Havelock, county officials call joint meeting productive

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

Other topics included funding for recreation, water, courtroom, emergency medical services, school resource officers and tourism development. City officials say about 40 percent of participants in the city recreation program are county residents and would like more financial support from the county. They also say city ambulances respond to calls in a wide area, ranging from Harlowe and Adams Creek to Carolina Pines and Catfish Lake.

"There were a series of legitimate concerns raised by city officials concerning their belief there has been a level of inequity of treatment of the City of Havelock relative to other parts of the county," Dacey said.

"As I have learned while now having served 2 1/2 years, this is another instance where things have been allowed to go on unchecked too long," he said. "I believe our board will go forward to address the concerns as quickly and well as we can within the fiscal restraints before us."

The debate over funding Havelock library computers appears close to resolution. The city committed $4,000 on top of its budget for the computers, expecting the county to come up with $6,000 for the remaining cost. Instead, the county supplied no money. Officials later blamed miscommunication and said a plan is in the works to get all regional libraries new computers.

"There are areas the county can improve on to make certain the citizens of Havelock have a good experience at their local library," Dacey said.

As for senior meals, the county cited budget cuts in ending the programs in Havelock and Harlowe, saying those who qualified for free meals could come to New Bern to participate. City and eastern Craven County officials said they felt their programs were targeted for elimination when across-the-board cuts throughout the county could have saved them.

"Again, there was no real resolution," Sanders said. "Some new questions came up and they are going to be researched. I think there is a willingness on the part of the county to help with this situation to the best of their ability."

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