Yadkin County Manager Lisa Hughes and Yadkin County Emergency Services Director Keith Vestal were honored with a special award on Monday at the Yadkin County commissioners meeting. Retired Col. Will Barnes, a volunteer with the Department of Defense program Employer Support of The Guard and Reserve (ESGR), presented both Vestal and Hughes with a Patriot award.
The two were nominated for the award by EMS paramedic Nick Hiatt. Barnes said in addition to providing services for service men and women, the ESGR also recognized employers for their support of military personnel.
“One of the things we do is recognize employers for their great work in supporting our military,” Barnes said. “If we didn’t have your support, we couldn’t do what we do.”
Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Kevin Austin said he couldn’t be more proud of Hughes and Vestal.
“Having served in the U.S. Army and part of my service being in the Army Reserves, it was important to me then to have an understanding employer,” said Vestal. “That employer was Yadkin County EMS and they assisted me to continue my commitment to serve this great nation. Now as an employer I want to assist my employees that are willing to serve their country and continue the tradition that was given to me. It is important to support our Reserve and National Guard personnel because most citizens do not realize just how much we rely on them every day and especially when things get bad. I want to thank all service members; Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard for their sacrifices because these are jobs that you don’t just get to quit at 5:00 and go home like most people.”
“I am honored and humbled by this recognition,” said Hughes. “The county is very supportive of all our men and women in uniform, especially those employees who remain in the Reserves.”
Also during the meeting, Michael Boberg with Wooten Company gave a brief presentation to the board on Monday in regard to several county buildings and the need for future repairs. Of the four buildings examined by Wooten Company, Boberg reported that the Planning and Permits Building, which was renovated around 2000 to 2001, is still in good shape. He gave estimates on potential costs to modernize or replace the Community Service Building and former Cooperative Extension Building. The EMS building on East Cherry Street was deemed structurally unsound. Commissioner Austin thanked Boberg for his report. At this time, the county has not yet determined any action to be taken on those facilities.
Following a public hearing, during which there were no speakers, the board voted to adopt the NC Fire Prevention Code Ordinance. Fire Marshal Ricky Leonard explained that the guidelines within that code are what the county has followed for many years, but it was necessary to officially vote to adopt that ordinance as that approval is part of the process for ISO fire safety ratings.
Also during board action, the commissioners approved a motion to allow the Yadkin County Animal Shelter to host special adopt-a-pet events with lowered adoptions fees up to four times per year.
Jessica Wall, assistant human services director, gave a report to the board about a change in applying for Federal Title X women’s health services funds for the family planning clinic. Previously that funding was automatically given to health departments in each county. The process will now be a competitive grant process in which another Federally qualified health center could apply for those funds. Wall asked that the board approve the Human Services department to apply for the grant and the board approved.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.