Hope Mills News

Second shred/litter event scheduled this month

13 Hope Mills Shred LitterGet your unwanted documents together and dress for cleanup duty. The town of Hope Mills is holding its biannual shredding and litter sweep events. Stormwater supervisor Beth Brown said Sept. 21 has been designated as the day the town will offer free shredding of sensitive documents while inviting townspeople to volunteer to help spruce up neighboring streets by picking up litter.

There will not be a hazardous household waste cleanup. That was held in the spring, and Brown said it’s too costly to do more than once a year. “That event is typically between $20,000-30,000,’’ she said.

Not many people requested a repeat on the hazardous waste cleanup, Brown said, but they did on the shredding event. “We feel it’s easier to do in coordination with another event like the litter sweep,’’ she said.

The goal of the shredding event is to provide the community with a chance to dispose of any kind of paper waste and get rid of it in a manner that is environmentally friendly and appropriate.

Just about anything related to paper products is acceptable except large binder clips, Brown said. Paper clips and staples can be left in documents and will be shredded.

The public can also bring computer disks, both CD and DVD types, along with the old-style floppy disks. “We did collect some of those during the spring,’’ she said of the floppy disks.

One thing everyone bringing documents for shredding needs to know is the shredding will not take place on site when the materials are dropped off. Everything will be collected and placed in locked containers that will be locked in town hall over the weekend.

The Monday following the shred event, the company doing the shredding will pick up all the material and transport it to Raleigh to be shredded. Brown said some people were upset last year when they were unable to watch their documents being shredded.

“The service is as secure to use as if it was shredded on our site,’’ she said.

While the shred event will be going on at town hall in the customer parking lot, the litter sweep will begin at the Parks and Recreation Department.

Brown said maps will be available and volunteers can pick an area of town where they would like to clean up. They can choose a designated area or clean up anywhere within the town limits.

The town will provide gloves, trash bags and tools to pick up the trash with along with safety vests. The vests and tools need to be returned when done. 

Children are welcome to take part in the litter sweep, but any child under the age of 18 must be supervised by a parent or guardian as a safety precaution.

Brown said this litter sweep is important because it will be the final one before Ole Mill Days on Saturday, Oct. 5, with major activities scheduled at town hall and municipal park.

Anyone with questions about the shred event should call 910-424-4555. For questions about the litter sweep, call 910-426-4109.

Hurricane preparedness theme of September Food Truck Rodeo

16 FOOD TRUCK RODEOUPDATE 9/03/19: Due to the threat to Hope Mills posed by Hurricane Dorian, the Food Truck Rodeo has been moved to Thursday, Sept. 12, from 5-8 p.m.

Hope Mills has taken its share of punishment from hurricanes in recent years, so town officials have scheduled an event to help citizens prepare for the worst should one or more strike again this season.

As part of the Thursday, Sept. 5, Food Truck Rodeo in Hope Mills, a hurricane preparedness event has been arranged in cooperation with the local Community Emergency Response Team.

The food truck rodeo will take place this Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the outdoor basketball courts at Hope Mills Municipal Park on Rockfish Road. 

Nearly all of the vendors on hand for the event will be oriented toward dealing with issues involving hurricane awareness. 

Chancer McLaughlin, development and planning administrator for the town, said many of the vendors will be able to provide citizens attending the event information on how to deal with issues they might encounter when a hurricane strikes.

Here are some questions that the experts at the food truck rodeo will help answer.

How much bleach is needed to purify water?

What is a survival flash drive and where should you store it?

How do you operate a generator?

How do you stop bleeding?

What smartphone apps are best to have in an emergency situation?

What steps need to be taken during a water advisory?

Other topics that will be covered include how to pack a so-called “go bag” along with on-site training in CPR.

Vendors with specific information involving hurricane situations will include the American Red Cross, the Public Works Commission and the Salvation Army.

As always, the food truck rodeo will be collecting nonperishable food items to support the ALMS HOUSE in Hope Mills.

The event isn’t just about hurricane preparedness, it’s also about having a fun evening out with the family and enjoying the variety of eating options at the food trucks.

Special musical guest for the evening will be a jazz band called Rah’s Illuminated 1’s.

Miller Motte College will be on hand to share information about its programs and offer free massages.

A wide assortment of food trucks will be present, including Doug’s NC Barbecue, Big T’s, Nannie’s Famous, Chef Glen, Food 4 the Soul, Noth’n Fancy, Elite Catering, Dogwood Java, East Coast Snowey and Lo Diferente.

“The main purpose is to get the public some useful information,’’ McLaughlin said.

There are two more food truck events scheduled this year, McLaughlin said, one in October and one in November on the first Thursday of each month.

McLaughlin said no theme had been determined for the remaining two rodeos.

Hope Mills to keep sprouting downtown sidewalks

14 01 Sidewalks 1The goal of making the town of Hope Mills more accessible to pedestrian traffic by adding sidewalks came a step closer to reality recently as the town was awarded another grant from the Fayetteville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

“We typically get a grant every year through them called the transportation alternatives grant,’’ said Chancer McLaughlin, development and planning administrator for the town.

Work is already underway on sidewalks in the area of Rockfish Road near the town’s municipal complex.

The new grant, which is $445,540, will extend sidewalks the length of Main Street starting at the intersection of Johnson Street/Fountain Lane and Main Street down to the intersection of Trade Street with Lakeview Road and Main Street.

The grant covers 80% of the sidewalk cost with the town providing the other 20%.

14 02 CrosswalkThere are existing sidewalks on the side of Main Street closest to the lake, but on the opposite side they stop at Johnson Street just past the railroad trestle.

In addition to the new sidewalks, the grant money will help cover the cost of adding a new
crosswalk about halfway between the two intersections as well as enhancing the existing crosswalk at the Trade and Main intersection.

McLaughlin said the new crosswalk will be a so-called raised mid-block structure made of brick.

The existing crosswalk will be modified in a similar matter.

He described it as a “traffic-calming” structure, similar to a speed bump, but a little more decorative with brick construction material.

The ultimate goal of the new sidewalks is to follow the guidance of the Southwest Cumberland Land Use Plan, which has specific suggestions for adding sidewalks in the Hope Mills area.

McLaughlin said this will continue the aim of connecting the Town Hall and Municipal Park area on Rockfish Road with the restored Hope Mills Lake on Main Street to make it a pedestrian-friendly zone.

The long-term goal once all the sidewalks are completed is to give those people who are interested and able the ability to conveniently walk from the municipal complex to the lake, thus hopefully decreasing the need for cars in what is already a highly congested area.

“There is not much public parking at the lake, so we are trying to create a better balance between vehicular traffic and pedestrian traffic while keeping it safe,’’ McLaughlin said.

While work continues on the Rockfish Road sidewalk and is yet to begin along Main Street, McLaughlin said it’s too early to establish a definite timetable on when the entire project will be finished.

Picture 1: The stretch of Main Street opposite Hope Mills Lake where sidewalks will be extended

Picture 2: Raised crosswalks, similar to this one, will be added on Main Street but will be constructed with brick to be more decorative. 

Hope Mills seeks help preventing yard debris problems

15 01 Catch drainHope Mills town officials are concerned about the recent increase in yard debris and the negative impact it could have if it’s allowed to block the town’s storm drain system.

That’s why community officials are reaching out to citizens to do the best they can to make sure debris is cleared from their yards before a major storm hits the town again.

Tyler Riddle, a stormwater technician for the town, said the major culprits among lawn debris include grass clippings, leaves and limbs, but it doesn’t stop there.

“If it can be picked up by the water and possibly make it to a drain, it’s going to hinder the amount of water that can get in that catch basin,’’ he said.

The catch basin is the structure you see with a metal grate at street level and a wide opening for the water to flow through into the storm drain.

Problems mount when yard trash winds up in the street and is swept into the catch basins around the town.

“Everything that’s in the street is going to run to that catch basin, even pine straw,’’ Riddle said. “It’s going to cover that grate on the catch basin and not allow water to come through.’’

Worse, large amounts of yard waste can get into the catch basin and, from there, the storm drain pipe system. Over time, it accumulates to further hinder the flow of water though the pipes.

Eventually, the pipe itself can get clogged, requiring cleaning with a pumping truck and a sewer jetter, a drain-cleaning machine that uses high-pressure water to knock the debris free.

“That’s going to cost the taxpayers money,’’ Riddle said. “They’re the ones paying for it in the long run.’’

Riddle said town staff does as much as it can to keep the streets clear of debris that could foul the storm drains, but with so many drains located all over Hope Mills, it’s an impossible job for the staff to complete alone.

“Everybody who helps out, it’s not just helping the town, it’s helping yourself in the long run for your street not flooding and water not backing up in your yard,’’ Riddle said. “The cleaner you keep the streets, the better everything works.’’

Some people may choose to mulch their yard waste and use it on a home garden if they have one, Riddle said. Otherwise it’s best to make sure all yard debris is left in a trash can to be collected by the town. 

“If you rake it up and put it in a (garbage) container, that’s the best way to get rid of it,’’ Riddle said. “Once you put it in that container, it’s not going anywhere but in the truck.’’

Pictured: A catch basin adjacent to Hope Mills Lake with the kind of debris that can be swept from yards and cause problems for the storm drain system

Miss Cotton Pageant returns after year’s absence

16 Miss Cotton PageantWhen Hurricane Florence blew through Hope Mills last fall, one of the many casualties of the storm was the Miss Cotton Pageant.

Florence became a perfect storm to wreck the pageant as the town’s Parks and Recreation Building was damaged and uninhabitable for months, forcing the recreation staff to take temporary headquarters in Town Hall.

All that upheaval made the task of putting on the pageant too big a challenge.

But barring the intervention of weather again this fall, the Miss Cotton Pageant will return, scheduled Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-28, in the auditorium at Jack Britt High School.

Paulette Hobbs of the recreation department is overseeing this year’s pageant. The original plan was to hold it at South View High School, but the school couldn’t guarantee the dates the town was seeking, so it was moved to the auditorium at Jack Britt.

Applications to enter the pageant are available at the recreation center on Rockfish Road or online at www.townofhopemills.com.

The entry fee is $50 per contestant and the entry deadline is Friday,
Sept. 13.

Separate age categories of the competition will be held on each of the two nights of the pageant.

Sept. 27 is for the 3- to 9-year-old contestants. Sept. 28 is for the 10- to 22-year-old contestants. Both evenings the competition will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Two important events will be held prior to the actual pageant. On Saturday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. at the Parks and Recreation Building there will be a meeting with all parents of pageant contestants. Thursday, Sept. 26, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., a dress rehearsal for all contestants will take place in the auditorium at Jack Britt High School.

For any questions or concerns about the pageant, contact Hobbs at the Parks and Recreation offices at 910-426-4109.

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