As we begin February together, I wanted to write a quick note just to say thank you to all of the great employees of Columbus County. I continue to be amazed at the level of expertise and professionalism that is shown each and every day. As your County Manager, I am proud to stand alongside each one of them as we strive together to make Columbus County a better place to live, work and play.
I also want to express my appreciation to our partners in each of the municipalities, the Columbus County Board of Education, Whiteville City Schools, Southeastern Community College, Columbus Regional Healthcare, and to our legislative delegation in Raleigh. The working relationships that we now share are paying off for each organization that will benefit this county for many years to come.
I am excited to hear that both residential and commercial growth is coming to Columbus County. Over the next five years we will see unprecedented development and, as a result, a stronger economy for all of us to enjoy. My job is to make sure that we foster every opportunity available to the county; that is my commitment to you. In the coming months you will be hearing about some exciting developments that will bring about economic opportunity that everyone has hoped for.
Next, we have two important studies taking place right now. The first is a Recreation Master Planning process. With the help of the firm from Withers/Ravenel, the county recreation advisory committee has been compiling information about the future of recreation in the county so that we can meet the expectations and needs of every person regardless of age or physical ability. For more information about the recreation master planning process, please contact Julie Strickland with the Columbus County Parks and Recreation Department at 910-640-6624 or visit the county’s website at www.columbusco.org.
The second study involves the Emergency Services System review being undertaken by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners in conjunction with a highly qualified group of Columbus County citizens who, together, are assessing the current and future needs of our EMS response system. With a regional shortage of emergency services staff and volunteers, it has never been more important that we develop the best strategy and plans to ensure that every citizen of Columbus County has continued access to quality emergency medical services. It is our intent to develop and implement plans alongside our county rescue agencies to provide the best emergency medical services to our citizens county wide.
Also, interior demolition of the Historic Courthouse will begin on Feb. 7. We are pleased that the project is moving forward and reopening the historic site will soon be a reality.
Lastly, I am pleased to announce that I have been selected to be one of ten people to take the Artic Alligator Plunge at Lake Waccamaw on March 5 as a fundraiser for the Whiteville Junior Women’s Club. Please visit their website at http://wjwc.weebly.com/ and cast your “vote” for Eddie Madden. Each vote costs $5.00.
In conclusion, I want to thank everyone for being welcoming to me and making my experience in Columbus County so enjoyable. It is a pleasure serving as your County Manager and I look forward to what is in store for the future.