Whiteville council sets closed session to discuss land sale
The Whiteville City Council is scheduled to go into closed session at the end of its regular meeting Tuesday night to discuss the potential sale of unspecified city land – but thought to be eight acres on Flitter Hill Road which Duke Energy has expressed an interest in purchasing for an electrical substation – despite the fact that state law allows closed sessions only for discussion of the acquisition of property but not for discussion of the sale of property.
The closed session might be legal, however, because prevention of the disclosure of “confidential information” and “attorney-client privilege” also are among the permitted reasons for going behind closed doors, and they too are cited on the agenda as other reasons for going into the closed session.
Duke Energy’s John Elliott appeared before council a month ago to ask that council consider selling the land to the utility. Elliott said that, if the utility is able to purchase the property, Duke is prepared to invest about $11 million in constructing a new substation. Duke’s current substation off Franklin Street is in the floodplain. City Manager Darren Currie and City Attorney Carlton Prince were authorized a month ago to negotiate with Duke about a potential sale and, at a meeting two weeks ago, council added Mayor Terry Mann to the negotiations committee.
In other business, council will consider an amendment to the city’s ordinance governing parking regulations to remove a two-hour restriction on parking along Main Street and to add Duval and Sunnyside Streets to a list of areas where all parking is prohibited. The Duval/Sunnywide recommendation is the result of the city’s recent purchase of property at the intersection of Oak Street and Powell Boulevard for construction of a new ABC store.
Council also will consider an amendment to the ordinance relating to panhandling, begging, charitable and political solicitation, receive a report on the design of the intersection at Virgil and Columbus Streets as part of N.C, Dept. of Transportation upgrades and consider passing a proclamation in remembrance of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. of Sept. 11, 2001. They’ll also consider a resolution for a grant proposal for the N.C. Division of Water Quality to prepare a water asset management plan for the city.
The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers at 24 Hill Plaza.