Aldermen push back vote on grant to build Pepsi Museum to April 11

New Bern Board of Alderman Meeting
New Bern Board of Alderman Meeting

Update: New Bern Now obtained a copy of the revised Table of Contents which was outlined in the proposal from Bradham’s Legacy — the governing body for a future Pepsi Museum. It was given to the Board of Aldermen prior to them going into session last night. Read it here.

The New Bern Board of Aldermen have postponed their decision on whether to submit an application for nearly $1 million to build a Pepsi Museum in downtown New Bern.

During their March 28 meeting, the board approved by a 4-3 vote a motion from Alderman Hazel Royal to table the agenda item until the board’s April 11 meeting.

Aldermen Rick Prill, Johnnie Ray Kinsey, and Barbara Best joined Royal in voting to postpone the discussion.

Royal said she made the motion based on information the board received just prior to the meeting and said she would like more time to “understand the framework and the details.” 

“Given the information that we just received when we walked into the room it would allow us to review the updated information that we have received and it would allow for our citizens to have an opportunity,” Royal told the board. 

Following the meeting, Royal explained that the board had received an updated version of information included in a proposal from the local nonprofit Bradham’s Legacy, which has requested that the city submit an application on its behalf for a Rural Transformation Grant in the amount of $950,000. The funds would be used to develop a 6,000-8,000 square foot, city-owned museum “for the purpose of educating the public on Pepsi’ s important historical relationship with New Bern,” according to the proposal.

The information, which was included in the board’s regular agenda packet, outlines items such as construction costs for the museum, financing for the project and the projected economic impact to the New Bern community. 

Royal also asked that Swiss Bear, Inc., which is named as “fiduciary agent of the funds resulting from grants and donations received to implement the opening of the Museum,” make a formal presentation at the April 11 meeting that includes specific details related to the partnerships outlined in the proposal from Bradham’s Legacy. 

For a detailed explanation of the information provided to the board by Bradham’s Legacy, see New Bern Now’s March 24 story,

Royal told New Bern Now she had not had time to look at the updated presentation and was not prepared to vote on the issue at the March 28 meeting.

She said she wanted to ensure that New Bern citizens have an opportunity to hear the information and that the board has their questions addressed.

“We didn’t have time to review the updated document, it was on the dias when we walked in,” Royal said. “There were also other questions that were generated from the agenda packet.”

By Todd Wetherington, co-editor. Send an email with questions or comments.