STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON
APRIL 21, 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 M. Skerrett, County Attorney Don H. Elkins, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
Also present were: Staff Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, Interim Planning Director Karen Collins, County Engineer Gary Tweed, and Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Hawkins led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
David Nicholson gave the invocation.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Commissioner Moyer requested that item AA@ under Discussion Items - Motor Sports Facilities Ordinance be moved up to just after the ANominations@.
Commissioner Ward requested that an update on Jackson Park Lighting be added as AF@ under Staff Reports.
Chairman Hawkins requested that Fletcher Annexation be added as item AD@ under Discussion Items.
David Nicholson requested that Video Program be added as AG@ under Staff Reports.
Elizabeth Corn requested that #2 under ANominations@ be deleted. She had received additional information (revised by-laws) indicating there was not a vacancy at this time. She also informed the Board of one additional vacancy under Consent Agenda, AG@, for the Nursing/Adult Care Homes Community Advisory Committee.
It was the consensus of the Board to approve these changes in the agenda.
Commissioner Kumor made the motion to approve the revised Consent Agenda. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
The CONSENT AGENDA consisted of the following:
Minutes were presented for the Board=s review and approval of the following meetings:
March 8, 1999 special called meeting
March 17, 1999 regularly scheduled meeting
April 5, 1999 regularly scheduled meeting
3rd Quarter Budget Report
During budget deliberations, the County Manager committed to providing to the Board of Commissioners quarterly budget reports throughout FY 1998-1999. These quarterly reports are designed to keep the Board updated on any changes that come about during the fiscal year concerning the County=s budget.
In addition to reviewing a brief presentation on the 3rd Quarter Budget Report, the Board had the opportunity to review the presented CIP monthly reports.
Notification of Purchase - Office Partition System
The Board of Commissioners adopted a Resolution on August 20, 1997, authorizing the County Manager to advertise, receive, reject and award bids on the purchase of apparatus, supplies, materials and equipment valued at less than $100,000.00. The County Manager had recently exercised his authority under this Resolution and, pursuant to the terms of the Resolution, reported that to the Board of Commissioners.
The County Manager authorized the advertisement of bids for the purchase and installation of an office partition system for the Department of Social Services. The taking of bids was advertised on March 8, 1999 and bids were received on March 16, 1999. Due to the nonresponsiveness of the one bid that was received, the County Manager authorized the readvertisement of the bids on March 22, 1999 and their opening on March 30, 1999. The one bid received on March 30 was submitted by Professional Business Interiors out of Asheville for a total bid price of $46,688.00. On March 31, 1999, the County Manager awarded the purchase and installation contract to Professional Business Interiors.
This was provided as information only. No action was required.
Request for Improvement Guarantee for Clear Creek Meadows
An Application had been submitted for Subdivision Improvement Guarantee dated April 12, 1999 by Jarco Development, LLC, developer of Clear Creek Meadows subdivision. By way of this application the developer requested permission to post a guarantee to cover the estimated cost of the road and water improvements for the proposed major subdivision. Clear Creek Meadows is a major subdivision located off Clear Creek Road in Henderson County.
Pursuant to Section 170-39 of the Henderson County Code, a developer, in lieu of completing all of the requirements within the subdivision (i.e. road and water construction) prior to Final Plat approval, may post a performance guarantee to secure the County=s interest. One type of permitted guarantee is a cash deposit (certified check). Upon approval by the Board of Commissioners and satisfaction of any remedial conditions imposed by the Planning Board, Planning Staff may approve the Final Plat for Clear Creek Meadows subdivision.
Jarco Development, LLC, has agreed to offer a cash deposit (certified check) to guarantee the road and water improvements for Clear Creek Meadows in the amount of $116,875.00 which includes the amount listed on the cost quotation plus the required additional amount of twenty-five percent (25%). A draft Performance Guarantee Agreement was reviewed with the Board. The Staff Attorney has reviewed the Agreement and will certify it as to form.
Planning Staff has reviewed the request and recommended approval in accordance with County regulations.
Tax Release Requests (72)
A list of 72 tax release requests was presented for review and approval by the Board of Commissioners. The supporting documentation is on file in the County Assessor=s Office.
Tax Refund Requests (10)
A list of 10 tax refund requests was presented for review and approval by the Board of Commissioners. The supporting documentation is on file in the County Assessor=s Office.
Notification of Vacancies
The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear under ANominations@ on the next agenda:
1. Nursing/Adult Care Homes Community Advisory Committee - 5 vac.(this was changed to 6)
2. Henderson County Planning Board - 2 vac.
3. Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) - 3 vac.
Resolution - Community Development Week
A Resolution had been received requesting that the Board of Commissioners proclaim April 17-24, 1999 as Community Development Week in Henderson County.
Tax Collector=s Report
Terry F. Lyda, Henderson County Tax Collector, presented the monthly Tax Collector=s Report which revealed the status of their collection efforts as of this date and a breakdown of the progress made since the last report showing steps taken to collect all unpaid property taxes.
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:
1. Nursing/Adult Care Homes Community Advisory Committee - 1 vac.
This term expired 03/99, position #3. There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting. The Clerk was asked to bring back to the next meeting the note from Jack Reed about the recommendations for appointment to this committee.
2. Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation & Development Program - 1 vac.
This is an alternate position for S & C which occurred when a regular member resigned and an alternate was moved up to the regular position, creating an alternate vacancy. (This was removed from the agenda during DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA.)
DRAFT MOTOR SPORTS FACILITIES ORDINANCE
Jennifer Jackson distributed a Proposed Fee Schedule - Motor Sports Facilities Ordinance.
Mrs. Jackson reminded the Board that at its last meeting, on April 5, 1999, it directed staff to draft some additions to the Motor Sports Facilities Ordinance. These revisions were specifically related to issues associated with expansion of facilities, amendments to permits, and revocation of permits. She reviewed those changes with the Board.
The Board held a public hearing on the draft Motor Sports Facilities Ordinance on February 1, 1999, so Board action on the adoption of the Motor Sports Facilities Ordinance would be appropriate at this meeting or the Board could direct staff concerning further revisions.
If the Board approves this draft Ordinance, Staff requested that the effective date of the Ordinance correspond with the expiration of the current moratorium on midnight on May 2, 1999, making the ordinance effective at 12:01 on May 3, 1999. In the event the Board does not choose to adopt the draft ordinance, Staff requested that the Board take action on a proposed extension of the Motor Sports Facilities Moratorium Ordinance, after holding the public hearing scheduled for today.
There was some discussion of the Proposed Fee Schedule and it was explained that these fees are exclusive of expenses. The applicant would be required to pay for advertising fees and any other expenses associated with the application.
It was the consensus of the Board to add A/REAPPLICATION@ to the General Permit Application for both minor and major facilities. The Board also wished to change the General Permit Application/Reapplication fee for a major facility from $100 to $300 and the Special Permit Application fee for a major facility from $300 to $500.
Commissioner Moyer made the motion to adopt the Motor Sports Facilities Ordinance with the amendment on page 6, section VII, item 4 Achanging or to and@ and the amendment on page 14 to section 18 adding the sentence agreed upon and making the effective date 12:01 on May 3, including the adoption of the proposed fee schedule as revised today.
Commissioner Gordon requested that Mrs. Jackson review with her the legal issues involved if there was not a unanimous vote for this ordinance today and also the requirements and meaning of an abstained vote.
Mrs. Jackson stated that if the ordinance is not passed today, a public hearing will be held on extension of the moratorium. A majority vote of the Board would adopt the moratorium resolution.
The Staff Attorney stated that if the Ordinance is not adopted with a unanimous vote, it would have to be brought back at the next meeting.
As for an abstained vote, it was the consensus of the Staff Attorney and the County Attorney, according to the Board=s Rules of Procedure (specifically rule #24) that an abstained vote counts as a yes vote. It is the duty of each member to vote unless excused by a majority vote according to law. A member who fails to vote, not having been excused, shall be recorded as voting in the affirmative.
Commissioner Gordon expressed some concerns with the adoption of the ordinance and asked that the record show the reasons for her not voting. Commissioner Gordon gave the Clerk a copy of her concerns at a later time and they are attached to these minutes as a part of the record of this meeting.
A vote was taken on Commissioner Moyer=s motion to adopt the ordinance as stated above. The vote was four to one with Commissioner Gordon abstaining from voting. This counts as an affirmative vote, making it a unanimous vote for the motion.
At the recommendation of the County Attorney, Chairman Hawkins made the motion that the Board not excuse Commissioner Gordon from voting on this item. A vote was taken which carried four to one.
PUBLIC HEARING- To Consider Extension of the Motor Sports Facilities Moratorium
Chairman Hawkins made the motion to cancel the Public Hearing, in view of the adoption of the Motor Sports Facilities Ordinance. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
AMENDED ADM FUND APPLICATION
Carey McLelland informed the Board of an amended Public School Building Capital Fund (ADM Fund) application for immediate major repair/maintenance of school projects. The amended application included first and second priority roof replacements at eleven schools, fire safety alarm components system-wide and eleven specific schools, HVAC installation at one school, septic system replacement at one school, and media center updating at four schools. The Henderson County Board of Public Education, at their March 8, 1999 meeting, approved this amended application and now it is submitted to the Board of Commissioners for consideration for approval.
Roof replacement bids at East Henderson High and Edneyville Elementary received by the school system came in under budget by a total of $58,500. Funds budgeted for fire safety alarm components have been decreased by $170,782 and expanded to include eleven specific schools and system-wide renovations.
The total budget decrease of $229,282 had been allocated by the school system to cover updating media center/computer labs at a cost of $129,282 at four schools and additional planning and design funds of $100,000 for Fletcher Elementary. The addition of these projects does not change the total funds originally requested from the ADM Fund or the required local match. A summary of the project funding allocation was presented for review.
Kerry Shannon, Finance Director for the Schools, and David Jones came forward to answer any questions.
Chairman Hawkins asked for a quick update on the Mills River septic project. Mr. Jones stated that it is currently in the hands of their Engineer, Jon Laughter. The line will be run to #280 and connected to the system at ITT. Gary Tweed came forward and informed the Board that the project will entail a lift station at the school and a force main out Hwy.# 280 over to the gravity line that is being built up to Marlowe School. There is a question of whether the force main will become a public project or just serve the school. There were other properties that it will pass along the way that have expressed interest in going with the project and making this a public sewer system. That decision has not been made yet.
Chairman Hawkins asked that as additional information is available on this project, that it be put on an up-coming agenda so that the Board can remain informed and be prepared to make the decision when the time comes regarding whether this should be a public sewer project.
There was some brief discussion of single sourcing/sole source and the related statutes.
Commissioner Kumor made the motion to accept the amended ADM application. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Update on Fletcher School Site (as added under DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA)
David Jones informed the Board that the proposal to make the land swap with the Town of Fletcher for the Fletcher School site has been abandoned. They are in the process of looking at alternate sites. They have identified several sites. Once they locate a site, they will have an architect involved with doing site preparation to be sure the site is feasible. They will conduct surveys as well as environmental tests. They would like to find a site that has the availability of utilities.
Chairman Hawkins stated that he hopes the Board of Education will revisit, with the joint facilities, the facility itself since it now will have to be placed on another piece of property.
Commissioner Moyer suggested that the Chairman write the Chairman of the Board of Education requesting that the Joint Facilities Committee be reactivated because they now have exactly the same project that they worked on before. The Board was in agreement.
James Hutcherson presented the VWIN report from last year=s data that has just come out. The Volunteer Water Information Network (VWIN) volunteers tested sites in five watersheds in Henderson County once every month during last year. Mr. Hutcherson presented the information via slide presentations.
VWIN has approx. 35 volunteers. They collect these samples on the third Saturday of each month. There are 20 sites in Henderson County that are tested in the five watersheds:
1. French Broad River at Hwy 64 Bridge, Horse Shoe
2. French Broad River at Butler Bridge
3. Mud Creek at Erkwood Road
4. Mud Creek at North Rugby Road
5. Clear Creek at Nix Road
6. Crab Creek at Staton Road
7. North Fork of Mills River
8. South Fork of Mills River
9. Mills River at Hwy 191 (Davenport Bridge)
10. Mills River at Hooper Lane
11. Green River below Lake Summit
12. Green River at Terry=s Creek Road
13. Big Hungry River below dam
14. Boylston Creek at Ladson Road
15. Bat Fork Creek at Tabor Road
16. Cane Creek at Hoopers Creek/Howard Gap Road
17. Lower Cane Creek at Hwy.25
18. Mud Creek at 7th Avenue East
19. Green River at Old Hwy. 25 South
20. Clear Creek near Bearwallow Community
One grab sample at one point in time does not tell you much unless you have some kind of history to follow.
This program was started in July of 1992 with 18 sites. It was increased to 20 sites in 1994. The samples are taken to the Environmental Quality Institute at UNC Asheville where they have a certified laboratory. Several tests are done:
total suspended solids
They are very comprehensive tests. Statistical analysis are performed on the data which are intended to characterize the water quality of these streams.
The results of the last six years on a ten point base system with 100 being excellent, 90 being good and so forth:
North Fork Mills River 98 Excellent
Mills River at Davenport Bridge 93
Mills River at Hooper Lane 93
Green River at Terry=s Creek 93
Green River below Lake Summit 91
Big Hungry River 91
Crab Creek 86 Good
Green River at old Hwy. 25 South 86
French Broad River at Butler Bridge 84
Clear Creek near Bearwallow 84
Clear Creek at Nix Road 82
Cane Creek at NC 25 82
French Broad River at Horse Shoe 77 Fair
Bat Fork Creek 77
Mud Creek at Erkwood 75
Cane Creek a Hoopers Creek 73
South Fork Mills River 71
Mud Creek at Seventh Ave. 71
Bolston Creek 66 Poor
Mud Creek at Rugby Road 59
These separate numbers are then applied to the Watersheds.
Summary of the VWIN Report.
The Volunteer Water Information Network tested 18 sites on 13 streams in five watersheds of Henderson County each and every month last year.
The Mud Creek watershed reflects some of the most polluted water in WNC. The Mills River watershed and the Green River watershed, however, contain some of the best, cleanest water around. The Cane Creek watershed is fair to good, while the French Broad River section in the county is good to poor.
Mud Creek is adversely affected by sedimentation from farming and development, discharge from the City=s sewage treatment plant, and runoff from paved areas. Bat Fork Creek, one of its major tributaries and previously a highly polluted stream is now moderately polluted since General Electric hooked on to City sewer, resulting in some improvement in Bat Fork Creek.
Conversely, the test site on the North Fork of Mills River ranks as one of the best of 128 VWIN sites in WNC. The Green River watershed also shows high water quality overall.
Sedimentation is the most noticeable factor in the Cane Creek watershed.
The two test sites on the French Broad River in Henderson County are part of a larger test pattern which includes three sites in Transylvania County, five in Buncombe, and two in Madison. Sedimentation is the most noticeable problem throughout the watershed, including in Henderson County.
The streams that are impacted at this time we hope over time can be improved by the community. Those that are healthy, we want to protect and preserve.
Chairman Hawkins stated that he has problems with the way the data is presented. He feels that there is some good data but takes exception to some of the parameters, i.e. in the presentation he talked about not taking a snap sample and in the explanation on page 6 of the report, it states that if one sample had a concentration that exceeds the standard then they immediately downgrade the numbering system for that one sample. Why do they throw away the data from the first three years if historic information is so important? On page 8, Chairman Hawkins read that the suspended solids data was given double weight. How can this show accurate data? He would like to see the raw data as it truly is.
REPORT FROM COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Jack Reed, Chairman of the Nursing/Adult Care Homes Community Advisory Committee, stated that the main goal of the committee is to get better overall care for the residents in Henderson County.
They recently started a program which was encouraged by a local veterinarian who has helped with a bird program of donating birds and supplies for the birds to the various facilities who will accept them. They currently have 17 parakeets and 6 canaries in the homes. He discussed briefly the benefit of these birds to the residents who are Abored to death@.
The committee has had problems on keeping personnel sufficient to take the place of the expanding facilities in the areas. People just don=t want to do the tasks that are required of these CNA=s (certified nursing assistants) for $5-7 hour. He feels that this is in a crisis state. We have new facilities coming in and they are taking away the meager supply of labor that already exists in some of the long term care facilities which will make it even worse. There are currently about 900 nursing home beds and 470 adult care beds in nine nursing homes and 19 adult care homes.
The committee has requested that the Board consider paying mileage to the members of this committee. The statutes that established this committee do not allow for any payment for services but do allow for reimbursements. According to their records, members of this committee travel approximately 5,000 miles per year. The annual cost, based on the IRS rate of 31 cents per mile, would be $1,550.00.
Commissioner Ward expressed that the Board deeply appreciates Mr. Reed in what he does in chairing the committee and the work that his board does.
Nancy Smith-Hunnicutt, the regional ombudsman, then addressed the Board stating that there are efforts being made to address the critical need for CNA=s. One of those efforts is to recognize the good CNA=s that we have and there is a day of recognition and education planned for May 19 in Fletcher. She also stated that there is a very comprehensive WNC conference specifically to address this issue on October 11 and 12 at AB Community School in Asheville.
Mrs. Smith-Hunnicutt is responsible for providing training and orientation for the new members appointed to the Community Advisory Committee. It is a cumbersome process to appoint new members to this committee due to the State Statutes that govern it.
Angela Beeker distributed a document that she had prepared for the Board=s information entitled AOverview of Process used for Appointment to the Community Advisory Committee@.
Chairman Hawkins stated that as those appointment applications come in for new members, he would like to see them go both to the Board of Commissioners and to Mr. Reed at the same time.
Chairman Hawkins called a 10 minute recess.
UPDATE - JACKSON PARK LIGHTING
David Nicholson had talked with all the Commissioners individually yesterday. He reminded them and informed the public that we had some safety concerns at Jackson Park associated with the lights. We do want to get this problem solved as quickly as we can, to get the games to continue at Jackson Park.
Hal Gordon, Jr., project manager with Haynes Electric Utility Corporation then addressed the Board. Mr. Gordon had presented a letter dated April 19 which included an estimate of cost to complete rehabilitation of eight ballfields at Jackson Park.
His crew worked with Mr. Alvin Barnwell of the Recreation Department, to visually inspect every pole, fixture and wiring assembly in the park. Not only did they find structural defects, but also multiple voltage problems. Additionally, there is 20-25% loss capability in overall luminance due to dirty, cracked and missing lens covers. There are 26 pole tops that they found in various stages of rot and decay. The hardware used to attach existing cross arms and fixtures showed a great deal of corrosion and rust. The constant sway and movement of the cross arm assemblies have, in most cases, bent the arms and caused the fixtures to lose aim capability.
It was also their opinion that there exists a possibility of danger to both sports participants and spectators. Frayed wiring insulation and improper grounding could result in electric shock. Decayed pole tops as well as hardware that has become corroded and rusted leaves open the possibility of falling lighting apparatus.
Based on their inspections, they recommended that the defects with poles, hardware and electrical wiring be addressed as soon as possible in order to prevent an accident to eliminate a potential safety hazard to the public. Realizing that the overall age of the entire system results in a failure to meet industry standards, they feel that to simply repair the problems they detected would only result in a short term Afix@.
Mr. Gordon had requested that Ms. Rebecca McCall, of G.E. Lighting Systems, prepare a study proposal to ascertain the cost difference between an entirely new system and rehabilitation of the existing facilities. This study should be available in a week to ten days.
He had prepared a summary of the damage in each of the eight ballfields which was presented for the Board=s review.
Mr. Harris, Interim Parks and Recreation Director, had asked Mr Gordon what his company could do in the interim period so that the fields would be usable. He stated that they could take the fixtures down that are currently up. At Ballfield #1 there was only a few things wrong and they were electrical in nature, nothing structural. They could fix those problems and the cost would be negligible. The cost of taking all the fixtures down posthaste would mean that his crew could do it on Friday of this week. That would mean overtime for his crew because they work four ten hour days. He thinks that all the fixtures could be removed in one day, get them out of the way. The pole would then not be a danger. It would make the fields usable for daytime play.
Rick Harris came forward and stated that since Etowah Park is on line, and there are night facilities at Etowah, they can shift some of the games from Jackson Park if they can play daylight games at Jackson Park. He prioritized the fields as he sees them as needs to be #1, #2, and #4.
Following much discussion, Commissioner Ward recommended that the Grove Street entrance be closed and that each ballfield be roped off to keep the public out of these fields until they are safer. Get Rick to put softball one day a week on the new fields. This way we can continue with the games and not endanger anyone. Then get Les Capps to coordinate with Mr. Gordon and his crew to get field by field back on line as we can. As the structures come down, open the fields up to daylight play.
It would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $7,000 to remove all the lights (fixtures) this Friday, giving us safe daylight play fields.
David Nicholson stated that there is $35,000 in the budget for Jackson Park lights. We could postpone the restroom project until next year. We could get the lights removed on Friday and get fields #1 and # 4 done with monies that are available. Commissioner Moyer asked that on field #4 if they can be repaired instead of replaced that be done on Friday also. Staff was also authorized to proceed with the electrical work necessary on field #1.
The Board requested that the County Manager keep the Commissioners up to date on what is being done at the park on a day to day basis so they can respond to telephone calls they get.
Commissioner Ward commended Rick Harris for his handling of a situation that occurred recently. Mr. Harris handled it professionally with the press and some angry parents.
There was brief discussion regarding loose dogs in Jackson Park and the problem it causes. In the by-laws of Parks and Recreation all dogs are suppose to be on a lease inside any park within Henderson County. Stray animals are sometimes more of a problem than animals that come with people to the park.
INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
1. Irving Gibbs - Mr. Gibbs addressed the issue of airboats on the French Broad River. He lives just south of Hwy. #280 and north of Butler Bridge Road. Recently there has been a 14-passenger airboat going up and down the French Broad River giving people rides. He wanted to be sure the Commissioners all knew this was going on.
His wife is a licensed audiologist and she measured the sound at 98 db at their property line. The airboat can go 70 miles an hour top speed. The airboat owner advertises in the paper that the airboat does 15 miles in 30 minutes which averages 30 mph. The boat is very loud and goes very fast. The boat scares the farm animals. The boat is going this speed 10-15 feet off the bank of the river. Mr. Gibbs is frustrated because there doesn=t seem to be much that he can do about it as a property owner.
Mr. Gibbs asked if the French Broad River is a navigable river? He called the Coast Guard and according to them it is not navigable in North Carolina but it is in Tennessee. Congress has declared that the French Broad River is navigable. He requested that the Commissioners do something about this problem.
2. David Donnell - Mr. Donnell also addressed the airboat on the French Broad. He operates a business on the French Broad River which he has operated for eight years, canoe rentals. He expressed concern of the use of the French Broad River. He is concerned about water quality and future use of the river. They are addressing each local Board. He spoke about the decibel levels and the effects on humans, the wildlife, and the wildlife habitat. He also expressed the effect on recreational boaters, fishers, and those who just want to enjoy the river for the peace, quiet, and solitude. Tourism is a big industry. There is a growing number of property owners who are concerned that this type of activity and future use may diminish their property values. He expressed concerns over safety issues on the river.
He read a section of information from the NC Wildlife Resource Commission that refers to local regulations - ASpecial regulations may be approved for local bodies of water at the request of local authorities concerned. Before the Wildlife Resource Commission can adopt a local water safety rule, the local unit of government with territorial jurisdiction must address the proposal in open session of one of their advertised meetings and pass a resolution supporting the rule and recommending that the Wildlife Resource Commission adopt the proposal@. He stated that this is in the hands of the County Commissioners, both in Henderson County and Buncombe County. He is a Buncombe County resident and an Asheville business owner. He is addressing Buncombe County=s Commission as well as city government regarding this issue.
He asked to get on the next meeting=s agenda for this issue. He doesn=t want to eliminate certain use of the river but this situation has never come up in the past. Noone has ever put a large boat of this size on the river. This is a 14-passenger boat, 22 feet long, with a 454 cubic inch Chevrolet motor much like that in a race car.
Mr. Donnell stated that has a business license from the Asheville City Government and also is permitted through the National Park Service which requires them to hold certain certifications for their staff, CPR and first aid as well as certain insurance liability.
He has found out through the National Park Service that the airboat operation is not allowed to access certain areas along the river which are monitored, controlled and governed by the US Government.
Henderson County has a noise ordinance that goes into effect July 1. Chairman Hawkins stated that in the meantime staff will be requested to look into some of the legal ramifications of areas of jurisdiction and some of the other parameters.
3. Margaret Gibbs - Mrs. Gibbs is a licensed audiologist. She brought her audiology diploma and her sound level meter with her to the podium. She measured this past week-end as the airboat went by her property and it measured 98 decibels or dba. Damage to hearing occurs at sound levels above 80 dba. She plans to go out along the river this coming week-end and take sound level readings at other areas along the river, not just on her own property.
4. Jim Harvey - Mr. Harvey apologized for his angry and arrogant attitude from when he addressed the Board previously concerning the noise ordinance and the racetrack in Naples. He stated that it is not easy to spend your lifetime accumulating respect, knowledge, and a certain amount of wealth to see you through your old age and then to see it become totally useless due to the activities of other people and their lack of consideration. He questioned why the Board prohibited businesses from the restrictions of the Noise Ordinance. The man driving the airboat up and down the river is destroying our quality of life. He does not live in the county and is operating a business in both counties and is destroying the peace and quiet and the quality of life of everybody within a mile of him. Every 40 minutes he makes a trip up the river on a busy day. He asked the Commissioners AWhy can=t you decide what is good and what is not good for the community and take appropriate action?@ He asked for an answer to his question.
Commissioner Ward suggested that the Chairman write the Wildlife Commission on a local level and notify them that we=re concerned about this problem and see if this airboat is within the regulations of the Wildlife Commission and ask for a response back from them. Chairman Hawkins stated that staff has been requested to look at all those parameters and find out whatever licensing is involved, who has jurisdiction over the waterway, is this a navigable waterway, is this something that should be dealt with by a local resolution, is it applicable to local ordinances, is there Federal law that preempts and who owns the waterway.
JUVENILE JUSTICE GRANT APPLICATIONS
David Nicholson informed the Board that this is basically the CBA funds that the Board has had over the past 15-20 years for Henderson County that comes from the State of NC. They gave us some new monies to set up the new office of Juvenile Justice as well as the Board=s responsibility to set up the Henderson County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.
The NC Office of Juvenile Justice will provide $194,314 in Continuation Funds and $34,280 in additional Funds to Henderson County for Fiscal Year 1999-2000. These funds replace the Community Based Alternatives (CBA) Grants that we have received for many years.
The Henderson County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council has the responsibility to receive grants and make a recommendation for funding to the Board of Commissioners and then to the NC Office of Juvenile Justice. The Board of Commissioners must sign off on these grant requests. The deadline for submission to the State is April 30, 1999.
The Council has reviewed the grant requests and has made the following recommendations to the Board of Commissioners and to the NC Office of Juvenile Justice:
Trend Mental Health $31,657
Dispute Settlement Center 20,000
Boys & Girls Club 20,000
Henderson County Dept. Of Youth Programs 82,155
Project Challenge 40,502
Larry Harmon, Director of Youth Programs, explained that the funds for Trend Mental Health will be used for a therapy and counseling program, the funds for Dispute Settlement Center will be used for a mediation program dealing with youth, the funds for the Boys & Girls Club will be used for an After School for Children at Risk Program, the Project Challenge funds will be used for a Victim Restitution Program and the funds for the Henderson County Dept. of Youth Programs will be used for partial operation of the Spectrum Youth Shelter. These funds amount to about 16% of the Youth Shelter=s budget.
This is a total of $194,314 of continuing funds that we expect to receive plus a one time receipt of $34,280 which will be used for a substance abuse program for juveniles at Trend Mental Health.
Trend Mental Health $34,280
The Council also received an application from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. However, these funds did not meet the State=s grant requirements. The Council did endorse this group=s application directly to the State=s Discretionary Fund.
The Board was requested to approve the Grant applications and authorize the Chairman to sign and forward them to the NC Office of Juvenile Juctice.
Following discussion, Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the grant application as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
AUDIT SERVICES PROPOSALS
Henderson County has requested and has received two proposals to provide audit services for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1999 from the firms of Crisp Hughes Evans LLP and Dixon Odom PLLC. The proposal summary was presented for the Board=s review.
Crisp Hughes Evans LLP proposed a fee of $36,000 to audit the county=s financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1999. They also provided associated fees for the next four fiscal years if the county chooses to continue contracting with them. Dixon Odom PLLC, whom the county has contracted with the past four fiscal years, proposed a fee of $41,500 to audit the June 30, 1999 financial statements. A standard contract, provided by the Local Government Commission (LGC), must be executed each fiscal year for audit services.
Carey McLelland explained that Crisp Hughes Evans LLP, who is the low bidder, is one of Western North Carolina=s largest providers of governmental financial services. They are a regional certified public accounting firm who has a strong commitment to the governmental sector. Their current client list was provided as well as resumes of the principal and audit managers in the firm.
A copy of the Fiscal Year 1997 and 1998 audit reports for Haywood County had been provided to the Chairman of the Board, as requested earlier.
Staff recommended that the Board consider contracting with Crisp Hughes Evans LLP to provide audit services for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1999 with an option to renew the contract for succeeding fiscal years.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept the contract with Crisp Hughes Evans LLP as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
UPDATE ON PENDING ISSUES
Safety Net Zoning - Commissioner Moyer
Commissioner Moyer had met with Angela Beeker, Jennifer Jackson, and Karen Collins about two weeks ago to see where we stood with respect to ASafety Net Zoning@ and to recap where the Commissioners might want to go. The Staff had already developed all the background of what previous Commissions had done on this subject and what this Board had done on various workshops on this issue. Through Karen, they also had access to what the Planning Board had done and the status of where the Planning Board stood. The groups discussed the area in great detail. They decided that the next step was to prepare a draft of an Ordinance that would be reviewed and acted on by the Board. Discussion then evolved as to what was the best way to proceed. They thought it would be most expeditious and effective if this group continued to work and prepare a draft of the Safety Net Zoning provisions and bring it back to the Board. The Planning Board would be directed to cease activity on this project for the current time.
A draft Ordinance would be presented to the Board of Commissioners on or before June 6, 1999, with request to have recommendation back as soon as possible but not later than 45 days. Then the draft and request would be formally presented to the Planning Board. They expect that the Planning Board would present a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners and a public hearing set on the draft ordinance on August 18, 1999.
Commissioner Moyer strongly recommended this process and this timeline.
Following much discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to proceed with Commissioner Moyer=s recommendation. Chairman Hawkins asked that Staff generate a letter with guidance to the Planning Board from this Board pursuant to today=s discussion.
There was then some discussion regarding land planning, i.e. water and sewer and relating development, corridors, moratoriums, etc.
NCACC District Meeting - Commissioners Gordon & Kumor
Commissioners Gordon and Kumor both attended the recent District Meeting in Waynesville. At the meeting they spoke to wanting to have RPO=s (rural planning organizations) because everyone else was so negative to them. Some other items discussed at that meeting were local sales tax options and other revenue sources. Their state budget update suggested that there should not be any state budget money of any extent to do anything more than eeking along because of the pay backs that will be demanded for lawsuits.
Update on Y2K Compliance - David Nicholson
David Nicholson updated the Board briefly on this issue. Staff has ordered the first group of computers off of state contract for primarily the quasi-state agencies. The project has been broken down into sections to be more manageable. The next couple of sections will be primarily up-grades dealing with replacing mother boards, replacing systems, chips, etc. to make computers Y2K compatible. The next big order of computers may be in the next fiscal year. Staff is proceeding in order to meet the goals.
NACo=s 2000 Conference
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board that in less than 16 months, counties from North and South Carolina will serve as the proud hosts for the 2000 Annual Conference for the National Association of Counties (NACo) in Mecklenburg County. There will be a conference-wide event at the Lowe=s Motor Speedway in Cabarrus County. Mecklenburg County has already set aside a substantial amount of its own funds and has initiated a major corporate fund raising plan. They have solicited funds from all 100 counties to help with the expenses.
There was some discussion that our Travel & Tourism Department might plan to have a booth or table (along with some other county T & T department/s) of events and places of interest to visit in Western NC.
By June 1, the Board should respond as to how much our county is willing to contribute.
David Nicholson reminded the Board and congratulated them that they were almost finished with their first meeting of being recorded. Today has been our test taping, testing our equipment and our process to be sure everything has worked. He distributed a page of helpful hints that Chris Coulson had accumulated for the Board and Staff. The May 1 meeting will be the first meeting that will be recorded for showing on Cable Television. In May it will be shown on channel #10 and after that they hope to have a governmental channel. Mediacom suggested that the viewing of the meetings be Sunday at 4:00 p.m. and Monday at 9:00 a.m. This would be on the week following the meeting. When we have a separate governmental channel there may be more viewings and this should begin in June. The meeting will be gavel to gavel with the exception of informal public comments.
The April 22 meeting with the Sheriff Department has been canceled. David Nicholson plans to present the FY 1999-2000 budget to the Board of Commissioners on May 19 (mid-month meeting). Following discussion, it was the consensus of the Board not to reschedule the meeting with the Sheriff Department but hear it as part of the budget presentations from departments.
PROCEDURE FOR APPROVING AND UNSEALING CLOSED SESSION MINUTES
Angela Beeker reminded the Board that at the last regular meeting of this Board held on April 5, 1999, the Board considered the procedure for approving and releasing closed session minutes. At that time, the Board directed staff to revise the procedure in accordance with the following:
1. Provide for the timeliness of getting closed session minutes to the Board for consideration
2. Change the term Arelease@ to Aunseal@ as appropriate.
3. Provide that closed session minutes will be unsealed as appropriate at the time of approval.
4. Provide for a quarterly review of closed session minutes to unseal minutes where the purpose
of the closed session would no longer be frustrated.
Staff had prepared a proposed draft procedure which revised the current procedure in accordance with items 1-3 above. Staff proposed that the quarterly review be done through Board direction to the County Attorney, rather than incorporating such a review into the Code. She explained that it is appropriate that the Board be advised by the County Attorney as to which items could legally be unsealed.
A Resolution had been prepared by Staff for the Board=s consideration which would accomplish the following:
1. Approve the revised procedure for the consideration, approval, and unsealing of closed session
2. Direct the County Attorney to review the sealed closed session minutes quarterly and advise
the Board in a closed session which minutes were appropriate for unsealing.
Following much discussion, Commissioner Moyer made the motion to adopt the procedure and the resolution as prepared and amended at this meeting. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
David Nicholson informed the Board that Henderson County has some property that is contiguous to the Town of Fletcher that is park land. Henderson County has talked with the Town of Fletcher about the possibility of voluntary annexation into the Town of Fletcher=s corporate limits.
Jennifer Jackson explained that the Henderson County Board of Commissioners has been heavily involved in the development of Broadpointe Center with the property owners (the Cadgene sisters). Fletcher has put the Cadgenes on notice that the Town of Fletcher would like to annex the entire Broadpointe Center at some point. This would put them under the auspices of the governing body of the Town of Fletcher. There is some concern that because the City of Asheville is close to this property that they may wish to compete for the same property for their corporate limits. If we do not voluntarily annex into the Town of Fletcher, the Town of Fletcher plans some involuntary annexation.
In order to allow the Town of Fletcher to get this property without fear of the City of Asheville having some say, we need to consider petitioning the Town of Fletcher to voluntarily annex the property that Henderson County owns in that area. Mrs. Jackson had prepared an Annexation Petition for the Board=s consideration.
Following discussion, Chairman Hawkins made the motion that the Board authorize him to correspond with the Town of Fletcher and make this request. 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 reasons:
1.(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, which privilege is hereby acknowledged. To consult with an attorney employed or retained by the public body in order to consider or give instructions to the attorney with respect to a claim.
2.(a)(5) To establish, or to instruct the public body=s staff or negotiating agents concerning the position to be taken by or on behalf of the public body in negotiating (I) the price and other material terms of a contract or proposed contract for the acquisition of real property by purchase, option, exchange or lease. (II) the amount of compensation and other material terms of an employment contract or proposed employment contract.
3.(a)(6) To consider the qualification, competence, performance, character, fitness, conditions of appointment, or conditions of initial employment of an individual public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee; or to hear or investigate a complaint, charge, or grievance by or against an individual public officer or employee.
All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk Grady Hawkins, Chairman