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County Manager search continues

WINTON – The search for a new Hertford County Manager continues.

Exiting from a closed session meeting following Monday’s public meeting, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners decided to reopen the application process.

&uot;The application process will remain open until the position is filled,&uot; Assistant County Manager Pat Weaver reported.

The commissioners will meet again on Tuesday at 10 a.m. for the purpose of considering new county manager applicants.

During the regular meeting, commissioners approved a resolution to urge the leadership of the North Carolina Department of Corrections to maintain the Gates County Prison Unit.

&uot;The N.C. Department of Corrections houses prisoners in every county except Hertford and the unit in Gates allows local people to visit relatives when said relatives are housed nearby,&uot; Board Chairman Dupont Davis stated in a written request to the Governor, legislative representatives and Department of Corrections official.

&uot;Hertford County benefits from the labor provided by nearby prison units, which saves the county money by using this labor in lieu of hiring outside contractors. The unit has established an excellent reputation in the surrounding area for being able to provide a trained work force that can assist local governments with repairs and maintenance of facilities,&uot; Davis continued.

The board passed a similar resolution in 2000.

The commissioners considered a request from the town of Aulander to provide funds for the Sallie Harell Jenkins Library.

&uot;The Sallie Harell Jenkins Library is a great asset to our community and the surrounding area,&uot; Aulander Mayor Joe Jernigan said in a written request to the board.

&uot;Consequently we are happy to extend our many library services to our neighbors in Hertford County, especially the residents of the Millennium community,&uot; Jernigan added.

The library estimates one-fourth to one-fifth of the patrons of the library are residents of Hertford County.

Chairman Davis stated these items should be presented during budget discussions, but the commissioners agreed to give the library $500 from the county’s contingency fund.

The board discussed a new state law the legislature recently passed requiring local government to allow time for a public comment period during a regular meeting every month. The board decided to hold a public comment period during the morning meeting one month and during the night meeting the following month.

The next item on the agenda concerned a request from the United States Department of Agriculture asking the board to submit a formal resolution declining the $1.2 million loan from the USDA. The funds were originally designated for a possible expansion of the Northern Rural Water District. After an extensive analysis, the board concluded the need for the expansion did not exist and declined the funds.

&uot;The USDA appreciated the work and analysis from the commissioners,&uot; county attorney Charles Revelle stated.

Interim county manager John Ed Whitehurst informed the board of a written request he received from the Northeast Partnership.

&uot;The Northeast Partnership, Inc. is asking the board to pass a formal resolution indicating the county is not opposed to the Northeast Partnership publicly vocalizing its opposition to the OLF (Navy landing field) at this time,&uot; partnership President and CEO Rick Watson stated in the written request.

Whitehurst also informed the board of a plan originating from the Macon County Board of Commissioners to amend the state constitution to prohibit the state legislature from condemning land for economic development.

The board ended the public session of their meeting by approving a request from Alcohol Beverage Control Board Chairman Winfred Hardy for a $25 a month increase for the three members of the Hertford County ABC Board.

&uot;The three stores in the county are doing well and had a $21,000 increase in revenue the past six months (compared to the previous six months),&uot; Hardy said.