The Anson County Board of Commissioners met Wednesday with a full agenda. The three-hour meeting included several appearances on NCDOT’s proposed paving program, the library, Brown Creek Soil & Water Conservation District, and a request for another extension agent position, in addition to administrative matters.
John Underwood represented the DOT to present the proposed annual Secondary Road Program for Anson in fiscal year 2012-2013. Underwood told that board that the DOT is not allowed to extend highway or trust funding on dirt roads this year in accordance with House Bill 950, which reads “the Department shall pave the eligible unpaved secondary roads that receive the highest priority ranking within a statewide prioritization.” Instead, paved road improvements will be made.
Donald Perkins and Jesse Gibson of Sandhill Regional Library System, of which Hampton B. Allen Library is a part, gave the board the annual report on the value of library services. “For the $8,220 of investment that is the money given from the county a member of the region, $110,469.50 in materials and professional salary are provided to the Hampton B. Allen Library by the SLRS,” Perkins said. “That has been a return of $13.44 for each one dollar of the tax dollars invested in the Hampton B. Allen Library.”
Additionally, Perkins reported that, calculating the costs of books and other services, the library provides $4,161,015 worth of services. Compared to the investment, it translates to a return of $21.86 for every one dollar of Anson County’s tax dollars spent in the library. Gibson informed the board about the updates to SLRS’ digital services thanks to federal grant money, including new servers and a software pack for library patrons.
When users click on the website a “book river” shows across the screen showing new titles available at Hampton B. Allen Library. On the right-hand side of the screen the New York Times bestsellers that the library has are displayed, letting users review the books. It is integrated with the subscription databases for homework help. LS2 Kids provides resources for children on 360 subjects; the most popular childrens’ series are also displayed. Additionally, a spell checker is provided for children using the homework helper.
LS2 Mobile is available for smartphones, as well, according to Gibson. It allows users to load the SLRS software onto their phones so users can access their account to put books on hold, see how much they owe in late fees, and other features.
Ron Morgan at the Brown Creek Soil & Water Conservation District proposed a date for a dinner Brown Creek wants to host for the board to show a presentation about the 75th Anniversary of Soil & Water Conservation Districts and the accomplishments of the Brown Creek district over the past 75 years. The board was unable to make the proposed date but is working with Brown Creek to find a mutually ideal date.
Janine Rywak at the Anson County Cooperative Extension Office asked the board for approval of a memorandum of understanding and funding for $4,600 beginning in January 2013 for Anson’s cost share of a new position being created through N.C. A&T University. The agent would serve Anson, Union and Stanly counties as a local food agent; N.C. A&T would pay 50 percent of the salary and benefits, all travel expenses, training expenses, and provide a new laptop, leaving each of the three counties to pay a third of the remaining 50 percent. This would be $4,600 for this fiscal year and $9,300 each year after that. Due to budget concerns, the board tabled the request until December.
Deb Arnason gave a public address to the board urging it to consider the increasingly-controversial issue of hydrofracking. Aranson encouraged the members to watch the movie Gasland, a film about the effects of hydrofracking. She was concerned with the local effects, primarily to her own well, if hydrofracking should occur in the area. “With the passage of the people voted into office, I know that’s going to happen very quickly,” Aranson said.
County Manager Lawrence Gatewood apprised the board of a county surplus auction on Dec. 5 at noon. The auction will have properties in Ansonville, Wadesboro, Polkton and Lilesville for sale.
Chairman Anna Baucom brought up the issue of the temperature at Wadesboro Primary School, saying that several poll workers had complained that they were freezing. Other board members said that the other schools were chilly, as well. Baucom stated that the board should look into the issue.
The board went into closed session to discuss contract negotiations and consult with the attorney and to discuss personnel.