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Severn can move forward on ETJ

JACKSON – The town of Severn is free to pursue Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ).

The Northampton County Commissioners approved a measure last week allowing the town to take control of the zoning in the one-mile area around the town limits.

County Manager Wayne Jenkins presented a request from Severn Town Manager M.E. Lassiter to allow the town to start the process to extend the zoning barriers. He related that two towns in Northampton County, Garysburg and Woodland, already had approved an ETJ for their town.

&uot;We are aware that we need the approval of the Northampton County Commissioners and are making this our starting point,&uot; Lassiter conveyed in a letter to Commission Chairwoman Virginia Spruill. &uot;The remainder of necessary public notices and meetings will follow based upon your approval.&uot;

County Attorney Charles Vaughan expressed concern that small towns didn’t have the necessary means to properly regulate zoning jurisdiction, citing Woodland as an example. He said that town had dealt with problems having someone enforce zoning, first using a volunteer lawyer and now assigning the duties to Police Chief Don Ryan.

Commissioner Fannie Greene said she thought it was appropriate to allow Severn to pursue the ETJ.

Jenkins reminded commissioners this would be the only time they would have input in the process.

Commissioner Robert Carter made a motion to approve the request with Commissioner James Hester offering a second. The motion passed on a 4-0 vote as Commissioner James Boone was absent from the meeting.

In other business, the Board:

* approved a new contract to allow the Northampton County Health Department to buy supplies from Gulf South Medical Supply;

* reappointed Elaine Grant to the B-M-B Shelter Home, Inc. board;

* set 3 p.m. on June 20 as the time and date for the public hearing on the budget;

* set 10 a.m. on July 5 as the time and date for a public hearing on rezoning issues;

* approved an increase in Home Health rates; and

* approved journal entries for Finance Office Dot Vick.