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The Onslow County Board of Commissioners have unanimously approved accepting a grant that will help provide body cameras for Onslow Sheriff’s Deputies. A $129,537 grant from the US Department of Justice will be used to start the body camera system for the deputies.
The Commissioners took the action while meeting in a regular session Monday, February 7, 2022, in the Commissioners’ Chambers at the Onslow County Government Center.
Sheriff Hans Miller told the Board that he believes the cameras will allow accurate recording of interactions that will benefit the record of these interactions. Additionally, the cameras will collect evidence and record the actions of employees.
Grant funds and the County’s dollar-for-dollar match will provide for 93 cameras and related storage. The videos will be downloaded to a cloud-based server system. Commissioners indicated they were pleased to be able to use a grant to help get the body camera system started.
The Board of Commissioners also approved an $899,943 grant for drug addiction treatment programs at the Onslow County Detention Center. The goal of the US Department of Justice grant is to get help for people who need it while they are incarcerated so they it would be less likely they would return to jail.
The grant also helps mitigate costs and staff to administer medication assisted treatment for addition. It also provides for counseling and mental health treatment for addiction related persons in the Onslow County Jail. Assistant County Manager Sheri Slater indicated that the program also provides for some after release treatment and monitoring to help the effort as a continuum of care.
A series of grants was also approved for the Albert J. Ellis Airport. Two of the grants come from federal ARPA funds and one grant worth $140,244 provides relief for airport tenants and concessionaires who might have suffered during COVID-19 pandemic. Another grant worth $2,438,093 will provide funds for general operation of the airport and specific actions taken to help provide COVID-19 safety at the airport. The third grant approved is from the NC Department of Transportation and provides $300,000 for runway rehabilitation. The amount is a match to a FAA grant for runway improvements.
In other action, the Commissioners approved the sale of surplus land on Andermora Road. The 10.13-acre tract is now subject to an upset bid process. If a new higher bid is received, that offer would be brought to the Commissioners for potential action.
Onslow County Tax Administrator Harry Smith officially reported to the Board of Commissioners that the amount of unpaid taxes is $4.6 million from about 6,300 unpaid bills. Additionally, the Commissioners approved placing liens on the properties and to advertise the list of unpaid bills in the newspaper. The bills must be paid by the end of February to avoid being published in the newspaper.
The Board of Commissioners also appointed Susan Passey to the Animal Services Advisory Committee and reappointed Philip Mercer, Todd Daugherty, Dennis Bragg, Charles Rawls and Roger Riggs to the Board of Equalization and Review. Philip Mercer was also appointed Chairman of the Board for the next twelve months.
The Commissioners also approved items on the consent agenda which included Budget amendments, tax releases and refunds, previous meeting minutes, and a proclamation in honor of Mrs. Blanche Parsons Mallard’s 101st birthday.