‘State of the County’ report emphasizes growth, progress

BY ZACHARY HORNER, News + Record Staff
Posted 11/28/19

The Chatham County government released its annual “State of the County” report last week, covering fiscal year 2018-2019.

Throughout its eight pages, the document showcased ways the county has …

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‘State of the County’ report emphasizes growth, progress

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The Chatham County government released its annual “State of the County” report last week, covering fiscal year 2018-2019.

Throughout its eight pages, the document showcased ways the county has sought to meet growth demands and serve citizens. The report was presented by Mike Dasher, Chatham County Board of Commissioners’ chairman, last Monday.

“In 2019, the state of Chatham County is strong, resilient and progressive,” the report stated. “While the County continues to grow at a rapid pace, it also maintains focus on preserving the rich history and celebrating the diversity that make the community so unique. Chatham County’s culture values innovation, hard work and people of all backgrounds making it an ideal place for families and businesses to flourish.”

Sections of the report highlighted county work in education, economic development and climate change, along with work by individual departments.

The report stated that the county became home to an estimated 161 new jobs and $37.5 million worth of investment during the 2018-2019 fiscal year and highlighted recruitment efforts alongside the Chatham Economic Development Corporation.

“Obviously folks continue to see Chatham County as a good place to invest and a good place to grow their business,” Dasher said during the presentation.

The report also highlighted the number of changes in leadership positions across county departments, including County Manager Dan LaMontagne, Assistant County Manager Bryan Thompson, Director of Environmental Quality Kevin Lindley, Soil & Water Conservation director Susannah Goldston, Director of Permits & Inspections David Camp and EDC President Alyssa Byrd.

Other items of note included:

· The county received a Gold designation from the SolSmart program in January 2019, marking the county government as “friendly to solar development” and having “made focused efforts to simplify the process of installing solar panels.” The Report added that the county is receiving bids for installing solar panels, and the installation could begin in summer 2020.

· Chatham County Libraries offered 846 total programs with 15,293 attendees over the fiscal year.

· Chatham County had the highest voter turnout in North Carolina in the 2018 election, 66.76 percent of the registered voter population.

· The Chatham Health Alliance received a $450,000 grant from The Duke Endowment’s Healthy People Healthy Carolinas initiative, designed to further the Alliance’s development and work on physical activity and nutrition.

· Around 1,700 Chatham residents received Disaster Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits totaling $640,000 after Hurricane Florence.

Dasher concluded the presentation by saying, “It’s been a busy year. Lots to be proud of. Big thanks to all our staff for making those great things happen.”

The full document is now available online at chathamnc.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=45841, as well as at each of the county’s three library branches in Pittsboro, Siler City and Goldston.

Reporter Zachary Horner can be reached at zhorner@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @ZachHornerCNR.

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