By Joy Warren
The White Lake Board of Commissioner’s met Thursday evening as a continuation of their October 13th meeting. Several items were on the agenda prior to moving into closed session.
Mayor Womble reported that the Fire Department’s VIPER radios currently being used were purchased in 2009 and replacement parts are no longer available for several of the radios. Within the next two (2) years, the radio system currently being used by all public safety personnel will be upgraded to be compatible with the NC Highway Patrol’s VIPER Radio Program. The Bladen County Fire Chiefs Association is working with local Fire Departments to secure funding through the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Regional Grant program to purchase the new radios. The grant is a 90/10 matching grant. Should the White Lake Fire Department participate in the grant application, the Town’s cost would be $14,760 (41 radios x $3000.00 = $123,000.00 x 10% = $12,300.00 and a 2% grant fee $123,000.00 x 2% = $2,460). The Fire Chiefs Association has secured a grant writer who has been successful in securing other grants for Fire Departments. There will be no cost for the grant writer if the Town is not awarded the grant. The cost for the grant, if awarded, will be included in the FY 21-22 budgeting process. Fire Chief Dale Brennan asked the Board to authorize the White Lake Volunteer Fire Department to participate in the grant application. The Board approved the grant application as requested.
Due to the increase in the COVID-19 virus cases and the Governor’s Executive Order for mass gatherings, Mayor Womble asked the Board to consider canceling the employee’s appreciation luncheon usually held in December, and instead purchase a turkey or Boston Butt for each employee from the White Lake Fire Department’s annual Thanksgiving fundraiser. The cost for last year’s luncheon was $1,331 ($43.00 per employee), the cost for purchasing the turkeys/Boston Butts would be $930.00 ($30.00 per employee). Mayor Womble indicated that the Town of Elizabethtown has canceled their employee luncheon and is purchasing turkeys and Boston Butts from the Fire Department for their employees. The Board agreed with the Town staff and approved the purchases from the Fire Department for the employees.
The Board adjourned into Closed Session to discuss personnel.