News briefs

Published 9:45 pm Friday, February 26, 2016


Columbus makes appointment to planning board

Columbus Town Council filled a vacancy on its planning board during the town’s Feb. 18 meeting. Council unanimously appointed Brent Jackson to the planning board. Columbus is also seeking to fill two open alternate positions on the planning board.

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Polk featured on state DMV video for new mobile units

The state driver’s license office at the Polk County Tag/Tax office was featured on a state video recently for the Columbus office being the first in the state for the new mobile units. The Polk County Board of Commissioners discussed the recognition saying the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles plans to add three more mobile offices for a total of 70 in the state. County Manager Marche Pittman said it’s not often Polk County gets state attention. Commissioner Ray Gasperson and others applauded commissioner Keith Holbert for his work to get the mobile units moved inside the tag/tax office. Gasperson said Holbert was tenacious on this matter and the county appreciates it. The video can be seen on Polk County Local Government’s Facebook page.

NC State, ICC administrators discuss equine sciences programs

NC State University administrators met with Isothermal Community College staff and community members at Tryon International Equestrian Center on Feb. 22 to discuss plans to potentially offer their services to the equine sciences programs offered by ICC in Spindale. Isothermal’s Director of Marketing and Community Relations Mike Gavin said the conversations between NC State and ICC began two years ago as ICC sought assistance in establishing their agribusiness technology curriculum and equine-related programs. Continued growth in these programs, as well as the development of TIEC, will hopefully yield relevant educational opportunities in the area, Gavin said.

Southern Living magazine names Landrum to best small town list

Southern Living magazine has named Landrum, S.C. to its top 20 list of the “South’s Best Small Towns.” In its description of the town, it says, “Downtown Landrum has plenty of small-town charm. Antique shops with brick storefronts fill the center of town, while a restored train depot gives a sense of the town’s past. But you have to explore the surrounding foothills to appreciate the beauty of Landrum. Take a drive through South Carolina’s horse country, cruising through rolling horse pastures hemmed by white farm fences, then hit downtown and refuel at the Hound and Hare.” Other cities on the list are: Fairhope, Ala., Florence, Ala., Fernandina Beach, Fla., Madison, Ga., Bardstown, Ky., Breaux Bridge, La., Natchitoches, La., Berlin, Md., Rock Hall, Md., Ocean Springs, Miss., Oxford, Miss., Jefferson City, Mo., Highlands, N.C., Beaufort, S.C., Luckenbach, Texas, Marfa, Texas, Floyd, Va., Middleburg, Va., Shepherdstown, W.Va. The list is online at

Changes in sales and use tax effective March 1

For North Carolinians, the state budget signed into law last fall included changes to the state’s sales and use tax relating to repair, maintenance and installation services, and are effective March 1, 2016. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 105-164.3(33g) defines “repair, maintenance, and installation services.” According to the Department of Revenue, the term includes the following activities: a. To keep or attempt to keep tangible personal property or a motor vehicle in working order to avoid breakdown and prevent repairs. b. To calibrate, restore, or attempt to calibrate or restore tangible personal property or a motor vehicle to proper working order or good condition. This activity may include replacing or putting together what is torn or broken. c. To troubleshoot, identify, or attempt to identify the source of a problem for the purpose of determining what is needed to restore tangible personal property or a motor vehicle to proper working order or good condition. d. To install or apply tangible personal property except tangible personal property installed or applied by a real property contractor pursuant to a real property contract. The new taxes will impose a 4.75 percent state tax plus a local tax of between 2 and 2.25 percent. More information can be found online at