Tour educates councilmen

Published 2:12 pm Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Contributing Editor

An orientation tour of city facilities had a chilling effect on members of the Washington City Council on Monday, not so much because of what they learned but because of cold temperatures.
The orientation tour is designed to help new council members — and veteran council members, too — become familiar with city departments, city facilities and services and programs provided by the city. The tour began at noon and concluded shortly before 5:30 p.m.
“It’s been interesting,” said Edward Moultrie, one of the three new council members, moments after the tour concluded at City Hall. “It’s been very informative.”
Moultrie said he found the water-treatment plant, located near Beaufort County Community College, an interesting facility. The tour of that facility provided him a better understanding of services the city provides to city residents and county residents who live outside the city limits.
The plant provides drinking water to Beaufort County water system customers who live north of the Pamlico River. The town of Belhaven and Bath operate their own water systems.
William Pitt, another of the three new council members, also said he came away from the tour with a better appreciation of how involved the city is in its residents’ lives.
“It was fast, informative,” Pitt said about the tour just minutes after it ended.
“It gives me a base to start from,” said Pitt about how the tour will help him govern the city. “I’ve got a better appreciation of the services the city provides but the public doesn’t see.”
Joining Pitt and Moultrie on the tour were Bobby Roberson, a new council member and former planning director for the city, and veteran council members Doug Mercer and Gil Davis. Mayor Archie Jennings, City Manager James C. Smith and several city department heads and other city employees also accompanied the tour group for various segments of the tour.
The tour included stops at City Hall, the city’s wastewater-treatment plant, the city’s communications center, the police station, fire station No. 2, the city warehouse and the open space — also informally known as Festival Park — between the North Carolina Estuarium and the former Maola plant. That area is a major part of the recently developed revitalization strategy developed for the city’s waterfront/downtown area.
For additional coverage of the orientation session, see future editions of the Washington Daily News.