County holds first discretionary vote
by Bob Shiles Staff writer
LUMBERTON — The Robeson County Board of Commissioners will vote Monday for the first time in public on how discretionary money is to be spent. The vote is symbolic since money for items listed for approval on the board’s consent agenda has already been distributed.
Although the commissioners publicly announced in June that they will vote publicly on all money spent from their discretionary funds — this year totalling $30,000 for each commissioner — what they didn’t say is that the vote would be made after money is distributed.
The new policy, officials have said, is to list the non-profits and projects to which each commissioner contributes, as well as the amount of each contribution, on the consent agenda at the second regular meeting each month, usually held on the third Monday of the month. A vote will then be taken to approve the expenditures.
According to the agenda for Monday’s meeting, the commissioners will vote to approve 67 discretionary fund expenditures, totaling about $22,000. Expenditures range from $50 to $2,000. The agenda does not name the individual commissioners associated with each request.
The commissioners on Monday will also hold a public hearing on Project Carpet Ride, the project name for an industry that is expected to locate on Interstate 95 and invest $1 million in building and machinery while creating 60 jobs with an average wage of $12 an hour plus benefits.
During a public hearing two weeks ago, the commissioners approved an incentives package for the company that depends on the number of jobs created. A second public hearing is being held Monday, however, because the commissioners forgot to open the previous hearing for public comments.
The commissioners on Monday will also:
— Recognize the West Robeson Nationals baseball team.
— Hear a presentation from Adlia Strickland, a forest ranger with the North Carolina Forestry Service.
— Convene as the Robeson County Housing Authority Board.
— Consider appointments to the Robeson County Planning Board.
— Consider a bid proposal for property on Jebidiah Drive.
The meeting will be held beginning at 6 p.m. at the county administration building on North Elm Street.
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