County and city leaders come together in joint meeting

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A joint meeting between Pitt County Commissioners and the Greenville City Council put leaders shoulder-to-shoulder.

Mayor Kandie Smith said the meeting was long overdue.

“This is the first time in seven and a half years since I’ve been on the council that I’ve had a joint meeting with the county commissioners,” said Smith.

“We’re an elected body for the citizens of this county and this city and it is imperative that we work together,” Smith added.

Conversation spread from business to expanding animal services.

Smith said, “That economic development affects all of us. It affects the city if it’s done in the city, and affects the county.”

Leaders were presented an update to an economic development study which could include a new Wal-Mart north of the river, an area in desperate need of a pharmacy.

Christian Lockamy works in the Department of Economic Development and said, “2019 is the year they’re thinking, we’re trying to make contact with them and show them our new data and try to entice them to building early whether or not we’ll be successful, I don’t know.”

Council members also voted to pursue an interest in partnering in expanding Pitt County animal services.

“It was presented to us before, it was maybe a year and a half before and based on what was presented to us as a city, we didn’t think it would be a good fit for us at that time,” said Smith.

Animal Shelter Director Michele Whaley is optimistic

Whaley said, “I think would be nice to unite as a community. Have the same level of services, eliminate some of the confusion and that all the processes are simplified and standard. And the public would know where to look too for animal related issues.”

She said it could increase opportunity.

“It’s just a different level of services,” Whaley said. “Right now, Pitt County Animal Services is responsible for all of the unincorporated areas and we have contracts with Bethel, Simpson and Grimesland.”

Whaley said the remaining towns are responsible for providing their own animal services.

“I truly believe that it’s a community problem and it needs to be a community response,” Whaley said.

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