State returns control of finances to Pikeville

RALEIGH — The N.C. Local Government Commission (LGC) will be returning financial control to the town of Pikeville.  

“Pikeville showed exceptional resiliency and resolve, working in full cooperation with our staff to find out what’s right, get it right, and keep it right,” State Treasurer Dale Folwell said. “We have provided town leaders with the skills, tools and information they need to excel, and we have every expectation that is what will happen going forward.” 

Folwell went on to say that “This truly was a whole community effort, so residents and taxpayers share in this triumph. Pikeville stands out as a shining example of attacking problems in a positive manner for maximum achievement.” 

At the Dec. 6 meeting of the LGC, a resolution was adopted to restore financial control to the town. LGC personnel will continue to provide guidance and oversight to the town. The town is located in Wayne County and has around 720 residents. 

The LGC is chaired by Folwell and is staffed by members of his office. The commission monitors most debt issued by units of local government and public authorities in the state, examines borrowing power and ability to repay debts incurred. It also keeps track of the financial well-being of over 1,100 local government units.   

Deputy Treasurer Sharon Edmundson, who serves as secretary of the LGC, delivered the news while attending the Pikeville Town Commission meeting on Nov. 14. 

“I appreciate the hard work of the LGC staff and the town’s efforts to coordinate and cooperate on a plan to revive Pikeville,” Secretary Edmundson said. “This is truly a success story.” 

On Dec. 6, LGC members presented Pikeville Mayor Garrett Johnston and town commissioners with a ceremonial key to the city’s coffers to honor the accomplishment. 

“It’s been an amazing year,” Johnston said in a press release. “As far back as when I took the chair last December, it was an absolute shambles. We’ve grown closer as a board. We’ve gone through a difficult battle together, and we’ve come out stronger and more cohesive, with better communication.” 

Pikeville is one of seven government units under the financial control of the LGC, per the treasurer’s office. 

The LGC took control of Pikeville’s financial books on April 13, 2021. According to the treasurer’s release, at the time the LGC took over, Pikeville only had 4.8% of unrestricted available funds available to meet its $765,000 budget. The town was also risked missing five payments totaling $158,000 of debt. 

“We had just a straight-up Jerry Springer show for board meetings. So, when I took office it was just a full embracing of all the services the LGC had to offer. I really fail to grasp why other towns wouldn’t take full advantage of what the LGC brings to the table. The accountability aspect can be a little scary but it’s a necessity,” he said. 

“State personnel came in and straightened out all the mess that we created and left us in a wonderful place. We are a poster child of LGC success. I would be happy to be a spokesman to any town that’s being stubborn about working with the LGC because it’s a huge asset,” said Johnston. 

 

 

 

About A.P. Dillon 834 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_