BRUNSWICK COUNTY — Surrounded by family and longtime colleagues, Don Betz was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine at his last meeting as Lower Cape Fear Water and Sewer Authority’s Executive Director.
Betz retired Nov. 30 after spending 38 years in local government, with the last 14 as director of the region’s water authority, LCFWASA.
Monday, Representative Deb Butler presented Betz with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest award recognizing state service granted by the Office of the Governor.
As director of LCFWASA, Betz led a private-public partnership with Smithfield Farmland in Tar Heel, North Carolina. The partnership built Bladen Bluffs Regional Surface Water System in 2012, providing a treatment system to Smithfield and revenue to the regional water authority.
More recently, Betz helped cement his long-planned pitch to increase the region’s water supply capacity. Both Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and Brunswick Public Utilities have partnered to construct a 54-inch water main that will run parallel to LCFWASA’s existing main to carry double the region’s raw water capacity and provide redundancy to enhance public safety.
The project he first introduced in 2008 is now finally underway, arriving at a time when a regional capacity solution is necessary.
Betz served as the City of Wilmington’s mayor for five terms between 1987-1997, having previously served two years as a city councilman and four years as mayor-pro-tem. Before then, Betz also served as manager of the Town of Holly Ridge and the Town of Topsail Beach.
Sitting Chairman of the New Hanover County Veterans Council, Betz earned the Bronze star after serving three tours in Vietnam in the U.S. Army.