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The Wilson City Council meeting was largely ceremonial Thursday night with the swearing-in of re-elected councilmen taking up a large portion of the less than 10 minute business meeting.
District Court Judge Beth Freshwater-Smith administered the oath of office to Councilman Donald Evans, Councilman Logan Liles, Councilman Derrick Creech and Councilman Tom Fyle — all of whom won re-election in November. A reception was held for the men prior to the meeting, where family and friends shared a social time with elected officials and city leaders. Following the oath of office, the council re-elected James Johnson as the mayor pro tempore for the city.
Three public hearings were held during the meeting, but no one commented on any of the issues: a resolution to the N.C. Department of Transportation for funding, the closure of the 600 block of College Street between Rountree Street and Whitehead Avenue, along with a text change to allow crematoriums to be built adjacent to funeral homes or cemeteries.
The nine current or future funeral homes operating in the city have to use crematoriums outside of Wilson County when the need arises, but the amendment would allow for the cremation of remains in the city. According to the amendment, when allowed with a special permit in a general commercial district, the city would require proper safeguards to protect adjoining property owners such as landscaping and certification by the N.C. Division of Air Quality of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources.
Officials went into a closed session for economic development at 7:09 p.m. that lasted roughly an hour. No action was taken when the council returned to open session and adjourned the meeting.