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McMillen Provides Overview of Recommended Vance Co. Budget Changes

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Vance County Manager Jordan McMillen provided WIZS with the following summary of the Vance County Board of Commissioners’ meeting held Monday, June 1, 2020:

We held three public hearings last evening in regard to the overall FY 2020-2021 budget, the water budget and the economic development budget. We are on schedule to adopt the budget during our special meeting on June 15 and are not anticipating any additional work sessions unless the Board decides otherwise.

Overall, there have only been a few changes the board has made to the recommended budget. The changes are as follows:

– Increased revenue into the general fund due to transferring $41,903 from economic development fund as the result of revenue from Triangle North to offset expenses.

– Increased EMS capital outlay $1,400 to account for the increased cost of camera installation.

– Increased revenue and expenditures by $12,295 due to Emergency Management COVID-19 grant.

– Moved $6,000 from the 4H budget to the Cooperative Extension budget to cover the salary for the 4H position.

– Adjusted state revenues and expenditures for the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC) based upon funding grid approved by the JCPC Board on May 28, 2020.

– Added four additional vehicles to the sheriff’s office budget to fully fund the sheriff’s request for eight vehicles – $144,000 additional cost to be financed.

We are running the final numbers on the budget and will have the overall budget and revised appropriation from fund balance in the next day or so.

WIZS Note:

On today’s edition of Town Talk, Sheriff Brame briefly addressed last night’s meeting and said he was pleased with the outcome for the sheriff’s office. “I thank the County Commissioners for being in favor of what I asked for. I understand this is crunch time, and everyone knows we are in an economic fallout due to COVID-19. I’m pleased that the commissioners are working with the Vance County Sheriff’s Office and other County agencies.”

To see the recommended budget (prior to the June 1 Commissioners’ meeting), click here. To hear a recent Town Talk interview with McMillen regarding the budget, click here.

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Vance Co. Board of Commissioners to Meet Mon., May 4

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-Information courtesy Kelly H. Grissom, Clerk to Board/Executive Asst., County of Vance

Please be informed that the Vance County Board of Commissioners’ meeting will be held on Monday, May 4, 2020, at 6 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, 122 Young Street, Henderson, with a few changes.

In order to protect the public and County staff while complying with the Governor’s order limiting gatherings, public access into the meeting room will be very limited. An onsite viewing area with limited capacity will be established for the public who attend the meeting.

For those making public comments, signups must be received on May 4 between 5:15 and 5:45 p.m., as usual. Speakers will be allowed into the room as space allows.

Invocation by Chairman Gordon Wilder

1. Public Comments (for those registered to speak by 5:45 p.m. – speakers are limited to five minutes)

2. Board of Equalization and Review
– Anthony Peace – 1001 Health Center Road Henderson, NC Parcel: 0093 03017
– Kenneth Stevenson, Prestigious Housing – 389 Americal Road Henderson, NC Parcel: 0216 03008

3. Appointment – Dr. Anthony Jackson, Superintendent – School System COVID-19 Response Update

4. Water District Board
a. Monthly Operations Report

5. Committee Reports and Recommendations
a. Properties Committee
– Eaton Johnson – Bidding Schedule
– Addressing Ordinance Appeal – Vance Academy Road
b. Human Resources Committee
– Resolution Amending Personnel Policies Relative to COVID-19

6. Finance Director’s Report
a. Surplus Property
b. CIP Summary
c. Finance Agreement – Regions

7. County Attorney’s Report
a. REO Properties – Bid Acceptance
– 416 Harriett Street – Parcel 0094 04024
– W. Chavis Road Lot – Parcel 0479 01018

8. County Manager’s Report
a. Lease Extension – Alliance Rehabilitation Center
b. Fireworks Permit – Tourism
c. Special Called Meeting – June 15, 2020
d. Presentation of FY 2020-21 Recommended Budget

9. Consent Agenda Items
a. Budget Amendment and Transfers
b. Tax Refunds and Releases
c. Monthly Reports
d. Minutes

10. Miscellaneous
a. Appointments

Click here to view current and prior Board agendas.

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Vance Board of Commissioners to Hold April Meeting With Limited Public Access

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-Information courtesy Kelly H. Grissom, Clerk to Board/Executive Asst., County of Vance

Please be informed that the Vance County Board of Commissioners’ meeting will be held on Monday, April 6, 2020, at 6 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, 122 Young Street, Henderson, with a few changes.

In order to protect the public and County staff while complying with the Governor’s order limiting gatherings, public access into the meeting room will be very limited. An onsite viewing area with limited capacity will be established for the public who attend the meeting.

For those making public comments, signups must be received on April 6 between 5:15 and 5:45 p.m., as usual. Speakers will be allowed into the room as space allows.

The public hearing for a rezoning request on Bullocksville Park Road has been postponed until the May 4 regular meeting.

Agenda Items for the April 6 Meeting:

1. Public Comments (for those registered to speak by 5:45 p.m. – speakers are limited to five minutes)

2. Water District Board

a. Water Committee Report

– Water Connection Fee

– Phase 1B USDA Funding

b. Monthly Operations Report

3. Committee Reports and Recommendations

a. Properties Committee

– Lease Extension – Alliance Rehabilitation Center

– Eaton Johnson – Final Plan Review and Hold of Bid Release

b. Public Safety Committee

– First Responder Medical Requirements

– COVID-19 Protocol Change for Dispatching First Responders

– Community Paramedic Program

– Redistricting

– Combination Fire Department

c. Human Resources Committee

– Workers’ Compensation Leave Policy Amendment

– Manager’s Evaluation Format

– Families First Coronavirus Response Act

4. Finance Director’s Report

a. Surplus Property

5. County Attorney’s Report

a. REO Property – Bid Acceptance Resolutions

– Nicholas Street Lot – Parcel 0111 03022

b. REO Property – New Offer

– 404 Whitten Avenue – Parcel 0098 04006

– W. Chavis Road – Parcel 0479 01018

6. County Manager’s Report

a. Proposal for Addressing Jail Deficiencies

7. Consent Agenda Items

a. Budget Amendments and Transfers

b. Tax Refunds and Releases

c. Monthly Reports

d. Minutes

8. Miscellaneous

a. Appointments

Click here to view current and prior Board agendas.

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McGregor Hall Funding, County Budget Topics of Commissioners’ Meeting

THIS STORY IS PRESENTED IN PART BY DRAKE DENTISTRY

Vance County Manager Jordan McMillen provided WIZS with the following summary of the Vance County Board of Commissioners’ meeting held Monday, February 3, 2020:

McGregor Hall Funding Request: The committee discussed a funding request McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center recently made to both the City and County. The county manager provided a review of a recent economic impact study indicating McGregor Hall has an estimated annual economic impact of 2.34 million in additional restaurant, hotel and other spending within the City and County.

Mark Hopper, from McGregor Hall, was present and provided an overview of the performing arts center operations as well as their outstanding debt which is a $124,000 annual debt payment ($2.9 million over 40 years). This is preventing them from growing and providing a higher level of programming.

He noted that a higher level of programming has a cost between $25,000 and $30,000 per show and is unsustainable with McGregor’s desire to keep ticket prices below $35 for the local citizens. He also noted that ticket sales alone are not the primary revenue generator of any theatre and that the most successful performing arts center in the United States (Durham Performing Arts Center – DPAC) also receives local government funding.

In addition to this, he mentioned a recent review of similar facilities in North Carolina which indicated that McGregor Hall was the only one without local government support. The committee members discussed whether other grants, organizations, or endowments could be helpful in supporting McGregor Hall in the future.

The city and county members discussed the need to review McGregor Hall’s audit, and was agreeable to considering a specific request from McGregor during budget deliberations, but made no commitments (City or County) on any funding for McGregor Hall at this time.

Downtown Wi-Fi: The City members seemed receptive to the idea of contributing to this effort. This was the shortest item discussed during the committee meeting and we anticipate the city folks will get back to us on what, if anything, they can contribute. Our board believes free downtown Wi-Fi is needed, and they would like both city and county working together on this.

Audit: The audit went well – no material weakness findings and the financials are in order. We did dip into our general fund balance to the tune of $2.2 million last year, but $1.7 of that was the purchase of land for economic development which was anticipated.

Even with this, our unassigned fund balance was just over 28% at the end of June 2019 and our target is to stay above 25%. We need to be careful from a budgeting standpoint going forward because revenue growth has been very minimal compared to the funding requests and needs that we see each year.

Although we go into each budget looking to keep the tax rate the same, there were some items added last year that could have necessitated a tax increase. That will make this upcoming year’s budget more challenging without a tax increase – but we will get into those numbers soon. We will discuss the upcoming budget in more depth at our Planning Retreat on Monday.

Litter Cleanup: We heard a great presentation on what NCDOT is doing to combat litter. Over time, fewer prisons are participating in litter cleanup, but NCDOT is still spending $20.9 million a year to combat the problem. The bulk of this is paid to contract companies who cleanup along our roadways.

It was interesting to see that in Vance County alone, 64.97 tons of roadside litter was cleaned up by NCDOT.  Also, we have had a lot of success recently reporting roadside litter problems to NCDOT through their online portal www.ncdot.gov/contact. In some instances we reported it and they cleaned the road up the very next day.

To see more information on the Vance County Board of Commissioners, including meeting agendas, proposed budgets and reports, visit www.vancecounty.org/departments/board-of-commissioners/.

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Vance Co. Board of Commissioners to Meet Mon., Feb. 3

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

-Information courtesy Kelly H. Grissom, Clerk to Board/Executive Asst., County of Vance

The Vance County Board of Commissioners will meet Monday, February 3, 2020, at 6 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, 122 Young Street, Henderson. The Invocation will be given by Rev. Joseph Ratliff of Shiloh Baptist Church.

Agenda items include:

1. Public Comments

2. Appointment – 6 p.m. – Derek Smith, NCDOT – Update on Litter Abatement Programs

3. Appointment – 6:15 p.m. – Stuart Hill, Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams & Co. – FY 2018-2019 Audit Report

4. Water District Board

a. Committee Report
b. Monthly Operations Report

5. Committee Reports and Recommendations

a. Properties Committee
– Boiler Replacement – Eaton Johnson Gym
– Dennis Building – Light Post Repair
– Eaton Johnson – Updated Architectural Fees
– Eaton Johnson Project Update

b. Intergovernmental Committee
– City/County Joint Programs and Partnerships
– McGregor Hall Funding Request
– Downtown Wi-Fi

6. Finance Director’s Report

a. Surplus Property
b. Purchase of New Ambulance
c. Campbell Oil Lease/Contract

7. County Attorney’s Report

a. REO Properties – New Offers – 318 Rowland Street – Parcel 0073 04002

8. County Manager’s Report

a. Resolution – Black History Month
b. Semi-Annual Jail Inspection Report

9. Consent Agenda Items

a. Budget Amendments and Transfers
b. Tax Refunds and Releases
c. Ambulance Charge-Offs
d. Monthly Reports
e. Minutes

10. Miscellaneous

a. Appointments
b. March Meeting Date

Click here to view current and prior Board agendas.

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Paramedicine, Paid Volunteer Fire Positions Among Retreat Discussions

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The Vance County Board of Commissioners met at Perry Memorial Library on Tuesday for the first of two planned retreat days designed to assist with the review of current plans and development of new goals for the coming fiscal year.

Commissioners heard presentations from County department heads on their respective office’s current fiscal year accomplishments and priorities moving forward.

EMS Director Javier Plummer and Vance County Fire Marshal Keith Duncan shared the details of their respective portion of the presentation with WIZS News.

Plummer led a discussion on the need for a Community Paramedicine program within the EMS department. Paramedicine is a program that allows paramedics to operate in expanded roles by assisting with public health, primary healthcare and preventive services to certain populations within the community.

According to Plummer, the main focus of the program is to 1) provide and connect patients to primary care services; 2) in some cases, complete post-hospital follow-up care; 3) integrate with local public health agencies, home health agencies, health systems and other providers; 4) provide education and promote health and 5) not duplicate available services within the community.

“As far as EMS is concerned for the planning retreat, I mainly discussed our call volume with the Board of Commissioners as well as the purchase of equipment,” said Plummer.  “Our goals going forward are the addition of Captain’s positions and the development of a Community Paramedicine program.”

Duncan reported his accomplishments for the current fiscal year included the rewriting of contracts between volunteer fire departments and County government, as well as the establishment of paid personnel in volunteer departments.

The contracts allowed for increased appropriations and funds for hiring staff at volunteer fire departments. “Departments were able to fund two paid personnel for 12 hours a day Monday through Friday this fiscal year,” said Duncan. “To date, this has worked great and has verifiably reduced response times for the citizens. As an added benefit, these departments run first responder calls that help with the EMS call volume.”

Commissioners will reconvene on Monday, February 10, 2020, for the second day of the planning retreat. The meeting will be held in the Farm Bureau Room of Perry Memorial Library in Henderson from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

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Vance Co. Board of Commissioners to Hold Planning Retreat

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

-Information courtesy Kelly H. Grissom, Clerk to Board/Executive Asst., County of Vance

The Vance County Board of Commissioners will meet Tuesday, January 21 and Monday, February 10, 2020, for a planning retreat. The two-day retreat will be held in the Farm Bureau Room of Perry Memorial Library in Henderson from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

According to the finalized agenda for the January 21 meeting, opening remarks by Gordon Wilder, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, and Jordan McMillen, Vance County Manager, will be followed by county department heads presenting their respective office’s accomplishments and priorities.

Order of Presentations: Animal Services, Frankie Nobles; Cooperative Extension, Turner Pride; Economic Development, Dennis Jarvis, II; Elections, Faye Gill; Emergency Operations (911), Brian Short; EMS, Javier Plummer; Finance, Katherine Bigelow; Fire Department, Chris Wright; Fire Marshal, Keith Duncan; Human Resources, Argretta Johen; Information Technology, Kevin Brown; Library, Patti McAnally; Maintenance/Security, Brad Weatherington; Planning & Development, Sherry Moss; Register of Deeds, Cassandra Neal; Sheriff’s Office & Jail, Sheriff Curtis Brame; Social Services, Denita Devega; Soil & Water, Jacob Wilkie; Solid Waste, Jason Falls; Tax Office, Porcha Brooks; Veterans Services, Linwood Martin.

Following department presentations, McMillen will review the 2019-2020 fiscal year goals. Lunch with department heads will conclude the meeting.

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Commissioners Vote to Add Middleburg to Vance Co. Zoning Jurisdiction

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The Vance County Board of Commissioners met Monday evening, and Chairman Gordon Wilder and the full board administered two public hearings.

The first was a pre-budget public hearing in which suggestions and priorities could be voiced by residents. The only people who actually spoke were Frankie Nobles, Chief of Vance County Animal Services, and Michelle Wood, the Ruin Creek Animal Protection Society’s rescue coordinator.

Overall, their remarks were to demonstrate the continued success Vance County is seeing as a result of the “outstanding partnership between the shelter and RCAPS,” Nobles said.

Wood told WIZS News that the Ruin Creek Animal Protection Society “pulled 760 dogs and 686 cats for a total of 1,446 animals in 2019. Fifty-five were medical cases averaging $1,000 per medical case.”

There is an obvious opportunity for Vance County to allocate more towards animal services, given the tremendous benefit and results being enjoyed as a result of the public-private partnership presently at hand.

The second public hearing resulted in a unanimous vote to add the town limits of Middleburg to the Vance County Zoning Jurisdiction.

Middleburg Mayor Ray Bullock addressed the commissioners and said Middleburg’s old zoning ordinance was created in 1974, a time he said a handshake would really take care of things and when “neighbors looked after each other.”  He said, “We appreciate you all looking at this.”

Vance County Planner Angie Blount and Interim Vance County Planning Director Sherry Moss told WIZS News the result would be zoning enforcement, code compliance, subdivision ordinances, zoning permit, building permit and perc testing among other things that Vance County will now administer for Middleburg.

The board also approved proceeding with the NC Department of Transportation to clear the way to construct a turning lane on Warrenton Road at the manned waste management site, a location that dates back to a time when such locations were referred to as “the green box.”

While the price tag of more than $300,000 would tend to raise an eyebrow or two, the board’s actions actually are expected to introduce a savings of about $100,000 to the county, with $81,000 expected to be out of pocket for the turn lane itself and the balance to additional site development.

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County Awaiting Testing Results Before Resuming Fire Restructuring Talks

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

In a brief update to WIZS, Vance County Commissioner Dan Brummitt stated that restructuring of the volunteer fire departments, a topic that has been much discussed and debated in recent months, is currently in a holding pattern pending test results.

“Most of the fire departments underwent testing for fire ratings, and we are waiting on the results before we proceed,” said Brummitt. “Preliminary results indicate that they all did well, and we should see some ability for insurance rates to be lowered in some parts of the county.”

Under the current fire restructuring proposal, paid part-time positions would be added to the County’s volunteer fire departments with the exception of the Vance County Fire Department, which would remain as currently structured.

“As soon as we get official test results, we anticipate starting the conversation again,” Brummitt said.

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Vance Co. Board of Commissioners to Meet Mon., Jan. 6

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

-Information courtesy Kelly H. Grissom, Clerk to Board/Executive Asst., County of Vance

The Vance County Board of Commissioners will meet Monday, January 6, 2020, at 6 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, 122 Young Street, Henderson. The Invocation will be given by Mary Anderson, associate minister of Shiloh Baptist Church.

Agenda items include:

1. Public Comments (for those registered to speak by 5:45 p.m. – speakers are limited to five minutes)

2. Public Hearing – 6 p.m. – FY 2020-21 Budget

3. Public Hearing – 6:15 p.m. – Angie Blount, County Planner Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment

4. Water District Board

a. Staff Report

b. Monthly Operations Report

5. County Manager’s Report

a. Schedule Annual Planning Retreat

b. NCDOT Agreement – Warrenton Road Solid Waste Project

6. Consent Agenda Items

a. Tax Refunds and Releases

b. Ambulance Charge-Offs

c. Monthly Reports

d. Minutes

7. Miscellaneous

a. Appointments

Click here to view current and prior Board agendas.