On Wednesday September 13th, Northampton County Officials held a public Forum at the Lake Gaston Community Center.
Here is a link to an article in the Lake Gaston Gazzette Observer: Northampton leaders update lake residents: Community forum affords question and answer format for county citizens | News | lakegastongazette-observer.com
Following are notes that are provided by one of the attendees. Disclaimer: These are not official.
Meeting opened by Ruby Vincent Garner, President of Lake Gaston Community Center
Moment of Silence 9/11, Pledge
Recognition Elected Officials
Statement of Purpose: Dr Kelvin Edwards.
Citizens have asked for more outreach. Board meetings do not allow for
interaction. This is to be a forum where questions can be asked and answered.
Officials present: Sheriff representative, Dr. Charles Tyner, Sr, Board of
Commissioners; Dr. Kelvin Edwards, Sr, Board of Commissioners; Mr. Julian Phillips,
County Manager; Ms. Rhonda Taylor, Director Social Services; Ms. Theresa Cade,
Office of Aging; Mr. Derrick Bennett, Economic Development.
Two guest presentations:
Michael, from Farm bureau insurance. Price increases across the
spectrum. Contributes $20,000 back to Northampton County.
Ms. Terri Edwards - Monarch Bioenergy
o Process hog manure waste. Use it to create renewable natural gas and
fertilizer. Reduces harmful fumes.
o Proposed to be located at existing Smithfield Property in the county.
County Commissioner presentation:
Dr. Tyner’s statement included the following points:
Northampton population has decreased.
Overall wealth of the county has decreased.
Impact: Price of services remains the same. Garbage, water, education costs
Best revenue taxes. He pointed out that they did not raise taxes, the re-
evaluation of property values did it. The insurance man re-evaluated property
values, county assessments should reflect the same value.
State oversees the budget process.
Q & A – I am listing the most relevant exchanges for PTPOA Neighbors:
Q: Did the state approve the budget before or after the re-evaluation of property
A: The State approved the budget before the reevaluation came back.
Q: Would you please provide clarification on Revenue neutral rate versus tax rate.
A: The revenue neutral rate would have been .73 on the dollar to match the same tax
revenue as last year given increased property values. (County went with .835)
Additional comments: The majority of the increase in budget is to raise the pay of
county employees. Also comments about rescue squad.
Q: Why County building on Edwards Property in westernmost part of county when
residents in this part of the county did not ask for it?
Water access was a priority - Edwards property is largest piece of land on Lake
Gaston that was available,
County Study for economic development: Best asset County has for economic
development is between 95 and western edge of county.
Running sewer line allows this part of the county to be developed
Q: Regarding the sewer, a citizen said they had heard that the current design is for an
eight inch pipe. That size will not carry waste for the number of people they say they
want to service.
A: Chairman Tyner did not respond to the question about the size of the pipe, but said
that there are future plans for development to be announced in coming weeks that
depend on the sewer
Q: Internet for rural citizens – has been promised, but no results
A: Project in process. Fiber-optic infrastructure to be built in next 2-5
Q: What about expanding 46?
A: Yes they are doing it, do not have time line. They are in process of acquiring the
“right-away” they need. State refers to it a “road enhancement project”, not widening
Q: Are state road designers and sewer designers working together?
A: Not clear
Q: What is happening along 46 where so much clearing is taking place:
A: There will be a solar farm covering 1,000 some acres. County will get some
revenue, but state has given so many tax breaks that Northampton County will not get
An announcement will be coming soon about water and sewer.
This is to be a quarterly gathering.