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By Sonny Jones

The Bladenboro Board of Commissioners on Monday approved hiring an operator in charge for its wastewater treatment operations on a contract basis, interview a pair of candidates for the town clerk position and agreed to a pair of budget amendments during a special called meeting at Town Hall.

Brian Stephens is being offered a contract for $1,500 per month to oversee the town’s wastewater treatment operations while the board considers whether to use a private company to run the operation or to continue to run its own system. Stephens will be responsible for assuring the town files its reports with the state and proper testing is done.

The board unanimously approved the motion after returning from a closed session that lasted one hour, 40 minutes.

Bladenboro is considering a $118,440 per year proposal from Raleigh-based Envirolink to manage the town’s water and wastewater system. The board also has expressed interest in receiving a quote from another company to compare offers before deciding which path is best.

Also during closed session, the board interviewed two candidates for the town clerk position. Melanie Hester’s last day with the town was Friday after more than 17 years. The board made no decision on the position during open session.

Budget amendments approved were:

• $34,782 for the purchase of a new police vehicle to replace a vehicle that had been totaled.

• $9,000 as part of a $29,025 Volunteer Fire Department Fund Grant offered by tne N.C. Office of the State Fire Marshal for the purchase of fire equipment. The matching grant will be paid by Bladen County, but had to be approved by the Bladenboro board. Bladenboro Fire Chief Jackie Coleman said the $9,000 is needed for equipment that has arrived. The remainder of the grant will be paid when additional equipment arrives.



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