STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON AUGUST 23, 1999
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 3:00 p.m. in the Commissioners= Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building at 100 North King Street, Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Those present were: Chairman Grady Hawkins, Vice-Chair Bill Moyer, Commissioner Renee Kumor, Commissioner Don Ward, Commissioner Marilyn Gordon, County Manager David E. Nicholson, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
Also present were: Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, Budget Analyst Selena Coffey, and Project Coordinator Bill Blalock.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.
BUDGET WORK SESSION
Capital Improvements Program
Selena Coffey distributed the Capital Improvements Program.
David reviewed the forms used for CIPs.
David Nicholson proposed the FY 00-01 Budget Calendar. He proposed one work session per month except for October, with two work sessions in October. This will be placed on Important Dates on the next regular agenda so dates can be set.
He reviewed some of the budget forms with the Board, stating that they have worked well for the Board in the past but they can be changed if need be. The budget process has been moved up this year.
Mr. Nicholson presented a one page document to the Board regarding multi-year budgeting. He stated that he could only find one unit of government in the nation that does multi-year budgeting from the standpoint of operational budgets. He stated that what most people are doing - they=re looking at multi-year forecasting. Staff will start to develop that type of information for the Board to look at.
There continued to be much discussion regarding capital improvement projects and the criteria and the ranking. The Board then asked if it was going to be reworked. The criteria/ranking was originally done and then redone 2 years later when Commissioner Hawkins came on board. Commissioners Moyer and Gordon would like to go through the process and review in detail the criteria and the ranking forms. This item will be placed back on the agenda of the next budget workshop.
Revisit unfunded capital items from FY 99 - 00 list
Chairman Hawkins called attention to the Summary of Unfunded Capital Requests which totaled $285,629.00.
Much discussion followed. There was discussion that every year has to stand on its own with items from last year being prioritized against requests from the current year.
Bill Blalock was present and addressed the Board. Some of the Commissioners felt that the Commissioners and other departments should go into a government complex.
Bill Blalock reviewed a red notebook, which had previously been distributed to the Commissioners. He discussed the core metropolitan buildings he had been asked to consider:
Sheriff=s Building / Nuckolls Building
Land Development Building
Public Health Building
Board of Elections (leased building)
Bill Blalock discussed the 3 R=s:
Rehabilitation of buildings
To resolve repeated failures, i.e. air conditioning, building decay, etc.
This is beyond maintenance. The buildings would be brought up to code.
Renovation of buildings
Conduit the building to handle modern computers. Upgrade panels because
power requirements are higher. Move walls or knock walls out and use portable
partitions. This is beyond rehabilitation.
To make optimal use of the building=s space.
OPTION A = Do nothing scenario. The county is out of office space and adding (net) 3 office people per year, five in all but about 2 of the 5 are non-office people.
Mr. Blalock had studied several scenarios, one of which was the installation of a modular in the parking area, inside the U of this building. It was a 28' x 50' giving us 1,400 square feet. By the time you put an aisle in it, you can get about ten employees in it. $30,000 for a modular, delivered, installed, hooked-up.
OPTION B = ADomino Effect@
In late 1996 and early 1997, Grier-Fripp Architects was contracted under a formal contract by the county to look at two buildings. The whole notion was to do the 3 Rs, rehabilitation, renovation, and reconfiguration and optimize those buildings and bring them up to code, etc. We had a formal architectural and engineering study, structural engineering of the buildings, etc. That was done for the Nuckolls building and the Land Development building. The big issue at the Land Development building was that the second floor is open. The building was a car dealership many years ago and the second floor has never been finished out.
For the Public Health building there was a contract with Bill O=Cain who is a local architect and he had actually developed a potential addition of 3,100 square feet. He also did the work to develop what needed to be done (based on what the requirements were at the time) and detailed costing of what would be required to do the renovation.
Mr. Blalock stated that for the three main buildings we have some good, solid, concrete data that has been looked at by professionals:
Land Development building
Health Department building
Mr. Blalock took all this study data and contracted with Grier-Fripp and reviewed all the data in depth to validate everything, including costing data. Some adjustments were made.
Mr. Blalock stated that in order to accomplish Option B or the domino effect, the following would happen:
$ People at the Land Development building would have to be moved somewhere out of the building (into leased space) and redo that building. It would take approximately one year to redo that building.
$ Move DSS people to the Land Development Building and redo the Administration building.
$ Sheriff=s people could move out of the Nuckolls building and into the Administration
$ Take a year to redo the Nuckolls building. Then the people in leased space for two years can move into the Nuckolls building.
This is an old plan that goes back a number of years. The original plan included the Commissioners and some staff moving to the Historic Courthouse.
The costs for Option B = $5.8 million.
OPTION C = Do a Space Study and build a new county office building.
The idea was to use space at Blue Ridge Community College which the county already owns. This scenario would allow us to sell the Nuckolls building, the Land Development building, and the Public Health building, also cancel the leases on the Board of Elections building, and the McAllister building.
The costs for Option C = $13.3 million minus DSS reimbursements for floor space, sale of three buildings and the reapplication of the lease payments over 30 years, tax income from the three buildings being back on the tax rolls = Net Cost of $7.1 million. There is no cost for land in this option. The assumption was to use the viable piece of property adjacent to the Pardee Care Center on Blue Ridge Community College campus.
The design of the new building was for a 85,000 square foot building, three stories tall. Approximately 5,400 square feet of it would be un-assigned space (for future growth).
Chairman Hawkins questioned the efficiency of effort in operation and maintenance of the old buildings versus maintenance and efficiency of operation of a single new building.
It was the consensus of the Board to look at a change to get away from our older buildings. There was discussion of where the location should be. It was the consensus of the Board to appoint a subcommittee to study this and bring a recommendation back to the Board. Following much discussion, Commissioners Moyer and Ward were appointed as the subcommittee. It was suggested that the subcommittee start to make a checklist of all the things that need to be thought about such as: department flow, security issues, location, etc. There was discussion of someone else building the building and leasing it to Henderson County.
During the budgeting process there was some discussion of the need for a purchasing officer. The County Manager was directed to bring some further information back to the Board with a recommendation and costs, etc.
Budget Officer/Internal Audit
David Nicholson stated that by law the County Manager is the Budget Officer. He stated that an Internal Audit was an entirely different issue. Staff will be glad to take a look at it if the Board is interested.
Mr. Nicholson stated that Guilford County has one or several internal auditors. They monitor grants, DSS grants, Health Department grants and any other grants that departments might get like a COPS grant. They look at them both from a financial standpoint and for meeting the conditions of the grant. They look at your overall procedures, how you are set up to handle cash and then monitor that to be sure that department heads are following those procedures that are in place. They audit your purchasing function and process to be sure that departments are following it. They audit the insurance payments going out to make sure that the insurance company is handling payments correctly. David said that we would want to look for someone with a CPA or accounting background. It was brought up that we just entered into a three year renewable contract with our auditor (not internal). David could not assure the Board that we would save enough money to pay for the position.
Following some discussion, it was the consensus of the Board not to pursue an Internal Auditor.
County Manager=s authority to transfer monies
Commissioner Moyer showed interest in seeing the original budget with no moving of monies between line items so that it can be used for comparison when planning for the next year=s budget. He did not like the idea of line item transfers without Board approval.
Chairman Hawkins stated that if the Board had to approve each line item transfer they would be micromanaging a $74 million budget.
Following much discussion, Commissioner Moyer requested quarterly reports by line items for each department (original budget figure and the actual). He would like to see any line item that has been overspent by more than 5%. For one thing, Commissioner Moyer wants to be sure that the monies budgeted for maintenance are being spent for maintenance, not transferred to other line items. There continued to be very much discussion.
David suggested that as the Board reviews each departments budget this year, that questions can then be raised about any line item transfers.
It was also decided that Mr. Nicholson will provide one copy of the requested quarterly report for departments, line item by line item, to the Chairman. The Chairman will share it with any Commissioner who is interested.
Commissioner Moyer voiced concern that the Board may have placed too big a burden on the maintenance department and they may not be able to get the maintenance program done that was just budgeted. Commissioner Moyer would like to see the number of work orders that maintenance gets in a month and the number that get completed.
Chairman Hawkins adjourned the meeting at approximately 5:15 p.m.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board Grady Hawkins, Chairman