Havelock, county officials call joint meeting productive

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 04:28 PM.

A Monday meeting between Havelock and Craven County officials to hash out ongoing issues turned into a 4 1/2-hour marathon that leaders say was worth the time.

"It was probably one of the best meetings I’ve had with the county in many years," Havelock Mayor Jimmy Sanders said, although "there were really no concrete changes, no new deals agreed to."

Havelock and Craven County officials had been at odds, mainly over what city officials termed a lack of financial support from the county for programs that benefit both city and county residents.

"I was exceptionally pleased with the willingness of City of Havelock leaders to be forthcoming about their relationship with the county," said Scott Dacey, chairman of the Craven County Board of Commissioners. "I believe it was a very productive meeting."

Neither board had a quorum, so the meeting was not subject to open meetings law and was closed to the public and press.

Two recent issues precipitated the meeting at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center: The city’s unmet request for Craven County to buy new computers for the Havelock-Craven County Library and a federal-state cut in senior meals funding that resulted in that program being cut at the Havelock and Harlowe senior centers.

Another issue discussed was the old Phoenix landfill site. The site abandoned more than a decade ago is located on county property but is next to city property and Tucker Creek Middle School. Back taxes are owed after the company went bankrupt, but the county has not foreclosed, fearing liability for the site cleanup, estimated at $7 million. The city would like to build a park on the site.



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