County OKslottery fundsfor school roof

W. Curt Vincent -

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Bladen County Board of Commissioners approved a request by Robert Heavenridge, coordinator of support services for Bladen County Schools on Monday, to funnel $267,000 of N.C. Education Lottery money to Booker T. Washington for roof repairs.

Although the vote was unanimous on the issue, the board found itself revisiting the use of the money about 20 minutes later.

“I would just like, for myself, to know what the plans are for the future use of that school,” said Commissioner Delilah Blanks. “At one time it was targeted to close and now they are using a lot of money to put a new top on a very old building.”

The request came as a surprise to much of the board.

“They (the school representatives) have already been here and gone,” said County Chairman Russell Priest. “We’ve already given the money.”

But Blanks persisted.

“I know we’ve already voted on this, but I would like the county manager to look into what they (the school board) plans to do for future use of the schools,” Blanks said. “It doesn’t seem to make much sense to be putting new tops on old buildings.”

Commissioner Charles Ray Peterson pushed back.

“If we have kids in that school and there is water pouring in, we need to fix it,” he said.

County Manager Greg Martin told the board he will inquire with the Bladen County Board of Education about the issue.

Also on Monday, the commissioners heard an audit review for fiscal year 2013-14 from Brian Scott, an auditor with Thompson, Price, Scott Adams & Company.

Scott told the board the audit produced no major red flags and required only “minor and normal adjustments.”

The commissioners had no questions about the audit.

Lisa Coleman, finance officer for the county, then told the board she had mailed out eight bid packets for an audit service provider and only three were returned. She recommended the board accept the bid from Thompson, Price, Scott Adams & Company for a base cost of $38,000 per year with an additional $2,500 per year for the next three years.

The commissioners approved the recommendation.

In other board action:

— Commissioners recognized the county’s General Services Director Robert Mazur for his 29 years of service. Mazur is retiring from the position effective March 31.

— The county recognized the East Bladen Lady Eagles basketball team for its 31-1 season that took them to the Eastern Regional finals. Coach Patty Evers and her team were given a proclamation and plague by the commissioners.

— A $500 contribution was approved by the board for Anna Grace Allen and Haven Cashwell, two pageant contestants who will represent Bladen County in the Miss North Carolina Pageant in June.

— Commissioners approved an agreement with ECS Carolinaa, LLP, for special inspection services related to the Law Enforcement and Detention Center construction project.

— The board OK’d an agreement with Moffat-Nichols to provide engineering services for the Cape Fear River Lock & Dam Nos. 2 and 3 fish passage restoration projects.

The next meeting of the Board of Commissioners will be Monday, April 4, at 6:30.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

W. Curt Vincent

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