Eastern Wake: Community

This Week in History: May 28

Bobby Pace plows his fields at Phoe Bob Farm on Green Pace Road in Zebulon with mules Meg and Janie in 2004. “I just do this as a hobby,” Pace said. “I guess I flunked out of retirement.”
Bobby Pace plows his fields at Phoe Bob Farm on Green Pace Road in Zebulon with mules Meg and Janie in 2004. “I just do this as a hobby,” Pace said. “I guess I flunked out of retirement.” 2004 FILE PHOTO

This week in history we look back 10, 25 and 50 years to see what was happening in the eastern Wake County area.

In 2004, battle lines were being drawn over a downtown lot. In 1989, the town of Zebulon had introduced a new fee into the development process. And in 1964, Wakelon was losing several teachers.


They say possession is nine tenths of the law. In 2004, drivers were complaining after the owners of a plot in downtown Zebulon closed it, preventing people from parking there.

The grass – or gravel – on the other side of the fence might now look more attractive than ever before to some Zebulon drivers. After the owners of a downtown lot blocked access to it, many drivers were either left without parking spaces or access to an alley that runs behind various Arendell Avenue businesses. The owners say they closed the lot after finding parked cars and trash on the lot on a regular basis.

Kay and Anthony Mitchell tried to inform people about the lot’s private status by putting up signs, but in most cases, the markers were either ignored or run over, Kay Mitchell of Spring Hope said, adding she believes people became accustomed to parking on the lot and did not want to give it up.

For years, the Mitchells tolerated the unauthorized use, but when Kay Mitchell discovered that someone had left a trash barrel full of waste on the property, she contacted the town of Zebulon. She asked the town if it could move the barrel and keep the trash picked up, since her property served as a parking lot to many residents and visitors. “They told me they could not do so because it is private property,” Kay Mitchell said. “So I began to think that maybe I should treat it as a private property, too, and put up a fence to keep people out.”


Putting in a development requires an investment from more than just the developer. Because of the investment required from the municipality, the town of Zebulon was introducing “impact fees” to cover the cost on their end.

A bill allowing Zebulon officials to charge developmental impact fees was introduced to state lawmakers last Thursday, March 23.

This legislation would give the Zebulon Town Board the authorization to charge capital cost fees, also known as impact fees, to developments to help pay for the cost of expanding public services and facilities.

“This gives the town the capability to allocate fees to future developers to cover the additional costs,” said Town Manager Charles Horne. “Municipalities do it all the time. It’s geared toward new construction.”

Knightdale officials introduced a similar bill earlier this month.

Zebulon’s current charter does not allow the municipality to charge capital cost fees.


It’s always a problem when a teacher resigns, but five at once can be almost panic-inducing. Wakelon School was experiencing a taste of that panic when five of their finest resigned at the end of the academic year.

Five Wakelon teachers have submitted resignations, it was learned this week. This is the biggest turnover in several years at the school.

Resigning are Roscoe Spellman, social studies; Mrs. Mary P. Seago, English; Mrs. Ann Strickland, mathematics; Mrs. Marilyn Reynold, science; and Jimmy Burns, band.

The school board, in a special call meeting Thursday night, May 21, considered the resignations and approved the hiring of two persons to fill vacancies.

[...]Because of the lack of attendance in the elementary school, a teacher has been lost. Wakelon stands a good chance to regain this teacher next year if the attendance is perfect for the first two weeks of the school year.

The school board stresses the importance of parents keeping their children in school every day next year. If this is observed, the board feels that the needed teacher may be allotted by the state.

Every child in the Wakelon district should be enrolled in the school. Children who plan to attend the school for the next session should be enrolled on a date to be announced by school officials.