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Board narrowly approves pact with baseball team, decides on rezoning requests


Hope Mills commissioners finalized a partnership contract with a Fayetteville baseball team, held public hearings on two rezoning cases and approved grants and budget amendments at the board’s meeting on Monday.

Fayetteville Chutes

  • What happened: Commissioners voted 3-2 to finalize a contract to lease a baseball field at the Hope Mills Municipal Park to a summer college league baseball team. Voting in favor of the contract were commissioners Bryan Marley, Kenjuana McCray and Jerry Legge. Voting against: commissioners Grilley Mitchell and Joanne Scarola.
  • Why it matters: The contract with Ballred LLC, the company that owns the Fayetteville Chutes and wants to move the baseball team to Hope Mills, would allow the organization to spend $100,000 in upgrades to the Municipal Park baseball field in exchange for exclusive rights for home games and practices on the field. The contract would be for 10 years.
  • The town of Hope Mills would receive 3% of all revenues once the company has recouped its initial $100,000 investment. The town would also have the rights to the name of the field and the stadium. Ballred will also have the right to revenues during the Old North State League spring training, regular season and playoff games. The company will have the right to sell and display advertising on the property in May, June and July.

Public hearings

  • What happened: After public hearings at Monday’s meeting on two separate rezoning requests, the board unanimously voted in favor of both.
  • Why it matters: Petromarts LLC sought to have property at 7163 Rockfish Rd. zoned as a planned service and retail district. The property is situated between the shopping center across from Food Lion on Rockfish Road and 50 acres of undeveloped property.
  • The Cumberland County Joint Planning Board and the Town of Hope Mills Planning staff approved of the plan, even though the request is not consistent with the Southwest Cumberland Land Use Plan designation. In their recommendation to the board, staff said they believed the impact of the proposed development aligns with the long-term outlook and vision of the area that is being developed to the west.  
  • The other zoning case is in regard to 32.44 acres slated to be the next phase of the Sheffield Farms subdivision.
  • The Cumberland County Joint Planning Board has recommended the Hope Mills board approve the area’s zoning as residential. 

Grants and budget amendments

  • What happened: Commissioners voted unanimously to approve of two separate grants the town was awarded. 
  • Why it matters: The first grant is a Fayetteville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Grant for $499,000, which is for a multi-purpose path at the Hope Mills Lake. The FAMPO grant will award the town $399,200, 80% of the grant, while the town will match the remaining 20%, or $99,800. The town’s portion for the grant is already included in the Powell Bill’s annual budget; Powell Bill is a program administered by the N.C. Dept. of Transportation that gives aid to municipalities across the state for street maintenance.
  • Hope Mills also received a $4,000 grant — the second grant approved Monday — from the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Arts Council for its July 4 celebration.
  • Commissioners also voted unanimously to purchase a bucket truck. The truck was ordered last fiscal year, but was not available until the current budget year, so the $181,375 budget amendment allocated the funds from the year it was ordered to the current year to cover the costs of the truck. 

Town proclamations

  • What happened: The board recognized Monika Cotter, the chairwoman and the only original member of the Hope Mills Prime Movers Committee. Commissioners recognized Cotter’s service and time dedicated to volunteering for the town.
  • The town also recognized Veterans Day — honored nationally on Saturday, Nov. 11 — and the veterans living in the Hope Mills community.
  • While not an official part of the board meeting, the board honored former Town Clerk Jane Starling, who served as clerk for five years and is now retiring. She was recognized by the board members and given parting gifts

Other business

During the meeting, the board also went into a closed session to consult with the town attorney. The closed session lasted roughly 40 minutes.

The board’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, in the Bill Luther Boardroom at Town Hall.

Contact Hannah Lee at hannahleenews@gmail.com.

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