County commissioners dissolved the board of appeals and planning commission boards and created the Pike County Zoning Board during their Tuesday, July 26 meeting.
“We did interviews and I know the commissioners also reached out to the applicants for the new board,” said county manager Brandon Rogers. “This process is going to dissolve the board of appeals and planning commission and be formed as one planning board to handle appeals, variances, zoning and those sorts of issues.
Rogers noted that the board will have five members with one member representing each commission district and an at-large member. The appointments for each individual district will follow the terms of each commissioner in that district.
Jason Leatherman was appointed as the District 1 board member, Brandy Loggins was appointed as the District 2 board member, the appointment of Bryan Pate was postponed for District 3 as he was unable to attend the commission meeting, Ed Penland was appointed as the District 4 board member and Scott Huckaby was appointed as an at-large board member.
“I would like to put someone back on the board who was on one of the previous boards since all the appointments so far tonight are of new appointees,” said commission chairman Briar Johnson. “I’d like to appoint Scott Huckaby as he brings a lot of experience along with him and his heart is in it. All of the applicants for all the districts are good applicants and I encourage you to continue to apply for Pike County board openings.”
Flint River access at Flat Shoals was mentioned briefly twice during the meeting. During commissioner reports, Tim Guy, who is commissioner over the district including Molena, said he is working on the issue.
“There has been a lot of discussion about a boat ramp at Flat Shoals and I just want citizens to know I am working on it for the people of Pike County,” he said. “I would like to see something nice for the people of Pike County. As of now, Pike doesn’t have any access to the Flint and I would citizens to have something nice there.”
County attorney Rob Morton noted during his report that he had recently met with attorney Walker Chandler who had filed open records requests for documentation regarding the driveway built across the Flat Shoals access.
The county manager opened sealed bids for design and engineering services for road construction, drainage improvements and paving for 11.6 miles of unimproved roads in Pike County, including Blanton Mill Road, Wood Creek Road, Shady Lane, McKinley Road, Roberts Quarters Road and Old Zebulon Road.
Public works director Todd Goolsby and Rogers reviewed the bids which ranged from $896,000 to $1.5 million and recommended Whitley Engineering which offered several options and the cost was based on percentages of the total price of the project. Rogers said Whitley Engineering seemed like the best choice and best price, even based on the higher percentage for projects up to $1 million. Commissioners received the sealed bids and awarded the bid to Whitley Engineering, pending a final contract with the actual cost of the project.
The county also:
• Heard from commissioner Jason Proctor that he would like to see employee evaluations be implemented countywide and instead of across the board raises, the county could give raises based on performance evaluations.
• Heard from commissioner James Jenkins about several checks that were written by the county, including a check for $14,262 for furniture, a $7,500 check to Pyrotechnico and $12,700 for an 18-foot pre-lit Christmas tree. He was informed the furniture was purchased for the county’s Emergency Management Agency facility and the $7,500 helped pay for part of the cost of the June 26 fireworks at Christ Chapel through the Bicentennial Committee board. Commissioner Jenkins noted that he purchases a 12-foot live tree each year for around $75. There was discussion of whether or not the fireworks cost violated the county’s gratuities clause.
• Heard that Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) negotiations with mayors from the municipalities in Pike are ongoing.
• Commissioners approved refunding $4,808 in impact fees from Dague Communities since the city of Zebulon has their own building permit process and the properties were located inside the city limits. Commissioners approved 4-1 with commissioner Proctor in opposition.
• Appointed James Jenkins as the county’s voting delegate for the 2022 Legislative Leadership Conference.
• Held a public hearing and approved a rezoning from C-1 (Neighborhood Commerical) to A-R (Agricultural-Residential) for property owned by Priscilla Killingsworth at 3265 Highway 19 south in Meansville.
• Held a hearing and approved a request for rezoning from M-1 (Manufacturing-Rural) to C-3 (Heavy Commercial) by owner Shannon Pittman for property at 1407 Highway 19 in Meansville. It was noted that the rezoning would allow the auto repair shop to operate under the correct zoning instead of the special exception that it was approved as and would also allow for an automotive paint supply store at the property.
• Held two executive sessions that lasted from 7:30 p.m. to just before 10 p.m., including one for deliberation of personnel and a second executive session requested by the county manager to speak with the county attorney. Commissioners reconvened the meeting to hear briefly from Rogers about the county requiring entrances into major subdivisions that would save the county money on driveways and then closed the meeting.