State grant assists Bertie

Published 12:07 pm Sunday, September 20, 2009

WINDSOR – Bertie County is attempting to clean up.

Planning Director Traci White is in the midst of applying for a grant through the North Carolina Division of Pollution Protection and Environmental Assistance (DPPEA) that will allow the county to clean up abandoned mobile homes.

“It’s an appearance issue,” said Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb. “We have had several complaints about dilapidated and abandoned mobile homes that are eyesores from our roadways.

“This is an effort by the commissioners to clean up these structures and remove them from the roadways,” he added. “We found this money was available and Traci is working to make application for it.”

The Abandon Manufactured Homes Program (AMH) allows for the county to be reimbursed for expenses in removing the homes. In order to receive that reimbursement, they must be under an AMH grant with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The grant allows for a maximum of $25,000 in funding per county with a rate of $1,000 per unit that is demolished or deconstructed. Fifty percent of the costs that exceed $1,000 will be available to Bertie County because of its status as a Tier 1 county.

The county is also eligible for a $2,500 one-time planning grant to develop a plan that identifies those homes.

“We’ll be applying for the planning grant and using those funds to identify as many abandoned mobile homes as we can,” White said. “We would begin by working with owners who want those homes removed and then go from there.”

Applications for the grant program are accepted on a first come, first served basis until the funds are exhausted.

White said some minor changes would have to be made to the Bertie County Solid Waste Management Ordinance to include the program and allow for administering the grant.

“At first, the program will be voluntary,” White said. “Eventually, it will probably be required.”