The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

October 1, 2012

Grants, Princeville, public hearings on county's agenda

Staff Writer
Calvin Adkins

TARBORO — The Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners will discuss the proposed consolidation of the health and social service departments when it meets at 7 p.m.

The proposed consolidation will, "promote efficiency and effectiveness in the administration of human services and to strengthen the local public health infrastructure by establishing a consolidated human services department," according to a document in the Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners agenda.

The board is entertaining the consolidation coincidentally at the same time they are preparing to relocate both departments in the same building in downtown Tarboro.    

The state legislature recently passed a bill that would allow the consolidation of the health and social service department statewide. The county board will not take action to pass a resolution to consolidate the departments, but a vote will be made on whether or not to hold public hearing concerning the issue next month at the regularly scheduled meeting.

Tonight's agenda does have two public hearings scheduled. The first is concerning the county's intention to apply for a $250,000 grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce 2012 Small Business and Entrepreneurship Assistance Program. The proposed funds will be used to work with ProClean, a professional power washing, industrial cleaning and parking lot repair company in Conetoe.

The second will be called for a $225,000 N.C. Department of Commerce 2012 Scattered Housing Community Development Block Grant. The grant will be used to to rehab approximately four houses in Edgecombe County.

In other business, the board will entertain Princeville mayor, Priscilla Evertette-Oates regarding the presence of the Local Government Commission in her town.

Because of its poor financial condition, LGC took over the town's books on July 30. T. Vance Holloman, LGC deputy treasurer, attended the county's meeting last month and asked the board to assist Princeville by looking into taking over their water system. The board unanimously approved the motion.

The board could take its first step to take over the system tonight if a $34,125 matching grant from the N.C. Rural Center is approved. The funds would be used to evaluate the water system.

Oates has verbally suggested she was against the county taking over the system.