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General News

System Pressure Advisory!

The water consumers of Pender County Utilities, in Pender County along the 9000 block of US 117 South, Lacy Padgett Road, Bridgeside Road, Fallbrook Lane, West Tumbling Waters Road, East Tumbling Waters Road, Babbling Creek Road, East Strawberry Lane, Tarwolf Trail, West Strawberry Lane, Camellia Drive, Rose Drive, and Magnolia Drive are experiencing periods of low pressure and outages in the distribution system due to a 12” water main break.  Periods of low or no pressure in the distribution system increases the potential for back siphonage and introduction of bacteria into the water system.

Therefore, when water service is restored consumers are advised to boil all water used for human consumption (including drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation) or use bottled water.

Vigorous boiling for one (1) minute should kill any disease-causing organisms that may be present in the water.

Water customers are strongly urged to conserve water whenever possible.  This advisory remains in effect until further written notification is issued.

This advisory issued on October 6, 2018 by:

Kenny Keel, Director

Pender County Utilities


Worried About Mosquitoes? Remember to Tip, Toss and Cover…

TIP CONTAINERS- drain standing water from garbage cans, pet bowls, birdbaths, flower pots, gutters, pool covers or any other container that has collected standing water. Mosquitoes breed in standing water.
TOSS- old tires, drums, bottles and other outdoor items that are outside and are not being used.
EMPTY AND SCRUB-birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.

MAINTAIN– apply a larvicide to standing water that cannot be emptied or drained. Larvicides can be found at home improvement and hardware stores.

CLOTHING: Wear long, loose, and light colored clothing and shoes and socks.
REPELLENT: Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label.

For more information contact Pender County Health Department Mosquito Control Division

Please see the following flyers and click the links below for a printer friendly version:

English Flyer

Mosquito hanger ENG


Spanish Flyer

Mosquito hangerSPAN

Holly Shelter Shooting Sports 4-H Club Members Compete, Win at Regional Tournament

BURGAW –  Several members from Pender County’s Holly Shelter Shooting Sports 4-H Club competed and placed at the 2018 Eastern Regional 4-H Shooting Sports Tournament, hosted by the Eastern 4-H Center in Columbia, Aug, 25

Pender County 4-H members advancing to the 2018 North Carolina 4-H State Shooting Sports Tournament are Baylen Lucas, Will Jordan, Jade Mills, Austin Mauldin, Alex Buie, Ryan Fore, Jordyn Lewis, Hudson Roberts, Jacob Ramsey, Ryan Lewis, Tyler Burdick, Wyatt Carson, Gareth Porter, Brock Morton, and William Roberts. They will travel to Ellerbe to compete at the Millstone 4-H Camp.

“Our 4-H teams were strong in all 21 categories,” Liz Peterson, the Pender County 4-H program coordinator.

The following Pender County 4-H competitors won awards and recognition in the following categories:

Senior Shotgun Individual Competition: Gareth Porter, first place; Brock Morton, third place.

Senior Shotgun Individual Overall: Gareth Porter, second place.

Senior Shotgun Individuals advancing to State: Tyler Burdick, 18th Overall.

Junior Muzzleloading Individual Competition: Hudson Roberts, 4th place; Ryan Fore, fifth place.

Senior Muzzleloading Individual Competition: Wyatt Carson, first place; William Roberts, second place; Ryan Lewis, fourth place; Alex Buie, fifth place.

Senior Muzzleloading Individuals also advancing to State include Gareth Porter, who placed 16th overall, and Baylen Lucas, who placed 20th overall.

Junior Rifle – Open Sight Individual Competition: Jacob Ramsey, third place.

Junior Rifle Individuals also advancing to State: Hudson Roberts, who placed 16th overall.

Junior Rifle – Telescopic Individual Competition: Jacob Ramsey, second place.

Senior Riffle – Open Sight Individual Competition: Wyatt Carson, first place; William Roberts, second place.

Senior Rifle – Open Sight Individual Overall: Wyatt Carson, first place; William Roberts, second place.

Senior Rifle – Open Sight Individuals also advancing to State: Baylen Lucas, who placed 11th overall.

Senior Rifle – Telescopic Individual Competition: Ryan Lewis, second place; Gareth Porter, third place.

Senior Rifle – Telescopic Individuals also advancing to State: William Roberts, 14th overall.

Senior Archery Compound Match Individual Competition: William Roberts, third place; Gareth Porter, fifth place.

Senior Archery Compound Hunter/Sporter Individual Competition: Austin Mauldin, second place; Jade Mills, fourth place; Jordan Will, fifth place.

Senior Archery Compound Hunter/Sporter Individuals also advancing to State: Alex Buie, 11th overall; Gareth Porter, 14th overall; Jordyn Lewis, 15th overall.

Senior .22 Small Bore Pistol Individual Competition: Wyatt Carson, first place; Baylen Lucas, third place; Tyler Burdick, fifth place.

Senior .22 Small Bore Pistol Individual Overall: Wyatt Carson, first place.

Senior .22 Small Bore Pistol Individuals also advancing to State: Alex Buie, 13th overall; William Roberts, 14th overall; Ryan Lewis, 16 overall.

For more information on the 4-H program in Pender County please contact 4-H Agent, Liz Peterson at 910-259-1235 or

4-H is North Carolina’s largest youth development organization, equipping more than 263,000 young people each year with the skills to succeed and improve the world around them. 4-H programs and camps encourage young people to “learn by doing,” helping them to develop into active, contributing citizens. N.C. State Extension and the Cooperative Extension Program at N.C. A&T State University coordinate 4-H programs statewide

NC State Extension is the local and statewide outreach provider of North Carolina’s preeminent research enterprise – N.C. State University. N.C. State Extension translates research-based knowledge in the areas of agriculture, food and nutrition, and 4-H youth development into everyday solutions that create economic, intellectual and societal prosperity for North Carolina.

2018 Regional Shooting Sports Competitors


Visitor Spending up 5.14 percent, totaling $97.05 million

BURGAW – Visit North Carolina announced today that domestic visitors to and within Pender County spent $97.05 million in 2017, an increase of 5.14 percent from 2016.

“This is significant for Pender County,” said Tammy Proctor, Pender County tourism director. “Tourism in Pender County generated $18.03 million in payroll for more than 840 employees in the hospitality and tourism-related businesses.”

State tax revenue generated in Pender County totaled $4.67 through state sales and excise taxes on personal and corporate income. An estimated $6.81 million in local taxes was generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.

“Pender County’s outstanding attractions and beaches have received national attention,” said Proctor. “This county’s natural resources, historic sites, and events and festivals have a lot to offer visitors throughout the year.”

Gov. Roy Cooper announced in May that visitors to North Carolina set a record for spending in 2017. The $23.99 billion in total spending represented an increase of 4.2 percent from 2016. Pender County’s visitor spending outpaced the state in 2017.

To view the 2017 Economic Impact study, conducted by U.S. Travel Association, go to

RFQ – NC 210 Parallel Water Transmission Main and BPS Upgrade

Request for Qualifications
Professional Engineering Consulting Services
NC 210 Parallel Water Transmission Main and Booster Pump Station Upgrade

Pender County Utilities (PCU) seeks a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) from consulting engineering firms that can adequately demonstrate they have the resources, experience and qualifications to provide PCU with quality survey, engineering design, permitting, and construction administration services in compliance with USDA-RD funding requirements for the NC 210 Parallel Water Transmission Main and Booster Pump Station Upgrade Project.

RFQ - NC 210 Parallel Water Transmission Main and BPS Upgrade

Please see a printer friendly version here.

July 2, 2018 Public Hearing – Postponed to July 23, 2018

Pender County has rescheduled the public hearing related to the System Development Fee Study conducted by Stantec Consulting Services Inc.  During last year’s session of the North Carolina General Assembly, House Bill 436 was passed and provides local governments the authority to adopt system development fees for public water and sewer systems.  Following its passage, the County commissioned the report as required by the new legislation in the review and determination of appropriate system development fees.

At the regular Board Meeting on Monday July 23, 2018, at 4:00 PM, members of the County Board will receive comments from all interested parties. The Board Meeting will be held at 805 S. Walker St., Burgaw, in the Public Assembly room.

Pender County officials applaud House bill that fights opioid addiction

BURGAW – Congress passed legislation June 22 that would give several federal agencies more tools to fight opioid addiction and death in the U.S. The bill, Patients and Communities Act will also open the door to more treatment and prevention for the public.

“The opioid crisis touches communities across Pender County and our nation,” said Pender County Chairman George Brown. “Often when I attend leadership conferences, I hear from other communities about the toll this crisis takes upon our families.”

The legislation will direct an estimated $4 billion in funding for the opioid crisis.

“We have lost three lives this year from opioid and heroin use. While unfortunate, we have many individuals, families and children suffering from the consequences of substance use disorders. This is a public health issue that requires a community response,” said Carolyn Moser, Pender County’s director of health and human services.

“I applaud Congress for improving access to addiction treatment,” said Brown. “This legislation will block illegal drugs from entering the country too.”

The bill will fund research on nonaddictive medications to treat pain and reduce the number painkiller prescriptions.

“Pender County is fortunate to have a Board of Commissioners that stay informed about the opioid crisis and its impact on our county residents,” said Moser.


New flood gauge in Pender County increases public safety, expand flood prediction capacity

BURGAW – When river levels began rising last year after a late-April storm dumped five to eight inches of rain across North Carolina’s Piedmont, North Carolina Emergency Management warned community leaders along the Neuse River what day and time the river would crest and just how high-water levels would reach in their community. A series of flood gauges provided that critical data.

In Pender County, along the Black River, a new gauge has been installed.

“This state-of-the-art gauge provides real time data,” said Tom Collins, Pender County Emergency Manger. “This gauge is a part of the FIMAN system – Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network.”

“Time and again over the last several years, we’ve used data from these flood gauges to warn residents and communities about dangerous flood conditions,” said Mike Sprayberry, state emergency management director.

The new gauge in Pender County will join the state’s network of more than 560 strategically positioned river and coastal gauges that measure water levels to warn first responders and residents who live and work near flood-prone areas. As the backbone of the state’s FIMAN system, the gauges provide real-time data that’s used to formulate forecasts, issue alerts and predict the flood’s impact to buildings and infrastructure. The data collected by emergency management is also available to NOAA and the National Weather Service to be incorporated into their flood forecasts.

During Hurricane Matthew, FIMAN was used to accurately direct evacuations and deploy resources. It can show precisely which buildings and homes will flood when local rivers or streams reach certain flood levels.

Sprayberry said much of the flood data is available in real time through the ReadyNC mobile app developed by NCEM. App users can click on Flood Gauges to check the current status of creeks and rivers nearby to see if the stream is at normal levels or minor, moderate or major flood stage.

While the state has purchased and installed most of the gauges, several communities also have bought devices to add to the state’s flood-warning system.

“The Board of Pender County Commissioners paid $20,000 for the installation of the gauge,” said Collins. “It will be state maintained and will provide us important information before, during, and after a flood event.”

“Adding new gauges in these areas will help communities be more aware and prepared for flooding, and will allow for better warning when floods are coming,” said State Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry.  “FIMAN is a powerful tool that helps us predict very accurately what areas will be affected by flood waters, so emergency managers and local officials can take the appropriate actions to keep people safe.”


Ambassador Mattie R. Sharpless Recognized On May 10

During a September 2017 Pender County Board of Commissioners resoundingly approved the idea of naming a portion of US Hwy 17 after Ambassador Mattie R. Sharpless, a Hampstead native.

On May 10, Pender County turned out to honor one of their own as the idea became a reality.

A dedication ceremony, conducted on the steps of Manhollow Missionary Baptist Church, named a portion of US Hwy 17 was named in honor of Sharpless.

Sharpless, a graduate of Pender County Training School in Rocky Point, was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as Ambassador to the Central African Republic. She was nominated Oct. 1, 2001 and just weeks later was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. She began working from the Central African Republic’s capital, Bangui, by mid-December of the same year. She served as the U.S. Ambassador for two years.

Sharpless was not a career diplomat. She started her government career in 1965 with the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  She worked with the United States Foreign Agriculture Service.

The child of a tobacco farmer, Sharpless lost her father, James Sharpless, when she was just 11 years old. Her mother, Lecola, made money from selling the tobacco from the 12 rows left by her father.

“I washed dishes at the restaurant and I scrubbed the church,” said Sharpless at the May 10 ceremony at Manhollow Missionary Baptist Church.

Sharpless pursued higher education and attended North Carolina College in Durham, a historically black college, in which she earned a degree in business education. The school became North Carolina Central University and she returned to Durham to earn a M.A. in business administration and economics.

Sharpless is an example of a person who dreams and works hard to achieve great things, said Pender County Commissioner David Williams.

“It’s a pleasure to honor one of our own,” said Williams. “In September 2017, the board of commissioners read about Ambassador Sharpless’ accomplishments. We were asked to pass a resolution to honor her. It was a no-brainer to honor this humble, confident, and genuine lady. This is a big deal to have a portion of US Hwy 17 named in her honor.”

“This highway was only two lanes as we grew up,” recalled Glorious Leaven, sister of Mattie Sharpless. “We walked this way to the schoolhouse and the church and we didn’t see many cars on the highway.”

Today the North Carolina Department of Transportation dedicated signs along the highway from Union Bethel Road to the Pender/Onslow county line in honor of Mattie R. Sharpless. Her life’s journey has taken her to Africa, Belgium, Switzerland, France, and points beyond.

Joining in the dedication ceremony were Landon Zimmer, a member of the NC Board of Transportation; NC District 5 Court Judge James H. Faison III, NC Attorney General Josh Stein, Pender County Commissioner David Williams, Surf City Mayor Doug Medlin, Warsaw Mayor A.J. Conners, Chief of Staff at North Carolina Central University Dr. Al Zow, NAACP Director District 16 Deborah Dicks-Maxwell, and Manhollow Missionary Baptist’s Rev. Dante A. Murphy. Also attending the ceremony was Sharpless’ 96 year old mother, Lecola.

“Ambassador Sharpless has raised the level of education in North Central Africa,” said Stein. He commended Sharpless for her efforts of stressing education for girls. “She was extremely influential and a school in Africa was named after her.”

Surf City Mayor Doug Medlin said it was the “perfect day to honor a perfect lady.”

“You make us proud,” Medlin said. “You have given our students, especially our girls, an example to look up to.”

Topsail High School Jazz Band performed during the ceremony. The Pender High School JROTC presented the colors. Christa G. Faison played Amazing Grace on a violin as a musical tribute to Sharpless.

Sharpless thanked her many friends, colleagues from Washington DC, high school and college classmates, and her family for their support. She especially thanked Rev. Dante A. Murphy for spearheading the effort with NCDOT to have the honorary signs installed.

She joked that there were more steps and regulations regarding getting signage along the state highway than there were steps in a career in the federal government.

Sharpless retired in 2005 but she remains active in community projects, especially projects involving education, youth, and the elderly.

Public Notice: Water & Sewer System Development Fee Analysis Available for Review and Comment

In accordance with the Public Water and Sewer System Development Fee Act, also known as House Bill 436, Pender County is seeking public review and comment on an analysis that has been prepared by Stantec Consulting Services Inc. which analyzes the maximum fee the County may charge for System Development Fees on new water and sewer connections.

This report presents the results of the comprehensive study, including background information, legal requirements, an explanation of the calculation methodology employed, and the results of the analysis. This analysis is strictly for water and sewer System Development Fees that are designed to recover the cost of water and sewer capacity collected from new connectors to each system. This analysis does not include the evaluation of water and sewer rates paid monthly by existing customers.

A paper copy is available at Pender County Utilities, 605 E. Fremont Street, Burgaw, NC 28425.
This analysis is open for public comment for a period of 45 days and expires on Friday, June 22, 2018. Consideration of adopting the fees will take place on July 2, 2018 at the Pender County Commissioner’s Meeting.

Written comments can be submitted to Pender County Utilities prior to June 22, 2018 by mailing to:

Margaret Gray, Utilities Director
Attn: System Development Fee Comments
605 E. Fremont Street
Burgaw, NC 28425

Or by email to:

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