ELIZABETHTOWN — The Bladen County Board of Commissioners gave its unanimous support Tuesday to urging state officials to find a solution to water quality issues in White Lake.
A number of county commissioners attended an open forum on Jan. 10 in White Lake to hear a discussion about the water woes that have so far seemed to stump investigators.
“It’s gotten real bad over the past year or so,” said Commissioner Russell Priest. “The water has a smell and a green tint to it.”
Commissioner Ashley Trivette, who is a resident of White Lake, said she is confident the town board there and the state will get the problem corrected soon.
“I’m told it’s a Ph issue,” she said. “But I know they have the proper people in place to analyze the situation.”
Priest said he wanted the board to ask County Manager Greg Martin to draw up a letter urging state officials to move faster with finding the solution.
“White Lake is a vital part of our county for both tax base and tourism reasons,” he said.
The board approved the letter.
Road hunting issue
Bladen County resident Joe Britt went before the commissioners to discuss what he says is a growing problem with folks, primarily from out of the county, gathering on rural public roads and hunting with dogs.
“You know, back when World War II ended, everyone in Bladen County honked their car horns — and I think out in Dublin I heard maybe two horns,” Britt said. “But now, there are a lot more cars and a lot more dogs out there.”
Britt said part of the problem is that signs allow licensed hunters to hunt with dogs on one side of the roadway, while the other side has no signage.
“So what we have are the lawful hunters with dogs on one side of the road, and the illegal hunters with dogs on the other side of the road,” he said. “So when the eight-point buck comes out, everyone starts shooting.”
Britt used N.C. 242 in Ammon as an example, and brought one of the signs that are posted only along one side of the road.
“What I’m asking for is an ordinance that eliminates hunting from public roadways, period,” he said.
The board asked Martin to research the situation and bring the issue back before the board in February.
In other business …
— Approved funding for five local nonprofit agencies for 2018. The board divided the available $5,400 among the groups evenly, giving $1,080 each to Bladenboro Historical Society, Special Olympics Bladen County, the American Legion Post 404, Bladen Youth Focus Project and Lower Cape Fear Hospice.
— Scheduled a pre-budget public hearing for Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m.
— Approved a request from Commissioner Charles Ray Peterson to look into having board meetings video recorded using a camera from the Emergency Management Department. Also will consider offering area businesses the chance to advertise on the board meeting video as a way to set off any potential costs, as requested by Trivette.
— Approved a request from Animal Control Board Chairman Mike Jackson and board member Kelly Brisson to change the owner-surrender and minimum-hold requirements to reflect that of the state’s.
— Approved an affiliation agreement with Francis Marion University and OK’d the operative procedures for the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee, as requested by Interim Health Director Wayne Raynor.
The next meeting of the county commissioners will be Monday, Feb. 5, at 6:30 p.m.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.