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Bladen County Commissioners working together to help the county during monthly meeting

By Charlotte Smith

The Bladen County Board of Commissioners met Monday October 7th to discuss county matters. Rev. Darrell Copeland from Wesley’s Chapel Church prayed over the meeting and Troop 600 Cub Scouts lead in the pledge of allegiance. The scouts will earn a badge for their leadership at the meeting, according to their Troop leader, Andy Runion.

The commissioners approved the consent items before presenting the proclamations for 4-H Week and Domestic Violence Awareness.

The 4-H Youth Development Agent Stacie Kinlaw, as well as Bladen County 4-H’ers, received the adopted 4-H Week Proclamation. Mrs. Kinlaw encouraged all in attendance to help support the local 4-H club by donating a $1 when shopping at the local Tractor Supply. Mrs. Kinlaw also introduced club members in attendance.

Families First representative Ms. Marjorie Lewis was recognized by the entire Board and received the Domestic Violence Awareness Proclamation. Mrs. Lewis said her organization did help 160 women last year and altogether they helped approximately 250 women and children.

Next the commissioners approved renaming Championship Drive at the Bladen County Park. The board approved naming the drive in honor of Mr. Robert Mazur.

Mr. Mazure was hired in 1987 and served 18 years as Park and Recreation Director. Then he served as General Service Director and retired in 2016. Chairman of the Board of Commissioners said the board would hold a dedication service sometime in the near future.

The Rezoning request described as follows: The property is located at 13660 NC Hwy 87 E. Council, NC 28434 and is requested that the parcel be rezoned from Residential Agriculture (RA) district to Commercial (C) for the use of a used car lot, was approved unanimously.

Sandra Guyton with Bladen Community College presented a proposed joint project plan which includes seeking $5.2M (80%) from Economic Development Administration (EDA) and seeking a required match of $1.3M through Golden LEAF’s upcoming Community-Based Grants Initiative.  However, because the Golden LEAF Grant award will not be announced until April 2020, a local match requirement needs to be identified for the EDA grant application. Bladen County has a limited time frame to apply for Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant funding.  The federal government has appropriated $587M for grant opportunities.

Ms. Guyton asked the commissioners for a letter of commitment for the Training Facility property. The training facility will assist in truck driving training which is in high demand. Ms. Guyton explained the cost of sending the students out of county for the training verses the training being offered in Bladen County.

“This could make a great economic impact here in Bladen County and I believe in this project or I wouldn’t be standing here in front of you,” Mrs. Guyton stated.

The commissioners will vote on the matter at a later time.

Next the board voted on the PARTF Grant Application and Process. They approved the motion unanimously.

After some discussion the board approved the agreement with Rayne’s Italian Ice unanimously.

The commissioners approved bids on presented by Renee Davis, Tax Administrator.

Nathan Dowless then presented information regarding private road petitions  sent to Sampson-Bladen Oil Company and State Employees’ Credit Union for consideration of naming roads since they are the majority property owners.

The 911 addressing office would ask that you consider approving the 1st choice of road names on the attached Road Petition forms. Mr. Dowless has spoken with NC DOT and each of the roads will be assigned state road numbers and will be maintained by the state. The old route of 242 that is still there will be named OLD 242 Hwy. The board approved the private road petitions and road names after some discussion.

The board approved a Tools4Ever Software and Support agreement in the amount of $756 for a One-Year Period and a Bladen County Technology Use Policy presented by Robin Hewitt.

The commissioner board made six (6) appointments to a Beaver Management Program Advisory Committee with three (3) terms expiring September 30, 2021 (3), and three (3) terms expiring September 30, 2022. They also had one appointment for the Watershed Review board.

Next month the board will consider one appointment for the Bay Tree Lakes Fire District Committee and two appointments for the Clarkton Fire District Committee.

Bladen County Manager, Greg Martin reviewed the county calendar and gave an overview of Golden LEAF Foundation Community Based Grants Initiative.

The commissioners then entered a Closed Session in accordance with NCGS 143 318.11(a)(4)Industry/Economic Development and NCGS 143-318.11(a)(6) Personnel, however they were not able to comment on the closed session discussions at the end of the meeting.

Watch the videos of the meetings:
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