Archived Story

Board OKs drainage-tax ordinance

Published 1:10am Thursday, April 4, 2013

Drainage districts in Beaufort County will bear the burden of collection fees associated with efforts to collect delinquent drainage-district maintenance assessments, according to a new county ordinance.

The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners approved the ordinance at its meeting Monday. The issue surfaced at the board’s March 11 meeting, at which time the board asked County Attorney Billy Mayo to research the matter and prepare an ordinance for its consideration.

At the March meeting, Commissioner Hood Richardson contends that county tax dollars should not pay for efforts, including foreclosures, to collect delinquent maintenance assessments. Paying for such efforts is the responsibility of the drainage district, he said.

In other business, the board decided to oppose state House Bill 484 and state Senate Bill 491, which establish a permitting system and related regulations, related to wind-energy facilities. If it becomes law, it would regulate wind-energy farms such as the one proposed by Invenergy for a site near Pantego.

“These bills are putting some significant restrictions on wind-turbine projects. … We received communication from the Invenergy folks, and they feel this bills are excessive,” said County Manager Randell Woodruff. “My concern is we’ve gone through this clearinghouse process for a number of months now that is administered by the federal government, Department of Defense and the Pentagon, and we’re moving forward. I think at our last meeting in Raleigh, they indicated, hopefully, that within 45 or 60 days they’re going to be finished with their project, their process. Now that state is coming along and creating this additional, cumbersome process that’s going to undermine what the federal government is doing right now. It’s just not necessary.”
Commissioner Al Klemm replied, “They’re want to make it so hard that nobody does it.”

Commissioner Ed Booth said, “If this bill passes … and this project is defeated and goes down, I want to pursue every avenue that we can to get some conservationist money for our folks who are going to lose all this tax base.”

The board voted unanimously to adopt a resolution opposing the bills.

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