County Board Approves Property Change
The Moore County Board of Commissioners approved the transfer of property deeded to the airport authority to the county during Tuesday night's regularly scheduled meeting of the board.
Prior to the vote tempers flared, and board Chairman Larry Caddell had to use his gavel to maintain order.
The matter involved 22 acres at the Moore County Airport. Airport representatives were willing to transfer ownership to the county, said airport attorney Tom Van Camp, provided two legal requirements were maintained if the motion was approved.
County Attorney Misty Leland outlined those conditions in a letter to members of the board.
"The airport and county must (continue to) adhere to SB 942 (the bill that created the Moore County Airport Authority in 1993) and the language in the grants since the county signed the grants on behalf of the airport," Leland said. "I have previously made these points to the airport attorneys in an effort to negotiate the restrictions out of the deeds in the best interest of the county, however Tom Van Camp stated that the language must stay in the deeds to protect the airport. I was informed that the board of commissioners could either accept the deeds with the restrictions or there would be no land transferred."
But Commissioner Tim Lea took issue with his interpretation of the wording in the motion that suggested the county would have to seek the airport authority's permission in making future decisions about the property.
"Why should the board, the elected officials representing the taxpayers, have to ask permission when the taxpayers gave us the right to make those decisions?" Lea said. "If you take out the language that says the airport authority will have to approve our actions then I will vote in favor of the motion right now."
But Van Camp said that right had been given away by the board when the Senate bill was created.
"You delegated that right to the airport authority because the county was not interested in the nuances of running an airport," Van Camp said. "Your real issue with control of the land is not with the airport authority, but with the FAA."
Lea suggested that if the issue was not with the airport authority, then Van Camp should have the wording removed.
"What concerns me is that you are defending it," Lea said. "If it's not a problem, then take it out."
Van Camp called the discussion a "nonissue."
"This is silly," he said. "You should be thankful we are deeding the land back to you."
Caddell then called for order, rapidly tapping the gavel to restrain the heated discussion.
After further discussion the board voted unanimously to accept the property.
In other action, the board unanimously approved a resolution to dedicate the new public safety center in the name of deputy sheriff Rick Rhyne, who died in the line of duty in 2011.
Sheriff Lane Carter made the request before the board.
"Richard "Rick" Lee Rhyne served the people of Moore County as an officer of the law for 37 years. (He) joined the Moore County Sheriff's Office in 2007 and was killed in the line of duty on Dec. 8, 2011, the first sheriff (in the county) killed in the line of duty."
The motion to adopt the resolution was passed unanimously.
"The last time I saw Rick he was smiling while he was giving directions to someone," Caddell said, his voice cracking with emotion. "He was a good friend to me and to many others in this room."
For more on the meeting, see Friday's edition of The Pilot.
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