04/16/12 — County to weigh marriage bill vote

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County to weigh marriage bill vote

By Steve Herring
Published in News on April 16, 2012 1:46 PM

Wayne County commissioners Tuesday morning could be facing a large crowd when they discuss the Defense of Marriage state constitutional amendment. That discussion will follow three public hearing at 9:15 a.m. including one on whether or not the county should provide incentives not to exceed $100,000 for Joseph T. Ryerson & Son Inc. in Pikeville.

Nearly 100 supporters of the measure filled the commissioners' board room earlier this month when Joe Haas of Faith Free Will Baptist Church, who is director of the North Carolina Christian Schools Association, and the Rev. Dann Patrick, the church's pastor, asked the board to endorse a resolution supporting the amendment that is on the May 8 primary ballot.

Commissioners did not vote on the resolution and split 4-3 on Commissioner Ray Mayo's motion to place the topic on their April 17 agenda for "discussion and action."

Smith said his office had received only one call since the April 3 session and that the caller told him they planned to have people at the meeting, which gets under way at 9 a.m. in the commissioners' meeting room on the fourth floor of the county courthouse. The meeting will be preceded by an 8 a.m. agenda briefing.

Ryerson, a leading distributor and processor of metals, will expand its presence in Pikeville by moving into a second building and growing its fabrication facility, would invest at least $4,211,000 in equipment and provide 44 new jobs whose average salary will be $33,048 annually.

The money would come from the county's general fund and would be used to acquire and/or pay for new equipment.

During discussion of the Defense of Marriage amendment at the April 3 meeting, Commissioner Chairman John Bell questioned the motive behind the request, and indicated he perceived a motive other than supporting the institution of marriage.

He questioned endorsing the amendment when it was already on the ballot for people to vote on.

"I kind of get the impression that there is somebody out there that for whatever reason, I am not saying it is you sir, but somebody is trying to box us in for whatever reason it is -- to make us either vote for it or against it so that they can use it for another reason. I do not like that. I do not like to be used that way," Bell said.

The motion passed 4-3, with Mayo and commissioners Steve Keen, J.D. Evans and Bud Gray voting yes. Bell and commissioners Sandra McCullen and Jack Best voted no.

The public hearing on the proposed incentive package is one of three scheduled for 9:15 a.m.

First will be a proposal that the county apply for $500,000 in Community Development Block Grant assistance under the program's Catalyst Category.

The proposed use of the grant is for housing acquisition, clearance, relocation and rehabilitation assistance, street and drainage improvements, and water improvements in the Love Drive area along Arrington Bridge Road in the Dudley community. The county will contribute $30,000 toward the project.

The second hearing will be on a proposal that the county refinance up to $9.6 million in existing debt possibly saving up to $300,000 over the life of the loan.

The county hopes to refinance the outstanding balance on loans for work done years ago on the county-owned Borden building and on last year's new radio system.

The county owes $1.39 million of the $3.77 million it borrowed in 2002 to renovate the Borden building. It is a 15-year note at 4.33 percent interest. Refinancing could save $54,080. In 2008, the county borrowed $9.7 million for the radio system. The 10-year loan, of which $7.91 million remains, has an interest rate of 3.38 percent. Refinancing could save $243,675.

State law requires the public hearing because the refinancing involves real property. Before refinancing, the county could seek financing proposals from lending institutions.

Commissioners also will consider four subdivision plats:

* Survey for Rudy L. Holloman; owner/developer Rudy and Tony Holloman; three lots on the north side of U.S. 70 West approximately 1,900 feet west of Capps Bridge Road west of Goldsboro.

* Survey for Daly Family Farms, Inc., plat one; owner/developer Daly Family Farms, Inc.; two lots on the west side of Thunder Swamp Road at its intersection with Baker's Chapel Church Road, Mount Olive.

* Survey for Daly Family Farms, Inc., plat two; owner/developer Daly Family Farms, Inc.; six lots between the north side of Baker's Chapel Church Road and the south side of Cox Pond Road, Mount Olive.

* Christine and Donald Davis final; owner/developer Christine and Donald Davis; a lot on the north side of Pineview Cemetery Road about 2,400 feet west of Camp Jubilee Road.

Also on the agenda are:

*A proclamation designating May 3 as A Day of Prayer..

*A resolution supporting an increase in Amtrak service to eastern N.C.