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After a volunteer group dissolved, the Onslow Board of Commissioners have agreed to help continue operations of the Onslow County Farmers Market. Commissioners also approved accepting a grant to start a Veterans Treatment Court and gave formal approval to accept a $29-million-dollar grant for major extensions at the Onslow County Albert Ellis Airport.
Commissioners also gave approval to partnering with eligible vendors who would provide high-speed broadband to sparsely populated areas of the County.
The Board of Commissioners were meeting in a regular session Monday, March 21, 2022, when they approved allowing the NC Cooperative Extension to take over the operation of the Farmers Market.
The Onslow County Farmers Market has operated since the mid 1990’s with a partnership with the NC Cooperative Extension service and the Onslow County Farmers Market Association. In 2003, the Farmers Market moved to the current location on Richlands Highway. In January, the association was dissolved, and the Commissioners have now approved an option to have Cooperative Extension to continue the operation. Fees from the vendors who sell at the market would be collected by the county and would help offset the cost of a market manager.
The North Carolina State Budget provided for $230,000 for the next two years to establish a Judicially Managed Accountability and Recovery Court. Designed to combat substance abuse, reduce repeated offenses, addresses mental, behavioral or medical related court workload, and increases the accountability of offenders, the grant will provide for a team-based approach to operation of the special court. Commissioners approved acceptance of the grant funds and authorized the action to create the court.
The Commissioners approved designating some of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to advance the deployment of high-speed internet to unserved areas of the County. A state program allows the County to participate in a grant administered by the State that can deliver fiber optic cable to the homes in sparsely populated areas where there is no internet.
The $29-million grant to the Onslow County Ellis Airport was formally accepted. The NC Legislature awarded the funds for the extension of the runway and other improvements. Commissioners also approved award a contract that will improve the parking system administration at the airport., and to adopt a project ordinance for replacement of the 25-year-old system now in place.
The Board voted to accept a grant that would create a built in versatile virtual meeting space at the Main Library. Funding would come from the State Library which won the money also from the American Rescue Plan Act.
A classroom at the new firearms and training complex for the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department is now to be funded by a grant from the State. The $84,296 will also be used to purchase a new light source for the Crime Scene Investigation Unit.
Assistance to the Schools in the form of helping to pay for school nurses, school social workers, health educators and mental health professionals will be advanced with a grant the NC Division of Public Health has offered to the County. Commissioners voted to accept the $225,924 grant that would pass through the County to provide the specialized funding for the school positions as part of state funding coming from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Onslow Health officials also won acceptance of the FY2023 Consolidated Agreement with the NC Department of Health and Human Services for operations at the Onslow County Health Department.
A contract worth $1.1 million for a two-year period to the Methodist Home for Children was also approved to assist the Onslow County Department of Social Services with mental health and behavioral health services over that period. The contract grew out of a request for services and would provide for a Prevention Specialist, Comprehensive Clinical Assessments, and Intensive Family Preservation Services as well as Intensive Reunification Services.
Commissioners approved a budget amendments and a rate modification for a 2013 installment purchase contract with PNC Bank. The net effect will save the County about $38,000.
A renewal of the Microsoft 365 suite of productivity programs was authorized by the Commissioners.
Items on the consent agenda, include approving certificates of satisfaction for participation in the Septic System Community Assistance Fund Program, and cancellation of the May 16 and July 6 Commissioners’ meetings.