MAXTON — CSX Railroad has put the air brakes on plans to convert the the town’s old railroad depot into an open-air market.
The Board of Commissioners were told this week that while the town owns the building where the depot sits, the railroad owns the land and will not permit the building to be used as an open-air market unless it can be moved at least 50 feet away from the tracks.
“They (CSX) have given us permission to move the building,” said Angela Pitchford, Maxton’s interim town manager. “But they will not provide any financial assistance to move it.”
David Graham, a surgeon from Bethesda, Md., and a Maxton native, has proposed turning the old depot into an open-air market that would boost the town’s economy and provide healthy food for residents. Graham’s plans call for the market to provide a place for Maxton residents to get locally grown produce and serve as an educational center.
Pitchford said that Graham plans to meet with company officials to discuss what can be done to get the project moving.
In other business:
— The commissioners refused to accept a donation of property from the heirs of A.H. Currie. According to Pitchford, an environmental impact study of the property revealed “several environmental issues.”
— The commissioners passed a resolution accepting a $2.6 million Community Development Block Grant. The grant will be used to replace outdated water lines.
— Jaqueline M. Johnson was recognized as the town’s Employee of the Month. A 19-year town employee, Johnson has served as the town clerk for the past four years.
— Capt. Jamie Oxendine, of the Maxton Police Department, reported that local police officers are using body cameras.
“The cameras have been very successful,” Oxendine told the commissioners. “We’ve seen a reduction in complaints against officers since we started using them.”
— Ray Oxendine, a former Maxton commissioner and member of the town’s Library Board, said that during September 757 people visited the library and there were 18 new registrations for library cards.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.