Council starts getting answers

May. 09, 2013 @ 06:22 PM

Some county and town boards in Region K seem to be taking their cue from the old comic strip, “Alphonse and Gaston.” The two title characters were continually saying, “After you, Alphonse.” “No, you first, my dear Gaston!”

Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments has requested the 21 government entities it serves to pay a special assessment of $1.39 per capita to cover a deficit related to an Economic Development Administration Revolving Loan Fund. The EDA has requested funds in the amount of $138,537 be repaid, and a segregation of its account to happen. The Kerr-Tar council has opened the new account with limited funds.

By requesting $311,367 from its membership, the council will repay the missing money and re-establish working funds. Without them, Kerr-Tar is at risk of closing.

Kittrell is among those with approval already. The board authorized payment of $649 at Monday’s meeting.

Henderson could act on a payment of $21,362 in Monday’s meeting. Ray Griffin, the city manager, earlier told The Dispatch there is a proposed way to meet the request.

Efforts were unsuccessful in being able to determine Middleburg’s intent for a $185 payment.

But some of the others are waiting, or are giving conditional approvals.

The Vance County commissioners voted to pay the $40,941 assessment on the condition that the other 20 Kerr-Tar council members paid their assessments.

Granville County’s commissioners approved the special assessment in the amount of $50,696 with the stipulation that the funds be held in trust until it is known how other entities in the Kerr-Tar council’s region respond.

The Warren County commissioners tabled the request, which totals $26,233 for the county, and asked for additional information. A special meeting was scheduled for Wednesday to consider the request.

Elsewhere, the issue is pending.

The Warrenton Town Board will consider its assessment of $1,198 during its meeting on Monday. Mayor Walter Gardner said, “We already have money budgeted for it, so I don’t anticipate any problem.”

Oxford City Clerk Barb Rote said the request is on the board’s agenda for its meeting on Tuesday. Oxford’s share is $11,761.

Lou Stultz, finance commissioner for the town of Norlina, said she has received some additional information from Diane Cox, interim director of the Kerr-Tar council. The Norlina board will consider the request to pay its $1,554 assessment at a special called meeting on May 28.

Stovall Mayor Janet Parrot said the Stovall town board will consider the request for $581 on Tuesday.

Attempts to learn the status of the request in Macon were not successful.

In his letter requesting the assessment, Brian Pfohl, chairman of the Kerr-Tar council’s board of directors, said the board had taken steps to correct the budgeting practices that led to the deficit.

In an attachment to his letter, Pfohl listed services the council provides its members and pointed out the region receives $61 in federal and state grants for every $1 in membership assessments.


Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.