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Are you a school? Business? Or Agency? Take the survey

The N.C. Office of Digital Equity and Literacy is collecting information about all organizations offering services that help people get online across the state. We want to learn about organizations, businesses, and programs that support internet affordability, access to computers and digital devices, digital skills and literacy, tech support, and free wifi. All resources shared through this survey will be published publicly and used to identify assets and gaps in the state’s comprehensive Digital Equity Plan.

If you are an organization, business, school, or agency that offers any of these services, we ask you to complete this survey. You will be able to download your response for your records once you have completed it. The survey should take anywhere between 10-30 minutes to complete, depending on the number of programs you are including.

You can take the survey using this link:
Take the Survey

Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:

If you would like to review the questions in advance, please see the attached PDF document. Note that you will not be asked to answer all of the questions in this document, only ones that related to the services offered by your organization. You can use the table of contents to go to the relevant sections for your programs.

Public input meetings announced by WMPO

The Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO) is kicking off a long-range metropolitan transportation plan, Cape Fear Navigating Change 2050, which will identify transportation needs for the region over the next 25 years. The plan will include an evaluation of potential roadway, rail, freight, bus, ferry, aviation, bicycle, and pedestrian projects for the Wilmington metropolitan area, which includes New Hanover County and parts of Brunswick and Pender Counties. The Cape Fear Navigating Change 2050 planning process will also include public outreach opportunities where citizens can discuss their transportation needs.
Six (6) public open house-style meetings to collect public input for the Cape Fear Navigating Change 2050 transportation plan will be held in August 2023 on the following dates:
• Thursday, 8/3/2023 o 4:00pm-6:00pm
NE NHC Branch Library, Pine Room
• Tuesday, 8/15/2023 o 9:00am-11:00am
Carolina Beach Town Hall
• Thursday, 8/17/2023 o 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Belville Town Hall
• Tuesday, 8/22/2023 o 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Pender County Government, Hampstead Annex
• Thursday, 8/24/23 o 9:00am-11:00am
NHC Senior Resource Center
• Thursday, 8/31/2023 o 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Virtual (link available at
Citizens can also offer their ideas by visiting the plan’s website at to fill out a survey in English or Spanish and pinpoint trouble spots on an interactive map. The survey and map will be available until November 30, 2023.
Cape Fear Navigating Change 2050 will be the plan used by federal, state, and local governments to guide transportation projects in our region over the next 25 years. A long-range metropolitan transportation plan for the region is federally required and must updated every five years. Please visit for more information about the Cape Fear Navigating Change 2050 plan.
The WMPO is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities. To request an accommodation, please contact us at least 48 hours in advance at 910-341-3258 or

Pender County tax officials updating records

BURGAW – Pender County Tax Administrator Melissa Radke announced Pender County officials and representatives from Vincent Valuations, a contractor hired by Pender County, are updating property tax records with visits to various homes within the county.

“Our staff and our contractors have proper identification when approaching a property,” said Radke. “Lanyards are worn, and our representatives will knock on the door in hopes of speaking with homeowners before taking exterior photographs and measurements.”

Pender County representatives will visit properties over the next six weeks to complete these field visits.

“The properties we are measuring and photographing are properties that have requested permits over the last three years,” explained Radke.

Radke stressed that Pender County tax department representatives do not ask to enter a structure or take photographs of the interior of a home.

“We are working to ensure that property records are up to date and accurate by visiting these properties and taking exterior measurements and photographs,” said Radke. “If any resident has concerns or questions, please call the tax assessor’s office at 910-259-1221.”

Pender County receives funds for water projects

BURGAW – As Pender County continues to grow, Pender County Utilities continues to expand its infrastructure.

“We seek funding opportunities from state and federal agencies,” said Pender County Manager David Andrews. “Over the last three years, Pender County Utilities has secured more than $73.75 million in funding from the North Carolina Division of Water Infrastructure (NCDWI).”

According to Pender County Utilities, the breakdown of funding includes:

  • $20 million was secured on August 3, 2020, of which $5 million is “principal forgiveness”, via a grant. An Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (ASADRA) funding was secured at 0.18% interest for a 20-year term.
  • $3.75 million, was secured on March 1, 2021, from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) with a 0.18% interest for a 20-year term; and
  • $25 million, was secured on March 23, of this year, at a 0.10% interest for a 20-year term from DWSRF.

“On July 18, we were notified the county will receive another $25 million with a low-interest rate for a 20-year term,” said Andrews.

According to Pender County Utilities Director Kenny Keel, the $73.75 million in awards is solely for the Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Treatment Plant project.

“This funding and RO plant project are essential for Pender County to meet our future water usage needs,” said Keel. “Our long-term water supply planning will ensure our customers receive the best quality water and have the capacity for the growth of the region.”

“We are addressing the supply and pressure concerns,” said Keel. “It’s our mission to provide safe, clean, and reliable drinking water to Pender County.”

“Meeting the needs of our growing community is a priority for Pender County,” added Andrews. “This is why we are committing more than $80 million to the Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant in addition to several additional utility projects.”

Currently, Pender County Utilities is working on several capital improvement projects, including the Scotts Hill Elevated Tank and Wells for $13.3 million; water and sewer extensions at Pender Commerce Park for $385,600; a connection with Cape Fear Public Utilities Authority at US 421 for $670,000; and a sewer pump station force main and water main at US 421 for $11.2 million.


Proposed New Library in Hampstead: Pender County Library Invites Public Input on Location

HAMPSTEAD – Pender County is contemplating the construction of a new, larger library in Hampstead and seeks public feedback on the location. This would replace the existing Pender County Library Hampstead Branch. The new facility will replace the current Hampstead Branch, with two potential sites under consideration, both on Highway 17.

The first option is to renovate and expand the existing Hampstead Branch on Library Drive (across the street from Taco Bell and Wendy’s), while the second proposes constructing an entirely new library next to the Pender County Government Annex in Hampstead (across the street from Bojangles).

No matter which option is chosen, the size of the new, larger library would be the same at either location. Additionally, the associated project costs are expected to be roughly equal. This is because if the county renovates and expands the existing Library Drive site, the county will need to purchase additional surrounding property. On the other hand, if the new library is built at the Annex site, the county could offset costs by selling the existing Library Drive property.

To gather public opinion, a survey is available both in paper form at the Hampstead Branch Library (75 Library Drive) and the Main Library in Burgaw (103 S. Cowan Street) and online at The survey will be open from July 20 to August 20.

In addition, there will be two public information sessions at the Hampstead Branch Library on Tuesday, August 8 at 6 pm and on Saturday, August 19 at 10:30 am. These sessions will provide attendees the opportunity to ask questions and to learn additional details about the two locations under consideration.

For more information, please contact Allen Phillips-Bell at 910-259-0306 or

Hike Holly Shelter Game Land, May 16

HAMPSTEAD- Join Pender County Tourism and Naturalist Andy Wood on May 16, 9:30 a.m. for a one-mile hike into the Holly Shelter Game Land in celebration of the Year of the Trail.

“The Holly Shelter Game Land is a treasure trove of plants unique to Southeastern North Carolina, as well as protected wildlife,” said Tammy Proctor, Pender County Tourism Director.

On May 16 Naturalist Andy Wood will lead a hike that will spotlight the many features of Holly Shelter Game Land. Wood is currently the director of the Coastal Plain Conservation Group.

Hikers will meet at the gate on US Hwy 17, next door to the Baptist church. The hike will begin at 9:30 a.m. sharp. Hikers must wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Hikers should bring a bottle of water. Bug spray is also recommended.

“The guided hike is free,” said Proctor.

Pets are prohibited on hikes.

The Year of the Trail is a statewide celebration to introduce North Carolinians to state trails. Pender County and its partners are sponsoring one family-fun hike per month.

The June hike will explore Blueberry Town on June 14, starting at noon at Hankins Park in Burgaw. The park is located at 310 N Walker St. This hike will be led by Cody Suggs, Director of Burgaw Parks and Recreation.

For more information call 910-259-1278 or 910-789-2971.

Pender County Residents Urged to Sign-up to Receive Local Alerts

PENDER COUNTY – Pender County residents can now receive real-time public safety messages.

Pender County has contracted with Nixle to implement a Community Notification System to alert residents of localized emergency situations and relevant community advisories. This will replace CodeRed which has been used by Pender County Emergency Management for several years.

“Our priority is the health and safety of our residents,” said Tommy Batson, Pender County Emergency Management Director. “We urge all of residents, businesses, and visitors of Pender County to register for this free community alert system.”

There are three ways to register:

Go to and sign up via the Nixle Widget

Text your Zip Code to 888777 from your mobile phone

Download the Everbridge (Nixle Alert) App on your mobile phone.

Once registered, residents will receive a confirmation text on their mobile devices. Residents may also customize their alert settings by going to to create a User Profile.

Landline telephone numbers are automatically updated every month and will receive voice alerts, so no action is necessary if a resident only uses a landline.

“This service is secure, reliable, and easy to use,” said Batson. “The service will alert residents to weather conditions, wildfires, and more by geographic location.”

All Alerts will be targeted geographically, allowing residents to receive localized, relevant alerts from Pender County. Alerts can be sent via Text messaging, Email, Voice, Web, Social Media, and the Nixle Mobile App in an instant.

Nixle, founded in 2009, is known for its data security. The company serves more than 7,200 agencies within the United States for emergency alerts.

For questions or concerns call Pender County Emergency Management at 910-259-1210.

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