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 proposed rule was set to plug sewage ponds. In 1989, Wake schools were looking at a problem that’s still around today. And in 1964, Zebulon was continuing its run of bad luck with running out of things.
Waste is difficult to deal with. Nobody wants it, and storing or disposing of it can be problematic. Developers in eastern Wake County were running into that problem as a proposal threatened to put a stop to one particular method of dealing with sewage.
A proposed change to Wake County’s subdivision ordinance could deal a fatal blow to so-called sewage treatment ponds, giving Wake county planners power to deny the systems.
The county’s planning department recently recommended that the county Board of Commissioners amend the ordinance to include language that prohibits the systems because “they pose a health threat for human contact.”
Without the language, county officials have no means to deny subdivisions based on whether their site plans contain sewage treatment ponds. That task is up to officials at the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
“We’re saying that treatment ponds are not an appropriate land use,” Wake county Planning Director Melanie Wilson said. “If someone does come in with a wastewater treatment system, we’re saying that the water has to comply with reuse standards. If someone came in with the treatment ponds in their plans, that could be grounds to deny the subdivision request.”
It’s no secret that schools in N.C. have their issues. And one of the most contentious issues today was also a problem 25 years ago: disparity in school spending.
A study by the Public School Forum of North Carolina has revealed that, despite efforts to equalize educational opportunities for children, a “wide” gap exists in the amount of money spent locally for public schools.
According to the study, the lowest per student expenditure among all school systems is less than one-third the state average. The disparity between school units with the highest and lowest local spending per student is $3,000. Only 33 of the state’s 140 school systems exceed the statewide average for local expenditures.
The average for local spending per student was $975 last year. Of the state’s school systems, Wake County ranked seventh with $1,634 in total effort per student, while Franklin County placed 56th with $806, Johnston County was listed 80th with $691, followed by Nash County at 81st with $690.
A couple of weeks before, Zebulon had run out of water because of a little, shall we say, inaccurate number-crunching when filling a pool. In the week of June 4, banks around the country were running low on coins, and apparently it was enough of a problem to issue a plea in the paper to get people to bring in their change.
A serious coin shortage has developed in banks across the country, Robert D. Massey, cashier of Peoples Bank & Trust Co. here, said this week.
The coin shortage has affected the local bank, and Massey urges persons having coins to bring them in to the bank in exchange for currency.
Massey said the bank desperately needs 50 cent pieces. An order for half dollars placed with the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond this week was turned down.
The cashier said the shortage affecting the banks is in a large part due to so many coin-operated machines throughout the country. He added that many persons, too, like to collect and keep coins.
Hey, they’re even more of a collector’s item now. Meanwhile lots of machines are being retrofitted to accept credit and debit cards.