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Commissioners discuss issues

WINDSOR – From zoning, to domestic violence, to land acquisition; the Bertie County Commissioners addressed several issues here Jan. 8 at their regularly scheduled meeting.

A request from Planning Director Traci White was approved in regards to start soliciting bids for development of a zoning ordinance and zoning maps.

The county will begin publishing an ad that requests proposals from prospective firms. A 5 p.m. deadline on March 5 was set to receive the proposals.

Bob Pacciocco gave the commissioners an update on the Domestic Violence Task Force (DVTF) project. He informed Bertie officials that a CCRT (Coordinated Community Response Team) was in the planning stages. That specially trained team will be dedicated to respond to domestic violence calls.

The DVTF is currently in the process of submitting a $1.3 million grant, stretched over a two-year period, to cover the cost of the program. The grant comes through the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission. A portion of the grant will cover 80 percent of the annual salary of a Bertie County Sheriff’s deputy who will be assigned to handle domestic violence calls.

Commissioner Norman Cherry Sr. motioned for approval of the grant request and the measure passed by a 4-0 vote.

In other business, the commissioners approved the reappointment of Gail Wilson as Bertie County’s representative on the Albemarle Regional Library Board.

The commissioners also heard a presentation from County Manager Zee Lamb in regards to possibly switching the company handling the county’s group term life insurance from Blue Cross-Blue Shield to Lincoln Financial, a subsidiary of Jefferson-Pilot.

Lamb said the switch could save the county roughly $5,000 in annual life insurance payments.

At the suggestion of Board of Commissioners Chairman Rick Harrell, county officials will study this particular issue for another 30 days before reaching a decision.

Harrell also asked for another 30 days to study a proposal concerning renovations to the Commissioners Meeting Room. Those renovations include new formica on the commissioners table, new chairs and a fresh coat of paint.

The commissioners also briefly discussed a salary study for county employees.

They scheduled a Jan. 22 dinner meeting with the Bertie Board of Education.

Also, there was some discussion about the county purchasing the old Union 76 gas station property located adjacent to the entrance of the new Bertie County Recreation complex.

The commissioners directed Lamb and county attorney Lloyd Smith to initiate discussion with the owners of the old gas station property to see if a purchase agreement could be reached.