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Middlesex to hold National Night Out

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Police Chief Mike Collins will get his wish to hold Middlesex’s first-ever National Night Out this coming August after his request was approved Monday evening during town commissioners’ May meeting.

“We’ll give away hot dogs and things like that, drinks to try to draw a big crowd in. We can do something community-wise that we haven’t done and open up for people out in the community to come out and meet the police officers,” Collins said.

Collins said he plans to hold the event from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, a day before communities across the country will celebrate in order to avoid any potential scheduling conflict with neighboring towns. The annual community-building campaign “promotes strong police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live and work” according to the National Night Out website.

Collins did not request any money for the event, saying he will instead solicit businesses and community leaders to help cover any costs.

The town board also passed a resolution to reduce the speed limit from 55 mph to 45 mph at Selma and Stokes roads. This would make the make the speed zone a continuous 45 mph up to the existing 35 mph zone.

“The resolution we are passing takes into account the city limits part, which is where the houses are on both sides of the road,” said Middlesex Mayor Lu Harvey Lewis.

The board approved a $6,921.67 bid for Rocky Mount contractor Window World to replace 11 upstairs windows at the police department.

Also approved was Lewis’ request for the authority to hire workers as needed for the upcoming community swimming pool season. The pool is in the process of being painted and cleaned for its May 25 opening day.

Commissioners also discussed plans to make upgrades to the Hanes Park playground. An allotment of $40,000 originally was in the budget for new playground equipment, but the board decided to forgo more expensive pieces of equipment and to repair and paint the swing set and tilt-a-whirl. Lewis estimated the new costs would not exceed $20,000 but said he would come back to the board should the final estimate exceed that amount.

Before going into closed session for employee evaluations, the board approved a special meeting to discuss the 2018-19 budget audit as well as the 2019-20 budget at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 4 at the town hall.