RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The General Assembly has given final approval to a bill transferring state-owned land to Pender County, which could one day be home to a new jail and law enforcement center.
Lawmakers in both chambers gave unanimous approval to House Bill 757, which conveys approximately 100 acres of property north of Burgaw 'to the Pender County Board of Commissioners for so long as it is utilized as a jail and law enforcement center’. The cost consideration is $1.
Rep. Carson Smith, the former sheriff in Pender County, introduced the bill in the state House. It changed last month in a Senate committee, picking up similar language involving a transfer of state property to the Town of Butner, in Granville County.
In the past year, the Pender County Sheriff’s Office has had to transport more than 1,000 inmates to other facilities due to cramped quarters in the detention center. Nearly 1,605 man hours went into the 725 transports, which resulted in almost 78,591 miles traveled across the state, according to material included in the agenda packet for the Pender County Board of Commissioners’ March 18 meeting.
The issue has been a costly one for taxpayers. Since at least the 2013-14 fiscal year, the county has spent around $500,000 annually to move inmates to other jails.