The Henderson County
Board of Commissioners met for a regularly scheduled meeting at in the Commissioners'
Conference Room of the
Those present were: Chairman Bill Moyer, Commissioner
Also present were:
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner McGrady led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
There was none.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
There was none.
Commissioner Messer made the motion to approve the agenda as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner McGrady made the motion to approve the consent agenda. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Draft minutes were presented for Board review and consent approval of the following meeting:
Tax Collector’s Report
Terry F. Lyda, Tax
Collector, provided the Tax Collector’s Report for information only dated
Financial Report/Cash Balance Report – November 2007
Non-Departmental costs include insurance premiums paid to date for Property and Liability insurance coverage and Worker’s Compensation costs. These costs are being allocated out to all departments on a pro rata basis during the fiscal year.
The YTD deficit in the Crisis Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) Fund and the Lewis Creek Restoration Project Fund is due to the timing difference between the expenditure of Federal and State grant funds and the subsequent requisition and reimbursement of these expenditures.
The YTD deficit in the
Action Requested: Request that the Board consider approving the County’s November 2007 Financial Reports as presented.
Suggested Motion: I move that the Board of Commissioners approve the November 2007 County Financial Report and Cash Balance Report as presented.
Henderson County Public Schools Financial Reports – November, 2007
The County Public School System had submitted the November 2007 Financial Reports for the Board’s information.
Action Requested: Request that the Board consider approving the School System’s November 2007 Financial Reports as presented.
Suggested Motion: I move that the Board of Commissioners approve the November 2007 Henderson County Public Schools Financial Reports as presented.
The billing process for
Action Requested: Request
that the Board consider approving the EMS Accounts Receivable Report as
presented for the period ending
Suggested Motion: I move that the Board of Commissioners approve the EMS Accounts Receivable Report as presented.
Foothills Highland Games
The County has been
contacted by representatives of the Scottish Clans of the South (SCOTS) Games
Committee requesting that they be permitted to again hold the Foothills
Highland Games at Jackson Park on
Action Requested: Staff is supportive of permitting the SCOTS to utilize Jackson Park for the 2008 Foothills Highlands Games. The SCOTS have again requested an exemption form current park rules to allow open fires, weapons to be used during the Games and overnight camping. County staff addressed park ordinance issues regarding open fires, weapons used during the Games, and overnight camping for the 2007 event.
Suggested Motion: I move that the SCOTS be permitted to use Jackson Park for the Foothills Highland Games, and be granted an exemption from current park rules to allow overnight camping, open fires and antique weapons to be used during the Games.
Notification of Vacancies
The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear on the next agenda for nominations:
3. Library Board of Trustees – 1 vac.
Chairman Moyer reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:
Position # 2 is vacant but there are no applications on file. There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
Position # 3 is vacant but must be filled by a parent of a child who died before their 18th birthday. We have no applicants who meet the criteria. There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
Positions #7 and #13 are vacant. Both of those people are unable to serve another term. We have one application on file from William Foisy.
Position #7 was filled at the last meeting subject to receipt of an application. The applicant (Fred Dorsey) reclines the position; therefore, opening the vacancy again for nominations.
Chairman Moyer suggested that Commissioner McGrady, who sits on this committee, take a look at this committee and the possibility of reorganization and reduction of the size of the Board. Commissioner McGrady was in agreement.
No other action was taken.
Position #8, for an alternate, is vacant.
At the last meeting Brandon Yelverton and Tedd Pearce were nominated to position #8.
The Clerk to the Board polled the Board with each Commissioner getting one vote, results follow:
Commissioner Young Yelverton
Commissioner Messer Pearce
Chairman Moyer Pearce
Commissioner Williams Pearce
Commissioner McGrady Pearce
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
The vacancy is for position #4, an alternate position and there are no applications on file. There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
Position #6 is vacant. An older adult is suggested for the position but not required. Applications on file: Timothy Auwarter, Calvin Titus, Karen Smith, Pat Strickland, Donna Lovelace. There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
There are six vacancies for position #9, #10, #12, #13, #14, and #26. There are no applications on file that meet the criteria.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
Position #3 is vacant, Jerald Wright is unable to serve another term. There are no applications on file. The Board of Commissioners makes a nomination only, Land-of-Sky will make the appointment and determine the expiration date.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
E-911 CENTER LOGGING RECORDER EQUIPMENT
Chairman Moyer recognized Sheriff Rick Davis to make this request. Sheriff Davis stated that the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, on behalf of the Henderson County E911 Center, requests the Henderson County Board of Commissioners approve the prepared budget amendment. This budget amendment will allocate the necessary funds to purchase a new logging recorder for the Henderson County E911 Center. The current logging recorder was installed when the E911 Center was moved and upgraded nearly 10 years ago. This is a vital piece of equipment in the day-to-day operations of the E911 Center and it is beginning to fail. This equipment records each and every call that comes into the E911 Center each day.
The current logging recorder only recently started to fail and that is why this request was not in the original budget request for FY 2008. Funds are available for this purchase out of fund balance in the E911 Communications Fund.
Following discussion, Commissioner McGrady made the motion to
approve the prepared budget amendment and asked that appropriate personnel
purchase a new logging recorder for the
A copy of the study was
included in the agenda packet for the Board’s review. Staff received the report just last Thursday
(Jan. 3). It was made available to the Commissioners on Friday, January 4. It
is a lengthy comprehensive document.
Following discussion, Chairman Moyer made the motion that the E-911 Center remain under and in the Sheriff’s Department and the Sheriff’s and that the Commissioners review in detail during budget deliberations the request for additional staffing highlighted in the Study and mentioned by the Sheriff this evening. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
RURAL CENTER WASTEWATER GRANT INFORMATION
No action was requested. This presentation was provided for information purposes only.
HISTORIC COURTHOUSE REHABILITATION PROJECT UPDATE
Gary Tweed, Project
Coordinator for the Historic Courthouse Rehabilitation Project, explained that
there were several areas of the project he and
Loan proceeds $ 10,189,914
Interest earned 1,243,981
Sales tax refund 63,267
Total $ 11,497,162
Expenditures (Including Audio-Visual, Hardscape, Planting/Outside Furniture, Exterior Lighting and
Professional services $ 493,000 $ 495,490
Architect fees 800,000 792,927
Construction 8,697,000 8,682,498
FF&E 200,000 196,284
Total $10,190,000 $ 10,167,199
Other project costs:
Audio/Visual $190,707 (bid)
Hardscape 162,625 (est.)
Planting/outside furniture 35,000 (est.)
Exterior front lighting 25,000 (est.)
Telephone system 60,000 (est.)
Gary Tweed addressed the Audio/Visual Project stating that when the project was put out to bid a little over a year ago, it was felt that we needed to hold back on ordering the audio/visual equipment until the end of the job due to the change in nature of that type of equipment. Technology is being updated so quickly. The design and bidding of that portion of the project has now been done. Gary Tweed stated that we have secured a bid from H & M who is the contractor on the project. The numbers were presented in a memo from Alan Antoine to Gary Tweed, as a hand-out. He explained that there are three basic components of the audio-visual system: projector, screens, and speakers.
Chairman Moyer made the motion that the Board approve this and authorize moving ahead with the audio-visual project, and authorize the bid with H & M. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Gary Tweed explained
that when the project was originally bid the front area of the Historic
Courthouse and how the landscaping would be done for it was still under
discussion. At the time there was a lot of talk going on with the City of
Chairman Moyer stated
that the Museum Group is selling pavers to raise money and it may give Gary
Tweed a complication to work with. There
are also still a couple of open issues with respect to the monuments. There is
also the issue of where the time capsule will go. Just a few small things but Chairman Moyer
thinks that the basics are covered here.
These little things may be a couple of thousand dollars one way or the
other. The $162,625.00 figure does not
include these little things. Gary Tweed stated that they plan to put the
plantings out to our local folks for pricing. Chairman Moyer stated that the
tentative arrangement with the Mayor is that once we get everything in place,
they will maintain it so that it is coordinated with the rest of the displays
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve going forward with the bid we have for the hardscape. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Gary Tweed referred to the same drawing (landscape plan) but in a smaller format. Alan Antoine’s electrical engineer had proposed installing exterior lighting on the front area in and around the plaza using 12’ tall black light poles with the dome, typical street lights. The tentative price from the electrical contractor was about $4,000 each, installed. They worried about getting outside the budget and a suggestion was made to cut back from nine of these street lights to five. Alan Antoine and the contractor visited the site one night after dark. It was decided that the increased number of lights wasn’t needed for security but rather for esthetics. Gary Tweed requested input from the Board on which way to go regarding the extra lighting.
It was suggested that Gary Tweed talk with someone at General Electric about a possible donation.
Chairman Moyer felt that we should definitely go ahead and put the proper lighting in to set off this building.
Gary Tweed stated that he would direct Alan Antoine to go ahead and design the electrical infrastructure that we need in the hardscape plan for a series of lights. Chairman Moyer also wanted to be sure that the wiring etc. was done for sound equipment, stages, etc. for additional things that we have at the courthouse such as Apple Festival. Gary Tweed explained that they are adding, as part of the electrical work, a panel which will be at the corner of the building for folks to be able to tie into for stages, lighting, etc. These street lights are 50 watt fluorescent type fixtures. Commissioner Williams suggested that in dealing with some of the local landscapers we might find folks who are willing to donate, in kind contributions and would be proud to have their product on display.
Chairman Moyer stated that one thing that will be featured outside the courthouse is the monuments and tributes to the veterans of various wars. He stated that they need to be lit in a way that people can see them and appreciate them.
Chairman Moyer reminded
everyone that the Grand Opening/Rededication is scheduled for
HEALTH PLAN UPDATE
Jan Prichard, Human Resources Director, presented a mid-year report on the Employee Benefit Plan and Wellness Program. These plan design changes were implemented as a result of the County’s efforts to decrease the rising cost of employee health benefits. No action was request. The presentation was for information purposes only.
Jan Prichard reminded
the Board that she and others came before the Board last April and talked at
great length about where our benefits costs were going and what we wanted to do
about it. We are now five months into the new fiscal year. In April staff was projecting that by the end
of last fiscal year (June ’07) we would see a 10.5% increase to our health
benefit costs. The actuality at the end
of the fiscal year was a 12% increase.
Staff further projected that if we did nothing about controlling those
costs, that we would see by the end of our current fiscal year (June ’08) a 16%
rise in the cost of health care. Staff
set a very aggressive goal to reduce the amount of increase to half of that, to
no more than 8% from the prior fiscal year.
The approach taken to achieve those goals – staff recognized that some
plan design changes were needed.
After the first five months we have experienced a 13% decrease in our health plan costs compared to what we projected the goals to be in 2007 – 2008. This resulted in a total overall 8% decrease for five months, compared to the same five months in our prior fiscal year. In the first five months the difference between the projected and actual health benefit cost was a savings of $372,746. We incurred some start-up costs and some other costs associated with managing the wellness clinic. In the first five months those costs were $82,223 so the actual reduction in health benefit costs in numbers for the first five months is $290,523. Projecting this out, we can be on target to save over $600,000, almost $700,000 by the end of this fiscal year.
Ms. Prichard explained that all the savings cannot be attributed to the wellness program. Some of the change in the costs (reduction) is attributed to plan design changes. The actual health benefit cost difference is $290,000. The amount that we can attribute to the plan design change is $196,000. So over $94,000 can be attributed to something other than plan design.
Wellness Clinic – Ms. Prichard stated that we track on a monthly and a cumulative basis what our activity is in our wellness clinic and since July we have had 964 patient visits. That can be multiple visits by the same person but each of those visits takes time and energy. The entire employee population was asked to undergo a health risk assessment and out of 764 benefit eligible employees, 657 have all had health risk assessments. That is an 86% participation rate. In November about 360 flu shots were administered. On average, the clinic sees anywhere from 120 to 135 patient visits per month.
Jan Prichard stated that those 964 patient visits costs $85.30 each while a traditional visit costs about $120 each so we really have saved about $35 per visit. “And we have managed to avoid, just in these first five months an additional $33,457 in potential office visits.” These are real dollar savings. Some of the other savings that haven’t been tracked is just how much time our employees are saving by being able to go to the clinic instead of having to leave work and go to a traditional Doctor’s office visit, travel time, any sick days that might have been saved because they were able to be seen for some basic care in our wellness clinic.
Jan Prichard said in conclusion “is it doing what we wanted it to do? We think we’re very much on track. We’ve exceeded our initial goal, at least in this first five months, of limiting our cost increase to 8%. We’ve actually lowered the cost by 13% than had been projected and actual health plan costs indicate a reduction of 8% compared to last fiscal year so we’ve actually gone down … I tend to be very conservative and so I hesitate to say we’re going to save tons of money, we are very much going in the right direction and we’re very pleased with our results.”
Chairman Moyer was pleased with the format and felt this gave the Board an honest view of the costs and the savings. It will be useful during budget deliberation time. The other piece that was talked about last year was getting some assessment from the employees of how they feel about things before the Board looks at renewing this at the end of the fiscal year.
DRAFT MINIMUM HOUSING CODE
The draft code is based
on standards recommended by the International Code Council, an agency which
assists local governments with recommended minimum standards. Adoption of a minimum housing code is
recommended as part of the Comprehensive Plan and Strategic Plan to promote
safety, livability and aesthetic desirability.
The code addresses key building components such as lighting, ventilation, heating systems, plumbing, fire and safety, mechanical and electrical systems, as well as maximum occupancy and rubbish disposal. Some of the basic requirements for housing under the draft code include:
A key point should be made that condemnation does not mean demolition. Condemnation would only come if the code official determines the house is unsafe for occupation and the owner has not made the required repairs. Condemnation only means the structure cannot be occupied or used until it is put back into a safe status. The house may be repaired and re-occupied if the required repairs are made. Condemnation is not a common occurrence for established minimum housing programs.
These standards reflected
in the draft code are consistent with the minimum standards used by local
governments across the state. The
language used comes from the International Code Council (ICC). The ICC is an
organization that provides us with the
The Code Enforcement Services Department would administer the ordinance, investigate complaints and work with residents/owners to mitigate issues. The code provides definition for structural repairs or condemnation and safeguards the property owner with sufficient timeframes to work with the code official to properly fix problems. The draft code also includes a procedure for appealing staff decisions to the Board of Adjustment. If adopted, a grace period for compliance could be provided as was done with the Nuisance Ordinance. It is expected that enforcement would be complaint driven.
Code Enforcement Services would need an additional full-time employee to administer this ordinance. This position will be Grade 71 and include a starting salary of $31,000. The insurance and benefits for this position will equal about $12,221. The position will require approximately $23,500 for an additional patrol vehicle and office computer. Inclusion of a nominal salary increase for performance management will equal a total financial impact of $67,720 for the first year.
The Planning Department recommended that the Board of Commissioners consider the draft code and provide direction as to whether Staff should proceed. If the Board is generally comfortable with the draft code, a public hearing could be scheduled.
The City of
Chairman Moyer explained that he was looking for the base or the minimum in the draft code but that is not what he saw. He felt that the draft code goes way beyond minimum. According to the draft code, if you don’t have air conditioning in the summer you would not be able to maintain the appropriate temperature and your house isn’t livable, if the glazing on your windows isn’t perfect your house isn’t livable? He doesn’t agree with the draft code. He felt that the code goes way beyond what he thinks is needed to provide minimum light, water, heat, sanitation, electricity and things like that.
Following additional discussion, Chairman Moyer made the motion to direct staff to take the draft code and scale it down to the basics associated with heat, light, electricity, water, safety and basic things that people need and remove the other stuff which isn’t necessary to the minimum housing code. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
OFFER TO PURCHASE TAX-FORECLOSED PROPERTY
Russell Burrell informed the Board that Fred R. Dorsey and Suzanne Dorsey have offered to purchase, for the sum of Seven Hundred Fifty Dollars ($750.00), certain real estate which was subject to a tax foreclosure by the County. The property is described as 0.08 acres, lot 13, block 2, PIN 96-91061262.
It is believed that this lot was originally foreclosed by the County in 1951.
If the Board agrees to
provisionally accept this offer, it would be subject to advertisement and upset
bid pursuant to the Board’s policy, adopted
Russell Burrell explained that when the time for upset bids has passed, this will come back to the Board for final approval or disapproval. The Board is not bound to give final approval at any point.
Commissioner Young moved that the Board provisionally accept the offer of Fred R. Dorsey and Suzanne Dorsey to purchase the property described in this agenda item, subject to the procedures required by this Board for tax foreclosure sales. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
There was nothing further at this time.
felt that before we aggressively market the property that we give greater
consideration as to whether or not the property might be viable to
Commissioner Young was in agreement that there should be some discussion as to whether the County had a possible need for the property.
Chairman Moyer said this
issue would be added to the Board’s Planning Retreat Agenda for some further
discussion. The Retreat is scheduled for
Thursday, January 17 at
Board Planning Retreat
There was brief
discussion about the Retreat at the
Commissioners suggested that we might start a little earlier in the morning to allow for questions/answers and discussion, thinking that no one would be upset if we finished a little sooner than planned. It was the consensus of the Board to begin earlier; therefore, Commissioner Williams made the motion to begin the Retreat at instead of All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Cancellation of mid-month meeting
Chairman Moyer asked the Commissioners to look at the Retreat Agenda, stating it would be helpful to try to stick to the agenda and not jump around.
Following some discussion, Chairman Moyer made the motion to cancel the Wednesday, January 16 Commissioners’ Meeting. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Moyer called
attention to the January 23 Annual Employee Service Awards Luncheon at the
Chairman Moyer called
attention to the March 3 Commissioners’ meeting – the Legislative Conference in
CANE CREEK WATER & SEWER DISTRICT – no business
Commissioner McGrady made the motion for the Board to go into closed session as allowed pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11 for the following reason: (a)(3) To consult with an attorney employed or retained by the public body in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege between the attorney and the public body.
All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman