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County of Bladen Seeks Citizen Participation with Upcoming Budget

The Bladen County Board of Commissioners met for a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday evening at the Bladen County Courthouse in Elizabethtown. After the pledge of allegiance, a prayer, an agenda adjustment, and public pleas about honoring the late Firefighter Lieutenant Ronald “Ron” Allen, Jr., the meeting was to the point. (Read more about the agenda adjustment and the public’s plea by clicking here)

Commissioners Charles Ray PetersonMark GillespieRay BrittDanny EllisRodney Hester, and Cameron McGill attended the meeting present in-person.

Commissioners Arthur A. BullockMichael Cogdell, and Ophelia Munn-Goins joined the board meeting by video chat via telephone.

The County of Bladen will soon be developing its budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022). The Board of County Commissioners will hold a Pre-Budget Hearing on Monday, February 15, 2021, to receive comments regarding priorities for next year’s budget. The hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Superior Courtroom of the Bladen County Courthouse, 166 Broad Street, Elizabethtown, North Carolina.

If you are unable to attend the budget public hearing, submit a survey by mail or email. View the survey by clicking here. Hardcopies may be mailed to Budget, PO Box 1048, Elizabethtown, NC 28337. Citizens are asked to use additional sheets if necessary or send comments or completed forms via email to medwards@bladenco.org.

The County published a proposed budget calendar and a press release about budget priorities earlier this month. 

Mr. Chuck Heustess with the County’s economic development department provided an overview of a proposed 10,600 square foot industrial expansion project for a locally owned and operated business known as Del-ton. 

Mr. Heustess explained, Del-ton started as a locally owned and operated small family business manufacturing guns and has grown in Bladen County to employ around 50 people and is on pace to hire 25 more people shortly. 

Mr. Heustess also requested a public hearing be scheduled for a proposed $200,000 forgivable loan to assist in funding the expansion project for Del-ton, located at 330 Aviation Parkway, Elizabethtown.

A Public Hearing is now scheduled at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 1, 2021, for the Board of Commissioners to receive comments regarding a proposed $200,000 forgivable loan for the Elizabethtown business.

In other business:

Ms. KeLonda S. Keith submitted a request to bid on January 6, 2021, for the 6.8 acre tract of land. The assessed tax valuation is currently $16,490, and the current investment to the County is $6,355. The Board accepted the bid; the upset bid process will be initiated.

Renee Davis, Bladen County Tax Administer, gave the commissioners an update about advertising the taxes in the County and the sealed bid process.

According to a memorandum given by Ms. Davis, “On September 21, 2020, the Board approved a Pilot Test using the Sealed Bid Procedure with the County-owned properties. There were not any sealed bids made on the properties that were advertised.”

Ms. Davis added, “While testing the Sealed Bid Procedure, our office was ongoing with the Upset Bid Procedure. Since September 1, 2020, twelve (12) properties have been sold, and ten (10) are in the process of the Upset Bid Procedure.”

The county-owned properties are listed on the County’s website

Bladen County Manager, Mr. Greg Martin, gave a financial report for the Finance Director, Lisa Coleman, who was not present during the meeting. View the dashboard by clicking here.

Dr. Teresa (Terri) Duncan gave a COVID-19 update, as seen below. The Board approved the Local Health Department Accreditation 2019-2022, Policy and Procedure for Determining Clinical Costs and Fees, and Health and Human Services Advisory Committee (HHSAC) Operating Procedures unanimously without discussion. 

After the Health and Human Services Department’s approval, the Board approved Ricky Price to serve on the Bay Tree Fire Department Advisory board.  

In closing, Mr. Martin also gave a calendar update. View it by clicking here. 

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