Up & Coming Weekly

July 21, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 20 UCW JULY 22-28, 2020 Hope Mills News & Views Even before she became a member of the Board of Commissioners for the town of Hope Mills, Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Kenjuana McCray said she was often approached by young people, so-called millennials, on how to get involved in local issues. Now McCray has helped to create a town committee that will hopefully give members of that generation both access and inspira - tion to share in the vision of planning for the future of Hope Mills. Members of the Board of Commissioners recently gave approval to McCray's idea of a committee composed of people from the millennial age group to offer advice and direction to the board on a wide variety of subjects. McCray has been involved with a variety of organizations at Fayetteville Technical Community College where she works, par - ticularly in the area of social issues. The clubs she worked with there took part in a variety of activi- ties, and as recently as April had planned to do something in conjunction with Earth Day until all events of that nature were ground to a halt by COVID-19. McCray thinks it's especially important dur - ing the current situation to hear from millennial voices. "I believe they have something to say and can do good work in the community,'' McCray said. She also believes they need a stronger con- nection to government bodies like the Board of Commissioners, which can be created by putting them together on a bona fide town committee. "It's good to take that energy they have,'' McCray said, "and have their input included.'' McCray feels the millennials can become involved in a variety of areas in the town, every - thing from beautification and culture to organiz- ing food drives for the homeless and under- privileged. McCray has tentatively set the age range of candidates for the committee from 18 to 39. "We want a variety of people from different areas,'' she said. "We are also hoping to get people that have different skill sets.'' She's hopeful to get people with back - grounds in the arts, marketing and media along with active duty and retired military. All town committees have a member of the Board of Commissioners and a member of town staff as part of the committee. McCray has asked to be the representative from the commissioners and she asked Chancer McLaughlin, the town's development and planning administrator, to serve as well because of his role with the town's economic development. She thinks it's possible for the committee to be chosen and begin meeting in as few as three months. "I would like to keep our young people here,'' she said. "We end up losing a lot of our talented young people. I want them to be in this commu- nity and invest in this community.'' McCray hopes an application for membership on the committee will be available shortly on the town website, www.townofhopemills.com. New Hope Mills committee seeks town's millennials by EARL VAUGHAN JR. EARL VAUGHAN JR., Senior Staff Writer. COMMENTS? EarlUCWS- ports@gmail.com. 910-364-6638. NEWS Some public walking areas in Hope Mills are going to the dogs, and the staff of the Hope Mills Parks and Recreation Department is working quickly to correct the problem. Lamarco Morrison, head of the department, said he first got word a couple of weeks ago that there was a growing problem at the recently opened Golfview Greenway of dog owners walking their animals and not properly cleaning up after them. If the problem continues to mount, the town could resort to some extreme measures, like fining dog owners observed leaving animal waste at the gre- enway or the walking track at Hope Mills Municipal Park near Town Hall. A worst-case scenario would be not allowing dog owners to walk their animals at all. But Morrison said the town would prefer not to do that and is implementing some plans that will help dog owners to police the waste their animals produce. "At the end of the day, it's still on the owners to clean up after their dogs,'' Morrison said. The first thing that will be done, especially at the greenway, is to install what are called doggie stations. Two are already in place, and two more have been ordered. The walking trail at Municipal Park already has multiple doggie stations. Each doggie station includes bags for collecting dog waste and a small waste container to put the bags in once the waste has been collected. At the greenway, they'll be located at the four cor- ners of the area. For situations when owners and their dogs are on the trail some distance from one of the doggie sta- tions, Morrison and his staff are giving away what he referred to as a doggie keychain. It's a small plastic receptacle that the owner can easily attach to a belt, keychain or even the dog's leash. The receptacle can carry empty doggie bags and then be used to hold a filled bag until the owner reaches one of the doggie stations and can drop it into the waste container there. There will also be signs along the trail reminding dog owners to clean up after their dogs. To further help with the problem, town mainte- nance workers who are already assigned to working at the greenway and Municipal Park will also be policing the trail for dog waste. Aside from the simple nuisance of possibly com- ing into contact with dog waste left along the trail, Morrison said there's also a health hazard associated with dog waste being left in a public area. "If your dog hasn't been immunized with all his shots, you could spread things to other animals,'' Morrison said. Although he doesn't encourage confrontations, Morrison said one of the best ways for the problem to be resolved is for dog owners to police each other and encourage making sure everybody is picking up after their animals. Morrison is hopeful that will prevent the town from having to go to the extreme of banning walkers at the greenway and Municipal Park from bringing their dogs along. Hope Mills tackles dog waste problem by EARL VAUGHAN JR. The town of Hope Mills is implementing some plans to help dog owners to police the waste of their animals. McCray feels the millennials can become involved in a variety of areas in the town.

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