Aurora approves inspection of shop
Resident/owner refuses to leave
By CHRISTINA HALE
An Aurora native who lives in his lawn mower repair shop on First Street wants to stay, but the town’s Board of Commissioners approved a condemnation inspection by the county by unanimous vote Wednesday night.
Commissioner George Jones was hesitant to approve the inspection.
But, Henry Jennette doesn’t want to move or change anything on his property.
Jennette started working at the shop in 1976 and in 1984 he made it into a small-engine repair shop.
“I work on lawn mowers. This is my work and my stay place,” Jennette said.
Town Clerk Sandra Sartin said the residence is not in compliance with town ordinances. “You’re not supposed to live in a business. I’ve heard he has no bathroom.”
Sartin said she had heard from the community that he “dumps it in the backyard.”
Town Attorney Brantley Peck told the board an inspection by the Beaufort County Health Department would reveal the truth to some of the rumors.
Mayor Winnifred Douglas said she had been inside the residence. “It’s piled up with all kinds of stuff.”
The board offered Jennette “a much nicer place and he turned it down,” Commissioner Clif Williams said Wednesday night.
Jennette said he was never offered a house. “That’s a lie,” he said. “But even if they did, I want to stay in Aurora on my own property.”
Jones said another residence on the corner of Main and Eighth streets in Aurora needed to be addressed more so than Jennette’s property. “There are drugs and kids in there.”
Commissioner Lou Leaming said the town had to be fair when considering property for condemnation. “You can’t make an exception for one and not for everyone.”
Commissioner Patricia Bragg said, “If you continue to let him live this way the next generation will live that way.”
Williams made a motion to request that the property be inspected for condemnation. Bragg seconded the motion.
Jennette is determined to stay. “I’m not going to allow it. I pay taxes every year like everyone else,” he said.
In other business, the board approved the purchase of a performance bond for the contract with Southern Corrosion Company. The contract was accepted at the Sept. 4 meeting for maintenance of the town’s water tank with the first four year’s payment being at a fixed rate of $7,825 per year and the fifth year rate set at $10,760.
If something were to happen, the money put into a performance bond would pay for another company to complete the work, Peck explained to the board Wednesday. The bond would cost two percent of the annual premium.
Jones made a motion for the town to purchase a performance bond. Leaming asked that a written copy of the bond be provided to the board. Williams seconded the motion and it was carried unanimously.
The Aurora Planning Board made a request to the town board to rezone a piece of property off of N.C. Highway 33 near town from rural to community business. The town agreed Wednesday night to have a public hearing on the rezoning at the November meeting.
The planning board will also have a public hearing on the plans for the new subdivision in Aurora on Oct. 25.
The town board agreed to increase the yearly Christmas parade donation from $300 to $375 and set trick or treating hours for children from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.