Belhaven bans alcohol from civic center

Published 5:39 pm Wednesday, December 24, 2008

By Staff
Gives top cop his radar rights
Staff Writer
The Belhaven Town Council voted Monday night to ban alcohol from the Boyette Civic Center effective Jan. 1.
Mayor Adam O’Neal said the civic center was being rented for parties that became rowdy because of the presence of alcohol.
He compared the parties to fraternity parties.
The other alternative presented the council was to double the rental fees. The council opted to leave them alone.
The council also voted to spend nearly $50,000 to replace a generator at the city’s sewage treatment facility.
The new generator is necessary because the existing machine failed when Belhaven recently experienced a power outage. The city is currently renting a generator at a cost of $1,000 per week.
Without the generator, Belhaven would risk raw sewage flowing into area waterways.
That would get the town in trouble with state authorities and could lead to costly fines, town officials said.
The firm providing the new generator has agreed to split the cost of renting the interim generator until the unit the town has ordered can arrive.
The Town Council also voted to allow Belhaven Police Chief Fred Clingenpeel to use radar to catch speeders.
Council members had been concerned the radar was being used for drug interdiction rather than speed-limit enforcement.
And the board voted to give Leverett discretion to use the town vehicle as he sees fit.
Council members said the move didn’t give Leverett any new authority. It was intended to address accusations that Leverett has been inappropriately using the car, O’Neal said.
He praised Leverett lavishly at the meeting.
O’Neal blamed the criticism on political opponents.
The council also voted to approve a commercial overlay district and an overlay district on Pantego Street.
And the council heard from Leverett that leaks allowing water in the amount of 1.2 million gallons each year into the city’s sewer system had been plugged.