Walnut Cove appoves ‘In God We Trust’ sign

By Nicholas Elmes - nelmes@civitasmedia.com

Walnut Cove will soon join Stokes County in displaying the U.S. motto, “In God We Trust,” on a public building.

The Walnut Cove Board of Commissioners last week unanimously approved a request by the U.S. Motto Action Committee to display the motto on the town hall.

“Displaying the motto is a legal right protected by the first amendment,”said U.S. Motto Action Committee co-founder Rick Lanear. “Displaying the motto gives ceremonial honor to public occasions and expresses confidence in our modern society.”

The motto will be incorporated into a new sign for the Walnut Cove Town Hall, which will be paid for for by the U.S. Motto Action Committee.

“100 percent of the money comes from private donors, most frequently from local churches,” said Lanear. “We have an abundance to take care of any costs for the Walnut Cove Town Hall. You just let us know where to send the check.”

Newly elected Commissioner Charles Mitchell made the motion to approve the motto.

“We should celebrate God in any way we can,” he said. “In order for any nation or anything to function we have to trust in God.”

Board lowers water bill

The Walnut Cove Board of Commissioners also unanimously agreed to make a one time adjustment for a water bill from a local business.

Town Manager Bobby Miller said the owners of Hope Child Care were requesting the adjustment after an undetected leak in a toilet resulting in their water bill skyrocketing from its normal rate of $91.65 to $824.14. He said he had already adjusted the bill as much as he was allowed to by town code, but noted that a recent change to the ordinance would allow the Commissioners to make further adjustments.

“Based on the testimony that the leak was not a detectable occurrence I am inclined to offer a one time variance to bring the bill within line of an average water bill,” said Commissioner Sharon Conaway.

LPA still needs town support

The Board also unanimously agreed to transfer $40,000 from the town’s general fund to help cover expenses at the newly reopened License Plate Agency (LPA) for the remainder of the fiscal year.

“The LPA, like any other business is experiencing some growing pains,” said Miller. “Where it has been out of action for a while, it is going to take some time for us to build our customer base back up.”

He said monthly income from the LPA office had dramatically increased in December and was looking very good for January.

“But it needs an infusion of cash between now and the end of the year,” he said. “The $40,000 may be high but I did not want to be in a position where I had to come back tot he board. This should put us in a much better position where we can meet out obligations for the rest of the year.”

Conaway said she felt the original revenue estimate had been “wishful thinking” and said she was not discouraged that it was taking the new LPA office time to grow.

“I am encouraged we had a good December,” she said. “We are planning of the long run so we need to keep that in mind.”

Miller said the LPA office continued to get good comments from customers and had recently resolved a needed reworking of counter space needed to offer utility payments, noting the LPA Manager Kim Greenwood had spent many hours during the Christmas break volunteering his expertise on the project. He estimated Greenwood saved the town about $3,000 with his work.

“We have a very nice facility, but the key to success is the staff,” said Conaway. “They are ones behind the positive reviews we are getting.”

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.

By Nicholas Elmes


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