Guns, fracking, health on agenda

Nov. 16, 2013 @ 11:54 AM

Guns in parks, hydraulic fracturing in Lee County and the state of residents’ health are all slated for discussion during the Lee County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday.

Commissioners are scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. at the Lee County Government Center, 106 Hillcrest Drive.

What: Repeal ordinance for concealed firearms in parks

Why it matters: The N.C. General Assembly changed the concealed carry law and, consequently, invalidated portions of the county’s local ordinance concerning firearms in parks and recreational areas. Local governments may prohibit the carrying of a concealed handgun on county recreational facilities — defined as athletic fields, swimming pools and facilities used for athletic events like a gym — but excludes greenways and open areas. Lee County Attorney Neil Yarborough recommends the commissioners repeal portions of the current Parks and Recreation ordinance because “such provisions are unenforceable given the amendment to” the North Carolina law.

What: Presentation on oil and gas exploration in Lee County

Why it matters: Commissioner Jim Womack, who serves as the chairman of the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission, Sanford Councilman Charles Taylor and

See agenda/page A7

local resident Ray Covington, both who serve on MEC, will speak about oil and gas exploration, including hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking. The presentation outlines what MEC has accomplished and the predicted timeline for gas and oil exploration within Lee County.

What: State of the County Health presentation

Why it matters: The report outlines the top five causes of death in Lee County, statistics on sexually transmitted diseases and infections and rates of teen pregnancy; it also highlights health department accomplishments and task force updates. The report identifies emerging trends within public health and how the health department can address those concerns, according to Lee County Health Director Terrell Jones.

What: Consider late tax listing penalty guidelines

Why it matters: Commissioners tabled a decision to penalize four businesses for filing their tax listings late because they didn’t “want to be in the business of picking winners and losers,” according to Commissioner Jim Womack. The proposed guidelines state the commissioners may reduce the penalty up to 90 percent if the filing was received within the first five days following the close of the annual listing period, or reduce the penalty up to 50 percent if the listing is received within 30 days.

The proposal also states that the late listing penalty may not exceed $5,000, and that entities receiving an economic development grant, or those that have previously listed late within the past five years, may be ineligible for a compromise.

What: Resolution to authorize economic development planning and organizational activity

Why it matters: The county’s new economic development organization — recently dubbed the Sanford-Lee County Partnership for Prosperity, and which will merge the Lee County Economic Development Corporation and the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce — is seeking the passage of this resolution by all three governing bodies in Lee County, along with the chamber’s board of directors and the EDC Board. The resolution empowers the steering committee of Partnership for Prosperity to act as its board of directors during its transitional year.

What: Farm-City Week Proclamation

Why it matters: A score of events are scheduled for Farm-City Week through Nov. 22-28, including an art contest, visits to agritourism sites, socials, banquets and luncheons.