03/15/13 — Commissioners update flood maps

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Commissioners update flood maps

By Steve Herring
Published in News on March 15, 2013 1:46 PM

Updated flood insurance maps have been approved for sections of northeastern Wayne County at its border with Greene County.

The changes, adopted Tuesday by Wayne County Commissioners, do not alter elevations, but do include additional data points along the affected streams for measurements.

Commissioners also scheduled a public hearing for 9:15 a.m. on April 2 on proposed amendments to the county's flood prevention ordinance. The hearing will be held in the commissioners' meeting room on the fourth floor of the county courthouse annex.

The streams affected by the decision are Aycock Swamp, Turner Swamp, Contentnea Creek, Watery Branch, Nahunta Swamp, Button Branch and Bear Creek.

Greene County recently changed its flood maps for those same areas. The changes required Wayne County to do so as well since flooding does not stop on just one side of a stream, said County Planner Connie Price.

No one spoke during a public hearing that lasted only a few minutes Tuesday morning. Commissioners took no action immediately after the hearing.

However, later in the morning, as the board prepared to adjourn, County Attorney Borden Parker said the changes had to be adopted prior to April 13.

His concern was that delaying the vote to the board's April 2 session could create a problem if the entire board was not present for a vote.

A second vote would is required if the full board is not present for the first vote, or if the first vote is not unanimous. If either were to happen the second vote would be at the board's April 16 meeting and would miss the deadline, Parker said.

Commissioner John Bell's motion to approve the changes was unanimously approved.

The April 2 hearing will deal with a change in wording of the flood prevention ordinance to include the use of digital data. It would recognize the 2013 agreement between the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency that addressed flood hazard areas.

It would also allow future revisions to the county's flood insurance study and flood insurance rate maps to be adopted by reference if the changes do not change the flood hazard data for the area under the county's jurisdiction.

In other business, commissioners split 5-2 along party lines in approving two gun-related resolutions.

The first asks the N.C. General Assembly to pass legislation exempting gun ownership information from public record laws. The second resolution calls on commissioners to support the U.S. and state constitutions concerning a person's right to bear arms.

Democrats Bell and Ed Cromartie voted no.

Bell said there was no need for the resolutions because commissioners, in their oaths, already had vowed to protect the constitution. Also, Bell said, there are nine other amendments in the Bill of Rights that commissioners should be concerned about as well.

Linda Harper of the Wayne County Tea Party had asked commissioners last month for a resolution supporting the Second Amendment.

Commissioners also approved:

* The three-lot Sade Paul Ray Jr. minor subdivision on the south side of 1205 South Bentonville Road in Grantham Township near the Johnston County line

* A resolution declaring March as Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

* A resolution allowing Hale Artificier Inc. to have a pyrotechnics display at Lane Tree Convention Center as part of a pyrotechnics school of instruction to be held March 23-24.

The board met in closed session for about 45 minutes. It was called to discuss possible location or expansion of a business or industry and to consult with Parker to retain attorney-client privilege.

No action was taken when the board returned to open session.