STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                         BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                    DECEMBER 29, 1999


The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 11:00 a.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, Utilities Director James Erwin, and County Engineer Gary Tweed.



Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance. He stated that the purpose of this meeting was to take a look at a letter from Mayor Niehoff, dated November 29, 1999.  The original letter from the Mayor was dated January 8, 1999. Several letters and a position paper were reviewed by the Board.



Mud Creek Water and Sewer District

The letter that Mayor Niehoff sent and asked for a response on was the one dated November 29, 1999.  It had been copied to the Commissioners. In the first paragraph of Mayor Niehoff=s letter it stated that the purpose of the letter was to make an offer for the near term regarding usage of the Mud Creek sewer line. The offer is contained in the last paragraph of the letter where he indicated that the City of Hendersonville has offered at the staff level in the past to assist in the maintenance of the Mud Creek line including assuming responsibility for the pump station at Jackson Park.  The City is still interested in working out a solution whereby there can be a cooperative effort and allow further use of the Mud Creek line and are open to any suggestions about how we could put this together, stating it seems very inefficient for others to Abuild-around@ the Mud Creek outfall. Mayor Niehoff stated ACertainly some mutually beneficial solution ought to be derived.@


The Board reviewed numerous older documents.


Gary Tweed oriented the Board via a map of the Mud Creek System. What brought about the rate system change, a year or so ago we lost Brooklyn Manor and those customers because of City annexation.  We lost about 100 customers who became City of Hendersonville customers. As a result of this a new rate proposal was made to institute a municipal charge for City lines that are connected to our County lines.  This issue ultimately lead to Flat Rock=s proposed system. Flat Rock is trying to bypass our lines and tie into the City lines along Hwy. #176.  The issue with Flat Rock is that they are trying to avoid our fees and the municipal charge.  Mr. Tweed stated that what we currently have is City lines crossing our County lines by the virtue of pump stations and force mains.


The City of Hendersonville is requesting that Henderson County waive connection fees for all Flat Rock residents as well as the municipal charge.  The tap fee is $150.00 per resident and $5.90 per 1,000 gallons as the transport fee.


Gary Tweed showed the location of sewer lines, city and county, on maps to the Board and there was much discussion.  A project on #25 South is also going the long way around to avoid the County connection fee and the municipal charge.  They are bypassing the County lines and going to the City lines. There was some discussion of negotiating a deal with the City of Hendersonville to sell them the Mud Creek System with certain reservations.


Chairman Hawkins stated that one of the first things we need to do is this Board of Commissioners needs to respond to the City with a letter and position paper.  The Commissioners wanted to look at the broader issue.


Two steps:

1.               Draft a letter and invite the City to a joint meeting to discuss a comprehensive agreement.

2.               County Board come up with a comprehensive position.


There was discussion that the Board needed to get all the issues on the table and then negotiate a comprehensive agreement with the City of Hendersonville that would deal with all the issues.



1.               Uniform rates across the system

2.               Uniform service

3.               Extension policy

4.               District boundary lines

5.               All outstanding issues of the 1986 sewer agreement

6.               Treatment capacity

7.               Allocation, unused

8.               Allocation

9.               Master plan for extensions

10.            Role of municipalities/municipal participation

11.            Organizational structure

12.            Assets of Mud Creek and Hendersonville Water & Sewer Systems

13.            Liabilities

14.            Role of County in new treatment plant

15.            Payment for any monies the county has invested in the lines

16.            What about City=s assets in new organization

17.            City concerns over authority issues:


Revenue, loss of

18.            Accounting issues

19.            County users subsidizing city users - underpaid system

20.            Balfour School


Chairman Hawkins will work with staff to draft a response to the City of Hendersonville


Mills River Project

Chairman Hawkins stated that Commissioner Gordon has been working on this project diligently with the folks at the Town of Fletcher and our staff.  Of particular interest is the hooking up of the Mills River School. The Board of Commissioners would like to see the line to the school serve additional customers in the area.


Gary Tweed again showed a map of the project.  Mills River School plans to put in a lift station and tie it into the gravity line that was extended up to Marlow School, 17,500 foot of line work and all force main.  Gary stated AAt that time we said it makes more sense to look at those costs and put it into a bigger project of extending our 24 inch interceptor that we put in at Broadpointe Park on up into the Mills River area and start picking up some of these wastewater treatment systems, extend the gravity line up to the school and on over into the interchange area of 191 and 280.@


He had put together the project existing of three phases or sections.


Section I

The interceptor cost was looked at as a county project. 


Section II

The School Board will be responsible for the school project.


Section III

County staff will talk with commercial businesses in the interchange area about whether they can collectively come together to do the project in that area.


Gary Tweed stated that looking at the customer base in the area, we will generate about $80,000 to $100,000 plus per year, almost immediately. The revenue is what will make this project work financially.  The growth cannot be projected but it is expected.  In a couple of years the Broadpointe sewer system will be paid off.  Mr. Tweed stated that he will apply for what grant monies are available although he does not anticipate getting any at this time. After some time the system should be self sustaining.


Mr. Tweed needs to get the design work done prior to applying for those grants.  He asked for permission to seek proposals for the design work.  This is a big project, the running of 17,000 feet of line work. It will take some time to get the design work done, probably three to four months.


Chairman Hawkins stated that this project needs to be coordinated with some sort of land use plan for the area.


Following much discussion, it was the consensus of the Board for this item to be added to the agenda for next Tuesday, when the Board will be sitting as the Cane Creek Water & Sewer District Board of Commissioners.


Staff will put together a financial package for the project so the Board can see the costs associated with a time line.


Justice Academy System

David Nicholson informed the Board that he expected a request from a resident of the area about hooking up to the Justice Academy System.  He asked the Board to start to think about what their philosophy would be regarding hook-ups to that system.


Gary Tweed stated that the Justice Academy=s dormitories are scheduled to open next week which will mean some additional flows into the sewer system.  Only 1/3 of the capacity is currently being used.


Fletcher Elementary School Project

Gary Tweed showed on a map what staff felt was the best way to serve the Fletcher Elementary School.  A pump station and force main has been proposed.   People in the area are learning of the sewer line and want to hook-up. He asked if the County would want to take over the force main as part of the Cane Creek system and allow people to put in small lift stations and tie into the system.


David Nicholson informed the Board that there is a very similar situation at the new Clear Creek School site. 


There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at approx. 12:45 p.m.







Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board                        Grady Hawkins, Chairman