The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

May 10, 2013

Possibility for Microbreweries and solar energy facilities



TARBORO — Microbreweries and solar energy facilities in Tarboro?

Could be.

Despite a call for a public hearing on the Town of Tarboro’s $42.9 million budget being among the items the Tarboro Town Council will face when it next meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, it’s the planning board and zoning commission report that contains some of the more interesting reading.

The proposed budget maintains the current tax rate of 41 cents per $100 valuation on $884,073,000 with a collection rate of 96.4 percent.

Additionally, the budget includes a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 2.5 percent, although there are no merit pay increases included in the budget.

The planning board and zoning commission report includes a pair of Unified Development Ordinance amendments — including one for permitting minor solar energy facilities in residential districts and major solar energy facilities in the I-1 and I-2 zoning districts and a second to define and permit microbreweries in B-1, B-2, I-1 and I-2 zoning districts.

Under the UDO, a microbrewery would be defined as a facility brewing less than 15,000 barrels (465,000 gallons) with a tasting room and retail sales room. According to the North Carolina Brewers Guild, North Carolina boasts the largest number of craft breweries in the South, with more than 50 breweries and brewpubs.

There are two microbreweries in the region, incuding Duck Rabbit Craft Brewery in Farmville and Mother Earth Brewing in Kinston.

The planning board recommends the council call for and hold a public hearing to approve the text amendments as presented.

In other action:

• Council will consider writing off $49,168.32 in uncollectible utility bills.

• Summer operating hours for M.A. Ray Center, including 9-6 Monday-Friday and noon-4 on Saturdat and closed on Sunday.