for Timberland subdivision.
Board members additionally approved a conditional use permit request from Metronet Inc. to build a public utility substation on a .17-acre parcel of land, across from the intersection of Lindsay Road and Gillis Hill Road. A representative for the project said that the substation would be part of offering internet service to homes through fiber-optic cable.
The commissioners additionally approved a general use rezoning request to rezone a 4-acre parcel of land at 104 Carolina Drive in East Hoke from conditional use industrial zoning, to highway commercial. The local company Defender Ammunition previously occupied the space, but has since built its own facility elsewhere for its manufacturing. VTC Investments submitted the request to change the zoning to offer a wider range of possible uses for the location.
In other business, the commissioners approved a five-item consent agenda including appointment of Candace Pierce to the Raeford-Hoke Museum Board budget amendments for the Health Department and Department of Social Services.
The board nominated, and voted to appoint Tim Locklear to serve on the Hoke County Planning Board. Commissioner Tony Hunt nominated Ricky Locklear for the position, but the motion did not get a second.
The commission also approved recommended adjustments to clinical service fees at the Hoke County Health Department, wrote off approximately $37,000 in bad debt for unpaid services at the department and approved contracts for two registered nurses and several other Health Department personnel.
The commissioners approved a request from Hoke Utilities Director Hilton Villines to hire Frank Horne Construction to repair a problem at the Hoke wastewater treatment plant. Erosion on the grounds caused a washout on the property, Villines said.
The commission did not hold a closed session, and adjourned the meeting.