04/25/2019
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The Elizabethtown Rotary Club met on Wednesday and learned more about the NC Connect bond. Rotarian Tiina Mundy introduced Bladen Community College Executive Vice-President and Chief Academic Officer Jeff Korneygay, Rotarian Shane Freeman, and Bladen County Cooperative Extension Executive Director Sandra Cain.

“This bond has a lot to do with all of us,” said Kornegay.

Last bond was for education and was for infrastructure and the infrastructure needs have increased since last bond, said Kornegay.

If approved, the bond package worth $2 billion will help fund projects in Bladen County. Some of those projects include $6.5 million for the construction of a STEM building at BCC.

“It is very Bladen County oriented,” said Kornegay.

He said this bond is needs based and Bladen County will receive more funding than some of our neighboring counties.

Next, Sandra Cain spoke about how the bond will benefit the agricultural community by providing $85 million for a Plant Sciences Building to be constructed at NC State University and $94 million for the construction of a new NCDA&CS Lab.

Cain said that 9 percent of the bond is earmarked for agricultural purposes.

Rotarian Shane Freeman said the bond is very important. He said that Jones Lake State Park will receive $651,750. The funds will be utilized to make camp ground improvements including the addition of electrical service to abbot half of the park’s available campsites and to update the showers

“It’s amenity people are definitely wanting,” said Freeman.

The bond also would provide $575,250 for Singletary Lake. There is a visitor contact station that is proposed but he did not have the details of the project.

Sondra Guyton, BCC vice-President for Continuing Education, said that BCC is proposing to build a 21,000 square foot building. She explained the building has been a priority for several years. The building will house classrooms, lab space and a computer lab.

Guy ton said that workforce development and continuing education will also hold classes in the building.

$500,000 of the bond funds are also earmarked for repairs at the college.

Kornegay said that the college depends heavily on the county commissioners to fund the school’s budget.

“They help us quite a bit,” said Kornegay.

He added that the new building is needed as the college currently cannot expand the allied health programs because there is no space.

Kornegay said the bond will not increase taxes and shared a report from the Carolina Journal.

It was also pointed out that UNC-Pembroke will also receive funds from the bond for the construction of a new building.

Rotarian Darrell Page said, “This is important. These schools are the only hope some people have in this area to get an education. This will help the college tremendously and we need to support it.”

When asked how many jobs will be created if the bond is approved, Kornegay replied he did not have answer for that.

To learn more about the bond you can go to: http://connect.nc.gov/

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