12/02/13 — Commissioners to elect new chairman, vice chairman

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Commissioners to elect new chairman, vice chairman

By Steve Herring
Published in News on December 2, 2013 1:46 PM

Wayne County commissioners Tuesday morning will elect a new chairman and vice chairman for the coming year.

Commissioners nominate and then vote on both offices.

Chairman Steve Keen told commissioners at their meeting two weeks ago that he had been approached about "throwing his hat into the ring" for a second term.

However, Keen said the position requires a lot of time and that he had decided not to seek a second term.

While not legally required, the tradition has been that the vice chairman is nominated and voted in as chairman. Ray Mayo currently serves as vice chairman.

Tuesday's session with begin with an 8 a.m. agenda briefing followed by the meeting at 9 a.m. Both will be held in the commissioners' meeting room on the fourth floor of the county courthouse annex.

The election of officers will take place before the board moves into its agenda.

Wayne County Attorney Borden Parker is scheduled to update commissioners on the county's contract with Radio Communications Co.

On Oct. 16, the board voted to spend $3 million with the company to correct problems with the county's beleaguered $10 million radio system.

The county plans to use money from three different restricted funds to pay for the work: Cable TV franchise, $2,262,548.32; capital reserves, $326,179.68; and radio fund, $472,353, for a total of $3,001,081.

The company's recommendation is to build a new tower east of Goldsboro and to rent space for county radio equipment on a U.S. Cellular tower west of Goldsboro.

Also needed are software and firmware updates to the existing system.

The contract includes a performance bond.

The county approved borrowing $9.7 million in September 2008 for the new digital system designed to replace the then-nearly 40-year-old analog system. The federal government mandated the switch to digital systems.

The original project included two new towers and portable and mobile radios for all of the fire, law enforcement and rescue agencies in the county, including municipalities.

The system has been plagued with problems. It reached the point that the board ended the county's contract with Communications International, which built the system.

In January, commissioners contracted with R&L Consulting to look at the system. In June, Cary-based Radio Communications Co. was hired to audit and to maintain the system and was also asked to research problems with the system and to make recommendations.

In other business Tuesday, Mike Myrick, Wayne County ABC Board business manager, will update commissioners on sales for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

According to the report attached to the agenda, sales increased by $237,277, or 3.2 percent over the previous year, growing from $7,366,191 to $7,603,468.

The total number of bottles sold was 50,633.

The county ABC Board will distribute $2.7 million in revenue including $449,000 to the county.

Other local distributions include Goldsboro, $382,000; Mount Olive, $72,000; Fremont, $700; Wayne County Alcohol Rehabilitation, $27,231; and Wayne County law enforcement $27,422.

The bulk, $1.66 million, will go to the state general fund. Another $71,611 will be sent to the state Department of Revenue and $7,161 to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Also on the agenda:

* Keen will introduce a state of the county video presentation.

* Danna Layne with Nunn Brashear & Co. will present an audit of the county's fund balance through June 30.

* County Finance Director Pam Holt will present the 2013-14 fiscal year information through Oct. 31.

* Millie Chalk of Duke Energy will discuss the decommissioning and eventual demolition of the units at the H.F. Lee plant just west of Goldsboro.