The 3pm Work Session was about 38 minutes long. The primary focus of this session was to hear budget information regarding the Pasquotank Water & Sewer Master Plan from David Smithson, Water Department Superintendent. Mr. Smithson brought forth a vote to change the title of the department and its staff from Water Department to Utilities Department effective February 1st, 2021. The board voted in favor of the title changes. He outlined a 15 million dollar upgrade of the county’s water and sewer treatment and well locations through the year 2040. This includes upgrades to everyone’s power meters to allow remote checking of usage. He also indicated that when New Land is developed the county will need additional backup water supply and outlined his plan to keep up with that demand.
The 4pm Finance Committee Meeting was about 41 minutes long. The session was to talk about tax releases and tax refunds at the start but chairman Lloyd Griffin held a successful vote to have himself recused from the discussion. The SBTDC from ECU gave a presentation discussing small business PPP and EIDL loans that are again available to area businesses. They gave information on free counseling available through their department at www.sbtdc.org. The State Board of Elections was represented by Emma Tate. She gave a presentation talking about the costs of the 2020 election in sanitizing facilities and shipping mail in ballots. She stated that the BOE’s printers and other equipment badly needs replacing prior to the October municipal election. The board held a vote regarding a new county branding logo which was approved. Cecil Perry did mention that although he would have rather seen the school system create another logo like was done previously, that he would go along with the rest of the board. Bill Sterritt also mentioned that he thought the logo was too abstract and that someone would have to have a very creative mind to find winding rivers and roads in the logo. The county used Bizzell Design for the new logo. The county will purchase decals for the Sheriff vehicles as soon as possible and County Manager Sparty Hammett plans to also put the logo on county officials’ face masks.
The 6pm meeting ran about 36 minutes long. At the 6pm meeting Charles Jordan led a prayer for their fellow colleague and our GOP party member Frankie Meads who has suffered two heart attacks in recent weeks and is in intensive care. Barry Overman and Sean Lavin also said a few words about Mr. Meads. At the public comments session our party chairman George Hague stood up and encouraged the commissioners to budget to spend some money on microphones and use the county’s existing laptop equipment to stream the audio from the meetings directly to the county website in the interest of government transparency. An objection was raised by Bill Sterritt to the December 7th meeting minutes being approved. Mr. Sterritt wanted the exact verbatim discussion from the meeting included in the official minutes and brought a written addendum to the meeting minutes. He stated that at the previous meeting he ran on a bit long and apologized for that and said that as a result of his rambling on he was treated very rudely by Chairman Lloyd Griffin and was told to shut up and he did not care for being treated disrespectfully. The board considered adding this addendum with it receiving a second motion but Barry Overman stated that if they added this then they would need to adopt a new policy of including personal comments and grievances between commissioners in the meeting minutes in the future instead of just having the minutes related to the topic at hand. A vote was held and 4 of the 6 commissioners present voted against allowing Mr. Sterritt to file his addendum to the meeting minutes. A vote in favor of the Sentara Lease and Community Services Block Grants were quickly held without much discussion. There was a presentation given called “What Aviation Means To Our Economy” by Scott Hinton from the local airport which included 2019’s data for the whole state. The 2020 data is still being tabulated for statistical study. Lloyd Griffin mentioned that many were asking about the distribution of the Covid vaccination shots and there was some discussion. He also asked about how the county Drainage Committee was meeting and making decisions which was answered by County Manager Sparty Hammett.
To watch video excerpts from the meeting check our videos page.