Address glitches between county, DMV discussed

By: W. Curt Vincent - Bladen Journal

ELIZABETHTOWN — An apparent glitch in how addresses are being entered at the Bladen County tax office and the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles is causing numerous local residents to be taxed at the highest rate in the county, even if they don’t live there.

Barbara Tatum of White Oak spoke to the Bladen County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, outlining a handful of years worth of troubles getting vehicle taxes straightened out.

“We’re being taxed for tags at the Elizabethtown rate, which is the highest in the county, and we don’t live in Elizabethtown,” she said. “And we keep getting passed back and forth between the county and the DMV, who are pointing fingers at each other.”

The problem, Tatum said, is that street names are being entered incorrectly — a fact that County Manager Greg Martin verified.

“It’s been an ongoing issue,” he told commissioners. “Anytime there is a deviation in the street address, the computer doesn’t recognize it, so the tax comes up at the highest cost, which is Elizabethtown.”

Martin said there are a number of street names in the county — such as Live Oak Methodist Church Road, where Tatum lives — that create problems with the 911 addressing.

“Mercer Mill Brown Marsh Road is probably the worst for this,” added Martin, who showed the board three pages of names affected by the address glitch.

Martin said he has been working on the problem and will have a power-point presentation at the board’s next meeting on April 16.

In other business, the board:

— Approved a text amendment to the Bladen County Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance to bring the wording within FEMA guidelines. A public hearing drew no speakers on the matter.

— Selected April 18 at 4 p.m. to hold its next meeting on the proposed fiscal year 2018-19 budget.

— Selected April 16 at 5:30 to meet about roles and responsibilities at the Board of Equalization.

— Approved waiving solid waste fees for Bladen County resident Alvin Butler, whose home burned. The fees totaled $2,405.

— Presented a proclamation for National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 8-14.

— Presented a proclamation for Child Abuse Awareness Month.

— Presented a proclamation for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

— Recognized Janet Miller on her retirement April 1 from DSS. She began her career in October 2001.

— Recognized Capt. Jeff Bridgers on his retirement April 1 from the sheriff’s office. He began in July 1988.

— Recognized numerous county employees for their years of service, including: Teresa McLean, DSS, five years; Darlene Bowen, housekeeping, five years; Susan Guyton, library, five years; Robert Grimes, water department, five years; Sabrina Bedsole, DSS, 10 years; Matthew August, EMS, 10 years; Brandon Britt, sheriff’s office, 10 years; Greg Bullard, sheriff’s office, 10 years; Sharon McDowell, detention center, 10 years; William Dove, detention center, 10 years; Sherry Dowless, DSS, 15 years; Lisa Allison, DSS, 20 years; Rhonda Caballero, DSS, 20 years; Alisha Evans, GIS, 20 years; Sally Thomson, environmental health, 20 years; Angela Stanley, health department, 20 years; Patti Yandle, communications, 20 years; and Marie Ross, DSS, 25 years.

The next meeting of the county commissioners will be Monday, April 16, at 6:30 p.m.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or cvincent@bladenjournal.com.

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W. Curt Vincent

Bladen Journal