Topics
Publishers
Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
Rhino Times - 2017-12-07
Magazines / Newspapers | Government 2017-12-07 00:00:00
Page 1 of 6
  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 1

    Vol. V No. 49 Greensboro, North Carolina www.rhinotimes.com Thursday, December 7, 2017 New Council Sworn In Scott D. Yost Alamance and Guilford End War Over County Line plus Under The Hammer, Uncle Orson Reviews Everything AND MORE CAROLINA J O U R N A L

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 2

    2 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, December 7, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com RHINO SHORTS by John Hammer Yvonne Johnson – who has served on the City Council since 1993 except for two years – as usual was surrounded by children and grandchildren when she took the oath of office on Tuesday night, and then she received a surprise. Former City Councilmember and former state Sen. Don Vaughan presented Johnson with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine – North Carolina’s highest civilian honor awarded to her by Gov. Roy Cooper. Now Johnson has the right and privilege to offer the Long Leaf Pine toast any time she chooses. “Here’s to the land of the Long Leaf Pine, The summer land where the sun doth shine, Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great Here’s to ‘down home,’ the Old North State.” At least one new City Councilmember received a gift when she walked into her new office at city hall. District 5 City Councilmember Tammi Thurm said that former District 5 Councilmember Tony Wilkins left her a new bottle of Pepto-Bismol and a new bottle of Tums for her as a gift. PHOTO BY JOHN HAMMER Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson after receiving the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, presented to her by former City Councilmember Don Vaughan at the Tuesday meeting Greensboro is holding an open house on the plans for the two new downtown parking decks from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum at 134 S. Elm St. The parking decks represent a new venture for the City of Greensboro. Both are being built by private developers and will be turned over to the city on completion. Hotels are slated to be built on top of each of the parking decks and the first floor of the decks will be retail. Also, the new decks are not going to look like parking decks, which most people think are pretty ugly. The plans for the decks will be available at the open house and those attending may find that there is a need for more parking downtown. In last week’s Rhino Times, we stated that the Piedmont Triad Film Commission was close to getting the new movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri filmed in this area, but lost that project to Georgia. In reality, the Piedmont actually lost the project to Sylva, NC, which is about 45 minutes west of Asheville. It’s too bad we lost that film, especially since it’s getting such good reviews (and Woody Harrelson seems fun to have around), but at least we lost it to another North Carolina community, and not to a whole ‘nother state. Tom Foolery CLEAN, SECURE, SAFE, INDOOR www.Beesafe.com on NC Highway 68 near I-40 • Loading dock available at the Battleground location Tom Foolery • All interior storage units are fully climate controlled • Sizes from 5’ x 5’ to 10’ x 30’ • Wine storage with temperature and humidity control • Wine storage units from 2’ x 2’ to 3’ x 6’ • Postal service available onsite at the Battleground location 3 GREAT LOCATIONS 1016 Battleground Avenue Greensboro, NC (336) 332-0123 4435 Jessup Grove Road Greensboro, NC (across from Proehlifi c Park) (336) 605-3202 NOW OPEN 704 Sunshine Way, Greensboro on NC Highway 68 near I-40 (336) 279-7100

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 3

    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, December 7, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 3 table of CONTENTS 4 NEW CITY COUNCIL DOESN’T WASTE TIME AND WADES INTO POTENTIALLY HOT WATER BY JOHN HAMMER 5 MANNING TO CHALLENGE BUDD FOR CONGRESS BY JOHN HAMMER 6 ALAMANCE AND GUILFORD END WAR OVER COUNTY LINE, FOLLOW STRAIGHT AND NARROW BY SCOTT D. YOST 8 COUNTY PLAYING LET’S MAKE AN ANIMAL SHELTER BY SCOTT D. YOST 12 REENTRY COUNCIL GETS $150K TO KEEP THE EX IN EX-CON BY SCOTT D. YOST 13 UNCLE ORSON BY ORSON SCOTT CARD 19 CAROLINA J O U R N A L 39 YOST COLUMN BY SCOTT D. YOST 41 ASK CAROLYN BY CAROLYN WOODRUFF 51 UNDER THE HAMMER BY JOHN HAMMER 2 RHINO SHORTS 17 REAL ESTATE 18 NYT CROSSWORD 35 CHILDREN’S SCHEDULE 37 SOUND OF THE BEEP 40 PUZZLE ANSWERS 40 SUDOKU 42 NEWS OF THE WEIRD 44 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Cover: Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson at the ceremonial meeting of the Greensboro City Council on Tuesday. Photo by John Hammer EDITOR-IN-CHIEF John Hammer managing editor ELAINE HAMMER county editor SCOTT D. YOST PUBLISHER Roy Carroll GENERAL MANAGER Joann Zollo creative director ANTHONY COUNCIL advertising consultant DONNA GOODWIN contributing editor ORSON SCOTT CARD 216 West Market Street, Greensboro NC 27401 P.O. Box 9023, Greensboro NC 27429 | (336) 763-4170 (336) 763-2585 fax | sales@rhinotimes.com | www.rhinotimes.com

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 4

    4 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, December 7, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com New City Council Doesn’t Waste Time And Wades Into Potentially Hot Water by John Hammer The new Greensboro City Council was sworn in on Tuesday, Dec. 5, among a multitude of thank yous and a major change in the way the City Council does business. Mayor Nancy Vaughan and the eight councilmembers who were elected to four-year terms must be feeling confident because at their first meeting they took away people’s right to speak on non-agenda items at two of the three City Council meetings each month. The speakers from the floor on non-agenda items segment of the meetings, usually referred to as “speakers from the floor,” has been highly controversial in the past. When he was mayor, Bill Knight moved speakers from the floor from near the beginning of the meeting to near the end and it became one of the biggest issues of his two years as mayor. It also became a campaign issue, and, when Robbie Perkins defeated Knight for mayor in 2009, Councilmember Yvonne Johnson asked to make the motion at the ceremonial meeting to move speakers back to the beginning of the meeting. She was asked to wait until the first business meeting and did. By moving speakers toward the end of the meeting, Knight was accused of taking away people’s free speech and of being racially insensitive. The motion passed unanimously by the City Council at its ceremonial meeting on Tuesday night doesn’t move the time for speakers from the floor, it completely eliminates speakers from the floor on nonagenda items from the business meetings held on the third and fourth Tuesday of every month. Instead, the City Council will hold what is being called a “town hall” type meeting on the first Tuesday of the month, where an unlimited number of speakers from the floor will be able to speak about whatever they want for five minutes each. The only business that will be handled by the City Council will be resolutions and presentations. Vaughan noted that the public would be free to speak at all City Council meetings on agenda items, but only one meeting a month on nonagenda items. Vaughan explained after the meeting that currently speakers from the floor are limited to a total of 30 minutes and are only allowed to speak for three minutes each. She said, “I believe it’s a really good trade off. I believe it addresses a lot of concerns and I hope people will give it a try.” It’s true that speakers from the floor are theoretically limited to a total of 30 minutes, but the council has been quick to extend the total time to get in a few more speakers, and when speakers have not been allowed to speak at the beginning of the meeting they are allowed to speak at the end, so the trade off is not as good as it looks on paper. The three minute time limit, however, has been routinely enforced. The most raucous meetings have almost always been caused by speakers from the floor on nonagenda items. It has been a method used by Rev. Nelson Johnson and others to get action on items that were not being considered by the City Council. Week after week, speakers have attended meetings Mayor Nancy Vaughan and spoken on topics like the police shooting of Chi Di Thi Vo, the arrest of Dejuan Yourse and the arrest of Jose Charles. None of these items were agenda items, but the council took action on all of them because of the relentless demands of the public and the constant barrage of speakers at meeting after meeting. It will be nearly impossible for the community organizers who have used this method to force the City Council to take action to get the same results speaking at one meeting a month, particularly because it will be a meeting where no business is taking place and presumably the only people in the City Council Chambers will be those who come to speak. Vaughan also said that the council anticipated cancelling the meeting the fourth Tuesday of the month with some frequency. This could be interpreted as good news, if you are nervous every time the City Council (continued on page 46) Greensboro’s newest members of the City Council being sworn in at Tuesday’s meeting: Atlarge Councilmember Michelle Kennedy (left) and District 5 Councilmember Tammi Thurm

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 5

    Manning to Challenge Budd for Congress www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, December 7, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 5 by John Hammer The 2017 election has barely ended and already the 2018 election is getting underway. Tuesday, Dec. 5, the newly elected Greensboro City Council was sworn in and Wednesday, Dec. 6, Democrat Kathy Manning announced she would be running against Republican 13th District Congressman Ted Budd. It appears it won’t be a pretty campaign. Before Manning officially made her announcement, the Ted Budd campaign posted an ad on its website titled “The Real Kathy Manning” Budd’s ad reads, “Kathy Manning is an establishment Democrat who’s worked for decades alongside farleft Democrats including Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, John Edwards and Barack Obama.” The ad states, “Now, she is Nancy Pelosi’s handpicked candidate to run against me and buy this seat for their hard-core liberal agenda.” Less than a month after he took office, Budd was placed on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s hit list of Republican congressmen it planned to go after. That means the Democrats are planning to pour money into the campaign in an attempt to defeat Budd and have been actively recruiting someone to run, so while it might be hyperbole to state that Manning is Pelosi’s “hand-picked candidate,” it is true that the Democrats have been actively recruiting an opponent to run against Budd. Budd was supported by the conservative political action committee Club for Growth in 2016, which spent more than $285,000 on his behalf. Manning doesn’t hold back on her announcement either. She states, “Unfortunately, Budd seems to be drowning in the partisan special interest swamp that is Washington.” She states, “Budd supported tax breaks that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas and favored cuts to education and healthcare. That may be good for special interests, but it’s not good for North Carolina.” Budd’s line about Manning trying to buy his seat may be the most telling, because all indications are millions will be spent on this campaign. Manning recently raised over $38 million for the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts to be built in downtown Greensboro. It’s a remarkable amount of money to raise and even more remarkable when you consider that the original goal was $10 million. They kept moving the goal posts on Manning and she kept raising more money. Budd, who had never run for election before 2016, defeated 16 candidates in the Republican primary – many far more well known and with a lot of political accomplishments. He won by raising and spending hundreds of thousands dollars more than his closest competitor. So Budd, who is from Advance and owns a gun shop, can raise money too. This is Manning’s first foray into politics but she has been extremely active in the community. Manning is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Michigan Law School. She was an attorney with what is now Smith, Moore, Leatherwood from 1989 to 2002 left to start her own law practice, Manning & Associates, which concentrated on immigration. Manning no longer practices law She was a founding member of Triad Stage, is on the board of the Greensboro Symphony and created ArtBeat. Manning was the first woman to chair the Jewish Federation of North America and has been chair of the Greensboro Jewish Federation and served on the board of B’nai Shalom Day School. Manning is married to Randall Kaplan, one of the owners of the Elm Street Center, which will be the site of a Westin Hotel. Budd is a graduate of Appalachian State University and has an MBA from Wake Forest University. He owns a gun shop and shooting range in Rural Hall and lives on the family farm in Advance. Budd’s family owns the Budd Group, a facility services business with locations throughout the Southeast. The 13th District includes most of western Greensboro and stretches Kathy Manning Ted Budd (continued on page 7)

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 6

    6 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, December 7, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com Alamance and Guilford End War Over County Line – Follow Straight And Narrow by Scott D. Yost It only took about a century or so, but thanks to a recent unanimous vote by the Alamance County Board of Commissioners, Guilford and Alamance counties are finally on the path to resolving the county line dispute that has created constant problems for years. There have been about ten years of on-again, off-again negotiations over what should happen with the county line: Should it be straight, as the state originally intended, or should it be a “zigzag” line as many property owners wanted? The Alamance County commissioners answered that question on Monday, Nov. 20 with a 5-to-0 vote to adopt a straight line. There’s no need for the Guilford County Board of Commissioners to vote on the matter because that board has already done so: In February 2014, the Guilford County commissioners voted 9 to 0 to adopt a straight line; however, nothing much happened after that vote because Alamance County continued to push for a zigzag line that allowed property owners who live near the line to decide for themselves what county they should be in. The matter has lingered for years with residents paying taxes, going to school and voting in the county that they either thought they were in or simply wanted to be in. A series of handshake deals and informal agreements between the tax directors and other department heads in the two counties allowed those residents to do so. Alamance County Commissioner Bob Byrd said this week that several considerations led to the new decision by the Alamance board to go along with the straight line Guilford County officials have wanted to see for years. Byrd said the ongoing ambiguity about who lives where has been causing problems for homeowners along the line as well as for builders developing property along the line. He said recent legislation from the North Carolina General Assembly meant that the state would bear some of the expense – such as surveying costs for individual properties – of the reestablishment of the original line. Those costs would have fallen on property owners otherwise. In 2007, state surveyors traced the county line with modern equipment and GPS mapping techniques and left no doubt where the original “geodetic” line lay. However, even though people knew from that point on which county they lived in, some kept on living as though they were in their preferred county. Byrd said opposition to the straight line from residents who live along the county line had been dying down in recent years. He said that, several years ago, when the issue came up at a board meeting, many residents showed up and spoke vehemently against the Alamance commissioners agreeing to recognize a straight line. That opposition came overwhelmingly from residents along the county line who didn’t want to vote, go to school and, especially, pay taxes in Guilford County, which has a much higher tax rate. In Guilford County, the current tax rate is 73.05 cents per $100 of assessed property value while in Alamance County it’s 58 cents per $100. Byrd said residents didn’t voice any opposition before the Nov. 20 vote. “Nobody spoke and it was publicized in the Burlington Times- News,” he said, adding that notices were published elsewhere as well. He said citizens knew that proposal was being addressed at that meeting but didn’t come out to object. Byrd, the only Democrat on the Alamance County board that has four Republican commissioners, also said that, in recent years, more and more problems were showing up and biting those who live near the line. For instance, he said, he talked to a homeowner who was trying refinance her house and couldn’t get it done. He said that refinancing attempt was “in limbo” due to the question over which county the property was in. According to Byrd, some commissioners and others who would have preferred a crooked line to accommodate homeowners were just tired of the uncertainty that had been ongoing for as long as anyone could remember. “I voted for the straight line – the geodetic line – because having it resolved was better than not having it resolved,” he said. He added that he wasn’t “married” to the idea of a straight line, but, in the end, he said, practical considerations meant some final resolution had to be reached. “It just makes it clear where residents will get fire services, sheriff’s department services, EMS – and where they will vote and pay taxes,” he said of the vote by the Alamance County commissioners. Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne said that, with no push or other involvement from Guilford County, the General Assembly passed new legislation to help address these types of border disputes across the state. “They passed a generic bill,” Payne said. “It said, ‘Here is the mechanism for addressing that.’” He said the legislation essentially “took off the table” the option of creating a crooked line that catered to the desires of the residents. Payne said one good thing is that the two counties have done a good deal of work over the years attempting to smooth the transition for those property owners who will be “changing” counties. For instance, there have been detailed discussions between the two counties as to when a student will be allowed to finish school at the junior high or high school they are attending, even if their home is in determined to be in the other county. Byrd said that type of accommodation is also being planned for in Alamance County as well, but he added that the Alamance County Board of Education will have to vote to approve changes regarding who goes to school where. Payne said he’d been in consultation with Alamance County Attorney Clyde Albright to determine how to proceed on all matters related to the county line transition. Likewise, the two tax departments are working out details of the new arrangement. Guilford County Tax Director Ben Chavis is currently trying to discern the revenue implications. “We have not gone through the process yet of splitting these properties and valuing them to see what the financial outcome will be,” Chavis said. “That will come later.” Chavis said his concern right now is in getting the properties mapped correctly, based on the NC geodetic line. Chavis added that he’s really ready to get this issue wrapped up once and for all. “I’d love to see this happen in 2018,” the tax director said. Though the problem has been lingering for decades, the debate in its most recent form began when former Guilford County Tax Director Jenks Crayton, who died earlier this year, brought the matter to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners attention about 12 years ago. Crayton and other county staff spoke about the need to address this issue since more development was on the way and the problem would only get worse. That slideshow contrasted pictures of cow pastures and wooded areas that have dominated the line in the past, with (continued on next page)

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 7

    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, December 7, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 7 line congress (continued from previous page) photos of new construction along the line. Chavis said that, one of the first steps from this point, will be state surveyors notifying residents which area they live in. He also said Guilford County has some concerns about the Rockingham County line, but those problems aren’t as well known as the problems related to the Alamance County line. “Eventually we need to do something on it,” he said of hazy line the county now shares with Rockingham County. According to Chavis, one step would no doubt be a new survey of that line to clear up any confusion as to where the line is. That matter will be dealt with after the Alamance County line stops taking all of the attention. The state drew a perfectly straight line between Guilford County and Alamance County when Alamance County was founded in 1849. Though that line was laid out and marked at that time, over the years line markers were moved or destroyed and, for various reasons, people lost track of the true line. Also, when the original line was surveyed, surveyors made mistakes and the intended straight line wasn’t laid out perfectly to begin with. In 2012, the Guilford County commissioners voted to go along with Alamance County’s effort to create a new zigzag county line with residents who lived very close to the line deciding which county to live in. But the Guilford County commissioners later didn’t like the fact that 61 property owners elected to go into Alamance County and not one wanted to be in to Guilford County. At that time, it was estimated that Guilford County would lose about $8.5 million of property tax value, which would have meant about $65,000 annually in tax revenue for Guilford County. That same property would generate about $45,000 each year in tax revenue for Alamance County. (continued from page 5) southwest as far as Statesville and Mooresville. It was created for the 2016 election and had no incumbent. The district was designed with a Republican advantage. After winning the Republican primary with 20 percent of the vote against 16 other candidates, Budd won the general election over Democrat Bruce Davis with 56 percent of the vote. Budd is a member of the House Freedom Caucus headed by Congressman Mark Meadows, which is an organization of the more conservative members of Congress. Considering how poorly men did in the recent City Council election, it appears that recruiting a woman to run against Budd may have been a smart move.

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 8

    8 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, December 7, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com County Playing Let’s Make An Animal Shelter by Scott D. Yost In the TV game show Let’s Make a Deal, contestants were asked to choose between three doors; at a Tuesday, Nov. 28 work session, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners were asked to choose between three options for a future animal shelter. At the end of that work session, the commissioners left all three doors closed for this year, as they seek more information and put more thought into it. Commissioners said a final decision would likely come at their Thursday, Jan. 18 meeting. Behind Door Number One is a large, shiny new $15 million 42,000-squarefoot animal shelter option, one that would be everything anyone wanted and more. However, that price tag is about $6 million over the amount the board has been planning to pay for a new shelter. Behind Door Number Two is a $13 million animal shelter that’s a somewhat scaled down version of the first option. Choosing that door would save Guilford County about $2 million dollars over the first option, but it would also hold fewer animals. Option two would have a capacity of 294 animals, which would allow for a 10-day average length of stay. The more expensive shelter, option one, would hold 441 animals, allowing for a 14-day length of stay. That’s about what it is now at the current shelter, he said. On the other side of Door Number Three – the least likely door to be chosen – is a $9 million project that would renovate buildings at the existing Guilford County Animal Shelter site at 4525 W. Wendover Ave. and add new structures there. The host of the show at the Nov. 28 afternoon work session was Shelter Planners of America President Mike Barnard, a consultant hired by the county to help plan the new shelter. Barnard, aided by his PowerPoint presentation, did most of the talking at the work session in the Blue Room of the Old Guilford County Court House. Guilford County is about to close on property at 979 Guilford College Road, which is just southwest of Greensboro and is less than two miles from the existing county shelter. The county bought an option to purchase the land this summer after it was selected to be the site of the new shelter. Given that land purchase and the announcement that the shelter would be built on that property, there were a lot of surprised looks on the commissioners’ faces at the work session when the consultant brought up the possibility of adding onto the old shelter. But since the budget for the new shelter project has been estimated at about $9 million, Barnard said, he wanted to include one option with a cost that came in near that amount. For the most part, the county commissioners said they didn’t like the idea of adding to the current shelter on West Wendover for a number of reasons: It would be difficult to build and renovate there while the current shelter continues operating; there’s not much additional land on that site in case the county wants to expand in the decades to come; the traffic on the roads around the current shelter is very heavy – and, if the county moves the shelter from the West Wendover site, it can sell that land and make somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million. The county is paying about $550,000 for the new property on Guilford College Road and it has many of the characteristics the commissioners are looking for. At the meeting, Barnard said he realized that the commissioners weren’t inclined to build on the current site or add to it. “Initially, when we came on board, that was already off the table,” he said. But he said it would be more expensive to build on the new site. “Basically, the price tag on both of those [options] is pretty high, and so we felt like we needed to bring something that really, we think, is a legitimate option for you.” Commissioner Carolyn Coleman, who in the past has argued for keeping the shelter where it is, seemed to perk up at the possibility. However, it appears the majority of the commissioners have already moved on from that idea and are prepared to build on the new site, as many commissioners announced in late summer that they intended to do. One indication that the board plans to build at the new site is that, at the work session, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips instructed Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing to go ahead and close on the new property. Barnard said that, regardless of the option the county chooses, it should undertake several new strategies to help reduce the county’s animal population and get the adoption numbers up at the shelter. Part of that he said will fall on the county’s Animal Services director. Guilford County just hired a brand new one – Jorge Ortega, the former senior director of operations for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Adoption Center in New York. Barnard said many in the animal welfare community believe Ortega was “an excellent choice” who will help implement and carry out some of the new policies Guilford County needs to engage in. “A trap, neuter and release program, aggressive marketing, community education – you need the whole community in on this,” Barnard said. At the work session, Barnard addressed the high cost of the shelter project. “Why are animal shelters so expensive?” he asked before answering his own question. “The foundations on animal shelters are super complicated – there’s all these slopes and drains and it’s probably more complicated than a contractor has ever poured.” He said the floor also needed a special finish and that other costs also add up quickly. (continued on next page)

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 9

    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, December 7, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 9 shelter (continued from previous page) “The animal equipment is expensive,” he said. “That can add $20 to $30 a square foot. There is actually more walls per square foot in an animal shelter than in any other building type.” He said that, leveling the land, bringing in utilities and other costs add up to about $15 million. Barnard said his group asked county staff over 200 questions for information that went into the estimates – everything from questions about capacity to “who will clean up the poop.” He said option number two is basically the same structure as option one with less animal housing. The proposed design for either option one or two would be similar. Both would require roughly the same amount of earth moving and parking lot construction. “The way we’ve designed it is with nice public parking in front, a nice grand entrance where everybody knows where to go in,” Barnard said. “With the existing shelter, people go in the main entrance to look for their lost animal and people say, ‘I’m sorry; you’re in the wrong place – it’s over there.’” Commissioner Justin Conrad, who’s chairman of the Guilford County Animal Services Advisory Board, said there’s a lot to like about the county’s existing shelter site on Wendover. For instance, people are familiar with the location and it is right next to the Humane Society of the Piedmont. “But I do have some serious operational concerns of doing the building while we are trying to operate a shelter and provide services to the community,” Conrad said. “And I also don’t want to see us in any way shape or form shortchange our community, who has dealt with a less than adequate shelter for entirely too long.” Commissioner Alan Branson said he thought that putting money into the current shelter site would be a big waste. “The structure out there now is from the 1950s and 1960s,” Branson said. He said the county’s cost for renovating the existing site would come in “over and above what you’re showing us, once we get into the foundation and structure.” “That place has been a rats’ nest for a number of years,” Branson said. Branson also said that’s one key reason the state’s animal welfare inspectors have been citing and fi ning Guilford County so much. After the meeting, Guilford County Cash and Debt Manager Clay Hicks said the county sold almost $29 million worth of bonds earlier this year to fund several projects, including the shelter. That money will also be used to fund a new Emergency Services maintenance center and to renovate the old jail in downtown Greensboro for Sheriff’s Department use. “The estimate used for the animal shelter project in the bond application was $8.87 million,” Hicks wrote in an email. “However, fl exibility exists to use the $28.645 million for County public building purposes. For example, savings from one project can be shifted to another project.” At the work session, Lawing said money could be found to comply with the commissioners’ wishes. “We have options,” Lawing said. “The fi nal budgets for two of our other projects have not been set. We know the cost of this project here.” The commissioners have some extra money in a general fund, in the county’s construction fund and in other funds. At the work session, Lawing said he would meet with Guilford County Finance Director Reid Baker and Budget Director Mike Halford and explore options. Halford told the board that it just comes down to “choices” for the board. Commissioner Skip Alston said at the meeting that Guilford County needs to think way into the future as it plans this project. “I would like to see us plan for growth and try to go for the gusto right now in order to give our citizens a fi rstclass facility and not penny pinch,” he said. Alston added that he also wants the commissioners to ask for input from the Animal Shelter Advisory Board. Commissioner Coleman said the commissioners should seek input from all county residents. “I don’t want citizens to say they didn’t know about it,” she said. Presented by Come home for the holidays December 5 - 24 Buy today! Tickets start at $10! greensboro 232 S. ELM ST. | TRIADSTAGE.ORG | 336.272.0160

  • Add to bookmarks Add to subscriptions Share
    Page 10

    10 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, December 7, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com Downtown Greensboro

Page 1 of 6

Please wait