The Anson County Board of Commissioners approved the merger of Sandhills Center with Guilford Center Area Program Aug. 7.
The resolution was approved unanimously, with the exception of Commissioner Harold Smith, who was absent. Anson and eight other counties, Randolph, Moore, Harnett, Richmond, Lee, Montgomery, Hoke and Guilford must approve the merger. The effective date will be Jan. 1, 2013.
Wendell Small, a representative of the Carolina Thread Trail, a proposed project that would connect 15 counties regionally and 2.3 million people in a network of greenways and blueways, addressed the board. He asked for the Commission to approve a master plan for the waterways planned through Anson which would include six proposed sites for canoes and kayaks to launch. The organization will offer up to $300,000 for Anson to build these sites. Carolina Thread Trail will work with local landowners to purchase land for these sites, according to Small.
“We’re glad to work with property owners who are interested in conservation,” he said. “We would most likely try to buy that [land from them].”
The Commission approved the plan.
The Commission approved financing for the proposed Emergency Services Center from Anson Bank & Trust. Under the terms, the county may receive up to $4.7 million to be repaid over 15 years at a 2.37 percent interest rate. Any grants obtained will reduce the financing sought by the county.
“My guideline is, ‘Does it add value to the community?’”, Chairwoman Anna Baucom asked. The Commission approved the financing with the exception of Commissioner Ross Streater, who voted no, and Smith.
The Commission approved the sale of 15 properties, most of them acquired through the foreclosure process. The auction will be conducted at noon Sept. 12 on the steps of the courthouse. Buyers must present a bid deposit of five percent of the bid, either in cash or certified check.
“We need to sell it,” County Manager Lawrence Gatewood said. Many of the properties were foreclosed due to non-payment of taxes and those taxes were released.
Gatewood reported that property tax bills were mailed out Aug. 7 in the amount of $12.3 million. He said that he paid his immediately as an example, the first person to do so in the county.
He also presented a breakdown of the costs of the second primary held July 17. There were 359 votes cast and the total cost was $22,330.13 for an average cost of $62.20 per voter. In Anson, 2.1 percent of voters cast a ballot while statewide 3.6 percent voted.
Gatewood has informed county employees that reports of failure to wear a seatbelt while on duty by county employees will now be considered a performance issue. Employees will face escalating consequences from warnings up to dismissal.