East Spencer wants residents to participate on youth advisory committee

Published 10:04 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2020

By Shavonne Potts

EAST SPENCER — The town of East Spencer has formed a youth advisory committee and wants to hear from residents about participation.

Local minister Mike Mitchell spoke during the board’s Monday meeting where he said there are not enough programs for youth in the town. He said this might cause restlessness among the youth in the town.

Town Administrator James Bennett said the board is asking anyone who would like to join the committee to contact him at town hall. Mitchell will chair the youth advisory committee, but the town wants participants to join it and give their input.

Mayor Barbara Mallett said this committee is a nod to the one formed by the late Otis Gibson, a board member who created the recreational advisory committee that helped the town receive a PARTF grant. The town was able to, in part, renovate Royal Giants Park with the grant, community funds and other contributions.

Gibson, a former educator, was heavily involved in the community especially when it came to youth.

“We hope Rev. Mitchell steps into that role,” Mallett said.

The board during Monday’s meeting also received a presentation from resident Donnie Butler, who is an employee of Livingstone College. Butler wants to help the town with branding. The board is looking to establish a diverse committee to help the town come up ideas to brand itself.

Mallett said Butler has the expertise. The town has not done any specific branding other than adopting county’s motto of “Be an Original.”

She said the town would love something that identifies the town of East Spencer.

“It’s just in the infancy stages. We plan to, with the board’s help, to present a diversified group,” Mallett said.

Business owner John Crowder III wants to re-open a restaurant business. He’s leased his property to a couple. Bennett said a conditional-use permit would need to be applied for and it will be taken before the board during a public hearing.

Mallett added Crowder had been in business for 60 years and when he died his son took over the business but eventually closed it. He wants to re-open the business under new management. The location, which is near the former Dunbar Center, had previously been rezoned. The location of the former restaurant was at that time zone residential and Crowder wants it changed back to business.

Brandon Emory, who handles the town’s code enforcement through his company Alliance Code Enforcement, will issue letters to property owners within 100 feet to notify them of the zoning change.

Letters will be sent this week, Mallett said.

The public hearing will be held on Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. at town hall.