Pender County Emergency Management hires first female fire marshal

Pender County Emergency Management Director Tommy Batson announced the hiring of Amy Burton as the new Pender County Fire Marshal. She is the first female to fill the role of a fire marshal in the county.

Burton served as the deputy fire marshal prior to her promotion, which was effective May 29. As fire marshal Burton oversees fire safety codes, new construction plan reviews, and fire investigations, and serves as a liaison between the county and the various fire departments within Pender County.

“Amy is a team player and an asset to the emergency management department as well as the county,” said Batson.

Burton grew up in Kinston where her father pastored a church. Her family owns a farm in Jones County. She attended Chowan University as a music major in vocal performance. Her first experience in fire and public safety began as a member of the Wyse Fork  Rescue Squad. She studied to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and took her first paying jobs in Wayne and Jones counties in the EMS units. Burton is also a paramedic.

“I loved the knowledge, just knowing what a person was experiencing and then how to respond,” said Burton of her EMT training.

In 2015 she moved to Wilmington and was employed by the Leland Fire Department. She studied to become a firefighter and rose to the rank of EMS Battalion Chief – the first woman to hold that rank in Leland.

She later worked for New Hanover Medical Center and soon discovered she missed the feel of a small town.

In 2021 Burton was hired as the deputy fire marshal. She served under now-retired fire marshal Mark Haraway.

“I learned so much from Mark,” said Burton. “He is a load of information and experience.”

Burton said she loves the family and small-town feel of Pender County. She believes that as the county grows, so do the opportunities for growth for women who want to join the ranks of fire and EMS.

Burton said her hobbies include driving her Jeep, fishing, enjoying family, friends, and her dog, Mallie.

Pender County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan – Draft Recommendations Available for Public Comment

Pender County, in collaboration with The Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO), is conducting a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan for portions of Pender County that lie within the WMPO urban boundary.

This Plan’s goal is to identify existing challenges to bicycling and walking, propose a preferred bicycle and pedestrian network to strive for, and lay out the specific policy, program, and infrastructure recommendations.

Public and stakeholder engagement played a vital role throughout the study. The study team collected input from a Steering Committee and the public to draft recommendations that focus on providing safety, better access up and down US 17, and connections to schools, parks, shopping, and medical offices. The Plan also includes research on existing conditions, an assessment of the network, and provides near- and long-term recommendations.

Provide Your Comments!

The draft recommendations are now available for review and open comment. The full report as well as additional information can be found on the Plan’s website at

Comments will be accepted until June 23rd by email, phone, or mail. To provide your comments:

  • Send an email to
  • Leave a voice message by calling (910) 341-3234
  • Mail your comments to
    • Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO)
    • 305 Chestnut Street, 4th Floor
    • Wilmington, NC 28401

Public Engagement Opportunities

Community engagement is crucial for the success of this plan, and the study team encourages residents to spread the word and encourage their friends, family, and neighbors to participate. The Pender County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan relies on a collaborative approach to ensure that it truly reflects the needs and aspirations of the community.

Please check the study website or follow Pender County on Social Media for upcoming public engagement opportunities.

The study team will be hosting various pop-up events to share the draft recommendations and collect comments. Please check the study website for upcoming public engagement opportunities.

Pender County offices closed for Memorial Day observance

BURGAW- Pender County government offices will close Monday, May 29, in observance of Memorial Day.  Normal government office hours will resume on Tuesday, May 30, at 8 a.m.

The Hampstead convenience center will remain open during normal business hours. All convenience sites will operate on their normal schedules.


Pender County Earns National Achievement Award for Beach Clean Project

BURGAW – Pender County and the program Beach Clean, have been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The award honors innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.

“Beach Clean is a continuing project that is a collaboration with the Topsail Island Shoreline Protection Commission, Topsail Beach, Surf City, North Topsail Beach, and Onslow County Tourism,” said Tammy Proctor, Pender County Tourism Director whose department nominated the Beach Clean project for this national honor. “The project is educational for our visitors and residents to keep our beaches, rivers, and waterways clean and sustainable.”

Each year NACo’s Achievement Awards are given in 18 categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services that counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement, and more. Launched in 1970, the program is designed to recognize innovation in county government. Each nominated program is judged on its own merits and not against other applications.

“The Achievement Awards demonstrate excellence in county government and the commitment to serve our residents every day,” said NACo President Denise Winfrey. “This year’s winners represent some of the most innovative and collaborative efforts we have seen in more than 50 years of presenting these awards.”

“In the spring of 2022, Topsail Beach Mayor Steve Smith shared Beach Clean at a conference with a host of other coastal communities,” said Proctor. “The response was overwhelming. I knew then we had a good program.”

The Beach Clean program urges residents and visitors to “Leave No Trace.” They are encouraged to use trash containers, don’t bring glass to the beach, pick up after pets, fill in the holes dug on the beach, and reduce the use of plastics. The program discourages the use of plastic bags on the beach or on waterways. It also discourages the release of balloons on the beach.

“Plastics floating in water look like food to our sea turtles and other animals,” said Proctor. “Regardless if we are residents or visitors, we are all caretakers of our environment.”

For more information about Beach Clean, visit or

Pender County Library adds a seed library at the Hampstead Branch

Pictured in the seed library, left  to right: Teri Ross, Karen Burkett, Kellyn Dwyer-Croop, and Jessi Neal.


HAMPSTEAD – Pender County Library’s Hampstead branch has launched a new seed library. The Topsail Township Friends of the Library received a $1,000 grant from the Pender County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Association (PCEMGVA) for the initial setup of the project. There is a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flower seeds available for Pender County Library patrons to “check out” for free. Patrons may select up to 5 seed packets to take home and plant. To “return” seeds to the library, the public is encouraged to harvest seeds from their crop and donate them back to the seed library.

The goal of the seed library is to promote community, improve local sustainable food sources, and enhance food security.

“A community becomes stronger when they have the knowledge and resources to feed themselves and beautify their home,” stated Karen Burkett, manager of the Hampstead Branch. “We are thrilled to receive this grant and establish this new service.”

A member from the PCEMGVA said that “planting seeds in a garden is a great family activity that gets the kids involved and outside. There is nothing like planting and tending a garden to ‘sow seeds’ of interest in gardening and watching it grow.”

The seed library is housed in a repurposed card catalog cabinet. The labels for the seed library were hand-drawn by Meg McGrew, owner of Elegant Envelopes in Wilmington, who donated her time and talent.

The seed library is open during regular library hours.

For more information or assistance, call Pender County Library’s Hampstead branch at 910-270-4603 during regular business hours.

Pictured in the check presentation, left to right: Joanne Bacci, Darrylin Smith, Mallory Leimone, Joanne Marino, Lynn Rutledge, Nancy Hansing, Pixie Healy, Marian Chuda, Liz Piacenza, Steve Johnson, Karen Burkett, Nancy Parr-Ash, Betty Utley, Ann Mozo, and Linda Harris.

Upset Bid Period for Parcel 4214-12-5195-0000 on Doral Drive in Hampstead

Surplus Parcel 4214-12-5195-0000 on Doral Drive in Hampstead was acquired on May 3, 2017 through tax foreclosure proceedings.  The parcel consists of a wooded lot on 0.25 acres.  The estimate tax value of the parcel is $9,998 in GIS.  Mr. Nash Burke has placed a bid offer of $10,000.

This electronic published notice is pursuant to G.S. Chapter 160A-269.  Upset bids can be placed through 4pm on Friday, May 26, 2023.

Guaranty Waiver: All property is offered for sale ‘AS IS, WHERE IS.’ Pender County makes no warranty, guaranty, or representation of any kind, expressed or implied, as to the merchantability or fitness for any purpose of the property offered for sale. Please note that upon removal of the property, all sales are final.

Upset Bid Process Pursuant to G.S. 105-374(o) and G.S. 1-339.64, real property sales must remain open for a period of ten days after the filing of the report of sale to allow for the filing of an upset bid. The upset bid must exceed the reported sale price by 5%, but not less than a minimum increase amount of $750.00. The upset bid must be delivered to the Pender County Asset Manager in the form of a certified bank check payable to Pender County and must be filed with the Pender County Register of Deeds before the close of normal business hours on or before the tenth day after the filing of the report of sale. When the tenth day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or other day where the County is not open for regular business, the deposit may be made on the first day afterward that the office is open for regular business. Questions concerning placing an upset bid should be directed to the Asset Manager at

For additional information please contact:

Andy Devane | Asset Manager
Pender County Finance Office

805 S. Walker St. Burgaw, NC 28425

DEQ to hold public input sessions on Flood Resiliency Blueprint

RALEIGH –The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold three public engagement sessions in June to receive input on how flooding, flood mitigation, and resiliency impact North Carolina communities. Public input will assist DEQ in developing the North Carolina Flood Resiliency Blueprint alongside over 100 technical advisors representing Federal, State, County, Municipal, and Tribal governments, non-governmental organizations and universities.

All three sessions will take place in early June. Meeting dates and locations are as follows:

Public Input Session: New Bern

When: 4-7 p.m. Thursday, June 1, 2023
Where: 203 S. Front St., New Bern, NC 28560


Public Input Session: Lumberton

When: 4-7 p.m. Thursday, June 8, 2023
Where: 1702 West 5th Street, Lumberton, NC 28358


Public Input Session: Wilmington

When: 4-7 p.m. Friday, June 9, 2023
Where: 230 Government Center Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403

Spanish interpretation services will be available at all meetings.

The Flood Resiliency Blueprint is a statewide initiative to develop an online-decision support tool and associated planning to address flooding for communities in North Carolina’s river basins. The Blueprint will accomplish several key goals, including:

  • Develop community and basin-specific risk management processes to identify and address flooding for NC communities;
  • Develop an online decision support tool which seamlessly guides state, county, municipal, and other jurisdictions to identify and select flood mitigation strategies responsibly, systematically, equitably, and transparently; and
  • Establish a repeatable, statewide methodology for prioritizing, and selecting flood mitigation strategies for future implementation.

More information about the Blueprint is available online.

Request for Proposals #23-251 Park Restroom Facility / Picnic Shelter

Pender County is soliciting Proposals from licensed General Contractors to construct a new restroom/picnic shelter at the Penderlea Park in Willard, NC.  The building consists of a public restroom constructed largely of block, and an open picnic area all under one roof.  The total building footprint measures 24’ x 48’.  This project is funded by County Capital Improvement Funds and completion is required by the fall of this year.  Permit-ready, sealed plans have been prepared as well as site surveys.  An optional site tour will be held on May 22, 2023 at 9:00am (Rain date May 24th at 9:00am).  Questions on this project should be emailed to no later than May 25, 2023 at 2pm.  Proposals are due in person or by FedEx/UPS/courier to 805 S. Walker St., Burgaw, NC  28425.  Proposals sent by US Mail should be submitted to PO Box 1578, Burgaw, NC  28425.  Proposals must be marked “RFP # 23-251” on the outside and are due June 2, 2023 by 2pm, at which time a formal opening will be conducted at 805 S. Walker St., Burgaw, NC 28425 in the conference room.   Pender County reserves the right to waive minor defects in any response and to reject any or all responses.

Click below to view the full RFP # 23-251 and related documents:

RFP#23-251, Plot PlanPermit Set

Addendum 1 has been issued.  Click below to view the addendum that includes Questions and Answers.  This addendum also clarifies that there will NOT be a formal bid opening.

RFP # 23-251 Addendum 1


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