Published 7:10 pm Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Down East Seniors Club held their June 25 meeting at the Blind Center of NC in Washington. President John Tunstall led the meeting. Ed Sample led the singing of “God Bless America” and Durwood Cratch gave the invocation. Dick Paul provided humor.

Program Chairman Charlie Moore introduced Beaufort County Commissioner Al Klemm. Commissioner Klemm is in the last year of his second term and is not seeking reelection. He gave a summary of several issues the commission has dealt with the past few years. Tideland Mental Health closed, so the county went to East Carolina Behavioral Health for their services. Beaufort County Hospital merged with Vidant which paid off the BCH debt and brought in electronic health records. Pungo District Hospital will close July 1. The county budget passed with few changes. Eastern Elementary School needs to be replaced because it is overcrowded and the buildings are not worth expanding. Beaufort County Community College has added new buildings for Cosmetology and Allied Health. The fund balance has been built back up to 35% of annual expenditures. The position of County Planner has been added to the budget. The position of County Economic Developer is vacant. The primary reasons the jail needs to be replaced are that it is out of date (does not meet current codes), unsafe, overpopulated, and costly to operate because of the number of inmates that have to be housed elsewhere. The new jail is about half way through the design process.

Julius Brauer won the 50/50 drawing.