Council to consider ballpark site, Christmas tree lighting, more Wednesday


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With Election Day tomorrow, Wilmington City Council won’t meet Tuesday as usual, but at least one item on the agenda for council’s Wednesday night meeting will depend on what happens Tuesday at polls.

If voters approve a $37 million bond referendum for the ballpark, council will vote on a resolution for a $5.2 million option to purchase an eight-acre parcel next to the Isabel Holmes Bridge for the stadium. If the bond vote fails, the resolution will likely be moot.

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Staff will also provide options for improving the visibility/navigation of Kenan Fountain at Market and 5th streets. Several cars have hit the fountain over the last two years, and council has directed staff to look at alternatives to help reduce accidents at the fountain. Council is not expected to take a formal vote, but will be asked to provide input and direction about the various alternatives.

Council will also hear an update about the city’s new Big Blue recycling program and will join the national America Recycles Day on Nov. 15. Beginning next week, large blue recycling carts will be delivered to customers who participate in the city’s voluntary recycling program. The number of customers who choose to recycle has already increased by more than 10 percent since the carts started being promoted last spring. The carts will be delivered Nov. 12-Dec. 1, just in time for the holidays when recycling is heaviest. Weekly recycling pick-up will continue until Jan. 7, 2013, when the new every-other-week schedule will begin. The city will save $220,000 in annual manpower costs with the new schedule, and expects the amount of materials to be recycled to increase by 15-20 percent.

Council will consider a resolution to accept the donation of a one-acre parcel at 6001 Mariner Lane (formerly Hinton Avenue) for a park in the Seagate neighborhood. The park would be a memorial to the original property owners, the late Edward John Haneman (“Captain” Eddy Haneman) and his wife Mary Haneman, who were well known in area for sport fishing/recreation in the 1950s-1990s. The park would include a memorial plaque and playground, as well as bike racks that will be needed because of the nearby River-to-Sea Bikeway.

Another resolution would move the current holiday tree lighting from the old tree at the Sweeney Water Plant to the Rotary Wheel at Greenfield Lake beginning this year, with a more extensive holiday celebration coordinated with the local Rotary Club beginning in 2013. The old tree at Sweeney is no longer capable of supporting lights because 80 percent of the foliage at the top of the tree is now gone. In addition, access to the plant is limited because of additional post 9/11 security measures and the opening of the MLK Parkway. The local Rotary Club proposed the new holiday tradition and will work with the city to develop holiday programs at the site.

City Council meets Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.