By Kitsey E. Burns firstname.lastname@example.org
May 8, 2014
YADKINVILLE — On Monday, the Yadkin County commissioners approved a contract for the county to operate a license plate agency. The previous agency in the county was operated by an independent contractor and closed in December of last year.
The new agency is scheduled to open on June 3 at 101 S. State St. on the first floor of the Yadkin County Courthouse. The county will be responsible for the costs of running the agency, but will receive a fee on services. The fees are set by the General Assembly each year, said County Manager Aaron Church.
The commissioners discussed prior difficulties of the previous agency being closed during lunchtime and noted on the approved documents for the new agency, that operating hours would be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Also approved on Monday was the $1,148,235 contract with Wishon and Carter to complete the 5D recreation park in Yadkinville, which will offer fishing, boating and nature trails. A grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund will cover $500,000 of the project cost and the county will pay the remainder. A boat ramp and concrete abutment for the fishing pier already have been installed. The Wildlife Commission is building the fishing pier.
Jason Walker, head of the Yadkin Soil and Water Conservation Department, said other work on the park will depend on weather conditions. A firm date has not yet been determined for the park opening, but officials speculate that it will be open by late September.
Church also discussed and asked for approval of a draft version of the legislative topics that the county should support or oppose in the next state legislative session. Some top priorities that Church listed were regarding Golden LEAF funding and the elimination of health accreditation for county health departments.
County officials have applied for grants from the Golden LEAF Foundation for the past three years for the agriculture building which will become a part of the Surry Community College Yadkin Center and also house several county agriculture related agencies. Church said that “being a tobacco county with a lot of agriculture” the county should be considered for funding from the organization for this project. He asked the commissioners to make this request a priority when talking with state legislators.
The concerns involving recent issues with health department accreditation fees from the North Carolina Health Directors Association was also a priority Church noted that needed to be addressed with state legislators. The General Assembly eliminated funding for county health departments and the accreditation from the NC Health Directors Association does not provide any value to the local department, according to the document submitted for approval at Monday’s meeting.
Other items of legislation that Church asked the board to support involved cost effective methods for primary elections, the ability for counties to provide electronic notices for public hearings, expansion of the use of 911 funds and local control over school calendars. Items of legislation Church asked the board to oppose were any shift of state transportation responsibilities and unfunded mandates, such as the aforementioned health accreditation.
The commissioners also adopted a resolution previously adopted by the Yadkin County Board of Education to request the “State Board of Education and the NC General Assembly to clarify the standards, assessments and financial commitment by engaging in full public discussions” regarding the Common Core Standards.
According to the resolution, the Common Core Standards, adopted by the NC General Assembly in 2010 “have never been validated empirically to establish increased student achievement; nor have the standards been demonstrated to be the vehicle to build the skills to make our students and nation internationally competitive.”
A budget amendment to appropriate funds to replace four radios at the 911 center also was approved at Monday’s meeting.
The board also discussed scheduling a community meeting in East Bend to address concerns about the proposed new waterline. A date has not been set for the meeting, but it will most likely be held in mid-June.
Kitsey E. Burns can be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.