The Alexander County Board of Commissioners approved an agreement with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) at the January 9th meeting to assist with the recruitment of a new Alexander County Manager. The search for a new manager comes following the passing of longtime County Manager Rick French on December 24, 2022.
The WPCOG will provide assistance through April 30, including the advertisement, recruitment, collection of application materials, and review and identification of top applicants, followed by a one-day assessment center for interviews and presentations. The agency will provide interview questions, instructions, and evaluation tools to the county, and will also conduct drug screenings and reference and background checks. The WPCOG will receive a one-time payment of $3,500 for these services.
“Of course, we are still mourning the loss of Mr. French, but we must plan for the future of Alexander County’s leadership,” said Marty Pennell, Chairman of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners. “We believe that enlisting the services of the WPCOG is the best way to ensure that we attract and recruit the best possible candidates for a new county manager.”
In other business:
• Sherry Long, Assistant Executive Director for WPCOG, presented information about the 2023 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program during a public hearing. Awarded by the NC Department of Commerce, these grants may be used for neighborhood revitalization, economic development, infrastructure, etc. to primarily benefit low- to moderate-income persons. Long said the state has already approved a $645,044 neighborhood revitalization grant for the Sterling Lane area of Alexander County, pending a second public hearing on the CDBG program. Commissioners will hold the second hearing at their next regular meeting on Monday, February 6.
• David Moose, Compliance & Procurement Specialist, presented information about Alternate State Emergency Funds for debris removal on the South Yadkin River. Six bids were received to install erosion control measures; clear vegetation; remove trees, stumps, and brush; stabilize riverbanks; and more. McGill Associates recommended the low bid submitted by Shaun Lackey Excavating LLC in the amount of $54,000. Commissioners unanimously approved the bid recommendation.
• Bill Rogers, Chief Building Code Official, reported that the nuisance property located at 91 Reese Court has been significantly improved since serving the first notice to the property owner in June 2022. He recommended commissioners take no further action at this time.
• Commissioners adopted a resolution to approve the performance bonding of Alexander County officials and staff, as presented by Clerk to the Board Jamie Starnes.
• Commissioners approved the following appointments and reappointments: Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee – Bud Caywood, Sharon Mehaffey, Tyler Brown, David Icenhour, Allison Brown, Harry Schrum, Brian Walker, Commissioner Marty Pennell, and Commissioner Josh Lail; Courthouse Committee – appoint Ben Faulkenberry, David Moose, Justin Moose, Chad Pennell, Edwin Chapman, Sarah Kirkman, and Ed Hedrick V, and reappoint Joseph Crosswhite, Dale Graham, Commissioner Marty Pennell, and Commissioner Larry Yoder.
• Commissioners approved six budget amendments as presented.
The next meeting of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners is set for Monday, February 6 at 6:00 p.m. at the CVCC Alexander Center for Education (room #103). Regular meetings are recorded and can be viewed on the county’s Government Channel on Spectrum channel 192 or the county’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/alexandercountync. Meeting agendas, minutes, videos, and more are available on the county’s website at https://alexandercountync.gov/commissioners.