NE Park to get $500,000 from tourism tax

By Bob Shiles -

LUMBERTON — The Lumberton Tourism Development Authority will give $500,000 to the city of Lumberton on Monday to be used by the Recreation Department to prepare for the Dixie Youth World Series to be held in Lumberton in July and August of 2018.

Angela Sumner, executive director of the Lumberton Visitors Bureau, said Friday that the check will be presented during Monday’s regular meeting of the City Council, which begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers on the third floor of the City Hall on North Cedar Street.

The money comes from the city’s 6 percent hotel-motel tax. State law says the money must be used to promote tourism.

Bruce Mullis, chairman of the city’s Recreation Commission, said that Hurricane Matthew filled local hotels with displaced residents whose bills were paid by Federal Emergency Management Agency, generating what amounted to a windfall in tax revenue.

Mullis is the treasurer for Friends of Recreation and the Lumberton Youth Baseball Association and a key person in the establishment of Northeast Park. He said the money will be used to build an adult softball field that will begin the development of the Andrews tract of the park. That will include another entrance to the park, this one from Meadow Road.

He said the World Series will bring in 24 teams of 7- and 8-year-olds, and they will be followed by 36 teams of youths ages 9 to 12, He pointed out the economic benefits for such an event for the local economy.

Also on Monday there will also be a presentation by Lincoln Walther Consulting LLC on the city’s Hurricane Matthew Disaster Recovery and Resilience Initiative plan. The project is a collaborative effort between the University of North Carolina, the College of Design at N.C. State University and federal, state and philanthropic organizations working to help the six communities in the state hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew.

The recovery plan was mandated by Gov. Roy Cooper and will address immediate and long-range Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts.

During the meeting, council members will also award several contracts and bids related to infrastructure repairs and construction; accept a budget estimate of about $334,000 that will allow for a state mandated 911 backup call center to be established; award bids for repairs to the Jaycee Hut and Beach House; and hold public hearings on a requested alley closing near West Fifth Street and a conditional-use permit petition for property located at 2100 W. Fifth St.

By Bob Shiles

Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.

Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.

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