Commissioners advance subdivision development, boost county worker Xmas bonus

Hoke Board approves Blackburn Farm Phase II and adds Indigenous Day to the county holiday schedule

RAEFORD – The Hoke County Board of Commissioners convened on Monday, Nov. 6, addressing several items including a new subdivision development, the Indigenous Day holiday, and holiday bonuses for county employees.‌

The meeting opened with a public hearing for the preliminary plat review of Blackburn Farm Subdivision Phase II. County Attorney Grady Hunt and Planning and Zoning Director Jeff Dockery detailed the 44-lot major subdivision proposal by DNL Engineering. The development, set on a 25.59-acre parcel off Philippi Church Road, will feature lots with a minimum size of 6,800 square feet due to the high-density option chosen by the developer, with the smallest lot being 7,808 square feet.‌

Dockery noted that the high-density option mandates sidewalks on both sides of the street and upgraded curbs and gutters. Concerns were raised by Commissioner Tony Hunt regarding the timeline for the development, given the county’s sewer and water capacity constraints and the delay in actual construction by developers holding capacity on paper.

“The big part of that is that we’ve got folks that have sewer capacity on paper and they’ve had it for two, three, or four years,” said Commissioner Tony Hunt. “When we reach a certain amount of capacity, we have to start enlarging our wastewater treatment plant, but we really don’t have the natural flow coming in because we have so many people that have it on paper, but they’re not developing like they said they would.”

Despite these concerns, the board approved the preliminary plat for Blackburn Farm Subdivision Phase II.‌

The commissioners also filled two vacant board positions for the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, appointing Tamika Jackson as the Health Director designee and Isley Cotton as the County Commissioners appointee.

Indigenous Day will be added to the 2024 Hoke County Holiday Schedule, with Commissioner Hunt expressed the importance of recognizing the contributions of Native American people at the federal, state, and county levels, leading to the decision to observe the day officially.

With the holiday season approaching, the board approved an increase in Christmas bonuses for Hoke County employees. Full-time employees hired before June 30, 2023, will receive a $600 bonus, part-time permanent employees will receive $400, and employees hired between July 1, 2023, and October 31, 2023, will get $200. The bonus amounts were increased by $100 from the initial proposal, with the payments to be processed on November 21.

The Hoke County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to reconvene on November 20.