The County Commissioners meeting on Sept. 4 had several current and future projects on the agenda.
Public hearings included details about applying for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and applying for an Environmental Protection Agency grant (EPA). Mary Beck explained how to apply for the CDBG project and the possibility of applying for an EPA grant in the amount of $400,000.
Nancy Bryant and Gary Sikes presented on behalf of the interim board of the tri-county Farm and Food Council (FFC) to seek formal recognition of FFC and the board’s endorsement. The FFC’s mission is to “encourage, support, and coordinate the local farm and food system through agriculture, economic development, education, accessibility, and health,” according to the letter to the board from Robin McCree, interim board chair. Sikes, an Anson County farmer, commented on the importance of farms to economic development, one of the FFC’s goals. “A family can net $75,000 a year on a five-acre farm, managed intensely like the vision that we have,” he said. After reviewing other benefits, including increased accessibility of local products, preservation of farmland, and other concerns the board unanimously endorsed the FFC’s resolution.
Ansonville Mayor Lyndell Ingram updated the board on things going on in Ansonville, praising the community’s support for the Robinson family after the fatal car crash that killed four in July. Ingram also commended Sheriff Tommy Allen for patrols in Ansonville that make up for the lack of its own police department. Ingram also referred to Bryant’s and Sikes’ presentation on the importance of buying local, saying that he buys eggs every week from a second-grader whose uncle is teaching him to raise chickens, stressing the importance of “the simple things.”
County director of parks and recreation and facilities maintenance Jeff Waisner updated board members on the board on projects at the courthouse, the Belk Building, and Parks and Recreation. The courthouse has had exterior lights installed and is currently undergoing interior renovations while the work at the Belk Building includes cleaning the brick and getting new windows to mirror those of the courthouse, with hopes of replacing the roof next year. Waisner commented on the Parks and Recreation fall athletics, which include football, soccer, cheerleading, t-ball, coach pitch, girls’ fast pitch, softball and flag football, starting Sept. 22. Parks and Rec also received a much-needed new vehicle, Waisner said.
Randy Gulledge updated the board on the new county website, giving a preview of the site and updating the board on features the site will have, including a search function, calendar, photo gallery, the option for credit card payment, social media buttons, and other features. Gulledge also demonstrated the new 911 reverse call system.
Board members also approved a revised noise ordinance presented by County Attorney Scott Forbes, which left a subjective determination to judge if noise is too loud but also created a component that allowed for a potential update to add a decibel reading. The maximum penalty for an offense is a $50 fine and/or up to 30 days in jail; the actual penalty is up to the discretion of the judge. The ordinance will protect the “health, welfare or the repose” of those affected by noise from other sources, though special permits could be obtained to be exempt from the ordinance. The permits may expire at a certain time but would allow flexibility for concerts in the park, church revivals and other events. The board unanimously approved the ordinance as it was recommended.
Board members also unanimously approved the Centralina COG CONNECT Consortium Memorandum of Understanding; “Connect our Future” Regional Strategic Framework is designed to “help communities and the region reaching economic and quality of life goals,” according to the CONNECT Consortium Exhibit A.
The manager’s and chairman’s reports concluded the meeting. County Manager Lawrence Gatewood expressed his excitement with the county’s projects including the courthouse, library, and Belk Building renovations, reverse 911, and other projects. “As I was listening to Jeff Waisner and Randy Gulledge, one of my favorite Bible verses came to my mind,” he said. “It’s from the Book of Proverbs; it says ‘where there is no vision, the people perish.’” The visions of the county are becoming reality, he said.
The board went into closed session before adjourning.