J I I Ads win Awards
County's two weekly newspapers domi
nate statewide advertising awards. The
story's on the business page, 13-C.
Salute To Seniors!
section D inside this Issue focuses
on the more than 500 Brunswick
County high school seniors who will
receive diplomas this week.
SOWo ?-??*. , . , .
- ??- ?.;u K BINDERY
-?'PRI N6P0KT M,
Twenty-ninth Year, Number 29
THfc BAUNSWICK KACON
W 4 3284
1 -c' I / Oo
fhursdoy, May 23, 1991 25? Per Copy 112 Pages In 4 Section. 8. Suppl?m.nl. 2 Inwl.
With Joy Ride
BY DOUG RUTTER
Shallotte Mayor Sarah Tripp and Brunswick
County Board of Commissioners Chairman Keiiy
Holden were planning a five-mile joy ride
They were to meet at Black's Tire Service north of
Shallotte Wednesday morning for a ceremonial "first
ride" on the U.S. 17 Shallotte bypass.
The N.C. Department of Transportation planned to
open the road to the public following that first official
ride, which comes just two days before the anticipat
ed arrival of several thousand Memorial Day week
Although the bypass will open prior to the first
weekend of the summer tourist season, paving work
will continue for at least two weeks, according to
Dave Boyleston, resident engineer with the state
Propst Construction still has to put down the final
one-inch layer of asphalt, meaning traffic on the four
lane road will be restricted to one lane in each direc
tion in areas that are still being paved.
Boyleston said the final completion date will de
pend on the weather and flow of supplies to the con
The state's contract with the paving company re
quires the project to be finished by mid-August. If it
isn't done in time, the state could levy fines of $2,500
Mayor Tripp said state transportation officials plan
to hold a formal ceremony for the long-awaited by
pass when it's completed in July or August.
STAFF "photo BY SUSAN USHE*
MOTORISTS can get on and off the U.S. 17 bypass at a traffic light (upper right) at the north end ofShallotte. More aerial views are on page 10-A.
PARCEL FEE TO PAY FOR GARBAGE
$7.5 Million In Requests Cut So County Can Avoid Tax Hike
BY TERRY POPE
To hold ihc county tax rate at 68.5 cents per S100
valuation will cost an estimated S7.S million in cuts
Irom departmental budget requests, Brunswick County
Commissioners learned Monday night.
The board has also agreed to seek special legislation
to allow the county to charge all property owners a fee
to pay for solid waste disposal.
Tlie same fee would be charged to every parcel of
land in Brunswick County. If approved, it would take
the place of controversial tipping fees proposed for
commercial haulers that dump at the county landfill, a
fee that some area towns say is unfair to its residents.
Brunswick County Manager David Clegg's pro
posed 1991-92 county budget recommends across the
board reductions for all departments and "severe
deletions of capital outlay requests" in light of an antic
ipated SI million shortfall in state funding.
Fifty employees will either lose their jobs or have
their work lime reduced in the older adults, clean coun
ty, water, health and social services departments.
The Clean County department would be dissolved,
and its director, Terry Munn, transferred to the position
of county recycling coordinator in the engineering de
No across the board pay increase has been proposed
and employee health insurance deductibles will increase
from SI 00 to S200 to help save money.
Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the
proposed budget Tuesday, June 4, at 7 p.m., in the pub
lic assembly building at the government complex in
Bolivia. The board recessed until Monday, May 27, at 6
p.m., for a workshop on the budget.
Commissioners listened to Clcgg's budget message
Monday at the end of a four-hour meeting but did not re
ceive copies of the actual budget, nor did they discuss it.
A copy was officially presented to Clerk to the Board
In his report, Clcgg blasted the state for failing to
take action to solve the state budget crisis. A shortfall
of SI billion is expected to shrink amounts allocated to
Brunswick County chose not to wait on news from
the state on the possible availability of additional funds.
The county cannot budget money it docs not possess
and programs must be made operational regardless, said
"I do not believe that this watershed of funds will
materialize..." said Clcgg.
The initial draft of the budget, including all requests
presented by department heads, would have required an
86 cents per $100 valuation tax rale.
Clegg and Lithia Hahn, director of fiscal operations,
and Jerry Hcwctt, director of computer services,
worked on a second and third draft of the budget that
trimmed the tax rate to 72.25 cents and 7 1 .08 cents re
"Change is an inevitable component of our lives,"
said Clcgg, "and this budget reflects the realities of a
changing relationship between all units of government"
The proposed parcel fee to help fund solid waste
disposal would be a set fee for each tract of land and be
imposed as of July 1, if Slate Rep. David Rcdwine is
able to have special legislation approved by the N.C.
Clegg said details of the proposed fee have not been
worked out and depends on what Redwinc is able to
"Hopefully, we're going to have some flexibility
with legislation there," said Clegg.
A parcel fee would ease worries of municipalities
that have labeled a proposed tipping fee for commercial
haulers to the Supply landfill discriminatory against
"How nondiscriminatory can you get, if you charge
everyone?" said Clegg on the parcel fee.
The previous plan did not call for charging residents
who live outside of towns a fee for garbage disposal.
District 3 Commissioner Gene Pinkcrton said
Clcgg's budget message was the most professional one
he had seen during his term on the board.
"I think it is certainly plain and understandable,"
RECOMMENDS FIVE WORKERS CUT
Consultant: Water System Has Too Many Chiefs, Low Morale
BY TERRY POPE
A consulting firm hired to evalu
ate the Brunswick County Water
System recommends the county cut
five of that department's employees
and take action to boost morale.
The recommendation contrasts
sharply with a request from the pub
lic utility director to commissioners
in January for additional water sys
tem employees for a preventive
Recommended cut from the coun
ty payroll are these: the water system
director, an assistant to the director
of public utilities, two maintenance
mechanic positions and a water treat
ment operator for the Northwest
treatment plant in Malmo.
"You have too many chiefs trying
to run the organization," said John
House, with David M. Griffith and
Associates of Raleigh.
The positions have also been elim
inated in a proposed 1991-92 budget
presented to commissioners Monday
by County Manager David Clegg.
David "Leo" Fulford, the current
assistant to the public utilities direc
tor, was hired by the county in May
1987. Kenneth Hewett, the current
water system director, joined the wa
ter department in September 1981.
"Wc don't see any need, for an
organization of less than 50 people,
for an assistant director," House
Staffing a water system director
creates "oversupervision," he add
ed. More individuals should answer
directly to the director of public
utilities, a title held by Jerry Webb,
the firm reported.
David M. Griffith and Associates
was hired in January to conduct a
study of the water department after
several personnel grievances were
carried before the board of commis
sioners. The firm investigated the
departmental organization, staffing
levels and all aspects of its manage
ment and operations.
In a report to commissioners in
December, Webb asked for more
employees and better staff training
to help set up a preventive mainte
nance program. Customer growth
has dramatically increased since
1986 without an increase in the
number of employees, he noted.
Employees were surveyed by the
consulting firm and asked to rate
their pay, stress levels, safely con
cerns, work outside of job descrip
tions and view of leadership within
"The highest level of concern
dealt with salaries," House said.
'The perception is that salaries is a
morale problem within the depart
Younger employees rated job
stress as high, "about as high as
we've seen anywhere," House said.
First aid, medical and safely con
cerns also rated high. Two water
plant operators work the same hours
because of potential safety prob
"We do not agree that you need
two operators for that reason," said
House. "You need to clean up the
safety problems first. This is not a
safety study. It just popped out that
The firm recommends the county
move chlorine tanks at the N.C. 21 1
plant near Southport from an inside
lab room to outside; place moveable
guardrails around manholes at the
water plants; remove scrap materi
als from the 211 plant; and pad in
sulators and piping at the plants.
Additional morale problems exist
within the department bccause em
ployees feel that some workers are
singled out to work overtime.
"There is too much overtime
paid," House said. "Problems also
arise from the selection of recipients
to work overtime. It may not be a
problem, but the perception is there."
One maintenance mechanic I
worker in the tapping crew is actu
ally doing the job of a maintenance
mechanic III worker, but not being
paid accordingly, the study found.
Two maintenance mechanic II
workers were found doing electrical
(See WATER, Page 2-A)
STAfF PHOTO BY DOUG RUTTER
Look , But Don't Touch!
Three-year-old Michael Powell of Ocean Isle Beach checks out the
sharp teeth of a shortfin mako shark Sunday at the dedication of
the Museum of Coastal Carolina at Ocean Isle Beach. The natural
history center opens to the public this Saturday. The story and
more photos are inside this issue.
County Budget At A Glance
Brunswick County departments would get S7.5 million less than
they've requested for the coming year so that the county can keep its
current 68.5 cents per $100 valuation while adding new services such as
911. The following chart looks at cuts in requests and features of the
1991-92 proposed county budget, but does not compare them with ex
?Solid Waste Department: cut $76,000; a $12 million budget de
pends on collection of parcel or tipping fees for solid waste disposal;
?Planning Department: cut $152,000; budget includes a new subdivi
sion review fee of $26;
?Health Department: cut $84,151; raise site evaluation fee from $35
?Cafeteria: 20 percent increase in prices;
?Water System: no rate increase; cut five positions as recommended
by a management study;
?Board of Education: 5 percent increase in funds; $7.5 million alloca
?Capital Projects: build driver's license, magistrate's office beside the
sheriff's department; build a central warehouse at the complex;
?Brunswick Community College: 3 percent increase in funds;
$501 ,000 allocation;
?Emergency Medical Services: cut $1.5 million; eight emergency
medical technicians approved; purchase two ambulances;
?Social Services: cut S 109,4 14; three positions deleted, six approved
for a year, four approved for 10 months and four approved for six
months for the state-mandated JOBS program;
?Older Adults: cut $231,516, service provisions reduced to Title III,
Council of Governments funding and county matching funds; keep
home delivered meals afceurrent level of service;
?County Engineering: cut $1.4 million; recycling component of Clean
County transferred to this department;
?Clean County: dissolved; director to become recycling coordinator;
Keep America Beautiful Board transferred to Parks and Recreation De
?Parks and Recreation: add $32,600 to provide transportation for se
nior adults in lieu of former funding through Older Adults;
?Brunswick County Library: 13 percent increase; $125,000 alloca
?Fire and Rescue Squads: current funding levels;
?Southeastern Mental Health: funded at 75 percent of requested
?Building Inspections: no fee increases;
?Water Expansion: Sunset Harbor and Ml Pisgah Church Road pro
jects, $1.36 million, placed in abeyance for possible 1992-93 two-thirds
bond funding; funding kept for $10 million Phase 111 extension project
to Shallotte Point and Seaside; and
?New Programs: operations funding kept for 911, Emergency Medical
Services, Geographic Information System and Road Naming.