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Pembroke gets "Better Hometown" designation
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At Monday night’s meeting of the Pembroke City Council, the city’s Downtown Programs Coordinator Tonya Raulerson announced to the council the city had received "Better Hometown" status from the Georgia Main Street Program.

The program, which recognizes cities with fewer than 5,000 residents, helps cities stimulate downtown revitalization.

"It’s a designation that gives our city access to grants and other programs," Raulerson said. "It looks good on our resume."

Raulerson said the application process for the designation took about six months and that the city should receive its official designation in June.

Pembroke Mayor Judy Cook said this is great news for the city.

"This helps give way to the restoration of the old theater," Cook said. "That’s a goal of ours this year."

According to Raulerson, "Better Hometown" cities do not have to reapply for the distinction but have to maintain the requirements, which include historic preservation and downtown revitalization efforts.

In other business:

-Engineer Matthew Barrow of P.C. Simonton & Associates addressed the council regarding water and sewerage issues.

-Joanne Burnsed of the Bryan County Health Department spoke to the council about the possibility of an avian flu pandemic. Though no cases have been reported in birds or humans in the United States - and in only 274 humans world-wide since 2003 - she said preparation was necessary in the event a pandemic breaks out.

-The council approved a grant administrator and engineering architect to handle their block grant for sewerage and water purposes.

-The council held a first reading of a rezoning request for Craig Tremble to build a new funeral home where the old one was located on Ledford Street.

-The council voted to designate a fire lane on Anderson Lane from North Main to College Street and from Warnell Street to the McDonalds.

-Mary Smith was appointed to the Tree Board to replace a member who had to step down due to health issues.

-A request to use the Caboose Area downtown by the Beulah Baptist Church to put crosses in memory of loved ones during the week of Relay for Live was approved by the council.

The Pembroke City Council meets the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Pembroke City Hall.

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