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Pembroke looks at backup plan for police station
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Pembroke will hire an expert to see if the old Bryan County Elementary School gym can be used as a police station and courtroom if bids for the new public safety building won’t fit within the city’s budget.

The council agreed at its Monday night session to hire an engineer to determine whether the gym, which was built in the 1950s, is sound enough for use. The city has budgeted some $6.5 million for the new building, which has been in the planning stages since 2000, according to city officials.

Other public safety issues were discussed Monday night as well, including the end of an automatic aid agreement with Bryan County within a five mile radius after Bryan County reportedly agreed to station a fire engine at Pembroke’s Station No.1 along with an ambulance already there. The city will continue to maintain mutual aid with the county if dispatched outside the city limits.

In addition: Pembroke police will be able to wear beards after a new “beard and grooming policy” was set for the city’s public safety departments Monday.

Don’t expect them to look like they’re trying out for roles on Duck Dynasty, however. The policy allows for full beards, but limits “the length of the individual facial hair to three quarters of an inch,” and “the bulk of the beard (distance that the mass of facial hair protrudes from the skin of the face) shall not exceed one-half inch,” it says.

Similarly, “shadow” or “thin” line beards, goatees or mustaches are also a no-no, according to the policy.

“New growth must be started at the beginning of at least two consecutive days off,” it said.

The city also held a first reading of a food truck ordinance as well as a proposed salary increase for council members and mayors. The increase from $400 to $600 monthly for the mayor and from $200 to $400 per month for council members would be the first increase since 1991, according to officials.

All of Pembroke’s council, including the mayor, are up for reelection this fall. If the measure passes, it won’t be effective until 2020.

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