County to talktrash with citycouncil, staff

By Terri Ferguson Smith - [email protected]

LAURINBURG — County commissioners and the Laurinburg City Council may still have something to talk about when it comes municipal solid waste disposal.

County Manager Kevin Patterson told commissioners on Monday night that the city had already started using an alternative disposal service, ending its agreement with Scotland County.

“The city of Laurinburg signed a contract with Robeson County for hauling and last week they started direct hauling of MSW waste. With that the city manager and I did have several conversations. One of the things we talked about was leaf and limb — it’s the least desirable part of the garbage,” Patterson said.

The city is aware that the leaf and limb service was not something the county would continue in the absence of an agreement with the city to transfer its municipal solid waste, according to Patterson, who said the agreement with Robeson County does not include limb and leaf disposal.

Patterson said he told City Manager Charles Nichols that the county will work with the city on yard waste disposal.

“Obviously the more volume that you have when you are negotiating, the better price that will be,” Patterson said. “That price would benefit the county and the city of Laurinburg as well.”

Commissioners discussed the possibility of having a joint meeting with the council to discuss the issue.

Carol McCall, chairman of the county board, said her impression from the city was that having a meeting “sooner was better than later.”

Also on Monday, commissioners heard details of what the county staff has done to take care of issues raised during its financial audit of the fiscal year ending in June, 2015. Scotland County’s garbage collection funds were an area of concern noted in a letter dated June 21 from the state treasurer’s office.

The letter said auditors noticed alarge fund deficit was reported on the full accrual basis of accounting in the solid waste management portion of the Public Works Fund.

A majority of that deficit was due to long-term liabilities for closure and post closure costs. The letter suggested that the county adjust solid waste fees accordingly. Beth Hobbs, finance director, said the issue has already been addressed by the board, which adopted availability fees in 2016.

The other issue raised in the audit was a financial oversight regarding the Emergency Telephone System Fund. Hobbs said the issue is corrected and procedures are in place to keep this from occuring again.

In other business, commissioners named appointees to several boards and commissions.

Whit Gibson, vice chair, said in the interest of openness and fairness, he wanted each commissioners to nominate their top choices from among the candidates who had submitted names for consideration. That included some who were up for reappointment. In so doing commissioners would effectively be voting out loud for three of the six. The three who got the most nominees would be appointed. Other commissioners agreed.

Of the six applicants for the Historic Properties Commission, J.P. Locklear, Marcus Norton and John Frank Stewart received the top three votes.

The county also:

— Appointed Jeremy Baker to fill the vacancy on the Parks And Recreation Advisory Board;

— Appointed Brian Gibson and Debbie Saunders to the Drug and Crime Committee;

— Appointed Commissioner John T. Alford, who was absent, to the Southeastern Family and Community Services board.

— Rescinded an appointment made last month due to what Commissioner Gibson called misunderstanding. Gibson thought Ron Riggins, who had served on the Tourism Development Authority, was ready to leave the board and so commissioner’s appointed Riggins’ cousin, Jerry Riggins. However, Ron Riggins has asked the board to reappoint him.

By Terri Ferguson Smith

[email protected]

Reach Terri Ferguson Smith at 910-506-3169.

Reach Terri Ferguson Smith at 910-506-3169.

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