COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – At their meeting Tuesday night, Columbus County commissioners passed a moratorium on major subdivisions.
When asked what prompted the moratorium, and if the county had experienced an influx of development requests, County Attorney and Spokeswoman Amanda Prince said no. But officials there have witnessed major development happening in surrounding counties, and thought Columbus County could be next.
Prince said the county’s ordinances for building development have not been updated in many years. Before developers potentially start applying to construct subdivisions in Columbus County, officials there want to take a fresh look at the regulations on the books and make sure they are adequate. Prince also noted that some areas in outlying parts of the county don’t have water and sewer infrastructure which would be necessary for residential development.
Another item that passed on the July 6 agenda: a motion to adopt the State Record Retention Policy for Disposition of Records. This has to do with public records, and the county’s legal requirement to maintain them for public inspection.
Last year, it came to WECT’s attention that Columbus County had not been maintaining county emails as required, when former Animal Control Director Joey Prince said emails he’d written on the county server had been destroyed. Prince was hoping to use those emails to bolster his case in an ongoing dispute with the county. County Attorney Amanda Prince told us that despite state law requiring some emails be maintained as a matter of public record, the county did not begin automatically saving emails until 2018.
Prince said the decision to adopt the State’s Record Retention Policy had to do with more than just emails. She said there are all kinds of documents they are legally required to maintain, including financial documents, legal records, and personnel records, but they are only required to keep them for a certain number of years.
Prince said that due to limited storage space, the county wanted to adopt a uniform policy, to give them guidance on how long certain documents should be kept before being destroyed. She said the state’s policy provided good guidance for these issues, so the county wanted their records retention policy to mirror that.
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