Laurinburg mayor suggests council meet with county on school plan


By Scott Witten - [email protected]



LAURINBURG — Mayor Matthew Block said he will ask the Laurinburg City Council to consider the feasibility of using Washington Park Elementary School for a satellite police station.

Block is expected to bring up the matter during the mayor’s report portion of tonight’s city council meeting that begins at 7 p.m.

Washington Park closed last year as part of the Scotland school system’s first phase of school consolidation. School officials are currently trying to sell the former school property.

Block said re-purposing Washington Park would help that section of the city.

“I am very concerned about the continued deterioration of the neighborhoods in the northern and eastern parts of Laurinburg,” Block said. “This is where many elderly homeowners and school-age children live. I feel that preserving these schools, providing more healthy youth activities and more community policing is needed to stem the rising tide of violence and lawlessness that these vulnerable citizens live in.”

In a related matter, Block said he will also ask council to consider scheduling a meeting with county commissioners to talk about the proposed school consolidation. The school system is considering closing a number of underpopulated schools and building a new one as part of $41 million consolidation plan. The county will have to sign off on any plan before it can be finalized.

“I will be asking council to request a meeting with county commissioners to voice citizens concerns about abandoning IEJ, North Laurinburg and South Scotland without any idea from the schools where the proposed new school will be located,” Block said.

In other business,city officials will discuss what direction to take on a resident’s request that the Barrett Building to be Placed on the National Historic Registry. City officials had considered razing the Barrett Building and the current police station to build a new City Hall in the space between the two buildings.

In a related matter, council will discuss how it plans to conduct a public input session on the proposed municipal building.

Also tonight, council will consider an ordinance imposing a moratorium on solar farms within the city’s planning jurisdiction for a period of 60 days. The council gave tentative approval to the moratorium during a special-called meeting last week.

City officials plan to use the two-month period to establish regulations of the placement and proximity of solar farms in Laurinburg.

In other business, council will also consider two rezoning requests. One is a request to consider rezoning a property at 1327 Atkinson St. from General Business to Office/Institutional. The other request is to consider rezoning a property at 323 N. Gill St. from Residential to General Business.

Council will hear an report by Laurinburg Community developer Michael Mandeville on the city sidewalk projects. Officials with the state Department of Transportation will also provide an update on the west Boulevard pedestrian improvement plan.

In other business council is expected to reappoint Terry Purcell to the Laurinburg Beautification Committee and Maria Dudley to the Laurinburg Housing Authority. Council will also consider appointments to the Laurinburg/Scotland County Crime & Drug Committee and the Scotland County Economic Development Corporation and the NCLM CityVision Conference.

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By Scott Witten

[email protected]

Reach Scott Witten at 910-384-6949

Reach Scott Witten at 910-384-6949

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