The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a
regularly scheduled meeting at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners' Conference Room
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
Also present were: Planning Director Karen C. Smith,
Budget and Management Director
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Messer led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
Lee Luebbe – Ms. Luebbe stated that she was the co-Chair of the
League of Women voters for
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.
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
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.
Padgett – Ms. Padgett was present
representing the Environmental and Conservation Organization. She spoke to the
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
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
Terry F. Lyda, Henderson County Tax Collector, presented the Tax Collectors’ Report dated January 18, 2005, for the Board’s information.
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 following petitions for addition to the
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.
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
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
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)
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.
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.
At the Board’s October 7, 2002 meeting, the Board
authorized staff to proceed to accept the offer from
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
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
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.
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
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 (
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
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
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.
ENFORCEMENT DIVISION PROPOSAL
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
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.
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.
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.
UPDATE CONCERNING REGIONAL MENTAL HEALTH ACTIVITIES/REFORM
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.
One of the major problems facing the eight counties is the
State’s intent to reduce the size of
To help that problem, Western Highlands was exploring the
feasibility of developing a 16-bed crisis inpatient unit for adults to be
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.
HOME PROGRAM APPLICATIONS
Selena Coffey reminded the Board that annually,
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.
ORDINANCE REGARDING ABANDONED PUBLIC CEMETERIES
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
UPDATE ON PENDING ISSUES
Watershed Protection Programs
Commissioner Baldwin stated that he and Commissioner
McGrady had attended a meeting regarding the Upper Broad River Protection
Program, and the
Mr. Burnet explained that
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
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.
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
Mr. Lapsley outlined the area of
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
Commissioner Young stated that the City of
Commissioner McGrady questioned where Mr. Lapsley felt the
County should go from this point. Mr. Lapsley expressed a concern for the
Chairman Moyer stated that the Agreement clearly provides
that if Buncombe and
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
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.
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
Commissioner Young discussed the following Sheriff and
Detention facility statistics for
Sheriff’s Dept Budget
Detention Facility Budget
# of employees
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.
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.
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
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.
CANE CREEK WATER & SEWER DISTRICT - no business
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