STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON OCTOBER 4, 1999
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 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, Assistant County Manager/Interim County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
Also present were: Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, Staff Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, County Engineer Gary Tweed, Interim Planning Director Karen C. Smith, and Administrative Assistant for Travel & Tourism Gabby Snyder who operated the video equipment.
Absent was Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Ward led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
David Nicholson gave the invocation.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Chairman Hawkins recognized Mr. Nicholson who recently won a first place ribbon at Farm/City Day for corn-shucking.
Chairman Hawkins noted for anyone in the audience who was present for Mr. Padgett=s presentation on the DOT, that the presentation was not for TIP inputs, or road improvements, but was an effort by the County to organize some kind of transportation committee.
Chairman Hawkins pulled Staff Report AA - Revised Process for Appointment to the Community Advisory Committee@ and AC - Request - Library Board of Trustees@. Staff Report AC@ was pulled for Closed Session. He added Staff Report AG@ - Update on Pending Issues, Items 5 and 6. Item 5 was an update on the Solid Waste Authority. Item 6 was the C&D Landfill Resolution. Consent Agenda Item AJ@ was pulled- ARequest for Amendment to Improvement Guarantee for Cummings Cove, Phase II, Sections I, II, and III@. Commissioner Moyer was excused from voting on this item, so it was pulled to be voted on separately.
Commissioner Ward requested that Consent Agenda Item AH@ be pulled- ALibrary Holiday Schedule@, and added as Staff Reports AC@ for some discussion.
Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to approve the consent agenda with the exception of Items AH@ and AJ@. All voted in favor and the motion carried. The CONSENT AGENDA consisted of the following:
Minutes were presented for the Boards= review and approval of the following meetings:
August 17, 1999 special called meeting
August 24, 1999 special called meeting
September 8, 1999 special called meeting
September 13, 1999 special called meeting
September 15, 1999 regular meeting
September 23, 1999 special called meeting
September 28, 1999 special called meeting
Notification of Vacancies
The Board was notified of the following vacancies for information only. They will appear on the next agenda under ANominations@:
1. Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 2 vac.
2. Travel & Tourism Committee - 4 vac.
3. Henderson County Hospital Corporation Board of Directors - 3 vac.
4. Henderson County Zoning Board of Adjustment - 1 vac.
5. Laurel Park Board of Adjustment - 1 vac.
Tax Collector=s Report
Terry F. Lyda, Tax Collector, had provided the Tax Collector=s report for the Board=s information.
A list of (1) tax refund requests was presented for the Board=s consent approval.
A list of (43) tax release requests was presented for the Board=s consent approval.
Henderson County Public Schools Financial Report - August 1999
The School=s Financial Report for August was presented for the Board=s consent approval.
Henderson County Financial Report - August 1999
The Henderson County Financial Report for August was presented for the Board=s consent approval.
Employment Agreement for the Henderson County Assessor
A proposed employment agreement for the Henderson County Assessor was presented for the Board=s review and approval. The Assessor, Robert Baird, is up for reappointment. As drafted the agreement will reappoint Mr. Baird for a four year term as County Assessor.
The Board was also presented with Mr. Baird=s proposed goals for the FY 1999-2000 fiscal year for review and approval.
Northern View Acres - Request for Release of Funds
As allowed by Chapter 170 of the Henderson County Code, the Commissioners approved the deposit of a certified check in the amount of $25,507.50 as an improvement guarantee for Northern View Acres Subdivision. The Performance Guarantee Agreement required that the road improvements be completed by December 31, 1999.
The Planning Department had received a letter dated September 22, 1999 and an invoice dated September 2, 1999 from Affordable Paving. The letter and the invoice both state that the road improvements are complete. A letter dated September 20, 1999 received from Grover Barnwell, the developer, also stated that the road improvements are complete.
Based on a site inspection by the Planning Department and the referenced letters, the road improvements appear to be complete.
Staff requested that the Board take action to release all funds including any accrued interest at this time.
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:
Henderson County Board of Health - 1 vac.
A Medical Doctor (M.D.) was needed for that position. There were no nominations so that vacancy was rolled to the next meeting.
Hendersonville City Zoning Board of Adjustment - 2 vac.
There were no nominations so that vacancy was rolled to the next meeting.
Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 5 vac.
For three of the five vacancies, positions 5, 9, and 14, nominations had already been received. Those individuals could be appointed after a 10-day waiting period. For position 15, Chairman Hawkins nominated Ms. Finley. Commissioner Kumor made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Ms. Finley. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Position 21 was a non-designated position. There were no nominations so that vacancy was rolled to the next meeting.
Downtown Hendersonville - 1 vac.
Chairman Hawkins nominated Jack Pratt for that vacancy. There were no further nominations. Commissioner Ward made a motion to suspend the rules and appoint Mr. Pratt. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Western Carolina Community Action Board of Directors - 1 vac.
Commissioner Ward nominated Dottie Effinger. There were no further nominations. Commissioner Kumor made a motion to suspend the rules and appoint Ms. Effinger. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Community Child Protection Team - 6 vac.
Chairman Hawkins nominated Cynthia Wysart and Mary Murray. Grace Poli who had been serving will continue to serve but as a DSS representative. Commissioner Ward nominated Walter Harper and Dottie Effinger. Commissioner Kumor nominated Jane Lindsey. There were no further nominations. Commissioner Kumor made a motion to suspend the rules and re-appoint those (five listed above) willing to serve on the Community Child Protection Team. All voted in favor and the motion carried. One vacancy was rolled to the next meeting.
FIRE AND RESCUE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Fire Marshal Rocky Hyder reminded the Commissioners that after its last meeting with the Fire Fighters Association or the Fire and Rescue Association, staff compiled a comparison study of a proposal from the Fire and Rescue Association and the original draft from the Commissioners. The differences between those two proposals were highlighted for the Board=s review. Also, staff prepared a draft to incorporate the ideas from both of the different proposals. Mr. Hyder pointed out to the Commissioners that one of the key items was the original draft proposed seven members, the Fire and Rescue Association proposed six members. Those six members would not have a Commissioner in that particular process. Also they chose not to have any particular value on capital items that may be purchased but instead they chose to have no value at all.
Chairman Hawkins commented that he thought that the draft bylaws that Mr. Hyder had been working on captured most of the items that were addressed in the bylaws that were presented at the work session. Chairman Hawkins noted that a significant difference in the mission statement of the bylaws was that the advisory board was viewed as being a referee. He thought its mission still needed to be advisory to the Board of Commissioners. The draft resolution included that.
Mr. Hyder explained the draft proposal allows all the appointments to be made by the Board of Commissioners, three of them would be proposed by the Fire and Rescue Association and the other three would be the community at large from applications to the Board.
Chairman Hawkins mentioned this is a six member board and that in itself has a numbers problem associated with it and he didn=t know if it wouldn=t be best to have at least an odd number on the board to break ties in voting. Mr. Hyder stated the Fire and Rescue Association saw the six member board to be advantageous. It required a majority for them to be able to act on anything and since they couldn=t break a tie, no action could be taken.
Chairman Hawkins commented that their line of reasoning may be something to consider. He asked the Board if they were in agreement with the draft of bylaws before them and that he be allowed to correspond back to the Fire Commission stating the Board of Commissioners had examined their bylaws and made these adjustments. The Firemen=s Association could look at it and see if they concur with the compromised bylaws or had any additional changes.
Some of the Commissioners did not realize that this was a revision of the draft that the Commissioners had seen earlier and had not studied this draft closely. It was the consensus of the Board to revisit these bylaws at the mid-month Commissioners= meeting.
Chairman Hawkins noted the other area that probably needed to be addressed long term was the final status of the Fire Commission that was generated in the local Bill. The Board of Commissioners could have an advisory committee but there was some question as to the legal status of the one that was developed by the Bill. The Board gave direction to Ms. Beeker to give the Board some advise on how to handle the House Bill 1836 that initiated the original Commission which had really been overcome by the Fire Marshal position.
Commissioner Moyer wasn=t comfortable with the members being limited to six or any even number because that could create gridlock for the Committee. Chairman Hawkins suggested a seventh member could be added who would be appointed by the six that were already on the Committee. Commissioner Gordon stated that to be consistent and since the Commission has appointed all members, it would need to be a recommendation which the Board would then in turn appoint. All thought that was very appropriate.
Chairman Hawkins stated staff would incorporate that suggestion into the bylaws and the Board would revisit it at the mid-month meeting.
LIBRARY HOLIDAY SCHEDULE
Commissioner Ward had questions about the holiday schedule for the Public Library. Since the Library was going to a separate holiday schedule like the Sheriff=s Department and all the emergency people, was Library staff being paid holiday pay plus time and a half or what was the arrangement the County was providing for these people.
Mr. Nicholson replied that the Library had a generous holiday schedule over the years so that the Commissioners would not be in a position to have to pay them extra money. However, the Board of Commissioners in the past has provided an additional eight hours pay to the holiday pay for law enforcement agencies and emergency services. In other words, whatever hours they worked plus eight hours which is double time for actually working the holiday. For example, an EMS employee works twelve hours on a holiday, will still only get eight hours worth of holiday pay for that time period.
Commissioner Ward commented that in the private sector the workers get basically two and a half times on holidays. He didn=t see why we were including the Library with the Sheriff and EMS as essential departments in Henderson County.
Mr. William Snyder, Director of the Public Library, replied that as he saw the holiday schedule, for instance at Christmas, County employees were given three days of holiday pay. That becomes the obligation of the County to provide those three days. Under the proposal from the Library Board, the staff of the Library would still receive at least three days of holiday pay. The Library schedule was a seven day a week schedule so Mr. Snyder thought that anytime the Library took off three days in that seven day period, they had met their obligation for holiday pay. At Christmas this year the County offices would be closed five days and being closed five days for a three day holiday to a certain degree didn=t make sense to Mr. Snyder. To him, it just seemed more appropriate that the Library would take something that would give the employees the number of holiday hours they=re entitled to and yet keep the Library open to the public as much as possible.
Mr. Snyder further explained that the only time the Library personnel are paid overtime is when the County Manager gives special permission to pay overtime. The Library employees work a forty hour schedule and the Library is open seventy hours per week. So the Library staff works on a shift basis. For instance, if the employee works on Sunday afternoon from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, sometime during the week that employee would only work a four hour day. Or the employee might work four hours on Wednesday and four hours on Sunday to get the eight hours. Mr. Snyder stated that it was not his intention nor the intention of the Library Board to pay Library staff holiday pay other than the holiday hours that are approved in the County policies.
Mr. Nicholson stated just to be consistent with County policies for holiday pay, Library staff who actually worked on a holiday should be paid an additional eight hours of pay for that day.
Commissioner Gordon wondered if it might be a possibility that Mr. Snyder could rotate the Library employees so that if they were working that holiday there would be another day in the week that they could take off so that the pay they would be picking up would come out the same regardless. They=d still be working their same number of hours and get the holiday pay which they would have gotten anyway.
Mr. Snyder stated that was the Library Board=s recommendation exactly. He further explained that when Saturdays and Sundays are added, that=s outside the Monday through Friday normal work time and just because someone works on Saturday doesn=t mean they are working forty-eight hours. They=re still only working forty hours, but they=re just off sometime during the preceding week.
Mr. Nicholson stated that again he wanted the Board to clearly understand that for the emergency services departments if those employees do work that day, they get an additional eight hours pay for working that day. The Library staff would be paid under the same formula.
Mr. Snyder stated that the recommendation from the Library Board was for the Library to take Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday off for the Christmas holidays this year, three of which would be County observed holidays
Commissioner Moyer felt very strongly that our Library is an excellent facility for the community, but there had been periods where it was being closed four and five days in a row which was a great inconvenience to the community. It was very important that the Library be made more available to the public.
Commissioner Gordon commended the Library and its Board for taking action to provide more service to the community and be open during these holiday periods because that=s when the school students and the public many times has been lacking in service from the Library.
Mr. Nicholson stated that he appreciated Mr. Snyder and the Library staff being willing to work on Sunday also.
Chairman Hawkins asked Commissioner Gordon if that was a motion to approve the recommended holiday schedule for the Library. She stated that it was. There was no further discussion. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
ANNUAL COST OF LIVING INCREASE
Mr. Nicholson reminded the Commissioners it had been the Board=s tradition over the last fourteen or fifteen years to consider an annual cost of living increase for the County=s employees at this time of year. Mr. Nicholson had provided to the Board at their request information on the Consumer Price Index. For a twelve month period ending in August, the Consumer Price Index for urban areas had increased 2.3% so that=s what Mr. Nicholson put in the budget. The Board appropriated $280,000 in the contingency fund to pay increases this year.
Chairman Hawkins stated the CPI had a 2.3% increase which was a net expense to the County of $220,942. However, a 2.5% COLA increase would still be well within the contingency funds that were set aside with a net expense to the County of $244,502 and a 2.8% COLA would be $279,843. The cost of living increase, if approved, would become effective on the pay period beginning October 11th.
Commissioner Kumor made a motion that the Commissioners approve the cost of living increase as recommended by the staff of 2.3%. There was no further discussion. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Mr. Nicholson had given information to the Commissioners on his proposal for Pay for Performance in which the goal was to tie the County=s pay system to performance rather than just granting a cost of living increase. There were four levels to that proposal. An employee who meets the standard requirements in performance would get the cost of living increase. That increase would be granted in two increments, a one-time COLA increase in October and the other increment at the employee=s service anniversary date. An employee who is below standard would get no increase and they would have a period of time to get themselves up to standard. A one-time bonus would be given to employees who exceed the standard. Future increases, if merited, would be given at the employee service anniversary date. Mr. Nicholson proposed to put the Pay for Performance into motion by next spring.
Commissioner Moyer stated that it seemed to him that 2.3% is about as low as he had heard and certainly his indications of living around here were that the costs had gone up a lot more than 2.3% for the average person. He wanted information on what other governmental entities surrounding Henderson County were paying their employees.
Commissioner Gordon thought the comparison had to also include what comparable positions in the private sector of our community are paying. Mr. Nicholson stated that was impossible to get because private industry would not release that information.
Commissioner Moyer requested that the Commissioners reconsider this at the next meeting. He personally thought if the County was going to maintain and keep good qualified people, the County needed to pay competitive salaries and 2.3% to the average person trying to make ends meet would make little difference. He thought the Commissioners should try to do better than that.
There was much discussion among the Commissioners on this issue. The Board needed some guidance from the County Attorney before taking action on this matter. So this item was added to Pending Issues so the Board could revisit it later in the meeting after Closed Session.
SET PUBLIC HEARING ON REZONING REQUEST BY GARY M. SANDERS - Application #R-03-99
Jake Gilmore, Zoning Administrator, reminded the Commissioners that an application had been received from Gary Sanders who was requesting the County rezone approximately 30 acres of property located off Green Mountain Road near Fruitland. The property is currently zoned RM2 and Mr. Sanders requested it be changed to an unzoned status. He would like to have no zoning on his property. At a September 28, 1999 meeting, the Planning Board discussed recommendations of the subcommittee that was appointed and voted 6 to zero to send to the Board of Commissioners an unfavorable recommendation based on this request. Mr. Sanders applied in 1998 to have this property rezoned and at that time he requested to have it rezoned from RM2 to RM1. The Planning Board at that time recommended not to rezone and to send an unfavorable recommendation to the Board of Commissioners at that public hearing. Mr. Sanders submitted a letter and then withdrew his request for the rezoning. Therefore, this is not a duplicate action. Staff recommended that the Commissioners set a public hearing for November 1, 1999 at 7:00 p.m. Mr. Sanders was not present.
Chairman Hawkins asked Mr. Gilmore if there were any time limits for reapplying for rezoning. Mr. Gilmore replied there is a year limit but that was for the same request. Staff had interpreted this request as a different request. That also applies if the request was denied but there was no action taken on the initial request by the Commissioners except to accept Mr. Sanders= request to withdraw.
Chairman Hawkins asked Ms. Beeker if she had any guidance for the Board on this matter. Ms. Beeker replied that as written it was for a specific application and it does have to be denied. She thought that with the Zoning Ordinance rewrite it could be made applicable to a particular piece of property but basically the applicant could apply for one zoning action period in any twelve month period. But for now Ms. Beeker thought it was tied to this specific application and it had been denied so it was proper for the Commissioners to consider it.
There was no further discussion. Commissioner Kumor made a motion that the Commissioners set a public hearing on the rezoning application for November 1, 1999 at 7:00 p.m.
All voted in favor and the motion carried.
SET PUBLIC HEARING ON REQUEST FOR REZONING ON OLD SPARTANBURG ROAD - Application #R-02-99
Jake Gilmore, Zoning Administrator, informed the Board that Eugene T. Albertson had submitted an application requesting that the County rezone two parcels which they own and three other parcels owned by other property owners that signed the rezoning application. The request was to get their property rezoned from an R10 high density residential district to a C2 neighborhood commercial district. The five parcels of land were located at the intersection of Mount Airy Street and Old Spartanburg Road and there are about two acres. At the September 28, 1999 meeting, the Planning Board discussed the recommendations of the subcommittee and voted 5 to 1 to send the Board of Commissioners an unfavorable recommendation on the rezoning application.
Staff recommended that the public hearing be held on November 1, 1999 at 7:00 p.m.
Mr. and Mrs. Albertson were present.
Chairman Hawkins invited the Albertson=s to address the Board about their rezoning request.
Ms. Albertson stated that the study area was where the Albertson=s lived now. They=ve also operated a nursery there for over 20 years. Currently, the Albertson=s are surrounded by C4 all the way around their property and one C2. The Albertson=s wanted all the area zoned C2. At the time that the Albertson=s requested that, they had no idea that the surrounding area around them was C4. They felt like they could better utilize their property by having it a C2 or a C4 and still live there and maintain a residential area. The people who signed the application with the Albertson=s are residents there and they own property and most of them are first and second generation people. The Albertson=s property adjoins Cason Builders. Ms. Albertson stated they would like to have the Commissioners at least consider that request.
There was no further discussion. Chairman Hawkins made a motion that the Commissioners set a public hearing for November 1, 1999. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
1. Leslie Stott-Ms. Stott wanted to thank the Commissioners for their action on the schools, especially the Etowah Elementary School. She really appreciated the Board=s action to try to help improve the schools and improve the environment that our children are working in and the teachers are working in to help them to be educated in a safe and healthy environment. She just wanted to say thank you.
2. Eva Ritchey-Ms. Ritchey stated that the issue of critical need has been raised in our community as to whether or not we need a school nurse in the middle schools. Ms. Ritchey read from today=s paper, AAbout one American in six went without health insurance last year. Roughly the same share as in 1997, the Census Bureau reports. The annual survey of health insurance coverage found that about 44.3 million had no health insurance in 1998, about a million more than the year before. Children ages twelve to seventeen were slightly more likely to be without health care compared with those under twelve. Lack of health care coverage has received epic portions charged Ron Pollock, Executive Director of the Advocacy Group Families USA. With this new Census Bureau report, it is now imperative that all candidates for public office come up with specific proposals to address the growing national problem. We have a specific proposal in our community that could help us address that problem. We have an opportunity to get almost without charge to this community a health care nurse in our middle schools for the next two years. Something that has been denied to us by this Board of Commissioners. As far as critical need, let me give you an example. Friday, it just so happens Friday on my break, I=m a teacher at Rugby School, that I was going upstairs to look at the paper as a matter of fact and there was this little girl on the stairway going up and she was sobbing and she was crying and she was a little girl, she couldn=t have weighed over 50 pounds. And whenever you see a child convulsed in tears like this, it is real. It is real to them. They don=t cry like that so I caught up to her and I said what=s the matter and she said well my stomach is hurting me and she was holding her stomach. And I said well honey have you called home to see if somebody can come and get you. And she said I called my grandmother, that=s where she was coming back from, and she can=t come and get me. And I put my arms around the little girl and I said honey, when you don=t feel good, it=s really hard, isn=t it and she said yes it is. So I said well let me have your hand and I=ll take you up to your room and see if they can let you lay down on the floor. So I took her up to the room and to her teacher and I said you know obviously this child is sick, can she lay on the floor until school=s over or her grandmother can get her? And she said yes and that=s where she laid. Now I don=t know what it will take to convince this Board of Commissioners that we have a critical need but I know we have a critical need and I see it everyday as a teacher and as a parent. So Mr. Ward and Mr. Moyer and Ms. Gordon and Mr. Hawkins can we please have the support of this Board of Commissioners to get the Duke Endowment so that we can have a small little almost insignificant level of health care for our children in these schools? I would like an answer, I would really like an answer because I have been here several times, I know the need is there, what does this Board of Commissioners intend to do Mr. Hawkins?@
Chairman Hawkins replied: AMs. Ritchey, I think the Board has voted on this matter already. I know you=ve been here several times and I empathize with your quotes out of the paper. I would remind you that the State is implementing North Carolina Choice plan which does provide health coverage.@
Ms. Ritchey: AExcuse me sir, I don=t believe I could take that back to that little girl. I don=t think I could take that back to the students who get sick on Monday and have to wait until the nurse shows up on Thursday or maybe they get sick on Friday and have to come back the following Thursday. And I know from what I=ve heard in the community that the leadership, your leadership Mr. Hawkins, is not taking this community where this community wants to go.@
Chairman Hawkins: AThank you Ms. Ritchey.@
Ms. Ritchey: AYou=re welcome.@
TREND MENTAL HEALTH REPORT
Commissioner Kumor stated that she was the Commissioners= appointee to the Trend Board. By definition, that Board has to have a Commissioner from Henderson County and one from Transylvania County. Also by legislative design, the Commissioner that sits on that Board from Henderson County and from Transylvania County is the person who nominates to that Board and she felt that it was important for this Board to understand who she was appointing. Ms. Kumor would be sending letters of renomination to the following citizens: Phillip Jackson who is the current chairman of the Trend Board; Dr. Royce Bailey who is the current vice-chairman of the Trend Board; Mary Collins and Tim Purdy. In addition to that, there were two vacancies. Commissioner Kumor would be appointing for the first time to the Trend Board Joanie Fisher and Jo Ann Brittain.
Commissioner Kumor made a motion that the Commissioners go into Closed Session as allowed pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 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.
2.(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 and give instructions to the attorney with respect to the following claims:
Michael Williams vs. Henderson County Sheriff=s Department,
Henderson County; Brad Osteen, Greg Young, Blue Ridge Narcotics Task Force.
Henderson County file # 98CVS-1691.
Henderson County vs. Cosby, Henderson County file number 99-CVS-527.
Henderson County vs. Jackson, Henderson County file # 99-CVS-526.
3.(a)(2) To prevent the premature disclosure of an honorary degree, scholarship prize or similar award.
4.(a)(4) To discuss matters relating to the location or expansion of industries or other businesses in the area served by the public body, and
5.(a)(6) To consider the qualifications, competence, performance, character, fitness, conditions of employment or conditions of initial employment of an individual public officer or employee or perspective public officer or employee or to hear or to investigate a complaint, charge or grievance by or against by an individual public officer or employee.
All voted in favor and the motion carried.
D.O.T PRESENTATION ON TRANSPORTATION PLAN
Chairman Hawkins stated that the Board of Commissioners had previously talked about creating a County transportation planning committee. Mr. Tim Padgett from Statewide Planning with NCDOT in Raleigh would address that issue as well as give an update on the thoroughfare plan study.
Mr. Padgett had distributed to the Commissioners a general guideline for a thoroughfare plan study. It=s mainly for smaller areas and counties versus large urban areas so it was tailored to something similar to Henderson County. Henderson County is a little unique in that Hendersonville occupies and exerts a major influence on the County. Hendersonville had also requested an update to their current thoroughfare plan. Henderson County worked on a thoroughfare plan last in 1987 but that plan was not adopted by Henderson County nor by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. So there was currently no plan in existence for Henderson County.
Mr. Padgett pointed out a few major points of the basic process. Thoroughfare planning is the development of a long range transportation plan for an area. It identifies existing and future deficiencies in the transportation system with its main emphasis on uncovering the need for new facilities or new methods of transportation for an area. Mr. Padgett outlined the process that Statewide Planning would follow. NCDOT would have some meetings with County officials, correspond with other transportation officials in the area and do some initial field investigations and field collections of data for Henderson County. That would be followed by data collection such as input from area representatives, look at population growth and trends from the past and project those to the future, accident history and traffic data, bridge and roadway conditions, environment and cultural concerns, and current T.I.P. (Transportation Improvement Program) projects in the area that are already currently funded or having pieces of funding for the Hendersonville and Henderson County area.
Once that data was collected, some analysis would be done projecting the traffic and population information to a future year be that 25 or 30 years in the future. That data would be analyzed to find future deficiencies based on the current system of transportation. Problem areas would be identified in design, accidents, and congestion. Environmentally sensitive areas, i.e. wetlands, flood plains, historic structures, threatened and endangered species, would be located.
Once the data was analyzed, a plan could then be developed. This plan would be developed with a large amount of input from the public as well as officials from the County. There would be some public workshops so that information could be exchanged in both directions. There would be coordination with local staff as well as the public and the County officials to select a recommended thoroughfare plan that best meets the needs of the County.
Formal adoption of the plan would follow the development of the plan. A public hearing will follow. Once that is accepted and adopted by all parties, then it would fall upon Henderson County in conjunction with Hendersonville and the Department of Transportation to implement that plan.
A Transportation Committee in terms of what role they would play in the development of a thoroughfare plan for an area could be looked at in a number of different ways. It could obviously provide some background and information on problem areas in the County. It could be involved as the plan progressed and the data was collected and analyzed from the Department of Transportation stand point with their input because they=re specialized in local knowledge with their insight or information on the needs of the County present and future. It could help develop a recommended plan that was acceptable and worthwhile for the future of the area. This committee could be involved as little or as much as they wanted to be in giving information, receiving updates on what was being done by the Department of Transportation and the development of that thoroughfare plan and really providing as much input as the Commissioners wanted them to provide.
Chairman Hawkins noted that several times Mr. Padgett mentioned the City of Hendersonville and obviously there are other municipalities in the County, and he assumed they would also participate in a county-wide thoroughfare plan. Mr. Padgett stated that was correct but not technically. They would be involved but it would be up to the County by itself to adopt the County thoroughfare plan. Roads within City jurisdictions would not specifically be included in a County plan.
Chairman Hawkins asked if there would be any coordination between, for example the cities for street improvements, their thoroughfare plan and the County=s. Mr. Padgett replied that he would hope so. D.O.T wouldn=t try to develop a County plan without involving all municipalities and all jurisdictions within the County.
Chairman Hawkins stated as Mr. Padgett had indicated the Statewide Planning staff of NCDOT is responsible for creating an efficient and cost-effective thoroughfare plan. He assumed it was basically the mission of Mr. Padgett=s department to develop the plan. Mr. Padgett stated that was correct but the responsibility of the input for the work to the plan rests on everyone. The more input, the better the plan is going to be.
Chairman Hawkins noted there was a T.I.P. input session scheduled for October 13 in Waynesville in District 14.
Chairman Hawkins clarified with Mr. Padgett that the thoroughfare plan could address walking trails, greenways, bike paths, sidewalks, etc. Mr. Padgett stated the thoroughfare plan is meant to address the needs of the transportation for the area be that transit, roads, rail, whatever means of transportation you can think of in your area could be and would be addressed in the thoroughfare plan.
Commissioner Moyer stated that Mr. Padgett was accepting another position and he wondered under those circumstances if the thoroughfare plan would still follow the twelve month schedule starting in July. Mr. Padgett replied that his changing positions would not impact that schedule but there was some coordination with the City of Hendersonville=s request that would change that schedule. Commissioner Moyer asked Mr. Padgett to give an idea of what type of schedule he was looking at. Mr. Padgett replied that he had no idea until he heard some additional information from the City of Hendersonville on their thoroughfare plan request. Statewide Planning was going to attempt to coordinate the two plans from DOT=s perspective and therefore the County plan had not been specifically started at this point. Commissioner Moyer asked if that was because DOT was waiting for the City. Mr. Padgett replied yes. Mr. Padgett stated that the County could submit a new request that the County plan continue as scheduled.
Chairman Hawkins commented that he didn=t know that the County=s thoroughfare plan was contingent on whatever the City of Hendersonville decided to. Mr. Padgett stated that it wasn=t specifically but it was a more of a matter of developing the County plan without including the City=s plan because it=s not coherent, the two don=t fit together.
Commissioner Gordon wanted to know if the County thoroughfare plan would give us more influence with the municipalities. Mr. Padgett replied that the end result of the thoroughfare plan is a binding document that can be used to help the County exert its power over the transportation needs of the area. Mr. Padgett further commented that the thoroughfare plan lists the County=s projects in a priority order. That should be the way of presenting to the Board of Transportation the needs for your area. Commissioner Gordon asked what happens if the T.I.P. plans within a County or an area are in conflict with each other. Mr. Padgett stated he guessed it would depend on who screamed loud enough. It was something that hopefully would be coordinated so that they did mesh but unfortunately they probably won=t always.
Commissioner Moyer stated there was no question that the two plans have to work together but there are a lot of issues in the County that need to be addressed and started on other than what just centers from the City. He thought the Commissioners should ask Statewide Planning to proceed with the County plan.
Chairman Hawkins stated the Commissioners had written previously to Statewide Planning requesting they develop a County thoroughfare Plan. However, Mr. Padgett indicated the Commissioners needed to write again to Statewide Planning and ask for a thoroughfare plan for the County. Mr. Padgett expressed concern that the first letter about that request may have been overlooked because of change of personnel in Statewide Planning and encouraged the Commissioners to issue another letter making their request.
Mr. Padgett wanted to speak a little bit more about the coordination of the County thoroughfare plan with the City plan. The reasoning behind trying to coordinate these two plans as much as possible is that if the County proceeds many, many months in advance of the City in doing a thoroughfare plan, topics are inevitably going to come up in the County plan that cannot be addressed until the City=s plan is at least begun or gotten into to a good degree. Unfortunately, there would be a lot of information that really should be combined in the two that=s going to be left out if the two are not coordinated as closely as possible.
Chairman Hawkins thanked Mr. Padgett for his presentation. Chairman Hawkins had discussions with the mayors of all the municipalities in the County and they too were very interested in participating in a transportation committee. So the Commissioners would proceed with pursuing that effort. The Board could ask staff to work up some details on the charter and bring it back to the Board at its next meeting.
Commissioner Moyer suggested that staff draw up a charter based on the Commissioners= comments and include representation for each of the municipalities and come back to the Commissioners with a suggested charter like the Commissioners had done with other advisory boards recently.
UPDATE ON PENDING ISSUES
Joint School Facilities Committee
Chairman Hawkins stated that he had been working with staff, other Commissioners, and the Board of Education trying to look at a projected plan for some needed construction in the schools as well as on-going capital expense. The total recurring capital was about $2.2 million dollars a year up through budget cycle 2002-2003. Hopefully, that amount of capital would get the current condition of the schools up to a much higher level than they were a year ago. This plan didn=t look at scheduling any projects for the budget cycle 2000-2001 which was next year=s budget cycle. The Board of Education wanted to do two projects in the 2001-2002 budget cycle. They essentially wanted to look at Balfour and Etowah as a single project. Then the next budget cycle 2002-2003 they looked at setting aside some money to begin some middle school projects.
Chairman Hawkins would coordinate a joint facilities meeting with the Board of Education.
Mediacom Adhoc Committee
Chairman Hawkins informed the Commissioners that he had correspondence with the mayors about an ad hoc committee of volunteers to look at Mediacom=s franchise and contracts with the County as well as the municipalities= contracts. Several of these volunteers were executives out of the cable company business. Hopefully, the Commissioners would receive a report from that ad hoc committee by the end of the year on what recommended action they may have in the event that Mediacom approaches either the County and or the municipalities for an extension of their contract.
STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR CHILDREN
Commissioner Kumor stated at the Commissioners= September 7 meeting, the Board asked the JCPC, Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, to recommend a process for developing a strategic plan to prioritize children=s issues in our community. The early focus of the JCPC will be to deal with juvenile issues and to distribute funding. However, the long term ambitions of the Office of Juvenile Justice, which is OJJ, is that all counties develop such a plan as this Board has requested. This planning process will be modeled after the Communities That Care process.
The Communities That Care process began in Henderson County in 1998. A group received funding from the Governor=s Crime Commission to gather data under this method to deal with some specific juvenile crime prevention issues. Communities That Care requires a training process for data gathering and for setting a method to interpret data and filing a process to prioritize and implement a plan. The Jordon Institute of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides the training. The proposed study as far as ages are concerned will look at issues from ages zero to 18. The Board of Commissioners was very clear that all children=s issues be studied, not just juvenile crime prevention.
There is a cost to do Communities That Care. As of September 17th, per a letter received from the Office of Juvenile Justice, there are funds available to JCPC to underwrite this planning process. In addition, there are funds available from the current budget of Communities That Care program operating at East Henderson High School and there are also funds that may be available from Smart Start. Putting together a process funded by these groups will guarantee a process that includes all children=s issues and not just juvenile crime prevention issues.
The training and planning group is a committee of JCPC members and these members will be inviting participation from other groups. Already included are the director of the Alliance for Human Services and the director of the Children and Family Resource Center as well as retired individuals in our community trained in data gathering and analysis.
It was anticipated that if the Board of Commissioners accepts this plan, the Jordon Institute will be able to provide training in November. Data gathering will begin as soon as possible, as well as developing the process for data analysis. Phase I should be completed by March 2000. Phase II, analyzing of the data should be completed by July 2000, and Phase III, the development of a strategic plan was to be completed by December 2000. This should position the Board of Commissioners to determine if there are children=s issues that should be addressed in the County=s 2001-2002 budget. This time line will not prohibit other community groups from addressing issues earlier in the process or seeking grants to address needs.
To begin this process and to carry it out requires a commitment on the part of the Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners was being asked to send a letter to agencies outlining the process and the Board=s interest in developing this strategic plan and to host a community meeting to explain the process and goals to community leaders and interested citizens, especially parents and other community child advocates.
Commissioner Moyer asked Commissioner Kumor if it would be acceptable to her, because he would like to be able to think about this and study this, if the Commissioners could take it up at the mid-month meeting. Commissioner Kumor replied that would be fine.
SOLID WASTE AUTHORITY
Chairman Hawkins had attended a meeting on the 30th of last month at the Land of Sky Regional Council on a solid waste authority. There are several counties that are adjacent to Henderson County, some in Region B, some are not, that have expressed an interest in at least doing some preliminary investigation into a solid waste authority. At this particular meeting, authorities from three different solid waste authorities spoke as to how they were organized, how they were funded, how they operated, and a variety of issues that they dealt with. The Coastal Regional Solid Waste Management Authority actually set the statutes in motion in the State of North Carolina that basically authorizes solid waste authorities. Chairman Hawkins found it interesting the variety of methods that all three of these authorities came up with, tailor made to their own needs and their own requirements, whether it be where to site a landfill, how to operate transfer stations, different tipping fees whether it be at the landfill or at the transfer station, how they handle recycling, how they spread the cost out, how they made their agreements. The Albermarle Authority has seven counties participating in it. It is very definitely a regional approach to a problem that everyone has. At that meeting, there was a lot of discussion on how the municipalities played into the scenario, how the waste hauler collectors played into it and to what level the Authority had to deal with. Land of Sky would prepare a summary report from all these various aspects of solid waste authority. Once the Board received the Land of Sky report, if the Commissioners were interested in pursuing further the concept of the solid waste authority, they could take that up and address it to some of our sister counties who have expressed an interest in a regional approach to solid waste as well as recycling and some other things that are associated with hazardous waste, construction demolition land fills, recycling tires and white goods, etc.
Chairman Hawkins stated that no surrounding counties were interested in joining a solid waste authority because some of them thought they had their solid waste problems solved for a long time. However, Madison County and Transylvania County were interested and he wasn=t sure about Yancey and Mitchell counties. Polk and Rutherford will still need to be contacted.
C & D Landfill
Mr. Nicholson reminded the Commissioners that the Board had previously approved the filing of an application to move our current construction demolition landfill. Right now, it=s on top of the old landfill and moving to the borrowed pit. The Board about a year and a half ago approved a contract with CDM Engineering to design that. The application was submitted to the State who has now told us that the Board has to formally file a resolution which staff had drafted and was included in the agenda packet.
Commissioner Kumor made a motion to adopt the resolution as presented. There was no further discussion. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
COST OF LIVING INCREASE REVISITED
Chairman Hawkins noted that previously Commissioner Moyer indicated he wanted to know what other jurisdictions surrounding the County were doing about cost of living increases for their employees. Mr. Nicholson suggested that if the Board would like to relook at the issue and allow staff to gather this additional information, the Board put the decision off until the 20th.
Commissioner Moyer made a motion that the Commissioners reconsider the previous motion to grant the 2.3% increase and reexamine that at its meeting on the 20th with the data the Commissioners had requested from the County Manager and take action on that date.
Commissioner Gordon stated that the issue as she understood it is that the budget allowed for as much as 2.8%. Commissioner Moyer stated that really was not the issue to him but rather whether we were treating our employees consistent with how other employees are being treated. Commissioner Ward asked if the County didn=t supplement the 401K for the employees so if that is included the employees are getting close to a 5% increase. Mr. Nicholson stated the contribution to the 457 was not adding anything additional to the employee=s salary because that had been in effect for three years. Commissioner Ward stated the County used to give a 5% cost of living increase. Mr. Nicholson further explained that the year the Board put in the 457 match, they still granted a cost of living increase. Commissioner Ward stated he knew that but it was kind of in conjunction because the Commissioners divided it in half. Ms. Beeker stated that was right but the Commissioners would be increasing the contribution to the 457 just by a minuscule percentage by the rate increase. Commissioner Ward still contended they were still actual dollars. Ms. Beeker further explained that what happens is if the County employee is participating in the 457 plan, the County will match up to 2% of that. Commissioner Ward restated that it was still money that the County was giving employees. Commissioner Kumor stated that was the two philosophical issues that Commissioner Moyer is raising and that has to do with how we value our employees.
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Commissioners there was a motion on the floor to reconsider the cost of living increase at the next meeting and asked if there was any further comments or discussion on that motion. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
SCHOOL NURSES REVISITED
Commissioner Moyer asked Chairman Hawkins to tell him what the Hospital Board=s action was on the school nurse issue and where that left the Commissioners based on the action it took at its last meeting.
Chairman Hawkins stated that the action that the Hospital Board took was really pursuant to the terms of the grant which very clearly indicated that if there were any shortfalls in the funding that Pardee Hospital would provide the funding. The Board of Trustees indicated that they weren=t in a position to provide funding of the shortfalls. Chairman Hawkins explained that he didn=t think that Pardee Hospital ever signed that application agreeing to that.
A lengthy discussion among the Commissioners ensued about whether the Board should reconsider its position on the school nurses. The consensus of the Board was not to revisit that issue.
The Joint Facilities meeting was set for Thursday, October 14th.
Commissioner Moyer asked the Commissioners to set a joint work session with the Planning Board with respect to the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite. The Commissioners set a joint work session for October 19th at 3:00 pm with the Planning Board.
The Commissioners set a work shop with the Health Department and DSS to discuss their space needs at the Carolina Apparel Trade building on October 21st at 4:00 pm.
The Commissioners set a work shop on Economic Incentives Guidelines on October 18th at 7:00 pm.
PURCHASE OF THE HYDER PROPERTY
Ms. Beeker informed the Commissioners about a proposed offer to purchase and a contract for 4.2 acres located off Stoney Mountain Road. This property is proposed for addition to the Henderson County Solid Waste Facilities property. The proposed purchase price was $57,000 which was the appraised value. The tax value was $56,100. Henderson County would be offering to purchase the property. Proposals for legal services on this matter were issued and Attorney Don Elkins was awarded the bid. Ms. Beeker noted two changes to the contract. The property owner had reviewed the contract and asked to be allowed to stay on the property until May 31, 2000. In Exhibit A in the possession agreement it stated the seller who is the current owner would not remove anything from the property that would be considered a fixture but this individual wanted to take their dog lot with them. Ms. Beeker asked for the Board=s approval to add language to permit the seller to take the dog lot. She also wanted to add language that the County would have no premises liability for the premises during the period of possession. With those two changes, Ms. Beeker stated it would be appropriate for the Board to take action at this time. It would require $5,000 to be deposited as earnest money in Don Elkins= trust account. The closing date would be no later than November 1st.
There was no further discussion. Commissioner Moyer made a motion to approve the agreement with the changes identified above by Ms. Beeker. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
APPLE COUNTRY GREENWAY COMMISSION INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT
Ms. Beeker informed the Commissioners she had attempted to revise the draft agreement that was proposed for the formation of the Apple Country Greenway Commission. The Board last discussed this at its meeting on September 15th and recommended some changes. In addition, Ms. Beeker had received some changes from individual Board members. To the extent that she could she tried to incorporate those into the agreement. There was an issue regarding liability. The individual commission members, at least as far as the County=s appointees, would be covered by the County=s liability insurance. The County=s insurance carrier Sedgwick could issue a policy to cover the entire commission for about $1500.
Commissioner Moyer stated the same issue occurred with Travel and Tourism and that Board decided that each municipality was covered and their people were covered so there was no sense buying a policy. He thought they should be required to have insurance coverage for each of their appointees. Commissioner Gordon stated the budget for the commission was so small to take that amount of money out of it to duplicate insurance coverage would not be appropriate.
Ms. Beeker highlighted the changes to the interlocal agreement she had incorporated that the Commissioners had previously requested. However, the Board made additional changes to reduce the broad nature of the scope, addressed financial responsibilities, expanded the appointees requirement to the Commission and made other minor revisions in other areas. Ms. Beeker would incorporate the changes discussed at this meeting and bring back to the Board another draft at a future meeting.
TRANSFER OF PROPERTY TO BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Chairman Hawkins had corresponded with the Chairman of the Board at Blue Ridge Community College about the Board=s concerns on the 29 acres located off South Allen Road. A previous Board of Commissioners had committed in March of 1998 under a gentlemen=s agreement to transfer the deed for that property to Blue Ridge Community College to be used for the location of a hospice facility. However, to date that deed had not been transferred by the Commissioners and Blue Ridge Community College had recently asked for the deed. The Board had a lengthy discussion about whether it could attach restrictions to the deed such as prohibiting the College from encumbering the property for financial purposes or restrict use of the property. There was disagreement among the Commissioners about issues with the deed.
Commissioner Gordon made this motion: AI move that we honor the commitment of the Board in March of >98 to deliver a deed to Blue Ridge Community College as it was intended.@
Chairman Hawkins: AOK. That=s the move on the floor. Is there any other discussion? All those in favor of that motion say aye. All of those opposed?@
Chairman Hawkins, Commissioner Gordon, Commissioner Kumor uttered aye. Commissioners Ward and Moyer uttered no.
Chairman Hawkins: AOK, the motion carries. So you need to transfer the deed as per the >98 agreement. Any other discussion on the letter?@
There was no further discussion.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES GUIDELINES
Staff had prepared a package on the Economic Development Incentives Guidelines for the Board=s review. Chairman Hawkins stated that information would be reviewed in a future workshop.
UNSEALING OF CLOSED SESSION MINUTES
Commissioner Kumor: AMr. Chairman, I=d like to make a motion that we approve and unseal the Closed Session minutes for September 15, 1999 and I=d like to move that we unseal the following items from the following sessions:
North Carolina General Statutes 143-318.11(a)(1)(10)(e), Article 2 of Chapter 11 of the Henderson County Code.
(1) the Acquisition of the Hyder property from March 17, April 5 and April 21 and September 15 of 1999. The Henderson County versus Vivian Hill from March 17, 1999 minutes and the review of Closed Session minutes from the March 17th 1999 minutes.
All voted in favor and the motion carried.
There was no further business. Chairman Hawkins adjourned the meeting at 10:05 p.m.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board Grady Hawkins, Chairman