The proposed fiscal year 2020-2021 budget for Granville County has been submitted to the Granville County Board of Commissioners in accordance with the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act. A copy of the proposed budget is available for public inspection in the Office of the Clerk to the Board and at the Richard H. Thornton Library and other library branches if they are open to the public.
The proposed budget can be found at https://www.granvillecounty.org/government/finance-department/comprehensive-annual-financial-reports-budget-documents/.
The Board of Commissioners will conduct a Public Hearing to receive comments on the proposed budget on Monday, June 1, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. or shortly thereafter during their regular County Board meeting. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we anticipate this meeting to follow remote meeting guidelines.
Public comments on the proposed budget will be accepted in written format and must be received by Tuesday, June 2 at 8 p.m. by mail to P.O. Box 906, Oxford, NC 27565 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org as required by the Act to Provide Aid To North Carolinians In Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Crisis, (S.L. 2020-3, SB 704, Section 4.31). The public comments will be included in the meeting minutes.
Debra A. Weary
(Clerk to the Granville County Board of Commissioners)
The soil testing lab at the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has announced that the lab is again accepting predictive soil sample on a limited basis. Farmers, gardeners and homeowners are now able to submit soil samples for analysis, according to the Granville County Center for NC Cooperative Extension. There currently is no charge for this service.
“We are very happy to be able to get soil analysis results to work with,” said Paul Westfall, County Extension Director. “We can once again make fertility recommendations tailored to the soil conditions and use. In other words, growers can add the right amount of lime and/or fertilizer and avoid under or over fertilizing.”
Plant growth is delayed by under-fertilization, and over-fertilization leads to wasted nutrients and money, and can impact water quality.
Sample kits are available at the Granville County Center of NC Cooperative Extension. Kits can be picked up from a table located in the foyer area of the front door, and samples to be submitted can be left on the same table. Information sheets are available and should accompany each sample submitted. Each sample should be identified in a way that the landowner will remember. Crop information is key to getting a good recommendation. If growers have questions about completing the information sheet, they should contact the Granville County Extension Center.
“Since the lab is operating under reduced hours and reduced staff in compliance with safety recommendations, it will take a bit longer than usual to get test results,” Westfall added. “We have already submitted a few samples, and the results were returned in about three weeks. That’s not too bad.”
For more information on soil samples and soil fertility, contact the Granville County Extension Center at (919) 603-1350, or contact Westfall by email at email@example.com.
At their May 18 meeting, Granville County Commissioners unanimously approved the issuance of a proclamation to honor essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those recognized in the proclamation include health care professionals, grocery workers, post office staff, social services employees, members of law enforcement, emergency services and emergency communications teams who have been considered “essential” during this unprecedented time in our county and our communities.
To view the proclamation, please click here: Proclamation – essential workers
A county-wide challenge to show support for local heroes, while bringing communities together, is entering its final week. The “Little Light Challenge” is a project of the Granville Tourism Development Authority (TDA), the Downtown Oxford Economic Development Corporation (DOEDC) and City of Creedmoor, serving as a visible way to thank the many essential workers on the “front lines” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The challenge was initiated on April 20, with local residents and businesses asked to display lighted luminaries, outdoor candles, porch lights and/or strings of Christmas lights in honor of the first responders and essential workers. Each Monday at 8 p.m., this tribute continues to be made to doctors, nurses, EMS teams, public health professionals, pharmacists, drug store employees, law enforcement officers, 9-1-1 operators, social workers, grocery store employees, truck drivers, farmers, trash collectors, plumbers, electricians, construction crews, government workers, nonprofit organizations, media contacts, assembly workers and many others providing much-need services throughout the county. At the same time, local radio stations are airing the song “This Little Light of Mine” to bring attention to the work of these local heroes. Listeners have been able to tune into US 98.3 FM and WCBQ 1340 AM for the song dedication and a recorded message.
Monday, May 25 will be the last “Little Light Challenge” and will include a special twist, with participants invited to sing along to their favorite version of “This Little Light of Mine” and to post videos on social media, including a reference to the project through a hash tag mention of #littlelightchallenge, as well as #VisitGranvilleNC. Selected videos will be posted to the Visit Granville County NC Facebook page, with followers asked to “LIKE” their favorite. The deadline to post videos is May 25 at 11:59 p.m., and voting will end on Tuesday, May 26 at 5 p.m. The top three winners will receive a gift card to a Granville County restaurant or retail store.
“We are grateful to our partners for their support,” said Tourism Director Angela Allen. “The goal was to bring our communities together to show appreciation for our local heroes, doing our best to stay together while staying apart. I believe we are accomplishing that, and more.”
Partners for the “Little Light Challenge” include Granville County Government, the Town of Butner, the City of Oxford, the City of Creedmoor, the Town of Stem and the Town of Stovall, as well as participating radio stations and the residents of Granville County.
For questions or for more information about the “Little Light Challenge,” please contact Allen at 919-693-6125 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mary Yount, Director of the DOEDC, at 919-603-1100 (email@example.com).
The U.S. Census Bureau has announced that, due to COVID-19 and the temporary suspension of field operations, the 2020 Census response deadline has been extended to Oct. 31. A previously-extended deadline date had been announced for Aug 14, which has now been rescheduled. This most recent extension will help ensure that all households have an opportunity to be counted.
Most households received their initial invitation to respond to the 2020 Census in March. By the middle of that month, the Census Bureau had started the process of hand-delivering paper questionnaires in rural areas; however, the temporary suspension of field operations, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in a delay.
As of May 13, Area Census Offices and 2020 Census field operations have been re-opened in nine states, including North Carolina. This means that more households – especially those who are known to have poor internet service in their area – should expect to find paper questionnaires left outside their front doors in coming weeks. All Census workers are expected to be trained in preventing the spread of the virus, with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.
There are three options to respond to the 2020 Census – by phone, by mail or online. Households can respond safely from home by using the online form on the U.S. Census website at www.census.gov; by phone at 844-330-2020; or by mailing back the paper questionnaire being sent/delivered to their homes.
Approximately 86 million households have already responded to the U.S. Census, with the national self-response rate at just over 58 percent, as compared with North Carolina’s rate of 55.1 percent. Granville County’s response total was reported at 58.1 percent as of May 12, with the Town of Butner falling in at 55.1 percent; the City of Creedmoor at 58.6 percent; the City of Oxford at 53.6 percent; the Town of Stem at 64.9 percent and the Town of Stovall at 14.9 percent.
In August, in-person visits to non-responsive households are scheduled to begin. A quick response to the Census by one of the three available methods will reduce the need for door-to-door visitation.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that a Census of the country’s entire population be conducted every ten years. Results of this survey are used to determine how many congressional seats and Electoral College votes each state gets through 2030, as well as guiding the distribution of an estimated $1.5 trillion a year in federal funding for hospitals, health clinics, fire departments, schools, roads and other public services in local communities.
The 2020 Census marks the 24th time that the United States has counted its population since 1790.
To learn more about the 2020 Census, visit www.census.gov.
The Granville County Library System welcomes Melanie Baldwin to the Richard H. Thornton branch in Oxford. As Adult Services Librarian, Baldwin will be responsible for developing, promoting, presenting and evaluating programs and displays for adult patrons, as well as assisting in the development of the materials for the collection of books/resources and other duties.
A native of Vance County, Baldwin lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan for seven years before returning to the area. She is a graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Math and attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and North Carolina State University, where she earned her undergraduate degree. While working at the college library at UNC Wilmington, she decided to pursue a career as a librarian, later earning her Masters degree in Library Science from North Carolina Central University.
“I wish I had been able to meet our patrons in person,” Baldwin said, “but, unfortunately, we are all doing our best to slow the spread of COVID-19. I hope everyone is taking care at this time, and I hope to be able to bring some library services to you over the internet.”
A fan of young adult fiction and fantasy books, Baldwin is married and resides in Henderson. She can be reached online through “Ask a Librarian” on the Granville County Library System website (https://granville.lib.nc.us) and at firstname.lastname@example.org. A new “chat” option is also available at https://granville.lib.nc.us/chat/.
While the four branches of the Granville County Library System continue to be closed to the public, Baldwin offers a reminder that curbside pickup service has again been made available from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Thornton Library in Oxford and at the South Branch library in Creedmoor. Those wishing to reserve materials can simply call in or message either library branch with a list of requested materials, park at a curbside library space and give the library a call. Your materials will be placed on an outside table to be conveniently retrieved. (Limit five books, five DVD’s and five audiobooks.) Contact the Thornton Library at 919-693-1121 and the South Branch at 919-528-1752 to make your materials requests.
Baldwin began work in her new role on April 1.
Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 3 through May 9, and Granville County Emergency Services encourages all residents to prepare now by updating emergency plans and supply kits.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, but most storms strike from mid-August to mid-October. Take this time to review and practice emergency plans and update emergency supply kits with non-perishable food and water to last each person in your family a minimum of one week, as electricity and water could be out for at least that long. Kits should also include a first-aid kit; weather radio and batteries; prescription medicines; sleeping bag or blankets; a change of clothes; hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and deodorant; cash; a battery-powered radio; flashlights; a crank or solar-powered USB charger; and pet supplies, including food, water, bedding, leashes, muzzle and vaccination records. Before the storm, be sure to fill up your car with gas, or ensure that a gas can is full and available.
Have a plan of where to seek shelter in your home if high wind threatens you. Talk with your family and let everyone know where your predetermined safe room is in your home. Interior hallways, closets and bathrooms are the safest locations. Always stay away from windows and exterior doors.
If you are in a home that would be unsafe during a hurricane, determine where you would go and how you would get there if ordered to evacuate. Make sure to practice your plan so that family members and loved ones know what to do. You should also talk to neighbors about their plans, especially those who may need assistance, such as senior citizens.
While storm surge does not affect Granville County, many of our residents vacation at beaches that may be impacted, and should be aware of the dangers. Storm surge is water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm, and is one of the greatest potentials for loss of life related to a hurricane. This rise in water level can cause severe flooding in low-lying areas, especially if the storm coincides with normal high tide. Although Granville County is not in a storm surge evacuation zone, it is a good idea to identify family or friends who do, and to offer to be their evacuation destination.
Make sure to review and update homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies to ensure they include coverage for damage, natural disasters and flood insurance. It is also a good idea to assess your home’s landscaping and the threat from falling trees. Before a storm threatens, trim back any dead limbs, as well as large overhanging branches. Pick up all loose objects around the house including lawn furniture, grills, and potted plants.
Stay informed when severe weather strikes by tuning in to local news, listening to a NOAA Weather Radio, or checking NWS Raleigh website www.weather.gov/rah. More information on severe weather and hurricane preparedness can be found at www.ReadyNC.org.