BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Commissioners in Brunswick County gave final approval for funds, Tuesday night, that will pay to put sheriff's deputies in all of the county's elementary schools.
The upgraded security measures come in the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 students and six staff members were killed by a gunman.
Commissioners approved a budget amendment allowing the Brunswick County School District to reimburse the Sheriff's Office nearly $560,000. The funds will pay for salaries and benefits for nine new deputies, along with the vehicles, equipment and uniforms for the deputies.
According to Sheriff John Ingram, deputies have been covering the elementary schools by working overtime. These funds will allow the department to permanently assign deputies to each of the schools for the rest of this academic year. Sheriff Ingram says the final planning for the assignments should be finalized by next week.
Commissioners also unanimously approved a proposal to create a new Small Business Advisory Commission.
The goal, according to Commissioner Frank Williams who drafted the proposal, is to give small business owners a voice in making Brunswick County more business-friendly.
"A strong local economy must be built on private sector jobs, not government jobs," Williams said in a news release. "Government's role is to foster an environment in which small businesses, entrepreneurs and family farmers can work hard, thrive and prosper."
Williams says the 23 members on the volunteer board will be broken down like this:
-Brunswick County Economic Development Director
-One representative from the Brunswick County Economic Development Commission board
-One representative from the Brunswick County Economic Development Foundation
-One representative of an existing industry in Brunswick County with fewer than 100 employees
-One representative of an existing industry in Brunswick County with 100 or more employees
-Brunswick Community College Small Business Center Director
-President / CEO of the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce
-One member of the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce board of directors
-Executive Director of the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce
-One member of the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce board of directors
-Executive Vice President of the Southport-Oak Island Chamber of Commerce
-One member of the Southport-Oak Island Chamber of Commerce board of directors
-One representative of the soon-to-be-formed Bald Head Island Chamber of Commerce
-One representative of the residential real estate industry
-One representative of the commercial real estate industry
-One representative of the construction/homebuilding industry
-One representative of the agriculture/agribusiness community
-One representative of the tourism industry
-One representative of the retail sector
-One Professional Civil Engineer or Environmental Engineer (PE) who does business in Brunswick County and is not a full-time employee of any governmental entity
-One representative of the restaurant/hospitality industry
-Two at-large members.
Anyone in the county who is interested in serving on county boards can submit an application, which can be found by clicking here.
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