This Week in History: Dec. 11

December 11, 2013 

Ever wonder what was happening around here 10, 25, and 50 years ago? Here’s a look back at what was making the news in years past, culled from the pages of the Eastern Wake News and its predecessors. Will we learn from the past, or will history repeat itself? Time will tell!

In 2003, the Town of Knightdale was making plans for a new public safety center. In 1963, the Town of Knightdale was working on a solution to a zoning violation that left a church without a home. And in 1963, Wendell dedicated a new municipal building to be used by the fire and police departments.


The Town of Knightdale was looking to get a new public safety office in early December, and was blazing ahead with plans to build it.

The Knightdale Town Council on Tuesday ignited plans to build a $2 million public safety center, selecting an architect for the project and discussing funding sources.

Council members unanimously approved an agreement between the town and the Greenville-based East Group to design and construct the up to 20,000-square-foot center at the corner of Laurens Way and McKnight Drive. The East Group will be paid between $140,000 and $150,000 to design the building, which will house the town’s fire division and police department.

“It’s the best choice when you look at all the groups,” said Mayor Doug Boyd of the council’s choice of firms.

The group will begin drawing up plans for the building immediately, Town Manager Gary McConkey said. To pay for the project, the town has applied to the state Rural Development Agency for a $2 million, 40-year loan. Town officials will meet with representatives from the agency to discuss the application Dec. 17, McConkey said.


The week previous, the Gold Leaf Farmer reported on a church that had been rendered unable to meet because of a zoning violation. This week 25 years ago, Knightdale was working toward a resolution.

The Knightdale Town Council took the first step Saturday toward possible resolution of a zoning violation case that has left a new church homeless for the time being.

During a special called meeting that was conducted shortly after the town’s annual Christmas parade, the council voted to set a public hearing date for a special use permit request that would allow Eastside Baptist Church to resume using a rental residence at 120 Sallinger St. The church had been using the house, owned by Town Councilman Robby Kimball, for services since early October without the necessary council approval required by the municipal zoning ordinance.

Zoning regulations allow a church to be located in a residential district as a special use, but the property must cover at least three acres. Town Council members last week said the Sallinger Street site does not meet the three-acre requirement, and they voted unanimously to have the church “cease and desist” its use of the house until the zoning matter is resolved legally.


On a dark and stormy day, the Town of Wendell dedicated its new municipal complex for use by fire department, police department, and administrative personnel.

Wendell’s new $11,000 municipal building was dedicated Sunday afternoon despite a heavy downpour of rain and gusty gales.

The 9,000-square-foot structure, built with funds from the sale of bonds, houses the administrative, law enforcement and fire department offices. Previously, the departments had occupied separate offices at different locations in the town.

The building was designed by architect Walter Burgess. The exterior is of classic modern functional design and the interior and furnishings are of modern style.

The building was begun last January and completed in November. It is located at the corner of Fourth and Pine Streets. It was designed to take care of Wendell’s administrative needs for the next 30 years.

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