City to address Merritt Commons landscaping

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The Roxboro City Council formulated its plans for the future of Merritt Commons and the request of a flagpole in honor of Bruce Wrenn.

David Penninger initially made the request and addressed the council Tuesday night, answering several of the questions raised during the council’s December meeting.

Penninger said that the flagpole would be 25 feet tall with a 4 x 6 flag at the right corner of the Merritt Commons gazebo facing Main Street.

Mayor Merilyn Newell noted that the area is not well lit and any potential markers could be a trip hazard.

“They walk all over this place,” Newell said. “That’s what we have to be prepared for.”

Penninger said that he knows the city is looking to redo the landscaping at Merritt Commons and the flagpole could be integrated to any potential landscaping. It was said at the December City Council meeting that the bushes at Merritt Commons were in need of being cut back and the entire landscaping would need to be addressed.

After councilman Benji Gault suggested extending the existing brick pavers to the pole and putting a marker for Wrenn in the pavers, Mayor Pro Tem Tim Chandler suggested making the area into a place of honor.

“What are we going to do when the next situation comes before us?” Chandler said. “I could envision us almost having a walk of fame in that area. Some people are going to come to us and say ‘such and such did this’ and they did. We’re going to need to have a plan to accommodate.”

Penninger said he knew the question of what would be done when someone else came with a similar request would be raised at Tuesday’s meeting.

“Once you do this, there will be others and it will be the start of something and I get that too,” Penninger said. “You have to set guidelines and stick with it, and I understand that as well.”

After some discussion, council members decided that city staff would proceed with immediately removing the bushes around Merritt Commons to have a better idea of an available area and a plan would be brought to council in February for the new landscaping and flagpole.

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