This week in history we look back 10, 25 and 50 years to see what was going on in the eastern Wake County area.
In 2004, a historical site’s future was in doubt. In 1989, the Johnston County School Board was still reeling from a sounds defeat. And in 1964, the local power company was making a move into the future.
Zebulon residents are no doubt familiar with the Zebulon Town Hall, formerly Wakelon School. In 2004, there was some uncertainty as to its future.
A Zebulon landmark is likely to be too expensive to land in the town’s hands. While GlaxoSmithKline is said to be interested in selling the Wakelon School, also known as the old Zebulon Elementary School, the town is probably not going to be the buyer.
Glaxo, which bought the school from the Wake County Public School System in 1986, according to Wake County real estate records, has contacted the town and asked if Zebulon was interested in buying the about 17-acre property at the corner of West Judd Street and North Arendell Avenue near U.S. 64. But the town has been skittish about the cost, especially since the school, which opened in 1990, would probably have to be renovated to serve the town.
[...]While the property’s price might be too steep, the town is also worried about possible renovation costs. To house town departments, such as parks and recreation as well as police and administration, Zebulon would have to renovate at least part of the building, probably including the roof. Needed renovations could cost several hundred thousand dollars, if not more.
The town is also not eager to take on the operating costs that can be high for an old building with more than 34,000 square feet of heated space.
Some officials said the old school building’s operating costs could be two or three times more expensive than those of a new structure.
Evidently Zebulon officials figured something out, because the old Wakelon School is now the home of the Zebulon Town Hall.
Last week we examined a story about parents defeating a bond that would’ve imposed tortuous requirements for busing students all across Johnston County. This week in 1989, the school board was still trying to wrap their heads around the impressive voter turnout.
Opponents and supporters alike were surprised last week after Johnston County voters defeated a $47 million school bond referendum.
Not only were school board officials who proposed the referendum and some parents who fought against it caught off guard by the bond’s defeat, but also by voter turnout and the wide margin with which the issue was rejected.
“I was quite surprised by the number of total voters and the margin of defeat,” said board of education chairman Dr. Dicky Parrish. “Whether it won or lost, I didn’t expect the margin to be what it was.”
On Tuesday, 10,778 residents, about 30 percent of Johnston’s registered voters, marked their ballots against the bond by more than a 3-2 margin. Of the county’s 29 precincts, the issue passed in only six and by less than three votes in two of those.
The strongest opposition to the bond was in the northern part of the county. The issue was defeated 891 to 242 in three Corinth-holders area precincts, North and South O’Neals and Wilders; 799 to 149 in the two Ingrams precincts near Four Oaks; and 540 to 161 in the two Boon Hill precincts near Princeton. [...]The bond was defeated 1,030 to 850 in Smithfield’s three precincts.
These days, automated billing lets you transfer money straight from your account to the utility companies, without having to lift a finger after it’s set up. In 1964, local power company CP&L was taking a step toward the future by streamlining their process with envelopes.
Local customers of Carolina Power & Light Company will receive their bills in a new form this month.
F.T. Scarborough, CP&L manager, said bills received in October and afterwards will be enclosed in envelopes – a move toward electronic computer billing which virtually dictates the use of envelopes.
Scarborough added that payment of the new envelope bills will be made at the local CP&L office or other local collection points in the past.
“A distinct advantage of the envelope bill is the opportunity for the company to communicate with customers through enclosures of printed matter other than the bill,” he said. “We look forward to sending the customer news he might not otherwise get, as well as information on company practices and policies in which he has an interest.”
Phew, going all the way to the power company office to pay our bills? No thanks.