STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON FEBRUARY 21, 2001
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, Interim County Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
Also present were: Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Coordinator Rocky Hyder, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, and Assistant to the County Manager Selena Coffey. Amy Brantley, Volunteer Coordinator, was present through the Nominations.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Gordon led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
Chaplain Jerry Beschta, of the Pardee Hospital Chaplaincy Program, gave the invocation.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Chairman Moyer asked that the following adjustments be made to the agenda:
C pull Staff item AA@ - AUpdate on the GIS and Orthophoto Projects@
C pull Discussion item AC@ - Pardee Hospital - Financial Report
C pull Discussion item AB@ - CDBG Application - Regency Development Associates, Inc.
He also stated that at the appropriate time, one item will be added to the Closed Session, a fourth item.
Chairman Moyer asked for the following additions to Discussion Items:
C Update on I-26 - Citizen=s Information Session
C LGCCA meeting, held yesterday
C Work First amendment
C Mills River Partnership Watershed Protection Project
Commissioner Gordon asked to add some recognitions on behalf of the Board of Health.
David Nicholson asked to add one item to Staff Reports as AC@ - NC Parity
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the agenda as adjusted. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Recognitions on behalf of the Board of Health
Commissioner Gordon stated that at a recent Board of Health meeting she learned the following:
C The Board of Health and County Commissioners received a letter from Kevin Ryan, the Chief of the Women=s and Children=s Health Section for the State of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services in January. It was a letter of appreciation and recognition of the Rubella Program that the Department of Public Health enacted last year during rubella outbreaks and the effectiveness of that program. The letter noted both the financial and human suffering costs of rubella and the importance of control, and was very complimentary of our local Health Department=s actions.
C A recognition done by the Health Department and the Board of Health to the Episcopal Church of the Holy Family in Mills River. They have a program that has been in place for about 5 years. Commissioner Gordon thought that Helen Dearborn was the volunteer who coordinated the program. They worked in conjunction with the Health Department and DHS on providing supplies that are needed by families with children, things like blankets, diapers, bottles, cribs, car seats, the whole gamut. They have been a tremendous assistance to the Health Department staff in providing for the total needs of these families. They are in the process of implementing a Grandparents Support Service for grandparents who are giving primary care to their grandchildren now and will have some classes starting on that very soon. She stated it was an excellent example of what is essentially a very small congregation and what they have been able to do when they focused in on a real specific need in the community. She thanked them for their help.
Commissioner Hawkins asked that item AD@ be pulled for some discussion - AReimbursement Resolutions on Historic Courthouse and Human Services Building.@
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the Consent Agenda with the exception of item AD@. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Reimbursement Resolutions on Historic Courthouse and Human Services Bldg.
Two proposed reimbursement resolutions were presented for the Board=s review. Reimbursement resolutions are used to provide the County with the option of reimbursing itself for expenditures made on a project prior to receiving funds from the financing of a project.
The first resolution is actually an amendment and restatement of a reimbursement resolution which the Board adopted on the ACounty Service Building@ project in May of 2000. Since the scope of that project has changed to a AHuman Services Building@ it is advisable for the Board to adopt a new resolution which amends the original resolution to reflect the current scope. That original resolution was part of the agenda for the Board=s information.
The second resolution addresses similar issues for the Historic Courthouse Rehabilitation project.
The County Manager had recommended that the Board adopt the two proposed reimbursement resolutions as presented.
Commissioner Hawkins raised a question about the second resolution dealing with the rehabilitation of the Historic Courthouse. He questioned whether this was a good time to be spending the amount of money needed for that rehabilitation due to the State budget problems and how those financial problems will trickle down to the counties, stating that he could not see that as a priority at this time in view of the budgetary constraints. He stated he could not support the second resolution.
David Nicholson reviewed the resolutions for the Board. He stated that all this second resolution does is protect the County for any expenditures that they might have over the next months, to be sure that we can get reimbursed on those expenses. It does not commit the Board to doing either of the projects but it does protect us financially if we have any expenditures at all for the Historic Courthouse.
Following much discussion on the item, Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the two resolutions as presented. A vote was taken and the motion carried four to one with Commissioner Hawkins voting nay.
The CONSENT AGENDA consisted of the following:
Minutes were presented for the Board=s review and approval of the following meetings:
December 16, 1999, special called meeting
December 20, 2000, regular meeting
December 29, 1999, special called meeting
January 4, 2001, special called meeting
January 17, 2001, regular meeting
Approval of Closed Session Minutes
The Board was requested to approve several sets of closed session minutes by adopting the following motion:
Motion: The following closed session minutes are hereby approved and shall be deemed sealed as provided by Section 11-6 of the Henderson County Code:
1. Minutes for the closed session held on February 1, 1999, November 6, 2000,
November 15, 2000, November 21, 2000, December 4, 2000, and January 2, 2001,
as presented and amended during the closed session of February 5, 2001.
Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee - Revised By-laws
At its meeting on December 4, 2000, the Board of Commissioners had some conversation regarding the qualifications for membership to the Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee. The Board asked the County Attorney to work on some revisions to the Bylaws in order to clarify the meaning of Asubject to the Fire District Tax@ in Article III, Section 2. The Commissioners interpreted this phrase to mean any individual that owned real property or business personal property that was subject to a fire district tax was eligible to serve on the Advisory Committee.
The County Attorney prepared an amendment to the Bylaws that incorporated the Board=s interpretation as described above. This amendment was sent to the Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee for review and adoption. The Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee did approve, by an affirmative 2/3 vote of its membership, the amendment as presented. This amendment to the Bylaws will not, however, become effective until it has been approved by the Board of Commissioners and the Fire and Rescue Association.
The amendment approved by the Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee has been sent to both the Board of Commissioners and the Fire and Rescue Association for approval.
The County Manager recommended that the Commissioners approve this amendment in order to clarify the membership requirements of the Advisory Committee.
Staff had received two road petitions requesting addition to the State Maintenance System:
1. Penny Court (Crooked Creek, Section 6)
2. Brightwater Farm Drive (Brightwater Farm Estates)
Curtis Griffin had reviewed these petitions and his recommendation was for approval.
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 NCDOT to change the priority for roads on the paving priority list.
A list of 16 refund requests was received from the County Assessor=s office. They were submitted for approval by the Board of Commissioners.
A list of 102 release requests was submitted from the Assessor=s office for the Board=s approval.
Tax Collector=s Report
Terry F. Lyda, Tax Collector, had provided the Tax Collector=s Report dated February 14, 2001, for the Board=s information.
Darlene B. Burgess, Deputy Tax Collector, had provided the Deputy Tax Collector=s Report dated February 15, 2001 for the Board=s information.
Detention Center Project Report
The Board was given the revised Capital Improvements Project Report for the new Detention Center for January 2001.
Mountain Microenterprise Fund
Annually, the Mountain Microenterprise Fund (MMF) applies for a Community Development Block Grant to assist with the expansion of small businesses in Western North Carolina. All of the Counties within their working area must pass a resolution of support in order for them to receive this grant. A sample resolution was presented for the Board=s consideration and adoption.
Staff recommended that the Board approve the presented resolution in support of MMF receiving funds from CDBG. There are no county funds requested by MMF.
Sheriff=s Department - Sidearm Requests
The Board had received two letters from Sheriff George H. Erwin, Jr., requesting that the Board authorize the sale of their service sidearms to Deputies Allen Owenby and Leonard Nix. In 1994, the Board approved a Service Sidearm Policy, which was provided for the Board=s review.
According to the Policy, the Board must establish a purchase price for the weapons. The Sheriff has indicated that the value of each sidearm is $420. However, he has requested that the Board approve these two former employees receive them at no cost.
Plat Review Officer Resolution
NCGS 47-30.2 requires that all persons appointed as plat review officers be so appointed by resolution and that the resolution be recorded in the Office of the Register of Deeds. Plat review officers are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that all plats that are to be recorded comply with the plat requirements set out in the General Statutes. On September 17, 1997, the Board first adopted a resolution appointing certain named persons as plat review officers in accordance with NCGS 47-302. The Resolution adopted on September 17, 1997, also sets out certain procedures that all plat review officers must comply with. Copies of that resolution and an excerpt from NCGS 47-30.2 were presented for the Board=s review. The Board has from time to time updated its list of appointed plat review officers.
The Board needs to again consider updating the list of those persons appointed as plat review officers. The Planning Director recommended that Shannon Baldwin be added to the resolution. A proposed resolution had been prepared and was presented for the Board=s consideration in order to accomplish this update. The proposed resolution restates all of those persons currently appointed as plat review officers.
Mr. Nicholson informed the Board that it would be appropriate, and advisable, for the Board to take action at this meeting by adopting the proposed resolution in order to provide the Henderson County Register of Deeds with an updated list of review officers authorized to approve plats for recordation.
Notification of Vacancies
The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear as ANominations@ on the next agenda:
1. Transportation Advisory Committee - 1 vac.
2. Henderson County Planning Board - 3 vac.
3. Solid Waste Advisory Committee - 4 vac.
Chairman Moyer reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:
1. Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 6 vac.
Commissioner Hawkins nominated Calvin Adams to fill position # 4 and Martha Sachs for reappointment to position # 1.
Commissioner Gordon nominated Joy Davenport to position # 7, this would be a move from her undesignated slot (position # 12) into a designated slot. That would create a vacancy for position # 12. Jennifer Jackson felt the Board should get Ms. Davenport=s consent to the move since it may be a change in term.
Chairman Moyer nominated Pat Strickland to position # 10.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Rev. Sachs to position # 1. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
The nominees for positions # 4 and # 7, their names must be sent to the nursing homes and wait for a response before they can be appointed.
Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Pat Strickland to position # 10. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
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. 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.
4. Juvenile Crime Prevention Council - 1 vac.
Commissioner Ward nominated Arnold Sheldon. Commissioner Ward made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Mr. Sheldon. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
5. Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee - 1 vac.
Chairman Moyer reminded the Board that the six people that were appointed will select a seventh person. We have been informed that new person is David Johnson. Chairman Moyer nominated Mr. Johnson to the Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee.
Rocky Hyder informed the Board that at their most recent meeting, the Fire & Rescue Advisory Committee elected the following slate of officers:
Chairman - Lee Roy Nicholson
Vice-Chairman - Rick Livingston
Secretary - Chip Gould
Terms were also recommended as follows:
Lee Roy Nicholson and Bill Hill - 3 year terms
Chip Gould and Rick Livingston - 2 year terms
Charles King, Jerry Pace, and David Johnson - 1 year terms
Commissioner Gordon made the motion to accept the terms as proposed by the Fire & Rescue Advisory Committee. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
6. Equalization and Review - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
7. Retired Senior Volunteer Program Advisory Council - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
UPDATE ON THE GIS AND ORTHOPHOTO PROJECTS
This item had been pulled from the agenda.
BUDGET STATUS - FY00-01
Due to a projected shortfall of up to 800 million dollars in state revenues, Governor Easley has placed the final reimbursement for the elimination of the property tax on inventories in an interest bearing escrow account. These funds will be used by the State should it need them to balance its own budget. For Henderson County, this reimbursement amounts to $608,660.
Chairman Moyer stated that it is very unfortunate that the inept management in Raleigh has caused this situation and is putting a burden on the backs of the county. We have been living for years with unfunded mandates from the state and the state spends all the money and balances the budget on the backs of the working people, many of whom cannot afford it. The reality of the situation is obviously the Governor has the power to do this and there=s not much that we can do about it. We have to look at it on the basis of the money that is not going to come to us for this year. Chairman Moyer stated AIt=s nice to say it=s gonna go in escrow and maybe some of it will come back, but I wouldn=t bet one cent on that and it would not be good financial management for us to count on any of that coming back. The implications for next year are even more dire but I=ll turn it over now to the County Manager and he can bring you up to date on what he has been doing in this area.@
David Nicholson stated that right now the State is talking about an $800,000,000 deficit and he hears every day that it is growing. Nobody really knows what the final amount will be at this point in time. Some of the reasons for the problem:
C The State has done $1.4 billion tax cuts in the last couple of years.
C There were two settlements of lawsuit cases that had to be paid out in the last couple of years regarding, one about a retiree paying income tax and the other was on intangible taxes.
C There has been some slow down in the economy.
C Hurricane Floyd and the millions of dollars that was sent to the eastern part of the state is partly to blame.
C The employee health insurance costs to the state.
C Substantial Medicaid growth.
David is the County Budget Officer. He explained that the Governor is the State Budget Officer and just like him, the Governor has to present a balanced budget. This problem was not of the Governor=s making but he is having to try to solve it. Mr. Nicholson stated AThe thing that directly affects us right now is the loss of the final payment for inventory tax.@
Henderson County will lose $580,210 from the General Fund (and an additional $26,450 from the Fire District Funds) in inventory tax reimbursements for the current year and stand to lose additional state funds in the upcoming fiscal year. He presented his response plan for the current year losses, as well as ideas for savings in the FY 2001-2002 budget.
FY 2000-2001 Action Items:
1. Freeze all unfilled positions
He has frozen all unfilled positions for the current fiscal year. This action results in a $303,471 savings for the remainder of the fiscal year. He has also asked that all reclassification requests be put Aon hold@ until we have a better understanding of the budgetary impacts for FY 2001-2002.
2. Freeze all unencumbered capital outlay and improvement funds.
He has also frozen all unencumbered capital outlay and improvement funds for the current fiscal year. This action results in a savings of $394,747 for the remainder of the fiscal year. This will effect funds for a new EMS satellite station, the replacement of our animal shelter, and the replacement of major Library computer equipment, among other capital items. He will be closely monitoring all purchase order requests, making certain that all purchases are absolutely necessary.
3. Other actions:
In addition to the above freezes, he has initiated the following actions for the current fiscal year:
a) Place all non-emergency maintenance projects on hold;
b) Freeze all Enforcement Division funds;
c) Review all temporary positions for possible savings;
d)Eliminate the Agricultural Project position;
e) Ask that the Public School System, Trend Mental Health, and Blue Ridge Community College to project any savings in their FY 2000-2001 budget that can revert to the County. Also, ask that the above refrain from requesting funds in the FY 2001-2002 budget to replace a reduction in the State=s budget allocations;
f) Notify Fire Departments on possible reductions in intangibles tax reimbursements;
Because these actions will sufficiently cover the loss of revenue for the current fiscal year, Mr. Nicholson will have some flexibility in filling positions or purchasing capital as necessary to retain current service levels within our departments. He has asked that department heads provide formal written requests and meet with him regarding the release of frozen positions, as well as purchasing capital outlay and/or improvements for the remainder of the fiscal year.
FY 2001-2002 Budget Process
With the impending State cutbacks, it is near impossible to figure out how to plan for the new budget year. We are being told to expect additional cuts in Health Department programs, Social Services programs, SmartStart, Criminal Justice Partnership Program, etc. Unfortunately, at least 25% of our budget is beyond our control, meaning that it is match for Medicaid, school funding, DSS program match, and debt service. Another significant impact will be if the State decides to eliminate the second half of the inventory tax reimbursement and the intangibles tax reimbursement, which is accounted for as a receivable because it has a June 30th date. This loss could account for over $3.2 million from the County budget. All these issues will increase the difficulty in planning for the FY 2001-2002 Budget and will require diligence and creativity in the budget process.
Therefore, in anticipation of possible additional losses in revenue, staff will be considering some additional ideas for savings. These considerations are outlined as follows:
C Freeze funds for the GIS and Orthophoto projects. Putting these projects on hold will provide savings for the current fiscal year, as well as for the new fiscal year.
C Notify non-profit agencies about possible budget cuts in FY 2001-2002.
Mr. Nicholson has asked department heads to submit their budget requests as usual, with the understanding that we may not know the full implications of future State cutbacks until well into the new fiscal year. Staff is prepared to present a budget that reflects any and all necessary reductions in the FY 2001-2002 budget year and will be working diligently to ensure that Henderson County provides services in a time of limited resources.
Chairman Moyer asked the citizens to call their Representatives and Senators and tell them what an outrageous situation this is and how unfair this is to put this burden on the backs of the county and the county citizens and ask them to carry the burden and blunt of the financial mismanagement that was done down in Raleigh. We have very limited ways that we can save money. This is not an acceptable situation and they=ve got to clean their act up down in Raleigh and get better financial management in place so that we don=t continue to make the county people suffer as this is going to do. If this situation continues next year, even close to the magnitude that has been indicated, it will be a terrible situation for the county with a possible 6 to 8 cent tax hike just to try to have the level of services that we currently have. Those in Raleigh should look at ways to cut spending rather than other ways to raise money.
There was much discussion. Chairman Moyer asked Mr. Nicholson to add to his list freezing of nonessential travel and training.
At this time, Mr. Nicholson distributed the AProposed FY 01-02 Budget Calendar@, stating that he=s not so sure that we don=t need to start on our budget process earlier this year and spend more time on it. There was some discussion of possibly requesting an extension on our budget adoption this year until after the State adopts theirs.
Chairman Moyer asked Mr. Nicholson to prepare for the Board a budget reconciliation, containing at least four columns on it for each revenue and expense item:
1. the original budgeted amount,
2. actual through the end of February or January 2001
3. the pro forma 12 months, where they=re expected to be
Mr. Nicholson stated that it would take a substantial amount of time to develop that document. He wouldn=t even be able to start it until about mid March. He can=t do it until he gets his departments projections. Chairman Moyer would rather have it without the department head input, more of a financial projection.
NORTH CAROLINA PARITY
A question that has come up numerous times in the Western North Carolina Managers= Meetings is AAre we getting shorted in Western North Carolina?@ Not only in money but also in representation are we getting shorted. They have taken on a project themselves to take a look at the major issues associated with representation as well as financial.
Parts of their Preliminary Study:
C Western N.C. population comparison to the State of N.C.
C Western N.C. representation on selected boards, committees and commissions in
comparison to overall population.
C Western N.C. statistics related to receiving grants
C General conclusions and recommendations
General Conclusions and Recommendations
The initial opinion of the committee reflected a pleasant surprise related to the overall numbers of the selected committees. They entered this effort believing there was a gross under representation of the Western area yet the numbers and statistical comparison was much better than anticipated.
However, for those committees/boards studied, they did identify some under representation that should be addressed. Also, there are many other advisory or policy making groups they did not specifically research.
C Suggest an on-going and systematic process to evaluate and monitor this representation and establish a procedure to make this information known through COG=s and City/County Managers.
C Suggest our elected leadership establish an informal committee to begin developing a leadership list of local public and private individuals who would be willing to volunteer their service on various boards/committees.
C Research and select three important National committees/commissions and focus efforts for Western North Carolina representation on these respective groups. A selected bi-partisan group to meet with congressional staff and explain the mission and ask for their suggestions. This action would increase awareness of the issue.
C Develop an Aelected official@ strategy for increased representation and involvement on respective county and municipal state association activities as well as the federal association (NACO/National League of Cities)
C Develop an inventory of needs along with a grouping of similar type projects. This could serve as the mutually agreed upon priority list for emphasis.
C Determine appropriate State or Federal funding sources.
C Develop an understanding of how to tap funds and strategy for doing so.
C Organize a meeting with Congressional staff to present our idea and ask for specific help to develop language and strategy to receive dollars as part of the on-going Federal budget process.
C A sub-committee of the managers could also be formed to undertake this effort and then systematically and persistently monitor the federal process so that we can be in position to either alert our colleagues at critical times as well as report to the overall group on progress.
C Establish a method to identify and coordinate communication of various groups within Western North Carolina.
Other General Recommendations
C Conduct a Western North Carolina AGrant Day@ to discuss and learn more about programs and how to receive funds
C The managers propose to their respective elected officials the need and idea for a Regional Western North Carolina conference organized by and led by elected officials to discuss the overall equity issue and the ideas suggested for implementation by the managers.
C The findings and recommendations in this report be presented to the COGs and discussed with the executive directors of the League of Municipalities and County Commissioners= Association.
David Nicholson distributed to the Board the AWestern North Carolina Preliminary Parity Report@ just for their information. No action was requested.
WATERLINE EXTENSIONS - City of Hendersonville
The Board was given a copy of a request for the review of a waterline extension by the City of Hendersonville to a new subdivision called McKinney Pointe. At the last Commissioners= meeting, the Board requested that staff develop a policy on waterline extensions.
Staff proposed to the Board a checklist of issues such as compliance with the Subdivision Ordinance, Manufactured Home Park Ordinance, Zoning Ordinance, and Land Use Plan. Included with the checklist were issues such as fire hydrant and water pressure. Staff was still seeking input from County Departments at the time this agenda was packed on any other issues that should be addressed within the checklist.
The checklist was presented at this meeting for McKinney Pointe. The Board reviewed the checklist presented and Chairman Moyer felt this was a reasonable way to keep the Board informed of these waterline extension requests. In the future, these can be placed on the Board=s consent agenda.
It was the consensus of the Board for Mr. Nicholson to submit this one for approval.
CDBG APPLICATION FOR REGENCY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATES, INC.
This item had been pulled from the agenda.
There was some discussion that staff was ready to go ahead with this item. Therefore, Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to amend the agenda by adding this item back to it. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Selena Coffey presented the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application for the Parkside Commons project. This project provides for the extension of sewer lines to the East Flat Rock School where Regency Development Associates, Inc., will convert the school to 25 first-class apartments for senior citizens. This project will not require any County funds.
A copy of an e-mail from Planning Director Karen Smith, regarding Regency Development Associates= application for a special use permit for this project, as well as a letter to the County Manager requesting the County=s support on this project were presented for the Board=s review.
David Nicholson stated that a letter of interest should be written on the County=s letterhead and forwarded to the North Carolina Division of Community Assistance (NCDCA) as Board support for the project. A draft had been provided by Regency Development Associates, Inc. and was provided for the Board=s review/approval. Ms. Coffey asked the Board to replace that letter with one she distributed, written to William McNeil, Director of NC Division of Community Assistance from Chairman Moyer. The letter would schedule a public hearing for March 12 in consideration of a Special Use Permit for the adaptive reuse of the historic East Flat Rock School as apartments for the elderly and a second public hearing for March 21.
County Attorney comments
Jennifer Jackson expressed concern that since there was a special use permit application pending which is to be conducted by this Board in a quasi-judicial fashion, she wanted the Board to have full opportunity to hear comments at that meeting and make a decision on the special use permit independent of any decisions that the Board might make on the grant application. All the developer requested at this point is to set the first public hearing under the CDBG grant process and that public hearing is only on the concept of the project. It is prior to any grant application being prepared. It is hoped that the second public hearing would be after the Board=s action on the special use permit. This letter does not bind the Board in any fashion.
Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to set the two public hearings, one for March 12 at 7:00 p.m. and the second on March 21 at 11:00 a.m. and authorize the Chairman to sign the proposed letter dated February 20 to Mr. William A. McNeil, Director of NC Division of Community Assistance. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
PARDEE HOSPITAL - Financial Report
This item had been pulled from the agenda.
INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
1. Nancy Weinhagen - Mrs. Weinhagen distributed her hand-out, a one page typed statement with attachments. She spoke on behalf of her husband who could not be here today, Charles Weinhagen, Chairman of CRAABS (County Residents Against Annexation by Saluda). She read AIt is the consensus of the County residents bordering the City of Saluda that the concern about annexation is not a dead issue despite recent statements made by the City of Saluda.@ Many Henderson and Polk County residents are concerned about the services they are currently getting and wish the City of Saluda to continue to contract these services as they do now.
It was the consensus of the Board for the Chairman to write the Mayor of Saluda and get something in writing from him.
Chairman Moyer called a 10 minute recess.
UPDATE ON I-26 - Citizens Information Session
Chairman Moyer informed the Board that the Governor has made some appointments to the Transportation Board and for Division 14 (us) he appointed Conrad Burrell of Sylva. He attended the I-26 hearing yesterday and spoke to many people. He seems to be very interested and promised he would come back and work with us on our problems. Chairman Moyer stated that he has been appointed but not confirmed.
Chairman Moyer attended the I-26 Citizens Information Workshop held yesterday at Hendersonville High School Cafeteria, 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. It appears the I-26 widening project is moving forward rapidly.
LGCCA meeting, held yesterday
Chairman Moyer attended the LGCCA meeting, which was held yesterday, right before the I-26 workshop. They heard a report from Mayor Niehoff with respect to where the Smart Growth Initiate stands. Commissioner Gordon attended the LGCCA meeting also. Mayor Niehoff distributed several lengthy documents which Chairman Moyer did not wish to summarize, but rather would share copies with each of the Commissioners. Chairman Moyer felt it was important for the Board of Commissioners to have their own discussion with respect to Smart Growth.
The next LGCCA meeting is scheduled for March 27 in the President=s Dining Room at Blue Ridge Community College at 3:00 p.m.
Commissioner Gordon added that a decision was made for the minutes, the records of the LGCCA meetings, to be housed at the County Office Building so they would have a centrally located permanent location. She stated it was a very interesting meeting. Mayor Niehoff participated firsthand in the Smart Growth Study.
WORK FIRST Amendment
Chairman Moyer stated that Henderson County submitted a plan as an electing county, they reviewed our plan and came back with one suggested change. Apparently one of our NC Statutory references in the appeal process was wrong (or they thought so) and they asked that it be changed. DSS has since prepared the plan with only that change of NC General Statute reference but once again, the Chairman needs to be authorized to sign the plan with the change.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the plan with the amendment. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
MILLS RIVER PARTNERSHIP WATERSHED PROTECTION IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
Chairman Moyer stated that they heard a report on this at the ABHWA meeting yesterday. In December of 1999, the Authority and the Mills River Partnership were awarded a $541,000 grant from the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund for this particular project. In order to ensure that the grant project was successfully completed, the Authority contracted with the Hendersonville Soil & Water Conservation District, the US Natural Resource Conservation Service and US Forest Service to perform and administer specific elements of the project. The project includes restoring buffers and stabilizing stream banks along the Mills River, implementing erosion control measures in the National Forest, developing a long-term strategic plan for protection of the Mills River Watershed and replacing and relocating up to eight agrochemical handing facilities. According to the grant, all of these projects had to be completed by March of 2002 for us to get the reimbursement. Significant progress has been made on all aspects of this project, particularly the erosion control measures and stabilizing the banks. The piece of the project that is in trouble is the eight agrochemical handling facilities. At the beginning of this project apparently those that leased or controlled the facilities indicated that they would go along with the project, one of them has and that is moving along well, but the person controlling the other seven has now indicated that he is not going to participate in the program and this will put in jeopardy the $541,000 grant monies. The Water Authority is concerned because the reason this money was obtained was a concern, if there was a flood or a problem there was a concern that some of the chemicals might get in the water source and as a protection it was determined it would be better to move these agrochemical handling facilities.
Chairman Moyer had mentioned this to Commissioner Ward earlier and he has been looking into this to see if there is anything the Board can do to help.
Commissioner Ward contacted Mr. Carter at the agency in charge of this this morning and they have selected a team of people to go out and talk to the farmer and explain to him the situation and how important this is to the County. There is now an Attorney involved who is counseling the farmer. Commissioner Ward feels that they may be able to compromise with the farmer.
David Nicholson reminded the Board that they had wanted to set up a Public Hearing on Road Names at this meeting. Following some discussion, Chairman Moyer made the motion to set that hearing for March 21 at 11:00 a.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
The Board still has an outstanding request from Buncombe County to meet with them.
The Board also set a special called meeting for a workshop on Land Use for March 7 at 3:00 p.m.
At approx. 11: 15 a.m., Chairman Moyer made the motion for the Board to go into Closed Session as allowed pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11 for the following reasons:
1. (a)(3) To consult with an attorney employed or retained by the public body in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege between the attorney and the public body, which privilege is hereby acknowledged. To consult with an attorney employed or retained by the public body in order to consider and give instructions to the attorney with respect to a claim.
2. (a)(4) To discuss matters relating to the location or expansion of industries or other businesses in the area served by the public body.
3. (a)(5) To establish, or to instruct the public body=s staff or negotiating agents concerning the position to be taken by or on behalf of the public body in negotiating (i) the price and other material terms of a contract or proposed contract for the acquisition of real property by purchase, option, exchange or lease.
4. (a)(6) To consider the qualifications, competence, performance, character, fitness, conditions of appointment, or conditions of initial employment of an individual public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee; or to hear or investigate a complaint, charge, or grievance by or against an individual public officer or employee.
All voted in favor and the motion carried.
made the motion for the Board to go out of Closed Session. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Action following Closed Session
There was none.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman