County OKs master plan effort for Parks & Rec

By: W. Curt Vincent - Bladen Journal

ELIZABETHTOWN — It’s time for a new master plan for the Bladen County Parks & Recreation Department, and on Tuesday the county commissioners unanimously gave the go-ahead for the process to begin.

Grant Pait, director of the county Parks & Rec Department, asked the commissioners to approve an agreement with East Carolina University, which drew up the previous master plan in 2008.

“We’re nearly at the 10-year mark and our master plan needs to be updated,” Pait said. “With the plan, it really helps us with grant applications and gives surrounding communities that advantage, too.”

Pait said ECU performs the master plan at a fraction of the cost most private businesses will.

“This agreement with ECA would cost us $12,500 — others charge as much as $29,000 or $30,000,” he added.

The commissioners gave Pait the OK.

In other action, the board:

— Heard from Greg Elkins, director of the county’s Planning Department, who asked for a text amendment in the zoning ordinance regarding the permitting of solar farms. The change would amend wording from conditional use to special use, which would require public hearings, notice to neighbors and posting of the property before a permit could be approved. public hearing on the issue saw nobody step forward, and commissioners OK’d the request.

— Heard from Bradley Kinlaw, director of the county’s Emergency Services, who asked commissioners to approve a Disaster Recovery Act 2017 grant application from the state. The grant could send $900,000 to Bladen County for future disaster recovery residential projects. Commissioners OK’d the request.

— Scheduled two public hearings for Monday, Sept. 18, and Monday Oct. 2, to receive comments on an upcoming Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery.

— Approved, with no discussion, a Bladen Area Rural Transportation System policy for disruptive behavior and direct threats.

The next meeting of the Bladen County Board of Commissioners will be Monday, Sept. 18, at 6:30 p.m.

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

W. Curt Vincent

Bladen Journal