Craft distillery rules, Kenan Fountain lighting on city council’s agenda Tuesday is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Kenan Fountain occupies the middle of the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Market Street in Wilmington. Port City Daily file photo.
Kenan Fountain occupies the middle of the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Market Street in Wilmington. Port City Daily file photo.

Wilmington City Council on Tuesday will consider changing the city’s code to “make it easier for small artisan food and beverage producers, including craft distilleries, to locate in certain areas of the city,” according to a notice from city spokeswoman Malissa Talbert.

The proposed amendment would change wording in the city ordinances to “make it more clear,” Talbert said. The amendment was continued from council’s Feb. 3 meeting.

“Rather than to change the text to specify distilleries, the ordinance would broaden the scope of the ordinance to include all artisan businesses, such as wineries, chocolatiers or coffee roasteries,” she said.

Also on the agenda is an agreement to work with N.C. Department of Transportation to make safety improvements at the intersection of Market Street and Fifth Avenue, where Kenan Fountain is located. If approved, the city will reimburse NCDOT $45,996 for the installation of enhanced lighting around the fountain.

Related story: City crews complete first phase of Kenan Fountain lighting

“The NCDOT project will allow city staff to program traffic and pedestrian signals at the intersection to stay red during night hours until a vehicle arrives at the intersection or a pedestrian pushes the ‘walk’ button,” Talbert said. “The red light will cause cars to slow down when approaching the intersection and is expected to lower the probability that vehicles will hit the fountain.”

Other agenda items include: 

  • An agreement with HealthSCOPE Benefits to administer the city’s self-funded insurance plan and provide access to the Cigna network for healthcare services for city employees, retirees and their dependents. BlueCross BlueShield of NC currently administers the city’s insurance plan. However, a competitive bid process revealed that, based on current numbers, the proposal submitted by HealthSCOPE would provide a savings of more than $144,000 a year. This item was continued from the April 7 council meeting.
  • An agreement with the J. W. Brooks Building unit owners’ association to reconstruct the Riverwalk adjacent to the building. The section of Riverwalk next to the historic Brooks building is currently supported by a deteriorating concrete platform. The platform, which is owned by the unit owners’ association and abuts the Brooks Building property, will be demolished and a new section of Riverwalk will be constructed. This section of Riverwalk has been closed since last September for safety reasons
  • An agreement with New Hanover County to process the city’s recycling materials. A private contractor has approached NHC to build a material recovery facility (MRF) at the old WASTEC incinerator site. The county would agree to process the city’s recycling for $10 a ton once the MRF has been built, which is half the city’s current per ton cost. Click here for more information.

Wilmington City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 102 N. Third St. Click here to view the full agenda.