Pilot Light: County Redistricting on Meeting Agenda
A resolution supporting county redistricting is on the agenda for the Monday night meeting of the Moore County Board of Commissioners.
The board will be asked to adopt a resolution backing reapportionment of the five residency districts from which the commissioners are elected. The resolution, if adopted, would merely support the concept and would not be acceptance of new districts.
The resolution was requested in February when a League of Women Voters committee presented the results of an exhaustive study of redistricting needs. The committee reported that the districts have not been altered since the 1980s, although major population changes have occurred since then.
In Moore County, the residency requirement applies only to the commissioners, not to voters. All registrants may vote in all five commissioners' elections.
INMATE STUDY -- Also on the agenda is a contract authorizing the county manager to negotiate with Solutions for Local Government for an update on the inmate population projection study.
This information is needed for programming the design of an enlarged and renovated jail.
The commissioners will convene at 6 p.m. Monday in the historic courthouse in Carthage.
Three public hearings are called for this meeting, including a hearing on the Small Area A land-use plan. One quasi-judicial hearing will be held to consider a conditional use district rezoning request by American Tower to enable the wireless communications tower firm to add 35 feet to an existing 195-foot monopole tower off U.S. 15-501.
The tower provides coverage for Alltel. The other hearing will focus on extension of time to issue bonds for the East Moore Water District.
Other items on the agenda include a revision in the fee schedule for the Department of Social Services, review of county financial policies for future consideration, and appointments to the Tax Equalization and Review Board and the Major Capital Projects Task Force.
LOCAL OPTION -- Moore is one of at least 18 counties that are placing a local option tax issue on the May primary ballot.
Moore County voters gave a resounding defeat to a land transfer tax issue on the November ballot. Now the county commissioners have decided to try again in May, this time to seek voter approval for a quarter-cent sales tax to add to existing sales taxes.
The additional tax would make up for the loss of a temporary tax that was withdrawn last year as part of Medicaid relief legislation.
Although all of the land transfer tax issues lost at the polls in November, two brave counties, Gates and Polk, are making a try for this tax in May. Neighboring Lee County and Orange County have decided to place an alternate revenue source on the ballot but have yet to decide whether to seek the quarter-cent sales tax or the 0.4 percent land transfer tax.
Counties joining Moore in seeking the sales tax include Burke, Cumberland, Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Guilford, Henderson, Lincoln, Nash, Onslow, Randolph, Wayne, Wilkes and Wilson.
The N.C. Association of County Commissioners hosted a January seminar in which representatives of four counties described their techniques in successfully securing referendum approval of the sales tax option.
Although the land transfer tax lost in every county placing it on the November ballot, the sales tax issue was more successful. Nevertheless, the sales tax question failed on a close vote in Cumberland and Greene counties. Both counties will try again in May.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at 947-4962 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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