KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — During Tuesday’s Kinston City Council meeting, the city approved money for a $2 million bid to repair stormwater infrastructure along Vernon Avenue while also recognizing the accomplishments of its police department.

Councilman Chris Suggs said the passage of money for the stormwater issue is a huge milestone for the city and its citizens because of struggles with stormwater and infrastructure issues, and the infrastructure is aging.

“Vernon Avenue is probably the most high-traffic roadway in Kinston and is in need of some repairs,” Suggs said. “So we’re hoping that investing in the city portion of the stormwater sewer infrastructure up under the road, it’ll also give the state and NCDOT to go ahead and repave that roadway.”

He says repairs will happen between Herritage Street and Hillcrest Road. Repairs should start in the next couple of months.

“By us investing in major infrastructure projects like this, we can hopefully reduce utility bills, reduce utility rates, and provide sufficient and effective services to our customers who utilize the city for stormwater, water, sewer and electric utilities,” Suggs said.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, seven members of the Kinston Police Department’s Violent Crime Action Team were honored for their outstanding work. Kinston Police Chief Keith Goyette said the award comes from the North Carolina Gang Investigators Association in Winston-Salem. It highlights the accomplishments the gang unit achieved from last December through now.

“Our shootings and murders were down from eight to two during that time span,” Goyette said. “Our shootings with gang members were down dramatically and our illegal firearms were up at the same time. So we view that as a success for our organization.”

The police department’s Violent Crime Action Team’s mission is to lower the homicide rate, and violent crime rate through proactive policing, officer presence and education.