Pembroke officials have already surveyed nearly 400 residents as part of the city’s redevelopment plan, and on Monday, the City Council approved another step in that process by approving a resolution that outlines the need for such development under the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing.
The unanimous vote to adopt what is called a “finding of necessity report” was conducted with little discussion after the resolution was read aloud. The vote is the latest in a series of actions aimed at improving residential and business conditions in Pembroke, according to Councilwoman Tiffany Walraven, who has spearheaded the effort.
“The Urban Redevelopment Plan combined with the Comprehensive Plan sets the vision for the city’s future,” she said. “There are many components to the plan that will enable us to continue moving forward with development and redevelopment of the city.”
Among the most visible signs of the plan through the auspices of the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing has been Sawmill Landing, a 60-unit workforce-housing development.
As part of a report for the plan and in addition to surveying residents and property owners, members of the city’s GICH team and representatives of Georgia Southern University also surveyed more than 970 structures in the city.
Council also took the following actions Monday:
• Approved a set of agreements regarding a new well and water tower. Officials have long said the current potable water well water needs to be replaced. Monday’s vote was step required toward finding a location for the new well. The city hopes to have the well installed in a year.
• Approved a request for a conditional-use permit from a woman to use her home as an office while she researches and applies for grants to establish a women’s transition center. The center will not be at her home. No one spoke for or against the request, and there was no mention of the address during the brief public hearing on the matter.
• Approved three new streetlights — two on Gorham Street, at Oak Street and T. Fields Drive, and one at Garrison Street and Lucious Drive.
• Agreed to move forward with interviews of candidates to replace longtime City Clerk Betty Hill, who will retire in July. Hill told council she had received nine applications for the job.
• Applauded the city’s Firefighter of the Year, Paul Rigo; Fire Officer of the Year, John Dalton Cook; and James Matthew Fleming, the Chief’s Choice Award winner for 2016, after they were announced by Chief Peter Waters.
• Heard from Streets Superintendent Larry Todd, who said the city will begin spraying for mosquitos soon. Todd said the city is also using other measures to control mosquitos, such as larvicide placed in standing water. The city will divide spraying between night and day to be more effective, said Todd, who said he is learning pest control on the job.
“There seems to be a lot of media coverage on mosquitos and the different type of diseases they carry,” Todd said. “I went to a one-day class, and it seems we have two types of mosquitoes here in Pembroke. One flies around and bites during the day, and the other type flies around and bites during the night.”
• Heard from police Chief Randy Alexander, who noted he’s gotten approximately 120 responses to his department’s public safety survey and so far, “I’d say 110 of them are positive.”