Storm debris clean-up gets boost in Bladen

By: W. Curt Vincent - Bladen Journal

ELIZABETHTOWN — Bladen County Soil and Water Conservation received a much-needed shot in the arm recently when it was awarded another grant that will help with storm debris removal after Hurricane Matthew.

Dean Morris, director of the county’s Soil and Water District, told commissioners on Monday that monies received recently will allow for the cleanup of the hardest hit areas — including the Big Swamp, Black River and Bryant Swamp regions.

“We have a lot of debris still causing problems throughout the county,” Morris said. “Obviously, we can’t get to every single one and we won’t be able to make everyone happy, but we will prioritize and get to everything we can.”

Morris said he wants to avoid talking about the cost for each of the projects, because they are being bid out.

In a related matter, Dawson Singletary of Bladenboro addressed the commissioners about problems he has concerning the clean-out of Bryant Swamp and ditches along Richardson Road.

“It’s a catastrophic situation,” he said. “Bryant Swamp hasn’t been fully cleaned out since 2006 and Matthew really made things bad for my land and the town of Bladenboro.”

Singletary asked the county to consider not going ahead with the planned clean-up of the Bryant Swamp area. Commissioners took no action on his request.

In other action, the board:

— Were introduced to Justin Ruffin, who will serve as a summer intern for the county.

— Held a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the county’s tobacco use ordinance. There were no speakers.

— Heard from Register of Deeds Beverly Parks, who requested a resolution to establish a 4:30 cut-off time for the recording of marriage licences and real estate transactions. The board approved the request.

— Sheriff Jim McVicker requested approval for two deputies and two vehicles to serve the Clarkton area on a one-year agreement. The request was approved.

— At the request of Planning Department Greg Elkins, scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 6:30 p.m. concerning a text amendment to the Bladen County zoning ordinance on solar farms.

The next meeting of the county commissioners will be Monday, Aug. 21, at 6:30 p.m.

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


W. Curt Vincent

Bladen Journal