May 18, 2021 Camden County Commissioner’s Meeting at 10:00 a.m.

All commissioners were present.

Neal Gist was in the audience with me so I got to meet him. Other than county employees, it was just the two of us.

The first agenda item was the Sheriff’s bid for an animal control box to secure transported animals in the back of the animal control vehicle. They received no bids back from their vendors and this was the second time they solicited for bids without results. Per the Auditor, this means they can just purchase one. Commissioner Gohagan asked what the price was for the box. A Sheriff’s Office representative estimated the cost at between $6,000 to $8,000. Gohagan wanted to see a specific price for the item before they voted on it. The deputy told him they could get him that information. Commissioners Hasty and Williams then voted to approve the item based only on the estimated price. There was palpable tension between the commissioners on the issue. After the item was approved, the deputy reiterated he would get a price for Commissioner Gohagan.

The second agenda item was an appointment to the Board of Adjustment. I believe the new appointee was Jeff Waller, but it was hard to catch the name. The item was approved unanimously.

The third agenda item was a Budget Amendment. It sounded like this was $250,000 in asset forfeiture money for Camden County. This item was approved unanimously.

The fourth agenda item was for the Collector bids for the tax sales publication. There was a letter from the Collector’s Office recommending the Commission accept the Lake Media bid Option #1 for approximately $17,000 to $18,000 depending on the size of the publication. This bid approval was passed unanimously.

Commissioner Hasty then discussed the process required to accept $8.9 million in federal funding. Use of this money has to be determined by December 31, 2024 and the projects funded by the money have to be completed two years after that date. It has to be signed by the Presiding Commissioner and Commissioner Hasty wanted a Commission vote approving his signature on the funding.

Sheriff Helms asked what the criteria was for the use of this funding. Commissioner Hasty responded that the current use requirements are for infrastructure items for water, sewer, COVID mitigation, and broadband. (It had been previously discussed by the Auditor at an earlier commission meeting that the list of restricted uses for the funds might be expanded in the future).

The detailed guidance for use of these funds is 151 pages. The summary of the guidelines is 7 pages. According to the Auditor, the use of these funds will involve direct interaction between Camden County and the federal government. The state government will not act as a buffer between them like in the previous round of funding. The amount of federal funding might also change as a result of the recent census, but with the recent increase in population in the county, it is not anticipated that the funding will be reduced.

Commissioner Gohagan asked if there was a way to determine what percentage of county taxes are paid by each district. The current system is not able to easily break down the tax revenue by district. The item was approved unanimously. The Presiding Commissioner will sign the documents.

And that was that.

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