Wilmington City Council held its first regular meeting of the new year on Jan. 10 and first up, council proclaimed 2023 as the Year of the Trail. This statewide initiative encourages residents to get out and enjoy everything our trails have to offer.
“And I just want to say thank you for all the work that you folks do to make this a reality for our community and all of the taxpayers that have supported the bonds in the past and the City Council for the initiatives of moving the trail system, especially the Gary Shell Cross City Trail, to fruition. And we just want to say thank you,” said Mayor Bill Saffo.
Council also proclaimed the week of January 16th as Community Risk Reduction Week, recognizing the hard work the Wilmington Fire Department does to reduce preventable fires.
Next, council received the annual report from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, reviewing an eventful year for the agency.
“And despite recent rate increases necessitated by the pollution from our upstream neighbor, Chemours, our water and sewer services remain the most affordable in the region,” said Kenneth Waldroup, the executive director of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.
Council also approved a $1.52 million contract for the construction of the first section of the Masonboro Loop Trail. Phase one of this voter-approved bond project will run from Masonboro Elementary School to Navaho Trail, connecting the school, nearby neighborhoods, and local businesses. Work is scheduled to begin next month and will take approximately six months to complete.
Next, council authorized the purchase of the 1.88-acre Salvation Army property located at 820 North Second Street. At a cost of $4.8 million, the property holds both near- and long-term strategic value for the continued economic development of the north end of downtown.
“It’s a compliment to the current portfolio, with Project Gateway being immediately north of this property and provides additional opportunity for the city to shape the way in which the north end of downtown develops,” said Aubrey Parsley, the director of Economic Development for the city.
Lastly, council passed a resolution adopting the 2022 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Comprehensive Plan. This plan will help guide the work of the Parks and Recreation division for the next decade, continuing to help make Wilmington a safe, accessible and healthy place to live.
City Council will meet again on January 24th at 6:30 p.m.
For more on this meeting, visit wilmingtonNC.gov.