Stanly commissioners receive proposal for new climate resiliency board

Published 12:06 pm Monday, September 27, 2021

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Two Stanly citizens presented their case for a new climate change civic board at this month’s meeting of the Stanly County Board of Commissioners.

Nancy and Ron Bryant, who operate Three Eagles Sanctuary south of Norwood, presented in the public comment section a proposal for a climate resiliency board.

Noting recent weather disasters such as Hurricane Ida and mega droughts along with the hottest July on record, Nancy Bryant said Stanly is not immune to such problems. She noted the Pee Dee River has covered the 500-year floodplains.

“So how is Stanly preparing for the predicted, ever-growing harmful effects of extreme weather?” she said.

The farm, she added, was designed with measures to be prepared for bad weather, from roof insulation to solar panels. She noted Duke Energy buys energy from the farm and their bill is “$19.81 a month.”

Farmers, such as themselves, receive grants from the Conservation Reserve Program for planting certain types of crops.

Stanly County EMS Director Brian Simpson, she said, serves on the CRC’s Regional Resilience Collaborative, which will help the county respond to potential disasters, “but so much more could be done.”

In his comments, Ron Bryant noted he was a Boy Scout, while Nancy was a Girl Scout, and both had the motto “Be Prepared.”

“I want the community to be prepared,” Ron Bryant said.

Saying he and his wife are familiar with forming nonprofit organizations, he suggested working with commissioners and county staff to form a proposal for a new board, the Climate Resiliency Task Force.

The task force, he said, would actively address three areas, starting with research and document weather events and actions taken by governmental and non-governmental agencies. The task force would also create a resiliency plan for the county to address predicted extreme weather events. It would also recommend potential funding sources for the plan’s implementation.

Potential members of the force would include county agencies such as the planning board and Stanly County Schools, along with natural resources, conservation services and the Cooperative Extension service. Residents and local business representatives would also be eligible to serve on it.

Each commissioner was given a printed copy of the proposal during the meeting.

Vice Chairman Tommy Jordan said in a separate interview the fact that “a citizen taking the time to write up what they think is a fairly cogent proposal, is way more than most people do.”

He added the couple “didn’t just bring a problem. They brought a problem and a proposed solution, which I respect.” Jordan said he respected their efforts.

“For that reason, if no other, I think it deserves a serious looking-over.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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