Albemarle council considers golf cart usage, gym upgrades

City also sets dates for Fall Festival and Christmas Open House

ALBEMARLE — Drivers in the city of Albemarle may soon have more to watch out for on the road than pedestrians and the occasional cyclist. Golf carts could be approaching in the rearview mirror.

Albemarle city council members began discussion of the topic at Monday night’s public meeting. It will still be a while before rules and regulations on golf cart use on public roads will be in writing and on the books. Last month, the city council approved drafting of the ordinance by the city attorney. Consideration of the ordinance, which would dictate exactly where golf cart owners will be allowed to travel the roads, was delayed until the council’s next meeting.

E.E. Wadell Recreational Center Gymnasium will be getting a facelift. The Council approved funding for new flooring at the gym which should be installed in time for basketball season. In addition to the new gym floor, funding will allow for bleacher removal and replacement, new tile in the lobby, a Spaulding Volleyball system, and asbestos abatement. Asbestos was found to be present in the glue under the current flooring and tile in place at E.E. Wadell. Originally, $75,000 was originally set aside for the flooring renovation project, with $30,000 coming from a donation by the Albemarle Rotary Club. With the added asbestos removal expenses, the total cost of the project will be upwards of $90,000. The target for completion is sometime in mid-December. The renovation needs to be completed by Dec. 31 to not impact basketball season. Basketball is the biggest program that the Albemarle Parks and Recreation Center offers each year.

Also at Monday night’s meeting, special permits were issued for two of the city’s most popular holiday events — The Annual Downtown Fall Festival and Downtown Christmas Open House. The Fall Festival’s costume contest parade and block party will be held on Thursday, Oct. 26 from 3:30- 6 p.m. Street closures for the event include Second Street from Main Street to North Street. The Downtown Christmas Open House will be held on Friday, Nov.17 from 5:30-9 p.m. The family-friendly event kicks off with a tree lighting at City Hall. Attendees will also be able to enjoy face-painting, food trucks, assorted live entertainment, greet Santa Clause and watch a live nativity performance.

The Albemarle City Council is scheduled to meet again on Nov. 6 in the Council Chambers at City Hall, room 143 at 7 p.m.