STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON
FEBRUARY 8, 1999
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 5:00 p.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, and Assistant County Manager Angela S. Beeker.
Also present were the following members from the architectural firm, Grier-Fripp: Alan Baldwin, Mohsen Ghorieshi, Steve Allen, and Ed Spooner.
The following members of the Jail Advisory Committee were present: Lem Dermid. Capt. Pruett, Lt. Pat Summey, Bill Byrnes, Sharon Salz - rep. For Judge Guice, Brenda McMurray, Chief Don Fisher, Tommy Thompson, Dick Adams, Bill Berry, Bill Farrell, Charlene Livingston, Mary Murray and Lori Gonce.
Absent was: Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. He stated that the purpose of this meeting was a jail workshop with the Jail Planning Committee. This was a workshop and therefore no public input was permitted. .
At a previous jail workshop, the Board had asked numerous questions that they wished to be answered. A prepared book was presented at this meeting entitledAHenderson County Detention Center - Commissioner=s Workshop@ and dated February 8, 1999, to try to address those questions. Chairman Hawkins stated that the Commissioners have not read the books because they had just received them.
Questions & Answers, Part I was a written response to the questions asked. This section of the book is copied and attached as a part of these minutes as there was much discussion of these questions and answers. Also attached are:
AttachmentAA@ Cost Analysis, Central Visitation
AttachmentAA@ Cost Analysis, Video Visitation
AttachmentAA@ Cost Analysis, Visitation at Housing Unit
AttachmentAB@ Project Cost Comparisons
Commissioner Gordon made the motion to approve the presented package with the stipulation that as the planning process continues these items, such as additional cell space and/or construction material, be brought to the Board if it increases the price above $9,735,500.
There was much discussion. Commissioner Moyer stated that he felt that the Board needed to move forward with the project, approve it, have anybody involved with the Committee that wants to move forward to resolve these remaining issues. He stated that it is important to get started, get the financing in place and get moving on this project. We can work these details out as we go forward.
Commissioner Ward stated that it had been his practice over the last four years to move slow and careful. He felt that he had not read the book enough to vote affirmative on a $10 million project.
Commissioner Gordon stated that the Board=s questions have been answered. There are still some issues that need to be discussed but they can be a part of the planning process. They don=t all have to be addressed at this time. She felt that the issue on the table is ADo we approve the concept and are we committed to moving forward with it and do we have confidence in the Board and feel that the Commissioners can work with them in reaching a conclusion on it?@.
Commissioner Moyer stated that the Board has to look at the overall cost of the project, whether they can justify that from an efficiency standpoint. He is prepared to put confidence in the people who have done the work and move forward with the project.
Commissioner Hawkins stated that he too had not read the entire book distributed so he was not comfortable with it. His big question was how to pay for it. He stated that the motion on the floor is for a $9.7 million facility. (If you go for that you have to come up with the money. The only financing leaves a lot of questions.) He asked what kind of additional revenue is generated from federal prisoners or female prisoners and is that going to be applied against the debt service payment. He questioned whether the Board planned to increase taxes by 2 cents or by a dollar amount to help pay for this.
Following discussion, a vote was taken which passed three to two with Commissioners Hawkins and Ward voting no.
Commissioner Moyer made the motion to proceed to plan financing on a 20 year basis subject to Commissioner Moyer and Chairman Hawkins preparing a more detailed proposal to be voted on as soon as it was prepared. A vote was taken and the motion carried unanimously.
Sheriff Erwin stated that historically the Sheriff=s Department has shown that you get more bang for your buck than you ever have before in this county. He was adamant when starting this project to look long-term down the road so this county would not have to come back to the table and deal with this issue again because of all the other projects and challenges the Board is facing.
Commissioner Moyer stated that it is extremely important to do good public relations work because as soon as people hear $9,000,000 to $10,000,000 jail they won=t think it is possible. It will have to be explained that this is a Ano frills@ jail.
Commissioner Gordon stated that this is a first step at addressing the facility needs for the whole county. This is not an either/or choice.
Commissioner Ward asked the Sheriff to create a document regarding staffing needs that can be put with this document for future Boards/Sheriffs, etc.
Clerk of Court, Tommy Thompson, raised an issue that the Magistrates of Henderson County are nominated by the Clerk. Over the past several years we have put Magistrates on duty 24 hours a day. In looking at plans and studying the planned jail he feels that the current plans for the Magistrates Office are inadequate for the space needs. In one weeks time, in excess of 360 people came into the Magistrates Office. These had nothing to do with arrests or phone calls. During that same week 82 defendants came before the Magistrates. He asked that the Board reconsider the space for the Magistrates Office in the jail plan. Tommy Thompson was asked to meet with the Architects to come up with a better design, the square footage was adequate.
Tommy Thompson also informed the Board of a parking problem currently at the Courthouse, stating that 90% of the employees of the County Office Building at 100 North King Street park at the Courthouse. When you build a new jail, parking needs to be looked at closely.
The Jail Project Team stated they would continue to look at any funding options.
Chairman Hawkins adjourned the meeting.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk Grady Hawkins, Chairman