BY KARISSA MILLER
Iredell County staff members will not be requried to enforce the governor’s face masking mandate for youth sports following a unanimous vote by county commissioners earlier this week.
The guidance for county employees covers youth sports when players are actively participating in practice or games both indoors and outdoors. The vote has no bearing on a N.C. High School Athletics Association requirement that high school athletes wear face coverings.
Commissioner Gene Houpe said that a lot of parents have reached out to them on this topic and he emphasized that it doesn’t mean that players shouldn’t bring and wear a mask to wear when it is appropriate.
Commissioner Scottie Brown added that he’s talked with some doctors about the need to wear masks. One of the pediatric groups in North Carolina is against wearing masks when kids are hot and sweating, he said.
“I’m totally against masks when practice or playing,” said Brown.
♦ The board also voted unanimously to oppose House Bill 119 Property Tax Relief for COVID-19 affected businesses.
Houpe said that the N.C. Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) is in opposition of this bill and is asking commissioners to reach out to legislators on the issue.
This House bill would offer financial relief to struggling businesses by allowing owners to work out property tax payment plans rather than paying the entire bill by the due date.
Houpe said he’s against the adoption of this bill as it could impact the counties revenue stream. It’s more appropriate on the state level, rather than on the local level, to provide relief to businesses.
“It’s kind of like going into your pocket without asking you,” Houpe said.
♦ The board conducted a public hearing to consider a request from Fred W. Blake to allow for an expansion of an existing non-conforming HVAC contractor’s facility within a Residential Agricultural (RA) district.
B&I Heating and Air is located at 358 Triplett Road. The proposed site plan includes a 5,000-square-foot warehouse addition for extra storage.
The Planning Board supported this request 9-0 because it would not negatively impact the adjoining residential properties and meets all the criteria for an expansion of a non-conforming use.
♦ The board also conducted a public hearing for the approval of revisions to the Iredell County Personnel Ordinance, effective July 1, 2021.
The proposed changes were reviewed by the General Governmental Task Force and the Board of Commissioners during the Fall/Winter Retreat.
Revisions are identified in the following Articles of the Personnel Ordinance: Article II. The Pay & Position Classification Plan; Article III. Recruitment & Selection; Article IV. Conditions of Employment; and Article VII. Separation, Disciplinary Action, and Reinstatement.
HR Director Sandra Gregory highlighted some significant changes. One is a change to allow exempt employees to receive overtime when they are required to work in excess of 48 hours in a work week and are performing duties related to a disaster during a state of emergency declaration.
Another is to allow exit interviews. The policy states that any employee leaving may be asked to participate in an exit interview and the information will remain confidential.
Due to state laws, the board must hold public comments open for another 24 hours. Commissioners will revisit the two public hearings for a vote at their March 16 meeting.
Also, during the meeting, the board:
♦ Approved a request from the Register of Deeds for a revenue stamp refund in the amount of $200.
♦ Approved a request from the Finance Department for approval of the project ordinance for Mooresville Graded School District’s Selma Burke Middle School.
♦ Approved a request from the Finance Department for a Public Hearing regarding an installment financing agreement for energy conservation projects with Iredell Statesville School System and executing a deed of trust on the CATS property.
♦ Approved a request from Administration for approval of a sanitary sewer easement to the Town of Troutman.