The Town of Gaston just completed an election for two Town Council seats.
Total population: 1,608
Median household income: $54,044
Percent of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 12%
Employment rate: 64.6%
Total housing units: 712
Percent of population without health care coverage: 19.9%
Total households: 806
Median age: 31.8
Black/African-American population: 232
Hispanic/Latino population: 220
Data from census.gov
The Town of Gaston just completed an election for two Town Council seats, as a local ministry continues in its efforts to help the underprivileged and work continues on local roads.
Gaston held its regular election Jan. 17, with two at-large council seats on the line. Incumbents Charles Sharpe and Jimmy Cox won re-election in their write-in campaigns. Sharpe and Cox received 14 and 16 votes, respectively. Sharpe was running to secure a second term, while Cox was after his third.
Sharpe told the Chronicle that he wishes another person had run for the position and emphasized that residents need to get involved with the town and attend meetings. According to him, the town is running smoothly, and there are no imminent goals the council is trying to reach.
The Chronicle was unable to reach Cox for comment.
Disciples United for Community Outreach – which has provided free food, clothes and other help to people in need for three years – is continuing its efforts in the new year.
Tammy Bailey, the founder of the ministry, told the Chronicle that the group’s goals for the new year include getting refrigeration on the property, donating 100 pairs of shoes to children for school, and improving mental health resources.
Last year, Troy Bivens, the mayor of the town of about 1,600 people, said neighbors next to the property at 204 Meadowfield Rd. had complained about noise and being woken up during early morning hours by people rummaging through the clothes bin.
Since then, Bailey said she and her neighbor have reconvened.
“It's been phenomenal. Matter of fact, [the neighbor] called me this morning and he's helping us get the county to get the water coming into the property.” Bailey said, “He's lining all that up so he's partnered with us, it’s wonderful.”
She said the clothes bin has not been moved, which was indicated as a solution during an earlier interview, but it has been made inaccessible. Bailey said they still plan to move it in the future.
The ministry continues to hold food drives, doing a large one on the first and third Thursday of each month and smaller on the second and fourth Thursday. These drives include free food, clothes, and other goods for those in need.
The ministry also hosts Dollar Days, during which people who can pay a small amount for goods on offer, generating funds to help cover the cost of supply shipments, which can range from $700 to $2,000, Bailey said.
She said the ministry started by operating out of a church parking lot, giving what they could, food and clothes, to those in need. At their permanent location, they now see 150-450 people at their events, she said.
Road work is ongoing in Gaston, with the state Department of Transportation continuing its construction on Highway 321.
The rehab and resurfacing project is anticipated to be completed in May.
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