Council postpones action on platforms

Published 11:55 pm Saturday, January 19, 2013

The City Council’s OK for the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation’s request to build a camping platform on city property on the Tar River will have to wait a bit longer after the council removed related items from its agenda Monday.
The council was scheduled to consider a recreation lease with PTRF during its meeting Monday, but that item was among others removed from the council’s agenda. The council also was scheduled to consider a memorandum of understanding between the city and PTRF.
Although no specific reason was given for removing the camping-platform request from the agenda, an email from City Attorney Franz Holscher to City Planner John Rodman said the original memorandum of understanding has been revised to incorporate wording changes. The council, as it has done with similar revisions to other agreements in the past, may have tabled acting on the matter until is has time to review the modified paperwork.
PTRF wants the camping platform to be one of several it is building along the Pamlico-Tar River. It wants to lease from the city the property where the camping platform would be located. That property, known as the McMullan tract, is southwest of the U.S. Highway 17 (Business) bridge that crosses the river. The PTRF platforms would be similar to those on the Roanoke River.
The part of the river west of that bridge is the Tar River, with the part of the river east of the bridge known as the Pamlico River.
Any revenue produced by PTRF’s rental of the property would be segregated from other PTRF funds and used to support the camping-platforms program or some similar and suitable public purpose, according to a document in the council’s tentative agenda packet.
Under terms of the original proposal, PTRF would pay $1 annually, plus 25 percent of rental fees PTRF collects for use of the platform.
Last year, PTRF Riverkeepr Heather Jacobs Deck told the council PTRF’s goal is to build a continuous system of platforms from 10 to 15 miles apart, spanning from the river’s headwaters in Granville County to the estuarine waters of the Pamlico Sound in Beaufort, Hyde and Pamlico counties. Some of the platforms have been built, while others await construction.
The proposed platforms would be 32 feet by 16 feet, with half of each platform enclosed with a roof and screened-in area to provide protection from rain and insects.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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