STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON AUGUST 24, 2000
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 8:30 a.m. in the Commissioners' Meeting Room of the Henderson County Office Building. This meeting was taped, to be broadcast on Cable TV, one of the first workshops of probably many to be broadcast.
Those present were: Chairman Grady Hawkins, Vice-Chair Bill Moyer, Commissioner Renee Kumor, Commissioner Don Ward, Commissioner Marilyn Gordon, County Manager David E. Nicholson, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
Also present were: Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, Assistant to the County Manager Selena Coffey, Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, and Project Coordinator Bill Blalock.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order at 8:35 a.m. and welcomed all in attendance. He felt that the first item to consider was the new facility goals. These items have been covered in previous meetings. He reviewed the goals with the Board:
New Facility Goals:
$ Consolidate the following departments into one new location for one-stop service:
Fire Marshal/Emergency Management
Hendersonville Code Enforcement
DSS (Department of Social Services)
Health Department - Human Services
Health Department - Environmental Services
$ Consolidate the Sheriff=s Department into the entire 100 North King Street facility to meet existing needs, provide at least five years growth and provide proximity to both the new Courthouse and the new Detention Center.
$ Resolve space problems
$ Relieve current overcrowding
$ Provide at least 5 years growth space for each department
$ Provide capability for additional growth space beyond 5 years
$ Provide sufficient parking for clients and customers ... with growth potential to accommodate future building activity (new buildings or additions)
$ Vacate and sell/lease/cancel existing buildings that:
$ The building is a serious (high cost) maintenance problem
$ The building cannot be cost effectively expanded and/or brought into building code compliance.
$ The building site does not allow expansion
$ The building site has major parking problems and there are no reasonable solutions due to cost or unavailability of nearby sites
There was discussion of whether to make this one-stop service all at once or phase it in. Mental health was discussed briefly and whether the county would have to bring that in house in the future. The Board discussed the possibility of keeping the current Health Department building open for our future use as we do not know at this time how the State will handle the issue of mental health.
Chairman Hawkins asked for any discussion regarding building goals. There wasn=t any.
Chairman Hawkins then asked for any discussion regarding departments on page three of the hand-out. When the Board first started looking at the Carolina Apparel Building the following departments were listed for possible occupancy:
$ County Administration
Clerk to the Board
$ Land Development
Planning and Zoning
Fire Marshal/Emergency Management
Hendersonville Code Enforcement
$ Health Department
$ Department of Social Services
$ Board of Elections
The two largest departments under consideration were the Department of Social Services and the Health Department.
There was some discussion regarding whether County Administration should go in the building on the Spartanburg Highway or into the Historic Courthouse with varying views.
It was the consensus of the Board that they were not desirous of putting County Administration in the Historic Courthouse, provided there is adequate property and parking to handle all these departments at the CAT building. Total one-stop shopping/service would include putting administration in the Carolina Apparel Trading (CAT) Building on the Spartanburg Highway.
Discussions regarding the Historic Courthouse followed with square footage requirements discussed as well as renovation costs. Following much discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to retain ownership (or at least control) of the Historic Courthouse and to develop a viable plan for the Historic Courthouse. There was some discussion of bringing the Chamber of Commerce and Travel & Tourism into the Historic Courthouse. One of the biggest concerns is the cost for renovating the Historic Courthouse even though the Board is committed to saving the building instead of allowing it to continue to sit empty and depreciate in value.
The Board asked for David Nicholson=s recommendation on where to locate Administration. He would love to have the County Seat in the Historic Courthouse but he would like to have County Administration closer to the other departments that he supervises. His heart tells him one thing while his head tells him another.
Mr. Nicholson introduced Bill Blalock as the Project Director, Angela Beeker as the County Attorney, and Carey McLelland as the Finance Director. He then formally introduced Doug Campbell, Executive Principal of Harley Ellis of Asheville, who the Board has chosen as the Architectural firm to look at the initial steps of the process for the CAT building. One of the first things the Architectural firm will do is verify the numbers. Mr. Nicholson stated that staff needs answers regarding whether County Administration and Board of Elections are to be included in the CAT building on the Spartanburg Highway. The Architectural firm is already planning meetings with the department heads as well as the Chairs of the respective Boards.
Doug Campbell introduced two other gentlemen from Harley Ellis. Mr. Campbell discussed how the firm planned to meet with the departments involved in a series of meetings to confirm space needs. Following this, the firm would proceed with laying out a specific building, both a renovation of the current building and some size of addition. The Architectural firm also needs to know from the beginning whether Administration is to be included in the building as they would occupy 20,000 sq. feet of space and Board of Elections as they would require approx. 5,400 sq. feet, most of which would be storage space for voting machines (climate controlled space).
Chairman Hawkins preferred to have the Board of Elections in the CAT building rather than leasing a building for them. It was the consensus of the Board to include Board of Elections in the CAT building.
Chairman Hawkins stated that the Board still needed to give direction to the Architects regarding whether County Administration is to be included in the CAT building. Following much discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to leave County Administration in the CAT building project for the time being. They requested that the Architects meet with all the departments, including Administration, so that the Board will have some real numbers to review on space requirements. During this time there will also be discussions with Chamber of Commerce and Travel & Tourism to try to get a better idea on their level of interest in the Historic Courthouse.
The Board of Commissioners asked for a five year growth as well as a ten year growth figure (from opening date) for all these departments.
IRG revised proposal
Bill Blalock reviewed this proposal from page nine of the hand-out. The existing agreement Henderson County has with IRG (Investor=s Realty Group) is for the Carolina Apparel building, land and building associated with Carolina Apparel and five contiguous residential properties that would be used for parking at a fixed price of 2.65 million dollars, unless the residential properties came in lower than $700,000 in which case the benefit accrued to the county.
The revised proposal that IRG has presented is as follows:
Henderson County has already purchased the Seabaugh, Hill, and Campbell properties. IRG proposes the Coleman property and the Consolidated Properties with a $25,000 discount if Henderson County closes between January 5, 2001 and January 31, 2001 instead of the existing agreement of closing June 1, 2001. Additionally, there is a renter on the CAT property (Teeter Warehousing) and their lease potentially goes through May 31. There is a clause where they could cancel at the end of March but they are more inclined to want to stay than to leave, which is an assignable lease to us. If we close in January, with a $25,000 discount and the rental income of $64,000, there would be a significant savings. The revised price becomes $2.625 million with revised cost of $2.561 million for a net savings of $89,000. The Board has until September 29 to respond in writing to this offer.
Mr. Blalock then discussed parking space needs and how to achieve them by acquiring adjoining residential properties. There was very much discussion regarding parking and how to meet the current parking requirements for the City of Hendersonville. Bill Blalock informed the Board of the zoning district for each of the adjoining properties on the back of the CAT building property.
Chairman Hawkins adjourned the meeting at 10:25 a.m.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board
Grady Hawkins, Chairman