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BY TERRY POPE
Three hours of discussion Tuesday
night provided no immediate solutions
to help eliminate a three-week
backlog in septic tank inspections for
the Brunswick County Health
Board of health members met in
joint session with the Brunswick
County Board of Commissioners
Tuesday to discuss problems in proviuing
3Ci viv.C3 iv tcoivcfito. vviir
missioners called the joint meeting
after receiving complaints from the
public, but health board Chairman
John Madison said the complaints
"exist now, and they will exist in the
future because it's not a very popular
job" turning down septic tank applications.
A short term option to help
eliminate the three week backlog in
providing septic tank inspections was
proposed by Health Director Thomas
Blum, with little reaction from commissioners.
According to a state
study prepared in 1983, the departTl
Volume 23, Number 3
A (sparkling barrage of fireworks at
slonal gasps from thousands of <
dependence Day celebration drew to i
the $3,500 exhibition were static disp
mounted on the city pier by Chalro
fireworks committee. More N.C. Foi
BY SL'SAN USHER
It might have blinked yellow and
red part of the holiday, but the first of
two new traffic signals went into
operation m downtown Shallotte on
the eve of the Fourth of July.
lights at two locations on U.S. 17
were approved by the state this spring
after an extensive campaign by
local officials seeking help in getting
side road traffic onto US 17 The
first went up Wednesday at Smith
Avenue and US. 17.
"They asked if we could have it up
by July Fourth." said I-esiie Smith as
be watched technicians Wayne Bing
and Paul Pope adjusting the lights
overhead He is traffic signal technician
supervisor with the Department
of Transports Ucn Wilmington office
I said it would take some overtime.
but that we could do it," he added.
And they did The tights regulated
foard Asks I
roent needed 10.5 sanitarians, or 4.5
additional sanitarians, to help handle
the workload of inspections. The
department currently has just four
sanitarians while a fifth position is in
the process of being advertised.
"My concern is that 1 am not convincing
the board of commissioners
on the issue of staffing," Blum said.
Sanitarians in the state average from
seven to eight septic tank inspections
per day while in Brunswick County
uie average is between 14 anu 20 inspections
for each sanitarian per
"Wc do not have the horses to
deliver the goods," Blum added.
"We've got some good horses, but we
don't have enough."
On two occasions during the threehour
meeting Tuesday, individual
board of health members questioned
why they were called to a joint
meeting and asked the commissioners
to deal specifically with two
issues: 1) how to eliminate the
backlog of inspections and 2) how to
- J , sows BOOK BINDE
HOPG a jU 12
,.mRT to I
ITAff KMOTO BY SUSAN USHI*
>ove the Cape Fear River drew occamlookers
as South port's annual Ina
close last Thursday night. Included in
ilays of Miss Liberty and the U.S. flag
lan Randy Ellis and members of the
irth of July Festival coverage is inside
traffic the evening of the third, then
reverted to blinking red and yellow
for part of July 4th.
Unlike existing lights in town, this
three-phase signal is electronically
programmed, said Smith Existing
lights in town are electromechanical.
A second light being installed this
nvvft a\ UIC UHC1XVAIUII Ul WjJ. 11,
Wall Street and Shallotte Avenue also
is programmed, he said.
With the electronic programming,
if a short or other problem develops
at the Smith Avenue signal, for example,
the lights automatically
revert to a blinking pattern. U.S. 17
traffic gets a blinking caution light
while traffic exiting Smith Avenue or
the shopping center and bank across
the road get blinking stop lights
Motorists get a 4t*-secoad amber,
or caution light before lights for ail
traffic go to red for one second so that
traffic can clear the intersection. Only
then does the green light switch on.
From the shopping center,
- - - - ? ? - ? - . ?- ? -
-or More Sa
improve public relations between the
department and residents.
Commission Chairman Chris Chappell
said improving public relations
between the health department and
the residents was an "inhouse
thing," something the health department
must do on its own. After looking
at the number of actual complaints
filed cumpmeu with the
number of inspections made, health
board member Bill Rabon said he
thought the public nmhlpm
was already being addressed.
Chappell added, "I want to be able
to sit down and say, 'Yes, we can
Ha VP n normit iccno^ n-ifKin
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week,' but we don't have any control
over the department. The state has
the control, but yet we (commissioners)
have to fund it. That's where
the people come to us. We become the
Chappell said in the future, he will
forward all complaints on septic tank
permits he receives to the health
board members. Commissioner
Grace Beasley said she received six
(, North Carolina, Thursday
BY SUSAN USHER
A staff has been hired, the state
building code adopted and a schedule
of fees approved, clearing the way
for a new county building Inspection
program that begins Monday.
Starting next week, residents of the
unincorporated areas of the county
must obtain several new permits
before beginning a construction project.
As required by the state,
Brunswick County will now enforce
all, not just specific volumes, of the
state building code in its rural or
Builders with construction "in progress"
before Monday, said County
Planner John Harvey, won't be required
to obtain construction permits,
but must apply for all other permits.
He offered two examples of activity
that does not constitute work in
progress: clearing of a lot and setting
To help recoup part of the cost of
the inspection program, fees will be
charged according to a set schedule.
The fees apply to new construction or
additions, the moving or relocation of
structures, installation of below- or
above-ground tanks of 50 gallons or
greater capacity that are used to
store flammable or combustible liquids,
heating and air conditioning
systems, electrical and plumbing
connections, and mobile home installations.
Carl Lewis and Van Weeks will
continue performing electrical inspections
in the county, but no permits
will be issued in the field, said
motorists activate a 'presence loop"
when they approach the signal. Once
traffic has cleared from a certain
point on U.S. 17, shopping center and
omiui Avenue traffic automatically
gets the green light at the same tune.
At the Wall Street location the
lights will be programmed in a slightly
different fashion so that the green
light for the side streets will alternate
from Wall Street to Shallotte
Avenue or vice versa.
This was needed, said Smith,
because the intersection area isn't as
open as at the Smith Avenue location.
The Wall Street signal was expected
to be working by sometime
Installation of the two lights
doubles the number of full traffic
signals in Shallotte The previously
existing lights are at the intersections
of US. IT and N'.C 130 West and
N.C. 130 East.
complaints in six days regarding the
sanitarians' attitude while turning
Charlie Jackson, state sanitarian
with the N.C. Division of Health Services
for district 7, which includes
Brunswick County, said the lUulibei
of complaints filed by Brunswick
County residents constitutes less
taisn one percent of sll inspections
made, a figure that is about normal.
Jackson added that his answer to the
hackloe is to hire more sanitarians.
"This county is about four and a
half sanitarians short for the amount
of work that needs to be done,"
Jackson said. "I feel I can document
that pretty well."
According to figures provided by
Blum, there were 6,627 total sewage
inspections performed in the county
in 1981. In 1983, there were 10,074 inspections
conducted while there were
10,235 inspections in 1984.
While the number of septic tank inspections
continue to rise each year
because of increased development,
/, July 11. 1985
Also, inspectors cannot be schedulml
thrnuoh r?nllc <-? fKoir
.... ?u0.. VW1I.) IW UKii IIU11 ICO.
All permits will instead be coordinated
and issued from the building
inspections office, which is located in
the planning building at the
Brunswick County Government
Center. Judy Holden of the Unvale
community is the new office technician.
The office telephone number is
253-4368, with hours from 8:30 a.m. to
5 p.m. Mrs. Holden is in the office all
day, while inspectors are in the office
one hour at the start and end of each
"We're trying to make this as
much of a service as possible, though
it Is state-mandated that we do it,"
Harvey said. "We felt we should have
been doing it already for reasons of
Two new inspectors, Frank Adams
and Julius "Buddy" lewis, who
began work July 1, will perform all
inspections other than the electrical.
Both are certified by the state.
IN A DOLBLE-BLCKET BOOST to
and Paul Pope made several brief a
the new mid-Shallotte traffic signal ;
Ughi, at the intersection of tJ. 17, W
be la operation by the end of this ?e
the number of site evaluations has
decreased with the adoption of a $20
inspection fee last year, Blum said.
Commissioners agreed to adopt the
fees to help lower the number of inspections,
but Blum said it is not solving
Uie problems. He invited commissioners
to spend a day with the
sanitarians on their rounds. "1 think
you will sso ihs rosi situation cut
there," he added. "That's an open invitation
"I feel like our sanitarians need all
the support they can get," health
board chairman Madison said.
i exilic licit Hoping 10 ue aoie 10
go home with a very good feeling that
we had accomplished something,"
Commissioner Beasley said after the
three-hour discussion. "Somewhere,
we're going to have to get together."
Health board member Joe Stevenson
said he also came to the meeting
hoping to help solve the problems of
backlog inspections and improving
public relations while the discussion
for hours centered around "looking
25c Per Copy
?On M on
At least to start, Adams will work
the area south and west of N.C. 211
and Stone Chimney Road and lewis
the area to the north and east.
In addition to inspections that must
be made on request, they also will
make routine surveys of the county
or. a schedule established in conjunction
with *he state. Among other
things, they will look for unsafe housing
and other violations of the
Permits will be issued to two
groups of people only: property
owners who plan to do their own construction
and to contractors licensed
by the state.
Property owners who plan to do
their own construction?they must
sign a form pledging it will be done to
state code standards?are encouraged
to apply for all needed permits at
once. They should already have obtained
a septic tank permit from the
health department before applying
for permits from the inspections office.
itAff ewO?0 ? MAM -VI
the wires, DOT employees Wayne Ring
djostmems last Wednesday evening to
it Smith Avenue and U-S. 17. A second
all Street and Shaliotte Avenue, was to
t t r ? * t - * ' z ji zz ~
at ways to get things approved that
were not approved."
"We're not here to get permits that
have been turned down approved,"
Several members of the audience
also joined in the discussion Tuesday,
with questions and comments on the
septic tank inspection process.
According to the options presented
by Blum Tuesday, ways to reduce the
backlog of inspections is to employ \
one environmental health clerk,
which was approved in the 1985-86
budget; employ and train a fifth
sanitarian and discontinue subdivision
review, or to employ a soil
scientist to perform the sub-division
The addition of a fifth sanitarian
will increase field staffing by 25 percent,
but only one application has
been received, Blum said. A fifth
sanitarian worked for the depart
ment in uie spring tor six weeks
before quitting clue to overwork and
stress, he added.
Licensed plumbing, electrical and
mechanical contractors, said
TI- :tt ' ??
iui vcy, win appiy tor me appropriate
permits as they begin their
part of a construction job.
As part of an effort not to be "hardnosed,"
Harvey said, the inspections
office will help contractors who don't
have state licenses to obtain them.
For qualified, licensed contractors, ;}
the office offers an additional convenience:
monthly billing and call-in
service for certain types of permit
Meanwhile, Harvey and Adams
said persons applying for permits for
construction valued at more than
$20,000 should have the following information:
Tax map and parcel numbers
and/or other proof of ownership.
Two complete sets of building
prints for the inspection division.
A plot plan by a licensed surveyor
showing the location and size of the
lot, elevations of corners and location
of the structure on lot showing
distances to property lines; and
An estimated cost of the structure
(See PERMITS, Page 2-A |
An Ohio man was arrested at an
Ocean Isle Beach condominium early
Friday morning and charged with
drug conspiracy In connection with a
44-foot ketch that was seized in the
Cape Fear River by federal agents.
Steven J. Coghlan, 30, of Vermilion,
Ohio, was among the five
men arrested in connection with the
seizure that involved 10,000 pounds of
Columbian marijuana. The vessel
was seized in the Cape Fear River
near Wilmington early Friday morning.
Others arrested and charged in the
drug smuggling attempt were Daniel
Bertocchi, 27, o( Homosassa, Fla..
Brian Scott French, 24, of St
Thomas, Virgin Islands; Edward
Francis Garrtgan Jr., 2S, of Cambridge.
Mass , the boat's captain;
and Timothy O'Hare, 20, of Miami,
Estimated value of the marijuana
was SS million Four of the suspects
were arrested on or near the vessel,
the "Fantasy," while Coughlin was
arrested in Ocean Isle Beach.
Si* others named in federal indictments
in connection with the case are
being sought. Agents of the Drug Enforcement
Administration and the
U S Customs Service kept the vessel
under surveillance from Wednesday
night, when it entered the mouth of
the Cape Fear River at Southport.
until Thursday at midnight, when
they boarded the vessel.