ALBEMARLE — Due to increased activity on Stanly County’s lakes and an aging current patrol boat, the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office is planning on purchasing a new boat for lake patrol.
At Monday night’s county commission meeting, chief deputy of the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Ashley Thompson asked the commissioners for their approval of a budget amendment that would authorize the purchase. The amendment would require no additional funds from the county because the sheriff’s office has secured other funding.
“It’s a 21-foot boat, F200 Yamaha,” Thompson said about the boat the sheriff’s office wishes to purchase. “The other boat we have is roughly 20 years old. We have refurbished the motor on it with a gift from somebody on the lake. And that boat was actually bought by Alcoa.”
Thompson said the sheriff’s office plans to move the refurbished boat to Lake Tillery because, with all the new housing on that lake, it has required more of a presence from them.
The price for the new boat would be $70,000, he said, but Alcoa has promised $30,000 of that funding. They have given the first $15,000, and the rest should be forthcoming.
“The other money, which we’re trying to switch over tonight, is forfeiture money,” Thompson said. “So we’re going to let our drug dealers offset the cost and pay for the boat. We’re not looking for any county money.”
He said the boat is a good price because the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission had been purchasing 20 boats and secured one more for the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office.
This new boat will be mostly designated for Badin Lake since Alcoa is paying for much of it, in addition to paying for wages during the patrols, but both boats will be used on both lakes. At times of high traffic at Lake Tillery, it may require both boats.
“I can tell you, Lake Tillery is getting busier and busier and busier,” Chairman Bill Lawhon said during board comments. “And there are lots of big homes that pay big tax dollars, which is good for all the citizens.”
Lawhon also said he’s “glad that this is happening” because boat traffic has picked up and “a lot of folks like to drive in boats when they shouldn’t be driving.”
Vice Chairman Tommy Jordan said he “would happily make the motion” to amend the budget so the boat could be purchased, and Councilmember Scott Efird seconded the motion.