ELIZABETHTOWN — Water issues from the Bladenboro area were brought before the Bladen County Board of Commissioners on Monday, neither of which had any immediate solutions.
Dawson Singletary spoke to the board about problems around the Bryant Swamp Basin, which he says is a major contributor to the town of Bladenboro getting flooded during storms. He explained that a federal grant was being used to clean out drainage ditches following Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, but not in the right areas.
He went on to say that, out near Berry Lewis Road, beaver dams had caused erosion along the Bryant Swamp Canal.
“Unless this is addressed, you’re throwing away that (grant) money,” Singletary said. “It’s the only way Bladenboro will stop being flooded.”
County Chairman Ray Britt told Singletary that he would look into the issue and get back with him.
In another water matter, Bladenboro resident Lawrence Pfohlman went before the commissioners armed with four bottles of water — each one displaying varying degrees of brown coloring and dark sediment.
“This has been a year-long problem out around Stephies Way,” he said. “I’ve spoken to the developer and the county water department, and nobody seems to be doing anything about it or telling us (residents) what the trouble is.”
Pfohlman said a couple of the reasons for the brown water include how the water lines were installed to how the water lines are being flushed.
He added that, when he allowed a bowl of water to evaporate in his home, what was left was a gritty substance.
“It’s like a sandpaper feeling,” Pfohlman said.
County Manager Greg Martin was asked to discuss the issue with the water department and have them contact Pfohman.
In other business Monday, the board:
— Approved requests from Bladen County Schools for $179,694.83 for capital outlay projects; $16,877 for a roofing project at Bladenboro Middle to cover the gym and foyer areas; $23.235 for a roofing project at Bladenboro Middle to cover the office and classroom areas; $56,663 for a roofing project at Bladenboro Primary.
— Heard from interim Health and Human Services Director Wayne Raynor about renewing a medical service agreement with the East Coast Migrant Head Start Project, including an addendum for the protection of personally identifiable information within child records. Raynor also asked for the approval of an fiscal year 2018-19 agreement with the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services’ Division of Public Health. The board OK’d both requests.
— Approved a request from Sheriff Jim McVicker for the creation of a Roadside Litter Cleanup Pilot Program.
“We’ve had a lot of complaints about litter in a lot of areas” he said, “especially along rural roads.”
McVicker added that General Services Department Director Kip McClary had promised $10,000 from his budget for the program and that another $5,000 would be used from the Sheriff’s Office budget. The board also approved creating a policy that would allow the Sheriff’s Office to use inmates for the program.
— Accepted a bid on a county-owned property in Elizabethtown for $5,700.
The next meeting of the county commissioners will be Tuesday, April 3, at 6:30 p.m.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or email@example.com.