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City will negotiate with Duke Progress for land to relocate electrical substation

The Whiteville city council Tuesday night authorized staff to negotiate with Duke Progress Energy on the possible sale of some city owned property for the relocation of an electricity substation and honored two police officers for heroism.

John Elliot of Duke Energy Carolinas made a lengthy presentation to council about the need to relocate the existing substation in the Soules Swamp/White Marsh flood plain and said the utility has identified an eight-acre parcel of land owned by the city on the western side of town as being ideal for a new substation.

Duke Energy expects to invest about $11 million to move the substation.

Council made no decision about selling the property, but City Manager Darren Currie and City Attorney Carlton Williamson were authorized to begin preliminary negotiations with the utility.

Police Chief Jeffrey Rozier, left, presented officers Mark Corder, center, and Jonathan Rawls with citations during Tuesday’s city council meeting for what he termed “professional and heroic” actions after an armed robbery in May.

Council also unanimously approved a text amendment to the zoning ordinance to permit the storage, but not sale, of petroleum and chemical products as a permitted conditional use in O&I (office and industrial) zones. The change came after a public hearing conducted at the request of Apollo MedFlight LLC, which provides medical helicopter patient transport services at Columbus Regional Healthcare System.

In other business, council members beamed with approval and applauded as Police Chief Jeffrey Rozier presented officers Mark Corder and Jonathan Rawls with citations for what he termed “professional and heroic” actions during a May incident in which they responded to an armed robbery and apprehended two suspects, one of whom had been seen holding a handgun.

 Police Chief Jeffrey Rozier, left, presented officers Mark Corder, center, and Jonathan Rawls with citations during Tuesday’s city council meeting for what he termed “professional and heroic” actions after an armed robbery in May.

Police Chief Jeffrey Rozier, left, presented officers Mark Corder, center, and Jonathan Rawls with citations during Tuesday’s city council meeting for what he termed “professional and heroic” actions after an armed robbery in May.

Council also went into a closed session for about an hour to discuss economic development and property matters but took no action as a result.

See more details in Friday’s print edition of The News Reporter.

Stuart Rogers