Board approves permit, moves on communications

Published 2:55 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Anticipation of a ruling on John Esh’s application for a conditional use permit to construct a cheese factory in the county resulted in “standing room only” public attendance at The Charlotte County Board of Supervisors Meeting held Feb. 13. The nature of the permit, it’s consideration and ruling required the

County Planning Commission to review the application and make an official recommendation to the Board of Supervisors (BOS) before the Board gave its final approval. After careful review of Esh’s application, the Planning Commission did recommend

that the BOS approve the permit — with specific stipulations.

Committee Chairman Deborah Haskins, on behalf of the Planning Commission asked that all erosion and sediment control mandates or requirements be considered and com- plied with. Additionally, all local and state stormwater management practices be implemented.

The Board approved the permit for the land use as a cheese factory with the understanding that it was still subject to any and all state and local regulations that may apply.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Charlotte County resident Terry Ramsey voiced his concern over what he considered a lack of adequate county oversight of the current Bacon and Phenix District School construction projects. Ramsey specifically referred to the current $3.2 million PPEA contract between Charlotte county and Jamerson-Lewis Construction Company.

Ramsey noted that a request to pay $549,000 on the contract had been made but there was no corresponding agenda item or progress update in the county Administrator’s report. Ramsey questioned the lack of progress reporting.

“How is the BOS performing due diligence to ensure proper expenditure of this $3.2 million of taxpayer dollars.”

He further requested that the BOS provide regular progress updates on the projects. Additionally, he suggested that the BOS request the same of the School Board.

A major item of county business did show on the BOS February agenda. A review of the progress made on the RFP process regarding the emergency communications system

upgrade, was made by the BOS. Currently there are two bids submitted for consideration.

Deliberation over what specific system would best serve the county has not only been

ongoing, it has become a point of growing concern and contention.

The BOS passed a motion that a committee, to include an unbiased, outside engineer/ consultant and the county attorney, Supervisor Kay Pierantoni, Supervisor Donna Fore and County Administrator Daniel Witt,

be formed and given the express responsibility of reviewing the two current bids for the RFP. It was also ruled that the commit- tee consider implementing a co- operative type communications system with another county. Administrator Witt spoke with The Charlotte Gazette  and briefly described the system.

According to Witt, “This is

a system that is already in use. Mecklenburg first installed

their system and then later Halifax in essence piggybacked onto it and they share the expense.” Witt said that the cooperative system cost much less than the current bids under review. He further stated, “We recognize that a new system is needed,

but we are obligated to make a responsible decision.”