ALEXANDER COUNTY, NC (May 7, 2019) – At the May 6th meeting, the Alexander County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt a resolution to consolidate the county’s Department of Social Services, Department of Public Health, and Senior Center into a Consolidated Human Services Agency. The changes will become effective on July 1, 2019.
County commissioners will serve as the Consolidated Human Services Board, and they will appoint a Consolidated Human Services Advisory Committee.
A public hearing was held during the meeting to allow citizen input on the consolidation. Two people expressed their thoughts on the matter.
“These changes will provide positive opportunities for our staff and citizens,” said Commission Chairman Jeff Peal. “The programs of these three departments will continue, and there will be no loss of jobs for our employees. What will change is how things are administered as we streamline our services with better communication and improved efficiency. We believe this will be the best way to serve our citizens.”
A Consolidated Human Services Director will be appointed and supervised by the County Manager. In addition, the consolidation withdraws the affected employees from the State Personnel Act and places them under the Alexander County personnel system.
In 2012, the North Carolina General Assembly provided counties with new options regarding the organization and governance of local human services agencies. Approximately 40 counties have chosen some form of consolidated human services agencies.
In other business:
• Commissioners approved a rezoning request from Landon Ferguson. The property, located at 5646 NC Hwy. 16 South, is approximately 9 acres. Ferguson requested that the land be rezoned from Light-Industrial to Highway-Commercial. Jon Pilkenton, Director of Alexander County Planning and Development, said the Alexander County Planning & Zoning commission met on April 24, and unanimously recommended approval of the rezoning request. Pilkenton said that Ferguson intends to open a retail gun store on the property. Pilkenton also said that Ferguson has indicated that he may apply for a conditional use permit in the future to open an indoor shooting range on the property, which would require approval by commissioners.
• Commissioners approved a proclamation for EMS Appreciation Week, set for May 19-25, as presented by EMS Director Doug Gillispie. The Alexander County Emergency Medical Services department employs 38 full-time and 40 part-time employees. They responded to 6,959 calls in 2018. Commissioner Larry Yoder stated, “The county depends on EMS a lot since we don’t have a hospital. Our EMS is as good as any in North Carolina, and I appreciate all they do.”
• Commissioners rejected a bid of $25,500 for the former chamber of commerce building, located at 16 West Main Avenue. The county accepted sealed bids for the property, which were opened on May 3rd, with only one bid received. County Manager Rick French said the building’s tax value is $73,501.
The next meeting of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners is set for Monday, May 20 at 6:00 p.m. at the CVCC Alexander Center for Education (room #103). Meetings are recorded and available for viewing on the county’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/alexandercountync. The meetings may also be viewed on the Alexander County Government Channel on Spectrum channel 192.