County board handles small agenda

By: W. Curt Vincent -

ELIZABETHTOWN — It took just 22 minutes for the Bladen County Board of Commissioners to zip through its agenda on Monday, with nary a stumbling block to slow them down.

A majority of the time was used by Shelia Rains, a communicable disease nurse with the Bladen County Health & Human Services Department, who gave commissioners an overview of the past year’s events.

Rains told the board there have been 125 new cases of Chlamydia in the county, which she described as “our most popular” sexually transmitted disease, but she also said there have been no new HIV cases and only one new report of syphilis.

She also told the commissioners that her department was heavily involved with the rash outbreak at White Lake in July and made numerous follow-ups with employees at Smithfield Packing in Tar Heel after the chlorine leak.

“Most of those affected by the rash at White Lake were from out of town,” Rains said.

One of the more interesting cases, according to Rains, came in August.

“I was sitting across from a man who had the Zika virus,” she said. “We tested him, as well as his pregnant wife. His tests were positive, but several tests on his wife thankfully came back negative.”

Rains also said the department saw a report of hand, foot and mouth disease at a local day care; a possible case of measles that was ruled out; a case of EEE at a county camp; and two current cases of Tuberculosis.

In other action, the board:

— Heard from Bladen County Tax Assessor Renee Davis, who presented four proposals to the commissioners for a contract for real estate appraisal services. The board voted to accept the bid from Gary Piner Appraisal Services for one year.

— Were told by Davis there were two bids for two foreclosed properties totaling about 56 acres — one from Nevada Salt Mining Trust and one from Reginald Andrews, both totaling $11,050 but Andrews’ bid requested a private sale. The board accepted Andrews’ bid.

— Heard from Health & Human Services Director David Howard, who presented an application to the N.C. Family Planning Program for federal dollars that filter through the state to the county. The board OK’d the application.

— Also heard from Howell that the offer proposal form and buyer-seller obligations form with regard to the sale of the county home health agency were complete and ready to be sent to 11 agencies that have shown interest in purchasing the agency. “This is just like listing a property, except we are listing a business,” Howell said. “And we will also send this to five or six others who might be interested.” The deadline for bids is Jan. 11.

The next meeting of the board is Monday, Dec. 19, at 6:30 p.m.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

W. Curt Vincent