STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON JULY 26, 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, Acting County Manager J. Carey McLelland, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
Also present were: Assistant County Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, Planning Director Karen C. Smith, County Engineer Gary Tweed, and Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson.
Absent was County Manager David E. Nicholson.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Moyer led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
Chairman Hawkins requested observance of a moment of silence in honor of Fletchers= Mayor Bob Parrish, who recently passed away. He introduced Charles Kirby, Director of Pastoral Care at Pardee Hospital, who gave the invocation.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Commissioner Gordon asked for an addition to Update on Pending Issues, #2 - AAsheville Regional Housing Consortium Report and Housing Update@.
Commissioner Ward asked for an addition to Update on Pending Issues, #3 - ASolid Waste Fees - waiver@.
It was the consensus of the Board to approve the adjustments to the agenda.
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:
Transportation Advisory Committee - Bylaws and Rules of Procedure
Since its formation in February of 2000, the Transportation Advisory Committee has been meeting regularly. On June 29, 2000 the Transportation Advisory Committee held a regular monthly meeting and, as one of its items of business, approved a set of Bylaws and Rules of Procedure. These Bylaws require the approval of the Board of Commissions and were submitted for that approval.
Ambulance Franchise - Arc Angel Trans=Support Services
On July 3, 2000, the Board considered the application for a nonemergency medical transport franchise which was submitted by The Odin Corp., d/b/a Arc Angel Trans=Support Services in accordance with Chapter 87 of the Henderson County Code. After modifying the language of Section 3.10 of the Ordinance, the Board approved the first reading of the Ordinance which grants the franchise to The Odin Corp.
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, the Board was asked to approve the Ordinance so that the ambulance franchise could be effectively granted as requested.
The operation of the franchise, if approved at this second reading, would not be affected by either the Board=s approval of the proposed amendments to Chapter 87 of the Henderson County Code or the Board=s action in not approving such amendments.
County Attorney Employment Agreement
Angela Beeker had prepared and submitted for the Board=s approval a draft employment agreement for the County Attorney.
Settlement of Lawsuit
In 1999, Henderson County brought a condemnation action in order to obtain property located at 828 Stoney Mountain Road which is located adjacent to the Henderson County Solid Waste Management Facility. The caption of the lawsuit is:
Henderson County (a political subdivision of the State of North Carolina),
Plaintiff, vs. Thomas E. Crosby and Linda G. McGraw (a/k/a Linda G. McGraw
Crosby), owners; Asheville Federal Bank, a federal savings bank; and First Union
National Bank of North Carolina, Trustee, Defendants. [Henderson County File
During mediation a tentative settlement was reached wherein Henderson County in settlement of the action would pay the total sum of $350,000 to Crosby for the taking. The settlement further provides that Crosby is entitled to maintain possession of the property up to 120 days after the filing of a consent judgement consistent with the mediated settlement agreement.
Staff reported to the Board that this settlement was finalized on June 27, 2000 with the filing of the consent judgement.
NCGS 143-318.11(a)(3) requires that the settlement be publicly reported and entered in the Board=s minutes as soon as possible within a reasonable time after the settlement is concluded. Therefore, the Board was requested to approve this settlement in the consent agenda and enter such settlement in the minutes of the Board meeting.
Petition to Abandon a Portion of Whitehead Road (SR #1589)
On June 5, 2000, the Board considered a petition to abandon and remove from the State maintenance system a portion of Whitehead Road (SR #1589) which is located off Bearwallow Road. After discussion, the Board had approved the petition subject to a favorable review by the applicable emergency officials.
The Sheriff, EMS Director, Fire Marshal and the Edneyville Volunteer Fire Department were contacted. Written comments were received from the EMS Director and Fire Marshal and were submitted to the Board. The Fire Marshal spoke with the Edneyville Volunteer Fire Department and there were no concerns that were expressed. The Sheriff indicated verbally that he didn=t see any problem with the abandonment as proposed.
A letter dated June 27, 2000 from William Berry, the lead petitioner, was submitted which addresses the concerns of the Fire Marshal related to future maintenance of the portion of the road that is being taken off of the State maintenance system.
If the Board feels that the comments received were favorable and Athe best interest of the citizens of the County would be served ...@, it would be appropriate to adopt the draft Resolution and forward it on to NC Department of Transportation.
Green River Fire Department Lease Purchase
Green River Volunteer Fire & Rescue, Inc., is planning to purchase a 2000 Ford F-350 Brush Truck and a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban Medical Responder Unit. The leading institution, United Financial of North Carolina, requests the Chairman of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners sign a prepared letter.
The minutes of the public hearing held at Green River Volunteer Fire & Rescue, regarding the matter were submitted for the Board=s review.
Capital Improvements Project
The monthly report for June 2000 was submitted for review on the new Detention Center.
Resolution - Frank J. Aaron, Jr.
Staff had prepared a Resolution honoring Frank J. Aaron, Jr. for his service as Chief Executive Officer of Margaret R. Pardee Memorial Hospital. The Board was requested to approve the Resolution.
Notification of Vacancies
The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear under ANominations@ on the next agenda:
1. Community Child Protection Team - 1 vac.
2. Recreation Advisory Board - 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. This vacancy must be filled with someone under the age of 21. 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.
4. Child Fatality Prevention Team - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
DISPOSITION OF SURPLUS PERSONAL PROPERTY FROM HORSE FARM & SMALL HOUSE
Jennifer Jackson informed the Board that Henderson County had received a letter from Marta Bruenn, the tenant of the horse farm and small house located near the Solid Waste Management Facility, indicating her interest in purchasing some personal property associated with the horse farm and small house. She has offered to purchase them for the amounts listed in the Summary of Requested Items which total $2,500.00. The Summary of Requested Items was attached to the letter and to the draft resolution as Exhibit A. The County Engineer is of the opinion that the County is not likely to need the items listed and therefore requested that they be considered surplus and sold as indicated in the letter.
NCGS 160A-266 allows the Board of Commissioners to appoint an officer to dispose of personal property by private negotiation and sale when the personal property is valued at less than $30,000.00. NCGS 160A-267 requires that the County adopt a resolution authorizing the disposal of the personal property by private sale at the negotiated price. The sale can be consummated 10 days after the contents of the resolution are summarized in a notice and the notice is published.
If the Board wishes to declare the items listed in the letter as surplus and sell them to Marta Bruenn for the prices she has listed (totaling $2,500.00), the Board should consider adoption of the prepared resolution. The statutes require the Board to adopt a resolution appointing a person to carry out the sale. Staff had prepared such a resolution for the Board=s consideration and would appoint the County Manager as the person to carry out the sale.
Commissioner Ward stated that he had visited the site and there were (removable) stalls that would be disposed of. He suggested that we lump these things together to have one sale. He suggested that the County Manager or his agent take care of this.
After some discussion, staff was directed to revise the Resolution to include the sale of the stalls, as long as lumped together it did not exceed $30,000.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adopt the amended Resolution as discussed above to allow the sale of the stalls in addition to the items listed in the letter from Marta Bruenn. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
UPDATE ON PENDING ISSUES
1. Carolina Apparel Building
Chairman Hawkins asked Bill Blalock, Project Manager, to update the Board on the current status of this project.
The Board authorized and executed a purchase agreement for the Carolina Apparel property and five contiguous residential properties at the rear at a price not to exceed $2.65 million. If the properties in the rear end up costing less than was anticipated, the County realizes the savings. Carolina Apparel does not close until June 1, 2001. It is currently being leased by IRG and the lessee leaves in May 2001. Three properties in the rear have been closed on - Seabaugh, Hill, and Campbell. Henderson County currently owns those three residential properties. The Investment Realty Group will identify two additional contiguous properties and will come forward with that approximately mid August. One would probably close around September 1 and one around Oct. 1, 2000.
One of the neighboring properties to the Carolina Apparel property may partner with us in getting the Duke Power lines at the rear of the two properties moved which could create a cost savings.
The request for qualifications went out and submissions were received on June 13, 2000. The project team (which consists of Renee Kumor, David Nicholson, Bill Byrnes, Gary Tweed, and Bill Blalock) met and reviewed the Architect submissions focusing on qualifications and capabilities. The project team narrowed it down to a short list of three Architects. They also did some site visits to see projects that the short list of three had done. The project evaluations are completed.
The Board had indicated that they wanted to personally approve the short list. Mr. Blalock requested approval from the Board. He also suggested that the Board schedule a workshop and interview the three finalists and make the final selection.
If we have an Architect on board in the next 60 days, we have approximately 15 months, or December of 2001 to get the plans finalized. Construction would start approximately January 2002 and end approximately December of 2002 (based on building approx. 128,000 square feet). If we don=t build something that big, the timeline would change. Occupancy could be January or February of 2003. Then alterations could be done on the Administration Building for the Sheriff=s Department which would take March - June of 2003.
There were questions as to why it would take so long for the first part of the project, the A & E and the State approvals, and the bidding and financing. Bill explained that the A & E would take approx. 9 months and that is crunching, there are three cycles of state approvals that we will have to go through that can take as much as five months, bidding, and then financing needs 90 days.
Commissioner Kumor asked for some explanation of the state approvals so that the public would understand (that might watch the meeting on cable). The Department of Insurance must approve any structure that a municipality or county builds. They will review the schematic plans and then the detailed design plans, and again when the final documents are ready. The Department of Social Services at the State level will reimburse us significantly (approx. 51%) for a major portion of the DSS work and therefore we will run the plans through them also. They are not an approval body but will provide comments back to us. We will receive some reimbursement through the State for the Health Department (based on square footage occupied) also but it is entirely different and not as large a reimbursement.
Some of the members of the Board expressed that the time could be shortened some and that was what they wanted. Staff can shorten some of the process by hand carrying documents to Raleigh and sitting in someone=s office to make sure that things are done in a timely fashion.
Planning & Design (space information)
Departments that are planned for the building are:
C Commissioners and Clerk to the Board
Public Information Officer
Fire Marshal/Emergency Management
C Department of Social Services
C Public Health Department
C Election Board
He reviewed the space plan which consisted of the space requirements for each department, existing and projected, and increase or decrease. The new facility proposal supports office growth from an Aexisting@ level of 254 to a Aprovided@ level of 385, providing growth space for the next five years.
Following Mr. Blalock=s presentation, Chairman Hawkins suggested that the Board set a workshop on this project under Important Dates to review the specific space requirements.
Commissioner Kumor reminded the Board that the Historic Courthouse rehabilitation is also tied to this project and if we begin to delay this project we also start to delay the activities with the Historic Courthouse. The plans that will be brought to the Board in mid August will suggest that if the Board delays the moving that they will impact the rehabilitation of the Historic Courthouse.
Following discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to have the project team do the interviewing of the architectural firms and make a recommendation to the Board as to the final selection of the Architect.
Commissioner Moyer made the motion to authorize the project committee to interview the architectural firms on the short list and bring back a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners at the August 7 meeting, but to advise the Commissioners of the dates in case any of them choose to sit on the interviews. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
It was also the consensus of the Board to pursue the process of moving the Duke Power lines. No decision has been made but the Board would like to know the options available.
2. Asheville Regional Housing Consortium Report/Housing
Commissioner Gordon informed the Board that there is an informal committee meeting working on ways to pinpoint strategies defined in the report that could be applicable in Henderson County. The first step will be to ask the LGCCA for time on their agenda to give a report and then will likely ask for a time on this Board=s agenda to go over some of the findings in the report.
Commissioner Gordon stated that there was an article in the paper about an award that was received by the group that did the report, for the process that they used. Commissioner Gordon was very impressed with the amount of input and the effort that went into the report. She feels that the findings are very valid.
She has attended several meetings and stated that the committee is working on ways to address affordable housing needs in Henderson County.
Commissioner Moyer stated that Commissioner Gordon was a little modest. As reported in the newspaper, the Department of Housing and Urban Development recognized the Asheville Regional Housing Consortium for having one of the four hundred best practices for community growth and planning. They have made a good start. This is obviously an area that the Board has identified as needing top priority and it is good to see this kind of activity and planning in this area.
Chairman Hawkins stated that the next LGCCA meeting was originally scheduled to be conducted in Fletcher but with the recent death of their Mayor, Laurel Park will likely host the next meeting in Laurel Park in September and affordable housing will likely be a topic on the agenda. As the date becomes available, Chairman Hawkins will notify the rest of the Board.
3. Solid Waste Fees/waiver
Commissioner Ward stated that he had been approached by some individuals from a local Church who were offering to clean up a senior citizen=s property in the Zirconia area. It is a small Church and they wondered if the County might waive the solid waste fees. Neither group can afford to clean it up and pay the disposal fees.
Gary Tweed had talked with Les Capps about the same project. He stated that much of the waste material would go into our C & D landfill, such as concrete materials and old wood, etc.
Much discussion followed with the Board not wanting to set a precedence. The Board has had similar requests for waivers from nonprofit organizations, school projects, and the highway clean-up program. Some times the county can use concrete and masonry material in laying road beds and if so, we do not charge for the disposal of the materials.
Staff (Gary Tweed) was directed to research this and come back with a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners. There was some discussion about SWAC reviewing this sort of request and making a committee recommendation. There was some discussion that some of these requests would involve public health and safety. There was also some discussion that the Board may want to set a definite policy to deal with requests like this in the future.
The Commissioners= calendar was reviewed. Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board that August 10-13 is the NC Association of County Commissioners= Annual Conference which will be held in Durham County this year. If any of the Commissioners plan to attend they need to let Ms. Corn know of their intent so that she could register them and make their arrangements. He also informed them of an invitation received from Camp, Dresser & McGee for the Board to have dinner with them at the Angus Barn on August 10. He needs to respond to them with a number of attendees from our County.
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board that August 21 is a joint facilities meeting with the Board of Education at the Board of Education on 4th Ave. West at 5:00 p.m.
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board of the Property Addressing workshop scheduled for August 30 at 3:00 p.m., here.
Chairman Hawkins informed the Board of a Rural Economic Development workshop in October in Raleigh. If interested in attending, again, please let Ms. Corn know as soon as possible.
Chairman Hawkins asked the Board to set a redistricting workshop. The workshop was set for 3:00 p.m. on Monday, August 28, 2000. Beverly Cunningham and Robert Baird will both be present at that workshop.
The Board was reminded of the August 15 joint meeting scheduled with the City of Hendersonville, to be held here, to discuss Historic Courthouse Rehabilitation. Staff will develop an agenda.
Chairman Hawkins asked the Board to set a workshop to discuss the CAT building. The workshop was set for Thursday, August 24 at 1:00 p.m.
Chairman Hawkins stated that there are a number of organization issues that the Board has talked about and he asked if the Board wished to set an organizational workshop (tax collector, tax assessor, deputy tax collector, EMS, a different organization for the Planning Board, different organization for property addressing, etc.). The workshop was set for Wednesday, August 23 at 3:00 p.m.
There was some discussion regarding the annual volunteer appreciation banquet. Some of the Board suggested either a Tuesday or a Thursday in October. Commissioner Moyer stated that the last Tuesday of the month is the Planning Board meeting. Commissioner Ward stated that the third Tuesday of the month is the Recreation Board meeting. Chairman Hawkins said to concentrate on Thursdays (5th or 19th preferably).
Commissioner Moyer stated that we still need to set a date to meet jointly with DSS on mental health issues. This was previously scheduled and canceled. The Board suggested that we might be able to meet with DSS on Monday, September 11 at 3:30 p.m.? Chairman Hawkins will clarify date and time with Chairman Bill Lapsley.
Angela Beeker reminded the Board that they had received a Special Order to Set a Public Hearing for an Industrial Project for Andy Petree Racing, Inc. Ms. Beeker stated that we have a project here in our county that is seeking industrial revenue bonds. This is a way that the Board of Commissioners can assist in economic development without cost to the taxpayers. We have an Industrial Facilities and Pollution Control Authority that can actually issue these bonds.
Scott Hamilton with the Chamber of Commerce then addressed the Board. The Commissioners have been asked to hold a public hearing to get public input and then approve in principle the bond package and the industrial revenue bonds for Andy Petree Racing. The bonds are to be issued by the Henderson County Industrial Facilities and Pollution Control Financing Authority in a proposed amount of five million dollars for the benefit of Andy Petree Racing. The project is going to be 63,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space at their current facility. The investment will be between $4.5 to $5 million. They are requesting a little more than what they anticipate for the project for a cushion. If it is approved at $5 million and they don=t use that $5 million, that=s OK. If it=s approved at $4 million and they need 4.5 or 5 million then they would have to go through this whole process again so they are building in a little cushion. This project will bring 15 jobs to Henderson County and will be relocating one of their facilities in Buncombe County to consolidate all into one operation. It will create another 10 jobs in Henderson County. It will also save approximately 20 existing jobs that are at the facility already. This will bring their employment base to 96 - 100 people in Henderson County. Their average wage rates for these jobs will be $22.50 hour. The wage is significant in Henderson County because of our underemployment rate and is substantially higher than our average wage rate in the County. The Henderson County Industrial Facilities and Pollution Control Authority has already given preliminary approval to the project and to the bonds. They will meet again prior to the closing of the bonds to once again give final approval. The NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Local Government Commission (LGC) all have to approve the bonds before they are issued. The bonds will be fully backed by a letter of credit by Wachovia Bank which means that the County and the State do not have any responsibility in the repayment of these bonds.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion to set a public hearing for August 16 at 11:00 a.m. to consider the Industrial Bonds. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Kumor made the Commissioners aware of several Mud Creek Task Force Meetings:
August 2 @ 7:00 p.m. at St. John in the Wilderness - host Rick Merrill
August 3 @ 7:00 p.m. at North Henderson High School - host Renee Kumor
August 4 @ 10:00 a.m. at the Henderson County Library - host Mayor Fred Niehoff
She further informed the Board that at the Commissioners= meeting on August 7 there will be a presentation of this project.
CANE CREEK WATER & SEWER DISTRICT
Commissioner Kumor made the motion for the Board to adjourn as Henderson County Board of Commissioners and convene as the Cane Creek Water & Sewer District Board. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Cane Creek Annual Report
Commissioner Gordon is a member of the Cane Creek Water & Sewer District Advisory Board. She presented their annual report.
The purpose of the report is threefold:
1. Present the annual report of the work that has been done in the past year as required by their charter.
2. Specifically to address the review of the rate structure which the committee completed in June.
3. To present the work plan for the coming year.
Annual Report for past year & Rate Structure review
The first part of the report addressed the structure of the committee, staff assisting the committee, and the meetings which are held the last Tuesday of every month, 4:00 p.m. at Fletcher Town Hall.
Progress on specific charges to the committee:
1. Monitor developments in pending grant applications.
Grant applications pending at the time of the charter were not successful. Both the Hwy. 25 project and the original Mills River proposal for a treatment plant were not funded. The Town of Fletcher has developed the Hwy. 25 project without grant funding and that is currently under construction. Another grant application to the Clean Water Trust Fund has been made by the Cane Creek Water and Sewer District. This new application includes a gravity interceptor that would provide for both existing and future needs in that area. A determination on this application is expected by the end of the year.
Commissioner Gordon explained that at this time there is a grant application pending on a new application for Mills River, more comprehensive and determination on that is expected momentarily but for certain by the end of this year (2000).
2. Examine current boundaries.
Expansion of the District into the Mills River area was reviewed and recommended by the Committee. The Cane Creek Board approved this and it became effective July 1, 2000. This corresponds to the proposed sewer line extension to serve this expanded area along with the new regional water treatment facility start-up. The Committee has done preliminary review of a proposed expansion of the District in the Hooper=s Creek area and anticipates that this will be the next area for annexation into the District. Further work on this will be included in review of the Master Plan as also directed in the charter.
3. Develop a Master Water & Sewer Plan including phases and costs.
Preliminary review of existing studies and plans has been part of both the boundary and rate discussions. An updated overall plan is anticipated as the next step in addressing our charge. The Committee expects that this plan will pull existing plans together and update them in coordination with both Henderson County and Town of Fletcher Planning Departments. The Committee expects to make recommendations on phases with the realization that accurate costs can be determined as these phases are implemented.
4. Develop a strategy for integration into the MSD and Regional Water Authority=s systems, including co-ordination of expansions by MSD and RWA and representation on MSD=s board.
No specific work on this charge has been done to date, but the Committee recognizes the importance of both the extension of the District into Mills River and construction of the interceptor to this effort. The increased customer base and revenue from this expansion will enhance our position in fulfilling this charge. It is anticipated that once these plans are finalized, efforts will be specifically directed at these goals.
5. Review system maintenance, replacement schedules, and plan for new customers.
This charge has been addressed during the orientation period and as a part of the rate study. Additional review will be done as work on the Master Plan takes place and another review of the rate, including allocation for ongoing maintenance and small capital projects, takes place.
6. Examine level of services and develop uniform rate structures.
The Committee recommended the purchase of specialized software designed for use in establishing rates for water and sewer systems and contracting with Crisp, Hughes, Evans, LLP, to set up the software and use it for a full evaluation of the rate structure. The Cane Creek Water and Sewer Board authorized this expenditure and contract that was completed in late April, with final review in late May and June by the Committee.
The results of the rate study, as initially implemented, showed a need to increase the current rate in order to fully meet both debt and deficit repayment, increased charges from MSD for processing, capital project needs, maintenance reserve funding, and implementation of accounting procedures for allocation of indirect costs incurred by the County in operating the system. An example used showed a sample bill going from $39.07 to $41.50 per month.
Subsequent to this recommendation, notice was reviewed of an additional increase in processing fees from MSD, effective July of 2000, to $3.70 per thousand gallons, up 15 cents. This is in addition to an increase last year of 15 cents that had already been absorbed by our system.
After reviewing the options available in setting rate structure, the Committee agreed at its June meeting to recommend the following:
C That the current rate be held until the deficit is eliminated. It is estimated that this will happen in early 2001, at the current rate of reduction and with absorption of increased charges from MSD.
C That a new rate structure be established at that time, with a goal of a reasonable rate reduction.
C That this new rate structure should include establishment of both a capital reserve fund for small projects and a fund for future maintenance needs. It should also establish indirect cost allocation for County services provided in the operation of the district.
C That it include a provision for some rate of return on investment to the system. This rate of return would be used for reinvestment in the system. The Advisory Board is currently reviewing proposed projects in the Cane Creek Industrial Park and the Westfeld-Hudson area and expects to make recommendations on these prior to implementation of a new rate structure early next year.
C That the current billing process through the Hendersonville Water Dept. (at a cost of $2.50 per monthly bill) be discontinued as soon as the number of users reaches the point that it would be cost effective to do it in-house. This is viewed as important in terms of both cost reduction and public perception of the Cane Creek system. Separate billing by Cane Creek would provide separate identity not currently perceived by many users. This is important as we develop better communication with the users.
C That this rate review be considered a part of a continuing process of evaluation and revision of rates for the system, with a goal of ongoing reductions as the number of users and the volume increases, the system expands both in Fletcher and Mills River, water services becomes a reality, and system structure changes.
C That a proactive public information plan be enacted to inform the users of the system about the basis for the recommendations and the goals for the system.
The decision to recommend holding the rate structure was based on a number of considerations. Some of the most important were:
The operating deficit can be eliminated quickly under the current rate and accounting system. Elimination of this deficit will put the system in a much better position to address capital needs, especially financing for large projects.
The Mills River expansion project is still pending and is being considered for grant funding. There was concern that no rate changes be made until the financial needs for this expansion are known. It is anticipated that if grant funding can be secured for the cost of the installation, the increased revenue generated in Mills River could enable the system to offset enough expenses to make a rate reduction possible when that goes online.
Some relief to users of the Cane Creek system has been provided through the use of separate meters for outside water outlets. County staff has worked out a system that makes it possible to rebate sewage charges to the customers who install these meters and monitor them. This was a major concern for many users and has helped to diffuse some of the pressure for immediate rate reduction.
Work Plan for coming year
1. Implement public information effort relating to rate structure and system goals.
2. Evaluate capital projects prior to rate review in early 2001.
3. Initiate that rate review based on elimination of the deficit.
4. Evaluate and revise Master Plan for system based on addition of Mills River line and changes taking place in Mud Creek system.
5. Develop strategy for improved integration with MSD.
The Committee requests that the Board of Commissioners, sitting as the Cane Creek Water & Sewer Board, review this report and make recommendations to the Committee for its continued activity in the coming year.
The Committee also requests that after review of this report by the Cane Creek Water and Sewer Board, this report be made available to the Town of Fletcher for its review.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Committee by Commissioner Marilyn Gordon, Chairman, on July 26, 2000. The Chair recognized the assistance of Committee member Robert DiDiego in the preparation of this report.
Chairman Hawkins commended the Advisory Board on what they have accomplished this year and what they continue to be doing. He asked for any comments from the Board.
Commissioner Ward stated that he would like to see the rates lowered. He has had numerous calls from people who have large water and sewer bills. He felt that the users need some relief.
Commissioner Kumor felt that the Advisory Committee had done a good job and had set a good basis and recommendation.
Commissioner Moyer supported the recommendations in the report, stating that he was very sympathetic to Commissioner Ward=s comments but the Committee has looked at the rate schedule exhaustively and have done the best they can.
Commissioner Moyer made the motion to adopt the recommendations in the report as given by Commissioner Gordon. Chairman Hawkins added that the Advisory Committee is headed in the direction that there is some realistic hope for some relief in the rates in the not too distant future. A vote was taken and the motion carried four to one with Commissioner Ward voting nay.
Minutes were presented for the Boards= review and approval of the following Cane Creek meetings:
November 17, 1999 and March 15, 2000.
Commissioner Kumor made the motion to approve the minutes as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Kumor made the motion for the Board to adjourn as Cane Creek Water & Sewer District Board and reconvene as the Henderson County Board of Commissioners. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
1. Lois McDonald - Ms. McDonald had applied to the Inspection Department for a set up permit for a manufactured home. She resides at 75 Livingston Road in Hoopers Creek. She is a widow with four adopted children. A daughter has been evicted from her home and wishes to place a double wide mobile home on Ms. McDonald=s property in Hoopers Creek. That presents an emergency since she has no place to live. Ms. McDonald stated that she attempted to follow protocol and prepare her property for the mobile home. She received septic tank approval and put in the septic tank. She then discovered there was an ordinance against her property which was put in June 1999 that she was not aware of. She stated that she was not notified of the ordinance or of the action taken and placed against her property. She stated that it would be nicer for her family to be on her property than being in a trailer park. She also stated that her daughter could not afford park rent. The daughter has three teen-age children. She asked for assistance from the Commissioners, to help her to go through the proper channels for a waiver of the ordinance or a variance. She stated that her property extends across Livingston Road, it takes in part of Livingston Road. Henderson County residents are using that road at no cost to them. The road cuts her property off though, it is a right-of-way. She stated that would be a pretty good trade off for the right-of-way on her property.
She had gotten some neighbors to sign that they didn=t care if she put a mobile home on her property.
Ms. McDonald reminded the Board that the family is in distress. She stated that the mobile home has shingle roof, vinyl siding and will have masonry underpinning. It will be a house, will be classified as a house and taxed as a house. It will not be an eyesore, it is a nice home. Houses are sometimes built on as small as a 1/3 of an acre.
Ms. McDonald submitted hand-outs to the Clerk for distribution to the Board. They were several pages in length but there were only five copies.
According to Karen Smith, Planning Director ---
Ms. McDonald had applied to the Inspection Department for a set up permit for a manufactured home. The Inspection Department had directed Ms. McDonald to the Planning Department. Her property was zoned RC (Rural Conservation) last summer. Ms. McDonald lives in a single-family dwelling that already exists on the property.
According to County tax records, Ms. McDonald=s property contains 0.83 acres, although she says that she has a survey showing she has more than an acre. Although the RC district allows manufactured homes, it also requires that each dwelling (regardless of type) have at least one acre of property. Therefore, Ms. McDonald does not have enough land to place the manufactured home. She has enough for the current dwelling but she would need another acre for the new unit. When Karen Smith informed her of this, she told Ms. Smith that she had received a septic permit and had already installed the tank. She has also purchased a manufactured home. She said that she did not know she was zoned. Ms. Smith told her that the septic permit application form should have had a statement that directed people to contact the Zoning Department to find out if there were any restrictions. Ms. Smith also explained the zoning action that took place in her area. Ms. McDonald was aware of the controversy at that time regarding Roger Wolff=s proposed manufactured home park. Ms. Smith looked in the zoning file for Hoopers Creek and it did not appear that their office had sent Ms. McDonald a notice of the public hearing regarding the zoning. Ms. McDonald said that she never saw the notice nor does she get the paper. Ms. McDonald was extremely angry and insisted on placing her unit. Zoning Administrator, Brian Gulden, and Karen Smith presented Ms. McDonald with the options they could think of from the zoning perspective, as follows:
4. Assistance from Fletcher
5. Common Law Vested Right
6. Temporary Use Permit
After reviewing Karen Smith=s comments and hearing Ms. McDonald, the Board asked staff some questions. It was the consensus of the Board that Ms. McDonald had several options she could pursue to remain in compliance with the zoning ordinance, one of which was adding some additional property.
Ms. McDonald stated that she had talked with a Congressman=s Office and the Governor=s Office and they suggested a waiver. Angela Beeker explained that this Board would not have jurisdiction to do that under State Statute, only the Zoning Board of Adjustment would. The Zoning Board of Adjustment is the enforcing agency of the ordinance. The only thing the Board of Commissioners could do is amend the ordinance.
Following much discussion on the issue, Commissioner Moyer felt that it would be wise to ask the Board of Health to review the policy and procedures with respect to whether zoning approval is obtained prior to the granting of septic permits and ask them to review their procedure and come before the Board of Commissioners. He felt it was worthwhile to ask staff to review this sequence of events in their policy.
2. Roger King - Ms. McDonald stated that Mr. King had to leave.
PUBLIC HEARING - To Consider a Proposed Amendment to Code Chapter 87 - Emergency Medical Services
Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to go into Public Hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Jennifer Jackson reminded the Board that on June 21, 2000, the Board of Commissioners scheduled a public hearing for today to consider a proposed amendment to Section 87-12 of the Henderson County Code. This Section is contained in Chapter 87 which is entitled AEmergency Medical Services@ and has been commonly referred to as the Ambulance Ordinance. Both Chapter 87 and the proposed amendment to Section 87-12 were submitted for the Board=s review.
The proposed amendment to Section 87-12 allows an ambulance franchisee to set its own rates for services but prohibits those rates from exceeding the comparable rate charged by Henderson County EMS unless the franchisee receives specific approval from the Board of Commissioners. The proposed amendment also requires an ambulance franchisee to keep his current schedule of rates filed with the County=s EMS Office.
In accordance with NCGS 153A-250, this public hearing was advertised on July 12, 2000 and July 19, 2000. Ms. Jackson informed the Board that at the close of the public hearing, Board action to approve the proposed amendment would be appropriate.
There was none.
Commissioner Kumor made the motion for the Board to go out of Public Hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the amendment as presented and asked that the fees be posted along with our fees in the Henderson County Library as a convenience to the public. Mr. Aaron will also be given a chance for input at budget time when EMS fees are set. 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)(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.
2.(a)(4) To discuss matters relating to the location or expansion of industries or other
businesses in the area served by the public body.
All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Hawkins 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, Chairman Hawkins adjourned the meeting at approximately 12:00 noon.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board Grady Hawkins, Chairman