STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                          BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                    FEBRUARY 21, 2000


The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 1:00 p.m. in the Commissioners= Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building at 100 North King Street, Hendersonville, North Carolina.


This meeting was in three separate sections:

1:00 p.m.          Site Visit - Carolina Apparel Building

2:00 p.m.          Budget (CIP) workshop

3:30 p.m.          Facilities workshop


1:00 p.m. - Site Visit - Carolina Apparel Building

Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.


Those present were:  Chairman Grady Hawkins, Vice-Chair Bill Moyer, Commissioner Renee Kumor, Commissioner Don Ward, Commissioner Marilyn Gordon, Assistant County Manager/Interim County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, County Engineer Gary Tweed, Budget Analyst Selena Coffey, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.


Also present were:

Dept. of Social Services representatives -          Peggy Rutledge, Administrative Officer

Health Dept. Representatives -              Tom Bridges, Director

-                       Barbara Stanley, PHN Director

-                       Keith Dale, Chairman of Board of Health

-                       Dr. John Bell and Jon Laughter, Board members

Project Director Bill Blalock, Architect Stuart Stepp, Jim Hall, and Joel Burgess, reporter for the Times News.


Absent were: County Manager David E. Nicholson and DSS Director Liston Smith.


Bill Blalock first showed the schematic drawings of the project.  He led the group in an exterior tour, pointing out property lines, power lines, proposed ingress and egress, etc.  He then led the group in a tour of the interior of the building, pointing out areas that different departments would occupy, common areas, etc.  The current footprint of the building is 71,115 sq. feet.  He discussed the possibility of an addition on the right back of the building and the options of making it a one, two, or three story addition.  A two story addition would add 15,000 sq. ft. and could be made to match the current roof line.


Two vehicle entrances are planned off the Spartanburg Highway.  The entrance on the right of the building would be for Department of Public Health and would accommodate one lane of traffic.  The entrance on the left of the building would be for the Department of Social Services and the departments that are currently at 101 E. Allen Street. It also would be one lane.  The vehicle exits would be to the rear of the building onto Old Spartanburg Road.  

Parking was discussed for both employees of the building and clients/customers.  Room for growth of departments was discussed. 


The Board and staff boarded the van and returned to the County Administration Building for a 2:00  workshop. 


2:00 BUDGET (CIP) Workshop

Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order at approx. 2:15 p.m.


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, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, Budget Analyst Selena Coffey, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn. 


Selena Coffey reviewed the various CIP (Capital Improvement Program) projects with the Board:


EMS Satellite Substation

A new satellite substation would reduce response time to 7 minutes.  It would be the second of a three phase plan. It is proposed for somewhere in the southern part of the county.  The project expense is estimated to be $197,000 with an annual operational expense of $330,000.


Youth Shelter Phase II

This would be a proposed 4,000 sq. ft. shelter on the same piece of property where the current shelter is located.  It would be a nine bed structure. The proposal was to serve an additional 65 youth per year with the new facility.  Staff suggested separating youth by gender.  The project expense is estimated to be $660,000 with an annual operational expense of $500,000.


Animal Shelter

This would be a new shelter to replace the current outdated building which needs major improvements.  There is an ever-increasing demand for services as the county population increases. The estimated project expense is $539,000 with an annual operation expense of $151,000.


Green River Branch Library

The proposed facility would replace the current Green River branch.  The current facility=s size is not adequate to serve the public and may not be available for long term use.  The County cannot expand the current facility.  The estimated project expense is $435,000.


County Storage Facility

This was a proposal to provide storage for county needs due to current inadequate storage space. The building would be constructed on existing county property at a project cost of $211,525 and an annual operation expense of $300.


County Building

This was a proposal to purchase the building formerly known as Carolina Apparel Trading for use as County offices at a total expense of $6.450 million and an annual debt service of $404,000 for 20 years at 6% interest.


Mills River Sewer System I

This project was construction of a sewer line to serve the Mills River area of the county.  This particular portion involves extension of line from Broadpointe Park to the intersection of NC #191 and NC #280.  Project expense is $2,000,000 with an annual debt service expense of $550,000 from the Cane Creek Water and Sewer District Fund.


School Improvements

School improvements based on the Joint Schools Facility Committee recommendations.  Fletcher Elementary School is the initial project, followed by Clear Creek Elementary (replacement for the current Balfour Elementary) and Etowah Elementary projects with the Middle School projects to follow.


Pardee Hospital Improvements

This project involves additions and renovations for a new emergency room and parking deck.  Henderson County would finance with Pardee reimbursing debt service payments at a total expense of $10 million.


Pending Issue: Friends of the Library Building

The proposal is to build a 7,200 sq. ft. building on county property.  Friends of the Library would contribute $70,000 and Henderson County would contribute $70,000 (via Community Foundation funds).  Friends of the Library would repay Community Foundation funds at $10,000 per year.


Carey McLelland then updated the Board on the Public School Building Capital Fund with 10 year planning projections.


Carey McLelland updated the Board on the Segar Proposal, stating in December of 1999 this proposal was made to the municipalities in the county and to the School Board.  The project would be paid for out of the savings they generate.  Response has been low at this time.



David Nicholson presented his Recommended CIP Plan for the next 5 years.  Only one of the CIP projects presented was not included in his plan, the Youth Shelter Phase II.  His plan included proposed funding allocations.



Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order at 3:45 p.m. and asked for a review from the affected departments (departments proposed to be housed in the Carolina Apparel Building or affected by the move to that building).


Sheriff Erwin - Sheriff=s Department

Sheriff Erwin explained that if CountyAdministration and the associated staff stay in this current building that there would not be enough growth room for the Sheriff=s entire staff to move to this building.  If Administration vacates the building and he were allowed to occupy the entire building, then he would have 5-7 years of growth in this building.


Bill Lapsley - Chairman of the DSS Board (Department of Social Services)

Mr. Lapsley explained that under the current proposal for the Carolina Apparel Building there are only three vacant offices for future growth in the DSS department.  He stated ABased upon the growth in social services mandated by the State and Federal government, it appears that the vacant spaces will be filled by new positions funded in the next fiscal year.  Therefore, it is our opinion that by the time DSS were to occupy the proposed building, the County should begin to construct the Phase II addition at the rear of the building.  This 7,555 sq. ft. addition would accommodate approximately 35 future employees which should meet DSS growth needs over the next 5-7 years.  Anything less than this would force DSS to outpost more employees within two years which defeats the purpose of the consolidation.@


There were some additional concerns expressed regarding::

C                     the need for floor to ceiling partitions due to client confidentiality needs

C                     additional restrooms

C                     patterns inside the building to get clients from one department to another

C                     the need for a relocation to meet DSS=s needs for at least 10 years

C                     adequate parking for employees and clients

C                     vehicle ingress and egress


Jon Laughter - Facilities Subcommittee Chairman for Board of Health

Mr. Laughter recognized several people who were in attendance:

Tom Bridges, Director of the Public Health Department

Keith Dale, Chairman of the Board of Public Health

Dr. John Bell, a member of the Board of Health

Karylee Clark, a member of the Board of Health

Barbara Stanley, PHN Director I of the Health Department


Jon Laughter distributed a typed statement which was a Motion to the Henderson County Board of Public Health stating AThe Facilities Subcommittee would like to pass along to the full Board for recommendation and approval the following motion.


The Henderson County Board of Health recognizes that the present facility does not meet current standards and will not provide the future level of health care required by the Citizens of Henderson County.  Because of the very limited space available at the present Health Department location, it is further recommended that the Health Department and its activities be relocated to an adequate tract of land, which will provide convenience to all citizens of our County.  The Board promotes the need for a new facility that will provide the following:


1.         Any new facility should provide working conditions for the employees of the Health Department that are better than what is currently provided.

2.                  Any new facility should provide for future growth that the Department and the Board of Public Health anticipates and will plan for.

3.                  Any new facility should provide an environment that allows the Health Department to deliver the high level of services that the Citizens of Henderson County deserve.

4.                  Any new facility should provide an educational environment that will promote the education of our public health patients and our providers.  This concept should extend to and include environmental health issues as well.

5.                  Any new facility should involve an architect to work with the health director, his staff and the Board=s Facility Committee to develop preliminary and final construction plans for a new Health Care Facility.


The Henderson County Board of Health looks forward to working with the County Commissioners in their efforts to provide a modern Health Care Facility which will serve current and future health care needs of Henderson County=s fast growing population.@


Bill Blalock/ Stuart Stepp

Chairman Hawkins thanked all departments in attendance for their comments.  He then recognized Bill Blalock and Stuart Stepp for their presentation regarding the proposed County Building.


Several questions that had been raised were answered by their presentation including but not limited to the following:


C                     discussion regarding a card key system

C                     all new electrical at the proposed building

C                     all new HVAC at the proposed building         

C                     redo insulation on the roof

C                     replace most of the windows in the building

C                     replace the roof

C                     discussion regarding phase II

one story addition would gain 7,555 sq. ft.

two story addition would gain 15,500 sq. ft.


Jim Hall

Mr. Hall explained that he is the manager of a company called Investor=s Realty Group who are the joint venture partners of the company called Hunting Creek Associates.  They have formed a partnership that is called Hunting Creek Investor=s Realty Group Associates.  It is a N.C. general partnership.  They have been together for four years.  This property was acquired in December of last year.  He mentioned some projects his company has done most recently and properties they own in our community.   They are servicing a $10,000 a month debt on this building. 


There continued to be much discussion. The project cost is $90 sq. ft. which includes property, parking, landscaping, etc.


Report from Bill Moyer and Don Ward

Commissioner Moyer distributed copies of their report.  Mr. Moyer explained that the Facilities Committee had been meeting, made up of himself and Commissioner Ward.  They have offered a report on several occasions and have recommended proceeding to study this building and to investigate it=s possibilities. 


Mr. Moyer read AWe now want to offer the following comments and suggestions concerning the proposal to move several of the departments of Henderson County Government to the Carolina Apparel Building on Spartanburg Hwy. We believe that the detailed reports compiled by Mr. Blalock and the county staff present a compelling case for consolidating county operations and moving out of and returning to the tax base several of the buildings in which county operations are now located. We will not state here again all of the reasons that have already been so well presented completely and thoroughly.  We however remain concerned regarding the proposal in two major areas:

C                     First the proposal only deals with space needs of the departments and any degree of

detail through the end of the current fiscal year and in a few cases possibly the end of the next fiscal year.  In particular, there is no detailed plan concerning the future space needs of the Sheriff=s department and DSS and how these needs will be met.  The facilities committee believes the county should develop, at the minimum, a five year plan for all county departments indicating space needs and how they will be met. 


C                     Second, the committee is concerned about the costs associated with the proposal and whether they can be justified to the public.  We are not questioning the accuracy or thoroughness of the costs that have been presented but whether reasonable and possible better alternatives have been adequately explored.  We conclude that other alternatives such as obtaining land and building a new building that will house almost all of the county departments and handle all of the county=s growth needs for at least five years must be explored.  We estimate without detailed supporting data that approximately 85,000 sq. ft. of space will be required and based on the computations that Bill did today, it sounds like that may be 5,000 high but that just will provide for a little more growth. 


We recommend though, in fairness to the Investor Group, - we recommend to the Board that we do not vote on the Carolina Apparel Building proposal today but schedule that vote for our March 15 normally scheduled meeting.  In the interim, the facilities committee will continue to explore the costs and other factors associated with building a new building with approximately 85,000 sq. ft. We believe that it is essential that the Carolina Apparel Building proposal be amended and supplemented to indicate in detail how that building would be added onto to handle all the departments.  How and when this work would be done and in detail what the costs would be for that work.  So that=s our recommendation, Mr. Chairman.@


 Much more discussion followed.


Chairman Hawkins asked the Board if it was their consensus to take the Committee=s recommendation and revisit this at the March 15 meeting.  The Facilities Committee will bring more information back to the Board at that time.  At the present time, Bill and Stuart will continue their planning on this project.  Mrs. Beeker was asked to bring some financing information back to the March 15 meeting.


Chairman Hawkins adjourned the meeting at 5:35 p.m.







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