Commissioners deem March ‘Abandoned Cemetery Awareness’ month

By Kitsey E. Burns kburns@civitasmedia.com

March 6, 2014

YADKINVILLE — At Monday’s meeting of the Yadkin County Board of Commissioners, the first public hearing concerning the submission of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) was held.

“We intend to apply for a sewer line extension to serve the Brooks Crossroads area,” said County Manager Aaron Church. Church went on to say that the project would most likely be eligible for the CDBG grant which could potentially cover the estimated $1.8 million project.

A meeting is scheduled with engineers on Tuesday to determine additional details about the project, which will be shared at the next meeting of the county commissioners.

There were no comments from the public during the hearing. The second hearing will be held at the next commissioner’s meeting at 7 p.m. on March 17.

Church said comments from the public about the need for sewer in the Brooks Crossroads area, which also includes West Yadkin School, could aid in securing the grant.

“It may be good if folks do come to the public hearing and express the need for sewer in that area,” he said.

Several budget amendments were approved at Monday’s meeting, including one for the Animal Control budget.

Jessica Wall, assistant to the director of Human Services, said that additional funds were being requested due to the fact that the animal shelter is 44 adoptions ahead of its projected adoption rate. The shelter has had great success in not only pairing lost animals back with their owners, but also in adopting out animals to new owners, Wall explained, but as such it has caused a shortfall in the 2013-14 fiscal year budget.

The budget amendment was approved unanimously by the commissioners.

Wall also gave a brief slide show presentation to showcase some of the latest improvements that have been made to the shelter. These improvements include new water lines that link directly inside each kennel, eliminating the need for water buckets in each stall which can be knocked over and cause unsanitary conditions.

The commissioners also approved a budget amendment to allow the county’s IT department to use a temporary employee from TEKSystems. The county’s IT department has been running two employees short of their normal staffing number of four, for sometime now.

Andrew Mackie of the Yadkin County Historical Society addressed commissioners on Monday to request that March be designated “Abandoned Cemetery Awareness Month.” An abandoned cemetery is deemed such when there have been no burials in the cemetery for the last 50 years. Mackie said that to date, 250 abandoned cemeteries had been added to the county map. It is believe that there are more than 600 such cemeteries in the county.

Mackie noted that locating and documenting these cemeteries can be of some economic benefit to the county as “heritage tourism” is becoming a popular pass time. People interested in their family ancestry often make visits to old cemeteries in search of gravestones of their family members and may eat or shop in the area while on these excursions, Mackie explained.

The commissioners approved the resolution to deem March “Abandoned Cemetery Awareness Month.”

At the close of Monday’s meeting, commissioners approved the appointment of Claire Matthews to serve on the Joint Nursing Home and Adult Care Home Community Advisory Board.

Dale Holcomb was appointed to serve as an alternate for the Board of Adjustments. Joan Swaim was reappointed to the Human Services Advisory Committee. There are two additional slots open on the Human Services Advisory Committee and the commissioners will be recruiting potential members to serve on that committee.

The county commissioners will meet with North Carolina Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Tata, at 2 p.m. on Monday. This meeting was requested by the commissioners to address concerns regarding county projects that have been requested to be added to the Department of Transportation planning maps.

The next regular meeting of the county commissioners will be on March 17 at 7 p.m. The commissioners will have a joint meeting with the Yadkin County School Board on March 31.

Kitsey E. Burns can be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.