Polk County looks to get own DENR employee

Published 3:34 pm Wednesday, October 1, 2008

County leaders are currently discussing with the state the possibility of having an employee of N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) who would be dedicated to enforcing the state&squo;s erosion and sedimentation laws in Polk County.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met this week and discussed the process for making that request.

Polk County Manager Ryan Whitson says he has spoken to DENR officials who say that it is possible and legal and that it has been done in other areas.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Whitson says he is currently awaiting direction from the state regarding his proposal of what exactly the county wants from the employee. Whtitson said the employee would be housed in Asheville with an office in Polk County and the state is requesting a two-year instead of a one-year contract.

The employee would enforce the state&squo;s ordinance for developments and any erosion control issues in the county. Whitson also says he has had a positive conversation with one town representative about possibly sharing the costs of the employee.

The employee, if hired, would work the position full-time. Once Whitson sends the state the county&squo;s proposal for the position, DENR will send back a contract for the county to consider, which will include the costs to Polk County.