ELIZABETHTOWN — A referendum on the statewide March primary ballot could bring more than $7.5 million to Bladen County if approved by voters, and on Monday representatives from Bladen Community College asked the Bladen County commissioners for support of that referendum.
Known as the NC Connect Bond, the referendum would provide about $350 million for the state’s community college system, another $980 million for the University of North Carolina system, $312 million for local parks, $100 million for state parks/attractions and $8.5 million for public safety.
BCC President William Findt told the commissioners that, if approved, the referendum would allow the Dublin campus to construct a STEM facility — the first classroom building built on the campus in 30 years. He said the facility would be 21,000 square feet and, in addition to classroom space, would provide for a teaching auditorium and offices.
“The new building will serve engineering, math, science and technology programs,” Findt explained. “Right now, we have very limited space.”
With any leftover monies from the NC Connect Bond, Findt said they will be directed to renovations/repairs, campus lighting and parking lot repairs.
Other Bladen County sites to benefit from the referendum would include $651,750 for Jones Lake State Park and $575,250 for Singletary Lake State Park.
Commissioners voted to approve the resolution supporting the referendum.
In other action on Monday, the board …
— Recognized numerous employees for their years of service with the county. They included: Kevin Hunsinger, 20 years with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office; Deborah Storms, 20 years with Bladen County DSS; Elizabeth Hines, 20 years with the Bladen County Public Library; Kenny Hester, 20 years with the Water Department; Jannie Mason, 15 years with the Bladen County Public Library; Anna Johnson, 15 years with Bladen County Health Department; Dorothy Johnson, 15 years with Bladen County DSS; Brenda Burney, 15 years with Bladen County DSS; Beth Singletary, 10 years with Bladen County Health Department; Sonya Powers, 10 years with the Bladen County Health Department; Patty Luevanos, 10 years with Bladen County EMS; Tina Clark, five years with the county Finance Department; Donna Parnell, five years with the Bladen County Jail; Mitchell Hester II, five years with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office; and Maxine Jessup, five years with the Division on Aging.
— Heard an update from Lumber River Council of Governments concerning its Single Family Rehabilitation Program. Commissioners were told the county has received $170,000 to provide rehabilitation assistance for three homes, which is being aimed at energy efficiency.
— Heard from Computer Director Robin Hewett with regards to previous questions about video and voice recordings of county meetings. Hewett said a proposal to outsource the recording was received for $7,300 but other proposals could be expected.
— During his report, County Manager Greg Martin told commissioners that on Monday, Jan. 25, will be the first meeting of the Bladen County Strategic Planning Committee.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.