STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON FEBRUARY 16, 2000
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a regularly scheduled meeting at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners= Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building 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: Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, I.T. Director Kelly Laughton, Phyllis Lowder, and County Engineer Gary Tweed.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Gordon led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
David Nicholson gave the invocation.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Chairman Hawkins added one item as Discussion Item AA@ - Sewer.
Commissioner Kumor added one item under Pending Issues, as #5 - Health Care.
Commissioner Gordon added one item as Discussion Item AB@ - County Facilities Proposal
Commissioner Moyer added one item as Discussion Item AC@ - Schools
Commissioner Ward added two items - Discussion Item AD@ - Trace Property and AE@ - Flood Insurance.
Chairman Hawkins pulled one item from the Consent Agenda, item AD@ - Resolution recognizing George Cagle=s service to Henderson County. A copy of the Resolution is attached as part of this set of minutes. He asked Commissioner Kumor to read that Resolution. Commissioner Kumor represented the Board at the reception last evening.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the Consent Agenda. The CONSENT AGENDA included the following:
Minutes were presented to the Board for review and approval of the special called meeting on January 7, 2000.
Request for Improvement Guarantee - Grove Hills Subdivision, Lots 7 and 21-28.
An application for subdivision improvement guarantees was submitted by Mr. Jack Houtman, on behalf of Henderson County Habitat for Humanity, developer of Grove Hills Subdivision (hereinafter, ADeveloper@). The Developer requested approval to post an improvement guarantee to cover the estimated cost of completing road improvements serving lot 7 and lots 21-28 in Grove Hills Subdivision. Grove Hills is a major subdivision located off Oak Grove Road in the East Flat Rock community of Henderson County. The Board of Commissioners approved a similar improvement guarantee for lot 6 in September of 1999.
The Planning Board approved the Preliminary Plan for Grove Hills in March of 1999 under Chapter 170 of the Henderson County Code. Such approval was prior to Chapter 170 being amended by the Board of Commissioners in May of 1999, therefore this application for improvement guarantees is governed by the provisions in the Code that existed prior to the amendments. Section 170-39 contains the applicable provisions and was provided as part of the agenda packet.
The Developer intends to post a surety performance bond in the amount of $8,707.50, which is 135% of the cost to construct the road, according to the estimate provided by Mr. Jon Laughter. A proposed Performance Guarantee Agreement was provided for the Board=s review. The Developer had not yet submitted the surety bond at the time of this agenda preparation. However upon receiving it, the Planning Department will send it to the Interim County Attorney for review and acceptance. Approval of the improvement guarantee will allow the Developer to have a Final Plat for lots 7 and 21-28 approved by the Planning Department for recordation prior to completion of the road improvements. The Developer may then obtain permits to construct home on the subject lots.
Board action at this meeting to approve the application for improvement guarantees, subject to the Interim County Attorney reviewing the surety performance bond, would be appropriate.
Tax Collector=s Report
Terry F. Lyda, Henderson County Tax Collector, had provided the Tax Collector=s Report through February 9, 2000 for the Board=s review and information.
Resolution - George Cagle
The Board had requested that staff draft a Resolution honoring George Cagle for his many years of service to the Henderson County Parks and Recreation Committee and to the community. A draft Resolution was presented for the Board=s adoption.
Fletcher Fire Department Lease Purchase
Fletcher Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Inc., is planning to purchase a replacement 4WD Rescue Truck. They will be borrowing $118,000. They requested a signature from the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners verifying their status with Henderson County and a financial statement to be completed by the Finance Department.
Notification of Vacancies
The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear under ANominations@ on the next agenda:
1. Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 1 vac.
2. Mountain Area Workforce Development Board - 1 vac.
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:
1. Hendersonville City Zoning Board of Adjustment - 1 vac. for an alternate
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
2. Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 3 vac.
9 additional vacancies for later in the year 2000
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
3. Transportation Advisory Committee - Appointment of the Chairman
There was some discussion as to the term length. The Charter stated that this would be a 2 yr. Committee but with staggered terms. It was the consensus of the Board to have these initial terms as 2 yr. terms and if the Committee is still needed at the end of 2 yrs., term limits will be revisited and probably staggered at that time.
Commissioner Ward nominated Commissioner Moyer as Chairman initially. Chairman Hawkins asked Mr. Moyer if he would be willing to serve as Chairman for the first year. He stated that he would. He was appointed Chairman by acclamation.
It was the consensus of the Board to appoint Kohlan Flynn (the School Board=s nominee) as an ex-officio and non-voting member. It was also their consensus to appoint Ed Green as ex-officio and non-voting.
The Board appointed the following nominees from the municipalities:
John R. Manners, Village of Flat Rock
Mayor Henry Johnson, Town of Laurel Park
Mayor Robert Parrish, Town of Fletcher
4. Henderson County Board of Equalization and Review - 6 vac.
Nominations from 2/7/2000 were: Jack Lynch, Dutch Burdette, Leon Lamb, R.E. Harmon, and Danforth Leitner. There were no further nominees at this time. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint these five nominees. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
5. Henderson County Industrial Facilities & Pollution Control Authority - 1 vac.
There were no nominees at this time. There was a question raised whether a Commissioner could serve on this Authority or not. Angela Beeker was asked to research this and get back to the Board. The Authority has specific legal responsibilities.
6. Recreation Advisory Board - 3 vac.
Nominations from 2/7/2000 were: Virgil McClure, Gary Eblen, David Laidlaw, Rusty Ward, Roy Huntley, and Joanne Pallazo. The Clerk polled the Board for 3 votes each out of six nominees. The appointments went to Virgil McClure, Rusty Ward, and Joanne Palazzo.
7. Henderson County Community Child Protection Team - 1 vac.
Commissioner Kumor nominated Mary Cleary. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Ms. Cleary. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
REPORT ON MINERAL MUSEUM
Mr. Larry Hauser, President, of the Mineral & Lapidary Museum presented the annual report. He informed the Board that he had presented the first annual report one year ago. He presented an upbeat report, detailing that visitor attendance was three times their expectations and that they had been able to significantly reduce their construction loan. He shared his concerns for the future:
1. Being required to move to the old courthouse, and
2. Experiencing an increase in operating costs (lights, heat, power, building insurance, etc.)
In 1999 the Museum has completely paid off all debts and were able to purchase four additional large display cases.
The Museum does not have an admission fee nor do they comtemplate having one. Their income comes from annual donations, mostly from 51 members of the Henderson County Gem & Mineral Society, as well as $1,000 annually from the Society itself, contributions from visitors to the donation box, and sales in their small gift shop. About 2/3 of their sales are from the geode-cracking operation.
A long term lease between the County and the Genealogical Society may be the recommended use for 400 North Main Street. The increase in operational costs is a concern that the County should keep in mind when renegotiating the Genealogical Society=s lease.
He stated that they hope to use future operating funds towards improving the quality of their displays. During 1999, they put up two new fossil displays, purchased a fossil turtle, and did some other minor improvements, especially in the fluorescent mineral case.
The museum has become a significant tourist attraction. They are located at 400 N. Main Street in the old Trust Building. Hours of operation are 1-5:00 Monday through Friday and 10-5:00 on Saturday. No admission fee.
PRESENTATION ON THE TECHNOLOGY PLAN
Last month, staff provided the Board with a Strategic Information Technology Plan for Henderson County. Today, staff presented the report formally to the Board. Staff considers this Strategic Plan as an outline or overview of our future technology issues and needs.
Kelly Laughton, Director of the I.T. Department presented the plan. A Technology Steering Committee was formed to identify the strategic technology initiatives for this Plan based on the results of departmental needs assessments performed by a subcommittee task force. The resulting recommendations form the foundation of this Plan. As Kelly talked to the Board, Phyllis Lowder projected images (Power Point presentation) for the Board to view. In the Summer of 1998, Henderson County began the process of developing a strategic information technology plan to direct technology implementation over the next three years. The goal was to provide a method for communicating our organization=s future growth and automation needs through continuing reassessment of plan objectives.
1999 Plan Highlights
C Year 2000 Compliance
C Computer Training Program
C Plans for Future Connectivity
2000 Plan Highlights
C Countywide PC/LAN/WAN Implementation
C Central Permitting System
C Technology for New Detention Center
Major Countywide Initiatives - Implementation Schedule
Initiative Plan Year
Countywide PC/LAN/WAN 1
Central Permitting System 1
Electronic Timekeeping System 2
Electronic Document Storage/Retrieval 2
Technology for Detention Center 2
Enhanced Telecommunications 3
Enhanced Mobile Communications 3
Asset Management/Replacement Policy 3
Kelly explained that the plan will be revisited every year and updated based on changing needs/goals and shifting priorities.
There was much discussion. Staff did not ask the Board to adopt the plan. Several Commissioners complimented staff for the work done on this plan. Commissioners felt that there should be some technicians and some community or outside input on the communications committee. The Board solicited comments on the report prior to the next Board meeting. A copy will be on file in the Henderson County Library.
UPDATE ON PENDING ISSUES
Chairman Hawkins asked the Board to name their priorities for LGCCA discussion. Each municipality will present a list of priorities to the LGCCA.
Following much discussion, the Board=s priorities were:
Water & Sewer
Chairman Hawkins will take these back to the LGCCA as our Board priorities, two are time critical. It was the consensus of the Board that the LGCCA meetings should be broadcast and Chairman Hawkins was going to take that idea back to the LGCCA also.
Chairman Hawkins stated that the next LGCCA meeting would be held on February 28 and he would not be able to attend that meeting. He asked Commissioner Kumor to attend in his place along with Commissioner Moyer.
INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENT
1. Dennis Justice - Mr. Justice addressed the readdressing project. He expressed that he hoped some of the established mobile home parks would not have to be readdressed. He did not see a need for road names for individual roads within a park. He could see a need for the main road to be named but not the roads within the park.
Some subdivisions may be given the choice of voting to exempt themselves from readdressing and he would like that same choice for mobile home parks.
Chairman Hawkins called a brief recess.
Ad Hoc Committee - Readdressing
Chairman Hawkins updated the Board following the Ad Hoc Committee on the 10th of this month.
He discussed the Bell South match whereby Bell South matches a phone number with a structure and the address of the structure. Structures across the county have a distance based address assigned but these have not been distributed to the citizens as yet. One of the next things that needs to take place is a public hearing on address changes. The committee may ask that the Board have the public hearing at the March 15 meeting. After the public hearing, then the public would be notified of the pending address changes. The property addressing staff are creating and gathering documents to go into the packets to be sent out to citizens. A variety of information will be in the packet including emergency assistance information, old address and new address, a verification card to fill out and mail back, helpful information on how to change your driver=s license, etc.
Chairman Hawkins stated that the post office has requested 30 days notice prior to implementation of new property addresses before they start to recognize and deliver to the new addresses.
The Commissioners raised a question at their last meeting AWhat is a findable address?@ Some criteria will likely be established. Some new legislation will require within 24 months that everyone that is registered to vote will have to have a street address. Hopefully the Board of Elections Director will be able to make the changes as an administrative action in her office.
County staff is looking at mapping the non distance based addresses.
Commissioner Moyer read a prepared statement on readdressing. A I have given a lot of thought to Readdressing Program in which the County is presently engaged. I have opposed the program on the basis that there has been no reasonable justification presented for changing all of the addresses in the County. The County has a problem but the problem is duplicate street names...... The Committee that has been established to try to find a solution to the mess we have is apparently going to recommend that all thoroughfares in the County, and any subdivisions that elects, be excluded from the distance based Program. Hendersonville, Laurel Park and Flat Rock have stated already that they will not adopt distance based addressing. I believe that this would be a major mistake.....
I believe we have only two choices. Either we implement distance based addressing for all of the County under our jurisdiction or we repeal our Ordinance and admit our inability to complete this Program. It is time to make that decision. I believe that Henderson County must have one addressing system.@ This was an emotional plea from Commissioner Moyer. He stated that he would not make a motion to scrap the system but that is where he is headed.
Much discussion ensued.
Chairman Hawkins asked Lee King of the property addressing department to come forward. Lee King explained that the Bell South match connects the phone number with the parcel number. Mr. King stated that he agrees with Commissioner Moyer, that in good conscience he cannot support a system that is a patchwork quilt. If you are going to readdress then do it the whole way. Lee stated AWe should treat all citizens fairly and when you give certain citizens the ability to opt out of a plan that you don=t give other citizens, then you=re not treating your citizens fairly and I for one cannot be a part of that and that=s why I want to say that if we=re gonna go ahead and do this for all citizens with the county so the EMS can find them and be uniform in this then let=s proceed forward. But if we=re going to start adopting criteria here and there to where subdivisions cannot - opt in or opt out then let=s stop the process right here because - I=m sorry - in good conscience I know that I have a personal interest and maybe I=m being too passionate but I have a Grandfather who has diabetes and I want him to be able to be found if he=s in insulin shock. He can=t speak into the phone. He can=t tell you which address is which. He needs this kind of system and that=s why I stand here before you and implore you, begging you to proceed forward with a uniformed system for the entire unincorporated county. And if the municipalities decide not to participate, that=s their decision but I think in the long run we=ll come out ahead and I apologize for@
Chairman Hawkins will continue to meet with the Ad Hoc Committee and bring that information back to the Board. He stressed that Henderson County has an addressing system and it is ready for implementation.
It was the consensus of the Board to again ask the municipalities to join in the distance based addressing program. Commissioner Moyer will mention this at the next LGCCA meeting on February 28. The municipalities have already agreed to study all the major thoroughfares for going to distance based addressing.
Joint Land Development Programs
Commissioner Ward mentioned indirect costs. He had been approached by a municipality about the fact that we serve the Hendersonville Zoning Department by housing them in our zoning department. He asked if we were going to treat all the municipalities equally.
David Nicholson stated that in lieu of housing for the municipalities= zoning departments, that we might offer to provide them the service at a cost. He will follow up with the municipal managers.
Upward Road/Allen Road Intersection
David Nicholson reminded the Board that at their last meeting the Board asked staff to revise the Resolution regarding the Upward Road/Allen Road Intersection. This Resolution was sent to the Board by Blue Ridge Community College. Staff has made a few revisions and David visited those changes.
Commissioner Moyer made the motion that the Board adopt the revised Resolution and add the word Asafety@ in two places. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Health Care - This was an add-on by Commissioner Kumor
Commissioner Kumor asked the County to look at a AWhat If@ situation. She stated that it is appropriate to ask entities to look at the health delivery system C delivery of services to our community. This was in relation to the Blue Ridge Health Center. In case of crisis, how will we handle services? Blue Ridge Health is not a county department. It is an independent non-profit. County health care is provided through the Public Health Department and indirectly through Pardee Hospital.
Commissioner Gordon will ask the Board of Health - AWhat role does the Board of Health want to play in the community?@
It was the consensus to evaluate Blue Ridge Health and then to evaluate other health services in the county so that we would be prepared in case of a crisis.
Special Order Setting a Public Hearing - Quasi-Judicial Public Hearing to consider the Petition and Request for a Quasi-Judicial Proceeding of Carriage Park Homeowners= To Suspend or Revoke Special Use Permit SP-93-13 dated January 28, 2000.
Commissioner Kumor made the motion to set a Quasi-Judicial Public Hearing for March 23 @ 3:30 p.m. in the Commissioners= Meeting Room. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
The Chairman asked if anyone was planning to go to the NACo Conference. There was no one.
David stated that he would print an agenda and supply copies to the Board. If needed, he or Angela could attend a session and get materials for the Board.
The Board canceled both meetings scheduled for Friday, February 18.
The Board set:
A site visit for Monday, February 21 - meet here at 1:00 p.m. and go to the site to tour inside and out,
2:00 p.m. CIP workshop
3:30 p.m. Facilities workshop
March 10 @ 10:00 a.m. Water Policies / Sewer workshop
Moved the Feb. 23 workshop to February 22 @ 3:00 p.m. - Safety Net/Zoning workshop.
March 23 @ 2:00 p.m. - Legal Department workshop
@ 3:30 p.m. - Carriage Park Public Hearing (Quasi-Judicial)
SEWER - add-on per Chairman Hawkins
Gary Tweed asked for some direction in a couple areas concerning the Mills River project and the Cane Creek Water & Sewer District boundary expansion.
At the December workshop, there was some discussion about engineering services. The Board gave Mr. Tweed direction to proceed with getting the design done for the Mills River Interceptor project. Gary Tweed and David Nicholson felt it would be good to get some letters of qualification from design firms and bring them back to the Board for discussion and recommendation. Those were included in the Sewer workshop books distributed to the Commissioners.
Staff solicited letters of qualification from two firms in Hendersonville and two in Asheville. Mr. Tweed reviewed the letters of qualification and recommended the local firm of William G. Lapsley & Associates. They have extensive experience in this type work. Their rate structure was the lowest.
He stated that he needed to move quickly. Some time dates are coming up on grant and loan programs with the State and our applications need to be submitted. The Clean Water Bond Money Program - applications, next round is March 31. Our Trust Fund applications - next round is due June 1. He needs to move quickly so we can apply for some of those monies.
Gary Tweed stated that the Mills River project will be set up in three segments:
(1)Henderson County doing the interceptor work - the main interceptor that runs parallel to the French Broad up into the Mills River community, (2) Two collector sewer projects - one going to the School which the School Board is handling, and (3) the other collector sewers are in the Mills River business district. Mr. Lapsley has met with those business owners in the community. They fully support what we=re doing. They understand that we=re going to look to the community to fund the collection system. Mr. Lapsley is working with those business owners with that aspect of the project.
Gary Tweed stated that he was in a position of needing to work up a contract and get this project going forward. He asked the Board if they could support his recommendation to use William G. Lapsley & Associates to do this work. He will solicit a contract from him for his services. The contract would be brought back to the Board for approval.
Commissioner Moyer made the motion to authorize Gary Tweed to proceed to negotiate and bring back to the Board for consideration and vote a sewer services contract with William G. Lapsley & Associates based on the project presented to the Board. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Expansion of Boundaries of Cane Creek Water & Sewer District
Gary Tweed reminded the Board that in December there was some discussion of Gary=s proposal to expand the Cane Creek Water & Sewer District boundaries. He showed the area on a map. One reason for doing this is the Mills River Sewer Project which will open up a large area for service. We need to have it under the Cane Creek Water & Sewer District which it will connect into. The ABHWA water system that just went on line - a 24 inch water main runs right through the middle of this same area where we=re putting sewer. Part of our water agreement addresses things that have to be done between the districts. It would make things neater if we had the district expanding into that area as well.
There was much discussion regarding the drainage area.
Gary Tweed stated that if the Board agrees with proceeding with this, then a public hearing needs to be set as the next step. There was discussion of holding the public hearing in the community, closer to the site. Staff will check on availability of meeting rooms in the area and get back to the Board.
Angela Beeker stated that under the Regional Water Agreement, they have an obligation to serve the Cane Creek Water & Sewer District and any other areas designated by the Board of Commissioners, which could even include Mud Creek.
Request from Town of Fletcher
Gary Tweed informed the Board that he had received a request from the Town of Fletcher. They are doing their sewer project inside the town area along U.S. Hwy. #25 where the highway is being widened. The road work for that project is under construction. They have asked that Henderson County waive our system development charge as people connect to that line for the first six months. It has been agreed that the Town of Fletcher will not pay that charge but rather would be assessed to whoever ties to the line as they connect. The Town of Fletcher is requesting that we waive that fee which is $150 per resident and $1 per gallon for commercial and industrial use. Staff recommended that we not waive the fee. The fee has not been waived for anyone. If we start with customers in the Town of Fletcher, then every time we have a project someone will ask that the fee be waived.
Following discussion, Commissioner Ward made the motion that the request be denied regarding waiving the fee. He stated we would be setting a dangerous precedent. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
COUNTY FACILITY - Property - add-on per Commissioner Gordon
This had already been covered, earlier in the agenda.
SCHOOLS - add-on per Commissioner Moyer
Commissioner Moyer stated that he had put in each Commissioner=s mailbox a sheet which had been distributed by Dr. Burnham at a recent meeting. They=ve laid out the goals and objectives of the School Board regarding strategic planning. They are very interested in the input of the Commissioners and the public. Commissioner Moyer asked each Commissioner to fill out the sheet and return it. He felt that the Board of Education should be commended for this effort.
TRACE PROPERTY - add-on per Commissioner Ward
Commissioner Ward stated that the Board had asked the County Attorney to give an update on the sublease of the Trace property.
Angela Beeker stated that in December the Board was approached by two individuals, Marta Bruen and Peter Siclari. They were asking the Board=s permission to allow the Traces to assign their possessory interest in 9 1/2 acres next to the Henderson County Landfill to them. They had entered into a sales contract, offer to purchase and sales agreement with the Traces for the main house but that was contingent on the Board agreeing to assign the possessory interest. The Board indicated in December that they were not interested in assigning possessory interest.
Mrs. Beeker has spoken to their Attorney and because the Board had indicated it was not willing to consider allowing the assignment of those possessory interests, the sale of the house has been abandoned. As of this morning, no sale had been consummated on the property.
FLOOD INSURANCE - add-on per Commissioner Ward
Commissioner Ward asked for an update on a letter the Board recently received on why the county doesn=t participate in the national flood insurance.
Angela Beeker had received a verbal inquiry as to why the county does not participate in the flood insurance program. She indicated that it had been the county=s position that this would encourage people to develop in the flood plain. Therefore, the Board had decided not to participate at this time.
Mrs. Beeker stated that the Board has to develop a flood prevention ordinance that would govern construction within the flood plain in order to qualify. By doing that then you do participate in the national flood insurance program and that would entitle people to purchase flood insurance and that is what the Board would have to do to participate.
There was some discussion regarding some possible changes in legislation regarding flood insurance. Staff was asked to research this issue and inform the Board of any interesting changes.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Chairman Hawkins adjourned the meeting at 12:50 p.m.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board Grady Hawkins, Chairman