Retiring Holly Springs Town Council members were recognized and elected members sworn in, and funding for pre-construction work on a greenway connecting west and east Holly Springs was approved, at the council’s Dec. 5 meeting.
Retiring Councilmembers Jimmy Cobb and Hank Dickson were recognized and thanked for their service to the town. Councilman Dickson served the community first as a member on the Town Council from 1997 to 2009. In 2013, he won his latest term on the council. Councilman Cobb served on the Town Council since 2009.
Newly-elected officials – Mayor Dick Sears and Councilmembers Christine Kelly, Dan Berry and Pete Villadsen – were administered the oath of office.
The council elected Councilman Tom O’Brien as mayor pro tempore. The mayor pro tem acts as mayor in case of the absence or disability of the mayor. The council also appointed representatives to various boards, commissions, committees and task forces.
The council adopted its 2018 schedule of regular meetings. The council will continue to meet at Town Hall the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. with the exception of July 3, which is canceled due to the July 4 holiday. The council directed staff to move forward with plans for its 2018 retreat meeting in Southern Pines Feb. 9-10.
The council approved funding for design and right-of-way and easement acquisition for greenway links from W. Ballentine Street to Avent Ferry Road. The Utley Creek Greenway project will add about 4,740 linear feet of greenway to provide a connection between west and east Holly Springs via an existing pedestrian tunnel under NC 55 Bypass. The work is funded in part with an 80/20 Federal Highway Administration match. The council approved retaining Wetherill Engineering for this portion of the project. The greenway links are planned to be constructed in 2019.
Also at the meeting, the council approved a development plan for OFM to build an additional 78 parking spaces at its existing building inside the Holly Springs Business Park. The additional parking is in association with an increase of dedicated office space inside the building.
Holly Springs Farmers Market staff reported on the inaugural outdoor winter market and Battle of the Badges Chili Cook-Off. Nearly 200 people cast their ballots, and the fire department was named the winner! Both the police and fire departments collected money for local charities as a part of this event.
The council received its annual audit report of town’s financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.