County board meets at retreat

Published 12:59 am Monday, February 1, 2016

The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners will meet for its annual retreat this week to map out a plan for the county in the coming fiscal year.

The retreat will be held in the Nature Room at the North Carolina Estuarium and is open to the public.

“It’s really for us to get some good planning direction on the budget, to essentially give the commissioners an idea of where we are right now; where we anticipate being at the end of the fiscal year,” said County Manager Brian Alligood. “It will help us understand where they want to be when we’re building the budget.”

Commissioners will hear from directors of the county’s larger departments, as well as discuss any policy shifts handed down from the N.C. General Assembly and how they might impact county governance, Alligood said.

Scheduled to speak on Wednesday are Beaufort County Schools Superintendent Dr. Don Phipps, Beaufort County Community College President Dr. Barbara Tansey, Health Department director Jim Madson and Beaufort County Sheriff Ernie Coleman. Thursday’s speakers include Department of Social Services Director Sonya Toman, Planning Director Seth Laughlin, Economic Development Director Martyn Johnson, Tax Assessor Bobby Parker, Public Works Director Christina Smith, Finance Director Anita Radcliffe and former Finance Director Mark Newsome.

The Board also will discuss two other major county issues: EMS services and this year’s Beaufort County audit.

Wednesday at 2:45 p.m., EMS Director John Flemming and Alligood will speak with commissioners about the county EMS system and EMS taxing districts.

“There will detailed conversations about EMS and looking at how we’re going to move forward with that financial piece,” Alligood said.

Thursday at 3 p.m., John Best, a partner with accounting firm Carr, Riggs and Ingram, will present the fiscal year 2014-15 audit, followed by Radcliffe and Newsome leading the discussion about any corrective measures that need to be taken.

The Board of Commissioners’ regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. tonight at the Superior Courtroom in the Beaufort County Courthouse.

The Board’s retreat begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday. The retreat agenda can be downloaded at, by following the link to “Online Services” then selecting “2016” under the “Agendas” category. The Estuarium is located at 223 E. Water St., Washington.