STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON JANUARY 20, 1999
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 Grady Hawkins, Vice-Chair Bill Moyer, Commissioner Renee Kumor, Commissioner Don Ward, Commissioner Marilyn Gordon, County Manager David E. Nicholson, Assistant County Manager Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
Also present were: Planning Director Matt Matteson, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, Staff Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, and Budget Analyst Selena Coffey.
Absent was County Attorney Don H. Elkins.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Ward led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
David Nicholson gave the invocation.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Chairman Hawkins welcomed those in the audience, and informed them that the Board will take a recess between 11:45 am and 1:30 pm to attend a meeting with County Employees. He then outlined how the Board of Commissioners will take today=s public comments: through a Public Hearing, Public Input Sessions, and Informal Public Comments.
INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
1. Ralph Wingerton - Mr. Wingerton spoke about a tennis program for the children of Henderson County. The program he runs has been recognized by the North Carolina Tennis Association. There are several months during the summer when he is unable to conduct the program, because high school tennis programs are given preference for the courts at Jackson Park. He requested that the Commissioners consider a tennis center at Jackson Park.
2. Ken Caraker - Mr. Caraker stated that he is the Vice-President of the Community Tennis Association of Henderson County. Part of their function is to encourage the construction, improvement, and maintenance of local tennis facilities. He spoke to the experience of coaching four youth teams on the limited space available. He stated that they believe the solution is to build four more courts at Jackson Park, and someday develop them into a tennis center.
3. Jim Harvey - Mr. Harvey did not wish to speak when his name was called.
4. Dean Bonessi - Mr. Bonessi spoke regarding the proposed noise ordinance. He stated that the proposed decibel levels are too low, and was concerned that this could lead to discriminatory enforcement. He believes that the ordinance should be brought to the voters.
5. Stan Rhodes - Mr. Rhodes requested that the Commissioners consider the limitations it would place on farm and construction equipment. He stated that he was in favor of the ordinance especially as it would pertain to barking dogs, loud music and disorderly conduct.
6. Burt Beck - Mr. Beck is with the YMCA tennis boosters. He requested that the Board consider a tennis center at Jackson Park.
7. Maureen Adams - Ms. Adams is the head tennis coach at Hendersonville High School. She stated that they have used many of the local courts to conduct their program. She requested the Board consider building 4 additional courts at Jackson Park.
8. Ladd Fields - Mr. Fields spoke in favor of the noise ordinance. He felt the proposed ordinance was very positive and well-balanced.
9. Mike Baer - Mr. Baer is the director of tennis instruction programs at the YMCA. He was very surprised that there are no more public courts in Henderson County. He spoke to the need for four more courts at Jackson Park.
10. Dave Radcliffe - Mr. Radcliffe stated that he is the past president of the Henderson County Tennis Association, and is a member of the executive board of the Community Tennis Association. He requested the Board=s assistance in adding additional courts at Jackson Park, and their future consideration of a tennis center.
REVISED MOTOR SPORTS FACILITIES ORDINANCE
On January 8, 1999 the Board of Commissioners held a work session at which the draft Motor Sports Facilities Ordinance was discussed. The Board, after much discussion, agreed on several changes and authorized Staff to make revisions consistent with that Board=s discussion. The following is a summary of the major revisions that were made to the draft ordinance:
C deleted separation from residential zoning districts
C increased minimum separation from health care facilities from 1 mile to 2 miles
C added minimum separation of 1,500 feet from residential dwelling units
C added minimum separation of 1,500 feet from schools, libraries, churches
C added special permitting section for facilities locating less than 2 miles from schools, libraries, churches (i.e. allowed if special conditions met)
C added specific conditions for the special permitting listed above
C reduced the residential density restriction
The Board had scheduled a public hearing on this proposed ordinance for February 1, 1999 at 7:00pm. The draft was presented at this meeting to seek further input from the Board as it related to the particular wording of the revised ordinance.
Angela Beeker noted that Staff felt it might be advisable to set out a purpose, in addition to the findings, to capture the Board=s intent with respect to this ordinance. She read the following statement. AThe purpose of this ordinance is to establish a minimum separation of new motor facilities from health care facilities, schools, public libraries, religious institutions and residential dwelling units. Additionally, this ordinance seeks to impose minimum specific site standards on new motor sports facilities within two miles of an existing school, public library, or religious institution and to give the Board of Commissioners authority to impose additional restrictions where necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of such facilities. This ordinance also seeks to minimize the impact of new motor sports facilities on densely populated residential communities.@
Commissioner Kumor wished to elaborate on the last statement, noting the phrase Aon densely populated residential communities.@ She noted that this should be giving a clear signal to the rest of the community, those not in densely populated areas, to wonder if you wish to be protected in some way. It should also signal that the County=s position on a racetrack is that it is a viable entity that could find a place in the County.
Commissioner Gordon stated that she had some concern over the last sentence, and the way the density requirements are followed. The feeling was that effort in that area may be duplicated with the distancing requirements. It was the consensus of the Board that the distancing requirements could be dealt with later in the discussion.
Ms. Beeker continued stating that three findings had also been added to support the Boards direction with regards to minimum separations. First, a definition for a buffer was added. Second, two restrictions regarding placement of a motor sports facility in Henderson County. Those two restrictions consist of a separation restriction and a residential density restriction. There was discussion regarding whether the number for the density requirement was 300 or 500. This will be left at 300 for purposes of discussion, and worked out in a later section of the ordinance. Following much discussion on the separation restrictions, it was decided that the Public Hearing will reveal changes that should be made in the Ordinance.
The third finding dealt with clarification on the different types of standards that could be imposed. The law states that standards must be spelled out in enough detail that developers know what burden they have to meet in order to receive a special use permit. Ms. Beeker read the following for clarification: AThe zoning ordinance itself must spell out requirements for granting such permits. The decision may not be left to the unfettered discretion of the Board making the decision even if it is the Governing Board. Likewise, extremely general requirements, such as that the project be in public interest, or that it be consistent with the purposes of the ordinance are not adequate. Many ordinances use a combination of general and specific standards, though both are not legally required. Examples of general standards include requirements that the project materially endanger public health and safety, that the project not substantially injure the value of adjoining property, that it be in harmony with the surrounding area, that it be in conformance with the comprehensive plan. Specific standards include minimum lot sizing, buffering or landscaping requirements, special setbacks and the like.@
Ms. Beeker commented that general standards alone are not enough, and that ordinances work best with some combination. Minimum specific site standards included in the draft ordinance include:
C hours of operation
C adequate outdoor lighting has be provided if the facility is to be used at night
C set a buffer having a minimum width of 100 feet along property lines
C onsite parking must be provided consisting of at least one space for every three seats or usable square footage if the facility doesn=t have seating
C Access - the entrance and exit must be at least 22 feet in width
C Adequate fire suppression resources must be provided
Additional standards the Board may wish to imply include: additional setbacks, off-street parking, storm water management, sedimentation and erosion control, traffic flow, road construction and maintenance, access, road frontage, impervious surface areas, and sound barriers.
Commissioner Kumor suggested that as part of the permitting process, developers be allowed to elect certain days of operation, but have at least two days of non-operation. Following discussion, the decision was to include language such as Ano more than three continuous days operation without a break@.
Five general site standards were then suggested.
1. A new motor sports facility shall not be located or developed in such a manner as to adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of the patrons of schools, public libraries, or religious institutions.
2. A new motor sports facility shall be located or developed in such a manner as to minimize the economic, noise, glare and odor effects on schools, public libraries and religious institutions.
3. A new motor sports facility shall not be located or developed in such a manner as to seriously worsen the traffic congestion so as to endanger the public safety.
4. A new motor sports facility shall be located or developed in such a manner as to comply with all applicable federal, state or local laws, rules and regulations.
5. A new motor sports facility shall be located or developed in such a manner as to be consistent with the Goals and Objectives as outlined in the Henderson County Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
The burden of proof is on the developer to prove that specific conditions have been met. It is on whoever is opposing a permit, to show that the general site standards have not been met.
In discussions regarding the issuance of permits, the Board shall sit as a quasi-judicial body to hold public hearings on any and all applications received under the ordinance. The Board is authorized to issue a permit if all standards and conditions have been met.
Chairman Hawkins noted that the review they just went through was for the purpose of giving staff some additional guidance for this ordinance. He emphasized that it is still a draft ordinance. There is a public hearing scheduled for February 1st. Once the public hearing is complete, the Board will have the option of either adopting the ordinance, or holding a future workshop on information received at that meeting.
PUBLIC HEARING - To Consider a Proposed Ordinance Imposing a
Moratorium on Motor Sports Facilities
Commissioner Ward made the motion to go into public hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
At the January 4 meeting, the Board scheduled a public hearing on a proposed Ordinance Imposing a Moratorium on the Construction or Operation of Motor Sports Facilities in Henderson County, North Carolina. The proposed moratorium ordinance is to be effective for a period of 90 days from adoption to allow the Henderson County Board of Commissioners to consider one or more ordinances having unlimited duration, whether a stand-alone ordinance and/or amendments to existing ordinances, to regulate motor sports facilities.
This public hearing was an opportunity for the Board to hear comments from the citizens of Henderson County on the proposed moratorium ordinance. The public hearing was advertised on January 8, 1999 and January 15, 1999, in accordance with North Carolina law.
The proposed moratorium ordinance has been sent to the Planning Board for review and consideration with a directive that a recommendation be submitted to the Board of Commissioners prior to its February 1 regular meeting.
Staff recommended that Board action on the adoption of the proposed moratorium ordinance be delayed until such time as the Planning Board has submitted its recommendation.
1. Anthony Peranio - Mr. Peranio stated that he is a registered, professional engineer. His concerns are that if the present moratorium is allowed to lapse, the consequence may be that construction will somehow be allowed to begin. He fears that this would cause much uncertainty in the value of land in the Naples area. He requested that the moratorium be enacted prior to the first moratorium expiring.
2. Jim Harvey - Mr. Harvey requested that the Board use a moratorium to prevent the racetrack from getting in. He hopes a racetrack ordinance will be prepared that will prevent any citizen from losing their peace of mind.
3. Dorothy Freeman - Ms. Freeman spoke regarding the ordinance. She spoke to the 1500 foot separation, stating that she would like to see that figure set at at least one mile. She questioned how the flood plain would affect building. She stated that allowing this to affect someone=s property is wrong.
Commissioner Kumor made the motion for the Board to go out of public hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Hawkins suggested that the Board take staff=s recommendation and delay the adoption of the moratorium until the February meeting. The Consensus of the Board was in agreement.
PUBLIC INPUT - Proposed Noise Ordinance
Jennifer Jackson reminded the Board that they were presented the Draft Noise Ordinance prepared by the Noise Ordinance Task Force at the January 4 meeting. At that time the Board scheduled a public input session for this time in order to solicit public comment on the draft ordinance. This draft ordinance has been made available to the public over the Internet and through the Clerk to the Board. Public Input will be accepted on the draft. The draft has been forwarded to the Home Builders Association, Blue Ridge Horticulture Association, the Agriculture Advisory Board, the District Attorney, the Sheriff and the Henderson County Bar Association and individual attorneys in Henderson County. Staff expected that not all comments from the above associations will have been made by this meeting.
Staff reviewed with the Board the provisions of the Draft Ordinance and the comments itemized in the Minority Positions Report. Staff also distributed written comments that have been received over the comment line.
As the draft noise ordinance attempts to regulate a very complicated subject matter and such regulation will have many countywide effects, Staff suggested that the Board set a work session on this matter following hearing comments from the public.
Lt. Melvin Matthews from the Raleigh Police Department presented information to the Board concerning training and enforcement. Lt. Matthews has been working with sound and noise enforcement and working with the Police Department for 25 years. During the last 20 years he has been training and working with people in Raleigh and throughout the State and other areas in developing and implementing some ordinances and some plans to train and enforce the ordinances, make them a little more livable. Lt. Matthews stated that they receive various types of noise complaints in the City of Raleigh. He pulled the past year and had a print-out run and showed the board that it was a lengthy report. They classify them in three areas:
1. General loud noise complaint, (barking dogs, etc.)
2. Loud parties, or
3. Loud music.
When someone makes a call into the 9-1-1 center in Raleigh, it generates a separate call for noise complaints and is handled electronically. Loud noise calls for Raleigh last year were 1,327. The numbers are important when you look at an ordinance, to try to make the ordinance enforceable and to make it livable for all concerned. They had 1,432 loud party calls and 3,596 loud music calls, making the total for all these nuisance calls 6,355 for 1998, an average of 500 calls per month. This does not include calls related to shots fired or pyrotechnics.
Lt. Matthews said AWhat is noise, does anybody know what noise is.... the best definition of noise is unwanted sound.@ In Raleigh they have five rotating platoons of police officers that work to cover the city that consists of 50-55 officers to handle the primary 9-1-1 calls at any given time. In addition to that they have another entire division that handles specialized projects, impact areas. Each platoon is made up of 60-70 personnel. They have almost 700 sworn positions in Raleigh, approximately 10% of those people are trained to handle noise complaints with the equipment they have, the sound level meters (this bases a violation on a specific decibel level according to the ordinance). He stated AThere is also a caveat in that particular ordinance that allows for a prima facie case to be established which does not require that you go out and make a sound level meter reading or a set of readings in order to enforce the ordinance@. He stated that he had reviewed our proposed ordinance and would recommend the same type provision in our ordinance. Theirs is entitled AA presumption in prosecution for a noise violation@, it establishes prima facie evidence when two or more persons who do not live in the same household call and complain about a sound or a noise and then someone is dispatched to that location and then one of those persons and the person there agree that the sound or noise, for the time of day and total circumstance, is excessive. Out of the almost 6,400 complaints that they handled in Raleigh last year, the majority of the complaints were able to be effectively handled with that component of the ordinance. For the last 25 years they have effectively handled complaints in Raleigh with that component of the ordinance. There are times and locations that make it not feasible. Lt. Matthews said AIf we get a complaint about a business, a club that=s making noise, we get residential complaints about noise coming from a club, we=re talking about impacting then that person=s business - we go to them, we make the noise measurements on the sound level meter, we let them know that they are in violation and that they need to either adjust it or they=re going to be cited. If they continue to be cited and they ignore the fines and the imposition set on them by the courts, then Raleigh City Council moves forward to have them declared a public nuisance and closes them and we have closed businesses in Raleigh so if you=re going to impact the economic future of someone you=re certainly going to need to have something more than just an opinion of two people. I think that having a specific decibel level in your ordinance is something that you really are going to have to have and it=s gonna have to be enforceable. Your personnel are going to have to be trained to properly utilize the equipment, understand the ordinance, make the court presentation, because this is going to be a court case. That=s where you=re ultimately going to be headed with that because if you start to take a person=s business license away or shut them down, then you=re gonna face all the lawyers and I=ve heard a lot of talk about lawyers or possible legal implications, you=re going to face all the lawyers, you=re going to face all the people that are professionals, the engineers and we=ve done that in Raleigh and to date we haven=t lost any cases that we=ve carried before the courts in Wake County. This is over a period of 25 years, when we carry the cases to court we don=t lose the case. It=s educating the public, it=s educating the violator, it=s educating the courts, the judges and has been a successful program.@
TRAINING COSTS - He had been asked to address this. A number of eight personnel was given to him of who would need to be trained in Henderson County. A 20 hour training course that would be total and complete would be about $1,200 plus expenses for the training of the personnel to actually operate the equipment, administer the program, and make it a viable program.
EQUIPMENT COSTS - He had been asked to address this also. This is a bifurcated issue. The equipment costs consist of the initial cost of the equipment and an annual calibration cost. These instruments need to be calibrated annually. They are sensitive, scientific instruments and they don=t need to be hauled around in the back of cars and bumped around. The cost is a one time cost. Raleigh is utilizing the same equipment they began their program with 20 years ago. The only additional cost is batteries. You can purchase equipment for anywhere from several hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars, even tens of thousands of dollars. AYou don=t need a $20,000 piece of sound equipment that=s designed for other scientific or engineering purposes to enforce the ordinance that says you can=t be above a certain decibel level from a property line. You can do that with a not necessarily even digital but an analog meter. As a matter of fact it was very interesting I had a person that was a salesman for one of the companies make a huge presentation to me and was giving me all the information about how this stores data and you can take the data and here is the computer program and it will download it and then he said the wrong thing. He said and you can manipulate the data. That will last as long as until we get to court and someone says well the data can be manipulated, what=s the inference then that it has been. So you don=t need all the whistles and bells, you don=t need the $10,000 piece of equipment. You do need more than one piece of equipment because you may have more than one event. You may have one piece of equipment that=s not working properly, that goes down. You still need to provide that customer service level that you always want to provide with that ordinance to all your citizens. So I would certainly recommend that more than one piece of equipment be purchased and that you look at what your basic needs are and if a basic scaled down model fits your needs, then certainly that would be something worth looking at.@
RESPONSE - He had been asked to address this. He said AQuick response certainly always is our objective as a government entity to our customers, the citizens that we serve. I don=t know that I could say 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes - what is your normal response time for a call of this priority? It=s not a shooting call, it=s not a fight call, it=s not a break-in in progress call. If you prioritize your calls to dispatch them, which I=m certain you probably do, this is going to be a lower priority call. This is something that the person that=s the complaining party needs to be told when they call. This is a lower priority call, we=ve got five calls ahead of you, it may be 30 minutes, it may be an hour. And again reasonableness should prevail there. If it=s necessary to send someone with sound measurement equipment after an attempt to incorporate the prima facie evidence rule into it, then so be it, for a court case then that would be necessary.@
Lt. Matthews stated that someone had planned to come with him to address the physics of sound but could not come today. Lt. Matthews stated that if you double the distance away from the meter to the sound source then you reduce the decibel level by three decibels. If you half the distance, then you increase it by three decibels. ALikewise if you set one sound source here four feet from me and I set the decibel meter on the podium and it reads 90 decibels and I cut it off and I set another one on this side and turn it on until it reads 90 decibels and the meter stays in the same location, then I cut them both on, the net result of that sound energy, you=ve 90 plus 90 but that doesn=t equal 180, 90 plus 90, two sound sources same distance from the meter will equal 93 decibels and that=s an algorithmic rule of physics so there=s nothing that we can do to change that. You need to consider that when you consider distances.@ AI=ve heard you speak to another issue that I want to speak to directly but that this ordinance would certainly impinge and that is a racetrack. I would just implore you to, whatever you do for any ordinance, look at how it=s going to impact everything in the county. If you make an ordinance for sound that=s so restrictive that every time the air handling unit behind the hospital kicks in, that it=s a violation, then something=s gonna have to be done about it. Some air handler units will violate some sound ordinances, does that mean they can=t have air conditioning, certainly not. Some emergency power generators, probably the one that you have wherever your emergency communications center is located for this county, may violate a noise ordinance that you would in fact put into place. Does that mean that you can=t have an emergency power generator there, well maybe the emergency caveat would take care of it but why not go a step further. What about shielding and baffling those pieces of equipment, that can be done, it can be done economically. The engineering is readily available to have it done and everybody=s happy. Anything that you put between the sound source and the receptor, the person that=s hearing it, that it impacts, is something that can lessen the sound. Sound travels more easily through some surfaces or materials and it=s stopped by others or filtered better. I heard someone speak to farm equipment and construction equipment and a concern as to whether or not your ordinance would prevent people from doing their job. Well, I don=t think it would. I don=t think it would prevent a person from doing construction on a normal basis during the day time. Certainly it would not prevent emergency repairs because you have a provision in there to address emergency repairs but it would prevent a person from running a cement finisher at 12:00 at night on concrete that was poured during the daytime. So there would be some restrictions or could be some restrictions that would have an economic impact on somebody. So, you know, how do we address that? In Raleigh we do not let the person operate that equipment after 11:00 p.m. I saw some recommendations as to times. Where did the times come from. 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. is the model ordinance time for daytime and 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. is the model ordinance time for nighttime. Now, what happens in the daytime versus nighttime. In most ordinances, you require about a 10 decibel drop at nighttime over daytime... OK, I heard someone talk about farm animals and whether animals would be prohibited from being held or raised. You know, how far away from another structure would you be holding those animals. How far away from another structure would you be doing your farmwork. Would this impact that ordinance, well it could but in most cases you=re going to be far enough distance away from people that that=s not gonna become an issue. Certainly if you=ve got a residential area with a dog that barks and barks and barks the first way to address that problem would be to go wake the person who obviously doesn=t hear it because its their dog and ask them to get their dog to quiet down. And then you=ve got the other provision of the ordinance that makes it a prima facie case if two people are complaining and someone comes on the scene and says yes it=s 12:00 at night, that=s too much noise. You don=t have to go and make the readings with a sound level meter. You talked about in the ordinance or in some material I read with the ordinance about an LDN ... which becomes an average. We had an ordinance that did that, we now have an ordinance that says if you get 10 readings that are in violation you suspend the testing and don=t make the other 90. If the first 10 readings of the 100 that you=re gonna make are exceeding the ordinance, then there=s no further need to continue and take the other 90 readings and that=s the methodology that=s used is you make 100 readings, 10 seconds apart. It takes about 15 minutes and it takes two people to do that, to be able to effectively do it and record it all. Those are the issues that I have had presented to me that I needed to address.@
Lt. Matthews then answered some questions from the Board. The noise ordinance will not prohibit the use of chainsaws, lawnmowers and the like, from being run in the daytime as long as the muffler is an operational factory system. Lt. Matthews reminded the Board that they can add any exceptions to the Ordinance they wish. In Raleigh, the daytime allowable DB level is set at 55 and the nighttime allowable is 45 in residential areas. In areas zoned residential business, office, institutional, commercial, neighborhood shopping, or neighborhood businesses the daytime allowable DB level is 60. Industrial and thoroughfare areas in Raleigh are a 70 DB level.
When someone is in violation of the noise ordinance, they are first informed of the violation, given opportunity to correct the problem, and are put on judicial notice. If the problem is not corrected, the person put on notice is responsible rather than the individuals or equipment creating the noise.
Chairman Hawkins thanked Lt. Matthews for sharing his time and information with the Board.
1. Tom Rosenburg - Mr. Rosenburg stated that he is the Associate Director of Blue Star Camps. He is speaking today on behalf of several area camp owners and directors. He requested that the children=s camps be specifically exempted from the noise ordinance. The camps are a vital economic force in this county. He stated that many of the necessary activities of the camps do have sounds associated with them. He again requested that bonafide summer and year round camps be exempted from the ordinance so that they may continue to serve the campers and the community.
2. Robert Deutsch - Mr. Deutsch is the attorney for Camp Blue Star. He reminded the Board that when the camp was purchased in 1948, there were no residences around it. The housing that is there has sprung up since that time. He pointed out that not taking away someone=s livelihood had already been discussed, and that the camp exemption fell under this argument. He felt that any disputes between the camps and their neighbors could be worked out amongst just those parties.
3. David Cowan - Mr. Cowan was not present to speak when his name was called.
4. Anthony Peranio - Mr. Peranio thanked staff for inviting Lt. Matthews to present an informed opinion on an existing ordinance. He was concerned that the Board not adopt a weak ordinance that would be of no benefit to the public. He stated that trying to cover too many things in one ordinance would do just that. He was concerned about wording stating the Sheriff and Ordinance Administrator must go out together to catch violators in the act and record it. He was also concerned that the current wording gave the Ordinance Administrator too much discretionary power. He then questioned the definition of a Asignificant cultural event@.
Commissioner Moyer stated that for the record, the wording in the ordinance does not state that the Sheriff and Ordinance Administrator must go out together on a complaint. It is an and/or situation, meaning that either or both may go.
5. Jim Harvey - Mr. Harvey thanked the Board for addressing this issue. He recommended the Board consider Lt. Matthews comments when completing the ordinance. He took exception to the exemption of camps from the ordinance, stating that just because children are children, does not give them the right to disturb other peoples peace and quiet.
6. Stan Rhodes - Mr. Rhodes did not wish to speak when his name was called.
7. Janice Moon - Ms. Moon was not present to speak when her name was called.
8. Jim Miller - Mr. Miller stated that he is the director of Camp Greystone in Tuxedo. He has worked with his neighbors in the past on noise issues, but informed the Board that they do have bells and bugles that ring out everyday. He does teach his campers good citizenship, but a large gathering of campers do make noise. He asked that the Board consider exempting camps from the ordinance.
9. Jim Crafton - Mr. Crafton made several comments on issues that concerned him. First, that no construction activity can occur between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am. He requested that rather than being so absolute, the Board find a way to consider practical matters. The ordinance currently calls for 4 weeks advance application for a permit. Many times in the construction business you cannot plan that far ahead. He requested the Board do several things before enacting an ordinance: survey the existing businesses in the county to see who the ordinance will be affecting and how, understand the physics of sound, consider OSHA regulations, and be careful about who is exempted from the ordinance.
10. Frank Bell - Mr. Bell operates Camp Mondamin and Camp Green Cove in Tuxedo. He asked that the Board consider exempting camps from the ordinance.
11. Rosie Nodine - Ms. Nodine spoke on behalf of three pet care facilities in the county. She requested the Board study the Buncombe County Ordinance which excludes businesses in general. She would like to see such an exemption in the Henderson County Ordinance.
12. Bob Williford - Mr. Williford stated he is the President of the Chamber of Commerce. He has heard from members of the business community concerned about how this would affect their business. He encouraged the Board to consider the existing business community when finalizing this ordinance.
13. Mark Morse - Mr. Morse is the President of Selee Corporation. He stated that he understands the need for a noise ordinance, but is concerned about how the proposed decibel levels will affect their business. Under the current ordinance, they would be unable to work between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am. He does not have the answer, but offered any assistance possible to the Board.
14. Dr. Henry Muller - Dr. Muller was concerned about the section of the ordinance dealing with the discharge of a firearm within a certain distance of a home. He felt the occasional use of a firearm may not be important enough to be controlled by an ordinance.
15. Diane Clark - Ms. Clark spoke to the section relating to dog noise. She stated that very little is more disturbing than a barking dog during the night. She expressed that this type of noise affects every aspect of her home enjoyment. She played a tape recording she had made of the barking dogs in her neighborhood. She urged the Board to include barking dogs in the ordinance so she would have some recourse to this type of noise.
16. Don Fattig - Mr. Fattig spoke to OSHA regulations regarding noise. He stated that the H in OSHA stands for Health, and that noise does affect our health. He was concerned about the compliance order, stating that the civil and criminal penalties may not be enough. He suggested raising the monetary penalties to a level where it is not more economical to just pay the fine and continue with the violation.
17. Clyde Garren - Mr. Garren was present today to support the noise ordinance. He hears a lot of trail bikes in the neighborhood, and when he has contacted the police they have been unable to act without an ordinance in place.
18. Linda Overcash - Ms. Overcash was not present to speak when her name was called.
19. Cindy Jackson - Ms. Jackson was not present to speak when her name was called.
20. Buck Weaver - Mr. Weaver stated that the issue of aviation noise has not been considered. There is a federal organization that regulates aircraft noise, and can assist in incorporating this issue into the ordinance.
Commissioner Ward pulled for comment Item AF@ - Bids for the roll-off truck for solid waste.
In December of 1998, the roll-off truck used for recycling blew it=s engine. Repairs on the vehicle were estimated at approximately $30,000. Because the vehicle had over 500,000 miles on it, the recommendation was to request bids for a used truck. On January 6, 1999, those bids were opened and read by Gary T. Tweed, P.E., County Engineer for one used roll-off truck for the Solid Waste Department. The bid was awarded to Nu-Life Environmental, Inc. in the amount of $37,500 for the purchase of a used 1990 Mack G & H Hoist-Outside Rail Truck.
This information was provided to the Board as required by the Resolution dated August 20, 1997 authorizing the County Manager to award certain equipment purchases.
Commissioner Moyer pulled Item AC@ - Tax Releases, until the Board could receive comment from Tax Assessor Robert Baird.
Commissioner Kumor made the motion to approve the Consent Agenda with the exception of Item AC@. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
The CONSENT AGENDA then consisted of the following:
Minutes were presented for the Board=s review and approval of the following meetings:
November 2, 1998, regularly scheduled meeting
December 15, 1998, specially called meeting
December 16, 1998, regularly scheduled meeting
A list of 16 tax refund requests was presented for the Board=s approval. Supporting documentation is on file in the County Assessor=s Office.
Tax Collector=s Report
Terry F. Lyda, Tax Collector, had provided the collection report through January 11, 1999.
Notification of Vacancies
The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear under ANominations@ on the next agenda:
1. Henderson County Planning Board - 1 vac. (due to resignation)
Request for Improvement Guarantee for Bradford Terrace Subdivision
An Application for Subdivision Improvement Guarantees dated January 6, 1998 was submitted by Mr. J. Hampton Hyder and Mrs. Ruth Hyder, developers of Bradford Terrace Subdivision. By way of this application the Developer requested permission to post a subdivision improvement guarantee to cover the estimated cost of the road improvements for the proposed major subdivision. Bradford Terrace is a major subdivision located off Sugar Loaf Road in Henderson County.
Pursuant to Section 170-39 of the Henderson County Code, a developer may, in lieu of completing all of the requirements within the subdivision (i.e. completion of the road improvements) prior to final plat approval, post a performance guarantee to secure the County=s interest in seeing that satisfactory construction of the incomplete improvements is accomplished. One type of permitted guarantee is an irrevocable letter of credit.
First Citizens Bank has extended an Irrevocable Stand-By Letter of Credit for the purpose of providing the improvement guarantee for the road improvements in Hearthstone in the amount of $16,617.50. This amount exceeds the amount listed on the cost quote plus the required additional amount of twenty-five percent. The Letter of Credit and a proposed Performance Guaranty Agreement were presented for review. The Staff Attorney had reviewed the Letter of Credit and the proposed Agreement and was willing to certify them as to form.
Planning Staff had reviewed the request and recommended approval in accordance with Section 551 of the Henderson County Land Development Ordinance. The effect of the approval of this improvement guarantee was to allow Planning Staff to approve the final plat for Bradford Terrace Subdivision prior to completion of the improvements.
Bids for the roll-off truck for solid waste
This was discussed prior to the approval of the consent agenda.
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:
1. Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 4 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
2. Henderson County Zoning Board of Adjustment - 4 vac.
There was some discussion about having the alternate member from the Kanuga area move up and serve as a regular member. Commissioner Kumor made the motion to appointment Mr. Lloyd Kidwell as the regular member. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
There were no other nominations at this time, so the other three vacancies were rolled to the next meeting.
3. Henderson County Partnership for Children - 1 vac.
David Nicholson informed the Board that he had researched state law on this issue, and has found that there is no requirement that a Commissioner serve on this board. They do require representation from city and county governments, but Mr. Nicholson=s service on this board fulfills that requirement. Their local by-laws do request a Commissioner, but again this is not a requirement of statute.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
4. Henderson County Travel & Tourism Committee (need to name Chairman)
Commissioner Moyer nominated John Shiery for the Chairman position. Commissioner Ward made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Mr. Shiery. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Hawkins informed the Board of several additional items that related to Commissioner representation on boards. The first item dealt with the ABHWA. Chairman Hawkins requested the ABHWA be informed that Commissioner Moyer would be replacing former Commissioner Good. He also informed the Board that Commissioner Moyer was willing to serve on the Library Board, but wished to serve in a non-voting ex-officio capacity. Mr. Nicholson stated that he would look into the by-laws for this board and see if a change was necessary. Finally, Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board that there is a vacancy on the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, if any Commissioner wishes to serve.
Elizabeth Corn reminded the Board that a lot of the Commissioner appointments have been made informally, and therefore no letters have gone out. If the Board would take action to approve the presented list of Commissioners currently serving on Boards, appointment letters could be generated which will be sent to Commissioners and staff. The list indicated the following:
Board: Currently Serving:
Agriculture Advisory Board Don Ward
ABHWA Bill Moyer
CJPA Renee Kumor
Board of Health Marilyn Gordon
Hospital Board of Directors Grady Hawkins
Library Board of Trustees Bill Moyer
LEPC Grady Hawkins, Don Ward
Recreation Committee Don Ward
Travel & Tourism Marilyn Gordon
Henderson County Water Forum Don Ward
Welfare Reform Committee Grady Hawkins
7th Avenue Historic District Renee Kumor
Land-of-Sky Regional Council Grady Hawkins, Renee Kumor
Jail Committee Renee Kumor
Long Range Planning Committee Grady Hawkins
Land-of-Sky Senior Companion Grady Hawkins
Juvenile Crime Prevention Council
Task Force Renee Kumor
Planning Board Bill Moyer
S.W.A.C. Marilyn Gordon
Alliance for Human Services Bill Moyer
COC Existing Industries Committee Marilyn Gordon
Commissioner Ward made the motion to accept the list as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
VIDEO PRODUCTION SYSTEM
Pursuant to authorization given to the County Manager, bids were solicited on the Henderson County video production system. The only bid that was received was submitted by Clark-Powell Associates, Inc. The following adjustments to the bid have been discussed with Clark-Powell at the request of the County Manager: (1) substitute condenser microphones for lavalier microphones; (2) substitute an automatic audio mixer (necessitated by condenser microphones); (3) delete the S-VHS edit recorder that was going to be used for dubbing; and (4) delete the service and maintenance contract. With the adjustments, the total bid amount for the purchase and installation of the equipment and training of personnel will be $57,159. The budget on the video production system was $60,000.
The system will consist of three cameras: one on the back wall, one on the pillar in the middle of the room, and one on the pillar next to the dais. There will also be eight (8) condenser microphones. The remainder of the equipment will be housed in the closet in the dais. All equipment will be digital.
There is a company in Asheville which can make duplicates of tapes for us with 24 hours notice for $12.00. They can also make duplicates for the general public on a standard VHS tape for $4.00. We will not have the capability to make duplicates in-house.
Mr. Nicholson recommended to the Board that they not tape the general public input to the Board, as it is not official business, and can go on indefinitely. He also discussed with the Board setting standard dates and times for the airing of the meetings.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the recommendation as presented with the exception of the Aapproved written minutes@ comments. Following discussion on the proposed air schedule section, Commissioner Kumor called the question on the motion. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
DOWNTOWN RECYCLING CENTER
Gary Tweed reminded the Board that the County is currently operating two recycling centers. One is at the Solid Waste facility on Stoney Mountain Road, and the other is downtown on Maple Street. The Solid Waste Department had been verbally notified by the property owner for the Maple Street Recycling Center that they wish to have the County move the recycling center. They are planning an expansion on the property. Use of the property has been on a month-to-month basis and the County has had free use of the property. With the site being adjacent to the City Public Works Department, the City has maintained the site. We have been requested to move the center within 30 days. Staff had requested a letter from the owner and to date written notice has not been received.
Staff had also discussed with Chris Carter, Hendersonville City Manager, if the City would have a site that could be used for relocation of the center but at this time the City has no available property. Also, there is no County property downtown which would be suitable for the site. In order to move the center to another privately owned site the County would expect to have to lease the property and man the site. The estimates annual costs were: $12,000 for a lease, $25,000 for staff, and $26,000 for material transportation. That brought the total cost to operate a Downtown Recycling Center to $63,000 annually.
Commissioner Moyer made the motion to close the Maple Street Recycling Center, and ask the Solid Waste Advisory Committee to make a recommendation on whether we should have another site in the county. Following discussion, Chairman Hawkins called for a vote on the motion. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
CORRECTION TO CODE
Angela Beeker informed the Board that staff had discovered a section of the code (Section 200-73(B)) that is in conflict with the corresponding section of the Zoning Ordinance (Section 1201). Some material was omitted when the information was sent to the codifiers. Therefore, the provision in the Zoning Ordinance which deals with who may initiate a Zoning Ordinance, in the code is different from the way it reads in the Zoning Ordinance. Under the previous version, a citizen could not apply to have someone else=s property rezoned. It would have to have the consent of all the people in the proposed zoning area, or the Zoning Board of Adjustment or Board of Commissioners could be asked to look at an area. The way it currently reads in the code, only one of the owners in the proposed re-zoning area may make such application. With regard to text amendments, under the old version a citizen had to request the permission of the Board of Commissioners first. Under the new version, a citizen can initiate a text amendment.
Ms. Beeker stated that it would be appropriate for the Board to consider setting a public hearing for February 17th if the Board wished to correct the text of the Code. Commissioner Moyer suggested this be sent back to the Planning Board to be reconsidered, and to ask for their recommendation on whether this should be changed. It was the consensus of the Board to send this item to the Planning Board for their recommendation.
EMS SATELLITE SUBSTATION - Mills River
Mr. Nicholson reminded the Board that following their direction, Staff had been working with Park Ridge to develop a plan for the EMS facility on property owned by Park Ridge. Park Ridge has contracted with Fletcher Academy Enterprises, Inc. to build the facility. The EMS portion of the building was estimated to cost $164,012. The Board previously agreed to contribute $50,000 towards the construction cost of the satellite substation. Construction has now begun, and is expected to be completed in May of 1999. The proposed lease agreement has been reviewed and approved by Park Ridge and by EMS.
Mr. Herman Davis, and Mr. Ken Cobb, from Park Ridge Hospital were present to answer any questions. Mr. Davis stated that he was looking forward to having the facility completed soon, and hoped the County would be able to move in as soon as possible after that so the facility could be operational. He informed the Board that there was a real need for a traffic light out there, as there has already been one accident. Park Ridge has done a lot of leg work toward this goal, and informed the Board that the light would be on the way at some point.
Chairman Hawkins asked several questions regarding the lease. The first dealt with the commencement of the term and the payment of the money. Jennifer Jackson advised the Board not to enter into this lease until we can take possession of the building, and that the lease and exchange of monies could be handled at that point. There was a question regarding a broken air conditioning unit which is the responsibility of the county to repair. Is this unit specifically for EMS or does it serve the entire building? There are separate units, so we are required to repair/replace only the unit that serves the EMS building portion.
Finally Chairman Hawkins had a question about radioactive substances. Ms. Jackson stated that this had been added to the lease because there is a concern about having an x-ray facility located next door. Any radioactive substances must not endanger the operations of county employees in the space we will be leasing. Ken Cobb then spoke to this, stating that they did not wish to preclude the possibility of future placement of an x-ray machine on site. If this is done, it will be in complete accordance with state laws as far as the shielding of the room where these substances are housed.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the lease, to be signed at such time as the facility is taken over. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
SET PUBLIC HEARING ON REZONING REQUEST by Gary M. Sanders
Matt Matteson informed the Board that Mr. Gary Sanders had submitted an application requesting that the County rezone approximately 30 acres of property located in the Bearwallow Valley zoning area off Green Mountain Road, from an RM-2 (Rural Mixed Use 2) district to an RM-1 (Rural Mixed Use 1) district. On December 1, 1998, the Planning Board referred the application to its Subcommittee on Short Term Issues. The Subcommittee met on December 8, 1998, and decided to send an unfavorable recommendation on the requested rezoning to the full Planning Board. The Subcommittee also recommended against rezoning the parcel to another district or removing it from zoning entirely.
On January 5, 1999, the Henderson County Planning Board discussed the recommendation of the Subcommittee and voted unanimously (7 to 0) to send the Board of Commissioners an unfavorable recommendation on the request to rezone the Sanders property from an RM-2 to an RM-1 district or any other district. The Planning Board also voted to recommend against removing the parcel entirely from zoning.
The Board of Commissioners must hold a public hearing prior to taking action on the application. Planning Staff has recommended that the hearing be scheduled for Monday, March 1, 1999, at 7:00pm. Commissioner Kumor made the motion to set the public hearing for March 1, 1999 as recommended. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
UPDATE ON PENDING ISSUES
1. Legislative Goals Meeting in Raleigh - Chairman Hawkins and Commissioner Kumor recently attended this meeting. Each of the goals submitted by Henderson County was accepted by the body of County Commissioners to lobby for legislation. Those goals dealt with volunteer fire departments and annexation, prototype schools, and lease/purchase financing.
2. Fire and Rescue Association - Rocky Hyder has requested that the Board meet with the Fire and Rescue Association five member committee to address their Advisory Board. This meeting can be set during AImportant Dates@. Chairman Hawkins has requested Tax Assessor Robert Baird make a preliminary run for some fire district taxes, and how they are affected by the reevaluation. In years past, when a reevaluation has been done the Board has also studied the fire tax in each district.
3. LGCCA - Chairman Hawkins informed the Board that he would be unable to attend the LGCCA meeting on January 21, 1999. Commissioner Moyer will attend in his stead. One of the items that will be discussed at that meeting will be water and sewer line extensions.
4. Retreat Agenda - Chairman Hawkins and Angela Beeker have worked on a agenda for the upcoming Board of Commissioners Retreat. Currently the topics for discussion include the budget, revenue sources, government administration, infrastructure, policy, planning issues and goals. There was discussion that this was a lot of information to cover in the course of one day. The time schedules for several sessions were then adjusted.
5. Board of Elections Space - Mr. Nicholson reminded the Board that remodeling of the Board of Elections space on Grove Street has begun. The remodeling is moving along, they are working on a furniture inventory. The move is running on time and within budget.
6. Reassessment Space - Commissioner Moyer questioned the progression of the Assessor=s office move. This is already being planned, and should be completed mid-March, 1999.
7. Sewer - Gary Tweed reminded the Board that in September, 1998, there had been an attempt to obtain a trust fund grant to do a sewer project out in Mills River. They had been denied on that project. He requested a worksession to discuss sewers, and where we want them to go. There are some upcoming deadlines if we wish to apply for bond monies or grants. Mr. Nicholson will try to get some additional information on the rules for grants at the upcoming County Managers meeting in Raleigh.
Chairman Hawkins suggested changing the January 25th workshop on Subdivision Regulations to a Noise Ordinance Workshop. Following some discussion, it was decided not to change this workshop.
The Board then discussed their priorities for upcoming projects. There was much discussion about how much information members of the Board would like to have on the proposed jail prior to a workshop. The Board set a workshop on the Jail for February 8 at 5:00 p.m. Commissioner Moyer requested the meeting notice specify that action may be taken at the meeting.
The Board set a workshop on the Volunteer Fire Departments for February 3 at 7:00 p.m.
The Board set a Noise Ordinance Workshop for February 25 at 3:00 p.m.
Mr. Nicholson reminded the Board of the upcoming NACo Legislative Conference in Washington. If any Commissioners do plan to attend it may affect the first scheduled meeting in March. There was discussion on the value of our being represented at this meeting.
The Board set a Sewer Workshop for February 15 at 5:30 p.m. Gary Tweed requested permission to authorize Bill Lapsley to start the process of the preliminary engineering cost estimates. The Board made that authorization.
ADOPTION OF THE 1999 SCHEDULE OF RULES, STANDARDS, AND VALUES AND THE 1999 PRESENT-USE VALUE SCHEDULE
Robert Baird discussed the 1999 Market Values Schedules and the 1999 Present-Use Values Schedules. He stated that these schedules could be seen at many locations in the county, and were recently published in the Times-News. The Schedules are available for inspection by the general public, and will continue to be available for inspection for an additional 30 days after the date of adoption.
Commissioner Ward made the motion to approve the 1999 Market Values Schedules and the 1999 Present-Use Values Schedules. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Consent Agenda Item AC@ - Tax Releases
Commissioner Moyer questioned the description of the release which states Ain lieu of arbitrary@. Mr. Baird explained the term arbitrary is used loosely, but means that if someone does not file their business or personal property with the office they use several means to try to get that person to file. If they do not however, it is still the responsibility of the Assessor to assess the property at 100% of it=s market value. Therefore it means that the Assessor is making that assessment based on his interpretation, without input from the property owner.
Commissioner Moyer made the motion to accept this item from the Consent Agenda. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
REPORT ON COUNTY=S ANNUAL AUDIT FOR FY 97-98
Carey McLelland and Selena Coffey were present to give presentation on the County=s Annual Audit for FY 97-98. Mr. McLelland pointed out that they had received an unqualified opinion from the external auditors, Dixon Odom, which means that they had a clean opinion. He covered the following major initiative that was covered by the Board in 97-98.
1. A new state-of-the-art Emergency Communications Center was constructed and began operations.
2. The County=s newest industry Continental Teves, located in Broadpointe Industrial Park, began production.
3. Construction began on the Edneyville Branch Library.
4. Lot 5A in Appleland Business Park was sold for office and institutional use.
5. Rate increases for both the Mud Creek and Cane Creek Water & Sewer Districts were implemented and significantly improved the financial positions of both districts.
6. Construction of a new solid waste transfer station was completed and the transfer of solid waste to a regional facility in South Carolina was initiated. This has improved the efficiency of solid waste operations.
Mr. McLelland then provided a comparison of Governmental Fund Revenues in FY 1987-88 and FY 1997-98. These comparisons included Ad Valorem Taxes, Sales Taxes, Other Taxes & Licenses, Intergovernmental Revenues, Investment Earnings and Others. Mr. McClelland explained that Other Taxes & Licenses were comprised of Deed Excise Taxes and Occupancy Tax from Travel and Tourism.
He provided a comparison study between the Governmental Fund Revenues for Henderson County, and other North Carolina counties with a population group average of 50,000 to 100,000.
Most percentages were very similar, however Ad Valorem Taxes in Henderson County were 50% compared with 35% in the Group Average, and other (fees, etc.) were 10% in Henderson County compared with 26% in the Group Average. Mr. McLelland will check into this discrepancy and report back to the Board.
He also provided a chart on the Property Tax Collection rates. The Henderson County average was 98%, compared to 95.8% in our Population Group Average, and 95.4% state wide. Chairman Hawkins asked if there was any way to track the percentage of property taxes actually paid on time. Mr. McLelland will find out if this information is available, and report back to the Board.
He then provided the comparisons on expenditures. Based on our figures from 10 years ago, we are now spending a higher percentage on public safety, and a lower percentage on general government. Most other numbers remained similar. In a comparison with our Population Group Average, we spend more on public safety, and less on human services and education. The discrepancy in these numbers is largely due to the high number of fire departments in the County.
He discussed the General Fund - Available Fund Balance. The current Henderson County average was 5%, compared to 21% in our Population Group Average, and 21% state wide. Mr. McLelland explained that this was due mainly to our new 911 Center. Currently, we have just expended the money to build the new center. The surcharge for this will be coming on the backside from BellSouth. With this money, we would be up to at least 7.2%.
Following much discussion on the General Fund Balance, Mr. McLelland discussed compliance issues.
1. Margaret R. Pardee Memorial Hospital, technically a county department, was operating on a fiscal year end other than June 30. This issue was resolved when Pardee became a separate nonprofit entity on November 1, 1998.
2. A residual equity transfer is a nonrecurring or nonroutine transfer between funds. In this case the transfer was a contribution of capital (fund balance) from the General Fund to the Self-Insurance Fund to eliminate a deficit financial position. This transfer is considered a reportable condition because it was discussed at the end of the audit fieldwork and executed after fiscal year end.
3. Reconciliation of the property tax levy and receivables per reports provided by the County Assessor=s Office to the amounts reported on the general ledger is a difficult fiscal year end task. However, the total revenue collected by the Tax Collector and deposited in the bank is reconciled monthly to tax revenues posted on the monthly bank statement and reported on the general ledger with no exceptions. There was much discussion on how to reconcile this matter.
4. A Medicaid participant received benefits while eligibility was in question because complete documentation was not in order or misplaced. The Department of Social Services is currently investigating the absence of this documentation to resolve this issue.
QUARTERLY BUDGET REPORT
Selena Coffey presented the Budget Report for the 2nd Quarter. She informed the Board that all revenues and expenditures will be analyzed quarterly, but only major revenues and expenditures and areas of significance will be included in this quarterly report. Ms. Coffey briefly reviewed the Board Objectives. These included: increase available fund balance, continue implementation of CIP program, enhance quality of services to community, maintain a strong economic development program, maintain appropriate fee structures for quality of services provided by the County. She was pleased to let the Board know that most of these projects are already underway.
Ms. Coffey reminded the Board that the percentages for General Fund Budgeted Revenues were 51.1% Property Taxes, 21.1% Sales Taxes, and 19.1% Intergovernmental Revenues. She informed the Board that as of December 31st, the county was at 54.3% in collections for Ad Valorem Taxes, 50.7% of the projected sales tax revenue has been received, and collection of inspections revenues were at 50.3%. There figures are directly in line for mid-year.
She then described the General Fund Revenues by Function, and provided a brief General Fund Expenditure Analysis. A few of these funds appear slightly over budget. First was Economic & Physical Development. That category is at 52% of budget at mid-year due to the economic development contributions paid in the first six months of the fiscal year as approved by the Board of Commissioners. Second was Cultural & Recreational. This category is at 57% mid-year due to non-routine expenditures such as capital outlay. Finally was Education. This category is at approximately 58% at mid-year due to the public school system having drawn down a majority of its capital allocation in the first half of the fiscal year. Overall, the General Fund is at 48% of total budgets as of December 31, 1998.
Ms. Coffey then reviewed the Fund Revenues by Source . Major revenue sources for Mud Creek come from District user fees, approximately 86.2%. Revenues at mid-year for Mud Creek are at 54%. Major revenue sources for Cane Creek also come from District user fees, approximately 98.9%. Revenues at mid-year for Cane Creek are at 69%. Finally, major revenue sources for the Solid Waste Fund also come from user fees, approximately 93.7%, with an additional 4.8% coming from state reimbursements. Revenues at mid-year for the Solid Waste Fund are at 31%. This is due to the transitions that have taken place within the department and the implementation of the transfer station. This budget is being watched, and expenditures will be kept in line with these lower revenues.
HOUSING ASSISTANCE CORPORATION PRESENTATION
Ken Perkins was present to make the following presentation. AI=m Ken Perkins, I=m the executive director of Housing Assistance Corporation and currently we are managing a program on behalf of the county - a program that was applied for in 1996 for what we call OWNER OCCUPIED RESIDENTIAL REHAB. These are funds that are available to the county through the HOME, which is your HUD operation set through the Asheville Consortium. We are members here in the county. The funding this year is in the amount of $1,200,000 for all of the ARHC category. Henderson County itself has been allocated $145,000 out of that fund to be expended here in the county. We are coming to you to appeal to apply for that amount of money and maybe a little bit more, depending on what the kitty will allow up there to repeat this program again in the next year which begins - the monies are available as of July 1999 and would continue to the year 2000. Currently I pass before you a set of photos of some of the projects that we have been able to do in the county. We have through the research, advertising promotion, and so forth havefound some distressed houses out there that if no work were to be done on them they would have been condemned by the Board of Health and the owners and occupants of those homes would have been institutionalized. In this way here, we were able to allow by fixing up the homes to above code standards we were able to allow those folks, most of them handicapped and elderly, to age in place.
Currently if we are allowed to make application, we obviously can=t apply ourselves for these funds because the government does not allow a non-profit like us to use funding for owner occupied structures. We have indeed applied for and have been using funding through the HOME FUNDS for unoccupied structures. Where we purchase the structure, put in some major efforts of redesign and bring them up to equal or to above code and resell them to a tax paying citizen. There are several programs we put together leveraging - to help the buyers in that particular case. We are strictly looking at low income folks, in this case most of the funds that you have allowed us to use were used for 50% of median income here in the county. 50% of median income for a family of two is running somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000 - $24,000 - $25,000. In any event, we disallowed anything over the 50% mark and that is considered very low income. If we are allowed to apply, these funds would not be - the county match on it would not be needed until your next budgetary period - is what I=m understanding. I=m coming to you I guess today after a position of weakness not strength because of having to listen to all the budget commentary here. The point is that we would love to continue in this program, I showed you some of the photos. We have one right now which I=d like to share with you particularly which is of interest - I=ve only got one photo and this is kinda a display we have been using for a particular story on a particular client.@
He went on to tell the story of a man discovered out in East Flat Rock who was living in a condition that was deplorable - no running water, no heat, literally one light bulb was his source of power and that was the only electrical usage he had in this particular structure. It had been burned. He was a man that had worked with one of our citizens here in the county - Jody Barber. This gentleman worked for Jody Barber for 40 years. And not only his family here locally, or his family up in Cincinnati knew that he was living in such a deplorable condition. They were reluctant to take it to the Board of Health because they knew that he would be institutionalized immediately.
Thanks to this program, and a lot of volunteer effort in the county, the original house has been destroyed, and a house in being recreated for this man. This helps the occupant, and also helps the tax base. No monies were brought back into the county last year. In fact there were some funds that had to be returned from Henderson County, and were reassigned to Transylvania County
Chairman Hawkins asked if any of the money was designated for the public school building program. Mr. Perkins answered that last year East and West High Schools built two prefabricated structures on their campuses which were purchased by this program. Both of these schools are interested in continuing the program, and North High School may also be interested. In these cases funds are used to purchase the materials, and the program gets the advantage of free labor.
Commissioner Moyer asked if voluntary labor and in kind contributions could be used for the match rather than cash. Mr. Perkins stated that that was indeed true. A $10.00 per hour volunteer match is available. The hours from the schools can be used for that hour match.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion to pledge at least $36,309 for the HOME PROGRAM PLANNING PROGRAM contingent to a reduction in whatever hours Mr. Perkins is able to match. Following discussion, all voted in favor and the motion carried.
PARK AND RECREATION TRUST FUND GRANT APPLICATION FOR JACKSON PARK
Larry Harmon informed the Board that the Parks and Recreation Department was requesting approval to submit an application for two state grants. The first application was to the North Carolina Park and Recreation Trust Fund Grant for Jackson Park in the amount of $290,950. This was a 50/50 matching grant program, so Henderson County would need to commit $145,475, which is one-half the grant amount. This grant would be to build four new tennis courts at Jackson Park as well as parking and an access road. Eight tennis courts are in the master plan for Jackson Park. The project has been recommended for approval by the Henderson County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Henderson County Community Tennis Association and the Henderson County Men=s Tennis Association.
Commissioner Moyer asked if this money had been set aside in the budget. This money was budgeted last year, but was spent on other projects when the state turned down the grant. Mr. Harmon reminded the Board that they have applied for this grant the past three years, but have yet to receive it. Chairman Hawkins stated that because this grant program is so convoluted, he is reluctant to set aside this amount of money without knowing about the grant status. There was much discussion on how high a priority this was for both the county and schools. It was mentioned that this might be considered as a joint venture between the county, the schools and the YMCA. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to deny this application. Following additional discussion the motion carried 4-1 with Commissioner Kumor voting nay.
NORTH CAROLINA NATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM GRANT APPLICATION FOR JACKSON PARK
Larry Harmon presented the second application for a state grant to the North Carolina National Trails Program, which would be used to build a paved trail from the Mud Creek bridge to the entrance to the Nature Trail in Jackson Park. This grant is an 80/20 matching grant program requiring Henderson County to contribute 20% or $5,000. The is the number one priority of the Apple Country Greenways Committee. The grant application is due January 26th.
Commissioner Moyer questioned why you would consider paving a walking trail. Mr. Harmon stated that it would be handicap accessible, and would be used as a sidewalk since there is currently no sidewalk or shoulder along this stretch of road. Commissioner Moyer made the motion to deny this request. The motion carried 4-1 with Commissioner Kumor voting nay.
CITY OF HENDERSONVILLE/Mud Creek District
Chairman Hawkins informed the Board that he had received a letter from the City of Hendersonville concerning a proposal for their purchase of the assets of Mud Creek Water & Sewer District. Their suggestion basically proposed the swap of the District=s assets for the County=s share of their new treatment plant and the termination of the 1986 Agreement. He brought this to the Board=s attention today just to make them aware of it.
All Commissioners had questions on the Agreement. Following discussion, Chairman Hawkins said he and Commissioner Moyer would further explore only the small piece in question at upcoming LGCCA meetings, and bring back any possibilities for their consideration.
ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN SERVICES: Community Needs Assessment
Commissioner Moyer reminded the Board that they approved an allocation for $25,000 in the FY 98-99 budget. This funding was to be utilized for consultation services, particularly for the development of a community needs assessment related to the Alliance for Human Services= mission given to the Board. The Alliance has since completed the RFP process and has chosen Dialogos Consulting firm to fulfill said community needs assessment.
The Alliance for Human Services Board of Directors has entered into a contract with Dialogos for these services. However, the Alliance felt it prudent to ask the three funding agencies (Henderson County, Community Foundation and United Way) to execute the contract as well. Due to extenuating circumstances, it was necessary that the contract be executed prior to this board meeting and therefore, Commissioners= Vice Chairman, Bill Moyer, executed the contract in the absence of Chairman Hawkins. Commissioner Moyer requested ratification of that signature, and the authorization to have Jennifer Jackson file only Articles of Incorporation as a nonprofit corporation for the Alliance for Human Services. The procedures to be followed by the Alliance will be reviewed at the Retreat.
Commissioner Moyer made the motion for approval of the agreement, ratification of his authorizing it, and authorization for Ms. Jackson to file the Articles of Incorporation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Kumor made the motion for the Board to go into Closed Session as allowed pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11 for the following reason:
1. (a)(1) To prevent disclosure of information that is privileged or confidential pursuant to the law of this State or of the United States, or not considered a public record within the meaning of Chapter 132 of the General Statutes, in order to consider matters that may be withheld from public inspection pursuant to NAGS 143-318.10(e) and Section 11-4 of the Henderson County Code.
All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to go out of closed session. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Hawkins adjourned the meeting.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board Grady Hawkins, Chairman