07/13/14 — County commmissioners, Mount Olive Town Board to eye airport transfer details

View Archive

County commmissioners, Mount Olive Town Board to eye airport transfer details

By Steve Herring
Published in News on July 13, 2014 1:50 AM


If there was one project that was in the heart of the late J.D. Evans, it was the desire to see a new library built in his town of Mount Olive.

This week, his former colleagues on the Wayne County Board of Commissioners will decide whether a room at the about-to-be-opened Steele Memorial Library will bear his name.

The Wayne County Public Library Advisory Board has petitioned commissioners to name the library meeting room as the J.D. Evans Community Room.

Evans was a longtime member of the county commission and an educator.

Commissioners' mid-monthly session has been rescheduled from Tuesday to Wednesday because some members are attending a meeting out of town.

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

In a letter to commissioners, Library Board Chairman Howard Scott wrote, "A longtime supporter of libraries, Mr. Evans was instrumental in planning for a full-service library to be located in southern Wayne County. The Advisory Board would like to pay tribute to Mr. Evans' selfless service by naming the library meeting room in his honor."

The boards of advisers for the Wayne County Public Library Foundation and the Steele Memorial Library also have submitted letters supporting the request.

"Having people gather in a space named for Mr. Evans is a fitting tribute to his legacy and his personality," wrote Lynn Williams, steering committee chairman. "Mr. Evans never met a stranger, and he rarely forgot a student's name -- even if years had passed."

Commissioners also are expected to approve hours of operation for the new library, which will have its grand-opening ceremony from 3 to 5 p.m. today.

The library's hours will be Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

In other business:

* Commissioners will be asked to approve a capital project ordinance for fiscal years 2015-17 for the new middle schools to be built in the Grantham and Spring Creek communities.

A capital ordinance allows the county to have the money available so that commissioners don't have to continuously reappropriate funds as the projects progress across budget years.

The Local Government Commission has approved Wayne County's $38.6 million financing package for the two new middle schools.

The county will finance $38.6 million of the $46.9 million project cost. The Board of Education will provide $6.66 million.

* County Manager George Wood will make a recommendation concerning the county's role in the Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority.

The city and county agreed to combine their separate transportation operations on Oct. 5, 1998.

GATEWAY operates a human services system (commonly called the rural system), which is the county's responsibility.

The city is responsible for the fixed city routes.

GATEWAY increased its rates for the human services system by more than 200 percent in January in an effort to help the system stem a steady loss in revenue.

In a memo to commissioners, Wood said the new rate appeared "excessive," but that GATEWAY Director Lynn Lamberth refused to change the rates.

The board has three options -- remain in the Authority but with some modifications to the agreement; terminate the agreement and take over the human services system as a county department or terminate the agreement and get out of the human services transportation.

In the memo, Wood said he does not think the Goldsboro members should be able to establish rates that affect the county system, nor should the county set rates for the city.

He is recommending that the county remain in the system, but that it also change the agreement so that the county and city only have responsibility for rates for the systems they oversee. Neither could change the fees for the other without approval.

* Wood also is recommending that the board appoint Assistant Tax Administrator Alan Lumpkin as interim tax administrator.

Lumpkin would serve until the board names a permanent replacement for David Ward who will retire as tax administrator effective Aug. 1.

* Commissioners will be asked to approve selling property jointly owned with the city of Goldsboro.

The property, located at 1007 N. John St., has been declared surplus by the county and city.

There are two items on the consent agenda -- an application for the present use value and another for property tax exemption.

Public comments will be taken at 10 a.m. Citizens will have four minutes to speak on their topic of choice.