The Scotland County Board of Commissioners said goodbye to Joyce McDow this week at her final meeting as a commissioner.
At the outset of Monday’s meeting, Chairman Bob Davis praised McDow for her service, presented her with an plaque and asked her to chair the remainder of the meeting.
“Her life has been public service,” Davis said, thanking McDow for her hard work.
After handing over the gavel to the outgoing commissioner, McDow assumed Davis’s seat at the center of the board.
“I believe in giving back to the community … and this has been done way of doing that,” McDow said, adding that she does not plan to stop serving in other ways.
McDow decided not to seek re-election this year. She has served on the county Board of Commissioners for seven years.
McDow, a former principal who holds a master of science degree in school counseling and public school administration from North Carolina A & T University. She has served as chair of the Scotland County Commission on Economic Development, chair of the Scotland County Memorial Library Advisory Board, and immediate past chair of the Scotland Memorial Health Care Foundation.
During a report to the board later in the meeting Richmond Community College President Dale McInnis said that he hopes to keep McDow busy with work on the college’s board of trustees, where she currently serves.
“She has done an excellent job,” McInnis said.
In other business, the board received quarterly financial figures from county finance officer Charles Nichols.
The county’s unassigned fund balance currently sits at 9.81 percent of its projected general fund expenditures.
According to Nichols, that figure is in excess of the 8 percent required by the Local Government Commission.
Nichols credited this improvement to budgetary cutbacks overseen by the board.
The board also moved a step closer to building a new 911 center in the county by approving a grant contract worth $2.1 million from the NC 911 Board. The board also approved a contract with the Becker Morgan group for that firm to design the facility and assist the county in its development.
The $2.1 million received from the 911 Board was less than the $5 million requested by the county.
According to Emergency Services Director Roylin Hammond, it is common for counties to receive less than what they requested.
Hammond said that he hopes that the Becker Morgan Group will “come up with alternatives” in the funding or design of the project, as the money currently available is likely not enough to build the facility.
If a design plan is not submitted before the end of the year to the 911 Board, the grant money would be lost.
“I would hate to see us lose some money,” Hammond said. “I don’t think we will see this opportunity again.”