Moore County LogoCommissioner Craig Kennedy has resigned from the Moore County Board of Commissioners, announcing his decision in a Thursday, April 25 letter to Chairman Nick Picerno.

Kennedy, who serves as the Board's Vice Chairman, was elected to a four-year term in 2010, defeating incumbent Commissioner Cindy Morgan in the Republican Primary. He lives near Robbins and has been an consistent advocate for economic development in North Moore.

In his letter of resignation, Kennedy wrote: "I'm unable to complete my term as a Moore County Commissioner due to my work schedule and family commitments. I know Moore County is in good hands with our current Administration and Commissioners. I have enjoyed my time serving the taxpayers of of Moore County and feel very grateful to have had this opportunity. "

Kennedy is employed by Mountaire Farms in Candor as a night-shift truck driver, delivering chicken feed to local growers. He was absent from both the April 16 regular Board of Commissioners meeting and a day-long Critical Issues Summit the Board held on April 18.

Kennedy told The Times on Friday that his job often requires him to work sixty hours a week, making it difficult to attend meetings of the many committees and boards on which commissioners serve.

The remaining members of the Board of Commissioners will appoint a replacement to serve out Kennedy's unexpired term, though who they appoint is likely to be determined by the Executive Committee of the Moore County Republican Party.

Read more: Commissioner Craig Kennedy Resigns

[This article has been corrected to reflect Pinehurst Fire Chief Carlton Cole's correct title and to clarify questions raise by the Moore County Chiefs Association. The corrected sentences appear in boldface and italics.]

Moore County LogoThough there were no motions and no votes, a day-long discussion of "critical issues" gave the Moore County Board of Commissioners an opportunity to make progress on some longstanding issues -- and scratch their heads over some new ones.

Here are some highlights.


Water

The Board and Public Utilities Director Randy Gould appeared to have settled on a new contract with Harnett County as the best option for increasing the County's water supply. The County will invest in the expansion of a Harnett water plant, guaranteeing a steady supply and a lower rate.

Projecting demand out to 2030, Gould believes the County needs an additional 1.71 million gallons per day [MGD] of supply to meet peak demand. Three new wells planned for sites along Linden Road are expected to produce 500,000 gallons per day.

The County currently purchases water from Harnett County under a contract that provides up to 2.0 MGD, and uses a maximum of about 1.2 MGD. Harnett is expanding its water plant, and Moore County can purchase a 3.0 MGD share of that capacity for $5.25 million.

Moore County would continue to pay for each gallon of Harnett County water it uses, but the upfront payment would reduce the rate from the $2.40 per thousand gallons the County is currently paying Harnett to $1.92 per thousand gallons. It would also contractually guarantee that Moore County is first in line for the 3.0 million gallons, in front of even Harnett County retail customers.

Adding a water tank, booster pumps, and new water mains to the project brings the total cost of the project to $10.8 million. That's about half the cost of bringing water from Robbins or from Wagram. And it would provide a second supply of water to the Seven Lakes area.

Gould said the Harnett deal could raise water rates by $5.79 per month, a roughly ten percent increase on the average $53.51 water and sewer bill. But Chairman Nick Picerno was quick to warn: "I don't want the press to report that Moore County is going to raise water rates ten percent. That's not going to happen."

Picerno said he would prefer to see rate increases phased in over time, and he also noted that Gould's rate projection assumed no increase in the number of customers, which is unlikely.

Commissioner Larry Caddell and Jimmy Melton spearheaded the Commissioners' task force on water. Caddell said he hoped the Harnett plan could be brought to a Commissioners meeting in May for approval. 

Read more: Water, Schools, Fire & EMS on the Table at County's 'Critical Issues' Summit

Foxfire LogoWhat had been a decade of steady growth for Foxfire Village slowed in 2008 with the downturn in the economy. But the pause in growth bought the Village more time to address its limited water resources and research alternatives.

Those alternatives were the focus of a Special Meeting of the Village Council on Thursday, March 21.

In February, the Long Range Planning Committee recommended to the Council that the Village merge its water system with the much larger Moore County system. Moore County would absorb the Village’s Water Department debt of $400,000 and take over the water tower and the current water delivery system. The County would also lay the water lines needed to connect the two systems.

In order to pay for those water mains, Village residents would continue to pay their current water rates, which are higher than the rates paid by other Moore County customers, for the next twenty years. 

Read more: Foxfire Council Debates Sale of Water System

CORRECTION - This article initially reported that only Director Dale Erickson voted against moving the Westside's July 4th fireworks display to July 6th. Director Rosemary Weber reports that she also voted against the motion. The text below has been changed to reflect this information. The Times regrets the error.

SLWLA LogoJack Stevens was elected President of the Seven Lakes West Landowners Association [SLWLA] during the regular Tuesday, March 26 meeting of the Board of Directors.

Bruce Keyser will serve as Vice President, with newcomers to the Board, Dale Erickson and Brian Benjamin, taking on the roles of Treasurer and Secretary.

Board members made those nominations in an organizational meeting early Tuesday evening, and then approved the appointments in a secret ballot vote during the regular meeting.

Read more: Jack Stevens Elected SLWLA President

SLLA LogoSteve Ritter was elected President of the Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] in an organizational Board meeting held after the Association's March 24 Annual Meeting.

"With me, you are looking at at a team player," Ritter, a resident of Seven Lakes South, told his fellow Directors. Saying he felt the previous Board had done "phenomenal work," he added that he had "no hidden agendas, no place that I personally want to take this community."

"We are all here because we have a commitment to the community," Ritter said. "We are more effective when we come together as a team to work on problems."

Ritter and Director Chuck Leach were elected to the SLLA Board last year. The Annual Meeting elections added three more Board members, incumbent Director Bob Racine, former Director Steve Hudson, and newcomer Richard Faraci.

Those five Directors convened in an organizational meeting chaired by Ritter, as Chairman of the Nominating Committee, with the election of a President the first order of business. Leach nominated Ritter; and, pointing out that Robert's Rules of Order do not require a second for nominations to executive office, Hudson nominated himself. The secret ballot vote went four-to-one for Ritter.

Read more: Steve Ritter Elected SLLA President

SLLA LogoMembers of the Seven Lakes Landowners Association approved a $100 across-the-board dues increase by a margin of 215 to 172 in balloting concluded at the Association's Sunday, March 24 Annual Meeting.

New annual dues will be $1,000 for homeowners, $670 for owners of an undeveloped lot, and $497 for each additional undeveloped lot. Treasurer Conrad Meyer noted that the additional revenue generated by the higher dues levels will be directed to reserves, rather than to any increase in operational expenditures.

Four open seats on the Board ultimately attracted only three candidates. Incumbent Bob Racine attracted 295 votes; newcomer Richard Faraci garnered 284; and former Director Steve Hudson collected 236 votes.


Laura Douglass is SLLA Citizen of the Year

Northsider Laura Douglass, a stalwart of the SLLA Recreation Committee and a former Board Member, was named Citizen of the Year by the Association.

Presenting the award, Pat Weber said Douglass has devoted her time and energy to developing resources and activities for the younger members of the Association. She pointed to Douglass' work to secure new playground equipment for Northside Park and her role in establishing summer camp programs. Weber noted that Douglass has been active in Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts, had served as President of the Women of Seven Lakes, and had shared her life with the community by writing a column for The Seven Lakes Times.

Accepting the award, Douglass said she had fallen in love with Seven Lakes the very first time she visited the community. "I saw all the kids' bikes parked up by the pool and knew this was where I wanted to live," she said.

Read more: SLLA Members Approve Dues Increase

SLWLA LogoFrom fire hy-drants to culverts, from dam repairs to a new mailhouse, over the past four years, the Seven Lakes West Landowners Association [SLWLA] has invested nearly $2.6 million in community improvements. Speaking during the Association’s Sunday, March 17 Annual Meeting, outgoing President Mick Herdrich concluded a review of the past year with a look back at four years of investments in the community.

• In 2010, the $580,000 remediation of the Lake Auman Dam accounted for the lion’s share of $693,000 in capital improvements.

• The $242,000 spent in 2011 included $123,000 for culvert repairs and $46,000 to install new piezometers to monitor the health of the dam.

• In 2012, major project funding totaled $722,000, including $249,000 for repairs to the Lakeway Mall pond dam and $194,000 for culvert repairs.

• $923,000 in 2013 projects included $353,000 for the new mailhouse, plus $300,000 for repairs to pond dam #3.

Herdrich noted that some of these repairs were planned — like the mailhouse — while others — like pond dam #3 — were the result of poor original construction by the developer.

“This time, these things were done right,” Herdrich said, “and they won’t have to be done again.”

Looking forward, he said major projects planned for the coming year include reconfiguring the front entranceway and exploring the possibility of building walking trails around West Side Park.

Read more: West Side Holds Annual Meeting

Moore County LogoWayne Vest was named County Manager during the Tuesday, March 19 Regular Meeting of the Moore County Board of Commissioners.

Vest, a Moore County native who joined the county staff in the land records department in 1998, rose through the ranks to the post of Tax Administrator. He was named Interim County Manager in December.

“As we look back at the job that Wayne’s has done, it speaks well that we have this calibre person to promote within the system,” Commissioner Jimmy Melton said.

“It’s a great day for Moore County,” Commissioner Larry Caddell added.

Vest’s appointment was announced after a closed session in which Commissioners presumably nailed down the details of his contract, which includes a $115,000 annual salary.

“I want to thank the Board for your confidence in me,” Vest said, accepting the appointment. “ I look forward to continue to serve the citizens of Moore County — and intend to do so with honesty and integrity.” 

Read more: Wayne Vest named Moore County Manager

SLLA LogoThere is no room for horsing around at the Seven Lakes Stables.

Stable Manager Kate Pennington has worked hard to determine the needs of the current herd and riders, and now she hopes to generate revenue to support the stables operation by boarding horses for private owners.

At the Monday, March 11 Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] Work Session, Pennington presented an in-depth proposal for offering boarding services.

“Currently, we have eight horses and two ponies,” Pennington said. “At the end of April, we will have seven horses and two ponies. I think we should board horses. We would have a stall for every horse, and we could maintain our operations.”


Equine Separate but Equal

Modifications would need to be made to keep the boarded horses separate from the SLLA herd and residents, Pennington said.

“We would need to add a couple of gates and a fence line,” she explained. “We should really have our pastures segregated anyway. That is how our pastures are already set up.”

The existing pasture shelters are sub-par and need to be rebuilt for the existing herd, she added.

“The ones out there right now, they are much too narrow,” Pennington said. New shelters would be relativity inexpensive to build, requiring four posts, painted plywood siding and a tin roof.

Read more: Boarding Proposed at Northside Stables

MCS LogoWhat should every North Carolina resident be aware of? That North Carolina ranks forty-sixth among the fifty states in average teacher salary, Superintendent Aaron Spence told members of the Moore County Board of Education during their Monday, March 11 meeting.

Teacher salaries have been frozen since 2009 — and 18% of state-funded teachers are frozen at the bottom of the pay scale, Spence said. Given increases in the cost of living over that period, the average teacher has, in effect, taken a $4,000 pay cut.

Citizens can take action by contacting their state senator and representative and requesting a five percent increase in pay for educators. “It is not enough, but it is a start,” Spence said.

Read more: MCS looks for more funding from County

In Memory Of

  • Jane Scales Facey

     of Foxfire Village died on Tuesday, April 19 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. A private...

  • Nancy P. Neilson

    formerly of Seven Lakes, died on Monday,  April 18. Nancy and her husband, Roger, retired from...

  • John E. Letter

    95, of Seven Lakes, died Monday, March 21, at his home, surrounded by family and friends. A...

  • Marilyn Rose Kemble Bearden

     84, formerly of Seven Lakes, died on March 8 in Greenville, SC. The family will receive friends on...

  • Vonadora Baker Stackhouse

    96, died on Wednesday, March 2, her wedding anniversary, at her home in Seven Lakes West. Services were...

  • James R. Nichols

    (Jim) of Seven Lakes died at his home on Monday, February 22.  A Celebration of his life will be...

  • Timothy William Bouchelle

    49, of West End died on Friday, February 19, 2016 at his residence.  A visitation will be held from...

  • John P. Carpenter

    75, of Seven Lakes North died Saturday, February 13 at FirstHealth Hospice House in Pinehurst. A...

  • Michael Jerome Loney

    87 of Seven Lakes West died Tuesday, February 9 at First Health Moore Regional Hospital in...

  • Glenda Mae (Marks) Tucker

    64 of Seven Lakes passed on Sunday February 7 at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro.  A...

  • Dr. William Harrell Johnson

    92 years old, of Seven Lakes West, died on Tuesday, February 2, at home.  A memorial service was...