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Commissioners approve Sheriff’s Office contract with Clarkton

By Erin Smith

The Bladen County Board of Commissioners met on Monday night and approved a contract between the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and the town of Clarkton to provide law enforcement coverage for the town.

There contract was divided into two agreements that were approved by the Commissioners. The first contract calls for the Sheriff’s Office to provide two deputies for one year and the second contract calls for the Sheriff’s Office to provide two patrol vehicles for the officers. Both contracts total $154,000. You can read the service agreement here and the vehicle agreement here.

The town of Clarkton voted to move forward with the agreements at their June meeting.

Captain Jeff Singletary told the board the contracts are broken down into a one year agreement on personnel so the town can apply for a COPS grant. He said if the town is in a full four year contract, they become ineligible for the COPS grant.

The contract is limited to two deputies. One position will be a full-time deputy and a second deputy will rotate shifts at different times of day.

“They need our help. There is just no way we can say no,” said Sheriff Jim McVicker.

The deputies will be employees of the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office. They will also be available to answer a call outside of the town if needed.

The town of Clarkton reached out to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office in May seeking help with law enforcement issues. The town board requested a proposal from the Sheriff’s Office to be considered during the budget writing process.

The County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the contracts.

In other business:

*The board heard from Summer Intern Justin Michael Ruffin regarding his experience working with county. He is a rising junior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

*The board heard a presentation from Dawson Singletary regarding the Bryant Swamp Drainage District. The county has obtained grant funds with which  they plan to clean the drainage ditch.

*The board conducted a public hearing regarding a proposed amendment to the county’s Tobacco Use Ordinance. No one signed up to speak.

*The board scheduled a public hearing for Monday, August 21, at 6:30 p.m. The purpose is to receive public comments for a proposed zoning text amendment to the Bladen County Zoning Ordnances regarding special use permits for solar farms.

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