The Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners apparently heeded to the cliché "If its not broke, don't fix it," when they appointed officers for 2014 Monday during their regular scheduled meeting. The seven-person board unanimously reappointed senior commissioners Chairman Leonard Wiggins and Vice Chairman Jonathan Felton to their respective positions.
In 2007, Leonard was first given the nod as chairman when he replaced former commissioner Charlie Harrell. During the same year, Harrell who was well respected by his peers, was appointed as the vice chairman. Harrell stepped down in January 2013. He served 22 years on the board including 12 years as the chairman. Wiggins served eight years as Harrell's vice chairman.
"It's an honor to be selected by this board," Wiggins said. "This has been a very good board to work with. I look forward to working with this board to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Edgecombe County."
Wiggins has served on the board for 17 years.
Felton also has longevity. He, too, has served 17 years. The Macclesfield native replaced Harrell a year ago as the vice chairman.
"I appreciate the confidence that my fellow commissioners have in me," Felton said. "I enjoy working with Mr. Wiggins and and look forward to working with all the commissioners."
In another matter, John D, Chaffee, president/CEO of North Carolina's Eastern Region (NCER) presented an hour long power point presentation concerning Edgecombe County economic development zone. NCER an economic development agency that provides grants and loan to 13 counties including Edgecombe. NCER receive 15 percent from member counties Department Motor Vehicle Collections.
Chaffee told the board that NCER will dissolved on July 1. He asked the board to join the NCEast Alliance, an organization which will provide the same services.
Since its inception in 1993 NCER provided member counties $6.8 million in grants and $27.3 million in low interest loans, Chaffee said. Edgecombe County received its fair share by collecting $811,000 in grants. Industries receiving the grants included QVC, Superior Essex, and Keihin Carolina System Technology.
"You have used us well," Chaffee said.
The county could opt out of joining the NCEast Alliance. If it opts out, NCER will pay the county a sum that Chaffee said was undetermined as of Monday.
Although there was no action taken on the matter, Wiggins and the board seemed to have been satisfied with Edgecombe joining the new organization.
"It was something that we needed to know," Wiggins said. "I haven't heard from any board member who was thinking about withdrawing."
In other business the county approved:
• The authorization of the fire marshall office to issue permits to S&W Productions to have fireworks display at Curtis Bearden's property on Sir Dillion Lane on N.C. 33. The Bearden's will have the firework display 8 p.m. Saturday to kickoff their annual Christmas light display.
• Two separate offers from Ronald Cozart to purchase county-owned properties in Rocky Mount for $300 each. The properties will be listed in The Daily Southerner for 10 days. During that time, upset bids can be made against them.
• Agreed for a resolution to be made in honor of C. Rudolph Knight who passed away Nov. 29. Knight was an Edgecombe County historian.