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Windsor opens door for county complex

WINDSOR – Over the past several years, Bertie County’s plans to construct a recreational complex have experienced more twists and turns than a theme park roller coaster.

Currently, those plans are riding high.

Thanks to legal maneuvering by the Town of Windsor, county officials now have the green light to receive bids on phase I of the project.

The start of Monday night’s Bertie County Board of Commissioners meeting was delayed for approximately 20 minutes as Board Chairman Rick Harrell and Vice-Chairman Norman Cherry Sr. stepped across the street to attend a special session of the Windsor Town Commissioners. There, Windsor’s governing body approved a conditional use permit for the county to begin construction on a portion of the recreational complex.

Harrell said the interaction between the two governing bodies was necessary due to the fact that the site of the complex lies within Windsor’s ETJ (Extra Territorial Jurisdiction), an area under control of town ordinances dealing with planning and zoning.

The tract of land (39.61 total acres) is located on U.S. 17 North, beyond the NC 308 (Cooper Hill Road) intersection.

Phase I plans call for an access road off U.S. 17 as well as a baseball field, football field, parking area and a restrooms/concessions building. Bids will be opened July 19 on that part of the project.

The remainder of the project calls for a community recreation center, basketball courts, volleyball court, tennis courts, playground area, soccer field, softball field and picnic areas.

In other matters expedited by the Board of Commissioners:

Conducted a public hearing on the closeout of a CDBG grant to remove asbestos at the old Bertie Memorial Hospital.

Heard a presentation from David Hodges regarding a resolution that will petition the state for additional funds to pay for Phase II of the county’s ongoing stream clearing and snagging project.

Accepted a budget ordinance and approved two resolutions dealing with a $400,000 CDBG Scattered Site Housing Project.

Approved the submittal of paperwork to the state Department of Transportation to add Ernest Lane to the county’s system of maintained roads.

Okayed a measure that makes the county sheriff as the official who makes recommendations to the state’s ABC Commission in regards to alcoholic beverage permit applications.

Moved forward with an agreement with DKWA Architects of Rocky Mount for work on the county’s proposed new Department of Social Services building.

Approved an upgrade of the county’s E-911 system that will enable the Sheriff’s Office to track cell phone calls to their point of origin.