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By Erin Smith

The Bladenboro Town Board met on Monday to discuss a request for the construction of an equalization basin from Carroll Poultry. The board opted to have the item added to the April meeting agenda for discussion in order to give the town’s engineers time to review the request.

Town Administrator Blake Proctor told the board that he has received information from Koontz, Noble and Associates regarding the holding tank system for Carroll Poultry in the Bladenboro Industrial Park. Proctor explained the packet arrived at the town hall on Thursday but he had not reviewed it until Monday, therefore it was not placed on the agenda for Monday’s meeting.

“I’m going to ask a question. Are they going to be ready to start digging dirt before the next board meeting that you know of or is this something they just want us to review?” asked Mayor Rufus Duckworth.

“Probably not,” said Proctor.

He explained that it is his belief that Carroll Poultry wants to know the town board is supporting the project before they begin accepting bids.

Town Clerk Melanie Hester said, “It says they are requesting authorization to construct an equalization basin. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to forward this to our engineers and have them review it before the town board takes a look at it and has any discussion on it and find out what their input is on it.”

Hester and Proctor both recommended if the board seeks the town engineer’s input, they wait until the next regularly scheduled board meeting in April to discuss it.

“This is just a copy. I’ve got the original packet and I can give the original packet to the engineers,” said Proctor.

Mayor Duckworth stated that it may be a good idea to ask Carroll Poultry to go ahead and send the packet to the county inspections office for their input as well.

“From what I can tell, just by looking through some of the pictures (in the packet), the way this is going to tie into our system — that is what we are going to need our engineer to look at,” said Hester.

Proctor agreed to contact Sam Noble, who is designing the system for Carroll Poultry, as well as contacting the town’s engineer regarding the proposal. The matter will be placed on the town’s April meeting agenda.

In other business, Bladenboro Police Chief William Howell addressed the board regarding the redesign of the Bladenboro Police Department’s interior. He noted the evidence room is currently upstairs in the building and he would like to move it downstairs. Chief Howell also said the side of the building that once housed a fire truck, he would like to make into two more offices, one of which will become the new evidence room. Chief Howell also suggested creating an interview room with a video recording system and erecting a knee wall and swing gate in the area where the public enters the building.

“The town administrator and I also discussed that we have removed the carpet from one side of the building since the hurricane and we would like to replace the carpet, if we have enough funds,” said Chief Howell.

Town Administrator Blake Proctor told the board the funds are in place. He stated currently there are $13,000 in funds left from the insurance payment to the town for damages caused by Hurricane Florence.

Town Commissioner Rodney Hester also noted the back screen door is rusted and needs to be replaced as well.

“That is what I had in mind if you want to look it over and think about it,” said Chief Howell.

The board voted unanimously to approve the work to be done.

*The board also voted unanimously to approve the purchase of two Lenovo brand laptops from Evans Computer Solutions using funds from the Asset Management Grant.

*The board also approved a memorandum of understanding with the Bladenboro Dixie Youth.

*The Board appointed Thomas Gitchel, Rodney Hester and Janet Gibson to the Fair Housing Committee.