County board disagrees over renaming road

First Posted: 8/6/2012

Richmond County commissioners did not agree on renaming a section of Cartledge Creek Road to Everett Chappell Road at their meeting Monday night, and have decided to hold off on a final decision until next month.

During a public hearing on the name change, Gurney Chappell — a brother of Everett Chappell — expressed his desire to have the road named in honor of his brother and Korean War veteran.

“He was captured and held as a prisoner of war in Korea, where he lived out his days,” said Chappell. “We never got his remains. Today would have been his birthday, he would have been 83. I certainly hope we can do this as soon as possible. We should honor him in this way.”

Commissioner Don Bryant said he received calls about the road name change after residents saw it in the weekender edition of the Daily Journal and said they felt they didn’t have notification. Emergency Services Director Donna Wright said she pursued all necessary avenues for notification and had 100 percent of the signatures needed from landowners on a petition. Bryant suggested waiting until next month’s meeting for a final decision so others who say they weren’t notified have a chance to say their piece, but Commissioner Thad Ussery disagreed.

“Donna has done what was required,” said Ussery. “I don’t see how it would make a difference, when she said she has 100 percent of all the signatures.”

“Just because they say they didn’t see it, does this mean we have to do this each time someone says they didn’t see it?” asked Commissioner Peggy Covington, who said she was concerned commissioners might set a precedent which could later come back to haunt them.

Although Chairman Kenneth Robinette said he agreed about setting a precedent, he voted for waiting until the next meeting, along with three other commissioners, leaving the vote split 4 to 3, with Commissioners Covington, Jimmy Maske and Ussery against the motion.

In other action on Monday, Planning and Zoning Director of GIS James Armstrong presented a request to rezone property belonging to Unimin Corp., located in Marston. The property is now zoned as Agricultural Residential, and the board approved rezoning it to Heavy Industrial.

“This property is adjacent to our other mine properties,” said Unimin Corp. Plant Manger Joe Howell. “This property was acquired recently. This is the only piece of property we have that is not rezoned. We can’t go onto the property until it’s rezoned. We have property on two sides and we are trying to extend our mining boundaries.”

The corporation has established sand mining operations in the area.

In other matters:

• No one came forward to speak at a public hearing for the close-out of Phase I of the Fox Road Project, which included the installation of approximately 32,000 linear feet of waterline along Fox Road, Ponderosa Drive and Deer Trail. The total Community Development Block Grant was $600,00.

• The board approved renewal of fire protection service contracts with Cordova Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Inc., East Rockingham Fire Department, Northside Fire Department, Derby Volunteer Fire Department, Hoffman Fire & Rescue, Inc., Mountain Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., as well as memorandums of understanding with Mt. Gilead Volunteer Fire Department and Pekin Volunteer Fire Department.

• Armstrong asked the board to approve the cost of abatement after contract workers spent a week clearing two lots on 3rd St. Safie of overgrown vegetation that he said had become a nuisance issue. “The county has had to step in and clean both lots several times over the past few years,” wrote Armstrong in his report. “Both lots previously contained dwellings that had been condemned and demolished by the county. Each (of the) property owners has multiple years of back-taxes owed.” Armstrong said one owner was 11 years behind on taxes and the other was nine years behind.

• Sandhills Center Chief Executive Officer Victoria Whitt requested board approval of a merger of services with Guilford County. The board agreed to the formation of a nine-county area authority to operate as Sandhills Center for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services in Anson, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph and Richmond counties.

• The board approved a proclamation to designate August as Soil and Water Conservation Awareness Month in recognition of the 75th anniversary of forming Soil and Water Conservation Districts, of which Richmond County was one of the first.

• The board approved a state airport aid grant for funding the Vision 100 Grant project at Richmond County Airport on Airport Road in Rockingham. The project consists of a parallel taxiway extension and design/bid of the stub taxiway and obstruction survey. The Vision 100 Grant award is $121,603, which will fund 90 percent of the total estimated project cost of $135,114. Richmond County will be responsible for the remaining 10 percent of the total project cost, $13,511.

— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at