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Board honors Sizemore, outgoing members

SoVaNow.com / December 11, 2019
Mecklenburg County supervisors took the time to honor, two long-time board members, Gregg Gordon and Dan Tanner, and Buffalo Junction resident George Sizemore during the regular meeting of the board Monday night.

Sizemore was honored for achieving his 100th birthday on Nov. 19. Sizemore grew up in the Averett section of Buffalo Junction and lives there today. He is a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army during WWII, and a long-time deacon and Sunday school teacher at Wharton Memorial Baptist Church in Buffalo Junction.

Supervisor Andy Hargrove while reading the resolution honoring Sizemore said he was particularly impressed by the fact that even at 100 years old Sizemore continues to sing in three local church choirs.

Supervisors also recognized outgoing board members Dan Tanner and Gregg Gordon.

Tanner was first elected in 1999. During his tenure, he served as chair for two years from 2004 to 2006, represented the county as the head of the board’s economic development committee during the construction of the Meherrin River Regional Jail. He also served on the personnel and 911 committees, was the county liaison on the Southside District Planning Commission, Meherrin River Regional Jail Authority and the Lake Gaston Association Weed Control Council, and an alternate on the Roanoke River Service Authority and the MAMAC (regional mega site) board.

Tanner took some time to reminisce about his experience on the board, calling it one of the greatest honors of his life. He said his focus was always on what was best for the County as a whole, not one particular town or the eastern or western side of the county.

He remembered former county treasurer Robert Gregory and South Hill Economic Development head, Randolph Jones who, he said, laid the groundwork Mecklenburg’s current economic stability, and praised current and past board members, Orell Lenhart, Bill Blalock and W.P. Hudgins for leadership and support for projects such as the renovation of the Courthouse in Boydton, and the Sheriff’s Department and Social Services building, all of which were done without tax increases.

Gordon was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2003 after serving six years as a member of the Clarksville Town Council. He replaced John Massingill who moved from the area for work after serving one term as county supervisor. He announced plans to step down at the end of his term earlier this year.

For the past 8 years he’s served as both board vice chair and chair of the Budget and Finance and Legislative committees, and was known for his support of the schools and the teachers.

Gordon commended supervisors for their efforts to promote economic development in the county. He also thanked the citizens for allowing him and the Board to act in their “best interest.” Their support comes from “trust and faith that has built up over time.”

He called his and Tanner’s departure from the Board not an end, but a new beginning.

Come January Tanner will be replaced by his brother Tom Tanner and Gordon will be succeeded by Charles Jones.

Speaking about the two long-time board members, Chair Glenn Barbour said, “people need to understand how important they have been.” He called them dedicated and said they “kept a finger on the pulse of the county and they both served with distinction.”

In other business, Robin Jones of Creedle Jones and Associates, the accounting firm that completed the FY2019 audit for Mecklenburg County said once again Mecklenburg received an “unmodified or clean opinion.” There were not material weaknesses or deficiencies in their accounting practices for that reason the County is considered a “low risk auditee.”

Because of the strength of its financial position, Mecklenburg County has the ability to borrow up to $337 million for needed projects. This brought a laugh from board members and County Administrator Wayne Carter as there are no plans to borrow more than the $125 million needed for the new school construction project.

Supervisors agreed to purchase 3.19 acres of land from Judson and Carolyn Knott for $45,273. The property located near Ivy Hill Park and Townsville, NC will be used for a convenience center.

Carter said workers are currently removing asbestos from the former Buckhorn school. Once that is completed demolition of the building can begin. County is currently soliciting bids to work on the expansion of the parking lot at the Hudgins Courthouse Complex in Boydton.

County Attorney Russell Slayton said a federal judge in Ohio has taken steps to settle an opiate lawsuit in which the County is involved. The lawyers representing Mecklenburg County recommended the county not participate in the settlement based on their belief that the amount of money the County would see from the settlement would be around $50,000. Slayton this would be no benefit to the County and agreed that Mecklenburg should opt out of the current class action lawsuit and proceed alone.

David Brankley shared news that the solar facility known as Grasshopper that is about to begin construction on the former Mac Bailey property at the corner of Highways 49 and 47 near Chase City was recently sold to Dominion Energy. Now that a utility company will be building the facility, Brankley said the County will lose the $150,000 building permit fee for what is estimated to be a $150 million project.

Had the original private developer constructed the facility, the County would have collected the permit fee, which according to Wayne Carter is about 10 percent of the estimated value of the project.

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