Alcohol prevention a priority

By Brie Handgraaf

Staff Writer

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Among the issues on tonight’s agenda for the Rocky Mount City Council is a proclamation to declare April as Alcohol Awareness Month for the Prevention of Underage Drinking.

“Alcohol Awareness Month was established as a nationwide effort to provide the American public with information about the disease of alcoholism and the serious problem of alcohol abuse,” the proclamation states.

The proclamation states that youth who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21. Alcohol also contributes to sexual assaults, date rapes and unprotected sex as well as contributes to the leading cause of death among youth ages 10-24.

“(Mayor David Combs) encourages all citizens to pledge to take a stand to prevent underage drinking and drug abuse and to participate in activities provided by Edgecombe Nash Coalition on Alcohol and Drugs to promote healthy, drug-free ‚Ä®communities and the prevention of underage drinking in the Twin Counties,” the proclamation states.

Also on the agenda is the appropriation of $40,250 for a sewer line extension to the Acme United facility. A N.C. Department of Commerce grant covers $30,000 of the costs while a $10,250 allocation will be made from the Sewer Fund.

Council members also will vote on whether to approve demolition orders for 19 properties throughout the city for Community Code violations. Officials said the cost, including asbestos abatement, will be about $85,000 and is covered from an annual allocation for demolition of dilapidated structures.

The property owners of a house on the 1800 block of Acorn Ridge Road also have petitioned the city to connect their property to the city water line. According to the request that will be voted on by the council members, the well on the property is no longer functional due to iron and the owners have requested that the $3,334 fees be assessed against the property due to financial hardships.

Other items on the agenda for the 7 p.m. meeting include rescheduling the second meeting in May for Tuesday, May 27 due to Memorial Day as well as announcing a public hearing at 6 p.m. on April 21 about the proposed event center.