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GC Commissioners lobby for help

WINTON – The Gates County Commissioners sought a local ally.

Last week, two of the commissioners appeared before their counterparts in Hertford County to seek support in fighting the United States Navy’s planned Outlying Landing Field (OLF) that could be located in Gates County.

“As you know, we’re engaged with the OLF,” Gates County Commissioner Wade Askew said. “I wish I could wake up tomorrow morning and it would all just go away.”

Askew asked the Hertford County board to adopt a proclamation opposing the OLF and send it to congressional representatives as well as state legislators. They also asked for help with the financial responsibility of fighting the OLF.

“Gates and Hertford counties have close ties,” Askew said. “If this comes, I don’t see the Chowan River staying as it is. It could have a large impact on the river.

“We need to work together,” he continued. “I think most of you know the impact it will have near Winton if the OLF does locate in Gates County.”

Gates County Commissioner Kenneth Jernigan added his thoughts on the impact to Hertford County.

“I know you have a nice development on the river and it (OLF) is near your economic development,” he said. “These planes are going to come over the Chowan River.”

Hertford County Commissioner Dupont L. Davis said both counties were in the fight together.

“All of us object to it,” he said. “We’re in the same boat.”

Hertford County Commission Chairman Howard J. Hunter III said the board had already adopted a resolution opposing the OLF and would be glad to update it and forward it to legislators.

He asked if there was any amount of money that was being requested to help with the fight against the OLF.

“We know you have the same responsibility to your tax-payers as we do,” Askew said. “We are not asking for a specific amount, but whatever you can help us with.”

The Hertford County Commissioners agreed to discuss the request, but did not make any decisions at their meeting.