Public Services


NCEMPA reaches agreement with Duke Energy to sell generation assets

Press Release
Media Contact: Rebecca Agner, 919.760.6334 or ragner@electricities.org
For more information about ElectriCities visit www.electricities.com

NCEMPA reaches agreement with Duke Energy to sell generation assets

RALEIGH (July 28, 2014) –North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) and Duke Energy Progress (DEP) announced today that both companies’ boards of directors have approved an agreement for DEP to purchase the Power Agency’s generating assets. The $1.2 billion transaction would lower wholesale electric rates for NCEMPA’s 32 member communities across eastern North Carolina if it is completed. The agreement is subject to the execution of an Asset Purchase Agreement and a Full Requirements Power Purchase Agreement between the parties.

“The ElectriCities Board of Directors is very pleased we were able to reach an agreement with Duke Energy Progress,” said Richard Hicks, ElectriCities Board Chairman. “The Board’s overarching goal is to strengthen public power’s future in North Carolina. Reducing NCEMPA’s debt and therefore reducing our overall costs will provide the opportunity for more competitive rates in the 32 member communities.

Although we have a long road ahead of us with regulatory approvals, today is a good day for NC Public Power and eastern North Carolina.”

Negotiations between the two parties have been underway for several months.

“This is a complicated transaction that would require federal and state approvals. It won’t happen overnight,” ElectriCities CEO Graham Edwards said. “Several agencies must agree to the purchase agreement before it becomes official. We remain optimistic that we can work through that process and finalize the agreement.”

“Our primary goal is to secure a long-term, reliable power supply for NCEMPA members at the lowest possible cost,” said John Craft, Chairman of the NCEMPA Board of Commissioners and La Grange Town Manager. “We are committed to work together toward that end. The announcement today is a positive step toward our goal.”

Sale Could Reduce NCEMPA Debt by More Than 70 Percent
The current debt owed by NCEMPA members is approximately $1.9 billion. After selling the assets for $1.2 billion and liquidating certain bond reserve funds, the Power Agency members would share responsibility for outstanding debt of approximately $480 million.

“When we entered these negotiations, we knew it wasn’t feasible to expect to completely eliminate the debt by selling our assets. But this agreement has the potential to reduce our current debt by more than 70 percent,” Edwards said. “That’s a significant decrease in our costs and the savings would be directly passed along to NCEMPA members.”

The exact impact on rates for each community will be different and will depend on a number of factors, such as each community’s share of the outstanding debt, the specific load characteristics and customer mix of the community.

As a part of the transaction, DEP and NCEMPA will enter into a wholesale power contract.

The sale of NCEMPA’s electric generation assets would not affect distribution assets. Public power communities would continue to own the power lines, substations and transformers that carry electricity directly to the consumers. In addition, they would continue to employ their own utility staff and be responsible for issues such as maintenance, customer service and billing.

DEP will notify the NC Utilities Commission that it intends to make a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission next month. NCEMPA and DEP entered into exclusive negotiations in January 2014 involving NCEMPA’s ownership in four power plants in North Carolina: Brunswick Nuclear Plant Units 1 and 2 (Brunswick County), Mayo Plant Unit 1 (Person County), Roxboro Plant Unit 4 (Person County) and the Harris Nuclear Plant (Wake County).

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Mayor Murphy’s Statement on the City of Kinston FY 2015 Budget

Tonight the City Council of the City of Kinston voted 2-2 and I broke the tie in favor of the recommended budget as presented by the Kinston City Manager. Here is the statement I gave at the end of the meeting.

Public debate, openness and transparency are essential in our democracy. The State of NC requires that our City Manager present a balanced budget to this body. This Council has the authority to accept, reject or amend his recommendations.

Each and every one of us lives here, works here and plays here. Everyone on this bench and in our presence tonight are financially impacted by these decisions.

We have seen increases because of our wholesale suppliers. We have seen increases because of the Affordable Care Act. We have seen increases because of the needs of our aging infrastructure.

Our electric partners have made it clear that increases are coming and should’ve already come based on wholesale and infrastructure pressures. However, a potential deal with Duke Energy caused there to be a pause in hopes of a record deal for our communities.

Last year we pulled from our General Fund to loan and support the electric fund. We decided then to pay that back this fiscal year. I think we all can agree that this practice is not a long-term solution. Just as continuing the practice of transferring from the electric fund to subsidize our General Fund will one day be obsolete.

Also, this fall we will be making serious, long-term financial decisions regarding our infrastructure to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Ultimately we may need to ask voters for their opinions on how best to finance the replacement of 100-year-old pipes and 30-year-old electrical equipment.

In light of the potential Duke deal and our future discussion of infrastructure, I would encourage some compromise tonight. We can either stomach a small increase in electric or we can take street resurfacing to $0, stop demolishing dilapidated buildings and more.

Unfortunately, we have three options and neither one will make sleeping tonight easier. We can raise a utility rate with the hope of a future decrease, we can raise property tax rates by 5.71 cents, which will never decrease, or we can drastically and negatively affect the momentum we’re gaining in service quality, street resurfacing, planning and quality of life.

I want to thank our City Manager and staff for doing more than this body requested of you. Without your diligent efforts in frugality our choices tonight would be much more difficult.

In closing, we all should concede that this budget only affects the next 12 months and the fall infrastructure discussions, potential vote of the people, and Duke Energy deal will have a greater impact on our community for decades.

This decision is not taken lightly and this body has had ample time to review it, ask questions, seek input, hold a public hearing and now even receive more public comments. I want to thank all of our citizens who came tonight to speak their opinions on the budget. We truly value your opinion and the time you gave to be here.

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KFP: Potholes taking over Kinston

By Junious Smith III / Staff Writer

Published: Monday, May 12, 2014 at 21:55 PM.

While the harsh winter earlier this year has been substituted for warmer temperatures, Kinston motorists are still feeling the effects of the cold season.

Potholes, which have been a chief issue in the city for years, have become even more of a nuisance for travelers due to the snow and ice which battered roads in early 2014.

Kinston resident Michael Harris said potholes have always been a problem for him in the city.

“Ever since I’ve been here, areas of Herritage, Plaza and Vernon have been terrible,” he said. “Then when they’re repaired, the streets can be so uneven in some spots. Of course, salt deterioration could play a role, especially with the weather we had earlier this year.”

Will Kilpatrick, another Kinston resident, said the potholes have had an impact on motorists, including his mother.

“My mom actually had a tire damaged on Herritage Street about three months ago,” he said.

Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy said he understands the concerns of the public, but lowered revenue in the city can make repairs difficult.

“The road conditions in Kinston are not where they need to be,” Murphy said. “One of the struggles we have faced in budgeting is the overall decline in tax base and the reduction of dollars from the state for resurfacing without any significant change to number of miles of roads we have to resurface. We should be spending roughly $500,000 a year, and we are spending less than half of that, so we’ve had to be creative with other projects.

“For example, with the railroad closure, we’ve been able to resurface areas in Mitchelltown using railroad funds. When we need to replace water and sewer pipes, we’ve tried to find funds for resurfacing also, but those have become more and more limited.”

The mayor is familiar with the biggest trouble spots in the city.

“One of the most common requests we’ve received is repaving Herritage Street and that is a high priority for us,” Murphy said. “But because of the price of more than $1.5 million, we may have to consider alternate finance methods to complete that project and some others.”

Another problem includes the recent engine failure of Kinston’s only pothole repair truck. Kinston Public Services Director Rhonda Barwick said the snow and ice storms separated asphalt, creating potholes and the alternative solutions aren’t as efficient.

“We were trying to get potholes repaired, but last week our pothole truck died,” Barwick said. “We tried to replace it last year, and unfortunately, we didn’t make it. We’ve requested a replacement truck and are looking at other options such as leasing another for the remainder of the year. Right now, we’re putting asphalt on a dump truck and shoveling it to fill potholes, but it’s not as effective as the truck. We’re doing what we can, because the longer the potholes stay on the road, the more damage they can cause.”

Barwick said the roads are important to the city leadership, but officials also need to balance the budget.

“The city would like to be on a 25-year replacement plan for roads, but that means $550,000 toward each year, which the city simply doesn’t have,” Barwick said. “The last few years, we’ve been around $160,000 to $200,000. When the council meets, this is what they’ll be faced with, knowing the most important thing is balancing the budget and making sure there are enough funds for everything.”

Junious Smith III can be reached at 252-559-1077 andJunious.Smith@Kinston.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JuniousSmithIII.

 

http://www.kinston.com/news/local/potholes-taking-over-kinston-1.318406

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WITN7: Kinston Passes Resolution About Possible Power Deal

 

The Kinston City Council passed a resolution Monday in support of ongoing negotiations between the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency and Duke Energy, and the mayor hopes other towns will do the same.

Mayor BJ Murphy says he’s excited about the resolution because it shows other communities that Kinston is serious about the possible deal and how it could impact local power bills.

“This (resolution) was not a necessary step, but considering there are 32 cities involved, it helps send a clear signal to other communities that Kinston is serious and would love to see other municipalities support the effort,” Murphy said.

Duke Energy announced earlier this month that it is negotiating to buy ownership in power plants that have saddled more than 30 eastern North Carolina municipalities with high electric bills to pay off construction costs.

Among those cities in the east are Greenville, New Bern, Kinston, Washington, Ayden, Farmville, Belhaven, Robersonville, La Grange, Hookerton and Hamilton.

In 2011, WITN’s Dave Jordan reported the 268,000 customers who get their power from one of the 32 municipalities that make up ElectriCities, have bills 20 to 35 percent higher than other utility customers.

Mayor Murphy acknowledges the negotiations could take as long as two years but says, “selling our ownership in power plants could make electric rates more competitive, and that’s why we’re taking this step.”

http://www.witn.com/home/headlines/Kinston-Passes-Resolution-About-Possible-Power-Deal-245982051.html

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KFP: Kinston mayoral candidates take center stage

KFP1016_mayoralforum_1

Mayoral candidate Ralph Clark, left, makes his opening statements, while John Marks, center, and B.J. Murphy listen at the mayoral forum Tuesday at community television station TACC-9 on Queen Street.

Sara Pezzoni / The Free Press

Kinston’s three candidates for mayor each had their lone opportunity to address viewers on the issues of the city on Tuesday evening.

Ralph Clark, John Marks and B.J. Murphy spoke at the TACC-9 community television station for a mayoral forum, as the three are looking to be appointed into office by the people after the Nov. 5 election.

Clark, who has spent 32 years in public office, including eight as the former city manager of Kinston, believes his extensive experience and knowledge would be vital in helping the community he has called home since 1999.

“Kinston has been great to me as a city manager and a citizen,” Clark said. “I have a lot to give, and hope (the city) allow(s) me to be the mayor.”

Clark also talked about education in his opening statement, acknowledging that the city council would not be able to intervene in the decision-making process.

“I would be remiss not to mention something about education,” Clark said. “Even though the city has nothing to do with the education in the community, it has to be supported.”

Marks, the pastor and founder of Increasing the Faith Ministries, believes Kinston needs to move in an alternate direction in fixing some of the issues in the community.

“We do need change,” Marks said. “Everybody that I ask or come in contact with, they are always saying that the city needs to be changed. I’m just grateful that our city and the leadership that is present are still doing things, but we still need solutions to a lot of problems. I just want to be an improvement on assets to the city of Kinston.”

Murphy, the incumbent seeking his second term in office, used his opening statement to speak on some of the positives he has seen in Kinston since he became the mayor in 2009.

“I have never been more excited about the opportunities before our community than I am right now,” Murphy said. “Our community is growing, and there are a lot of positive things happening. Just over the past four years, we have had a major focus on redeveloping our community, on making sure we have better streets, and we’ve had a more accountable government than ever before.”

Early voting starts on Thursday, and will run until Nov. 2, with Election Day on Nov. 5.

 

Junious Smith III can be reached at 252-559-1077 andJunious.Smith@Kinston.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JuniousSmithIII.

For more information on reruns of the city council and mayor forums, visit tacc9.com.

http://www.kinston.com/news/local/kinston-mayoral-candidates-take-center-stage-1.219056?tc=cr

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KFP: Kinston administrators attend ElectriCities conference in Asheville

By Junious Smith III / Staff Writer 

A conference several city administrators went to recently in Asheville could be beneficial to Kinston residents in the future.

Members of the Kinston City Council and Public Services attended the ElectriCities of N.C. Annual Conference from Aug. 1-3, learning about alternative methods of energy, economic and municipal updates and ways to attract new tourists.

“I thought it was a positive conference,” Kinston City Manager Tony Sears said. “We have to look at some of our options and do our best to implement the right ones.”

One of the issues discussed was tourism; North Carolina experienced a banner year in 2012, with tourism rising in all 100 counties. According to visitnc.com, North Carolina is the sixth-most visited state for domestic visitors.

“We have to continue telling people about what we have in Kinston and get them excited about coming here,” Sears said. “We need to do that not just for those outside of the state, but inside as well.”

With electric rates being a major factor in Kinston, Mayor B.J. Murphy looked at possible alternatives.

“The biggest takeaway for me was the discussion on solar power,” Murphy said. “The city has been faced with two different proposals on solar farms, and with the cost of solar power coming down, it’s almost breakeven.”

Murphy also said finding a way to harness solar power would be very beneficial toward the city.

“One challenge is battery storage,” Murphy said. “When the sun hits solar panel, power goes directly into the line. The challenge is utilizing power when needed. How do you store solar energy, and then distribute the power at a peak time?

“The technology isn’t here yet. We could be looking at the next 10, 20, or 30 years until we’re able to make cost-efficient way of distributing when needed. We’re still prohibited to do so on a massive scale.”

Kinston Public Services Director Rhonda Barwick was impressed with the amount of municipalities across the state coming to the conference.

“It’s always good when you have the information from staff, but it was an added benefit of having mayors and councilmen with good ideas,” Barwick said.

One of the biggest points Barwick drew out of the conference was a push for a Smartgrid system, which would help those paying power bills in the city.

“We’re looking at Smartgrid and seeing if we can afford it and bring it here,” Barwick said. “The system would allow us to query the meter, but there are plenty of other pieces. Customers can come to City Hall with questions about their kilowatt hours and the system would let them know which devices are using the most energy.

“The system would also allow us to give customers the option to select how many kilowatt hours they’ll need per month and let them know how many they’ve used, which helps customers manage their hours better. We could also cut meters on or off remotely, which limits the number of trips we have to take, which is more convenient for us.”

For the administration, the current focus is on finding ways to improve efficiency in the city and looking to help other regions as well in coming to a solution.

“The city of Kinston needs to develop a strategy on ways to upgrade aging infrastructure,” Murphy said. “Hopefully, since so many other municipalities are facing the same issue, we can learn from each other in a collaboration of ideas and policies.”

 

Junious Smith III can be reached 252-559-1077 andJunious.Smith@Kinston.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JuniousSmithIII.

Breakout box:

Last year, there were record numbers across the board in visitor spending, including an increase in all 100 counties. Here is the amount of money the state brought in:

n $19.4 billion in visitor spending

n $4.39 billion in direct tourism payroll

n $970 million in state tax revenues

n $579 million in local tax revenues

Source: visitnc.com

Published: Monday, August 12, 2013 at 20:30 PM.

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KFP: Kinston administrators attend ElectriCities conference in Asheville

By Junious Smith III / Staff Writer

Published: Monday, August 12, 2013 at 20:30 PM.

A conference several city administrators went to recently in Asheville could be beneficial to Kinston residents in the future.

Members of the Kinston City Council and Public Services attended the ElectriCities of N.C. Annual Conference from Aug. 1-3, learning about alternative methods of energy, economic and municipal updates and ways to attract new tourists.

“I thought it was a positive conference,” Kinston City Manager Tony Sears said. “We have to look at some of our options and do our best to implement the right ones.”

One of the issues discussed was tourism; North Carolina experienced a banner year in 2012, with tourism rising in all 100 counties. According to visitnc.com, North Carolina is the sixth-most visited state for domestic visitors.

“We have to continue telling people about what we have in Kinston and get them excited about coming here,” Sears said. “We need to do that not just for those outside of the state, but inside as well.”

With electric rates being a major factor in Kinston, Mayor B.J. Murphy looked at possible alternatives.

“The biggest takeaway for me was the discussion on solar power,” Murphy said. “The city has been faced with two different proposals on solar farms, and with the cost of solar power coming down, it’s almost breakeven.”

Murphy also said finding a way to harness solar power would be very beneficial toward the city.

“One challenge is battery storage,” Murphy said. “When the sun hits solar panel, power goes directly into the line. The challenge is utilizing power when needed. How do you store solar energy, and then distribute the power at a peak time?

“The technology isn’t here yet. We could be looking at the next 10, 20, or 30 years until we’re able to make cost-efficient way of distributing when needed. We’re still prohibited to do so on a massive scale.”

Kinston Public Services Director Rhonda Barwick was impressed with the amount of municipalities across the state coming to the conference.

“It’s always good when you have the information from staff, but it was an added benefit of having mayors and councilmen with good ideas,” Barwick said.

One of the biggest points Barwick drew out of the conference was a push for a Smartgrid system, which would help those paying power bills in the city.

“We’re looking at Smartgrid and seeing if we can afford it and bring it here,” Barwick said. “The system would allow us to query the meter, but there are plenty of other pieces. Customers can come to City Hall with questions about their kilowatt hours and the system would let them know which devices are using the most energy.

“The system would also allow us to give customers the option to select how many kilowatt hours they’ll need per month and let them know how many they’ve used, which helps customers manage their hours better. We could also cut meters on or off remotely, which limits the number of trips we have to take, which is more convenient for us.”

For the administration, the current focus is on finding ways to improve efficiency in the city and looking to help other regions as well in coming to a solution.

“The city of Kinston needs to develop a strategy on ways to upgrade aging infrastructure,” Murphy said. “Hopefully, since so many other municipalities are facing the same issue, we can learn from each other in a collaboration of ideas and policies.”

 

Junious Smith III can be reached 252-559-1077 andJunious.Smith@Kinston.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JuniousSmithIII.

Breakout box:

Last year, there were record numbers across the board in visitor spending, including an increase in all 100 counties. Here is the amount of money the state brought in:

n $19.4 billion in visitor spending

n $4.39 billion in direct tourism payroll

n $970 million in state tax revenues

n $579 million in local tax revenues

Source: visitnc.com

http://www.kinston.com/news/local/kinston-administrators-attend-electricities-conference-in-asheville-1.185917

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KFP: City council, Kinston Hospitality agree to major deal

By Junious Smith III, Staff Writer 

A major investment agreed to by the Kinston City Council on Monday will bring revenue to residents with minimal risks.

Shortly after its city council meeting, the council had a closed session to deliberate on the economic development agreement with Kinston Hospitality, LLC. When the council came out, an $11.5 million agreement for a hotel in Kinston was reached.

“A new place would provide more revenue in the city,” Kinston Mayor Pro Tem Joe Tyson said. “It will also make the hotel prices more competitive. We have three or four hotels and there are people who come out for family reunions or meetings, only to go to Greenville because their rates are lower.”

The development is expected to provide at least 25 full-time jobs within a year’s time. Broker Walter Poole of Poole Realty is part of the team that will incur the $11.5 million cost for construction and installation.

“We’re working with an investment group in Washington and they have a contract with Northwest corner, which is about three acres of land,” Poole said. “They have a franchise agreement to build a four-story upscale hotel. They were looking for help from the city and they agreed to a plan over a three-year period of tap fees. Once the land is conveyed, we’ll begin construction.”

The city will provide connection of the property to the city’s water and sewer system through tap fees for domestic water, fire line and sanitary sewer services. The city will pay about $12,900 for those services.

Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy believes the hotel will truly benefit residents.

“This project helps create jobs, increases our tax base at little risk to the taxpayers,” Murphy said.

The city council voted unanimously on everything else brought to them in the meeting, including agreeing on the extension of Smithfield Way. The project is a joint effort between the city and Lenoir County to open up a corridor, relieving congestion on Hill Farm Road and U.S. Highway 70.

“That would be a plus because of the new industries coming in,” Councilman Sammy Aiken said. “You need roadways to attract companies and need good entrance ways.”

Another endeavor of importance included the authorization to execute an agreement with the N.C. Department of Transportation for the Queen Street Bridge Replacement Project. As a result, South Queen Street will be closed off next year until all repairs can be made.

“Although closing all lanes of traffic is not ideal, completing the project in half the time as well as receiving permanent improvements is necessary,” Murphy said. “This is a long-term gain.”

The council also took a look at the Utility Development Ordinance and will later update some of the regulations in the ordinance.

“We’re upgrading regulations and trying to satisfy citizens who aren’t in favor of solar panels,” Aiken said. “A lot of communities don’t want solar panels in the area, so the UDO explains how many feet from neighborhoods the panels can be, so they won’t be seen.”

Overall, Tyson was pleased with the amount of progress made in the open and closed sessions.

“We did some things that we hadn’t been able to get done in a while,” Tyson said. “It was good to wrap everything up and address what we needed to.”

The next city council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 5.

 

Junious Smith III can be reached at 252-559-1077 andJunious.Smith@Kinston.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JuniousSmithIII.

 

Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 23:16 PM.

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KFP: Fixing the Streets of Kinston

Fixing the streets of Kinston

KFP0626 Fixing The Streets

Margaret King sits on her swing behind her home Tuesday off College Street. King has seen about 150 cars pass by on a given day since the street condition has improved.

Janet S. Carter / The Free Press

Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 21:44 PM.

When B.J. Murphy was elected as the mayor of Kinston in 2009, he said road maintenance would be a serious priority during his term.

“When I took over in office, we were lucky to have $50,000 to $100,000 in our street resurfacing budget,” Murphy said. “In order to be on a 25-year life cycle for the roads, we needed to be spending $450,000 to $515,000 per year. I went door to door and talked to citizens. Besides taxes, reducing crime, utility rates and jobs, one of the biggest concerns was on fixing streets.”

While Murphy hasn’t been able to acquire his initial amount, the Kinston City Council has made progress in attending to the concern of the streets, raising the budget to about $200,000. The rise in funds for street maintenance came in the 2012-13 fiscal year, City Manager Tony Sears’ first.

“He put me in a precarious situation during my first budget,” Sears said. “He was adamant about increase funding of road resurfacing from $100,000 in the 2011-12 year to $200,000 and it passed.”

As a result, Kinston residents have seen major changes with smoother roads. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and College Street are amongst streets that have been repaired. The city council just approved fixing the Briarwood area, which has had major infrastructure damage.

“We have a very scientific formula that is fair for all sides when it comes to addressing needs,” Murphy said. “The amount of traffic and damaged roads are factors in prioritizing projects. No favoritism is played and the council makes decisions on the streets that will be resurfaced due to fiscal funding.”

The formula came from a street condition survey created by Kinston Public Services, who have worked with the Kinston City Council in order to figure out which road to improve next.

“We had been doing it for several years with our staff inspecting city maintained streets categorized by use, damage, traffic, rutting, rattling and ride quality,” Public Services Director Rhonda Barwick said. “Funding has been hard to come by, but the council does their best. It’s not moving as fast as we like, but were moving in a positive direction.”
Last year, College Street was a focus for maintenance. Margaret King — who has lived on College Street since 1992 — saw increased traffic and smoother roads due to changes.

“This street was like a shortcut if you’re coming from the mall, plaza or went to see people in the nursing home,” King said. “The roads were terrible, but you would still see maybe 75 cars go through a day because of the convenience. Now, you see twice that many.”
Dennis Sherwood also saw plenty of improvements on College Street. In his three years as a technical consultant at Daughety’s Office Equipment, Sherwood has seen many positive transitions.

“A lot of problems that used to be on this road have gone away,” Sherwood said. “This intersection doesn’t flood; rain used to stay on the surface instead of down a storm drain. Then, the pitch slant was so severe that an 18-wheeler couldn’t even close its lift gate.”
Currently, Herritage Street has been in the plans for fixing but the city council is looking for cooperation with the N.C. Department of Transportation before creating a plan.

“Most citizens and some elected officials don’t know where state transportations starts and stops,” Murphy said. “Part of Herritage Street is in the city, but the other part is in the state and we can’t do anything there. It can be confusing because those roads are in city limits, but we’ve addressed them and hopefully we can have it all fixed soon.”

The primary concern for city council when it comes to maintaining the roads is making sure funding can be available without having to gouge residents of Kinston.

“All funding for repairs comes from taxpayers,” Murphy said. “In order to increase the road budget, we would have to do a 2 cent increase in taxes or a 2 cent reduction in other services like parks and recreation, human resources, police and firefighters. Of course, that was out of the question and we’ve steadily increased our amount and concerns.”

The Kinston City Council is still working diligently in trying to find ways to speed the process for road resurfacing.

“Funding for streets isn’t at optional level, but as an organization we’re committed to increase.” Sears said.

Junious Smith III can be reached at 252-559-1077 andJunious.Smith@Kinston.com. Follow him on Twitter @JuniousSmithIII.

http://www.kinston.com/news/local/fixing-the-streets-of-kinston-1.163956?tc=cr

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Mayor Murphy appears on NCSPIN

This week we have a special edition of NC SPIN featuring four Mayors from North Carolina. They include:

Mayor Nancy McFarlane, Raleigh
Mayor Bill Bell, Durham
Mayor Jill Swain, Huntersville
Mayor B.J. Murphy, Kinston

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