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By Erin Smith

The Bladen County Board of Commissioners learned about some issues with the East Arcadia campus of Bladen Community College.

Horace Munn of East Arcadia presented commissioners with copies of photos of the building and its condition prior to addressing the board.

“In front of you, you have copies of (photos of) Bladen Community College’s East Arcadia campus. Twenty years ago or better, my father was instrumental in bringing the college to East Arcadia,” said Munn. “Here I am 20 years later looking at the College and the condition of it.”

He told the board he has shared his concerns about the condition of the building with Bladen County Manager Greg Martin and former BCC President Dr. William Findt.

“Now there is a vague lease on the college. Insurance for the college is handled by Bladen Community College,” said Munn.

He explained that for the first 16 years the college utilized the facility, under the leadership of former Presidents Dr. King and Dr. Darrell Page, the building was well maintained by Bladen Community College.

“Everything at the college was taken care of by Bladen Community College,” said Munn.

He stated that two years ago, the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office wanted to place a substation on the East Arcadia BCC campus. Munn said Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker did not approach the East Arcadia Town Board regarding the substation.

“The town asked to meet with him to try to discuss it and what he was planning to do at the substation. He wanted to put in law enforcement, State Troopers, Sheriff’s Deputies from both counties (Bladen and Columbus),” said Munn.

He stated that the lease on the facility stated the building is to be utilized for educational purposes only. Munn stated that the facility is located 50 feet from where citizens vote and the town board felt it would be intimidating to voters to have a substation that close to the polling location.

Munn said he was told three years ago that the condition of the building would be addressed. He added that the town board has been told they are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the building. Munn said requests have been made to Bladen Community College for copies of grant applications and the budget “to see what is in there.”

“Our position is, the College is responsible, not the town,” said Munn.

He requested the Commissioners demand the college to perform the work needed at the East Arcadia facility.

“If we can’t get it repaired, we can handle it a different way,” said Munn.

Bladen County Commissioners Chairman Charles Ray Peterson said he would talk with newly hired BCC President, Dr. Amanda Lee, about the issue. The board took no further action on the matter and no Commissioners spoke regarding the matter.

In other business:

*The Commissioners appointed Brian Campbell to the Bladen Community College Board of Trustees.

*The Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the 2018 unpaid taxes report and set March 20, 2019, as the last date to pay 2018 taxes without your name being advertised.

*The Commissioners tabled a request from the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office to hire an additional School Resource Officer for Bladen County Schools pending further information for a grant application.

*New Bladen County Health and Human Services Director Terri Duncan received her oath of office and was introduced to the Board of Commissioners. She was previously employed with Cape Fear Valley-Bladen Healthcare.

*Dr. Amanda Lee, the newly hired President of Bladen Community College was formerly introduced to the Board of Commissioners.

*The Commissioners met briefly in closed session to discuss a personnel item. In open session the board took no action on the matter.