The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

November 7, 2012

Board for land conservation request

By Brian Graves, Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 — Stanly County Commissioner Gene McIntyre returned to his board seat Monday.

McIntyre was injured in a one-car accident Oct. 24 and suffered injuries to vertebrae in his neck.

Sporting a neck brace, McIntyre was chipper and in good spirits as the commission went quickly through a short agenda.

Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution supporting plans to place 1,500 acres into a permanent conservation easement.

The property is part of The Fork, LLC located at the end of Fork Road.

It is an outdoor recreation facility and its owner, Jim Cogdell, said he formed it in order to help children have a place to “get away from the computers and Blackberrys” and experience the outdoors.

According to the resolution, it contains buffers for the Pee Dee and Rocky rivers “that protect and conserve clean surface water and contains open spaces that limit the pollution of the county’s air and water and limit excess noise.”

Placing the property into a conservation would limit development on the site and keep it in a natural state.

Cogdell said it had been his intention to place the property into a conservatory after his death, but felt the time was right to begin the process.

He said preventing development on the property “is not a negative.”

“The amount of children we see come to the farm, and the amount of public that sit in the bed and breakfast at the farm, and the amount of people that walk our 38 miles of trails, and the people that fish out of our river and canoe, you cannot repeat and you cannot see it unless you’re there to enjoy it and understand the fun they have,” he said.

Commissioners also approved a request from Director of Social Services Sharon Scott to fill a vacant social worker position effective Dec. 1.

Scott explained that the position became vacant in February and was left vacant because of concerns there would be decreased block grant funding.

She explained the department had been notified the decrease will not be as severe as anticipated, with the county receiving $80,036.

Her request was to use $14,219 of those funds to fill the position.

The board also appointed Dale Poplin to serve on the community oversight board for Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions.

At the conclusion of the meeting, all the commissioners expressed their pleasure at seeing McIntyre back and doing well.

“I’d just like to thank everyone for their prayers, cards, emails and texts,” McIntyre said.

“I’ve tried to answer some of those emails, but there’s quite a few of them. I feel very humbled and honored that folks remembered me.

“I’m doing well and getting better every day. I’ve been getting out a little bit. The doctor says if I follow his orders, I’ll be OK. So, I’ll do what the doctor says.”