Beaufort County Commissioners Put a Stick in Belhaven's Eye
Published: Thursday, July 30th, 2015 @ 2:17 pm
By: Hood Richardson ( More Entries )
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During the Monday June 1 meeting, six commissioners again refused to agree to guarantee a loan for the Town of Belhaven so the Town can acquire title to the abandoned hospital property. Upon acquiring title a six million dollar USDA Rural Development loan could be made, and an up fitting grant could be made by the NC Department of Commerce for more than $400,000. Reopening the hospital would create 55 new jobs and give the Town of Belhaven a much needed shot in the arm.
Frankie Waters seconded the motion made by Hood Richardson . Waters then voted against the motion. Having heard and voted down Richardson's motion, a red faced Gary "Stop the Nonsense " Brinn then made a motion that the issue of helping Belhaven could not be heard by the board for another six months. The stick in the eve. That vote was six to one with Belcher, Lanagley, Booth, Buzzeo, Brinn and Waters voting for the embargo. By this time it had become obvious Waters second to Richardson's motion was so he could kill the issue for six months.
Beaufort County has wasted millions on economic development pipe dreams that supposedly would create jobs. The County is sitting on twenty million dollars of cash. Richardson's motion did not require the use of any of that money. His proposal was for Beaufort Count to guarantee the loan for $643,000 which would be secured with the Town of Belhaven's taxing authority and a second mortgage on the hospital. The county lost hundreds of thousands on the Carver machine sewer line, more than one million on the Blue Goose a shell building to attract jobs and spent 1.6 million dollars last year for plans for a jail that could not be financed and that is not needed. This is a no brainer for 55 jobs.
Commissioner Belcher's wife has employment ties with the Vidant hospital system. Commissioner Booth Sits on a Vidant Board, and Commissioner Waters, as chairman, has repeatedly allowed the Tri-County Telephone Company stock in the Pantego Creek LLC to be voted against having a hospital in Belhaven. The Belhaven Hospital will compete directly with Vidant.