FIGURE INCLUDES SALARY INCREASES
Health Department proposes
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BY MARJORIE MEC1VKRN
Some uncomfortable facts sur
faced 2S the Brunswick County
Board of Health heard and approved
a proposed budget of S2.3 million
The budget, to be submitted to
Brunswick County Board of
Commissioners, includes a request
for approximately SI. 5 million in
county funds. It also seeks nine new
positions, including a soil scientist
and four other workers in environ
mental health, and eight new vehi
The commissioners' representa
tive on die board. Commissioner
Frankie Rabon, was the only mem
ber absent Monday.
While less local funding is sought
for family planning next year, part
of the money requested would be
used to provide Norplant birth con
The budget allocates S5(X) for
AIDS control, prompting board
member Bill Rabon to ask. "What
can you do with S500?"
Nursing Supervisor Nancy Leg
gett replied. "Not much, just some
educational literature and films on
Rabon responded, "I just think
it's ridiculous that wc have this $2.3
million budget and arc spending just
5500 on AIDS control."
Chairman H.J. (Skip) Davis said
he discovered in the budget process
that departmental employees had not
had cost-of-living raises. However,
when budget committee chairman
Dr. Brad Williams moved to ask
county commissioners to institute
these annual adjustments, his motion
died for lack of a second.
A recommendation for across-the
board increases of one salary step
were approved, however, for all de
"Some of our employees have
been here four years without an in
crease in salary," Health Director
Michael Rhodes said, "and now
they're training new employees
whose salary is entry level, the same
I"he commissioners also approved
a one-step salary increase for die
"They arc the lowest paid nurses
in the area," Williams said, "and wc
Can't attract applicants at this rate.
"Wc didn't even have one appli
cant for a nurse to work in the jail.
Nurses go from our department to
League, County Seek
Help For Abandoned Pets
BY MARJORIE MEGIVERN
That fuzzy kitten tumbling around your kitchen floor or the floppy
cared dog running to meet you at the end of the day is a lucky animal, in
Tell your Darn DC red pets about the hundreds of their hrnihers nnrl sis
ters who arc abandoned, picked up as strays by the Brunswick County
Animal Control department, and squeezed into the county animal shelter
in Supply. Most of these arc put to death there soon after.
In the fall and winter some 300 stray animals arc picked up every
month, and in summer the number doubles, according to Robert Grissctt,
supervisor of the shelter.
Bccausc the shelter's capacity is only about 200, living conditions are
a little close and after five days in confinement an individual animal can
bccuthani/ed. Adoptions have becomc rare, with only about 10 percent of
the animals finding homes.
This bleak picture for dogs and cats is of such conccm to the
Brunswick County .Animal League, a non-profit community group, that it
has launched a fundraising drive to build a shelter of its own.
Jack Perry, president of the seven-year -old organization, has written to
mayors of all Brunswick County communities, asking for donations to the
The league was originated to address the basic problem that brings
overflow crowds 10 the present shelter: pet owners' failure to neuter and
spray their animals to prevent a succession of litters.
"We have S5 membership dues that entitle the person to a certificate to
be used at a veterinarian office, reducing the cost of neutering or spaying
to S 10," he snid. "We're trying to prevent over-population at the pound."
The normal costs of these procedures is S50 or S6o, Perry said. The
league picks up the cost of certificates, spending over $4,000 last year.
Now the organization wants to go beyond curtailing reproduction
among dogs and cats. It is intent on a new shelter to accommodatc the
strays picked up by members every day. "Sometimes our members keep
these animals in their homes," Perry said, "but they can't keep doing that."
Funds, aside from dues, come into the league through two yard sales
every year and private donations. It is the latter resource Perry is tapping
now for building funds.
Meanwhile, the county animal control shelter is trying to step up adop
tion of its residents. Brunswick County Health Director Michael Rhodes
said he wants to return to the practice of advertising a Pel of the Week in
local newspapers. "When that was published, we nearly always got that
pet, at least, adopted," he said. "We'd like to get into some television cov
The shelter off N.C. 21 1 south of Supply has 24 pens for dogs, each
one eight feet by four feet, and 28 cat pens, each two feet by three feet
With a capacity of 200 to 250 pets, depending on size and whether they
can be confined with other animals, the 300 strays picked up monthly are
obviously straining the facility.
Grissctt said these animals can be kept five days, then they become
county property if not picked up by owners. It's up to hint to dccidc what
happens next. An attractive, good-natured animal might get a renewed
lease on life and perhaps a home: those considered unadoptable get the
Of the 1,515 animals received in 1991, 364 were adopted out and
3,612 were euthanized. Another 120 died in the shelter.
"We have some very adoptablc animals," Rhodes said.
Those interested in taking home a kitten, puppy or full-grown cat or
dog, pay minimal adoption fees of S 10 for adult animals, $5 for those four
months old and younger. In addition, there's a boarding fee of S2 per day
for dogs and 50 cents for cats, and a charge of $7 for rabies vaccination
for any animal.
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other Brunswick County depart
ments for better pay. That's what
happened with Rita Hatcher, who
used to work for as."
After the raise was approved,
Williams noted that the salaries
were still below health department
sahirics in New Hanover County and
below Dosher Hospital nurses'
llic proposed budget cxcccds the
1990-91 budget of SI. 8 million by
about 25 percent. The greatest in
crease will be in environmental
health, with seven vehicles and five
new positions, (a soil scientist, three
environmental specialists and a
Williams pointed out, "The coun
ty commissioners asked us to devel
op a seafood ordinance and one of
the environmental specialists will be
in charge of that."
"Do all these workers really want
their own vehicle, or would they like
to continue getting mileage?" Rabon
Rhodes assured him that all said
they prefer a county vehicle, which
would begin to pay for itself after
"How many of these vehicles arc
used every day?" he continued. "All
of them," was Rhodes reply.
Rabon, along with board member
George Clcmmons, voted against
this section of the proposed budget.
Most of the S25.039 increase bud
geted for the animal control depart
ment was attributed to the new posi
tion and new vehicle requested.
"They get 20 to 30 calls a day,"
Williams explained, "and the maxi
mum number to be handled effi
ciently is 15, so another person will
enable them to take care of calls ef
A Fulltime clinic nurse was in
cluded in the administrative request
for an increase of $99,312 in the
proposed budget. Williams ex
plained this need by citing a 56 per
cent increase in the number of pa
tients being seen, as well as more
services given to each patient.
"We're also asking for two addi
tional vehicles for the nursing staff,"
he said. " They have had none and
have been borrowing vehicles from
the Department of Social Services."
Although there was a decrease of
!>7,82<S in county funds requested for
family planning, equipment is being
sought for a new examination room
and the instigation of Norplant, a
new birth control program.
Other new positions included
were a half-time clerk typist and 75
percent typist position in maternal
health, a department whose budget
included a S5.172 decrease in coun
Other departments were budgeted
with the following increases or de
creases in county funds being re
?Food and lodging: no increase
?Tuberculosis: S193 increase
?Adult Health: S524 decrease
?Hypertension: SI, 189 increase
?Risk Reduction: SI, 195 increase
?Child Health: S7.778 decrease
?WIC (Women, Infants, Children):
?WIC Nutrition: S948 decrease
?Communicable Disease: no county
?Child Services Coordinator, no
The board approved a request to
the Brunswick County Board of
Commissioners to reinstate a perfor
mance evaluation system, with mon
etary compensation tied to it.
Rhodes said the commissioners
had abolished this system four years
Firm Outlines Calabash Sewer Proposal
BY TERRY POPE
Calabash Commissioners received
an extensive plan Tuesday lhai rcc
ommends the town buy an existing
sew er plant as the backbone of a pro
posed S8 million wastewater collec
TK^ txxirci siiid it needed time to
read the proposal from Powell and
Associates of North Myrtle Beach,
S.C., planners hired to study the
town's sewer needs. A public work
shop was set for Wednesday, April
29, at 7 p.m.
Jim Billups of Powell and
Associates said that of the six alter
natives, the recommended plan in
cludes a buyout of the Carolina
Blythe water and sewer system at
Carolina Shores for S4.5 million.
The town can also expect annual
maintenance and operation costs of
With no impact fees for initial
users of the system, the average sew
er bill foi*familics using 160 gallons
of water per day would be S26.59 a
Wiih a S900 impact fee at installa
tion, the average bill would drop to
S24.17 per month, figures that
Billups said were conservative.
"liie key element is the funding,"
The firm will begin work with
Fanners Home Administration offi
cials this week to determine if the
town qualifies for FmHA loans, a
process that may lake 30 to 45 days.
FmHA considers a fair sewer bill for
the average homeowner to run from
S 16 to SI 9 per month, said Billups.
Construction of Phase 1 of the
wastewater system would serve most
areas within the existing town limits
plus outlying developments with in
creased density. Areas outlined on a
map included the central business
district. Marsh Harbor, Kivervicw
Acres, Hunter's Trace, Village
Green, Calabash Acres, Carolina
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A survey of neighborhoods
showed some favored a public sewer
system while others were opposed to
it, said Billups.
"Obviously, an S8 million price
lag is not something that we're going
to take care of soon," said
Commissioner Jon Sanborn.
The firm also rccommcnds that
the town enter into immediate dis
cussions with Sunset Beach, Ocean
Isle Beach, Shallottc and Holden
Beach to sec if costs can be cut for
future plant expansions by forming a
regional sewer authority.
The town should also begin a
search for additional golf course lo
cations for disposal of treated waste
water for future sewer plant expan
sion. It also rccommcnds a new mas
ter storm water management plan to
protect the Calabash River from ad
Phase 1 would provide the town
with a "sufficient number of cus
tomers to keep a reasonable cost" in
line, said Billups. If the town choos
es to limit the sewer system to just
the business district, the monthly rate
would jump two to three times high
er, he added.
Carolina Blythc has offered to ne
gotiate for the purchase of its water
and sewer system for S4.5 million
through the end of May. The system
has been appraised at S5 million.
In addition to FmHA loans, a state
block grant may also help finance
the projcct. buch grants are awarded
based on a community's income.
There arc a large number of re
tired persons :r. Calabash on fixed
incomes, which helps when applying
for grants, said Billups.
In other business, commissioners
asked Town Attorney Mike Ramos
to review an amended ordinance
which establishes makeup on the
town's planning board.
A public hearing held prior to
Tuesday's meeting drew few corn
menu; and no action was taken.
The ordinance would create a 10
member advisory board, seven per
sons from the town limits and three
from the extraterritorial jurisdiction,
appointed by commissioners. Five
would make a quorum.
The board also accepted an S8.800
bid from Jeff Simmons, who will dig
a 8,800-foot ditch for mosquito con
trol at the Village of Calabash and
met briefly in executive session with
Ramos to discuss pending litigation.
"It's an opportunity for depart
ment heads and supervisors to re
ward those doing good work," he
Rhodes reported that the planned
fluoridation of the water supply was
going forward and that Public
Utilities Director Jerry Webb said
the Division of Health Services was
conducting inspections of water and
fluoridation equipment. "Wc want to
give everyone 60 days notice before
the fluoride enters the system,"
He also reminded commissioners
that the smoking policy they adopt
ed for the department went into ef
fect April 6.
"Smoking cessation clinics will
soon be available for county em
ployees," he said.
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