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Supervisors ready themselves for 2013
Board re-elects leadership
Jim Adams (left), chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors, speaks during Wednesday’s meeting as Vice Chairman Thomas J. Slaughter goes over paperwork at the Henry County Administration Building. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
Thursday, January 3, 2013
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
Jump-starting business development and continuing to push for a permit to start grading at the Commonwealth Crossing Business Park are among the efforts to be tackled by the Henry County Board of Supervisors in 2013, according to Jim Adams.
Adams spoke about issues Wednesday after he was re-elected chairman of the board and Tommy Slaughter was re-elected vice chairman. Both board votes were unanimous.
Each was the only nominee for the one-year posts.
Ridgeway District Supervisor H.G. Vaughn nominated Adams, and Collinsville District Supervisor Joe Bryant nominated Slaughter.
“I am humbled and honored. Thank you for your confidence,” Adams said shortly after being elected.
He added that he could think of no other board on which it was as much a pleasure to serve, in part because his colleagues ask questions and make decisions, unlike their counterparts in other levels of government, he said.
While he is looking forward to 2013, Adams said there will be ups and downs as in any other year, and “we will particularly have to pay some sharp attention” to the impact lowered property assessments may have on county revenues.
Also, “what you see and what we discuss during” the board’s retreat in February “will be more of a work session” than in years past, he said.
After the meeting, Adams said the board also would consider ways to reenergize the “business development that has seemed to stall” and continue working on on-going economic development projects, such as obtaining the permit needed to begin grading at the area’s newest industrial park, the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre.
Work has been stalled for months due to permits needed from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which represents the Environmental Protection Agency. The corps has said the industrial park is speculative and withheld approval.
“There has been no conclusion” on the permit, and “there is still more to be discussed,” Adams said.
Also, “I’m hopeful we’ll be looking toward other things that we need to do to position ourselves for economic development,” he added.
In addition to growing the economy, Adams said the supervisors will have to deal with the local impact, such as the possibility of cuts “later on down the line,” as a result of Congress’ action Tuesday to avoid the fiscal cliff.
“It’s hard to tell” what the impact may be at this point, he added.
Adams, the Blackberry District supervisor, also served as board chairman in 2008.
“I hope we can have another year like we’ve had,” said Slaughter, of the Reed Creek District. He also noted there have been “some advances and some setbacks” in 2012.
County Administrator Tim Hall also said the board’s February retreat will be more work-related as supervisors will take up the topics of a recent EMS study by state officials. They also are expected to tour Commonwealth Laminating and Patrick Henry Community College.
The board selected Feb. 5 to hold the planning session, with Feb. 4 as an alternate date. The site for the event has not yet been determined, Hall said.
Also Wednesday, supervisors took care of other annual duties that included adopting the board’s bylaws for 2013. The bylaws are unchanged from 2012.
The board also:
• Made no changes in the schedule of regular meeting dates, with monthly meetings to be held at 3 and 6 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month in the Summerlin Meeting Room of the Henry County Administration Building on Kings Mountain Road.
The only exception is the December meeting, which will be held Dec. 17 to accommodate the Christmas holiday.
• After meeting in closed session, appointed Marshall Stowe to the Industrial Development Authority for the rest of Larry McDorman’s unexpired term.
McDorman has moved out of state, Hall said after the meeting. The term will expire March 31, 2015.
Horsepasture District Supervisor Debra Buchanan was unable to attend the meeting due to a family illness, according to Adams.