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December County Commission Recap

This month’s County Commission meeting considered a wide range of issues to wrap up 2018.  The Commissioners Packet can be found here.

Let’s take a look at what happened in this month’s commission meeting.

Library Update

Bernadette Roche, director of the FLC Library, gave commissioners an overview of the programs and progress made in 2018.

With over 34,000 visitors in the past year, the library has loaned over 54,000 items, hosted 250 programs, and provided free Internet and computer access to 12,000 local residents. The library team also partnered with all of the schools in the county to provide educational resources and programs to students and teachers.

Recycling Center

With a unanimous vote, commissioners set aside money for use with the Recycling Center. Last month, the center temporarily closed due to a lack of operating funds. Keep Fayetteville Lincoln County Beautiful ran the center and now plans to shut down at the end of 2018. With $15,000 in outstanding debt, the non-profit needs funds to settle those financial obligations.

Acting on the Solid Waste Committee and the Budget Committee’s recommendation, the County Commission set aside $15,000 to purchase equipment currently located within the Recycling Center. Along with that money, $22,385 has been allocated for payments to Richardson Waste, who’s running the center currently, along with utility costs and maintenance/repairs on the building and equipment over the next fiscal year.

Computer Tablets for Commissioners

In the first of two non-unanimous votes, commissioners approved the purchase of 26 Google Pixel Slates with a 16-5 vote. That covers one per commissioner plus one for the mayor and the finance director.

Commissioner Ricky Bryant brought forth the idea after seeing how much money was spent to print out commission packets and supporting material for each meeting. As he put it, “A case of paper just doesn’t go very far.” Official tablets would allow for packets and other information to be sent without the need for paper copies. Commissioners could use the laptops during meetings to see any information they need to make decisions.

Citing preferences to bring this up at the annual budget time rather than now, Commissioners Stephanie Britt, Shirley Dangerfield, Steve Guntherberg, Donny Ogle, and Tori Young voted no.

Library Debt

The other non-unanimous vote came from a motion by Commissioner Doug Cunningham for $120,000, which would be used for retiring the outstanding debt on the library. The volunteer group Friends of the Library has lined up a private donation to help cover a significant portion of the current $320,000 debt.

In the original plans, the county budgeted $30,000 for the next four years. The Friends of the Library sought the payment this year so they can pay off the debt and save a significant amount in interest costs.

“We heard tonight that over 34,000 people use the library. It’s such a wonderful facility. With this debt, we’ve been working on this for a long time. We’re going to get this debt retired and now we can use some of that money to improve the library in other ways – more books, more resources.” – Commissioner Doug Cunningham

The vote passed 16-5 with Commissioners Steve Graham, Steve Guntherberg, Ronald Jean, Donny Ogle, and John Thorpe voting no.

Planning and Zoning

Planning and Zoning Director Nancy Harris brought several items forward for the Commission’s approval. In unanimous votes, the Commission approved:

  • Updates to the fees associated with planning and zoning requests. Prior to these changes, the county was absorbing the costs at a deficit. The changes increase the fees to get out of that deficit and moves the fees to the requesting party rather than costing taxpayers.
  • Rezoning request for Sunnyvale lnvestments, LLC.
  • Public hearings on January 15th at 5pm for three items – a rezoning request for Successus, LLC
    (a.k.a. Hyde Homes), building codes for the Zoning Resolution, and an updated schedule of fees for permitting applicable construction.

The full county commission meeting can be seen below. Mark your calendars for next month’s meeting on January 15th at 6pm.

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