Tag Archive for: #hendersonnews

City Council Approves New Budget

On Monday night, the Henderson City Council approved the fiscal year 2016-2017 budget.

There was little discussion before the final budget of $38,065,594 was adopted.  The budget review process has been underway for the past six weeks.

Set was the property tax rate at $0.712 to each $100.00 in valuation on taxable property.  Despite an increase of .092 (9.2 cents) from this year’s budget, it is not believed that many folks will see an increase in their property tax payments.  Many properties in Vance County suffered a 12-to-15 percent decrease in value in the most recent valuation completed.

Water rates increased by three percent.  The vehicle tax increased from $10.00 to $30.00.

The demolition funds for property jointly owned with Vance County was established at $33,000, down from the original proposed $80,000.  The remaining $47,000 will be held in contingency and will be utilized if or when the County increases its funds for further demolition.

The adopted budget does include more funds for the Henderson Downtown Development plan.

News 06/14/16

News 06/13/16

Vance County Relay for Life 2016

Friday 3:00 p.m. until noon Saturday — The Vance County Relay for Life 2016 is NOW!!

You are encouraged to support this worthwhile community cause with your attendance at Southern Vance High School’s Raider Football Stadium.  42 teams and more than 425 participants will be in attendance walking the track, socializing, eating, participating in raffles and games and so will a ton of your friends and neighbors.

Come out and help reach the American Cancer Society’s goal for this year of $95,000.00.  At last check, just over $42,000.00 was in hand.

As you drive out to Southern Vance, be sure to listen to WIZS 1450 AM or the live stream at www.wizs.com/listennow for all the latest information and schedule of events.  Available on your smartphone at tunein.com with the free Tunein Radio App.

There will be live entertainment as well plus the luminary ceremony, the survivors lap and more.

The Relay for Life of Vance County web page says, “The American Cancer Society Relay For Life movement is the world’s largest and most impactful fundraising event to end cancer. It unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action to finish the fight once and for all. With the support of thousands of volunteers like you, the American Cancer Society is helping save more than 500 lives a day. Please join us and take action against a disease that has taken too much!”

News 06/10/16

Vance County Adopts FY 16-17 Budget

This afternoon — Thursday — at 5:00, the Vance County Board of Commissioners met for a budget session and adopted the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget.  The budget will go into effect on July 1, and it passed by a vote of 5-0, with Archie Taylor abstaining and Leo Kelly absent.  Commissioner Deborah Brown, who made the motion, and Dan Brummitt, who seconded Brown’s motion, voted yes as did Tommy Hester, Terry Garrison and Chairman Gordon Wilder.

Brown’s motion was contingent on the budget including an additional, one-time $150,000 going to the Granville-Vance District Health Department, which is drastically underfunded at this time.  The $150,000 is in addition to the $50,000 that was already in the proposed budget.

Taylor said he was not in favor of doing the $150,000 at this time because the Health Department may get a grant in August.  Taylor said, “I am in favor of giving the money down the line if it’s needed.  I am not in favor of fronting this money, but we can review and give it in September if we need to.”

Garrison’s comment was difficult to hear in the meeting space word for word, but his statement seemed to indicate his understanding was the Health Department needed the money now regardless of the grant.

A variety of factors has the Health Department underfunded right now because of things like changes in state funding, additional requirements and demand for services.  Based on what was said in the meeting, even with the efforts of Vance County and additional efforts by Granville County leaders, the Health Department is spending into its fund balance at this time.

More than one commissioner said it was time to sit down with Granville County leaders and with Health Department leaders and get recommendations going forward and that the sit down needed to be soon.

The only other specific budget item mentioned in the session was about “Citizens Aligned To Take Back Henderson, NC’s” effort to tear down and remove dilapidated and abandoned houses jointly owned by the City and County.  The board did not increase the $25,000 amount in the proposed budget to the $83,000 which the advocacy group had requested at Monday night’s regularly scheduled commissioner meeting.

Chairman Wilder and other members of the board did say they were committed to the clean up effort and that monies could be appropriated after the initial $25,000 was used up.

Prior to the meeting, Wilder told WIZS News he had hoped the budget would be adopted at the session.  He specifically mentioned the Health Department funding as something that needed to be worked out.  He said, “That’s something that has been pretty much out of the public’s eye.  A pretty good chunk of money there that they were requesting and there were some issues that have come to light even as late as today.”

In regard to the Health Department, he said, “We are planning to do the right thing, but how much and when and that sort of thing is still up for some debate.”

In Wilder’s remarks to WIZS News this afternoon before the meeting, he said of the “Citizens Aligned” project, “We are all committed to completing that project, and one of the things I’d like to see us do is have a time line attached to it.  You know, first of the year or whatever the board decides, that we have the goal that we are committed to to get all our properties taken care of anyway.”

It seems that the plan right now is that Vance County is budgeting $25,000 to remove the jointly owned houses, and all indications are the City has $25,000 towards the cause as well.

Wilder said, “Now we know, without a doubt, that it’s going to take more than that, but we don’t know how much more.  We are waiting for some estimates, and we are going to ask the (County) staff to get us some estimates or some quotes rather, and we will come back and try to do the right thing there.”

When the initial money gives out, the County, and the City for that matter, can vote to give some more.  Wilder said, “We have some money in contingency, and we can also vote to take it out of fund balance.  Just because we don’t put it in the budget, doesn’t mean we are not going to do it.”

As to Vance County’s fund balance, Wilder said, “We are trying to keep and maintain and build our fund balance.  It’s not a bad fund balance, but at the same time it’s not dangerously low or foolishly high.  But we don’t have the fund balance of a Granville County or somebody like that.”

Budget To Remove Dilapidated Houses

The message “Citizens Aligned To Take Back Henderson, NC” is sending to The Henderson City Council and The Vance County Board of Commissioners is budget to remove jointly owned dilapidated houses.  Concisely stated, that is exactly what the group’s three figureheads, in the persons of Tommy Haithcock, Hope Howard and Heidi Owen, have stated to our local governing bodies in the last two weeks.

They are doing it now because it’s budget time.  Both the City budget and the County budget must be adopted and in effect by July 1.

Owen appeared before the commissioners this past Monday night.  In preparing for her talk, Owen wrote out what she planned to say and has supplied those notes to WIZS News.  In her notes she wrote, “The $25,000 in your proposed budget for demolition of the remaining 24 structures that the County jointly owns with the City is a shame and a disgrace.

“What is worse is the fact that you said this amount should help to remove most if not all of the 24 properties. With an average cost of $6,000 for removal, the total is closer to $144,000. Since the County owns approximately 57.21 percent of these properties, we believe your portion would be close to $83,000, and that is what we are asking you to budget for demolition for the upcoming fiscal year.

“And we’d ask that amount be strictly for removal of the abandoned homes, not for the properties that the County owns solely, not for vacant lot maintenance and not for the abandoned mobile homes in the county.”

Haithcock addressed the City Council about two weeks ago with the same idea in mind, get more money allocated in the upcoming fiscal year budget than what appeared in the proposed budget.  He said 42.79 percent of the ownership of the jointly owned dilapidated houses belongs to the City.  Using the same total estimate of about $144,000 to tear them all down, the City’s portion is about $62,000.

There seem to be a couple of reasons the Citizens Aligned group wants to get all the houses down and removed in a single fiscal period. But not all buildings were decided to be torn down, for some that didn’t show much signs of dilapidation were to be handed to some st louis roofing companies in order to remodel the houses to salvage out of them. One, this problem has been dragging on for years, more than decade.  Two, it improves neighborhoods.  Three, public safety.  Four, improved appearance and moral here locally.  Five, better appearance to employers and citizens looking at Henderson from the outside.  Six, to show Henderson and Vance County are willing and able to address this and other issues.

Owen wrote in her notes before speaking to the commissioners, “It isn’t like the County doesn’t have the funds for this request. She does. And her citizens deserve this request to be granted. This big book that I have was compiled in 2004 and lists every abandoned house in the City Of Henderson. Most of these homes are still standing today…twelve years later.

“I do not know all the excuses that have been made over the past 12 years, but I hope the buck stops with you. Don’t be the group who allows these houses to sit another year. Don’t be the group who says we can’t afford it. Don’t be the group who turns their backs on the same people who voted for you.”

Howard told WIZS News, “Citizens Aligned is asking the City and County to both put their shares in their respective budgets.  We are trusting our elected officials to do the right thing on behalf of all citizens of the City of Henderson and Vance County.”

Also troubling is the present effort only addresses jointly owned properties of the City and County.  There are many houses and buildings that are privately owned as well as solely owned by the City or County that are dilapidated and abandoned.  John Q. Public can drive around and easily add more structures to the list than would be removed from the list if all of these 24 to 28 jointly owned houses were removed in a single year.

Owen told WIZS News, “…we have specifically asked the City Council to be more stringent enforcing the current ordinances and housing standards that have been on the books for almost 50 years. We have also asked the County Commissioners’ Property Committee to put some guidelines in place for the sale of foreclosed properties. So many are being auctioned off and are still sitting as they were when purchased two years ago. They said that they were going to start giving deadlines for either tearing down and rebuilding or remodeling and making the home livable.”

Haithcock appeared on “TownTalk” on Tuesday, June 7th and the first 17 minutes of the show included his remarks.  You can listen to “TownTalk” online by going to wizs.com and clicking on “TownTalk” or simply follow this link.

When a city or county creates a budget, it must account for all factors.  This is only one of the issues for our City and County leaders here in Henderson-Vance, and it is only one of many lines in their respective budgets.

Henderson PD Press Release – Shooting

On June 7, 2016, at approximately 7:35 PM officers with the Henderson Police Department responded to the area of 201 Harriett Street in reference to a person who had been shot. Upon arrival, officers found Troy Person, 52, of Henderson, suffering from a gunshot wound. Vance County EMS arrived and transported Mr. Person to an area hospital where he is being treated for his injuries.

The suspect was described as a black male in his mid-teens that was wearing jogging shorts, and a black and blue shirt. The suspect left the area on foot.

The investigation is being conducted by members of the Henderson Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division. If anyone should have any information related to this case, they are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 252-492-1925 or the Henderson Police Department at 252-438-4141. Crime Stoppers offers a reward of up to $2,000 for information that may lead to an arrest. Callers may remain anonymous.

Authority: Chief M.W. Barrow

News 06/09/16

McGregor Hall offers opportunity to leave ‘lasting impression’

The Performing Arts Center at McGregor Hall wants you to “leave your mark and ‘Take a Seat.’”

In addition to purchasing tickets for events in the new performing arts center, patrons are being given the opportunity to leave a lasting impression by naming a seat in honor or memory of individuals, groups, businesses and organizations.

“The completion of the Performing Arts Center at McGregor Hall marks an important milestone for our region,” said Tommy Deadwyler, director of the new arts and education center located in Henderson at 201 Breckenridge Street. “We have created the Take-A-Seat campaign to provide an opportunity for area citizens and organizations to mark their place in history on this important landmark.

“Soon our new center will have brass markers on each of the 997 seats in the hall with the names of those who have demonstrated their love of the arts.”

A gift or pledge of $1,000 secures the lasting tribute, noted John Wester, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Embassy Cultural Center Foundation (ECCF).

“We started the Take-A-Seat campaign soon after our doors opened,” Wester said. “The heavy lifting has been done by some generous donors to get our beautiful new facility in operation. Start-up funding is needed now to help us secure the programming for 2016-2017 to attract patrons and meet ongoing facility needs.

“Already dozens are getting on board with Take-A-Seat to help us make this exciting new venture an immediate success. Already we have some individuals who want to remember family members with a memorial plate,” Wester added. “Businesses and civic organizations also are seeing this as a way to show their support and creating a lasting tribute for their entity.”

Wester added that the gift to the Hall is a meaningful way to mark a birthday, anniversary or holiday. Special gift acknowledgment letters are sent to persons who are specified.

Among those who have shown their support is George M. Harvin of Henderson, who has “taken” several seats.

“I want to remember my family and I want to show appreciation to the community,” Harvin said. “Those are the basic reasons, but this is also a fun thing. This is a really positive accomplishment for our town and I certainly want it to succeed.

“There’s the obvious fact that it is renovating and revitalizing downtown,” he added. “It’s also a show of pride in the community. That’s the biggest thing.”

“McGregor Hall belongs to all of the communities surrounding its central location in Henderson,” added Deadwyler. “We are seeing support grow from beyond Vance County’s borders to bring in friends from Granville, Franklin and Warren counties as well as Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and beyond.

“Contributions to McGregor Hall’s ‘Take-A-Seat’ campaign are welcomed from all individuals and organizations who will be enjoying the events our new theater is able to offer,” Deadwyler said.

“At every event, donors will have the pleasure of knowing their generosity has made it possible for someone else to experience the unique joy of entertainment, understanding and self-discovery that comes only with the performing arts available to our communities.”

For those who wish to make installments to make the contribution, the donation can be spread over four payments within the scope of a year. Credit card payments are accepted.

A brochure is available from McGregor Hall with more details on the project, and additional information and a pledge form are available on the web at www.mcgregorhall.org. Forms and payment information should be mailed to the Embassy Cultural Center Foundation, the Performing Arts Center at McGregor Hall, P.O. Box 1333, Henderson, NC 27536.

Questions can be directed to Tommy Deadwyler at (252) 598-0662 or info@mcgregorhall.org or James Edwards, ECCF board treasurer, at (252) 213-8221 or jamesdedwards@gmail.com.