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Another school merger vote could come tonight

It’s not on the formal meeting agenda, but whether to merge the Columbus County school system and the Whiteville City Schools is expected to be discussed and probably voted on again tonight (Monday) when the Columbus County Board of Commissioners meets at 6 p.m. in the Dempsey Herring Courthouse Annex at 112 W. Smith St.
Commissioners voted not to merge the two school systems last month. The vote, while formally recorded as 5-2 against merger, in actuality was a 3-2-2 vote with two commissioners abstaining. In compliance with state law, those abstentions were recorded as “aye” votes.
Two commissioners who would not speak for attribution said they expect another merger motion to be made at tonight’s meeting.
In other business tonight, commissioners will receive departmental updates from Sheriff Lewis Hatcher and Dr. Tony Clarke, president of Southeastern Community College.
They also will receive a Powerpoint presentation by Ron England, owner of Zipline, although a preliminary board agenda packet distributed prior to the meeting gave no indication about the nature of England’s presentation.
Commissioners also are expected to approve an amendment and consistency statement to the county code of ordinances regarding zoning map amendments and schedule a public hearing for Nov. 20 concerning proposed ordinances regarding public nuisances and abandoned and junked vehicles.
They are expected to approve the use of sales tax funds to run fiber optic cable to the International Logistics and Mid-Atlantic Industrial parks, approve an interlocal agreement between the county and the Town of Boardman for the county to administer and enforce the Boardman flood damage prevention ordinance, approve an agreement for professional planning services from Indirect Cost Plan for $5,875 for each of three years and approve an interlocal agreement with the City of Whiteville for the provision of mechanical inspections.

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