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By Erin Smith

The Bladen County Board of Commissioners met on Monday night and approved contracts with Holland Consulting Planners, Inc. regarding three Hurricane Matthew grant programs.

Bradley Kinlaw, Emergency Services Director, said the contracts with Holland Consulting Planners, Inc. will be contingent on State approval. The programs are the Hurricane Matthew Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Hurricane Matthew NC Disaster Recovery Act of 2017 (DRA 2017 and HM DRA-17).

Once the State approves the contract, work can begin for those residents who have already had their applications approved. Kinlaw said the County does have a list of those who have already been approved for work to be performed.

Commissioner Michael Cogdell asked about the costs for such things as surveys and engineering services. A representative with Holland Consulting Planners explained that the costs for surveying, hiring a structural engineer, and items related to those services are paid for out of the grant funds and are not charged to the homeowners.

She also explained that Holland Consultant Planners fees will be based on the number of units involved. No numbers were given during the meeting.

The board approved the contract contingent on approval from the State.

In a related matter, the board also approved the acquisition of two structures located on NC 210 in the Ivanhoe community and one structure located on Old Fayetteville Road in the Ammon community. The total costs, which are covered by grant funds, are estimated to be $519,563. The Federal share of the costs will be $389,672 and the State share will be $129,891 and there is no local share on the expenses.

In other business:

*The board approved contracts with Brady Trane of Raleigh in the amount of $10,388 and with Champion Systems of Jamestown in the amount of $8,500. Both of these contracts cover systems at the Bladen County Law Enforcement and Detention Center.

*The board approved a Spectrum customer service order for enhanced service for the Bladen County Training Center.

*The board rejected a bid for $6,000 for a property located on NC 410 Highway.

*The board approved a Bladen County Health and Human Services Agency Appeals Policy and a business associate agreement with Shred-It.

*The board tabled appointments for the Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee, the Ammon Fire District Committee, the Hickory Grove Fire Service District Committee, Local Emergency Planning Committee, and the Bladen County Planning Board.

*The board reappointed Isaac Singletary and Russell Ruffin to the Bladenboro Planning Board.

The board voted to replace Jimmie Smith with Victoria Corbett and to reappoint Doretta Lennon, Leon Graham, and Chris Hunt.

*The board appointed Sheila Nance to the Bladen County Library Board.

*The board debated an appointment to the Eastpointe MCO Board. Two nominations were made — Emery White and Commissioner Michael Cogdell.

“I talked to Mr. White and he wanted another year,” said Commissioner Charles Ray Peterson.

Commissioner Cogdell said a current County Commissioner should be appointed to the position on the Eastpointe Board. He asserted that Bladen County had received a $50,000 grant from Eastpointe while other counties received grants in larger amounts. Commissioner Cogdell said other counties have a member of their County Commissioners serving on the Eastpointe board.

Commissioner Peterson argued the grant Bladen County received for the jail diversion program was issued in the same amount to all counties who had projects that received funds.

The board voted 4 for and 4 against the nomination of Emery White. In a show of hands vote, Commissioner Peterson, David Gooden, Daniel Dowless and Ray Brit voted in support of White’s nomination.

The board voted 4 for and 4 against the nomination of Commissioner Cogdell. In a show of hands vote, Commissioners Russell Priest, Ophelia Munn-Goins, Arthur Bullock, and Commissioner Cogdell voted in favor of Cogdell’s nomination.

Because neither motion carried, no action was taken. A motion was made to bring the appointment up again at the next meeting and two no votes were cast.

*The board scheduled a public hearing for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, August 6, to receive comments regarding a rezoning request for property located at 1156 Chickenfoot Road.

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