Dobson board agrees to seek funding for sewer project

First Posted: 11/19/2009

DOBSON Although the main focus of the Dobson commissioners meeting Thursday night was centered around funding for a sewer project, the meeting started off with comments from a citizen about the ongoing town manager controversy.
During the public forum portion of the meeting, Larry Patterson stated that he thought something should be done about Town Manager Lynn Burcham, who has been on paid suspension since June while under investigation by the State Bureau of Investigations for alleged embezzlement of town funds.
Everybody Ive talked to is concerned about the town manager situation. I dont know that its right for the town to drag it out like this. I dont think its right. Either let her go or put her back to work, Patterson said.
Mayor Ricky Draughn responded by saying that during the recent election for mayor and town commissioners, it was a hot topic among citizens.
Ninety-nine percent of the people I talked to brought this to my attention. So I see what you are saying, Draughn said.
No further action was taken by the town on the issue.
During the meeting, All-American Associates consultant Paul Hensch, who is acting in the town managers role, asked if he could have permission from the board to seek funding for the Prison Camp Sewer Extension Project.
Hensch said since the project began, the N.C. Department of Transportation had to hold back $300,000 of state funding for the $1 million project.
We have two tracks we can take. The first track is to seek additional funding. The second is to possibly reduce the scope of the project, Hensch said. He said he is worried the town will run out of time with funding coming from the N.C. Rural Center if matching funds arent found soon.
Draughn explained that the lack of funding from the DOT was none of our doing. If the DOT would go ahead and pay from the state level, this project could move forward.
With a Dec. 7 deadline looming from the Rural Center, Commissioner Gerri Martn asked the board, What do we have to lose by seeking Clean Water grants? Im not comfortable changing the scope of the project.
Commissioner Lana Brendle agreed with Martn.
Martn made a motion to allow Hensch to seek funding for the project. Brendle seconded the motion, and the board agreed unanimously.
In other action, the board discussed lowering the speed limit on White Street from 35 miles per hour to 25 mph after a citizen in the area complained. Hensch explained that Dobson Police Chief Shawn Myers spent about six hours in the area and couldnt find one person exceeding the speed limit. The board agreed to leave the speed limit as is.
The board also considered a request from the Dobson Lions Club to sponsor high school bands to attend the Dobson Christmas Parade. Hensch explained that in the past, the board had given North Surrys band $100 for travel expenses because they have a larger band and $75 to other local high school bands for transportation.
Martn made a motion to keep the tradition to fund band transportation. Commissioner Wayne Atkins seconded the motion, and the board unanimously agreed.
The Dobson Lions Club Christmas Parade will be held Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. Parade participants will start lining up at 1 p.m. in the Surry Community College parking lot. For more information about the parade, call Jerry Weaver at 356-4193.
The next Dobson board meeting will be held on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or at 719-1930.

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