STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON DECEMBER 20, 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 Bill Moyer, Vice-Chair Marilyn Gordon, Commissioner Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Don Ward, Commissioner Charlie Messer, County Manager David E. Nicholson, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
Also present were: Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, County Engineer Gary Tweed, Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Assistant County Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, Assistant to the County Manager/Budget Analyst Selena Coffey, Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Coordinator Rocky Hyder, and Project Coordinator Bill Blalock. Amy Brantley, Volunteer Coordinator was present through nominations.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Hawkins led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
Rev. Rick Dean, Balfour United Methodist Church, gave the invocation.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Chairman Moyer suggested pulling Staff Report AC - Cable Broadcast Policies@ in the interest of time. He also suggested dealing with Staff Report AD - Goals & Objectives Meeting@ under Important Dates.
Commissioner Ward made the motion to untable the motion from the previous meeting, bringing the Hendersonville Water and Sewer Agreement to the forefront. All voted in favor and the motion carried. Chairman Moyer scheduled that item to follow Nominations on this agenda.
Chairman Moyer informed those in attendance that the Public Input Session on the Asphalt Plant would be on or about 10:00 a.m. It will be part of our regular meeting, therefore it will be taped as part of the regular meeting. He stated that the significance of that was that normally informal public comments are not taped, not part of what is recorded and run on Cable T.V. This item was not scheduled to be on the agenda but because of the importance of it, the Commissioners thought it was essential to have this Public Session to receive comments and input.
Commissioner Ward asked to add an update on the Dunroy project. Chairman Moyer added it as D-1 under Staff Reports.
Chairman Moyer also pulled the Closed Session due to time constraints.
Commissioner Ward made the motion to approve the agenda as adjusted. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Gordon made the motion to approve the consent agenda. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
The CONSENT AGENDA consisted of the following:
Minutes were presented for the Board=s review and approval of the following meetings:
February 1, 1999, regular meeting
September 21, 2000, special called meeting
October 12, 2000, special called meeting
November 15, 2000, regular meeting
December 4, 2000, regular meeting
Tax Collector=s Report
Terry F. Lyda, Tax Collector, provided the Tax Collector=s Report for the Board=s information, through December 12, 2000.
Darlene B. Burgess, Deputy Tax Collector/Paralegal, provided the Deputy Tax Collector=s Report dated December 12, 2000.
Appointment of Members to Financing Corporation
The Henderson County Governmental Financing Corporation was expected to approve the expansion of their membership from three to five members at their December 19, 2000 meeting. The Board of Commissioners was requested to approve the appointment of Don Ward and Marilyn Gordon to the Corporation=s Board of Directors at this time.
Resolution - Voter Identification
The Board was requested to approve a resolution in support of requiring voter identification at all polling places in North Carolina. The Board had reviewed this resolution at a previous meeting and had requested that staff make appropriate changes to tailor it to Henderson County.
Settlement of Lawsuit
Henderson County has been defending the below captioned lawsuit:
Henry Hunt, a minor acting by and through his
Guardian ad litem, Vivian Hunt, Plaintiff, versus
Henderson County and Henderson County
Department of Social Services, Defendants
(Henderson County File No. 99-CVS-829)
During mediation a tentative settlement was reached wherein the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners= Liability and Property Insurance Pool Fund is to pay the sum of $292,000.00 in settlement of all of claims. Staff reported to the Board that this settlement was finalized on November 30, 2000, with the filing of a Consent Decree and Mutual Release and Settlement Agreement.
NCGS 143-318.11(a)(3) requires that the settlement be publicly reported and entered into the Board=s minutes as soon as possible within a reasonable time after the settlement is concluded.
Saluda Fire and Rescue Loan
Saluda Fire and Rescue is in the process of obtaining a loan for the purchase of additional Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus and spare cylinders for their department. The lending institution requested a signature on a prepared resolution. Staff recommended the Board adopt the resolution.
Road Petitions (for addition to State Maintenance System)
The Board had received petitions for the following roads to be added to the State Maintenance System:
1. Westpointe Drive
2. Benning Court
3. Winesap Drive
4. Rome Lane
5. Forsythia Court
6. Jonquil Drive
7. Misty Lane
8. Paisley Court
9. Red Birch Court
10. Riverwind Drive
11. Sassafras Drive
12. White Ash Circle
Staff had reviewed the petitions for duplicate road names and other pertinent information.
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.
Notification of Vacancies
The Board was notified of the following vacancy which will appear under Nominations on the next agenda:
1. Henderson County Zoning Board of Adjustment - 1 (alternate) vac. due to resignation.
Chairman Moyer reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:
1. Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 9 vac.
Commissioner Ward had nominated one person at the last meeting but that nomination had not been approved by the Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - Subcommittee.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
2. Mountain Area Workforce Development Board - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
3. Child Fatality Prevention Team - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
4. Land-of-Sky Regional Council Advisory Council on Aging - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
5. Downtown Hendersonville, Inc. - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
6. Juvenile Crime Prevention Council - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
7. Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee - 1 vac.
Chairman Moyer had asked Rocky Hyder to come up with a slate regarding the staggering of the terms among the various appointments. He feels that he can work that out to everyone=s satisfaction.
The remaining vacancy here has to be elected by the members of the Fire & Rescue Advisory Committee when they convene.
PROPERTY ADDRESSING PROGRESS REPORT
Rocky Hyder distributed the E-911 Addressing Progress Report. He explained that the focus of his department lately has been the move of the office. They have tried to accelerate the move so that they will be completely moved by the end of 2000. He also stated that training for the new Property Address Coordinator is about 95% complete. He introduced Mr.Curtis Griffin, the new Property Address Coordinator.
Mr. Hyder explained that he and his staff just discovered a large amount of data entry that must be done regarding this project, some of it going back into August. It will take his staff about three weeks to complete this data entry. He has asked the County Manager to work with him so that they can delay some of their services or at least scale down their level of services during that time. They do plan to be caught up by the end of January.
They are working with developers to release the addressing scheme to them and make them familiar with it so that they will actually develop a lot of the addressing within their particular subdivisions. His staff is also working on a form so that as each person requests an address or a road change there is an audit trail to keep track of those activities.
Rocky discussed the following calendar with the Board which was established in cooperation with the contractor (3Di) for the GIS/Address base Conversion project:
$ First week of January 2001, meet with the Tax Assessor and Land Records to explore the technical aspects of the current GIS software. This will determine the extent and amount of data that the contractor will need to translate to make it compatible with the Arcview program.
$ Second week of January 2001, meet with the following County departments to draft an action plan, Information Technology, Tax Assessor, Land Records, County Manager, Emergency Management/Property Addressing, Emergency Medical Services, Sheriff=s Department.
$ Third week of January 2001, meet with Post Masters/Mistresses serving the county. Present the proposed addressing plan and receive their ideas and suggestions on the project.
$ Fourth week of January 2001, meet with local government and business leaders to discuss the proposed addressing plan, provide an update on accomplishments, and receive ideas and suggestions on the project. Finalize the addressing plan.
$ Month of February 2001, begin identification of rural routes, centerline data, structure data and begin GPS field data collection of centerline and structure data.
(NOTE: The amount of time required for this phase is heavily dependent on the successful conversion of information from the current GIS software to the Arcview format. The percentage rate of successful data conversion will determine the amount of new data collection required, and will also determine the date addressing will begin.)
$ Month of March 2001, finish GPS field data collection and begin addressing rural routes.
Additional elements will be added following the completion of the addressing plan and field data collection.
David Nicholson informed the Board that he had asked Rocky for monthly reports on the project. He will share those reports by putting copies in the Commissioners= mailboxes. He also plans to place a quarterly report on the Board agenda for citizen information.
WATER POLICIES AND RATE SCHEDULE
Angela Beeker had prepared a revised draft Ordinance Enacting Water Policies and submitted it for Board review. The proposed Water Policies are required by the ABHWA Regional Water Supply and Water Service Agreement adopted by the Board of Commissioners on November 11, 1995.
Mrs. Beeker reviewed the changes with the Board, stating that in reviewing it, staff had suggested a few things that could be strengthened in the county=s favor and that was done also. Basically these provisions require that Henderson County approve any connection to the system in addition to the Authority as well as it provides the ability to issue what=s called a conditional permit such that if and when a county water line or a regional water line would become accessible to a particular site they would be required to connect into the county=s waterline.
A proposed Rate Schedule was presented and reviewed. It is based on the current water rate schedule that the Authority charges. Following discussion of the water rate schedule, it was decided to delete the last paragraph entitled AReduced Fees for Qualifying Affordable Housing@ because it had not been modified to fit Henderson County instead of the City of Asheville. If the Board decides to pursue this, County Staff will revise and bring back before the Board.
The Board will need to set a minimum monthly charge at some point in time. It has not been done yet.
Chairman Moyer attended a Water Authority Board meeting yesterday where the Board directed the Policies and Priorities Committee to consider these policies coming from Henderson County and to get input for their next meeting from the staff of the Water Authority and their Attorney. They were also asked to identify any problems and to get this approved as quickly as possible.
Following much discussion, Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to approve the Water Policies and Rate Schedule and authorize that they be sent to the City of Asheville. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
UPDATE ON DUNROY PROJECT
This was an add-on by Commissioner Ward.
David Nicholson had distributed several documents referencing this item.
The first document was a letter from the Utilities Director, Jim Erwin, to Mr. Nicholson. It is a summary of where we are from the standpoint of the Dunroy Project. It calls the project AGlenroy aka Dunroy on Rutledge@. In April of 1998 they filed a service application with us for 41,760 gallons per day, it was passed along to the City of Hendersonville. On May 4 of 1998 the Board of Commissioners approved it subject to the following:
$ sewer service for a 104 lot development on Rutledge Road near
Mud Creek Baptist Church
$ an allocation of 41,760 gpd
$ connection location - County=s Mud Creek sewer line near U.S. Hwy.#25
and Shepherd Street
$ use of a pump station and force main to access County system
$ developer shall retain ownership of the pump station, force main,
and the entire sewer system in the development
$ the developer shall pay Henderson County $15,600 in Capacity
Depletion Fees upon approval of application
$ the developer shall comply with the Henderson County and City of
Hendersonville Sewer Use Ordinances and the rules and regulations
of the Utilities Department
On November 20, 1998, the developer refused to pay the $15,600 Capacity Depletion Fee to Henderson County and began dealing directly with the City of Hendersonville and indicated that he was going to connect his subdivision sewer system directly to the City system at Rutledge Drive and U.S. Hwy.# 25.
At that time the Henderson County Utilities Department wrote a letter to the City of Hendersonville and informed them that based on a conversation with Don Fischer (of Crowell Construction, the Developer/Contractor for Glenroy) it was confirmed that Glenroy would not be connecting to the County sewer system. The City was told that the County allocation for this project was rescinded. The City was told to restore 41,760 gpd to Henderson County=s reserve.
Then David reviewed a memo to Mayor Niehoff from the City Manager, Chris Carter, which David was copied on. This memo explains the conversations City Staff had with individuals residing along this area.
Commissioner Hawkins asked if after the shift, from what the Board had acted on in May, whether it was ever brought to the Mud Creek Water & Sewer District Board. Mr. Nicholson explained that at this point it had not been. We have not seen anything from the City of Hendersonville asking to attach to our system. Mr. Hawkins asked if it were not required by the Ordinance. Angela Beeker explained that it is currently. Commissioner Hawkins then asked AHow did the City get started building a sewer line without complying with a County Ordinance?@ David explained again AAccording to our contact, we have received no formal request from the City of Hendersonville. I think certainly you could say the assumption is that they thought the Mud Creek Agreement was going to go through. That may be a good assumption or a poor assumption, based on actions the Board may take later.@ Commissioner Hawkins then said ABut that not withstanding, when we looked at, particularly the capacity depletion fee, the action on the Board was that we would continue to operate under Mud Creek operating procedures until such time that it was sold and specifically for the depletion fee that it would be put in escrow, so I don=t know why they would assume that we weren=t operating under the Ordinance.@ David stated AThe depletion fee that would be put in escrow was for Charlestowne Place, it was not this.@ Grady Hawkins AFor all subsequent ones it was going to be that also, I mean that was the policy that was set, so I still don=t know why the City was in violation of the County Ordinance.@ David Nicholson AI guess, you know, until they formally request to actually attach to our line, I=m not sure they=re quite in violation. I think they=re certainly headed in that direction.@ Grady Hawkins AAs I read the Ordinance, it talks about the drawing for the plan and I could go pull my book but I don=t think it has anything to do with before they get the line, it=s before they start. Otherwise that=s what you have. The Board has to approve the schematic form, we=ve never seen that, so I think that was part of the confusion of what=s going on out there because the people that had the responsibility authority for that district, of which these people were part of, had never been a part of it as required by the Ordinance.@
David Nicholson AI=ll follow up with our Utilities Director about that specifically but I do not believe, I have not seen them submit the plans to us and I=ll make sure that he has not seen them either. He did not indicate to me that he had seen them but I did not specifically ask him that question Mr. Hawkins.@ Grady Hawkins AWell, if I=m not mistaken the Ordinance prescribes it specifically be approved in writing by the Board and I know this Board has not seen it.@ David Nicholson AI believe you=re absolutely right, Mr. Hawkins.@
Commissioner Ward stated that this would put the Board at a point of difficulty here in a few minutes when the Board addresses the Final Draft of the Mud Creek Sewer Agreement. He stated that these are two different issues and he didn=t want to hold up the Sewer Agreement.
Angela Beeker stated AIf you approve the Sewer Agreement that all becomes moot.@ She was asked about the Board=s liability if there were potential lawsuits over this, because the Board knew the City of Hendersonville was in violation of a County Ordinance. Mrs. Beeker stated that she would prefer to discuss those kinds of issues with the Board in closed session.
MUD CREEK SEWER AGREEMENT
Earlier Commissioner Ward had made the motion to untable this item.
Chairman Moyer stated that he felt it was very appropriate to move forward on this item, stating that certainly the agreement the Board all signed back in May would constitute agreement that the City was going to get the line.
Brought forward from the previous meeting was Commissioner Gordon=s motion to approve the Resolution Authorizing the Sale of certain assets of Mud Creek Sewer System to the City of Hendersonville subject to the revisions that have been done and the Board has seen the final draft with those revisions in them at this point. Her motion would approve the document and authorize proceeding with the closing on December 30, 2000.
Angela Beeker reviewed two changes to her final draft that the City Attorney had asked for, one was the change of the closing date to December 20 or as soon thereafter as the parties may agree such so that it doesn=t actually predate the date of the contract. The second change was a minor one in Section 4.01 he asked that the word specifically be changed to expressly.
Commissioner Gordon asked that her motion reflect those two changes as suggested by our County Attorney. A vote was taken and the motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC INPUT SESSION re: Asphalt Plant
Chairman Moyer stated that we would try to give everyone a chance to speak. He did not set time limits, asking the public to refrain from a lot of repetition. The Board would like as much input as they can get. Each of the Commissioners will be free to ask questions of each of the speakers but the speakers are not free to ask questions of the Commissioners. He asked if groups could have one spokesman, it would certainly facilitate the process. Chairman Moyer asked the Clerk to call the names of those who had signed up to speak.
1. David Phillips - Mr. Phillips stated that the governing bodies that we have to decide the air quality standards should be allowed to do their work. The standards were designed for the good of the people. He asked the Board not to let this be another Florida where a man abides by the law, wins according to those laws and once he=s won they change the laws.
2. Joanne Jones - Ms. Jones lives in the Hickory Hills area. She spoke in opposition to the asphalt plant proposed to be built on NC Hwy. # 25 north. She has lived in this county for over 30 years. She stated AWhen this issue is settled I hope that you will be brave enough and bold enough to attack this issue of zoning and do something about it so that these issues do not come up again.@ She asked the Board to enact a moratorium on the building of asphalt plants in Henderson County.
3. Janet Stewart - Ms. Stewart stated she was representing CAAP (Citizens Against the Asphalt Plant) but would also read statements from two physicians. She is Chairman of CAAP. She distributed her statement, 2 typed pages and the two statements from physicians.
Ms. Stewart lives in the Grimesdale area. She requested the Board order a public hearing to be held to impose a moratorium on the building of any asphalt plant for a period of one year in Henderson County. She stated that it was absolutely necessary to determine the impact that this proposed asphalt plant by John Pace of Tarheel Paving Company would have on our community, stating that the issues of fugitive emissions, cumulative air affects, and the economic impact on property values and tax base are just a few of the areas that require advanced study. She also distributed a copy of Ashe County=s Ordinance to Place a Moratorium on the Construction and Erection of Asphalt Plants in Ashe County.
She asked the Henderson County Public Health Director, Tom Bridges, to request from the Division of Air Quality that a cumulative air affect study be done for our county including existing emissions from all sources in a 10 mile radius of this site. The modeling for the proposed plant did not take into account the emissions of the existing plant which is located 1 1/4 air miles from the proposed site.
Ms. Stewart read a statement from Dr. Beth Hayes of Mountain Radiation Oncology in Hendersonville. Dr. Hayes stated that the proposed asphalt plant is in close proximity to Balfour Elementary School and several residential communities. This raises significant and serious health concerns for these local children and adults. Many of the chemicals that would be emitted are known carcinogens (cancer causing agents). Some of the chemicals that would be emitted from the proposed asphalt plant are listed with their associated malignancies:
Cadmium: Prostate cancer, lung cancer
Formaldehyde: Naxal and Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
Arsenic: Lung cancer, liver cancer, skin cancer; Airborne arsenic has been
shown to increase the mortality risk from lung cancer in surrounding neighborhoods.
She also stated that many of the pollutants emitted from asphalt plants are:
1. Known to cause cancer in children and adults
2. Increase the risk of death from all causes
3. Reduce lung function growth in children
She urged the Board to consider the health of the surrounding citizens and children as their first priority. We have made many advances in medicine, but the best medicine is still prevention.
Ms. Stewart then read a statement from Dr. Gail Clary of Western Carolina Chest Consultants in Hendersonville. She stated AAs a lung specialist in Henderson County, I am opposed to the construction of an asphalt plant here. The potential irritant and carcinogenic hazards outweigh any potential financial benefits to this community. Please consider this issue carefully.@
4. Russ Seymour - Mr. Seymour was not present when his name was called.
5. Van Estes - Mr. Estes was not present when his name was called.
6. Calvin Titus - Mr. Titus was not present when his name was called.
7. Tony Peranio - Mr. Peranio is a licensed professional engineer. He distributed his statement which was 3 full typed pages. His recommendations to the Commissioners were:
1. Decree a halt or moratorium in all activities directed at asphalt plant approval.
2. Take steps to encourage the NC Air Division and other branches to put into effect more
sensitive and directed modeling Aover and above@ that required for siting an industrial
plant in the particularly sensitive Grimesdale area in and around the proposed plant.
8. Jay Rogers - Mr. Rogers distributed his statement which was 1.5 typed pages. He is a resident of Hickory Hills, retired and migrated here from Long Island, Chemist by profession. He addressed air pollutants, truck traffic, carcinogenic chemicals.
He stated that today it is possible to build chemical and industrial manufacturing plants, including asphalt plants, that are actually environmentally safe. While this is economically feasible for a Kimberly Clark or a pharmaceutical Co., the cost might well be prohibitive for an asphalt plant. He also stated that radon is a concern in this part of the country and asked what is the uranium (the radon precursor) content of the aggregate(s) that will be used?
Mr. Rogers stated that there are many concerns that should be addressed and many questions answered before the asphalt plant is allowed to be built and operated.
Calvin Titus - # 6 from above - Mr. Titus lives off Zeb Corn Road. He lives in the area of the existing asphalt plant. He stated that as the crow flies he lives a mile or less from the asphalt plant at the Vulcan site. During the summer when they make most of the asphalt he cannot open his windows or sit on his porch and enjoy the summer air because of the obnoxious air and fumes. He asked if we already have an asphalt plant and we have no objections to building a second one, when are we going to put a stop to it or how many asphalt plants will we allow in our county.
9. Harry Newman - Mr. Newman distributed his statement which was 2.5 typed pages. He lives just 1,000 feet north of the proposed asphalt plant site. He has lived in Henderson County all of his 79 years except what time he served in the Armed Services. He spoke of the waters in the area and the way the water collects on the proposed site which is in a flood plain. He spoke of all the fill that has been done on the proposed site and how it will be washed onto his property and his neighbor=s property when a flood comes. He showed the Commissioners what Mud Creek does when it floods. He asked the Commissioners to take a good long look at this property before any more permits are issued.
10. Polly Orr - Polly Orr read just over a page (typed) which was a statement from Claudia Wolff. Ms. Wolff could not be present at this meeting as she is the sole proprietor of a vegetable/fruit & fish business on Highway 25 north known as the Country Market.
Ms. Wolff and her Mother moved here from Sparks, Nevada, about an hour from Lake Tahoe in the norther part of Nevada. The terrain and climate was similar to western North Carolina. They lived 4 miles from an asphalt plant. The plant had been in existence for 4 - 5 years. She talked of the traffic and the smell, stating that the smell went from being unpleasant to nauseating, depending on what was occurring at the plant on any individual day. The worst part of being near this plant was what happened when they would experiment with the chemical formula to create a better quality asphalt product. The changes brought about a problem when the emission fumes exited into the air and changed the white Acloud@ from the plant to a dark dense air mass which hung low and traveled downwind. They could not get enough oxygen and had to call 911 for help. The men did not arrive and she called again as her mom was in real trouble. She was told that the men were trying to determine if the Acloud@ was poisonous before venturing into it. 911 eventually made it to them, administered oxygen and they began to breath normally once again. The authorities gave them all sorts of emergency phone numbers to call should this black cloud ever emerge again. They put their house on the market, eventually sold it at 85% of their asking price, thinking they had already adjusted the price because of the proximity to the asphalt plant. AIt is hard for my mother and I to accept that we have invested our savings into a location where we will once again be faced with all the same health concerns, daily aggravation and investment depreciation which caused our relocation to what we thought was going to be our dream home. We ask you to take time to study the environmental hazards and especially the economic impact before you allow this plant to be located here. We ask you to zone that land surrounded by neighborhoods, school, and small businesses, which may not be able to withstand the consequences of being so close to the daily requirements of keeping an asphalt plant running.@
11. Lynn Redmond - Ms. Redmond distributed her statement which was 1 typed page. Ms. Redmond is the chairperson of the Legislative Affairs Committee for Carriage Park Homeowners Association. She was present on behalf of nearly 260 residents, the majority of whom are against the asphalt plant being built north off NC Hwy.#25.
AIt is my hope that you will not automatically approve the building of this asphalt plant until you have done some very in depth study of the environmental impact it will have on this beautiful community in which we have come to live. Henderson County is perfectly capable of attracting clean industry. It does not have to sell out to Adirty industry@ and pollution because the money is readily available.
Please take the time to do your homework on this very important issue. You can see by the attention these speakers have given to this matter that our communities are ready and willing to help with this task.@ She asked ADo we intend to be a lovely growing community or become a Alove canal@ growing, due to irresponsible decisions?@
Chairman Moyer called a 5 minute technical recess, to change videotapes. When we reconvene, we have two planned 11:00 public hearings which we will take care of and then will pick back up with the speakers that have signed up.
Chairman Moyer stated that he would allow Rev. Rick Dean to make his public input on the asphalt plant as he had some parishioners to attend to at Memorial Mission Hospital so he needed to leave. Then the Board will go into their public hearings.
12. Rev. Rick Dean - Rev. Dean=s Church is less than 1,000 yards from the proposed plant. He spoke about the Aquality of life@. He did ask the Board to consider what they would do if they had an asthmatic child or grandchild that attends Balfour Elementary School - would you put the plant there if that were the case?
PUBLIC HEARING - To Consider a Proposed Installment Financing of Certain School Projects
On December 4, 2000, the Board of Commissioners scheduled today=s public hearing for the purpose of obtaining public comment on a proposed installment financing of the Etowah Elementay School and the Clear Creek Elementary School Projects. The public hearing was advertised on December 8, 2000, as evidenced by the presented affidavit of publication.
It was expected that the Henderson County Board of Public Education would approve a resolution at its meeting on December 18, 2000. The resolution would, among other things, request that the County utilize its authority under NCGS 153A-158.1 to finance these School Projects through the issuance of certificates of participation (COPS).
Bond counsel has been assisting the County thus far with the financing of these School Projects and had prepared an extract and resolutions which the Commissioners were urged to adopt. The first resolution approves the installment financing of the School Projects and makes the necessary findings and determinations related to that financing. The second resolution approves execution, delivery and performance of the documents related to the financing.
If the Board approves the resolutions, the COPs will be priced in January 2001 and funds will be available for use immediately after closing on February 2, 2001.
At approximately 11:00 a.m. Commissioner Ward made a motion to go into public hearing. All voted in favor and the motion passed.
The Chairman announced that this was the hour, day and place fixed for the public hearing for the purpose of considering whether the Board of Commissioners for the County (the "Board") should: (i) approve a proposed installment financing agreement and certain related documents under which the County would obtain financing pursuant Section 160A-20 of the North Carolina General Statutes, as amended, for primary school facilities consisting of the acquisition, construction, renovation and equipping of the Clear Creek Road Elementary School and the Etowah Elementary School (collectively, the "School Facilities") as described in the notice of public hearing that was published on December 8, 2000 in the Hendersonville Times-News, and under which the County would secure the repayment by it of moneys advanced pursuant to such installment financing agreement by granting a security interest in the School Facilities and certain related property; and (ii) accept the conveyance of the real property and the improvements thereon, upon which the School Facilities will be completed (the "Sites"), currently owned by the Henderson County Board of Public Education ("Board of Education"), pursuant to a request of the Board of Education as authorized by Section 153A-158.1 of the North Carolina General Statutes, as amended.
The County Manager and Finance Director then described the School Facilities as currently proposed and presented a draft of an Installment Financing Contract between the County and Henderson County Governmental Financing Corporation (the "Corporation"), as well as certain other related documents in the forms of drafts of an Indenture of Trust between the Corporation and First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company, as trustee, and a Deed of Trust and Security Agreement between the County and a deed of trust trustee. Copies of these and other related documents have been on file with the County Manager.
The Chairman then announced that the Board would immediately hear anyone who might wish to be heard on such matters. The Clerk to the Board of Commissioners announced that no written statement related to such matters had been received and no one had signed up to speak at the public hearing.
Thereupon, the Board determined to proceed with the proposed financing of the School Facilities and to approve such proposed Installment Financing Contract and the related documents hereinabove mentioned substantially in the forms presented.
Thereupon the Chairman announced that the public hearing was closed.
Thereupon Commissioner Grady Hawkins introduced the following resolution which was read by title, and moved it be adopted:
"RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE COUNTY OF HENDERSON, NORTH CAROLINA, APPROVING THE INSTALLMENT FINANCING OF THE ACQUISITION, CONSTRUCTION, RENOVATION AND EQUIPPING OF PRIMARY SCHOOL FACILITIES AND MAKING CERTAIN FINDINGS AND DETERMINATIONS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners (the "Board") of the County of Henderson, North Carolina (the "County"), desires to provide for the acquisition, construction, renovation and equipping of the Clear Creek Road Elementary School and the Etowah Elementary School (collectively, the "School Facilities"); and
WHEREAS, the Board proposes to finance the cost of the School Facilities through an installment financing contract (the "Contract") with the Henderson County Governmental Financing Corporation, Hendersonville, North Carolina (the "Corporation"), obligating the County to repay in installments the amount financed at a fixed annual interest rate of not more than 7% over a term not exceeding 21 years, resulting in a total amount financed not to exceed $17,500,000 (excluding reserves and costs of issuance); and
WHEREAS, pursuant to the North Carolina General Statutes ("N.C.G.S.") Section 160A-20, the County is authorized to finance the cost of the acquisition, construction, renovation and equipping of the School Facilities by entering into an installment financing contract and a deed of trust, which create in some or all of a portion of the School Facilities and the sites on which they are located, a security interest to secure payment of the obligation thereby created; and
WHEREAS, subject to the prior approval of the Local Government Commission of North Carolina (the "LGC") pursuant to N.C.G.S. Section 159-148, the County intends to finance the cost of the School Facilities pursuant to Section 160A-20 by executing and delivering to the Corporation or other financing entity an installment financing contract facilitating such financing; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to N.C.G.S. Section 153A-158.1 and pursuant to a request by the Henderson County Board of Public Education, the County is authorized to acquire the real property sites and the improvements thereon, currently owned by the Henderson County Board of Public Education (the "Sites"); and
WHEREAS, the County staff has advised the Board, and the Board hereby finds and determines, that the County must acquire, construct, renovate and equip the School Facilities in order to maintain and enhance the County's public school facilities to enable the County to perform its public functions, and that the School Facilities will benefit the County and its residents; and
WHEREAS, the Board conducted a public hearing on the date hereof to receive public comment on the desirability of installment financing for the School Facilities and the acquisition of real property related thereto, and the Board received evidence supporting the need for such financing and acquisition; and
WHEREAS, the Board finds and determines that the undertaking is necessary and expedient for the aforesaid reasons and that the School Facilities and the sites thereof be financed under the terms, conditions and parameters heretofore stated and to be further determined with more particularity at a later date by the County Manager or Finance Director; and
WHEREAS, the sums to fall due under the Contract can be included in the County's budget without difficulty; and
WHEREAS, the above factors lead to the conclusion that the payments under the Contract are not excessive for the stated purposes of acquiring, constructing, renovating and equipping the School Facilities; and
WHEREAS, the County Attorney has advised the County that the School Facilities are authorized by law and are purposes for which public funds may be expended pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the State of North Carolina; and
WHEREAS, the Board finds and determines that short-term or pay-as-you-go financing for the School Facilities would impose strains on the County's ability to fund general operations and education without a significant tax increase; and
WHEREAS, use of the County's unobligated fund balance to finance the cost of the School Facilities would reduce the fund below the guidelines established by the LGC and would not be in the County's best interest; and
WHEREAS, the use of non-voted debt would not provide sufficient funds to complete the School Facilities in a timely manner; and
WHEREAS, installment contract financing would be preferable to general obligation bond financing because a general obligation bond authorization probably could not be perfected in a timely manner and would not permit the alternative financing structures and repayment provisions available in the proposed, negotiated installment contract financing; and
WHEREAS, the proposed cost of financing the School Facilities is too great an amount to be funded by current appropriations; and
WHEREAS, the Board finds and determines that installment contract financing is therefore the most viable and efficient alternative and that the cost of such financing is reasonable; and
WHEREAS, past audit reports of the County indicate that its debt management and contract obligations payment policies have been carried out in strict compliance with the law and the County has not been censured by the LGC, external auditors, or any other regulatory agencies in connection with such management; and
WHEREAS, the Board estimates that the County's ad valorem tax rate will not be significantly increased in order to sustain the proposed financing; and
WHEREAS, the County is not in default in meeting any of its debt service or contract obligations; and
WHEREAS, it is the Board's intention to adopt this Resolution for the purpose of authorizing the acquisition, construction, renovation and equipping of the School Facilities, making certain findings and determinations with respect thereto and authorizing such other acts deemed necessary and advisable to carry out the acquisition, construction, renovation and equipping of the School Facilities.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE COUNTY OF HENDERSON, NORTH CAROLINA, as follows:
Section 1. The Board hereby finds and determines in connection with the Contract and the transactions contemplated thereby that (a) such Contract is necessary or expedient to the County, (b) such proposed Contract, under current circumstances, is preferable to a bond issue of the County for the same purpose, (c) the sums estimated to fall due under such Contract are adequate and not excessive for its proposed purpose, (d) the County's debt management procedures and policies are good and its debt will continue to be managed in strict compliance with the law, (e) any increase in taxes necessary to meet the sums estimated to fall due under the Contract will not be excessive and (f) the County is not in default regarding any of its debt service obligations.
Section 2. The Board hereby approves the acquisition of the Sites upon which the School Facilities will be constructed and hereby authorizes the Chairman, the County Manager, the Finance Director, the Clerk to the Board and the County Attorney to take any and all such further action and to execute and deliver such other documents as may be necessary or advisable to consummate such acquisition.
Section 3. This Resolution shall become effective immediately upon its adoption.
This is the 20th day of December, 2000."
Commissioner Ward seconded the motion and the motion was adopted by the following vote:
Ayes: Moyer, Ward, Hawkins, Messer and Gordon
Chairman Moyer advised the members that the next order of business was to consider and take action on another resolution (the "Resolution") that, among other things, approves the form of the documents to be entered into in connection with Henderson County's installment financing of the acquisition, construction, renovation and equipping of certain primary schools.
Commissioner Hawkins introduced the following Resolution, which was read by title, and moved that it be adopted with the insertion of the appropriate interest rates, 6.09% and 6.19% respectively, in paragraph (5) therein:
"RESOLUTION APPROVING AN INSTALLMENT FINANCING OF SCHOOL FACILITIES AND THE SALE OF NOT MORE THAN $17,500,000 CERTIFICATES OF PARTICIPATION, SERIES 2001 AND AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF DOCUMENTS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH
WHEREAS, there have been available at this meeting forms of the following (drafts dated December 12, 2000):
(1) A draft of the form of Installment Financing Contract to be dated January 15, 2001 (the "Contract") between the Henderson County, North Carolina (the "County") and the Henderson County Governmental Financing Corporation (the "Corporation");
(2) A draft of the form of Deed of Trust and Security Agreement to be dated January 15, 2001 (the "Deed of Trust"), from the County to a trustee for the benefit of the Corporation;
(3) A draft of the form of Indenture of Trust to be dated January 15, 2001 (the "Indenture") between the Corporation and First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company, as trustee (the "Trustee");
(4) A draft of the form of Preliminary Official Statement (the "Preliminary Official Statement") relating to the Certificates of Participation, Series 2001 (the "Certificates");
(5) A draft of the form of the Contract of Purchase to be dated on or about January 17, 2001 (the "Purchase Contract") between Scott & Stringfellow, Inc., trading as BB&T Capital Markets (the "Underwriter") and the Corporation;
(6) A draft of the form of the Letter of Representation to be dated on or about January 17, 2001 (the "Letter of Representation") from the County to the Underwriter;
(7) A draft form of Lease Agreement to be dated January 15, 2001 (the "Lease") between the County and the Henderson County Board of Public Education (the "Board of Education");
(8) A draft form of Agency Agreement to be dated January 15, 2001 (the "Agency Agreement") between the County and the Board of Education; and
(9) A draft form of Conditional Assignment of Construction Contracts and Plans and Specifications to be dated January 15, 2001 (the "Assignment") between the Board of Education and the Trustee.
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of the County duly conducted a public hearing on December 20, 2000 regarding the Contract to finance the acquisition, construction, renovation and equipping of the Clear Creek Road Elementary School and the Etowah Elementary School (collectively, the "School Facilities") and the installment financing thereof; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of the County desires to approve the sale of the Certificates and to authorize other actions in connection therewith;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of the County as follows:
(1) All actions heretofore taken by the County Manager and the Finance Director, effectuating the proposed installment financing of the School Facilities are hereby approved, ratified and authorized pursuant to and in accordance with the transactions contemplated by the documents referred to above.
(2) Each of the Contract, the Deed of Trust, the Letter of Representation, the Lease Agreement and the Agency Agreements, in the form submitted to this meeting, is hereby approved, in substantially such form and the Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Board, the County Manager, the Finance Director and the Clerk to the Board are each hereby authorized and directed to execute and deliver each of those documents on behalf of the County, with such changes, insertions or omissions as they may approve with the advice of counsel (including provisions that relate to a municipal bond insurance policy procured by the County, their execution thereof to constitute conclusive evidence of their approval.
(3) The Indenture, the Purchase Contract and the Assignment, in the forms submitted to this meeting, are hereby approved with such changes, insertions or omissions as they may approve with the advice of counsel, including provisions (if applicable) that relate to a municipal bond insurance policy procured by the County.
(4) Each of the Preliminary Official Statement and the final Official Statement in the form of the Preliminary Official Statement submitted to this meeting, is hereby approved, in substantially such form, with such changes, insertions and omissions as appropriate, and the use thereof in connection with the public offering and sale of the Certificates is hereby authorized. The Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Board and the County Manager and Finance Director are hereby authorized and directed to execute and deliver on behalf of the County, the final Official Statement in substantially such form, with such changes, insertions and omissions as they may approve with the advice of counsel, their execution thereof to constitute conclusive evidence of their approval.
(5) Subject to the limitations set forth herein, the County Manager is hereby authorized to approve the terms of the Certificates, including but not limited to, the aggregate principal amount and the dates and amounts of maturities thereof, the redemption provisions thereof and the interest rates thereon; providing that: (i) the principal amount of the Certificates shall not exceed $17,500,000; (ii) the final maturity date of the Certificates shall be no later than March 1, 2022; and (iii) the true interest cost and the effective interest rate thereof shall not exceed 6.09% and 6.19%, respectively.
(6) The Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Board, the County Manager, the Finance Director, the Clerk to the Board, and the County Attorney are hereby authorized to take any and all such further action and to execute and deliver such other documents as may be necessary or advisable to carry out the intent of this Resolution and to effect the installment financing pursuant to the Contract, including, without limitation, procuring a municipal bond insurance policy and entering into tax compliance agreements. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the County Manager and Finance Director is authorized to approve all details of the financing, including without limitation, the amount advanced under the Contract (which shall not exceed $17,500,000), the annual payments under the Contract, the interest rates with respect to such payments, the term of the Contract, and the discount below or premium above the principal amount of the Certificates at which the Certificates are sold to the Underwriter. Execution of the Contract by the Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Board or the County Manager and Finance Director shall conclusively evidence approval of all such details of the financing.
(7) This Resolution shall become effective immediately upon its adoption."
Commissioner Messer seconded the motion and the motion was adopted by the following vote:
AYES: Moyer, Ward, Messer, Hawkins and Gordon
Chairman Moyer thanked the Facilities Team which was Commissioner Hawkins and Commissioner Ward for all their hard work in this area and thanked Dr. Burnham and the members of the School Board.
Dr. Burnham commented on behalf of the children of Henderson County AThis is an outstanding moment, it speaks highly to the commitment of this county, to this Board of Commissioners, to what is the future of this county and that is the children. I also want to echo what was said earlier, the Joint Facilities Committee - I had an opportunity to work with that group as I came aboard here, it has been tremendous. It=s been a driving force in terms of improving the schools of Henderson County. I thank you for that work. I thank you individually as Commissioners and most of all I thank the taxpayers of Henderson County because it does make a difference when we invest in the children as they are the future.@
PUBLIC HEARING - Community Transportation Program
The purpose of this public hearing was to receive public comments on Apple Country Transportation=s Community Transportation Program. Copies of the grant application had been provided to the Board for their review.
Commissioner Ward made the motion for the Board to go into Public Hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Rochelle Miller with Apple Country Transportation discussed the grant request with the Board and answered questions. She stated that the purpose of this public hearing was to receive comments on the proposed project, to allow members of the community the opportunity to comment on transportation needs and the grant application.
The Public Transportation Division of North Carolina Department of Transportation initiated the Community Transportation Program in fiscal year 1998 - 99. The Community Transportation Program incorporates the Federal Section 5310 and 5311 programs and will assist in the development of an efficient, effective, safe, reliable and convenient community public transportation program that meets the transportation needs of our state and each of its communities.
The Public Transportation Division (PTD) supports the community transportation providers in fulfilling the transportation needs of each community by providing Administrative, Operating, and Capital assistance programs. Within the grant application those program requests were listed.
The counties or systems must maintain a minimum level of coordinated transportation services (greater than the uncooperating level) to be eligible to receive any public transportation assistance through this program.
Apple Country Transportation is at a Level 3 of coordination and continues to meet the minimum requirements of a consolidated system. She stated that they have also moved up to a Level 2 of operational status through increased passenger miles, increased service hours and increased number of passengers.
WCCA Apple Country Transportation is requesting $133,354 in administrative money, that=s provided through federal, state, and local government grant money, $1,000 in employee development money, $6,800 in technology (with 2 new computers and 1 new printer), and $368,000 in capital monies for two new expansion vehicles, three new radios for the vehicles, a video training series for the drivers as well as new facilities to house Apple Country Transportation. The local match is approximately $31,000 as the facility was requested last year and the local match was provided on that facility request.
Ms. Miller had not received word back from NC DOT as to the status of the facility request but they should be making a site visit in the near future.
There was none.
Commissioner Ward made the motion for the Board to go out of Public Hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to endorse the application, authorize the filing and authorize the Chairman to take any action necessary to complete the filing. All voted in favor and the motion carried unanimously.
CONTINUATION OF THE PUBLIC INPUT SESSION
re: Asphalt Plant
13. Don Layburn - Mr. Layburn is a resident of Stoney Mountain Estates. He spoke in opposition to the proposed Asphalt Plant. He is President of the Stoney Mountain Homeowners Association. He spoke on behalf of himself and the Association. Stoney Mountain Estates is zoned R-40 but most of the land surrounding it is unzoned. He agreed with much of what had already been said about traffic, noise, dirt, pollution, health and the dangers associated with all the activity but did not feel that he had to repeat it. He did say that heavy processing industries do not belong tucked away in residential neighborhoods. He asked the Board to enact a moratorium or any other legal act that they could do to reduce bad public standing by taking such action. He asked the Board to please give serious thought to the welfare of their many constituents and stand against another bad idea that has slipped through the cracks.
14. Dwight Giles - Mr. Giles lives in Grimesdale and is the President of Grimesdale Homeowners Association, representing the families living in 160 homes, probably 400 people. He is not opposed to the use of asphalt for construction of our highways but an asphalt plant 2 mile from residential areas is way too close for the health of our communities. He asked the Board to place a moratorium on the building of asphalt plants in Henderson County. AWe want the freedom to have clean air to breathe and pure water to drink.@
15. Don Hill - Mr. Hill lives in Mills River. He stated that he is concerned about everyone=s health also but he is also concerned about making a living each and every day too. This particular asphalt plant would employ a number of people. It would also have a great effect on 50-150 other families who make their living supporting these type of operations, mainly in the trucking industry. It would have a great effect on their income.
16. John Pace - Mr. Pace is the President of Tarheel Paving Company. He has been a resident of Henderson County his entire life, presently living in Flat Rock. He distributed his statement which was 1 typed page.
Mr. Pace is proposing to build an asphalt plant on property he has owned for over 12 years. During the past 12 years he has been preparing this property for development and has obtained all necessary permits and has been in compliance with all of them. He assured the Board that he will build a new, state-of-the-art asphalt plant that will meet or exceed all state and federal regulations pertaining to air quality and will maintain it in top condition. He will also landscape the entire project. His property is approx. 12 acres but the plant will occupy less than 3 acres. AIt is my sincere hope that this board will not change the rules in the middle of the game.@
Mr. John Patty with ADM Incorporated was present, not to speak but rather to answer any questions the Board might have. Mr. Conrad A. Carter, Jr., P.E., a licensed engineer with Alpha Environmental Management, Inc. was also present. Mr. Patty was present to answer any questions the Board might have pertaining to air emissions.
Mr. Pace distributed copies of two letters that he felt were pertinent to this meeting. The first letter was from him indicating that he will voluntarily comply with all the current zoning requirements for industrial property set forth by Mr. Brian Gulden, County Zoning Administrator, including buffers, setbacks, parking, loading, unloading and noise requirements. The second letter is from the four adjoining property owners in support of this asphalt plant. Mr. Pace reiterated that he will be a good neighbor!
Mr. Pace answered questions from the Board as did Mr. Patty and Mr. Carter.
Mr. Patty spoke about the technology of the proposed new plant, stating that the majority of the plants put in today exceed the EPA standards. AThe series plant that Mr. Pace plans on putting in is best available technology, best available control technology. It is drying separate from where it is mixing with the asphalt. By that I mean the particulate that some people are concerned with, with the particulate emissions, are being siphoned off separately into a bag house, far better known as a filter collector. While filter collectors in the 7 and 8 to 1 area are sufficient to meet the .04, ADM has saw it upon themselves to be in the 4 and 5 to 1 ratio, air to cloth ratio that is, to siphon off the particulate. As far as your gaseous emissions, this is in the mixing drum where the AC is introduced into the hot aggregate, this is again siphoned off, returned to an annulus around the burner and incinerated at over 2800 degrees. Where there=s a catch all in the industry 1500 degrees is sufficient to kill anything. Now I=m not saying that there isn=t escape but the majority of that matter is taken care of by this style plant. Technology is in place by asphalt plant manufacturers to be good neighbors, it=s all up to the owner then.@
Many of the people who spoke also answered questions from the Commissioners.
17. Dennis Justice - Mr. Justice wished the Board a very Merry Christmas. He stated that he chooses to live one mile from an industrial park. He stated that individuals want this Commission to disregard its own zoning policy in regulating this asphalt plant but later on to pass more restrictive zoning. He stated Athe only thing worse than zoning is zoning that=s only halfway enforced@.
18. Howard Meinhardt - Mr. Meinhardt lives in Laurel Park. He has been a resident here for nearly ten years. He has been to the site and felt that a plant would only enhance the site cosmetically. He came from Pittsburgh, a very polluted city. He was raised within four blocks of two steel mills and a copper mill. He also worked in refrigeration and was exposed to heavy amounts of refrigerants for some years and he has no respiratory problems. He was exposed to a lot of pollution and is still healthy to this day, able to work everyday. He reminded the Board that this plant will employ a number of people, we need some stable employment. He stated AWe have the possibility of air pollution from virtually anything we do.@
19. Bill Lane - Mr. Lane stated that he fears that this is turning into a public hearing on air quality issues. He encouraged the Board to refrain from basing its decision in this case on air quality issues. He felt that was best left to the expertise of the Division of Air Quality. The issuance of an air quality permit is an open process with full opportunity for public comment. There will probably be a public hearing on the issuance of this permit. He stated the issue before the Board today was whether there should be a moratorium on the construction of this asphalt plant.
20. Eva Ritchey - Ms. Ritchey spoke on behalf of Citizens for Transportation Planning. She stated AThis issue is about one thing and one thing only - clean air, air that is fit to breathe@. She stated that it is the ultimate quality of life issue. ACan we afford to burden our fragile declining air quality, an air quality that is already saturated with a plant that produces 5,200 lbs. of fine particles, 30,000 lbs. of carbon monoxide, 7,800 lbs. of sulphur dioxide, 117 lbs. of benzene and 629 lbs. of formaldehyde?@
21. Dorothy Freeman - Ms. Freeman spoke about polluted air, water, and traffic. She spoke about problems with construction in flood plains. She spoke in opposition to the building of the asphalt plant.
Chairman Moyer called for a five minute technical recess, to change videotapes.
22. Lyman Gregory - Mr. Gregory is an Attorney representing CAAP. He stated that the Board is being asked to initiate the procedure for imposing a moratorium on asphalt plants. The procedure to follow is as follows:
1. See if there is a threat to public health, safety and welfare.
2. Use the moratorium to preserve the status quo while the solution is found
He spoke about traffic, fumes and smell, flood threat and washing toxins into the water of Mud Creek, property devaluation, as well as economic issues. He stated that this clearly adds up to an immediate threat on public health, safety and welfare.
23. Gene Albertson - Mr. Albertson is a native of Henderson County and a local business person, owners of industrial property next to the proposed asphalt plant. He has seen no advertisement of the proposed asphalt plant. He spoke in opposition to the proposed plant feeling it would devalue his property.
24. Beth Packer - Ms. Packer and her husband just bought a home in Grimesdale and she is expecting her first child. Her biggest concern is that when her child is ready to play outside that it will be safe for her/him to do so. She is a full time school teacher and is concerned about the school children at Balfour Elementary School. She worries that if they were to decide to move, would they be able to get their equity out of their home.
25. & 26. Had opted to remove their name due to the length of the session and the time.
27. Charles R. Mason - Mr. Mason lives in Grimesdale. He stated that the existing plant has devalued the properties around it. His main concern is the location because the proposed site is surrounded by a high density area.
Van Estes - #5 from above - Mr. Estes spoke as a realtor and a concerned citizen. He stated that there are at least seven subdivisions within a one mile ring of the proposed plant. He spoke about sales in the area and disclosures.
Commissioner Ward stated that he had asked the County Attorney to ask Mr. Robert Baird to come to the meeting because of the questions raised about property values. Mr. Baird is our County Assessor.
28. Lisa Thurman- Ms. Thurman is the Mother of three children, residing in Hendersonville. She spoke on behalf of children in this county who play sports, especially in the summertime. She raised the question of whether children should be playing outdoors on red alert days. Should the county call off soccer games because of red alert days. She said Awe really don=t know what affect the pollution in this area has on these little lungs.@ She stated that she is willing to work on this issue.
Chairman Moyer stated that the Board had received some written comments, e-mails, and phone calls and the Board will take them all into consideration.
Chairman Moyer asked for the County Attorney to inform the Board of their options:
Ms. Beeker stated that the Board does have legislative discretion to enact a moratorium as long as it is properly done. It has to be for some reason, because you want to study the proper zoning in the area or because you want to study an asphalt plant ordinance or something that is within your authority. She stated that air quality issues are pretty much within the jurisdiction of the State. Any decision the Board would make could not be based solely on air quality issues. The Board could consider zoning under traditional zoning, notions such as traffic impact, noise, esthetics, or those type things. Land disturbance and storm water run off are also within the jurisdiction of the State right now.
She also stated that any action that the Board might ultimately take after following the proper procedures may or may not be applicable to this plant. It would depend on how far they have gotten in their development process. They may be far along enough that even if the Board did a moratorium or voted to zone the area, they may not be subject to it. The protection that the community is asking for needs to be considered regardless of whether this plant would be subject to it or not because if they are asking for protection from the present one, they are likely asking for protection from future ones also. Any decision made needs to consider all potential asphalt plants or other high impact uses.
Ms. Beeker stated that another option the Board has available to them is to consider implementing some zoning in that area. Without the use of a moratorium, it would probably offer a little bit less protection to the community from this particular plant. Ultimately it is within the Board=s legislative discretion to decide which path to take, if any. The Board has the discretion to opt to do nothing at this time as well.
David Nicholson reiterated that air quality and flood issues are not within the Board=s jurisdiction as they currently stand. Mr. Nicholson stated that he did not want to mislead the public that there is a whole lot that we can do about it, even if the Board implements something it may have to go through a court process. He would be very concerned if this Board implemented a moratorium. He named three options the Board has:
1. Talk about traditional zoning, it would have to be a study area
2. Implementation of safety net zoning which sets site standards
3. An Ordinance on asphalt plants would not eliminate them, it would set
site standards for them
Mr. Nicholson stated AThe county has been told that we cannot issue a building permit until the air quality permit has been issued and I think that=s a big plus for our community... the Attorney General=s office has told us that we cannot issue that building permit.@ His recommendation to the Board was not to implement a moratorium but direct staff to continue on the process from the standpoint of looking at either traditional zoning in that area, do a study area and look at it or look at safety net zoning across the county. He reminded the Board that in next year=s budget he will ask the Board to support updating our land use plan, feeling that will lend itself to more traditional zoning in areas. This asphalt plant may be far enough along that none of these things would affect it. It might take court action to determine that.
It was felt that a State hearing would be conducted on or about the first week in February 2001. They would then have to wait 30 days for written comments and then could issue a permit.
Angela Beeker stated AWe have been told by the Attorney General=s office that we cannot issue a building permit until the air quality permit has been issued; however, late yesterday I did receive a fax from the air quality folks such that that may not be as clear cut now and I=ll have to follow up on that just to be fair to everyone, to see whether that is still true based on some late information that I just faxed in after hours yesterday, so I have to follow up on that.@
Mark Edney, Asst. Assessor and Chief Property Appraiser, came into the meeting in place of Robert Baird who was unavailable.
Mr. Edney was asked about land values around the existing asphalt plant, whether or not the existing plant had devalued properties in the area and also in the area of the proposed asphalt plant. Mr. Edney stated that the existing plant has been there so long that there really is no way to tell what it did. If somebody builds a new plant, the only way you=re gonna tell what it affects is look at what property is selling for around it now and then after its built look at what that property resales for. He stated AI would think that obviously it would affect property values of the surrounding property downward but there=s no way to measure it without letting the market do it.@
The Commissioners apologized for putting Mr. Edney on the spot, stating that it really was unfair to ask him to comment when he didn=t even know where the site was nor had he visited it.
Chairman Moyer stated AI=m not a big advocate of safety net zoning as you well know. I think really what we need to do and I=ve advocated this for a long time as part of our land use is to identify the areas of the county where we want heavy industry and where its appropriate and where it=s the right place to put it and zone that for that. So in fairness to the people who want to build industry, that have to look at environmental things, they know where they can put it and we don=t get into these debates when these things come up and until we do that we=re not gonna solve this problem but there should be definite areas designated for that type of growth and they should be protected and we shouldn=t have this stuff when the people decide to locate a business there and then all of a sudden we want a moratorium and I just don=t think that=s an appropriate way to do land use regulations. I think it=s unfortunate and to a certain extent we got caught on this one cause we are looking at all the areas outside, all the ETJ areas to see what should be done. This was such a small area it didn=t get picked up and now here=s an area where we have a problem. We=re studying everything up around Fletcher. We=re studying everything around Laurel Park and now we got this little piece that we do not happen to have a study on and that=s where this issue has arose and that=s most unfortunate that we haven=t gotten to that but hopefully we can. I have no problem with your recommendation other than I would ...@
Following Board discussion, it was the unanimous consensus of the Board not to enact a moratorium, to adopt the County Manager=s recommendation. When the Board has their goal setting meeting in January they plan to revisit land use goals and revisit air quality standard goals.
Chairman Moyer stated that we have to keep in mind that Commissioner Ward will be out of town the last week in December and Commissioner Hawkins will be out of town the last two weeks of January.
Chairman Moyer asked the Board to look at their calendars to choose a date for a workshop/retreat on goals and objectives. Commissioner Gordon has talked with Doug McQueen who is a facilitator and has worked with the school system on establishing their goals and priorities. He will be back in town on January 18 and 19. He is available on the 18th for a one day session to help the Board develop a short list of goals with a two year range. We have the building reserved at Johnson Farm from 8:30 to 4:30 that day. Discussion followed with there being conflicts on either date, 18th or 19th. Commissioner Gordon felt strongly that there was a need to get a neutral party to come facilitate the meeting. She=ll check back with Mr. McQueen and let the Board know whether he is available on 19th via a memo. She thinks he has 19th and 20th scheduled for the School Board. We were hoping to share the travel expenses for Mr. McQueen with the School Board.
There was discussion of the need for a Zoning Ordinance Workshop. It was set for January 9th from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The Board was reminded of the Economic Development meeting with the Chamber of Commerce at Advantage West. They can hold it on either January 3 or January 4. January 3 was chosen at 12:30 p.m.
The Board was also reminded of a Joint Facilities meeting here on February 1 at 5:30 p.m.
The Board then set a workshop on facilities (CAP building) on January 4 at 4:00 p.m., here.
Due to the lateness of this meeting, the Board set a workshop on facilities for Jan. 4 to review this plan, rather than at this time.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Commissioner Ward made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 2:48 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman