FAIRMONT — Commissioners here tabled two requests involving the youth center during their regular meeting.
Willie Guinyard, of Believe to Achieve Mentoring program in Columbus County, said he would like to use the center for an after-school mentoring program in which at-risk high school students could realize their potential and embark on a positive career and life path. Students would also be able to take college tours and trips to sporting events through the program at the center, which would be called Bridge to Hope.
“We are the extension to hold their hand to the possibilities of what can be,” Guinyard said during Tuesday’s meeting.
Guinyard and his wife, Renee, presented the information to the commissioners, and said they hoped the town would finish repairs to the building and maintain it.
Commissioner Monte McCallum said the town didn’t have money to make repairs that will cost about $50,000, and hasn’t been able to raise the money for years. The matter was tabled until a later date.
Also tabled was a request from Darrell Govan to buy the building for use as a boxing center. Govan, who runs a center in St. Pauls, said he desires to provide town children with the “same opportunities these larger cities have.”
He also would consider any building in town, Govan said.
Mayor Pro Tem J.J. McCree said Wednesday both matters were tabled to allow Town Manager Hank Raper time to settle in and assess the town’s needs. McCree led Tuesday’s meeting and Mayor Charles Townsend arrived after attending a prior meeting.
In other business on Tuesday, the commissioners approved the placement of banners in town that showcase Fairmont High School’s graduating class. The banners, each of which will have a student’s name and photo, will be paid for by parents and be posted downtown on a first-come, first-served basis, said Jackie Gaddy, a parent who is organizing the effort.
Gaddy said there are 150 high school seniors this year.
She saw Purnell Swett High School post banners for seniors this past year and said parents in Fairmont were interested in a similar effort.
“I also thought it would be a great way for our town to represent our seniors,” Gaddy said. “If it’s approved, I would like to continue it every year for the seniors of Fairmont High School.”
Ronnie Seals, director of the town’s Public Works Department, said there are 18 poles on Main Street and other utility poles in areas in town that might be more challenging for crews to reach with equipment. Seals said some parents might also be more choosy in where their banners can be placed.
“That’s something we got to think about, also,” Seals said.
McCree said some Board of Commissioners members are pitching in money to help parents buy materials.
Also on Tuesday, the Fairmont City Fire Department showed off its newest addition, another fire engine. McCree said the 2000 model fire truck had about 36,000 miles on it, and should serve the town for many years.
“That was a good, solid investment for the town and the fire department,” McCree said.
The truck cost about $50,000 and was paid for by the city, Fairmont Fire Chief Woody Woodall said. The department received the truck about a month ago but had it detailed recently to bear the city’s name and the distinction of Engine One.
“It’s a really nice engine,” he said.
In February, Woodall told commissioners the department needed a third truck to help it improve its fire insurance rating.
The fire department is raising funding in order to buy more equipment for the truck, like air packs and other items, he said. The department now has a brush truck, pumper engine and the new fire engine to help it serve the community.
A tentative date of May 29 at 10:30 a.m. has been set for the May Day Fun Festival. The event downtown is dependent on guidelines for public gatherings set forth by Gov. Roy Cooper at that time.
“We’re still planning it,” McCree said.
For more information about the event, contact Commissioner Monte McCallum or the Town of Fairmont at 910-628-9766.
South Robeson Rescue Unit will hold its annual spaghetti plate fundraiser to help support its operations on May 7 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Each plate will be $5. The fundraiser will take place at the unit, located at 1001 S. Walnut St. in Fairmont.
The next Board of Commissioners meeting is set for May 18.