STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                          BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                         FEBRUARY 7, 2001


The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 3:00 p.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 Charlie Messer, County Manager David E. Nicholson, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.


Also present were:  Sheriff George Erwin, Project Construction Manager Bill Byrnes, Information Technology (IT) Director Kelly Laughton, and Finance Director J. Carey McLelland.


Commissioner Don Ward arrived late to the meeting, at 4:06 p.m.



Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance. He reminded those in attendance that this was a workshop for the Board of Commissioners to discuss various aspects of the new detention center.



David Nicholson reviewed a list of rules for the jail which was adopted by the Henderson County Board of Commissioners in March of 1943.



Bill Byrnes reminded the Board that the Site Preparation work was completed during the summer of 1999 and construction of the building and its associated site improvements commenced in December of that same year.  As of January 31, 200l the project is approximately 85% complete.  The work remaining is comprised mainly of internal systems, i.e., HVAC, electrical, plumbing, security, etc., finalization and testing.  In addition, interior ceilings, lighting, interior finishes, hardware, floor coverings, etc. are in progress.  Exterior site work, i.e., parking lots, sidewalks, fencing, landscaping, etc. will commence with improvement in weather conditions stability, most likely in March. 


The project is on schedule with substantial completion of the construction targeted for late May of 2001. The estimated total construction cost for the project, including Site Preparation, is about $8,700,000.00.


He also had a set of construction drawings and some illustration boards on the project for the Board=s review and information.


A question was raised about change orders whereby Mr. Byrnes stated that we are about six tenths of one percent of the construction contract in change orders.


Kelly Laughton gave the following report regarding technology issues:


1. Building Wiring Contract

a.         The cabling for telephone and data systems will be completed under the State Term Contract, as a Category B Project (installation of 100+drops.) The Category B involves a bid process with a group of contracted vendors.  An engineer from Information Technology Services (ITS) at the State is handling the project and will work with us through the bid process.

b.         Next month we will schedule a walk-thru to take place in April where the vendors will look at the site and receive information in the form of a blue print that includes drop count and drop location.  ITS will prepare the addendum used in the bidding process.  After all the bids are in, ITS will review them and make an award recommendation.  The winner of the bid will complete the wiring project.

3.               The wiring will be completed by the end of May, in accordance with the construction timeline.


2. Telephone System

1.               The TSA telephone system that currently serves all of the Sheriff=s office will continue to serve the new detention center.  Staff is working with TSA to move and upgrade the jail module to accommodate the number of lines in the detention center as determined by the sheriff=s office jail personnel.


3. Jail Management Software               

1.               The Sheriff=s office will continue to use the Visionair (formerly Vision) software as the Jail Management system.  We are presently licensed for 30 concurrent users, so no update is required.

2.               In addition to the basic jail module, the Sheriff=s office plans to add the classification component.  The Jail Inmate Classification System is a product from a company called Northpointe.  This software interfaces with the Visionair Jail Management system and allows officers to classify inmates and make appropriate cell/bed assignments. The classification module is licensed based on facility bed size.  A license for our Detention Center, including training and first year support will be approximately $20,000.



Carey stated that the budget is progressing well.  He reviewed the Project to Date Financial Report:


Revenue sources were reviewed showing the total funds available to date to be $10,375,977.06. Carey then reviewed the expenditures by category for a total of $1,226,832.76 and Site Preparation and Construction costs to date equal $6,017,406.05. Total construction costs to date minus the Sales tax refund for 99-00 equals $6,184,858.88, leaving the remaining revenue sources of $2,964,285.42. Mr. McLelland reviewed these figures in detail and answered questions from the Board.



Carey McLelland distributed a four page hand-out listing the FF&E which amounts to roughly $200,000.


Mr. McLelland did not see anything that would keep the project from coming in under budget.



The Sheriff=s staff (Consultant Carol Roberts and Stephanie Cosgrove, Inmate Services Director) updated the Board on the following operational issues:


1.               Classification Program

2.               Booking

3.               Central Records

4.               Other Issues:

a.         Programs

2.               Video Visitation

c.         Number of Beds

3.               Work Release


Classification Program         

Carol Roberts stated that Captain Pruett had talked to her about designing a housing plan for the new jail, only opening three of the housing units initially (three of the four pods).  She conducted a pilot study with the current inmate population.  She discussed the point additive scale she used.  If an inmate ranks 0 - 5 points, they would be a low risk inmate,  if they rank 5 - 13 points, they would be a general population inmate and 14 points or higher would be high risk inmates.  She split up the predator inmates and the prey inmates.  The information utilized to make the rankings will be taken from the initial booking sheets, interviews with the inmates, national criminal history, local criminal history, letters from the inmates, and incident reports.


Henderson County plans to use indirect supervision, partly because we don=t have staff to have direct supervision.  Sheriff Erwin stated that he prefers direct supervision.


Centralized Booking / Records

Captain Pruett distributed a hand-out (I did not get one).  Sheriff Erwin stated that the plus of centralized booking is that the officer on the street will only be booking for about 15 minutes and will be back on the street versus 1.5 - 2 hours for the old way of booking. Sheriff Erwin stated that the quality part of centralized booking and centralized records means that everything will be done by one group of people all the time and that way everything is done uniformly.  All the fingerprints are done uniformly, the process is done uniformly.  


He hopes that the municipalities will come on board and want to participate in the centralized booking.  It would be an added benefit to them because their officers would only be off the street about 15 minutes.


Sheriff Erwin reminded the Board that he always pursues grant opportunities, if we can find alternative revenues to offset the expense to the local taxpayer, we=re going to do that.  He has been in contact with Washington and if we end up deciding we want centralized booking for everyone, we can get a universal hiring grant for that which would pay 75% of the costs for the booking officers over a three year period.  Local match would be 25%. 


It was explained that centralized booking is the front-end and if it=s all done to standard, then the information can be shared across the area. A complete history can be found, sorted through, and used by all law enforcement units. Buncombe County has successfully utilized centralized booking/records for a number of years.  Henderson County would bill the municipalities for the service to them.


Kelly Laughton explained that from a technology perspective the information flows as follows: When an offender is brought in and an arrest is conducted the arrest information is entered into a records management system for the agency.  The arrest data begins the record on the individual, is then processed through fingerprinting,  photo identification and being taken before the magistrate.  If it is determined that they will be booked into the facility, that information then is entered in terms of booking into the jail facility/module.  Kelly then explained in detail  how the municipalities would share our data.   Henderson County would provide the central server. 


The County Manager will meet with the Municipal Managers, Sheriff Erwin has been talking with the Police Chiefs about centralized booking/records and we hope to get the municipalities to join us in this endeavor.



Sheriff Erwin explained that there are a number of programs that will be operating in the new facility, trying to cut down on repeat offenders.  They=re trying to get a GED program begun, looking at a drug/alcohol abuse program, anger management program, and offer religious services in the facility. Buncombe County has found that they can get reimbursed for an illegal immigrant that they house in their facility and we will adopt that program.  Buncombe County got $170,000 reimbursement from the federal government last year. All these programs will not be operational immediately when the facility is opened, some are short term and others are long term goals for the new facility. The facility has 231 beds but we plan to only open about 168 beds initially.   The work release program will not be operational in the new facility, because we don=t have the staff to operate it. The Board stated that they would like to see how many staff would be needed to operate the work release program and Sheriff Erwin answered that they would probably see that in Captain Pruett=s budget requests this year.


Sheriff Erwin stated that Henderson County designed a facility that will last for some time.  He thanked the Board of Commissioners, David Nicholson, Bill Byrnes, the Project Team, all involved County Staff and Sheriff=s Dept. Staff. 


Sheriff Erwin stated that about $20,000 was saved by changing to video visitation in the new facility.


There was much discussion with staff answering many questions from the Board.

Open House

There was brief discussion about the open house.  Staff has discussed the possibility of having a lock-in as a fund raiser where anyone can pay to spend a night in the jail. Buncombe County did this and it acted as a dry run for the jail. Staff would get to do system tests.  Of course, it is anticipated that there will also be a general community open house.  August or September is the anticipated time for an open house.


Chairman Moyer stressed that this has been an very important project to the current Board of Commissioners.  He told staff that if they see any problems brewing, to please inform the Board of Commissioners before it becomes a big problem.  He stated that the Board is pleased with the progress that has been made. 


There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at approx. 4:20 p.m.





Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board                                                            William L. Moyer, Chairman