STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                                               BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                                                       JANUARY 19, 2005


The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a regularly scheduled meeting at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners' Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building.


Those present were:  Chairman Bill Moyer, Vice-Chairman Charlie Messer, Commissioner Larry Young, Commissioner Shannon Baldwin, Commissioner Chuck McGrady, County Manager David E. Nicholson, Assistant County Manager Justin Hembree, Acting County Attorney Russell Burrell, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.


Also present were: Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Budget and Management Director Selena Coffey, Paralegal Connie Rayfield, Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, Planner Nippy Page, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, EMS Director Terry Layne, and Human Resources Director Jan Prichard. Deputy Clerk to the Board Amy Brantley was present through nominations.



Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.



Commissioner Messer led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.



David Nicholson gave the invocation.



1.                Lee Luebbe – Ms. Luebbe stated that she was the co-Chair of the League of Women voters for Henderson County. The League had done a study on the feasibility of electing County Commissioners on a non-partisan basis. She distributed copies of that report to the Board, and reviewed the survey questions used in the study. 


2.                Tom Orr – Mr. Orr read several excerpts from the “Western North Carolina Times”. The first, dated June 16, 1905, discussed the building of the new courthouse. The second, dated August 4, 1905, discussed the song service held at the new courthouse. Mr. Orr stated that the Historic Courthouse Committee, of which he was a member, had asked that he Chair a committee to plan an appropriate Centennial Celebration of the Courthouse. He requested the Board consider whether such a celebration should be held, and if so to give thought to what the celebration should include. He thanked the Board for their considerations thus far.    


3.                Jay Jackson – Mr. Jackson was a third generation funeral director, and served on the Cemetery Advisory Committee. He had assisted families with burials in all types of cemeteries across Henderson County. Families seek permanent burial sites that they have chosen, not wishing to be moved later to a site chosen by others. He discussed the problems with disinterring bodies buried prior to the 1960’s, when concrete burial vaults were not used. He further discussed the need to respect human decency, and preserve human burial sites with the dignity, respect and care they deserve. He requested the Board take these things into account before passing Chapter 76 of the Henderson County Code.       


4.                Norman Miller – Mr. Miller was a member of the Cemetery Advisory Committee. Mr. Miller discussed a recent newspaper article that had been done on Carolyn Justus and the issue of cemeteries. He expressed his opinion on the proposed definitions for the many types of cemeteries. He suggested that the proposed one year time frame to find all the county’s cemeteries was not enough time, and implored the Board to ensure that all cemeteries were considered equally.       


5.                Jessica Miller – Ms. Miller expressed concern about the nominees for the Cemetery Advisory Committee. One of the nominees owns property which has a cemetery located on it. She was of the opinion that the cemetery was not being keep to respectful standards.


6.                Phil Anderson – Mr. Anderson spoke to competitive bidding, stating that he was concerned about the process used to choose the Kohan Group for the Courthouse project. He found the idea that there was only one firm in the area capable of doing the job incredulous.   


7.                Michael Arrowood – Mr. Arrowood stated that he was also a member of the Cemetery Advisory Committee. He addressed the proposed Ordinance to enact Chapter 76 of Code dealing with abandoned cemeteries. He felt the Ordinance was very flawed and should be tabled until the Committee had the chance to make their first report. He discussed the specific points of definitions, and the general inconsistency of the proposed language.  


8.                Edward Vogel  – Mr. Vogel stated that he would be out of town for several weeks in February, and asked when the Board would be receiving public comment on Highway 25 North. Chairman Moyer stated that the Board would be discussing a program and recommendation to deal with that later in the meeting, and asked Mr. Vogel to hold his comments.


9.                Shannon Baldwin – Mr. Baldwin stated that the fact that as a Commissioner, he had to leave his seat to address the Board should speak volumes about communication on the Board. He discussed how the Board’s agenda is set, feeling that Commissioners, Staff, and the public should have the right to bring business before the Board. He recommended the Board establish a process by which each of those groups could have items placed on the agenda. He suggested a standardized petition be created that would be filled out and submitted to the Clerk for review.


10.             Mary Jo Padgett – Ms. Padgett was present representing the Environmental and Conservation Organization. She spoke to the need for Henderson County to have a local Sedimentation and Erosion Control Program, and discussed a study done in 1996 by Land-of-Sky supporting that need. She also discussed results from the most recent VWIN report, which indicated that sedimentation was one of the largest problems within Henderson County streams. She offered the Board a copy of the State’s model local ordinance for sediment control, Buncombe County’s Ordinance, as well as ECO’s assistance in creating such an ordinance.  



Commissioner Young requested the addition of Discussion Item – “I”, discussion of meetings and agendas issues, and Discussion Item – “J”, discussion on the Tax Assessment software. Chairman Moyer requested the Board place those items on the next agenda to allow time to prepare. Commissioner Young felt the items needed to be addressed at this meeting. Following some discussion, Commissioner McGrady made the motion to adopt the agenda with the addition of Item “I” as proposed by Commissioner Young. The motion carried 3-2 with Commissioner Young and Commissioner Baldwin voting in opposition.



Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the Consent Agenda. All voted in favor and the motion carried. The Consent Agenda consisted of the following items:


Draft minutes were presented of the following meetings for the Board’s review and approval:    

·        December 6, 2004, regular meeting


Tax Collector’s Report

Terry F. Lyda, Henderson County Tax Collector, presented the Tax Collectors’ Report dated January 18, 2005, for the Board’s information.


Purchase of Property from NCDOT

Bat Cave Fire and Rescue had inquired with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) regarding the acquisition of .38 acres of property adjoining property owned by Bat Cave Fire & Rescue Inc. along Red Anderson Road near Highway 64-74 in Bat Cave, NC. NCDOT replied through a letter to the County Manager, stating department policy prohibited conveyance of NCDOT property to private non-profit agencies; however the letter further suggested the option of the county purchasing the property on behalf of the fire department. At the December 15, 2004 meeting the Board expressed intent to adopt a resolution to approve this transaction at the January 19, 2005 meeting. Notice of the Board’s intent was advertised in the

local newspaper on 12/31/04 and 1/8/05. Legal staff had prepared a resolution for the Board’s consideration along with a Special Warranty Deed to convey the property to Bat Cave Fire & Rescue Inc.


The County Manager recommended the Board consider authorizing the County Manager to purchase the property from NCDOT for $3,040.00 and subsequently approve the prepared resolution conveying the property to Bat Cave Fire and Rescue Inc. for the same price.


Petition for addition to State Road system

The following petitions for addition to the State Road system were presented to the Board:

  • Triple Creek Drive
  • Cyprus Creek Lane
  • Stillwater Lane.

It has been the practice of this Board to accept road petitions and forward them to the NC Department of Transportation for their review. It has also been the practice of the Board not to ask NCDOT to change the priority for roads on the paving priority list.


Improvement Guarantee for Cliffs Valley North, Phase IV - James B. Anthony, Owner

Mr. James B. Anthony, developer of Cliffs Valley North Subdivision, submitted a request for an improvement guarantee for Phase IV of that project. Cliffs Valley North is located off of US Highway 25 South at the North Carolina and South Carolina state lines. The Planning Board granted conditional approval of the Phase IV Development Plan for the subdivision


Request for Extension of Improvement Guarantee for a portion of Riverwind Phase IV

On November 1, 2004, the Board of Commissioners approved an application submitted by Carrollwood Development, LLC, (Developer), for an improvement guarantee for a portion of the proposed Phase IV of Riverwind subdivision. The improvement guarantee covers the grading and construction of roads and the installation of water and sewer system improvements to serve lots 1-5, 32 and 46-49 in Phase IV of the



As required by the Performance Guarantee Agreement for the improvement guarantee, the Developer posted with Henderson County an irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of $212,500.00 that includes the cost of the remaining improvements as well as the required twenty-five percent (25%) contingency. The proposed completion date for the improvements was January 15, 2005.


The Planning Department has received notification from G. Thomas Jones, P.E., of William G. Lapsley & Associates (agent for the Developer), requesting that the County extend the completion date for the improvements specified in the original Agreement until April 15, 2005. Section 170-39 of the Subdivision Ordinance allows the Board of Commissioners “upon proof of difficulty” to grant extensions to completion dates for improvement guarantees for a maximum of one additional year, provided that the time between initiation and completion of the improvements does not exceed two years. The memorandum from Mr. Jones notes that all of the required improvements have been completed except for the paving of the roads.


In addition to the request for the extension of the improvements completion deadline, the Developer would also like to have the flexibility to convert the improvement guarantee from an irrevocable letter of credit to another financing method. The Developer will probably be requesting a partial release of the letter of credit in an amount equal to the cost of the improvements that have already been completed. In the event that such a reduction is requested, the Developer believes it would be easier to then post a certified check or cash, for example, rather than post an amended letter of credit, to cover the cost of the remaining work under the improvement guarantee.


If the Board of Commissioners agrees to extend the completion date and allow for a change in the form of the improvement guarantee at a later date, staff had attached for the Board’s consideration a draft Performance Guarantee Agreement. The draft Board Action Form January 19, 2005 Riverwind, Portion of Phase IV Page 2

Agreement reflects a new improvements completion date of April 15, 2005, and requires submittal of an amendment to the irrevocable letter of credit showing an expiration date not earlier than 60 days after such new improvements completion date. It also allows for the replacement of the letter of credit with some other equivalent, permitted form of improvement guarantee provided the Developer notifies the Planning Department in writing of its desire to do so and such new form of improvement guarantee is approved by the (Acting) County Attorney. The new Performance Guarantee Agreement must be executed by the relevant parties if the Board approves this request.


The County Manager noted that the extension, if granted, would not cause the developer to exceed the two-year

maximum time period for completion of the required improvements. Therefore, he recommended that the Board approve the request to extend the completion date for the improvement guarantee for lots 1-5, 32 and 46-49 in Riverwind, Phase IV, and allow the substitution of the letter of credit with some other acceptable form of improvement guarantee, both in accordance with the terms of the draft Performance Guarantee Agreement.


Public Records Disposal Request

The Finance Department requested approval from the Board of Commissioners to destroy several records in accordance with the County’s Records Retention Policy and the provisions of N.C.G.S 121 and 132 as the

period for retention of these records has expired.


EMS Service Charges

EMS has charged the allowable Medicare rural rate of $8.21 per loaded mile for services since April 1, 2002. The North Carolina Ambulance Fee Schedule dated Jan 3, 2005 showed that the allowable Medicare rural rate has increased to $8.94 per loaded mile. The 2004 Ambulance Fee Schedule Public Use Files reflects the updates effective for 2004 and provides information on how these fees are calculated.


EMS requested Board approval to increase the rate from the current $8.21 to $8.94 per loaded mile as allowed for under Federal Regulations.


Upward Road EMS Satellite Station

At the Board’s October 7, 2002 meeting, the Board authorized staff to proceed to accept the offer from Park Ridge Hospital to assist Henderson County with the construction of an EMS substation within Appleland Business Park with Park Ridge contributing $130,000 towards the building cost. At the April 7, 2003 BOC meeting, the Board approved $50,000 as the lump sum payment toward a 10-year lease for the facility and the negotiation of a lease. An additional $25,000 had been included in the FY 02/03 and FY 03/04 budget for this project which brought the total contribution from Henderson County to $75,000, which is the amount referred to in the proposed lease agreement.


The architect’s final estimate on the total cost of the substation at the time of the April 7, 2003 Board meeting was $180,000. Since then the cost has increased to $254,966. In addition to the $130,000 contribution, Park Ridge was also paying for all of the site preparation work, and water and sewer installation for the facility as well.


The facility was complete and ready to receive its certificate of occupancy. A draft lease agreement was presented for the Board’s consideration, which was modeled after the current lease for the Mills River substation. The procedure was consistent with that followed for the Mills River substation.


Employee Recognitions/Awards

The following recognitions/awards were received by County departments and/or employees. The Board

of Commissioners had asked that these be included on the agenda for special recognition of our departments’ and employees’ achievements.

• Cooperative Extension Service: County Performance Award awarded by Epsilon

Sigma Phi, 2004 XI Chapter

• Diane Ashburn, Extension Agent, Cooperative Extension Service: Early Career

Award awarded by Epsilon Sigma Phi, 2004 XI Chapter


Notification of Vacancies

The Board was notified of the following vacancies and these will appear on the next agenda for nominations:

1.      Animal Services Committee-5 vac.

2.      Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee-1 vac.

3.      Juvenile Crime Prevention Council-2 vac.



Chairman Moyer reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:


1.      Cable Franchise Renewal Advisory Committee-6 vac.

Commissioner McGrady suggested rolling this item until each of the municipalities had supplied their nominees, so all nominations could be handled at the same time. David Nicholson stated that he also needed to make several minor changes to the Charter, and supported rolling the appointments. It was the consensus of the Board to roll the item to a future agenda. 


2.      Cemetery Advisory Committee-2 vac.

On January 3, 2005, the following individuals were nominated: Karen Carswell, Louis Dunbar, Gerald Willingham. Commissioner McGrady suggested amending the Charter for the Committee to allow each of the nominees to serve. Following some discussion, Commissioner McGrady made the motion to amend the Charter to provide for the addition of one additional member and appoint Ms. Carswell, Mr. Dunbar and Mr. Willingham to the Cemetery Advisory Committee. Chairman Moyer confirmed that the motion did not include having a Commissioner serve as an ex-officio/non-voting member. Following some discussion, Commissioner McGrady withdrew his earlier motion, and made the motion to amend the Charter to provide for the addition of one additional member.  The motion carried 4-1 with Commissioner Baldwin voting in opposition. Commissioner McGrady made the motion to appoint Ms. Carswell, Mr. Dunbar and Mr. Willingham to the Cemetery Advisory Committee. All voted in favor and the motion carried. Commissioner McGrady made the motion that rather than the Board selecting a Chairman, they ask the Committee to choose its own Chair. All voted in favor and the motion carried.        

3.      Community Child Protection Team-1 vac.

Chairman Moyer nominated Eric Summey. Chairman Moyer made the motion to appoint Mr. Summey by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.  


Commissioner McGrady stated that he understood that the State had put out a new guidebook for the Community Child Protection Team which offered the opportunity to expand membership on the Team based on community needs. He requested Staff contact the Chair of that Board to further research the possibility of adding additional members to the Team.


4.      Juvenile Crime Prevention Council-1 vac.

There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.


5.      Land-of-Sky Regional Council Advisory Council on Aging-1 vac.

There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.


6.      Mountain Area Workforce Development Board-1 vac.

There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.


7.      Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee-13 vac.

Commissioner McGrady made the motion to appoint Gloria Sandborg to Position #11 and Elizabeth Brennan to Position #16. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


8.      Solid Waste Advisory Committee-1 vac.

Commissioner Baldwin made the motion to appoint Finis Cavender by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.



David Nicholson stated that there were two issues dealing with Animal Services. The first issue dealt with the Animal Services Ordinance. There were several changes that needed to be made to the Ordinance to reflect the change in supervisory responsibility of the Animal Control Department to the County Manager. The second issue was the proposed Charter for the Animal Services Advisory Committee. Mr. Nicholson noted with respect to the proposed Charter, Staff had made the recommendation that at least one member of the Committee be a Veterinarian.


Chairman Moyer made the motion to adopt the Animal Services Ordinance that had been presented as amended. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Commissioner Young stated that the main purpose of having a Veterinarian on the Board of Health was due to Animal Control. He questioned whether that position would be moved from the Board of Health to the Animal Services Advisory Committee. David Nicholson stated that under North Carolina Law, a Veterinarian was required to be on the Board of Health.


Chairman Moyer questioned whether the five proposed members would provide broad based community involvement. Commissioner Young agreed that five members may not be enough, and felt a position should be earmarked specifically for a Veterinarian. Commissioner Baldwin suggested also having a representative from the Sheriff’s Department. Chairman Moyer made the motion to expand the membership of the Committee to seven, with two slots being designated for a Veterinarian and a Sheriff’s Department representative. All voted in favor and the motion carried.     



Chairman Moyer stated that the Historic Courthouse Committee had met the previous day. He had attended that meeting at the request of Dr. Jones, and several questions and issues had arisen. The initial courthouse concept involved a parking deck behind the courthouse with green space on top. Hendersonville Mayor Fred Niehoff had expressed a possible interest in doing that part of the project, and the City Council had further discussed the possibilities. The result of that discussion was that to optimize downtown area, the green space should be in front of the courthouse rather than behind it. They suggested the initial cost be paid by the County, but once in the City would maintain that space. With respect to parking, the City proposed placing parking spaces across the street. That possibility also allowed more flexibility for the County to design the rear (Church Street) side of the building.     


Commissioner Young questioned whether the County would have to lease parking spaces from the City. Chairman Moyer answered that the City was going to provide the parking at no cost. Commissioner Young expressed concern about crossing Church Street to get to the courthouse.


Mayor Niehoff addressed the Board on the City’s proposal. He stated that while the plan had been done some years back, it had been on hold due to the scope of the project and the price tag. Originally, the plan had included an area going down to the railroad tracks. The City views the Courthouse as the jewel of Main Street, and they were intrigued by the prospect enhancing Main Street with the renovation. He stated that the City was excited about working with the County, and were willing to commit some funds to the project.


Chairman Moyer stated that the next big issue was with respect to the jail. It is essential that the jail be removed, however, we continue to receive letters from the State indicating that is an insurmountable obstacle if the County wishes to receive federal funds. Dr. Jones had indicated he believed he could resolve the issue, so the jail could be torn down with retention of the federal funds.


Chairman Moyer suggested taking the information received from the City and Dr. Jones, and putting discussion of this information as the first item of the Board’s upcoming retreat. It was the consensus of the Board to move forward in that direction.



David Nicholson presented a proposal to establish a Central Enforcement and Permitting Department. The plan set forth an improved effort to enhance enforcement efforts and to coordinate the County’s permitting processes. The Department would serve as the location for obtaining permits for construction of residential and commercial units and would provide efficient and consistent enforcement of County ordinances and State building codes.


Mr. Nicholson suggested the following Departmental Goals:

·        Educate the public, and Staff, about the County’s Ordinances and permitting procedures.

·        Reduce the amount of paperwork involved in obtaining permits.

·        Consolidate resources, including equipment and staff.

·        Increase communication between business units, reducing the opportunity for conflicts.

·        Provide the opportunity for cross training of staff to make more efficient use of staff.

·        Provide opportunities for efficiency via technology enhancements.

·        Promote standardization via reduction of duplicate procedures.

·        Assist with a review of all the County’s land development ordinances.

·        Be proactive in proposing responsible changes to the County’s ordinances.


Commissioner McGrady questioned what actions the Board needed to take regarding the proposal. David Nicholson answered that there were some budgetary implications to this request, and he was looking for some direction from the Board on how to proceed. Commissioner McGrady stated that he viewed the proposal as a way to be more proactive, rather than being complaint driven, and liked the concept.


Commissioner Baldwin stated that it was important that if the Board created the regulations, they needed to ensure that they were being enforced across the board. He requested Mr. Nicholson’s input and research on other counties that had centralized permitting to look at their models and see how well they had done.


Commissioner Young questioned whether the County was going to proceed with the staffing study that had been planned for FY04-05. He felt any decision should wait until a decision was made on that study. He also discussed the traffic problems on Spartanburg Highway, and stated that the new planned Human Services Building should be built with space for the departments in question to be housed in the same location. 


David Nicholson confirmed that the Board wished to continue their discussion of facilities at the next meeting, and questioned whether the Board wished to proceed with the staffing study. Chairman Moyer stated that with respect to this proposal, the Board needed the information received from other counties. Once that was received, the Board would then make the decision on how to proceed on the recommendation.  


PUBLIC HEARING-Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)-2005 Scattered Site Housing Program

Chairman Moyer made the motion for the Board to go into public hearing for the CDBG Grant.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Nippy Page explained that the purpose of the Public Hearing was to receive public comments on the possibility of Henderson County applying for $400,000 for the 2005 CDBG Scattered Site Housing Program.


Public Input

1. Ken Perkins – Mr. Perkins, Executive Director of the Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC), stated that the Corporation was in a position to assist with the project. He explained HAC’s qualifications in making them well suited to provide such assistance, and requested the County allow them to be a partner in the venture.


Chairman Moyer confirmed that no additional action was required by the Board.


Commissioner McGrady made the motion for the Board to close the public hearing.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Larry Thompson, CEO of Western Highlands Network, updated the Board on regional mental health activities and the State-mandated reform of the mental health system. Mr. Thompson had been asked to provide an update on recent developments relating to crisis stabilization in the region. He explained the following points during his presentation.

  • Western Highlands was the successor of the three consolidated area programs
  • They began operating November 1, 2003
  • They serve eight counties, with a population of about 485,000
  • There are 58 providers in Henderson County
  • They are in the process of going through the final audits of the three consolidated area programs, and dissolution of the programs should be completed by the end of the fiscal year
  • Western Highlands has a staff of about 95, and an operating budget of about $60 million
  • Data from the past six months showed about 1,700 Henderson County residents being served during that time period
  • During the first six months, $4 million was spent in reimbursement for services – in Henderson County about 60% of that was Medicaid
  • Of the eight counties, Henderson County accounts for: 20% of the population, 18% of individuals served, 15-16% of the money spent.


One of the major problems facing the eight counties is the State’s intent to reduce the size of Broughton Hospital by about half over the next five years. The individuals who produced the reform plan felt that more needed services would be provided in the community, and they could not afford to replace existing state hospitals at the same size. That posed a problem for the area, because the eight counties send about 1,300 people to Broughton each year via psychiatric commitments.


To help that problem, Western Highlands was exploring the feasibility of developing a 16-bed crisis inpatient unit for adults to be located at 277 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville. The unit would be one element of a Crisis Center that would also include a crisis stabilization unit for adults with 23 hour assessment capability.     

Mr. Thompson continued with his presentation discussing the large outpatient providers such as Mountain Laurel, New Vistas and Appalachian Counseling. They are growing services at a fast rate, and are having some growth pains associated with that rapid growth. He outlined some of the problems experienced with the 1-800 number system, and the authorization of services. He also discussed some of the problems associated with Medicaid, their requirements for authorization of services, as well as upcoming changes to service definitions and providers of those services.


Mr. Thompson explained that while there was strong leadership at the helm with several county managers being involved, there was a great deal of transition ahead in mental health and he had some anxieties about where it was headed. He noted that his biggest frustration was that far too much time was spent on crisis management and not enough trying to fill service needs. There followed some additional discussion with Mr. Thompson answering questions from the Board.



Selena Coffey reminded the Board that annually, Henderson County receives a planning level allocation through the City of Asheville, as the lead agency, from HUD. That money is allocated based on population, which is based on the census. The current year allocation was $185,781. The previous year, Henderson County had received $400,000. Doug Watson from Habitat for Humanity, and Ken Perkins from the Housing Assistance Corporation were in attendance to present applications for the 2005 HOME Program funds.


Mr. Watson presented an application for $125,000 to provide infrastructure (road and water main) to Shuey Knolls Development, a new project developed by Habitat. The Plan was located on a 62 acre plot of farmland in Edneyville. They anticipated building 90 homes on the site over the next seven to ten years, with 16 houses being built with funds from this grant. The cost for this portion of the project was estimated at $1,300,000, with the remaining funds coming from other funding sources.


Mr. Perkins presented an application for $90,000 to be used for Mainstay Manor, which consists of four (4) two-bedroom transitional apartments for rent, for up to six months, to survivors of domestic violence. Mainstay Manor is located within the Village at King Creek development. Mr. Perkins also briefly discussed housing issues for people with mental health issues and ambulatory health conditions.


Selena Coffey stated that both agencies would do a lot of good for the community, as they had in the past, and recommended the Board approve that the Consortium allocate funds for both projects at the requested level. Commissioner McGrady made the motion to request the Consortium fully fund both projects. All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Russ Burrell reminded the Board that the Ordinance was intended to enable the County to meet its responsibilities under the NC General Statutes. The Ordinance came in two sections. The first dealt with abandoned and public cemeteries. The statutes give counties the authority and direction to take possession and control, and provide maintenance of cemeteries that are both abandoned and public cemeteries. The counties can also direct to provide access to such cemeteries. The Ordinance essentially enables the County to fulfill its role under the statute.


The second section of the Ordinance dealt with the removal of graves from abandoned cemeteries. There is separate definition for these cemeteries, and it is far narrower. Mr. Burrell believed the intent in the drafting of it as a separate definition was to make it more difficult to remove a grave.


The Ordinance was being presented at this meeting for a second reading. It had passed a first reading at the January 3, 2005 meeting. There was some discussion by the Board. Chairman Moyer reminded the Board that the Cemetery Advisory Committee would hold their first meeting on January 24, 2005. If there are issues that need to be brought back to the Board for clarification or change based on discussion by the Committee, the Board would be able to address such issues.


Following some additional discussion, Commissioner McGrady made the motion to approve the Ordinance as Chapter 76 of the Henderson County Code. A vote was taken, and the motion carried 4-1 with Commissioner Baldwin voting nay.     



Watershed Protection Programs

Commissioner Baldwin stated that he and Commissioner McGrady had attended a meeting regarding the Upper Broad River Protection Program, and the French Broad River coverage area. Tom Burnet, Resource Coordinator for the Mills River Watershed Protection project, and Clint Calhoun with the Upper Broad River Watershed Protection Program, were in attendance to describe their programs and present their needs to the Board.


Mr. Burnet explained that Mills River was the main water supply for Henderson County. He discussed a book entitled “Gun Fights, Dam Sites and Water Rights” which summarized the history of Mills River and Hendersonville with respect to water rights. He then provided a history of the Mills River partnership, in which the County is a partner, and discussed some of the projects underway including: riparian buffers, stream bank stabilization, logging road improvements, conservation easements, feedway structures, agrichemical handling facilities and sediment monitoring. He noted that the program was not guaranteed to continue, and no funding was currently provided by the County. The funding for the project was estimated to run out in January, 2006. He had no specific request, but wished to make the Board aware of the issues upcoming for the partnership. Mr. Burnet answered several questions from the Board related to topics such as an erosion and sedimentation control program.


Clint Calhoun stated that the Upper Broad River Watershed Protection Committee was made up of representatives from government agencies, municipalities, conservation groups and local residents. The program provides services to segments of Henderson, Buncombe and Rutherford County. The program’s primary objective is conservation protection of soil and water resources. The program provides land owners with methods for solving erosion and sedimentation problems. The northeastern corner of Henderson County makes up only a third of the Upper Broad River Watershed, but contributes the largest amount of sediment that ends up in the Broad River, which eventually ends up in Lake Lure. To date, the Program had assisted nearly 200 different land owners, and implemented erosion control measures for 60 land owners. Approximately 1/3 of those land owners live or own property in Henderson County. He discussed some of the programs particular achievements.


Mr. Calhoun noted that the program was entering its sixth year, and funding up to this point had come from grants from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the North Carolina 319 Nine Point Source Grant program. Those funds may not always be available however. He made a request to the Board for $10,000 per year to go to the program. He did feel the program could continue to operate without the support of the entities involved, including County governments. He also requested the Board create a county-wide erosion control ordinance, stating that a lot of problems could be alleviated through local programs.    


Asheville Buncombe Henderson Regional Water Authority

Bill Lapsley had been invited to the meeting to update the Board on the activities of the Regional Water Authority. Mr. Lapsley had been appointed to the Authority in August, 2003, to serve as one of the two Henderson County appointees. There are nine members on the Authority: three appointed by Asheville, three appointed by the Buncombe County, two appointed by Henderson County and one at-large appointee.

Mr. Lapsley outlined the area of Henderson County served by the Regional Water Authority. He pointed out waterlines owned by Hendersonville and the Authority, and primary industrial development sites in Henderson County. Mr. Lapsley provided the Board a packet containing written information related to the activities of the Authority during 2004. Two noteworthy events were:

  • April, 2004 – The Mayor of Asheville announced that the City of Asheville and the City of Hendersonville had reached a tentative agreement to consider and possibly expand the Regional Water Plant in Mills River. That agreement had been brought to the attention of the Authority in April, 2004. It was approved by the Hendersonville City Council in April, and a week later approved by the Asheville City Council. To Mr. Lapsley’s knowledge, the proposed agreement was put together without the participation or knowledge of the Buncombe or Henderson County Commissioners, or the members of the Regional Water Authority. Per the bylaws of the Water Authority, and under the Regional Water Agreement, all contracts for the operation and expansion of the regional water system must be approved by the Regional Water Authority. When the proposed agreement did come before the Authority, they decided to put it on hold.
  • The Asheville City Council, on May 25, 2004, passed a Resolution that they were going to serve notice to the Buncombe County Commissioners that they wished to terminate the regional water agreement. To Mr. Lapsley’s knowledge, that Resolution was never transmitted to Henderson County. A copy of that letter and the proposed agreement had been provided to the Board.


Mr. Lapsley stated that it was his understanding from Asheville’s Mayor that once the Agreement is terminated, the City of Asheville expects to regain total control of their water system on July 1, 2005. They intend to have introduced legislation which would abolish a local act known as the Sullivan Act which restricts differential water rates to outside city customers of the system. The Asheville City Council believed that once the Regional Water Agreement was terminated, that all commitments to Henderson County under the agreement would become null and void.


In Henderson County there are approximately 100 residential customers of the Regional Water Authority. There are also 5 major industrial customers. Those customers will be impacted if the termination of the agreement is carried out.


Commissioner Young stated that the City of Asheville needed to work with Henderson and Buncombe County to create a true water authority. An article had recently appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times that agreed with Commissioner Young’s position.


Commissioner McGrady questioned where Mr. Lapsley felt the County should go from this point. Mr. Lapsley expressed a concern for the Authority’s Henderson County customers. He also expressed concern about the ability of Henderson County to expand waterlines off of the regional water transmission line, which could be eliminated all together. He felt that would have a serious effect on the County’s ability to attract new industry in that area of the county. The County should take steps to protect our interest in the regional water plant.


Chairman Moyer stated that the Agreement clearly provides that if Buncombe and Asheville terminate their agreement, the City of Asheville has to take over the obligations with respect to Henderson County. Commissioner McGrady stated that Henderson County would be in a better position to decide where to go if the Chairman corresponded with the Mayor of Asheville. Chairman Moyer felt that would be worthwhile, and would try to proceed in that direction. There followed additional discussion among the Board, with the consensus being that Chairman Moyer should initiate contact with the City of Asheville.               


Strategic Plan Development Process

Commissioner McGrady asked Mr. Nicholson to describe the process to be used for the Strategic Development Plan, and what the Board should be doing to prepare for the upcoming special called meeting on the topic. Mr. Nicholson stated that Staff had prepared a draft of the Strategic Plan using information previously adopted by the Board, and distributed that draft to the Board. He requested that as the Board reviewed the document, if there were specific items that Commissioners would like to have discussed, added to, or changed, to let Staff know and they would document those issues.


Attorney Selection process

Commissioner McGrady questioned the Board’s role in selecting a County Attorney. David Nicholson stated that the position had been posted across County government, with the Employment Security Commission, in the local paper, in County Lines and several additional Governmental publications. Applications were to be submitted to the Human Resources Department. Once applications were received, they would be forwarded to Chairman Moyer. When the Board recently hired the County Assessor, two Commissioners reviewed the applications to narrow down the applicants. That list was then brought to the full Board, and the final decision was up to the full Board. Commissioner McGrady stated that if that process had worked well in the past, he felt that would be the appropriate process to follow.  


Following some additional discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to follow the process used when the Assessor was hired, with Chairman Moyer and Commissioner Young being the two Commissioners who would review the applications.


Animal Shelter

Commissioner McGrady requested an update on the status of the Animal Shelter. David Nicholson answered that the shelter was being developed with the idea that the Board would be expanding animal services programs. He discussed some of the specific things he had learned about the requirements involved in building a new shelter. With regard to the budget, the current projection was slightly over $1.2 million. Including a 5% contingency, as well as other necessary fixtures, the budget was projected at $1.3 million. The architect fee was going to be 8.8%, bringing the total project budget to $1,458,352.


Mr. Nicholson planned to go out to bid on the project in March. Bids would be considered by the Board and awarded in April, and hopefully construction on the project would begin in May. There was discussion about the projected cost of the project. Mr. Nicholson stated that if the Board wished to reduce the cost, they could reduce the building, though it was not his recommendation to do so. It was the consensus of the Board to continue this item as a part of the facilities discussion scheduled for the following week.       


Positions at Sheriff’s Department

Chairman Moyer stated that during the last budget cycle he had been convinced that there was a staffing shortage in the E911 Center and the Detention Center. At the last meeting, the Board had been asked to consider a budget amendment to add an additional staff in each Department. Commissioner Messer questioned why one of the positions had funding shown for a 401K program. David Nicholson answered that the State required that the County contribute to a 401K account for certified law enforcement officers.


Commissioner Young discussed the following Sheriff and Detention facility statistics for Cleveland County versus Henderson County. Cleveland County has a population similar to Henderson County.



Sheriff’s Dept Budget

Detention Facility Budget

# of employees

Cleveland County




Henderson County





Commissioner Young questioned the discrepancies in these figures. Commissioner McGrady felt that Commissioner Young’s questions deserved further study, and should be addressed as part of the budget process. However, the Sheriff had made a very effective presentation to the Board regarding the need for funds given the increasing population. Following additional discussion, Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the budget amendment as presented. The motion carried 3-2 with Commissioner Baldwin and Commissioner Young voting in opposition.   


Set Public Hearing on CDBG

Chairman Moyer made the motion to set a Public Hearing on the CDBG for February 16, 2005. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Set Public Hearing on Rezoning Application # R-04-04 As Amended (R-30 to C-2) Ingles Markets, Inc., Applicant; William G. Lapsley & Charles L. Murdock, Applicant's Agents

Karen Smith reminded the Board that there had been two proposed dates for the Ingles Rezoning Public Hearing, February 9 and February 16. Commissioner Young made the motion to accept Wednesday, February 9, 2005 at 6:00 for the Public Hearing on Ingles Markets at West Henderson High School. All voted in favor and the motion carried.



David Nicholson distributed the Report, as well as a chart that applied to the CIP program. He stated that this was the first such report to the Board, and the Board should expect it to grow in the future. 


discussion of meetings and agendas issues

This item was rolled for discussion to the next meeting.




CLOSED SESSION-no business



Commissioner McGrady made the motion to adjourn the meeting.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.







Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board                           William L. Moyer, Chairman