Town of Secretary asked to back drug awareness

dorchester banner/susan m. bautz Dorchester County Sheriff James Phillips and past president of the county’s Chamber of Commerce Bill Christopher addressed the Secretary Commissioners at the Aug. 21 town meeting to promote the drug awareness program, “Dorchester Goes Purple.”

dorchester banner/susan m. bautz
Dorchester County Sheriff James Phillips and past president of the county’s Chamber of Commerce Bill Christopher addressed the Secretary Commissioners at the Aug. 21 town meeting to promote the drug awareness program, “Dorchester Goes Purple.”

SECRETARY — Former president of Dorchester County’s chamber of commerce, William Christopher, and Sheriff James Phillips offered a joint presentation at the Aug. 21 Secretary commission meeting. They spoke about the upcoming Drug Awareness campaign, Dorchester Goes Purple set for the month of September, and asked for the town’s support.

According to The Herren Project, Project Purple is a nonprofit foundation established by former NBA basketball player, Chris Herren to help individuals and families struggling with addiction “to break the stigma of addiction, bring awareness to the dangers of substance abuse and encourage positive decision making to navigate life’s challenges.”

Sheriff Phillips said the “focus is on drug addiction. We’re hoping to get out ahead of it and stop it before it starts. I’m happy to say that everybody we’ve contacted in the county this year is overjoyed to become part of it.”

Mr. Christopher said the project’s website has an on-line sign-up form and offers numerous promotional materials. On Sept. 28 before Ironman there will be a purple boat parade at dusk followed by Star Wars at the amphitheater. Kick-off night, Aug. 31, will feature purple lights county-wide and during September daily messages offered to help people understand how big the problem is. Teams of school children will create their own public service announcements (PSA’s). The winner will be professionally produced and shown on Comcast and Bay Country. Contact Dorchestergoespurple.org for more information.

Mayor Melissa Dennis, who sports a shock of purple locks in her hair laughed, “I’ve already done my hair.” She said the town fully supports the project and the Facebook page will promote it.

On behalf of St. Luke’s Church, adjacent to the town office, resident Mary Sue Hurst asked if the town would agree to a boundary line agreement. These agreements are usually done when the boundary lines are uncertain because of missing or inaccurate original deeds and boundaries. A “boundary survey” determines the property lines of a parcel of land described in a deed and shows easements or encroachments.

Last year church members agreed to replace an aging roof, but a title search in the county assessment office was more complicated than anticipated. The descriptions do not match the deeds. According to Ms. Hurst, a house on one side of the church shows some blacktop overlap of the church boundary line. The other side is almost adjacent to the town office and includes office steps, a ramp, and some electrical boxes.

“The main thing is we really don’t care where everything is but as long as we have this agreement and a deed, we’re ok. Minnie (Tobat) from the assessments office went back to the 1800s and nothing was matching. If you’re agreeable to this we can prepare the document and send it to your lawyer for review. It will go with the church’s deed so if property is sold nothing will be changed. The boundary survey shows exactly what land is owned.”

The commissioners approved pending attorney review of the line agreement and agreed to pay the recording fee.

On Aug. 13 Mayor Dennis and Commissioner Susan Dukes met with attorney Ryan Showalter and Suicide Bridge restaurant owners regarding moving forward with a pump station installation to connect the business with the Twin Cities Waste Water Treatment Plant. The mayor emailed Mr. Showalter saying that “communication is key with this project” and noting that moving forward with the project requires consistent communication between Suicide Bridge and Secretary.

Commissioners agreed to meet on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month rather than Tuesdays so the mayor and commissioners can attend the Tuesday evening county council meetings. The first meeting on the new day is Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.

The commissioners approved the new floating dock design.

Mayor Dennis reported that next October the Smithsonian WaterWays Project will visit Dorchester County. County Tourism Director Amanda Fenstermaker asked if Secretary, on the Warwick River, would participate in the celebration and perhaps host an event. Commissioners agreed.

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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