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Hayes, Wilkins honored at county meeting

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OXFORD — While regular business may have taken prominence on the monthly agenda, a great deal of Monday’s meeting of the Granville County commissioners was dedicated to honoring a retiring detention center, local students and the county sheriff for their various efforts.

Jimmy Hayes retired from the Granville County Sheriff’s Office as detention center administrator after 21 years of service. Hayes’ last official day was June 26. Before coming to Granville County in 1997, Hayes previously had a 34-year career with the N.C. Department of Corrections.

“Mr. Hayes has been in prisons and jails longer than anyone we can think of, but luckily he had the key,” said Commissioner David Smith, who presented Hayes with a plaque of appreciation for his service. Smith also worked with Hayes in his previous capacity as county sheriff for 12 years.

“Mr. Hayes has done an excellent job of providing security for the inmates, as well as looking after their medical and dental needs,” Smith added. “After 54 years, it’s time to slow down a little bit.”

Sheriff Bindell Wilkins was honored by his deputies for his sponsorship of this summer’s Teen Law Academy. The academy, a partnership between the sheriff’s office, Granville County Public Schools, the U.S. Army National Guard and the Boy Scouts of America, saw a class of high school students ages 15-20 be trained in various aspects of law enforcement and criminal justice for one week in June at Granville Central High School.

“Our sheriff in Granville County is second to none,” said Deputy Randy Christensen, who oversaw the summer academy. “He has led and motivated us and has been instrumental in this process from the very first meeting.”

“I’m proud of everyone that has been involved in this program,” Wilkins said as he received a plaque for his efforts from his deputies. “All of these people and instructors at the academy deserve this more than I do. They put in a lot of effort for this program and we look forward to doing it again next year.”

Interns of the county’s annual Summer Civic Leadership Program were also honored for their participation in the five-week program that saw the five students choose two of the four available local government tracks to focus on (General Government, Public Safety, Community Service, and Human Services). Students also toured local county facilities, engaged with department heads, and worked on a group project to build teamwork skills and apply all that they learned in the program into the project. Each student received a certificate of completion and a $1,000 check.

The main business of the meeting concerned three brief public hearings.

The board unanimously approved a zoning map amendment for a parcel of land located at 2080 Highway 158 in Oxford. The board approved the designation from Neighborhood Business to Agricultural Residential 40 District.

The second hearing concerned the county economic development staff seeking approval for evaluating submittal of a Community Development Block Grant for a commercial bakery currently known as Project Cookie.

The third and final hearing was for a $25,000 incentive package concerning Project IVAC, which would see funding to encourage expansion of the industrial facilities at Altec, which is located in Creedmoor. County Economic Director Harry Mills said the company would invest $8.7 million and potentially hire 72 new workers. The $25,000 serves as the county’s five percent match of the NC Department of Commerce’s Building Reuse Program grant of $500,000.

The board unanimously approved both economic measures and no residents present made any comments toward the measures.

In appointments, the board approved a slate of names for the newly formed Parks, Greenways, and Recreation Committee. The 17-member board will consist of one representative from each of the seven districts, six ex-officio positions filled by county department representatives, and four at-large postings.

The next regular meeting of the Granville County Board of Commissioners is scheduled for Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Granville County Expo and Convention Center, 4185 US Highway 15 S., Oxford.

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