The Connect NC bond package that voters approved in March contained $94 million for the new lab, which would replace the following five facilities: Veterinary Diagnostic, Food and Drug Protection, Structural Pest Control and Pesticides, Standards, and Motor Fuels. (Find out more about the need for the lab here.)
Kent Yelverton, the department’s director of property and construction, told the board that a working group composed of representatives from the involved divisions is already looking at business processes in each of the current labs so that the information can be factored into the design of the new lab. The department will soon begin the process of selecting a design firm, but cannot enter into a contract for design until the bonds are sold, which could occur in August, Yelverton said.
Also at the meeting, the board approved rental rates for the new Tobacco Pavilion at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. The 5,040-square-foot, open-air, covered pavilion was built last year. Rental for a non-agricultural event will cost $1,000 per day, or 10 percent of the gross gate receipts for a ticketed event, whichever is higher. For agricultural events, the rate will be $500 per day, or 10 percent of the gross gate receipts for a ticketed event, whichever is higher.
The Board of Agriculture is a policymaking body that adopts regulations for many of the programs administered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Members are appointed by the governor. The commissioner of agriculture serves as chairman of the board.