STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON JULY 6, 1999
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, July 6, 1999 at 9:00 AM in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the Henderson County Office Building at 100 North King Street in Hendersonville, NC.
Present were: Chairman Grady Hawkins, Vice-Chairman William L. Moyer, Commissioner Marilyn Gordon, Commissioner Renee Kumor, Commissioner Don Ward and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth Corn. Also present were County Manager David E. Nicholson, Assistant County Manager Angela S. Beeker, Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Staff Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland and County Engineer Gary Tweed.
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 to the American Flag.
County Manager David E. Nicholson led the invocation.
APPOINTMENT OF INTERIM COUNTY ATTORNEY
County Attorney Don H. Elkins had advised the Commissioners of his resignation. Chairman Hawkins nominated Mrs. Angela S. Beeker to serve as Interim County Attorney. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn administered the oath of office to Ms. Beeker as Interim County Attorney.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Chairman Hawkins removed Item J, Tax Collector=s Report, under Consent Agenda to make some comments on later.
Commissioner Gordon requested to pull the minutes of June 24, 1999, a special-called meeting, for approval at a later date.
County Manager David E. Nicholson notified the Board that Assessor Robert D. Baird was absent so Discussion Items A and B had to be pulled. Also the two public hearings originally scheduled for today on Creek Side and Charlestowne Place had been postponed. Mr. Nicholson announced those public hearings would be held on July 21st at 11:00 am.
Commissioner Moyer added under Discussion Items an item on transportation as Item E.
TAX COLLECTOR=S REPORT
Chairman Hawkins commented on the Tax Collector=s Report. The Tax Collector had informed Chairman Hawkins there was an additional $97,000 plus $39,000 that=s not indicated on the report that had been collected that would be part of this year=s 30 June close-out. On the Tax Collector=s report, the percentage of collection through June 28, 1999 for all tax bills including motor vehicle bills is 95.61%. When the Board had its budget deliberations, there was some discussion on the tax rates and what was used for computations for balancing the budget and Chairman Hawkins wanted to point that out.
Commissioner Moyer noted that if ninety thousand plus dollars was added in, the percentage would be greater. Chairman Hawkins agreed and further commented that the total percentage of collections through June 28 was not the percentage of collection of just the real and personal property tax levied which is 97.1%. The reason that Chairman Hawkins wished to bring that up was because a legislative bulletin update stated that local bill 22 had been approved by the House on the second and third reading and had been sent to the Governor for signature. What that bill would do is change the method of calculating the ratio of property tax collection to the total levy for local government budgeting purposes relating to registered motor vehicle tax. So next year when the Commissioners start looking at the budget, that Statue will make a difference in how the budget is balanced.
County Manager Nicholson further commented that the bill basically states that the year round real estate tax will be the same but only automobiles which were billed before the end of March will be included as part of the what the tax rate is based on. That gives the Commissioners flexibility of those last couple of months when the bills are not even due and payable yet to not have to take credit for those when the tax rate is set. The first three-quarters will be counted but the fourth quarter goes into the next year.
Commissioner Kumor asked how we could make sure that we protect the fourth quarter=s so that it goes into the next budget and it isn=t spent in the current budget. Mr. Nicholson replied that it was just the calculation. The money is not actually transferred. It comes in during that fiscal year but when it is calculated what the maximum amount that can be set for a collection rate, the law says you cannot budget more than what you collected the previous year. So it changes how that formula is done for calculation for that purpose. It doesn=t affect the money at all. There was considerable confusion among the Commissioners regarding the effect of the fourth quarter motor vehicle taxes on the budget. Mr. Nicholson clarified the fourth quarter collection can be used as part of the budget but it does not affect the percentage of collection that the budget is based on.
Commissioner Kumor made a motion that the Consent Agenda, with the deletion of the June 24, 1999 minutes, be approved. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
PRESENTATION OF AWARD TO BILL BLALOCK
Chairman Hawkins presented to Mr. Bill Blalock the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award for his volunteer work with Henderson County. Chairman Hawkins noted some of the projects that Mr. Blalock had been instrumental in: the 911 Communications Center, the Sheriff=s Department Warrants Process Quality Improvement Team, Volunteers and Partnership Programs and Citizens Academy, Commissioners= video production system, the new jail project, Joint Schools Facilities Committee, the new County office building and many others. The award provides a $1,000 donation to a qualifying non-profit organization. Mr. Blalock as an avid canine lover had chosen to donate $500 to the Margaret R. Pardee Hospital Foundation of which he is a member of the Board of Trustees for its pet therapy program and $500 to guide dogs for the blind and hearing impaired. Chairman Hawkins thanked Mr. Blalock on behalf of the Commissioners for his work.
Minutes were presented for the Board=s review and approval of the following meetings:
March 15, 1999, special called meeting
April 19, 1999, special called meeting
June 7, 1999, regularly scheduled meeting
June 11, 1999, special called meeting
June 16, 1999, regularly scheduled meeting
June 21, 1999, special called meeting
June 24, 1999, special called meeting (pulled per Commissioner Gordon)
June 28, 1999, special called meeting
June 29, 1999, special called meeting
Notification of Vacancies
The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear under Nominations on the next agenda:
1. Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 1 vac.
Road petitions had been received for addition to the State Maintenance System for the following roads:
1. Firestone Court
Resolution - William M. Blalock
Please see discussion above. A copy of the Resolution is attached as a part of these minutes.
Resolution - CDBG Funding
Land-of-Sky Regional Council of Governments had requested that the units of government in the region approve a resolution similar to a draft they sent. Please find the original approved resolution attached as a part of these minutes. The resolution asks for major changes in the way Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds are allocated in North Carolina and was approved by Land-of-Sky on Wednesday, June 23.
Tax Refund Requests
A list of (12) tax refund requests was presented for the Boards review and approval. Copies are attached as a part of these minutes.
Tax Release Requests
A list of (72) tax release requests was presented for the Boards review and approval. Copies are attached as a part of these minutes.
Chairman Hawkins opened the floor for nominations.
Henderson County Board of Health- 1 vacancy.
Chairman Hawkins noted that position required a MD. The Board had some correspondence with the local medical society but had not received any response. There were no nominations and the vacancy was rolled to the next meeting.
Hendersonville City Zoning Board of Adjustment - 1 vacancy
Chairman Hawkins noted the applicant must live in the City ETJ. There were no nominations and the vacancy was rolled to the next meeting.
Land-of-Sky Regional Council Advisory Council on Aging - 1 vacancy
Chairman Hawkins noted that the vacancy was created by the resignation of Chuck Smith with an unexpired term of 2001. There were no nominations and the vacancy was rolled to the next meeting.
Henderson County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council - 3 vacancies
Chairman Hawkins noted the Board had one applicant for the under 21 years of age position. Commissioner Kumor commented that she had spoken with Mr. Bazzle because since this deals with youngsters that maybe a representative of the School Board would like to be there as well as a staff member. Mr. Bazzle said under the need for a person in business he had asked Ms. Mauer and Mr. Butcher if they would like to share that seat with each one of them attending as they can. Commissioner Kumor proposed that as a nomination. There were no further nominations. Commissioner Kumor made a motion to suspend the rules and appoint those individuals to that joint position. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 1 vacancy
Chairman Hawkins noted the vacancy was due to a resignation for position #12 which is a non-designated position. There were no nominations and the vacancy was rolled to the next meeting.
Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
Chairman Hawkins stated the Commissioners needed to appoint a Chairman for the EAC. Commissioner Moyer nominated Ken Weitzen for Chairman. Commissioner Gordon nominated Fielding Lucas. Chairman Hawkins asked the Clerk to poll the Board for its vote for the Chairman of the EAC. Commissioner Ward voted for Ken Weitzen; Commissioner Kumor voted for Ken Weitzen; Chairman Hawkins voted for Fielding Lucas; Commissioner Moyer voted for Ken Weitzen and Commissioner Gordon voted for Mr. Lucas. The Clerk informed Chairman Hawkins that the vote was 3 for Ken Weitzen and 2 for Fielding Lucas. Ken Weitzen was elected as the Chairman of the EAC.
Henderson County Zoning Board of Adjustment - 2 vacancies
Chairman Hawkins noted the two vacancies were to fill the area in Hoopers Creek and a regular and an alternate were needed. Commissioner Kumor nominated John Davis who had an application on file for the primary seat. There were no further nominations. Chairman Hawkins made a motion to accept Mr. Davis by acclamation. There was no further discussion. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Ward had received a letter from Jim Russell that he would entertain the thought of being on the Zoning Board. Commissioner Ward reminded the Board that Mr. Russell was the gentleman who was in the middle of the R-20 and the RC. Mr. Russell had not filed an application and Commissioner Ward would contact Mr. Russell and ask him to file an application. Commissioner Ward would advise the Board at its next meeting of Mr. Russell=s intentions.
Capital Projects Financing - New Jail Facility
Chairman Hawkins asked Finance Director J. Carey McLelland to speak to the Board regarding the financing for the new jail facility. Prior to Mr. McLelland addressing the Board, Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board it received a letter from Acting Superintendent Frank Yeager. In his letter, Mr. Yeager indicated that the School Board would probably be ready to go out for bids on Fletcher Elementary School in December of 1999. The Board had initially preferred to probably finance the School and the jail at the same time with whatever good financing package the County could get. The fact that it would be December before the Board of Ed would be ready to go out with its bids, Chairman Hawkins thought it was necessary for the Board to move ahead with the jail financing. It wouldn=t affect the financing for the School in as much as the site preparation could still be started with the capital that was set aside. It just means in the next fiscal year the Board would have to go for the rest of the financing package.
Mr. McLelland had presented to the Commissioners in their agenda packet several financing schedules. Two of them were COPS or Certificates of Participation and the other two were bank-qualified loans. He reminded the Commissioners that in this year=s budget over $896,000 was appropriated for debt service on a new jail facility at a cost of $8.9 million. Exhibit A and Exhibit B were COPS transactions. Exhibit A yielded an interest rate of 5.11 percent and would leave the County as far as debt service was concerned with excess money of approximately $162,00 that could be used towards another project or towards school projects. Exhibit B, the way the financing was structured, it had level annual principal payments which meant that in the early years of financing the debt service payments were higher and as that debt service goes by the payment lessens. So excess budgeted money was not available up front as in Exhibit A. Exhibit C and D were the bank-qualified installment contracts. Mr. McLelland opted not to elaborate on the contracts but he did advise the Board that banks don=t like to go more than 15 years on bank-qualified loans and the average rate was 5.84%. COPS transactions were yielding rates at anywhere from 35 to 45 bases points less than what would be found in an installment contract. Mr. McLelland advised that if the Board chose to finance the jail over a twenty-year term, staff would recommend that COPS be used to finance this project and allow staff to meet with the Local Government Commission to discuss with them about financing it. Staff also wanted to work with Mr. David Fisher with BB&T Capital Markets on this transaction as well. Mr. Fisher was the financial adviser on the refunding issue that the County had in December of 1998.
Chairman Hawkins commented that with the 20-year financing which appeared to be the best option, there would be some excess money generated off what was budgeted to go into the jail. The exact amount of that was still flexible. That amount of money could be used for additional debt service payments to start the Etowah School project in year 2001.
Commissioner Kumor commented that type of discussion brought in confusion to the issue because it would be a different Board of Commissioners that would be making that decision.
Chairman Hawkins stated that he wanted to work with the Joint Schools Facilities Committee on some far-ranging finance planning to make those numbers more solid. Then he would bring that discussion back to the Commissioners before taking it to the Joint Schools Facilities Committee.
Commissioner Moyer asked if staff needed an answer on whether to go with level annual principal payments before they went to the Local Government Commission or could they go with A or B. Mr. Nicholson replied they could go with either A or B because he was sure the Local Government Commission would have an opinion on this subject. Either way there would be some savings from what was budgeted. One option would not produce savings until after the fifth year, the other option would spread the savings out over a period of time but the Board did not have to decide at this meeting which option to exercise. Commissioner Moyer then questioned if it would be to the Board=s advantage to make a recommendation to the LGC as to which option the Board wanted. Mr. Nicholson commented that recommendations to the LGC on that issue would be appropriate but he asked the Commissioners to please understand that the LGC would be making the final financing decisions.
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board that the financing figures they were considering were in Exhibit A and his personal choice was the figures in Exhibit A because it frees up more money to be used for other financing. Mr. Nicholson recommended that the Commissioners consider Exhibit A. Commissioner Moyer made a motion for the Commissioners to authorize staff to move forward using COPS and the amortization schedule set forth in Exhibit A with 20-year financing and seek the best they can to get approval from LGC for the Board to go ahead with that and also to use David Fisher with BB&T of Capital Markets as their financial adviser. There were no further discussions. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
VOTING MACHINE FINANCING
Mr. McLelland reminded the Board that in last year=s budget, $40,000 was appropriated for lease purchase of voting machines for the Board of Elections. That money would revert to fund balance in the previous fiscal year because Elections Director Norma Pryor was still negotiating with the vendor on the purchase of these thirty voting machines. Ms. Pryor was looking for additional spare parts to add to this for her current voting machines. In this year=s budget, $40,000 was again appropriated. Proposals were requested from financial institutions and five were received. The lowest responsive bid was from BB&T Governmental Finance. The three-year rate was 4.59%, the five-year rate was 4.79%. With the $40,000 appropriated, staff recommended that the Board approve the proposal from BB&T Governmental Finance for a five-year fixed rate of 4.79% with no pre-payment penalties in whole or part. Mr. McLelland stated these thirty units would bring the total number of voting machines to 160. These units would satisfy the need for voting units for the next ten years.
Commissioner Kumor made a motion to finance the voting machines over 5 years with BB&T at a rate of 4.79%. There was no further discussion. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
AWARD BIDS FOR SURPLUS EQUIPMENT
County Engineer Gary Tweed reminded the Board that last month staff was authorized to seek bids on the sale of surplus equipment that would come into place when the Material Recovery Facility on Sugarloaf Road closed next month. Three pieces of equipment at the MRF belonged to the County: a solid waste baler, a conveyor system, and a truck scale. Staff sent out notices to trucking companies, recycling companies, and to various companies in the region that deal in this type of equipment. Three bids were received. The high bid on the baler was from Asheville Waste Paper at $20,000. On the conveyor, the high bid was New Life Environmental at $7,728.64, and on the truck scale New Life Environmental at $9,928.64. The equipment was approximately seven years old. Mr. Tweed felt the bids were adequate especially on the truck scale. New truck scale equipment would be approximately $15,000 to $20,000 so the bid on the truck scale was real good.
Chairman Hawkins asked Mr. Tweed if any of the bidders would take any piece of equipment without taking the whole package. Mr. Tweed replied that each piece of equipment was bid separate and the vendors understood that it was one or all type of bid. The revenue from the sale of this surplus equipment would be used for equipment changes at the Solid Waste facility. Mr. Tweed hoped to purchase a used tandem-axle dump truck for the purpose of hauling dirt around the site. Once the existing C&D landfill is closed, Mr. Tweed thought the pan scraper could be sold which is a big expensive piece of equipment. The dirt moving needs would drop off substantially and Mr. Tweed thought it could be handled with the dump truck. The revenue from the pan scraper would be used to replace the two existing bulldozers that are quite old.
Commissioner Moyer made a motion to accept the three bids and send a letter to Land-of-Sky Regional Council explaining our need to move forward with this accepting of the bids. There was no further discussion. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
LEASE OF THE MCALLISTER BUILDING
County Manager David Nicholson reminded the Board that for several years the County had rented a building for the Detectives Division of the Sheriff=s Department from Ms. McAllister. The building sits across King Street from the County Office Building which is the former Mac Auto Parts building. Currently, the County was paying $23,400 annually. Ms. McAllister had requested that the Board consider a three-year lease on this building going to $24,000, $25,200, and $26,400 which was a 2.5% increase this year and then a 5% increase the next two years based on the cost of living as well as the increase of the building=s assessed valuation.
Chairman Hawkins asked if in the current lease there was an option for this year and questioned if this was an entirely new lease.
Mr. Nicholson replied that the current lease expired in March. The lease had been done on a month-by-month basis until the Board of Commissioners set the tax rate because Ms. McAllister was concerned that based on the value of the building going up that she would lose money if that part wasn=t covered. Ms. McAllister had agreed for the last three or four months to do it on a month-by-month basis and this was a brand new lease. Previously, it was a two-year lease with a one-year option to renew and the Board took the option for the third year.
Commissioner Moyer commented that actually the lease was for one-year with two one-year options. So the Board was locked into the lease only one-year at a time. The Board would be required to give a 30-day notice at the end of the first year if it chose not to renew the lease.
There was no further discussion. Chairman Hawkins made a motion that the Board accept the lease as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
WELFARE LAW CHANGES
Chairman Hawkins had received a letter from Raleigh referencing welfare law changes. He made the Board aware that House Bill 1243 which had passed the House for all intent and purposes was going to overturn the electing County status. One of the things that would be a fall out of that is the issue of $677,551 that the County was supposed to receive for our savings in the assistance to needy families cash assistant clients. Chairman Hawkins wasn=t sure how that was going to pan out in Raleigh but he wanted to make the Commissioners aware of the matter. He will provide updates as he gets more information from Raleigh.
Commissioner Kumor questioned Chairman Hawkins about this issue. Would the County be looking at the $677,551 that would have come back as savings, if the County could retain that money will it then be built into our welfare program or every year will we look to losing six hundred thousand dollars? Chairman Hawkins replied he didn=t know the answer to that for sure aside from the fact that the County remained an electing county and received that back which was the difference in our 90% effort, the plan that the County adopted was to put that money back in the welfare program anyway. So that=s where it would have ended up. Chairman Hawkins wasn=t sure now whether the County would get that according to that correspondence because it indicated to him that it would be re-appropriated for other uses. Commissioner Kumor commented that the County did not know what risk that puts us at if that money had a plan in the DSS budget that the County would have to make up any shortfalls. Chairman Hawkins further commented that for sure those savings were supposed to go back into the DSS budget.
County Manager Nicholson stated the Board could assume that a lot of the contracts that DSS has created with different outside organizations under the banner of the welfare reform programs probably would have to be canceled as part of that process. Mr. Nicholson continued, Awhat=s interesting about that discussion, there was also a statewide means of effort that they have to meet with these funds. So they may turn around and say instead of operating these programs, we=re expanding the programs you=re operating. We=re still going to give you this money but you=re now going to serve this population and this program. So the money may not come out of DSS budget, it may just be readjusted because they have to meet a means of effort with the Feds, just like the County had to meet the 90% of effort. The County may see that money just moved around.@
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS
Commissioner Ward had spoken with Sheriff Erwin and the Sheriff said there was an outside chance that there might be some grants available on a State level for school resource officers which the Commissioners looked at real hard in the budget procedure. With the consent of the Board of Commissioners, Sheriff Erwin would pursue that avenue as hard as he could. Commissioner Ward asked if the Board was in agreement to correspond with the Sheriff and tell him to go ahead and proceed with seeking grants at both the State and Federal level.
Commissioner Kumor asked of Commissioner Ward what made this any different than objecting to putting school nurses in the middle schools because jobs still will be added and in fact there wouldn=t be the resources for those resource officers to have because the Commissioners chose not to put nurses in and a psychologist in the middle schools.
Chairman Hawkins asked Commissioner Ward if the Sheriff knew what kind of grants were available. Commissioner Ward stated the Sheriff thought there was a six-year grant available and he was hoping that the State would fund these positions before the grant runs out.
Commissioner Moyer stated that before the Commissioners went further on the issue the Chairman should write to the school board and get the school board=s opinion and recommendation to go forward or not. This is their jurisdiction, it=s in their schools and the Commissioners should not be dictating to them what they=re going to get.
Commissioner Kumor thought the Commissioners also should ask the question if the school resource officers are put into the schools, what resources do they need because part of the whole point of putting in school nurses and a psychologist was that a resource officer who interacts with children finds that they have certain service needs and they aren=t always available in this community and some of those would have been in the area of physical and mental health support. Commissioner Kumor further commented if the schools get resource officers what other support and resources do those officers need to do a comprehensive job in serving middle school children.
Chairman Hawkins would be pleased to correspond with the School Board and ask that question.
Commissioner Moyer noted that the School Board studied this issue about two years ago so they should have some good input on it.
Commissioner Gordon wanted to know the particulars of any grant before the Board took action on anything further about the school resource officers.
CLEAR CREEK CONNECTOR
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board that at the end of last year and early this spring, the Board had some discussion on the Clear Creek Connector. He had received a letter from Mayor Niehoff of the City of Hendersonville asking the Commissioners to update the consensus of opinion that the Board arrived at on March 8th. In the agenda packet, Chairman Hawkins had provided a copy of the priorities and the support of the T.I.P. program that he had sent to the LGCCA. He added that also in the packet was a copy of a letter dated February 15th to the North Carolina Department of Transportation requesting an update of the Hendersonville Thoroughfare Plan and some other items for NCDOT to do for the County. Chairman Hawkins had received correspondence back indicating that NCDOT would do that. The results of that study were not available at this time. It was Chairman Hawkins= opinion that the consensus the Board reached on March 8th probably needed to be reiterated back to the Department of Transportation. He recommended to the Board that he correspond back to DOT and tell them the consensus the Board reached on March 8th and the T.I.P. priorities.
Commissioner Moyer expressed concern that Ron Leatherwood, NCDOT Board Member for our Division, never received the Board=s letter of March 8th.
Commissioner Gordon commented that the Board=s letter of March 8th was to the LGCCA, not to DOT.
Chairman Hawkins explained that the LGCCA=s recommendations are the same as the Board=s letter.
Commissioner Moyer felt that was a very big distinction. The Board supported the connector on the basis that the County get its own thoroughfare plan and then determine where the connector should go and that had become the Board=s endorsement of the Clear Creek Connector and he for one did not endorse the Clear Creek Connector. He endorsed the Connector but he personally thought it should tie much further in up around Stoney Mountain Road or somewhere in there.
Commissioner Kumor questioned wasn=t that what the Board=s letter stated.
Commissioner Moyer replied the letter states the Board endorses the order but then it had a qualification.
Chairman Hawkins read the letter: A...pertaining to the flexibility to change our priorities in the future after proper planning has been done on the County Thoroughfare planning process and after receiving input from the RPO@ which is the Rural Planning Organization. Chairman Hawkins would forward that on to Mr. Leatherwood as the Board=s consensus on March 8th.
Commissioner Gordon felt it was important that hopefully the Board was clear that the Board stood by its earlier recommendation in support of a connector and interchange as is determined to be appropriate by DOT and by the people involved in making that decision rather than getting into specifics as to points of the intersection with 25 at this point in time. Ms. Gordon felt the water was getting really muddy on this issue and the Board did not need to go back into it.
Commissioner Moyer felt Mr. Leatherwood could not possibly understand the Board=s letter without some additional input or words associated with it. That was his concern. The Board understands what the qualification means but he didn=t know how the Commissioners could expect Mr. Leatherwood to understand it unless the Commissioners make clear what Commissioner Gordon just said.
Commissioner Gordon stated it was her understanding from the letter from the Mayor that he was essentially asking the Commissioners to re-look at the plan that the LGCCA voted to support and specifically the Clear Creek Connector issue. She was hopeful that the Board=s decision would be not to re-look at that plan as was submitted at this point in time.
Chairman Hawkins thought the third paragraph of the letter clarified that. Commissioner Moyer disagreed. He thought the recommendation that came out of the LGCCA was to support the Clear Creek Connector as number one. The fact that the Board=s letter had a qualification in it was not what was presented to the State at the meeting.
Commissioner Gordon further commented that she thought at this point that was what was appropriate from this Board. She felt the next topic the Board would be discussing on the Land-of -Sky regional planning and also the rural transportation planning that the State=s doing are the forums that would provide the opportunity for the kind of input that Commissioner Moyer was hoping to have. She didn=t think the Board should stir the water this month.
Commissioner Moyer wanted to go on record supporting an interchange and a connector but not the present location and that remained his position.
Commissioner Gordon was not prepared to do that. She admonished the Commissioners to remember they are politicians. There was not one of the sitting politicians, with due respect to all of them in all of the municipalities, who have ever designed a road before and she thought the Commissioners had to listen to the traffic planners on this and not come out for or against any particular siting without further information. She thought it was important that the Board endorse another connector and interchange and leave it at that.
Chairman Hawkins made a motion that he forward a copy of that letter to Mr. Leatherwood as written on the Board=s priorities on the T.I.P.
Commissioner Kumor had other questions. She didn=t understand why the Mayor was asking this Board about its decision since his Board had already made its decision. Commissioner Kumor stated this Board had gone around and around on whether municipalities have a certain responsibility and if they=ve done these responsibilities she wondered why every one was trying to suck this Board back into this decision. This Board made a decision and the Board had a very interesting discussion that by the time the Board got through it the Board had roads all over the community as she recalled. It seemed more prudent to back off because the Commissioners biggest goal was to get an RPO so the Board could have some standing when it came to traffic and transportation planning.
Commissioner Gordon stated her classic response still remains that the commission is elected by the people who live in municipalities as well as within the County and she thought the Commissioners have a responsibility to all those people when it comes to issues such as this. So she thought it was appropriate for this Board to have input whether or not it is a municipal decision or how it was technically categorized, this Board still had a responsibility.
Commissioner Kumor felt the Board had that input and she didn=t understand why it was being rehashed.
Commissioner Moyer reminded the Board that the City and particularly the Mayor were one of the major advocates of pushing for the Connector. Now the Mayor and the Council have changed their positions and they have asked this Board if it was going to stick with its decision or did it want to reconsider. So he thought it was very appropriate.
Commissioner Kumor still thought it was inappropriate because the City had already made that decision and asked this Board for its input back in March and she worried that what the Mayor was trying to do might be to this Board was to bring pressure on his Board to change and she didn=t think that was appropriate.
Chairman Hawkins restated the motion on the floor was to retransmit the letter that he sent on March 8th to Mr. Leatherwood so he knows what the County=s position was. The vote was three ayes on the motion and two nays. Commissioner Moyer and Commissioner Ward cast the nays. With three ayes being the majority, the motion carried and Chairman Hawkins would transmit that letter.
LAND-OF-SKY REGIONAL COUNCIL TRANSPORTATION PROPOSAL
Commissioner Kumor briefed the Board on the Land-of-Sky Regional Council on its transportation proposal. As she looked at that proposal, it was apparent that a lot of the region was wondering what has happened. They have roads and the growth had gone beyond where the road was being considered. Land-of-Sky had a proposal that it would like to survey or apply for a grant that would look at the issues of air quality, land use, water, infrastructure and economic development. The grant application would be for transportation and community and system preservation. It would be a pilot program to study as an initiative with the federal highway administration. This Board was being asked if it would like to be a partner in this. Did this Board want to support this, does it want to be a partner in all of this and if so Land-of-Sky was asking that the Board send a letter of support to be included in the application. They were also asking that the regional transportation offices be partners in this. She had provided them with Jay Swain=s name and address so they could get in touch with people that would represent our transportation district. Commissioner Kumor recommended this Board give its support of that proposal because of the impact that roads have and in particular the impact that I-26 would have as it comes forward because this proposal starts to look at some of those issues.
Chairman Hawkins clarified of Commissioner Kumor what Land-of-Sky was asking from this Board as a potential partner was to indicate via letter some of this Board=s interests. He thought certainly the Board had already indicated an interest in the RPO for sure. Some issues listed in the proposal Chairman Hawkins had some reservations about getting too involved in, for example the Asheville MPO. He suggested that the Board correspond back and he thought it was a good opportunity to reiterate the Board=s interests in particularly the RPO.
Commissioner Gordon welcomed the opportunity to have some input on some of those decisions. Certainly what was happening with the Asheville MPO would impact our ability to travel for our residents as well surrounding counties and this Board should meet at least at the table.
Commissioner Ward asked if that was covered in the County=s $40,000 membership fee at Land-of-Sky Council. Commissioner Kumor clarified that it was covered in the grant application. Commissioner Ward was concerned that the County would have to pay a match. Commissioner Kumor had not seen anything in the application that indicated a match was necessary.
Mr. Nicholson reminded the Board that in his last update to the Board he notated some information that DOT had finished its work and has submitted their information to the General Assembly. It would not be included in this year=s budget but they were asking for full funding in the short session of 2000. But there would be no money in this year=s budget so the issue this Board was thinking about would be started sometime in the fall of 2000.
Commissioner Moyer thought that unless the whole procedure with the State and the Department of Transportation was to get more public input and to have more timely response to the community needs, that this was going to be another wasted planning effort.
Commissioner Kumor agreed. She thought that was part of the whole crisis with the Connector. This Board wanted to be viewed more as a player than as somebody that just gets to stand by and watch even though this Board wasn=t asked for its opinion, its opinion is what counts. What counts is what the municipalities choose to do and this Board=s struggle is to get more standing in this whole debate.
Commissioner Moyer stated he was supporting what Chairman Hawkins was saying. If they spend all their time looking at some of the other issues they=ve added and skip the first one, it would be a waste of time.
Chairman Hawkins suggested that he draft a letter and he would send it to each Commissioner to see if all the points they were interested in were covered before he issued it.
AIR BOAT ON FRENCH BROAD RIVER
County Manager David E. Nicholson had provided information to the Board on correspondence he had received from Buncombe County on actions it had taken regarding the air boat that was operating on the French Broad River. Buncombe County had issued a resolution and a letter to the State regarding this matter. In summary, the officers of the North Carolina Wildlife and Resources Commission had investigated complaints about the use of the air boat. No violations were detected of safety laws or rules that would require any enforcement action by their organization. The statue only applies when there are demonstrated water safety hazards and in their opinion there was nothing currently being done on the river that would justify the adoption of any local water safety rules for the French Broad River. Buncombe County received the same response that Henderson County assumed that it would get from the Wildlife Resources Commission.
Chairman Hawkins noted that Mr. Nicholson answered some questions and concerns this Board had about the safety issues and commented there had been some changes in that situation. He thanked Mr. Nicholson for his efforts in gathering that information.
Commissioner Moyer wanted to know what the Board was going to do with that issue. Chairman Hawkins asked what the Board wanted to do.
Commissioner Gordon stated at this point there was nothing this Board could do since there are no violations.
Commissioner Moyer wanted the County Manager to explore with the County Manager for Asheville what other options we have to address this issue.
Commissioner Kumor thought this wasn=t going to be the first issue. AOnce the river becomes such a popular place, we are going to start to see a lot of other activities there and safety is going to become a real issue.@ She agreed with Commissioner Moyer. AWe might be better served if we find some concrete answers to these issues.@
Chairman Hawkins pondered Aif the Department of Wildlife at this time found no safety issues then basically you (Commissioner Kumor) want to monitor the safety aspect with Buncombe County to see if we need to take further action, is that what you want?@
Commissioner Gordon quoted from the letter Awe do not find a water safety hazard created by the lawful operation of this vessel that would justify adoption of any local water safety rules for the French Broad River.@ AThey=re not saying a rule on their end but a local water safety rule.@
Mr. Nicholson commented Athe one good thing about his letter was they (Wildlife Resources Commission) had basically made a statement that they would monitor and assure that all boaters follow safety rules. We have been having trouble getting anybody to say they had any responsibility for patrolling or monitoring that river. That was part of my concerns before. Everybody we talked to said oh no we=re not responsible. The way I read this is the Wildlife Resources Commission has said we will continue to monitor those issues. I will be happy to follow up with Buncombe County and the other two counties also that serve our area, that the river serves.@
Commissioner Moyer further commented Amaybe at least to see what they=re going to be doing and how often they are going to be doing it and whether they are going to carry forth with what they say they=re going to do.@
Chairman Hawkins stated that this Board Acan certainly ask them to advise us of any further action that they=re taking or if they get any more information.@
NCACC DELEGATES for NCACC Conference at the Grove Park Inn
Chairman Hawkins wasn=t sure if this was voting delegation for those counties that had an election or was that for everyone. Commissioner Kumor explained that there were two issues. The one for a voting delegate is who=s going to be the person that votes at the NCACC convention at the Grove Park Inn in August. Chairman Hawkins questioned then if the people that are going to be voted on are the ones that are in the districts. Commissioner Kumor clarified yes the ones in the district seats.
Commissioner Moyer stated that if the Chairman is going to the convention he should be the voting delegate. The other Board members agreed.
Chairman Hawkins noted that since the voting takes place on the Saturday afternoon, he may not be available for that. He suggested that since Commissioner Kumor would attend the entire convention that she be appointed as the voting delegate. Commissioner Kumor agreed to accept that designation.
INFORMAL PUBLIC INPUT
2. Chris Waters. AI=ve spent several hours I guess over the last few months speaking with Richard Brewer, engineer at DOT, and I=m not clear about what the Commissioners endorsed in the LGCCA. So I just want to say what I understand what=s going to be the plan and see if that=s what you=re endorsing. According to DOT, there=s a five lane whose interchange is with I-26 and there will be a four lane overpass over North Main coming through Beverly-Hanks office center across Highway 25. Is that what you endorsed in your March 8th meeting?@ Chairman Hawkins replied, AThe March 8th meeting letter, we had endorsed the project U.@ Mr. Waters questioned, ADo you talk about five lanes or two lanes? Because the T.I.P. said two lanes so I wanted to know what your understanding of that was.@ Chairman Hawkins referred back to the letter. AThe Board=s endorsement is for the Clear Creek Connector U 24/25. I don=t have all the specifics that the Department of Transportation had written out for 24/25. Whatever they had written on their plan. I know there was some discussion of whether their plan called for two or five lanes.@ Mr. Waters, AThe T.I.P. said two lanes. So that was the understanding at the first LGCCA hearing on transportation and not too many spoke out against it at that time because nobody knew until I had written a guest column to the paper because I had found about it and then later the paper wrote a big essay on it or column on it and then that was why so many people came to the March 30th meeting.@ Commissioner Moyer told Mr. Waters, AMy understanding Chris is, or I pretty well understood there was going to be planned a five lane road.@ Mr. Waters, AWell the information that was given us at the LGCCA meeting was written down on paper was two lanes. So for some of us, Ms. Gordon you said it=s getting muddy. For some of us it=s getting clearer because we weren=t exactly clear what was happening. But I just wanted to know if that=s what you, Ms. Gordon is that what you endorsed, the five-lane connector?@ Commissioner Gordon replied, AIt was my recollection that there was quite a bit of discussion among the Commissioners and my personal feeling is that it wasn=t appropriate for us to choose the number of lanes, that was something that needed to be determined by traffic count and by people more knowledgeable of traffic needs. Certainly, and this is my personal observation, is that a two-lane connector has not been adequate at Upward Road by any means and that at least a right-of-way should be purchased for that, but I=m speaking only for myself.@ Mr. Waters expressed his thanks.
3. William Wyatt-AI=d like to address you about the noise ordinance that you have. I=ve been a resident here since I was born and I grew up riding motorcycles and everything. You have a memo that, I come by and seen the attorney today and the young lady and the gentleman that is sitting back here are riding motor cross and they=re trying to better themselves to whether they may can get on a pro circuit. The noise ordinance that you have wrote now is going to hinder them from doing any better and there=s nothing in this town with the exceptions of anything for these kids to do. They=re not allowing them to ride in Deep Gap, they can=t go on Main Street, the mall is hindering them from going in there. What=s going to be done for the young folks in this town rather than so much for the retirees and people that=s coming in from out of state? Is there anything that you are going to do or is that just going to be where you can limit everything that=s going on for the teenagers? Not for the young kids, I mean you=ve got the parks and everything like Jackson Park and Patton Park and all but there=s nothing for the teenagers from say thirteen to seventeen years old to do but go out and get in trouble. There=s nothing in this County for anything, you know as far as for them. I=ve got three kids of my own and I bought land thinking they that they could get out and ride a go cart, ride a motorcycle or whatever in the yard and stay on our property and not bother anybody but now with your ordinance you=ve got there=s not allowing for anything to be done out in the yard. I mean if you get out in the yard even if you had a pool party according to the decibels that you have set in the noise ordinance, there=s nothing that can be accomplished. Is there any way of changing the ordinance to where the kids can enjoy themselves more than trying to limit them? According to the copy that I got it seems like everything is limiting the noise that kids make. If you have kids or grandkids you know they=re going to be loud and it always goes right back to the ending clause in all the restrictions that they=ve got that it=s not to disrupt anybody, or not to do this or not to do that. When is kids going to be allowed to be kids in this county or is it just going to turn into retirement villages?@ Chairman Hawkins asked of Mr. Wyatt, AWilliam, what kind of things and what kind of responsibility do you think County government has to provide entertainment for teenagers? That was a question that you asked and I=d ask it back to you. What would you have them do?@ Mr. Wyatt replied, AWell what=s wrong with them going to the mall, I mean when I was growing up,@ Chairman Hawkins, AThe noise ordinance doesn=t preclude you from going to the mall.@ Mr. Wyatt, AWell, the noise ordinance is going to keep these guys from riding on my property, I mean I pay county taxes, I paid for anything that anybody else working in this county does but yet these kids aren=t going to be able to ride and better themselves on the track that I have provided for them since there is no where for them to ride in this County because of your noise ordinance. Why take that away from the kids of this County?@ Chairman Hawkins replied, AI don=t think a noise ordinance was designed to take kids away from motor cross practicing and I guess it depends on where you=re practicing and how much noise you=re making as to whether or not its effect is...@ Mr. Wyatt, Ait says in automobiles this that and the other as far as your automobiles, your tractors, you know, it excludes farming, it excludes businesses, it seems like industrial and all, why does it not exclude them? The motor cross bikes that they own have not had anything done to them, the motorcycles have got mufflers. They come straight from the factory the way they=re built so what is the problem with them being rode? I mean it=s not that they=re altering them to make them louder.@ Chairman Hawkins responded, AAs I recall the ordinance dealt with standard mufflers on motorized vehicles. Jennifer you want to address that?@ Ms. Jackson answered, AI will be happy to get a copy. It is my understanding that provision was struck. There is a provision in there that prohibits the use of motor vehicles including motorcycles that are so out of repair or so loaded or in such a manner to create unnecessary noise.@ Chairman Hawkins responded, AWhat I hear this gentleman saying is that he had stock equipment on his machine.@ Ms. Jackson commented, AYes sir, and I understand that and I also have not been able to speak with the Sheriff=s Office to determine what and how they were interpreting that.@ Chairman Hawkins further commented, AWell, we=ll look into that aspect of it.@ Mr. Wyatt replied, AWell that was my concern. We=ve been fighting for I guess about three years to get these guys to where they can ride. Like I say there=s no where. I rode in Deep Gap but it=s closed down now and the decibel reading that you have set on that isn=t that much difference to me. I mean if you=re running sixty to eighty that=s not much of a difference. I=ve been in plants where it=s been louder than that but according to the decibel reading even with the stock motorcycle that has nothing changed on it, it=s still higher than the decibel reading for the kids to ride.@ Chairman Hawkins, AThank you Mr. Wyatt.@ Commissioner Gordon, AMay I make a comment? Mr. Wyatt, I just wanted to make a comment. We just became aware of your situation this afternoon in the memo that you left in the County Commissioners office and I hope you will understand that anytime a new ordinance is written there=s an adjustment period when the real impact has to be evaluated. It=s very difficult prior to the enactment of an ordinance to know what the extent of the impact will be. I think you bring up some legitimate points about the variety of types of recreational pursuits that are needed in the County and the need for proper places for those, all those recreational needs. I=m sure the Commission will be looking at the specifics of your situation.@ Mr. Wyatt: AWell, from what I=ve seen since I was young every time there has been a law as far as regarding when they were cruising Main Street or with riding in Deep Gap or riding anywhere else for a matter of fact, any laws that has been changed is not went to the benefit of the person enjoying themselves. It always went to the negative side so you know is this going to lead to the negative side of it too?@ Commissioner Gordon: AWell, I think it=s important that people who do have problems with ordinances that are passed do speak up and make us aware of the problems. Thank you.@
4. Julie Wyatt- AMy name is Julie Wyatt and I would just like you to understand our situation. When we bought our property, we bought it from a man out on Alea Road and there was like, he has gosh about eighty acres or something that he was selling off and we bought two acres of that. And there was no other houses or anything around at the time that we purchased the land and we purchased it with no restrictions. And in the year since then until now other people have bought little parcels of acreage and have put in homes you know nothing major or anything and since they=ve come in they want to hinder them from riding. They=ve been riding out there ever since we bought our land and I just wanted you to understand that. Thank you.@
5. Danny Zimmerman-AI=m with William Wyatt also and I have a daughter who has the opportunity to become a pro motor cross racer and I don=t understand. There=s motorcycles being sold everyday and kids are riding them everyday. The mufflers and things that are on my daughter=s motorcycle comes from the factory and I just don=t understand the ordinance and the scale on which it is based. My daughter has a brand new motorcycle, I mean it=s just been purchased, it=s four to five months old and I don=t understand how I can purchase this motorcycle new but she cannot ride it.@ Chairman Hawkins questioned, AMr. Zimmerman has anyone told you this motorcycle is in violation of the noise ordinance?@ Mr. Zimmerman replied, AYes sir, she was made, the Sheriff=s Department made her got off it yesterday. On William=s property they came out with a meter and stood there and it registered eight point four or something like this so they made us shut it off.@
6. Cindy Zimmerman-Mr. Wyatt stated that Mr. Zimmerman had spoken on behalf of Cindy and basically said everything that was necessary.
7. Dottie Zimmerman-AI=m also with William Wyatt and my son also rides. His bike does meet the noise ordinance, it is also stock but it is an older bike. Like they said they do motor cross. They=ve got to ride every weekend but they do need practice during the week and we just need to have a place to ride. With this order, the noise ordinance, they don=t have no where to ride.@
8. Mike Purvis-Someone in the audience stated that Mr. Purvis had stepped out of the room.
9. Celia Hinds-Engleman-AThank you for hearing me this evening. I would like to thank you for putting yourselves on TV. You came through loud and clear. I would suggest to Ms. Gordon that she at the meeting speak a little closer to her mic because I don=t always hear her and I do want to hear your comments. If that sounds antagonistic I=m sorry because you and I have written and I am upset. I am very upset that the County doesn=t hear what the people said. You wrote your memo on March 8th. I don=t know what it said. I have corresponded with you and the last one was sort of a rage but on March 30th the DOT heard us, and T.I.P. heard us, and the City heard us and you=re holding to what you said on March 8th. I have a group of letters since March 99 that went to the Times-News. I also have four years of correspondence. Four years ago, I thought Route 191 was down in the number of listings. It got up just a year ago. I=m very upset by that. I=m very upset that you didn=t even recognize that the public has been saying lots of things, pro and con. In this comment you just made, I didn=t raise my children the same over a ten year period. I didn=t spend my money the same. I didn=t live my life the same. I=d like you to reconsider how inflexible you sound today. I thank you for letting me say what=s on my mind and you will be seeing these in your face.@
County Manager Nicholson reminded the Board they had rescheduled two public hearings on Creek Side and Charlestowne Place to the 21st. The Commissioners had information on the County Commissioner Association Conference.
A public hearing had to be set on the CDBG grant. This was an economic development grant that the County got to serve and provide sewer to Kyocera and Printpak. Staff recommended that the public hearing be set for July 21st at 11:00 am to begin the process of closing down that grant.
Ms. Corn reminded Chairman Hawkins that there were already scheduled four public hearings on the agenda for the 21st. Those were the Manufactured Home Park Ordinance, the Zoning Ordinance, Charlestowne Place and Creek Side.
Staff did not anticipate there would be a lot of input on the CDBG grant. It was the consensus of the Board to schedule that public hearing too for the 21st. Chairman Hawkins made a motion that the public hearings as indicated be set, the five on the 2lst, plus the quasi-judicial proceeding on the variance for the 2nd of August. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Moyer asked to be excused from this action surrounding Cummings Cove. Chairman Hawkins clarified that Commissioner Moyer had asked to be excused from voting on the proceedings under rule 24 of the Board=s rules and procedures. All voted in favor and the motion carried. Commissioner Moyer was excused.
Staff Attorney Jennifer Jackson briefed the Board on the history of Cummings Cove. Cummings Cove applied with this Board on November 2nd 1998 and was approved for the posting of a letter of credit for their phase 2, section I. They did not have completed at that time water improvements, water supply improvements, and some septic improvements were not completed and they had been bonded for those. The Board did extend that and the improvements. The current agreement states that the developer must complete all their improvements by April 1st 2000. The developer had requested by letter of June 28th 1999 which was in the agenda packet that the Board consider amending the agreement in essentially exchanging the bond that secures the improvements for this section, meaning that they would like to have released the letter of credit that they have posted and in exchange would be willing to submit a certified check payable to Henderson County for the amount they believe would be sufficient to complete the remaining improvements. The Planning staff had gone out and investigated or done a brief inspection and the water system improvements appeared to be in for this section. There was an attachment to the letter, a letter from Mr. Lapsley dated June 25th that had a cost estimate for the remaining improvements, being the sewer improvements. Mr. Lapsley anticipated that with the 25% overhead which the ordinance required, $54,875 would be sufficient to complete the rest of the improvements by April 1st 2000. Planning staff felt that amount was adequate to ensure that those improvements would be completed. If the Board would like to essentially amend the agreement to allow the County upon their submitting to Henderson County a certified check in the amount of $54,875, the County would agree to release the letter of credit that was currently securing those improvements.
Chairman Hawkins raised a question about the letter. In the letter, it indicated that the water system improvements appeared to have been completed and he questioned whether they were underground. Ms. Smith, the Planning Director, replied she did not know but she could contact the water department about it. Ms. Jackson stated she understood the water tank was in but Roger Hill could address that better than staff.
Mr. Hill stated that when he was before the Commissioners the last time, the water tank was not completed but it was in and completed now and filled with water and they had been testing it. The City was in the process of taking over the system, the underground water lines, and fire hydrants. When Mr. Hill was before the Commissioners in March, he eluded to the fact that Cummings Cove wanted to connect the sewer line to a line that they were doing in what he called section 2 and 3 so they would have gravity feed to the home rather than have the homes with pump ups. Cummings Cove was still waiting to get that new line in that=s why they would post the fifty four thousand dollars to guarantee to the Commissioners that both of those lines would be created.
Commissioner Kumor made the motion that the Board accept the amendment to the improvement guarantee for Cummings Cove, Phase II, Section I. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Moyer asked the County Manager to talk to the appropriate people to see if the Commissioners could set in motion improvements to the interchange where Shepherd and Erkwood meet Highway 25 South. There is an AS@ intersection there now, it is very unsafe, and there are a number of developments that are going in very close by. Unfortunately, that=s the major crossing route for residents in the Flat Rock area to get over to Blue Ridge Community College and other places. It is a bottleneck and a very dangerous point. Commissioner Moyer brought this matter up when the Commissioners were discussing the T.I.P. and was told that was not the appropriate place to put it on the T.I.P. but that there were other monies for that kind of project. The County Manager had investigated that with Ed Green of NCDOT and learned that was true. Commissioner Moyer wanted to get the Board=s endorsement of having this interchange studied by the State. He also asked that the Board endorse having the Chairman write to Flat Rock and Hendersonville to get their support for studying this interchange and see what could be done to eliminate the safety concerns.
Chairman Hawkins questioned if this would be appropriate to include it as a special focus area for the plan that NCDOT was making for the County or was it a separate focus study. Commissioner Moyer stated that if he had seen any indication that the plan was moving forward he=d feel better about it, but he thought it was of such importance that the Board should move forward on it now.
Chairman Hawkins noted that one of the areas that the Board had discussed previously was the effect subdivisions or developments had on traffic patterns on nearby roads. With the development of Charlestowne Place he wondered if part of that responsibility of trying to alleviate that would be part of their planning process. Commissioner Moyer replied the developer was asked to consider it as part of their planning process, possibly either a third lane or turning lane coming down 25 and he knew they were looking at that.
Commissioner Gordon stated that she recalled the state roads, Erkwood and Shepherd Street aren=t adjacent to the property that=s being developed so this would be off-site improvements. She lived in Staton Woods previously and there was a need for this improvement years ago. Commissioner Gordon didn=t think it would be fair to assess this as being a need that was caused by a subdivision going in.
Chairman Hawkins knew the road had been that way for a number of years but the problem would be magnified with the additional traffic for the new development. Commissioner Moyer added there would be the development at Highland Lake and the major development at Erkwood and Rutledge so that interchange would be a major problem and burden with the additional growth of the community.
It was the consensus of the Board to have the Chairman write a letter to Ed Green at NCDOT and the City and Flat Rock indicating this Board=s concern and seek their support.
Commissioner Gordon noted that she thought it was interesting that this issue had come up and if this approach works, maybe the Board can take these things one at a time and go at them in little pieces and get some of these little things fixed.
Chairman Hawkins stated that he and Commissioner Moyer had several discussions on transportation as far as how to proceed from the present system of communicating with the Department of Transportation and some things that they might be able to do in the future.
Commissioner Moyer recommended that the Board study and set up a transportation advisory plan. When he and Chairman Hawkins discussed this, Chairman Hawkins raised a very valid concern with respect to priorities. Currently, the Board does not have anyone to give those types of recommendations to. He thought the Board had a number of things related to transportation matters that have to be done. There are a lot of bridges that need immediate attention but NCDOT has stated they were not appropriate for the T.I.P. So the Board was getting nothing done. Perhaps the way to do it was to have a transportation advisory committee prioritize these, take them one at a time, get the pressure on to get one done and then have the next one ready to go and keep putting pressure on DOT. Every time Commissioner Moyer talked with DOT they would say they had the money to do these small projects but no one has asked them to do it. He thought the Board should present all its requests and see what can be done to improve some of these unsafe conditions that exist in the County. He recommended the Board set up a transportation advisory committee.
Chairman Hawkins requested to permit the Board to set up some of the parameters such as they had done on the Environmental Advisory Committee as to composition, and so forth.
Mr. Nicholson commented a charter was an excellent way to get focused on exactly what the Board wanted the committee to study. Chairman Hawkins agreed and a charter would also state where the Board wants to go with this committee, how it would integrate with the thoroughfare plan or whatever else is going on. He personally had a lot of concerns about the bridges in the County but the latest NCDOT report he looked at, the County was tenth in the State as far as bridge safety. There is a program from the bond money that was working on those. These bridges are not unsafe necessarily from a structural point but just from the flow of traffic on them. Such concerns never get addressed in the T.I.P Even with a thoroughfare plan, those concerns are still isolated.
Chairman Hawkins, Commissioner Moyer and the County Manager would draft a charter for the transportation advisory committee to review at a later time.
Commissioner Kumor made a motion that the Board go into Closed Session pursuant to the North Carolina General Statutes 143-318.11 for the following reasons:
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 accordance with and pursuant to the North Carolina General Statutes 143-318.10(e) and Article 2 of Chapter 11 of Henderson County Code for reason:
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 (1) the price and/or material terms of a contract or proposed contract for the acquisition of real property by purchase option, exchange or lease, or (2) the amount of compensation and other material terms of an employment contract or proposed employment contract; and for reason:
3. (a)(6) To consider the qualifications, competence, performance, character fitness, conditions of appointment or conditions of initial appointment of an individual public officer or employee or perspective public officer or employee or to hear or investigate a complaint, charge of grievance by or against an individual public officer or employee.
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.
Commissioner Moyer made a motion to adjourn. All voted in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 8:37 PM.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman