During its regular meeting Monday night, the Norlina Town Board did not take action on a request to sell a 1-acre lot near Oine Road after a back-and-forth discussion with a citizen about the bid process.

Town Public Works Superintendent Blaine Reese told the board that the town received a letter from Kent Daeke asking if he could purchase the parcel for $3,500. The land, between Wilco Hess and Oine Road, is surrounded by property already owned by the Daeke family. The town previously used the 1-acre lot as the site for a well.

Reese said that Daeke approached him a couple of months ago about purchasing the land.

Reese added that someone else expressed interest in purchasing a strip of property on Liberty Street beside the former Whites Barber Shop. He explained that the land once housed a building which had become dilapidated. The town cleaned up the site in 2004, leaving a concrete slab, Reese added.

He told the board that he did not foresee the town utilizing either parcel.

Norlina citizen Mike Perry said that several people had talked with him about their interest in purchasing the land near Oine Road.

“In the past, land has sold mighty cheap (in Norlina),” he said. “You need to go into more discussion before you make a hasty decision on land sold from the town.”

Mayor Dwight Pearce replied that Norlina would need to follow an upset bid process which would begin with the board voting to declare the land as surplus property and involve newspaper advertisement.

Perry suggested that board members should talk with the people who had expressed interest in the land to first let them know that it would become available for sale.

Commissioner Bill Harris replied that, before anything else is done, the property must be declared surplus.

Pearce asked board attorney Robby May whether the town could notify adjacent property owners by letter, if Reese could identify everyone who owns nearby property. May said yes. 

After further discussion, Commissioner Wayne Aycock asked that the board move on with other items on its agenda because the public comments portion of the meeting had ended much earlier.

The board adjourned without further discussion of the matter.

Other business

In other business, the board:

  • Heard a report from Aycock that he and several other Norlina residents would like to plan a town Christmas parade tentatively scheduled for Dec. 14, one week after the Warren County Christmas Parade.
  • Voted to allow Interim Police Chief Keishawn Mayes to pursue additional U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant funding for the purchase of more vehicles.
  • Will study traffic visibility around the intersection of Walker Avenue and Hyco Street in response to a complaint of a near collision Sunday when cars were parked at a nearby business.
  • During public comments, heard from Torrey Brothers that the summer’s Norlina Market events were successful, and organizers are working to make plans for next year.