Albemarle City Council honors WWII vet; votes down golf carts

Plaque returned to former base named for veteran

Members of the Albemarle City Council receive a plaque honoring Jesse F. Niven Jr.

ALBEMARLE — The Albemarle City Council met Monday night with historical reflections, volunteerism and golf carts on the agenda.

History lives on in Albemarle

Four years after the Albemarle Parks and Recreation moved its headquarters from a 1940s-era house at Rock Creek Park to the former J.F. Niven Army Reserve Base next to East Albemarle Elementary School, a piece of its history has made its way back to city center. At Monday night’s meeting, staff from the Stanly County Museum returned a World War II Memorial plaque that had been located at the base. The plaque, which bears Jesse F. Niven Jr.’s name, will likely be placed at the new community center, built in 2013, located at 1816 East Main St. in Albemarle.

The J.F. Niven base was decommissioned in 2005, and the facility was converted to a community center through the Federal Lands to Parks Program of the Department of the Interior and the National Parks Service. Because of its association with Jesse F. Niven, an Albemarle native and World War II veteran who died in battle on July 20, 1944, the Albemarle City Council voted to keep the Niven name on the facility.

In addition to housing the administrative and maintenance centers for the parks and recreation department, the facility also serves as the hub for the Stanly County Senior Center’s congregate nutrition site, as well as providing offices for Homes of Hope, a local nonprofit that provides transitional housing to assist motivated people from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

United Way of Stanly County makes good on fundraising promise

The City of Albemarle employees had a very successful United Way campaign, raising $26,982 to support the United Way of Stanly County and its programs. The city council presented the United Way of Stanly County with a check during the meeting. All funds came directly from donations by Stanly County employees. Lindsay Carter and Anita Almond serve as the city’s campaign coordinators. For their efforts, the city council voted to provide the two women with an extra day of vacation for their volunteer efforts.

“Lindsay Carter and Anita Almond did an amazing job,” said Jennifer McSwain, executive director. “There were a lot of city employees who have retired, and Lindsay kept the emails going to encourage donations and the city employees exceeded last year’s total.”

“Ninety-six percent of the monies raised go to support our partner programs, like Hospice of Stanly County and the Uwharries and the John P. Murray Community Care Clinic in Albemarle,” McSwain added.

City Council says no to golf carts

In a somewhat surprise vote, Albemarle City Council members failed to get a two-thirds majority vote on an ordinance to approve and regulate golf cart use on city streets. Council members voted down the measure, which would have allowed for the use of golf carts on city streets with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. Several council members commented said that within the past few weeks they had been approached by community members who voiced their concerns about golf carts on the roads with cars. Once council member also said she was voting no on the ordinance but would have liked to have had more public feedback at the meetings to truly gauge public opinion on the matter. So, for now, it’s no to golf carts on the roads in Albemarle.