Hoke commissioners address tax revenue, grants

Will also appoint a trustee to Sandhills Community College board

RAEFORD – The Hoke County Board of Commissioners met Monday, Dec. 18.

The board started off the meeting with a presentation by the President of the Sandhills Community College Sandy Stewart to update the board on new legislation relating to the board of trustees.

“The general assembly, when they passed the budget this past year, changed the way that trustees are appointed to local college boards,” Stewart said. “As it relates to the Hoke County Commission, in the past you have made one appointment to the Sandhills Community College board and under the new law, the Hoke County Commission has the ability to appoint a second trustee to the board. That authority rests with the Hoke County Commission. You have some options there. The law does also allow for you to appoint one of your own if you so choose. From our perspective, I would like to have a close working relationship with the Hoke County Commissioners, so that’s the reason I’m here tonight to make sure that you are aware of your options along those lines.”

The board will address the matter at next month’s meeting, although Commissioner Allen Thomas, Jr. stated that he has interest in potentially serving in the role.

The board was also given an update by Tax Assistant Sheretta Walker.

“The total collected for the month of November, current year, was $550,479.05 at a 75.81% rate compared to an 80.18% rate last year,” Walker said. “Prior year collected was $89,013.44 at a 24.1% rate compared to a 27.92% rate last year. The total collected for the month of November was $639,492.49.”

Following up on that, Tax Assessor Mandi Davis gave an update on requested tax releases.

The board approved releases totaling $46,796.53 for 585 unpaid bills due to a clerical error in which generated bills in the wrong general ledger year and a $13,638.28 refund to Hendrix Brothers of Hoke LLC due to a billing error.

Finally, the board approved six grant matters including a $25,000 pass-through grant from the Regional Economic Development Reserve to benefit the Hoke Native American Scholarship Association, a $50,000 pass-through grant from the Regional Economic Development Reserve to benefit Hoke County Fire Departments, a $5,180,000 grant from the NC State Capital Infrastructure Fund for capital improvements, equipment and improvements to the Puppy Creek Fire Department burn tower, a $20,000 grant from Homeland Security Grant Program for Emergency Management to find projects related to Homeland Security training and exercises, a $10,000 grant from the Hazardous Material Emergency Preparedness Grant Program for training for hazardous material emergency preparedness, and a $1,200,000 Water Infrastructure Fund grant to extend infrastructure to the Industrial Park.

The Hoke County Board of Commissioners will next meet Jan. 9.