Board acts on other items
The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners took action on several items on its agenda at its Monday meeting. Those actions follow.
- Voted unanimously to approve the expenditure of some $136,680 from E-911 funds to establish a back-up communications center capable of receiving E911 calls in the event of a disaster that requires the evacuation of the county’s current communications center. The back-up system would be located in the county’s Emergency Operations Center. Last year, the county was twice forced to evacuate the communications center — on July 12, 2011, because of a chemical leak in the office and on Aug. 26, 2011, because of a water leak. In the event of a total loss of power at the sheriff’s office, the county would lose its 911 and telephone services without a back-up location, the commissioners were told.
- Unanimously approved a request from John Pack, county emergency management coordinator, for $51,030.54 to convert the county’s law enforcement officers, fire, rescue and emergency management personnel to the federally mandated narrowband radio frequency by Oct. 1, 2012. The deadline for the conversion is Jan. 1, 2013, but, Pack said, the earlier conversion would give local officials enough time to make changes if problems should arise. The funds for the conversion will also come from the county’s share of E-911 funds, the commissioners were told.
- Voted unanimously to award the $38,000 contract for the audit of county finances for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 to Martin Starnes and Associates, CPAs, P.A. of Hickory. The firm also was awarded the $39,150 contract to audit the county’s finances for fiscal year 2014.
- Unanimously approved a demographic study of future county population growth to help with school planning at a cost of $17,500.
- Tabled a request from Stacey Harris, environmental health supervisor, to buy a replacement car for the division at a cost of $16,663 plus tax and tags. The commissioners will consider the request as part of their 2012-2013 fiscal-year budget discussion, Harris was told.
- Voted 5-2 to approve $10,514.72 in travel requests, with Commissioners Stan Deatherage and Hood Richardson casting dissenting votes.
- Unanimously approved a request for a refund of $359.51 in taxes paid for 2010 by Dwayne Hopkins that was billed in error.
- Voted unanimously to move forward with a plan to refinance bonds for the county’s water districts in an effort to reduce debt payments for those districts. The end result would be a combined savings of $5.9 million in debt services as well as a reduction of the debt structure by three years, the commissioners were told.
- Approved by a 6-1 vote a request from Richardson to seek approval from the N.C. General Assembly for an exemption for Beaufort County from legislation requiring county animal shelters to keep animals in their care for a minimum of three days before those animals are euthanized. Richardson said that requirement should not extend to animals that are clearly wild because those feral animals are taking up space needed for animals that can be returned to the public. Commissioner Ed Booth cast the sole dissenting vote, saying he feared the exemption would lead to the killing of lost pets before their owners could retrieve them.
- Turned back by a 5-2 vote a resolution presented by Deatherage “to end corporate welfare in North Carolina and Beaufort County.” Deatherage and Richardson cast votes in favor of the resolution.
- Made the following appointments: Sandra Whittle Hughes and Renotada Bailey Brown to the Beaufort County Community Advisory Council; Danny Slade to the Beaufort County Alcohol Beverage Control Board; Jack Wallace to the Beaufort County Community College Board of Trustees; Bobby Parker as the Beaufort County tax collector and Sonya Toman, Kim Toler, Patsy Jones, Chase Stallings and Lindsey Crisp to the Region Q Workforce Development Board.