High water bill has Tar Heel mayor confused

By: W. Curt Vincent - Bladen Journal

ELIZABETHTOWN — Tar Heel Mayor Roy Dew spoke to the county Board of Commissioners on Monday about a water bill in January that was nine times higher than usual to the town.

“We received a bill from the county for $179, which is extremely high,” he said. “That bill claimed we used 61,000 gallons of water. That’s a lot of water, especially at a building that isn’t in use except when we (the town board) meets or someone rents it out.”

Dew said the bill was paid and he wasn’t there to dispute the cost. But he was hoping to get to the bottom for the reason it was so high. Water bills before and after have remained constant at about $17 to $20 per months.

“The county came out and checked for a leak … no leak,” Dew said. “So where did 61,000 gallons of water go? Nobody can tell us. We asked for a history and it shows the highest water use has been about 4,000 gallons.”

The board asked County Manager Greg Martin to look into the situation further and report back to Dew, but commissioners also felt the cause may have been a toilet flush that got hung up.

In other business Monday, the board:

— Set a public hearing for May 7 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss a rezoning request on Cromartie Road.

— Held a public hearing about a rezoning request for 6.82 acres from residential/agricultural to commercial. Nobody spoke on the issue and the board voted to approve the request.

— Approved a letter of agreement regarding equipment sterilization services with Bladen medical Associates and the county’s health department. The service carries no cost to the county.

— Denied a bid of $500 for a 1-acre parcel of land off of N.C. 242 that was given to the county in 1994. The land is valued at $3,600 and would bring $32 in property taxes per year to the county. The vote was 8-1, with Commissioner Michael Cogdell voting no.

— Approved a bid for $8,151 on another piece of land that was foreclosed on by the county in 2016.

— Heard a breakdown of the county’s Tax & Tag Together Program in the hopes of explaining how the county’s Revenue Department is trying to sift through problems with addresses when new vehicles are purchased in other county’s. Currently, there are several county streets that create problems when they are not put into the system exactly as the 911 address is shown — and the county has created nearly 2,000 aliases to help solve the problem.

— Heard from Dean Morris, director of the county’s Soil and Water Conservation District, who told the board an $85,000 grant from Golden LEAF would be used to provide stream debris removal services.

The next meeting of the county board will be Monday, May 7, at 6:30 p.m.

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

W. Curt Vincent

Bladen Journal