One highlight of the Kinston City Council meeting Tuesday was the further delay of a much anticipated overview.
The Unified Development Ordinance public hearing has been moved to Oct. 21, after previously being slated for Sept. 16. Planning Director Adam Short went through some of the points in the UDO overview in front of the council, saying there were only minor changes in the ordinance, other than a few grammatical and spelling errors.
“It was a time management thing,” Short said. “Given the amount of notice we had to do and the overall volume of information coordinating, we felt like there was no rush. We’ve got a little more time for planning things out and it gives the public more notice.”
Kinston City Manager Tony Sears has been among those ready to have the ordinance brought to the board.
“We’ve wrapped up the community meetings with the UDO,” Sears said. “It’s been almost a year since we started it and the staff is really excited to review it in front of the council.”
Sears was also interested in the grant opportunity brought before the council about body cameras for members of the Kinston Department of Public Safety.
“The cameras are the most economic and efficient way to provide officer safety,” Sears said. “Car cameras are more expensive and don’t give the best coverage for officers.”
Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy saw the development of a new Riverwalk as one of the more important parts of the meeting. The council approved the process to seek a grant for the trail.
“The City of Kinston and Lenoir County Transportation Committee worked diligently last spring on updating our pedestrian plan,” Murphy said. “The project should score high. It involves being environmentally friendly, encourages exercise and we have multifaceted partnerships with the city of Kinston, Lenoir County, DOT, Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and other state organizations.
Bill Ellis, director of the Kinston/Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Department, believes the grant will be available for the trail, which will span from the African-American Music Trail to Pearson Park.
“The trail will be 10 feet wide and will be for walking, cycling, horse carriage and anything else,” Ellis said. “I feel confident we’ll get the grant.”
The next city council meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 16.
Junious Smith III can be reached at 252-559-1077 andJunious.Smith@Kinston.com. Follow him on Kinston at @JuniousSmithIII.