The Check Is In: Results-man Bob Steinburg Saves Tyrrell County (For Now)
Sen. Steinburg secured funding from DPS to fund Tyrrell County and town of Columbia debt interest after state pulled plug on prison
Raleigh, N.C. — Results-man Sen. Bob Steinburg (R-Chowan), together with Treasurer Dale Folwell, secured funding from the Department of Public Safety to resolve a debt crisis in Tyrrell County precipitated by the Governor’s decision to close a prison in the county.
The check arrived over the weekend.
Here’s the background.
In 1996, Tyrrell County took on debt to fund water and sewer lines to the prison as part of an arrangement to bring the prison — and its jobs — to the rural area.
In 2019, Gov. Cooper closed the prison, eliminating the need for the extended water and sewer lines but still leaving the county on the hook for the continued debt payments taken on to fund them.
Over the last several months, Sen. Steinburg and Treasurer Folwell have been pushing the Cooper Administration to accept responsibility for the county’s debt problem and fund the interest payment that comes due at the end of June. Even before COVID-19 hit, Sen. Steinburg brought senior legislative staff to Columbia to speak to local officials and tour the area.
In response to pressure from Sen. Steinburg and Treasurer Folwell, the Department of Public Safety committed to finding the money within executive authority to fund the interest payment. The check arrived over the weekend: $209,901 for Tyrrell County and $113,603 for the town of Columbia.
Sen. Steinburg said, “Working behind the scenes with Treasurer Folwell, we were able to right a wrong for Tyrrell County. The county took on debt to fund the infrastructure for a prison that’s now shuttered, so it’s only fair the state take on some responsibility.”