Pender County Commissioners pass motion for salary increases for EMS and fire workers

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 7:28 AM EDT
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BURGAW, N.C. (WECT) - The Pender County Board of Commissioners met on Monday, May 16 to discuss salary increases for first responders.

The Pender County Board of Commissioners approved the motion to increase the budget allocation for the departments by $360,000, passing the motion after voting 4-1. Chairman David Piepmeyer was the only dissenting vote, citing an increase of the citizens and fire tax as the reason to oppose the motion. The funding will be used for the current implementation of requested 25% salary increases for operational personnel.

“Our EMS squad is the first line of defense for our totally aging population in the rural communities,” commissioner Jackie Newton said during the meeting. “We don’t have an overabundance of medical caretakers and sometimes our EMS are our only line of defense for our aged rural residents.”

Years after Hurricane Florence, work continues on repairing the damage. The commissioners unanimously approved $207,138 in Emergency Watershed Protection Program funding for bank stabilization near Lake Road in Willard and Shaw Highway in Rocky Point.

The Henderson Field Airport in Wallace brought updates on their various projects during the meeting. Installation and construction for an Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) is expected to be completed by July. In the future, the airport is looking to fund runway pavement improvements and construction of a parallel taxiway.

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