Board OKs drainage-tax ordinance

Published 1:10 am 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.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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