STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON JUNE 21, 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, 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, Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, Staff Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, Planning Director Karen C. Smith and Volunteer Coordinator Amy Brantley.
Absent was: Vice-Chair Bill Moyer.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Gordon led the Board in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
Dr. George Jones gave the invocation.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Chairman Hawkins added one item as AG-3" under Staff Reports - Update on pending issues - AReport on LGCCA meeting@. He also added the Tax Collector=s Report under consent agenda.
Commissioner Kumor asked David Nicholson to explain the merit system - it was added as AG-4" under Staff Reports. She had gotten calls from employees who are concerned about it.
It was the consensus of the Board to approve the above adjustments to the agenda.
Chairman Hawkins asked David Nicholson to comment on item AH@ from the consent agenda. The National Association of Counties had awarded Henderson County a 2000 Achievement Award for the Fire Marshal=s Office - AB-Safe Program@.
Rocky Hyder briefed the Board regarding this program. It has generated a lot of trust in the business community and a lot of commitment because it has made them a part of the Fire Prevention Programs.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the Consent Agenda as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried. The CONSENT AGENDA included the following:
Minutes were presented for the Board=s review and approval of the following meetings:
February 22, 2000 special called meeting
May 4, 2000 special called meeting
May 8, 2000 special called meeting
May 17, 2000 regular meeting
June 1, 2000 special called meeting
June 5, 2000 regular meeting
Approval of Closed Session Minutes
The Board was requested to adopt the following motion:
Motion: The following closed session minutes are hereby approved and shall be deemed sealed as provided by Section 11-6 of the Henderson County Code:
1. Minutes for the closed sessions held on November 17, 1999, December 15, 1999,
April 19, 2000, and May 1, 2000 as presented and modified during the closed
session of June 5, 2000.
2. Minutes for the closed sessions held on November 1, 1999, January 4, 2000,
March 6, 2000, March 15, 2000, and April 3, 2000 as presented and modified during
the closed session of April 19, 2000.
Unsealing of Certain Items Contained in Approved Closed Session Minutes
The Board was requested to adopt the following motion:
Motion: Those certain items contained in approved closed session minutes listed on the Closed Session Agenda for June 5, 2000 as items B(1) through B(10) are hereby unsealed pursuant to
Section 11-6 of the Henderson County Code.
Correction to a set of approved minutes (May 23, 2000)
The Clerk to the Board informed the Board that she had accidently left Commissioner Moyer=s name off on those who were present at the meeting of May 23, 2000, and indeed he was present. Mr. Moyer found the mistake when he read the minutes. This set of minutes was approved on June 5, 2000. She asked the Board to approve the addition of AVice-Chair Moyer@ to AThose present were@ on page one of the May 23, 2000 minutes.
Road Petitions (for addition to the State Maintenance System)
Staff had received three road petitions requesting addition to the State Maintenance System. Lee King of the Property Addressing Department had reviewed the petitions and recommended acceptance.
The petitions were for: 1. Sean Way (remainder of)
2. Benjamin Way
3. Moria Way
It has been the practice of this Board to accept road petitions and forward them to NC Department of Transportation for their review. It has also been the practice of the Board not to ask NC DOT to change the priority for roads on the paving priority list.
Apple Country Greenway Commission
The Board received the Annual Report from the Apple Country Greenway Commission for information only.
Extension of Broadpointe Way
Mr. Ron Leatherwood, member of the North Carolina Board of Transportation, had requested that the Board of Commissioners adopt a Resolution in support of the extension of Broadpointe Way in Broadpointe Park by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to serve UPM-Raflatac, Inc. The Board of Transportation will be meeting on the lst of July to consider whether or not the extension of the road will be done by NC DOT or not. Mr. Leatherwood would like to have a Resolution of Support from the Board of Commissioners to hand carry to that meeting.
2000 NACo Achievement Award
The National Association of Counties had awarded Henderson County a 2000 Achievement Award for the Fire Marshal Office=s B-Safe program.
Chairman Hawkins announced that the reason Commissioner Moyer was absent is that he is on vacation with his family.
Notification of Vacancies
The Board was notified of the following vacancy, which will appear under ANominations@ on the next agenda for action:
1. Child Fatality Prevention Team - 1 vac.
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:
1. Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 2 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
2. Juvenile Crime Prevention Council - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
3. Mountain Area Workforce Development Board - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
JAIL - Food Service Contract
During the budget deliberations, the Sheriff=s Department indicated that they were considering a contract with a private firm to handle the Jail food service and commissary. The Board reviewed a draft contract with Correctional Foodservice Management out of Phoenix, Arizona. They operate in 40 states. They will handle the transitioning of food service including ordering the food.
Sheriff Erwin stated that we are currently paying $2.98 per meal per inmate. We are looking at a new cost of $1.68 per meal per inmate for 80 inmates. As the number grows, the price decreases. If we have as many as 120 inmates, the cost per meal would be $1.41. He stated that we would see a substantial savings to our County. He estimated that in the first year they could save roughly $19,000 by privatizing the food service in the detention center. The Commissary operation in the jail has helped bring the cost down about 5 cents per meal. The new company will now run the Commissary also.
Sheriff Erwin recommended that the Board approve the contract with Correctional Foodservice Management so they can begin with them on July 1, 2000.
Following discussion, Chairman Hawkins made the motion to authorize the County Manager to sign the contract as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Staff distributed copies of the draft 2000 Henderson County Taxbill. This bill incorporated the changes that the Commissioners requested at a workshop on tax billing and collection earlier this year. The Board reviewed the taxbill and Chairman Hawkins suggested some minor changes.
Terry Lyda and Robert Baird had worked on these taxbills together. It is now a AWord@ document and can be printed out in the office. It is more user-friendly.
Staff will incorporate the suggested changes and will present the new version to the Board.
FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICTS
On the 17th day of March, 1999, the Board of Commissioners adopted a Resolution requesting that the North Carolina General Assembly pass a local bill allowing the County to change the boundaries of Henderson County=s fire protection districts. As requested, the General Assembly passed such a bill. A copy of the Bill was submitted for the Board=s review.
Rocky Hyder stated that the fire protection district maps have in the past been based upon a point to point system which does not take into consideration property lines or the GIS mapping capabilities that the County now has. The current maps are difficult to decipher and do not establish clear district boundaries. A fire district must not extend farther than five miles from the district=s fire station. The Fire Marshal and the Assessor=s Office have worked diligently with all of the current fire districts and their fire chiefs in order to develop a revised map that satisfies all concerned. The result was a map that takes into consideration the property lines and the five mile limitation. That map was attached to the Board=s March 17, 1999 Resolution as Exhibit A. Staff stated that the Board should note that it=s authority to change the boundaries, as indicated in House Bill #519, is limited to changes consistent with the map identified as Exhibit A. Some charts were reviewed which summarized the effect that these boundary amendments will have on property owners.
Staff informed the Board that if they wished to make the changes to the fire protection district boundaries, it would be appropriate for the Board to consider adopting the draft resolution, either as stated or as the Board may wish to revise it.
Currently we still have citizens uncovered because of the 5 mile limitation. If adopted, this change will become effective on January 1, 2001. The reorganization will allow some people protection that have never had that and will also offer them insurance advantages.
Commissioner Kumor made the motion to adopt the Resolution as presented, regarding Fire Protection Districts. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Rocky explained that Representative Justus worked very hard for us to get this Bill passed. Many staff members worked together on this project also
FIRE AND RESCUE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
A draft of the latest copy of the by-laws for the Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee was presented for the Board=s review. The changes recommended by the Fireman=s Association were in bold letters.
Rocky Hyder addressed the changes with the Board. They added some additional language that refers to sharing power with the County Commissioners in appointing some of the Board members.
The Legal Staff had a couple of legal recommendations which will be incorporated and the By-laws will then be sent back to the Fireman=s Association. Staff and the Chairman will draft a letter to be sent back to the Fireman=s Association regarding the discussions the Board had today.
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO CODE CHAPTER 87 - Emergency Medical Services
Jennifer Jackson reminded the Board that Chapter 87 of the Henderson County Code contains what is commonly known as the County=s Ambulance Ordinance. This Ordinance was adopted pursuant to NCGS 153A-250 and prohibits the operation of emergency or non-emergency medical transportation business unless the provider has been granted a franchise. This Ordinance outlines the procedure by which an individual or corporation can apply for a franchise and also governs some of the terms of the resulting franchise agreement.
There was an amendment to this Ordinance that was considered and approved by the Board of Commissioners on February 21, 1996 related to the rates that an ambulance franchisee could charge for its services. The amendment granted the right of a franchisee to charge up to the rate charged by Henderson County EMS. This amendment was inadvertently omitted when the County=s ordinances were codified, so it is now brought forward as a formal amendment to the Code. The proposed amendment is to section 87-12(A) of the Code and is highlighted to show the change.
Pursuant to NCGS 153A-250, the Board must advertise for and hold a public hearing on the proposed amendments prior to adopting the amendments. Staff proposed that the public hearing be scheduled for the Board=s regular meeting on July 26, 2000. A Special Order was distributed for the Board=s use in setting this public hearing.
Note from staff - The Board will be considering an ambulance franchise application for non-emergency medical transport submitted by Arc Angel Trans=Support Services. Aaron Edney, the owner, is aware of the proposed amendment and was actually the person that originally brought it forward in 1996. He will therefore agree to be bound by that amendment even if it is effective after his franchise is approved.
Following discussion, Commissioner Kumor made the motion to adopt the special order setting this Public Hearing for July 26, 2000 at 11:00 a.m., as recommended above. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
AMBULANCE FRANCHISE APPLICATION - Arc Angel Trans=Support Services
Jennifer Jackson informed the Board that EMS Director, Tom Edmundson, had received an application for a nonemergency medical transport franchise submitted by The Odin Corp., d/b/a Arc Angel Trans=Support Services. Chapter 87 of the County Code is entitled AEmergency Medical Services@ and has been commonly referred to as the Ambulance Ordinance. This Ordinance outlines the procedure by which an individual or corporation can apply for a franchise and also governs some of the terms of the resulting franchise agreement.
To be in compliance with the procedure outlined in the Ambulance Ordinance, the Board must schedule a hearing at which time the applicant can appear before the Board and discuss his application. The applicant has requested and Staff recommended that the hearing be scheduled for the Board=s July 3, 2000 meeting.
NCGS 153A-46 requires that the granting of a franchise be achieved by the adoption of an ordinance at two regular meetings of the Board. Therefore, at the close of the hearing the Board will be asked to consider a draft ordinance which grants the franchise as requested by the applicant. Should the Board approve the first reading of the ordinance at the close of the hearing on July 3rd, the matter will be put back on the Board=s agenda for the approval of the second and final reading at the Board=s meeting on July 26, 2000.
The complete franchise application has been on file with the Clerk to the Board for the Commissioners to review. The Board had been cautioned, however, that the application did not contain confidential information and the Commissioners were encouraged to honor that confidentiality.
Staff is in the process of completing its review of the application but at this time believed that it was in order.
Jennifer explained that the hearing is not a public hearing, it is just an opportunity for Aaron Edney to come before the Board and explain his application and/or address any questions the Board members might have. Therefore, it can be set as a regular agenda item.
Following discussion, Chairman Hawkins made the motion to direct staff to have the first reading on July 3, 2000. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
UPDATE ON PENDING ISSUES
Designation of Voting Delegate to Annual Conference
NCACC - Durham County - August 10-13, 2000
The Board had been requested to designate a commissioner or other official as the County=s voting delegate for the NCACC Conference to be held in Durham County in August.
There was some discussion regarding who planned to attend this Conference. It was the consensus for Renee Kumor to be our Board=s appointed voting delegate.
Update on Addressing Project
Chairman Hawkins stated that the Board had started implementation for the Town of Fletcher back in March. In further research, we found that we weren=t quite ready to do some of the implementation that the Board had in mind at that time. Chairman Hawkins, David Nicholson, and Robert Baird have worked together to figure out how to best address our data base and some other issues. He asked Mr. Nicholson to update the Board.
David Nicholson had brought a group together to start working on this issue. He stated that he will be asking the Board to set a workshop on this item at the next meeting, since Commissioner Moyer is not present at this meeting. There are some decisions the Board needs to make.
David explained that he went into this with a goal - ATo provide 9-1-1 dispatch with the best accurate information that we can provide to them@, that was the number one goal. It was realized very quickly that 9-1-1 wants and needs a map, they feel that is the highest priority.
The group has been working on some very specific recommendations to the Board of Commissioners. Major thoroughfares have been discussed for some time, staff has now created a list of them. They will also have a list of the minor or secondary thoroughfares.
Two of the municipalities did not adopt the point systems. One of the issues was duplicate road names. All this information will be presented to the Board. He requested that the Board formally adopt those municipalities who have not adopted the point system, asking them to do so, this would give us a standard to work with.
The group is working on a proposal that will address the posting of addresses. The Ordinance requires posting of addresses. Staff will need clear direction from the Board on how they wish this to be handled.
The group is also working on some amendments to submit to the Legal Department that they feel would clarify some of the issues that are outstanding.
David Nicholson stated that we do need to make sure that everyone has a unique address in the county. Another high priority is eliminating routes and boxes, along with getting rid of duplicate names. David suggested that we deal with the items discussed above, the less controversial items. These are the items that need to be done.
He will meet back with the group soon and will have some really good solid recommendations to present to the Board of Commissioners.
Update on LGCCA meeting
Chairman Hawkins asked Commissioner Gordon to update the Board on the LGCCA meeting that they both attended.
Commissioner Gordon stated that the LGCCA (Local Government Committee for Cooperative Action) met June 2 at Blue Ridge Community College. The agenda dealt with land use planning in the Mills River area. They have just received a draft copy of the minutes and they will be distributed to each Commissioner. Chairman Hawkins reviewed the Land Use Plan that is in place for the county and the progress that has been made in the last few years on that at that meeting. Gary Tweed updated the LGCCA about the progress on the Mills River sewer line. Following those presentations much brain-storming discussion transpired. She thought it was a very worthwhile meeting.
Update on the Merit System
Commissioner Kumor had requested this as an add-on.
David Nicholson informed the Board that we are in a transition year this year as we go into the Apay for performance@ system, that=s actually what a merit system is, is pay for performance. Last October staff started doing performance appraisals. This October there will be an across the board increase to all county employees of 1.5% for all employees who are on the step and grade program. If an employee has an anniversary date in Oct. they would get in addition to the COLA of 1.5%, an additional 1.5% if they meet standards. For an employee who has an anniversary date in January, they will get the COLA of 1.5% in October and then in January would be eligible for an additional 1.5% if they meet standards on their yearly performance appraisal. Plus, if an employee is above standards they would be eligible for a one time payment of $250 and if they are exceptional they would be eligible for a one time payment of $500. From then on, there will be no more COLA increases, there will be only increases based on employees meeting standards when evaluated on their yearly performance appraisal. The year will run with the county=s fiscal year. If an employee is below standard, they will get nothing.
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board of an up-coming Joint School Facilities meeting scheduled for August 21 at 5:30 at the Board of Education Building.
He also reminded everyone that the July mid-month meeting has been changed to July 26.
He also reminded the Board of the up-coming NCACC Conference in August, 10-13, in Durham. He asked that anyone who wished to attend to let Ms. Corn know so that she can get them registered and get them some accommodations.
They set no meeting dates at this time due to the fact that Commissioner Moyer was absent. At the next meeting the Board will plan to set a workshop on property addressing.
INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
1. R. S. Raby - Mr. Raby had shared with Chairman Hawkins (and he showed the one in his hand to the Board and the audience) a color brochure and through the Dept. of Defense they are going to initiate a 50th anniversary of the Korean War Commemorative Community Program. He has volunteered to form a committee locally and has even offered to be Chairman of the committee. The committee would attempt to conduct or perform three events a year to meet their requirements for being an official Community Commemorative Program Group. When you meet their requirements they issue a flag and a certificate (which would be property of the county).
He suggested that the title of the committee be AHenderson County Committee for the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Community Program.@ He asked for the Board=s permission to use that title.
He then discussed briefly some events they might use, such as speaker programs at high schools, civic groups and such.
The committee will have three years to conduct the three events. There was one event that Mr. Raby was particularly interested in and it would have to be approved through the Board of Commissioners, which was the renaming of our local National Guard Armory. He would like to see the local National Guard Armory named for the first native from Henderson County that was killed in action in the Korean War.
Chairman Hawkins explained to the Board that Mr. Raby is a Korean War veteran and a POW from the Korean War. Chairman Hawkins had spent a year in Korea also but not during the war.
Chairman Hawkins called a 5 minute technical recess for changing tapes.
Following the break it was the Board=s wish to readdress the above subject on tape, as informal public comments are normally not taped.
Chairman Hawkin=s stated that during informal public comments the Board entertained some comments from Mr. Raby. Mr. Raby is a Korean War Veteran and an ex-POW from the Korean War. He brought to the Board=s attention the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Community Program that he has volunteered to work with along with several of our Veteran=s Administrations.
Mr. Raby gave out his home telephone number, 698-8458, in case someone watching the meeting on cable would want to contact him and work on this project.
Chairman Hawkins stated that the Board was interested in naming the new committee the AHenderson County Committee for the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Community Program.@ Chairman Hawkins asked that he update the Board as this project progresses.
DISPOSITION OF THE TRUST BUILDING
During the recent budget deliberations, the Board discussed the possibility of transferring ownership of this building to the Henderson County Genealogical and Historical Society. This facility is currently leased to the Society for an additional five-year period beginning July 1, 2000. During the first five years of the lease, Henderson County contributed $25,000 per year towards that upkeep and utility costs of the building.
The Society would like to secure financing on this facility to do some needed improvements to the building. In order to get this financing, financial institutions would like for the Society to own the building. Should the Board wish to consider this idea, a restriction could be placed within the deed to allow for the building to revert back to the County should the Society discontinue its current use.
North Carolina law allows County property to be given to a not-for-profit organization that is carrying out a public purpose. However, we are required to publish a notice in the newspapers for 10 days before the deed can be executed.
Staff had prepared a resolution, should the Board wish to consider this request.
Chairman Hawkins suggested that Henderson County title the building over to the Genealogical and Historical Society with appropriate deed restrictions on it for non-profit public purpose. Should that change at any time, the property would revert back to the County via the deed restrictions.
Chairman Hawkins stated that the Board might want to consider the utility costs, especially for the first year because the Society has not had time to plan for those. He recommended that Henderson County pay all of the utilities for the first year, 50% of the utilities for the second year, and for the third year the Society would be responsible for all the utility costs.
Staff had prepared a resolution for the Board=s approval. Angela Beeker reviewed the resolution with the Board for legal purposes.
Following discussion, Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adopt the Resolution as presented and direct staff to pay the utilities for the first year and 50% of the utilities for the second year. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
EXTENSION OF IMPROVEMENT GUARANTEE FOR HIGH VISTA FALLS, PHASE VI
On July 21, 1999, the Board of Commissioners approved the posting of an irrevocable letter of credit, in the amount of no less than $196,562.00, by K & M Development Resources, Inc., as an improvement guarantee for High Vista Falls, Phase VI. As approved, the Agreement for the improvement guarantee required that the water, sewer, road and drainage improvements in High Vista Falls, Phase VI, be completed by July 1, 2000. To date, the County has not released any portion of the letter of credit.
Mr. Robert J. Duffy, Jr., on behalf of K & M Development Associates, Inc., has submitted a letter requesting the County extend the completion date for the improvements for one year (to July 1, 2001). The Board of Commissioners considered the request at the June 5, 2000 meeting, however, the Board wanted information about the status of the project and the developer=s representative was not present. Therefore, the Board requested that the item be included on the mid-month meeting agenda. Mr. Robert Duffy, Jr. was present to answer questions from the Board.
Should the Board choose to grant the extension, Staff had attached a draft extension Agreement to the agenda item for the Board=s consideration. If the extension is approved, the developer must post an amended letter of credit, with a new expiration date, in the amount of $196,562.00. The Staff Attorney must review the amended letter of credit, once submitted, and certify the Agreement as to form prior to its execution by the Chairman and the developer.
In the event that the Board declines to grant the requested extension, Staff would seek direction from the Board on whether to pursue any remedies under the letter of credit should the developer fail to complete the improvements by July 1, 2000.
Karen Smith informed the Board that this phase is multi-family construction with only 18 units in phase IV. Phase V will be the last phase of the project.
Mr. Duffy, representing K & M Development Associates, Inc., was present to answer questions the Board raised.
Following discussion, Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the performance guarantee agreement as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Kumor made the motion for the Board to go into Closed Session as allowed pursuant to NCGS 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, in accordance with and pursuant to NCGS 143-318.10(e) and Article II of Chapter 11 of the Henderson County Code.
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 a claim.
3. (a)(6) To consider the qualifications, competence, performance, character, fitness, conditions of appointment, or conditions of initial employment or an individual public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee; or to hear or investigate a complaint, charge, or grievance by or against an individual public officer or employee.
Commissioner Ward made the motion for the Board to go out of closed session. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 12:45 p.m.
Grady Hawkins, Chairman