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Badin passes resolution opposing Assembly bills

Badin Town Council considered multiple resolutions during its regular meeting Tuesday, including one that would oppose two North Carolina House and Senate bills.

SB 179 and HB 278 have sections that would require municipalities pay for an unfunded retirement benefit for firefighters. State money would not be contributed, Town Manager Jay Almond said.

The North Carolina League of Municipalities sent out alerts in March requesting municipalities oppose the bills since the burden of funding the retirement benefit would fall solely on municipalities and their taxpayers.

The Badin council considered passing a resolution opposing the bills, but requested more information from Almond before moving forward.

Almond said the content “looks positive overall,” but the unfunded retirement benefits are a “major dealbreaker” in his opinion.

He will provide the requested information to the council before it makes a decision.

The council did unanimously approve two other resolutions. One is a request to the North Carolina General Assembly for support in preserving the site of the county’s first hospital, located in Badin.

The other, recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, was unintentionally skipped at the beginning but approved following closed session at the end of the meeting.

While the town normally receives a pre-written resolution and a request to pass it from Esther House, it did not receive one for this year. Almond said he would write this year’s resolution to be similar to previous ones.

Stanly County Virtual Education

Nancy Hatley, director of Stanly County Virtual Education (SCoVE), did a presentation on the program for the council.

SCoVE is offered to homeschoolers, Hatley said. It allows them to take at least two courses through the school system. Students have three options: traditional seated classes in the schools, online courses or a blend of traditional and online formats.

Hatley said the program is beneficial to homeschoolers, who are able to study subjects they may not be able to at home and take part in school activities like sports and prom. It also helps the school system since it receives funding for enrolled students.

Hatley said the program is doing well, but she hopes Badin will help spread the word since there are more than 1,000 homeschoolers in the county and the schools hope to increase enrollment.

Other Business

Nancy Vasser, a resident of Dogwood Lane, approached the council to complain about fire ants and other wildlife she has noticed in more abundance since the former golf course, located near her property, has become overgrown.

Vasser said she has heard gunshots over the last couple of months that sound close to her home. Over the weekend, she called law enforcement about it. A deputy who heard the shots and looked in the area could not find anyone.

Almond said officers can give extra attention to the area to try and identify the source.

Badin Police Chief Bryan Lambert said two of the code enforcement cases should be dealt with in the coming week. Another one will take two to three more months before the process can begin since the property is in foreclosure, Lambert said.

The council will have its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. May 14.

The first of two public hearings regarding the town’s 2019-20 budget will be at 6:45 p.m. just before the meeting.

Imari Scarbrough is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News and Press.