STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON DECEMBER 18, 2000
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 3:00 p.m. in the Commissioners= Meeting Room of the Henderson County Office Building at 100 North King Street, Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Those present were: Chairman Bill Moyer, Vice-Chair Marilyn Gordon, Commissioner Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Don Ward, Commissioner Charlie Messer, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
Also present were: Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, Assistant County Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, and County Engineer Gary Tweed.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance. He stated that the purpose of this meeting was a workshop on the Mud Creek Sewer Agreement.
MUD CREEK SEWER AGREEMENT
Chairman Moyer stated that the Board had previously been given a copy of the agreement for review (Contract of Purchase and Interlocal Cooperation and Settlement Agreement) and asked if any of the Commissioners had questions to ask Mrs. Beeker about the agreement.
A number of questions were raised by Commissioners Hawkins, Gordon, and Ward and answered by Mrs. Beeker. Most were clarifications with one small typographical error.
Chairman Moyer called a brief recess.
Commissioner Gordon made the motion to adopt the Resolution pertaining to the agreement, stating that there were some approved changes made today.
Commissioner Hawkins stated that he would like to see the final agreement before voting on it.
ABecause of the tremendous importance of this issue and the serious adverse consequences to the County and its citizens if we do not adopt and move forward with this Agreement, I want to make sure that all Commissioners fully understand what the Agreement achieves and the ramifications of not proceeding.
The lack of sewer service and the lack of planning for needed sewer service has been a serious problem in the County and has been recognized by everyone as one of the County=s highest priorities.
In addition the County and the City have been embroiled in litigation under the 1986 Agreement and during this period there has been little or no cooperation and planning, leaving everyone frustrated with little being done to solve the sewer problems in the County.
For the past year, tremendous time and effort has been expended to resolve these problems. The Agreement we are voting on today, hopefully, will allow that to happen.
Let me review some of the key advantages of the Agreement:
1. Substantial savings to the County=s Mud Creek sewer customers@
C Average monthly bill will go from $37.10 to $28.80; or a monthly savings of
$8.30; or an annual savings of $99.60.
C Customers with more than 4,000 gallons per month will have greater savings.
2. AThe higher sewer rates in the District are discouraging customers who need sewer service from connecting and are forcing those who must have sewer to connect to the City=s lines even though the routes are more costly and difficult to reach and involve delay and additional expense.
3. The City has requested the County to pay $1,974,102.41 representing the County=s share of the sewer treatment plant improvements under the 1986 Agreement. Under this Agreement the County will not have to make that payment or make any further payments for sewer treatment improvements and additional capacity.
4. The pending litigation under the 1986 Agreement will be terminated.
5. The County will be out of the sewer business in the Mud Creek area unless we decide to stay in that business for some good reason and can concentrate its attention and financial assets on the Cane Creek District.
6. The County will receive $449,185.00 which is the depreciated value of the Mud Creek Sewer District.
7. The County will receive an Option to Buy the property where the City=s Water and Sewer Department Offices are currently located. Obtaining this parcel will provide additional desperately needed parking for the courthouse complex.
8. Mud Creek Sewer District only has an allocation from the City to treat 500,000 gallons of sewage at its plant. The County has already awarded allocations of almost all of that capacity. This Agreement protects all current allocations, removes the 500,000 gallon cap and provides that the City will treat all sewage from the District.
9. The Agreement gives rate protection for County customers in the Mud Creek District.
10. The Agreement provides for the establishment of a joint City/County Mud Creek Sewer Planning and Advisory Council.
C This is an important first step forward in planning for the sewer needs of this area
C It also will redefine the boundaries of the Mud Creek and Cane Creek District, which very much needs to be done.
On May 8, the County and the City entered into a Memorandum of Understanding setting forth all of the substantive terms of an Agreement between the City and the County to provide for the sale of certain of the assets of the Mud Creek Sewer District to the City.
The Memorandum provided for the terms to be fleshed out in a complete Agreement to be called the A2000 Agreement@. Closing of the transaction was contemplated by the end of 2000.
All County Commissioners and all City Council members voted for and signed the Memorandum of Understanding. Commissioner Messer was not with us at that time so he did not vote for or sign it. Based on that approved and signed Memorandum, the City and others have proceeded to design their sewer lines and begin construction of lines. Again, pursuant to our Agreement.
Well what has happened? Why would anyone vote against the Agreement, that is the issue.
We have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding. We have a legal and moral responsibility to vote to approve this Agreement. The integrity of this Board is on the line. We have a responsibility to act in the best interest of all of the citizens of the county. I ask you to vote now in favor of this Agreement so we can move forward.@
Commissioner Hawkins stated that what the Board would be voting for now would be a Resolution to finish the Agreement, not to vote for or against it. He stated that he would still like to see the final Agreement, to vote on it, and he thinks it will pass at that time.
Following more discussion, Commissioner Hawkins called the question.
Commissioner Ward made the motion to table Commissioner Gordon=s motion until Wednesday. A vote was taken and the motion to table carried three to two with Commissioners Moyer and Gordon voting nay.
The Board plans to take action on the Resolution Wednesday with the final document in front of them.
Addition to Wednesday=s Agenda
Chairman Moyer stated that he had added one item to the agenda for Wednesday which will be a Public Input Session on the Asphalt Plant. This will take place at approximately 10:30 a.m.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Commissioner Ward made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 4:40 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board
William L. Moyer, Chairman