Pitt County officials recently received some good news amid the barrage of coronavirus developments.

“I wouldn’t call it ‘a good news item,’ I’d call it ‘a great news item,’” County Manager Scott Elliott told the Pitt County Board of Commissioners last week.

Pitt County has been named 1 of 20 finalists across the nation to receive the “All-America County” designation from the National Civic League, Elliott said.

In the past, the “All-America” designation has been for cities only, but the league is now allowing counties to submit applications to be considered, and Pitt County has submitted one, Elliott said.

“They are looking for community-driven projects that demonstrate inclusive decision-making processes to enhance health and well-being for all,” Elliott said.

He said that Pitt County, which began the application process in October 2019, has submitted a very good application with three focus areas and that further details will provided to the board at a future meeting.

The next step in the selection process is that delegations of the 20 finalists will meet in June in Denver, Colo., to make a presentation before the league and the other 19 finalists, provided that travel is permitted and things are back to normal, Elliott said.

From there, 10 counties will be designated as winners.

“It would be our hope and intent and desire to be (in the) Top 10 and be able to have the shield as an All-America County in 2020,” Elliott said.

“In light of all the talk of the COVID-19 this is kind of a shining star ... that we can report this,” Elliott told the board.

Elliott said that because of travel and other restrictions related to the coronavirus the plans for meeting in Colorado are subject to change.

In other business during the March 23 meeting, Florida Hardy, Pitt County human resources director, gave a presentation to the board about the need for some new policies related to leave usage for county employees in light of the coronavirus.

Following Hardy’s presentation, the board, who participated in the meeting via a telephone conference call, unanimously approved motions for a “Time-Limited Emergency Bonus Leave” policy and for the Guidelines for Employee Leave Usage policy as well as a temporary telework agreement.

In other business the board unanimously approved:

  • The February 2020 monthly financial report for the General Fund and Solid Waste Fund presented by Brian Barnett, deputy county manager.
  • The February 2020 tax collection report presented by Sam Croom, tax administrator.
  • Reappointments or initial appointments to the Fire District Commission.
  • Reappointments to the local Firemen’s Relief Fund Board.
  • The adoption of a proclamation that designates April 2020 as North Carolina 811 Safe Digging Month.
  • County staff will work with the board to determine whether those meetings will be held in person or by telephone conference call, Elliott said.

Contact Bobby Burns at baburns@reflector.com and 329.9572.