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DMV denies Spring Hope's request for license plate agency

Spring Hope will not be adding a license plate agency to its town at the moment.

According to Mary Penny Kelley, Spring Hope Chamber of Commerce President, the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has rejected the chamber's application through a form letter. The chamber submitted an application earlier this year.

"The form letter says Rocky Mount's really big. There's a license plate agency there. You're (Spring Hope) very small so there's no need. We don't want to pull customers away," she said.

Kelley continued, "Southern Nash doesn't have another license plate agency. A lot of people in the Southern half of the county, we think, would come here. It's more convenient than going to Rocky Mount, or going to Zebulon, or going to Louisburg."

She said the chamber will amend its application and continue to pursue the possibility of adding the license plate agency to the town.

The chamber is also looking to possibly open up a bill pay office where people could pay their bills as an add-on to the license plate agency should the agency be approved.

In other news, The Spring Hope Chamber of Commerce continues to execute strategic planning activities to help promote businesses in the town.

Kelley said the chamber is getting quotes for upgrading business signs such as directional signs on the corner of Pine Street and Alternate 64. The signage upgrade will allow for visitors to be "appropriately directed to businesses in the downtown area."

The chamber is also providing a signage grant which existing business members could apply for to refresh their business signs. The Painted Peacock will receive a sign refresher, she said.

Kelley said the chamber is preparing a trifold brochure about the town and its businesses.

"It could serve dual purposes of an introduction of the town and the businesses that are in town with a little map of how to get around," she said.

Kelley announced Spring Hope Chamber of Commerce Office Manager Sheila Jeffreys will be working longer on Mondays. Jeffreys will now be available until about 2 p.m., as stated by Kelley.

She mentioned Town Manager Jae Kim will be conducting an education piece on what it takes to set up a new business in town. The event will take place at 5 p.m. at Sweet Caroline's on September 25th.

Kelley also said a sidewalk sale will be held in October where merchants put their wares on display for customers to purchase.

The chamber will host another fall/winter fashion show. She said last year's fashion show was "very well received."

On a different note, Brenda Blue, owner of All 4 U Property LLC. in Wilson, expressed her concern about the utility costs for her business. She manages about 60 properties in the Spring Hope and Nash County areas.

Blue told commissioners she felt the utility costs her company is being charged is too much to turn on water to clean properties for re-renting is "a lot for a property owner."

She said she did not realize the company was being charged $50 to get the water turned on and another $46 for minimum use for water. Within the charges, Blue said her company is also being charged for sewage and garbage, which she said it doesn't use.

She asked commissioners if something could be done to lower the utility costs for her company.

Kim said he researched utility costs of other counties and they "all charge a reconnection fee or some kind of deposit in some form or fashion."

He stated, "This is a utility so we can't charge an individual company one set of fees and the residents or renters or tenants another. Everyone has to be charged the exact same amount. We can't pick and choose who gets charged a certain amount."

Mayor Buddy Gwaltney added, " It's the cost of doing business."

The commissioners will not be lowering the utility prices for Blue's property management business.

In other business, Dean Holmes of Envirolink said leaves and limbs pickup will be August 16th and 17th, and September 6th, 7th, 20th, and 21st. Holmes also noted he will be moving on to another position within the maintenance company.

Meanwhile, Police Chief Anthony Puckett said drug boxes are now available at the police department for elderly or disabled people to store their medications securely. The boxes were donated by Port Health Services.

"It's a way to keep their medicine secure if you have somebody like children in the house." he explained.

Puckett also said the next police/fire department blood drive will be October 18th at the town fire department.

On another note, regarding the Powell Bill Project, town engineer Kevin Varnell of Stocks Engineering said speed tables have been placed on McLean Street and the project is moving along pretty well.

The commissioners will meet again on Tuesday, September 5th.

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