STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                          BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                             MARCH 12, 2001


The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 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 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, and County Engineer Gary Tweed. Amy Brantley, Volunteer Coordinator, was present through the Nominations.



Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.



Commissioner Messer led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.



David Nicholson gave the invocation.



Chairman Moyer asked to add to items under Discussion Items:

AB@ - Discussion of the Open Use District

AC@ - Widening of I-26


Commissioner Ward asked to add one item under Staff Reports, as AC@ - Solid Waste issue with the Schools.


Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the agenda as adjusted.  All voted in favor and the motion carried. 



Chairman Moyer asked to pull item AG@ - Property Addressing Report for some discussion.


Commissioner Hawkins asked to pull items AB@ - Tax Collector=s Report and AK@ - Waterline Extension.


Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the Consent Agenda, except for the three items pulled from it.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  The CONSENT AGENDA consisted of the following:


Minutes were presented for review and approval of the following meetings:

February 5, 2001, regular meeting

February 7, 2001, special called meeting

February 12, 2001, special called meeting

February 21, 2001, regular meeting


Sheriff=s Department - Sidearm Request

The Board had received a letter from Sheriff George H. Erwin, Jr., requesting that the Board authorize the sale of a service firearm to Deputy Greg Young.  In 1994, the Board approved a Service Sidearm Policy.  According to the Policy, the Board must establish a purchase price for the weapon.  The Sheriff had requested that the Board approve not charging this former employee due to a disability retirement.  This request was in accordance with the Board=s policy.


Offer to Purchase and Contract - 7 acres near Solid Waste Facility

The Board reviewed an Offer to Purchase and Contract for seven (7) unimproved acres located near the Henderson County Solid Waste Management Facility.  This property is for sale through the Corn Estate and the negotiated purchase price is $100,000.00.  The County Engineer was of the opinion that this property is needed for further operations at the Solid Waste Management Facility.  There are sufficient funds in the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund to cover the full cost of this purchase and Staff proposed that the funds be used for the purchase.


Should the Commissioners wish to purchase this land, the Board should consider adopting the prepared draft Resolution which approves the contract, authorizes the Chairman to sign it, and further authorizes the Chairman and Staff to take whatever action is necessary to consummate the sale pursuant to the contract.


The County Manager and the County Engineer both recommended that the Board adopt the Resolution as presented so that the County can purchase this property.


Henderson County Public Schools Financial Report - January 2001

The January 2001 financial report was submitted for information and consent approval.


Henderson County Financial Report - January 2001

The January 2001 financial report was submitted for information and consent approval.


A large percentage of the year to date deficit in the Emergency Communications (E911) Fund is due to the annual lease payment ($122,277.61) paid for Motorola equipment located in the E911 Communications Center.  This payment represents approximately four months of the 911 surcharge.  The timing of a large payment in mid-year and the receipt of monthly 911 revenues to date creates a deficit position in the fund that will correct itself by year-end.


Project to date expenditures on the Human Services Building Project will be reimbursed from proceeds of a financing arrangement expected to be secured in May of the current fiscal year.


Project to date expenditures on the New Balfour/Clear Creek and Etowah School Building Projects will be reimbursed from proceeds of the 2001 School COPs debt issue that closed on February 1, 2001.


Petitions for addition to state road system:

Staff had received and reviewed four road petitions for addition to the state maintenance system.  Three of the four were recommended for approval:

Masters Crest Drive, Golf Mountain Estates, Section II

Willow Ridge Drive, Willow Ridge Subdivision

Weeping Willow Circle, Willow Ridge Subdivision


Willow Lane was not recommended because the road does not meet NC DOT requirements.  There is only one house on the street.


It has been the practice of this Board to accept the road petitions and forward them to NC DOT for their consideration.  It has also been the practice of this Board not to recommend any changes in the priority list.


Detention Center Project Report

The project report for February 2001 was accepted and reviewed for information only.


Detention Center - Change Order

The Board reviewed a change order for the new Detention Center for a reduction of $18,000.  This deduction reflects a change in the video visitation requested by the Jail staff.  Staff recommended that the Board approve this change order.


Discussion of items pulled from the Consent Agenda:


AB@ - Tax Collector=s Report

Terry F. Lyda, had provided his report dated March 6, 2001 for the Board=s information.  Darlene Burgess, Deputy Tax Collector had provided her Delinquent Tax Collector=s Report dated March 5, 2001 for the Board=s information.


Commissioner Hawkins reminded the Board that back in 1997 the General Assembly set forth some parameters for AState Tax Refund, Local Government Debt Set Off Project@.  It is a process designed to allow county staff to collect delinquent taxes of persons who have State Tax Refunds due them.  Staff can collect from the State Tax Refund through a certain procedure.  Wake County and the NC Association of County Commissioners are working with a company out of South Carolina called Five Star Computing on this project.  They wanted to know if our county was interested in the project and if so that we might be able to get in on the ground floor.  Commissioner Hawkins had some literature on the project which he stated he would share with staff.   He asked staff to research this project and make a recommendation to the Board.


Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve item AB@- Tax Collector=s Report.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.

AG@ - Property Addressing Report

Curtis Griffin, Property Addressing Coordinator, had presented the Property Addressing Project Update, dated February 26, 2001, for the Board=s review.


Chairman Moyer had some concerns about some language in the report regarding the conversion of data. Rocky Hyder stated that the customization of any data in a database always presents a certain problem.  He was happy to report that they have completed the conversion of the customized data at this time but it took more man-hours and more time to convert our current data because it was customized into a format that could be used by any other Geographic Information Service.  Mr. Hyder assured Chairman Moyer that this will not affect the time table nor the cost of the project. This project will still be completed by December.


Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve item AG@ - Property Addressing Report.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


AK@ - Waterline Extension

The City of Hendersonville had requested any County comments on a proposed waterline extension in the Kenmure Subdivision, Phase V, Portion IV. 


Commissioner Hawkins raised some questions concerning the fire protection/hydrants for this area.

He stated his reluctance to approve this since fire protection would not be included in the project. Because there will not be adequate fire hydrants this could be an added problem for the volunteer fire departments.


Commissioner Hawkins made the motion that this Board notify City Council that the Board of Commissioners is not in favor of this because of the above listed reason.


Rocky Hyder stated that this would certainly present a challenge for the fire department to provide coverage in this area.  The insurance rates will not be affected in this area because Blue Ridge Fire Department is rated based on portable water supply.  He stated that the biggest problem at this time is a storage tank issue that they haven=t installed yet and until they do, even with proper hydrants, they couldn=t flow enough water for the hydrant to be of use to the fire department. 


Karen Smith stated that this has been an on-going problem with Kenmure. 

Staff had recommended approval of the extension subject to the details of the water tank and appliances being provided to the Fire Marshal=s Office for review.


Chairman Moyer asked Commissioner Hawkins if he would be satisfied with the above staff recommendation that the Board approve the extension subject to getting the details of the water tank and appliances being provided to the Fire Marshal=s Office for review.  Mr. Hyder cannot evaluate until the tank is installed and appliances provided.


Following some discussion, Commissioner Hawkins withdrew his motion.  This item will be placed on the Board=s next agenda and in the meantime staff will notify City Council/Staff and ask for more information to bring back to the Board at the March 21 meeting.


Notification of Vacancies

The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear under ANominations@ on the next agenda:


1. Juvenile Crime Prevention Council - 3 vac.

2. Metropolitan Sewerage District - 1 vac.


Chairman Moyer stated that we really don=t have a vacancy on the MSD Board but rather an ex-officio position on the MSD Planning Committee.


David Nicholson stated that Gary Tweed attends all the Planning meetings for MSD.  The Board could appoint him as their representative on the Planning Committee or could appoint a Commissioner if they wish. Chairman Moyer nominated Commissioner Gordon to fill this position.  This was held open until the next meeting for any additional nominees.



Chairman Moyer reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations: 


1. Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 4 vac.

Chairman Moyer nominated Reva McClure to fill position # 23. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Commissioner Gordon nominated J. Elaine Seiden to fill Joy Davenport=s position, upon Joy Davenports move from position #12 to position #7. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Commissioner Hawkins nominated Pat Jurima for reappointment to position # 22. 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. Equalization and Review - 1 vac.

There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.


5. Retired Senior Volunteer Program Advisory Council - 1 vac.

There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.


6. Transportation Advisory Committee - 1 vac.Chairman Moyer nominated Javonni Burchett to fill this vacancy created when Rochelle Miller left WCCA.  Javonni Burchett has been hired to replace Rochelle Miller.  Commissioner Ward made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Ms. Burchett.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


7. Henderson County Planning Board - 4 vac.

Commissioner Hawkins nominated Todd Thompson and Jack Beatty.

Commissioner Ward nominated Sherry Johnson.

Commissioner Gordon nominated Dean Bonessi.

Commissioner Hawkins nominated Walter Carpenter.

Chairman Moyer nominated Chuck McGrady.

This was rolled to the next meeting.  There may be additional nominees.


Chairman Moyer asked Amy Brantley to work with the County Manager and devise a way to inform the Board of the attendance record of the persons whose terms are expiring.


8. Solid Waste Advisory Committee - 4 vac.

Chairman Moyer nominated James Hutchison.

Commissioner Ward nominated Charlie Walker.

Commissioner Ward made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Mr. Hutchison and Mr. Walker.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  Two vacancies remain.


Commissioner Charlie Messer - Announcement

Commissioner Messer reminded the Board that at one of the meetings last month the Board voted to add three additional members to the TREND Board, two from Henderson County and one from Brevard.  Transylvania County has appointed their person and Commissioner Messer announced that he will be appointing Renee Kumor for one of our two appointees.



Mose Highsmith, Staff Attorney for the Sheriff=s Department, requested that the Board consider amending its Noise Ordinance.  The Noise Ordinance, now codified as Chapter 125 of the Henderson County Code, was submitted for the Board=s review.


The proposed amendment is to Section 125-7(7) which exempts school and camp activity from many of the noise ordinance provisions.  The amendment would modify Section 125-7(7) to prohibit schools and camps from using electronically amplified sounds and acts during nighttime hours (11 p.m. to 7 a.m.).  The Sheriff=s Department has received a number of complaints, especially from neighbors living near some of our summer camps.


Following discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to set a Public Hearing on this item even though one is not required.  The Board will set a date under AImportant Dates@.



David Nicholson informed the Board that the Town of Fletcher is considering annexing into its municipal boundaries the property on which Continental Teves, formerly ITT, is located.  In accordance with North Carolina=s annexation laws, Fletcher has delivered to the Clerk to the Henderson County Board of Commissioners a statement showing how the proposed annexation will affect the Town=s finances and services, including the estimates on the changes in the Town=s revenues resulting from the annexation.  That statement and the applicable Annexation Service Plan dated December 7, 2000 were submitted for the Board=s review.


The Town Clerk delivered this statement to Mrs. Corn on February 21, 2001, and in so doing met the Town=s obligation to deliver the information at least 30 days prior to the required public informational session which is scheduled for April 3, 2001 at 6:00 p.m.  A public hearing will be held by the Town on the proposed annexation on April 17, 2001, at 6:00 p.m.


David Nicholson expressed concern over this proposed annexation because it could have an effect on the recruitment of future industries in Broadpointe Business Park and surrounding areas.  The annexation of Continental Teves by the Town of Fletcher will cause us to be at an economic disadvantage when competing with other communities across the country.  He understands that cities have almost unlimited power when it comes to annexation; however, in this case, he requested that the Board consider corresponding with the Town Council requesting them not to annex this Business Park or any part of it.


Following considerable discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to consider having a joint meeting with Fletcher Town Council to discuss this as well as other items of mutual interest.


Commissioner Hawkins will work with Chairman Moyer in drafting a letter to Fletcher Town Council concerning this.



There were none.



Commissioner Hawkins made the motion that the Board go into Closed Session as allowed pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11 for the following reasons:


1.(a)(4)            To discuss matters relating to the location or expansion of industries or

other businesses in the area served by the public body.


2.(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, or (ii) the amount of compensation and other material terms of an

employment contract or proposed employment contract.


All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Chairman Moyer made the motion for the Board to go out of Closed Session.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Applications for a Special Use Permit and Variance for an R-A Residential Apartment Development   Application #SP-01-02 by Regency Development Associates, Inc.

At approximately 7:00 p.m., Chairman Moyer explained how the proceeding would be handled for those in attendance. He then identified the parties to the proceeding:


Petitioner, Mr. Todd

County Staff, Karen C. Smith

Candy Bounds, neighbor to the proposed development (212 Jones Street, East Flat Rock)

Evelyn Nichols, witness for petitioner


It was the consensus of the Board to allow the above four persons. The three parties to the proceeding and the one witness were sworn in by the Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners.


Chairman Moyer stated that the application has two parts, application for a Special Use Permit and a Variance, and asked if that was still what was before the Board at this time.


Mr. Todd - AThank you, Mr. Moyer, ladies and gentlemen.  The special use permit is still on the table.  We respectfully request that we be allowed to withdraw the variance request.  We have studied the problem and much to our delight, we have found that we can fit the other eleven parking spaces plus one so instead of 26 we would like to propose, provide 38 spaces and during the special use hearing I=ll be happy to demonstrate where they could go.@


Chairman Moyer - AAlright, thank you.@


Mr. Todd - AThank you.@


Chairman Moyer - ANow, County Attorney, can we take action to approve that withdrawal now or is that part of the findings we come up with at the end.  Which way do you want to do that?@


Jennifer Jackson - AI don=t think it makes any difference.  If the petitioner asks that it be withdrawn I don=t see any reason why it should not be.@


Chairman Moyer - AAlright, if we all agree to withdraw that so we=ll get no testimony or any action with respect to ...@


Commissioner Hawkins - ASo, let me just be sure.  You indicated that you were actually going to put the required 38 there. OK.@


Chairman Moyer - AAlright.@


Commissioner Gordon - AI=m not sure what our ability would be here but I guess my concern would be would that change the landscaping then, is that the way that would be created or how would we be developing this space?@


Jennifer Jackson - AI think that that=s something that Mr. Todd will address as he gets into his application for a special use permit.@


Commissioner Gordon - AOK@


Chairman Moyer - AAnd we=ll still be hearing that but we won=t be taking any action on the variance.  The variance piece of it has been withdrawn and I move that we accept the applicant=s request to withdraw the variance part of this.  All in favor say aye.@


In unison AAye@


Chairman Moyer - ASo we will not be dealing with the variance.  We will then proceed to introductory remarks from Karen Smith from the staff.@


Karen Smith - AGood evening Mr. Chairman and members of the Board.  As Mr. Moyer stated of the hearing, this is for a special use permit for a residential apartment development.  The special use permit would allow Regency Development Associates Inc., the applicant or the developer if you will, to convert and rehabilitate the existing buildings at the old East Flat Rock Elementary School into use for 25 apartments.  The subject property is currently owned by the Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina, contains 1.7 acres and is located between Blue Ridge Road and Jones Street in East Flat Rock.  The property is zoned C-2P (Preservation Neighborhood Commercial) by the County and as a result of some zoning amendments that the Board of Commissioners passed on February 5, 2001, R-A Developments are allowed as a special use in the C-2P.


On January 30, the County Planning Board reviewed the application for the R-A development and voted to send the Board of Commissioners a favorable recommendation and as of previous hearings on special use permits I=ll present that specific recommendation to you after the petitioner has had a chance to review the application with you.  In accordance with Sections 200-56D and 200-70A(2) of the Zoning Ordinance the Board of Commissioners have to make specific findings, general findings of fact in order to grant a special use permit and you can also impose conditions on the permit so that the use will conform with the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.  You also will be reviewing the Zoning Ordinance to see if any other specific conditions would apply, if they=d be applicable and those would be in regard to egress and ingress, parking, loading, utilities, buffering, playgrounds, open spaces, yards, access ways and pedestrian ways and buildings and structures in regard to location, size, and use.


Tonight=s hearing has been advertized in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance.  We did publish notices in the newspaper, post the property, and mail notices to adjoining property owners and actually we went a little bit beyond that to several that are just beyond the immediate adjacent property owners.  Does the Board have any questions of me at this time?@


Chairman Moyer - AThank you.  No we don=t have any questions.  We=ll move into the evidence and then there may be some questions.  Mr. Todd, would you proceed with the petitioner=s evidence please.@


Mr. Todd - AYes, thank you very much. Thank you again, my name is Rex Todd. I=m Vice-President of Historic Properties for Regency Development Associates, Inc.  Our base is in Raleigh, North Carolina. What I=m showing you here is a thumbnail, these are three actually of the ten projects that we=ve done like the East Flat Rock School, the top one being a colonial manor in Warrenton which was a former hotel that was a centerpiece in the community and fell in disrepair.  The upper left hand corner above the two people is what the lobby looked like now, it=s a first-class renovation.  These two people, if I might step out, this is Janice Stephenson and her granddaughter Tara.  Janice is an elected official in the town of Garner.  She lives right here in her eighth grade classroom in what used to be historic Garner High School.  It looked like this before.  This looks very much like what East Flat Rock looks like on the inside except you have more water damage and this is what the auditorium looks like now.@


David Nicholson - AYou need to be using the mike. You can pick it up and carry it.@


Mr. Todd - AHigh-tech.  OK, thank you, Mr. Nicholson.  The auditorium is something that the Town owns.  This is private property.  There=s a property line running through the building, public/private partnership.  This is about a, it went from an $84,000 demolition project to a $2.5 million tax base increment.  The Town has now put about $115,000 in the lobby and they passed a $25 million bond referendum, $1.2 million of which will go into this auditorium to put a second story fly space etc. My point there is the catalytic impact of investing in affordable housing through historic preservation is really working well in Garner.  This was a storefront in Smithfield.  The apartment store was cored out initially and all the apartments come out on the balcony so there=s some creative things that can be done.  In the East Flat Rock project we are proposing to convert every square foot to apartments.  We are looking at 19 one-bedroom apartments in the main building plus six two-bedroom apartments.  In your package there=s a site plan which is at the heart of the matter.  You=re familiar with the rezoning which we appreciate that puts historic preservation back in the running.  I=m just flipping over.  There is an exhibit that looks like this in your package from Braxton Manor which shows the interior of the apartments that we did in Siler City.  This building set vacant for twenty years and we call it first-class apartments for senior citizens.  The next two pages show the, or the next page shows our one-bedroom apartment.  The page I=m going to is actually the fold-out extension of the site plan and you=ll see the existing building, the two-story main classroom building with the one-story addition to the main classroom building and then the existing one-story building that parallels Jones Street.  We have proposed 25 apartments, we are proposing one per apartment which gives us 26 as shown in your package and tonight by removing the variance request, we=re adding 12 more, right across in front of the other parking so it will be double loaded bay, if you will and we will, you=ll see the landscape island between, if you come over one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, you=ll see a landscaped island and that same treatment will be continued on the other side so we will, we have a drawing which we have submitted to Mrs. Smith that shows the typical additional landscaping which is in conformance with the Ordinance.  There are no changes off-site.  I believe we=ve met all the criteria of the Ordinance in terms of screening of the dumpster, landscaping, parking, and other issues that were of concern to the staff and to the Planning Board. The second sheet of our submission is labeled SD-2.  It shows a prototypical type monument sign.  It says Parkside Commons on it.  Our sign might not be exactly like that.  It will be a monument sign, trying to appreciate the fact that the beautiful park is next door, beside the building, we called it Parkside Commons, it simply comes from large common use open area concept.  And I=m proud to bring that name to East Flat Rock because this is Old School Commons in Garner so some transition there for me personally.  This is to provide affordable housing for senior citizens.  We will, we have applied for, in the initial round, for low income housing tax credits.  The building has been on the State Study list as a historic property for some years, since 1993 I believe and it is now being reviewed for part I nomination to the National Register of Historic Places which would bring historic tax credits to it.  The main entrance into the property would be from the side near the one-story building.  Of course, we do anticipate that access, people would come and go from the park side as well but our official submission shows both ingress and egress from the upper end, near the intersection of Blue Ridge and Jones Street.  We=re excited about the project.  Preservation North Carolina has been trying to work on this for years, I know people in your community have for at least 10 years and we think that it=s time has come and we appreciate being here.  We=ll answer any questions.@


Commissioner Hawkins - AMr. Todd, you said that your primary ingress and egress was I guess at Blue Ridge and Jones, kind of in the corner up there, is that what you have planned?@


Mr. Todd - AYes sir, you=ll see in your package as you come in that upper entrance, you=ll see two way access.@


Commissioner Hawkins - AOK, I see it, I=m sorry, I see it now.  Does that area have City water and sewer?@


Mr. Todd - ANo, it does not. And our second public hearing tonight will be a proposal to ask the Commissioners to allow us, actually to have you on the project=s behalf apply to the Division of Community Assistance for a Community Development Block Grant at no cost to you to extend sewer to the City of Hendersonville Sewer System.@


Commissioner Hawkins - AOK@


Chairman Moyer - AAny other Commissioners have questions at this time.  You=ll have a chance later. Karen, do you want to ask any questions at this time?  Let=s see.  Ms Bounds, do you have any questions that you want to ask at this time?@


Candy Bounds - AYes I would like to@


Chairman Moyer - AWould you come forward please.  This is a chance to ask him questions.  You will get your chance to make your statement later.  This is just questions on what Mr. Todd@


Candy Bounds - AI just wanted him to point out where he was talking about the entrances and exits of the property.@


Chairman Moyer - AAlright.  Can you, I guess kinda tell, that map is way over there but@


Mr. Todd - AI can show her right here. Right here there=s an in and an out arrow.  This is #174 here.


Chairman Moyer - A#176.@


Mr. Todd - A#176, I=m sorry.  And you come in to the park.  The park is down here.@


Candy Bounds - ASo you won=t be using this exit at all?@


Mr. Todd - AWell, no we will.  That would be.  Right here=s our dumpster and this would just be for  I know that=s been barricaded for some time and the citizens that have worked on saving the school are looking at having that reopened.  That would only be to service the project because otherwise there=s no, even if we come in here for, you know visitor parking or resident parking, there=d be no way to service the ... except through that entrance@


Chairman Moyer - ABut it would be access for the units.  It=s hard to imagine that anybody=d come around the back and come in that to get to@


Candy Bounds - ABut if they open that up the community will be using that to get to the park.@


Mr. Todd - AWell the primary entrance to the park would still be here so we could just, and if that stayed close we could you know service it by coming in here anyway, if that, you know if that remained closed.@


Chairman Moyer - AAny other questions, Ms. Bounds at this time.@


Candy Bounds - ANo@


Chairman Moyer - AOK, thank you.  Alright I think we=ll move.  Karen you ready to present your@


Commissioner Ward - AMr. Moyer, may, I have a question.@


Chairman Moyer - AMr. Ward@


Commissioner Ward - AIs any or all the deed restrictions been satisfied on this property?@


Mr. Todd - ADeed restrictions are a private matter and we ... which are not affected by zoning.  So we have not addressed them.  We don=t know of any. A


Commissioner Ward - AYou=re not aware of any deed restrictions?@


Mr. Todd - ANo sir.@


Commissioner Ward - AOK@


Mr. Todd - AThey are privately enforced and we have, in our research have not discovered any.@


Several people talking ...

Karen Smith - AWhat I=ve just handed out puts in writing the Planning Board=s recommendation and I can go over it briefly just so that you know what they said.  I=m not going to read it basically because Mr. Todd=s revised plan that was submitted and which is in your packet pretty much satisfies the conditions that the Planning Board had.  Let me point out the Planning Board did vote seven to zero to send the Board of Commissioners a favorable recommendation, provided that certain conditions were satisfied, the first had to do with landscaping.  The Planning Board wanted to see more details and those details were provided to you on the second page of the site plan that Mr. Todd submitted.  Screening - the Planning Board wanted to make sure that the buffer strip that was going to be provided along Jones Street actually met the Zoning Ordinance definition for buffer strip and again the revised site plan did show that buffer as meeting the definition of buffer strip.  Location and use of structures - At the time when the Planning Board reviewed it the application materials referenced a gazebo.  One is not shown on the site plan.  Also they asked about how many dwelling units would be in each building and where the office would be located and again the revised site plan satisfies that condition.  The fourth condition had to do with approval of text amendments which the Board of Commissioners did do on February 5 and the final condition had to do with the parking in the event that a variance be granted or obtained or that the developer meet the ordinance standard and again, as of tonight, that appears to be met.  I have given you the Planning Board=s minutes from the January 30 meeting of 2001 for reference. 


I did have a couple of other comments to add to that.@


Chairman Moyer - ABefore you do that Karen@


Karen Smith - ASure@


Chairman Moyer - AMs. Bounds, do you have a copy of this.  Did you get a copy of@


Karen Smith - AI just handed back to all the parties and witnesses, yes. My comment=s basically that the conditions one through five have been satisfied and now I did want to ask the Board to consider adding a condition regarding when the site improvements would need to be completed, that would mean installation of the buffer and the landscaping, the construction of the gazebo and the screening of the dumpster and I have suggested that you ask that those be completed prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy by the Inspections Department.  The only other comments that I wanted to make just had to do with the project itself.  I did tell the Planning Board that I felt like the project had many advantages for the community, it helps fill a need for housing, rehabilitates a deteriorating structure that=s become an eyesore, it=ll preserve the historical character of the East Flat Rock School Buildings also. And the location of the project next to the park would have some benefits for the residents of the project and I=ve included a quote in there, and again that would be heresay I suppose if I tell you what it is but the County Recreation Director, Rick Harris, did say that he thought that the project would be a perfect community match so basically since the conditions have been satisfied as far as the Planning Board was concerned, the only condition I would ask for is regarding the timeframe on the improvements.@


Chairman Moyer - ASince Karen summarized this, if Mr. Todd or Ms. Bounds have no objection I would just ask that this be completed, concluded in the record, this March 12 memorandum.  Is that alright?  OK, so we=ll have that as part of the record.  Commissioners have any questions for Karen at this time?@


Jennifer Jackson - AMr. Chairman, I do, if you don=t mind.  Karen do you have a copy of the revised plan that Mr. Todd was referring to with the parking spaces denoted on them.@


Karen Smith - AMr. Todd did fax me a copy of it and I=ve, I looked at the one he brought with him tonight.  It is a portion of the plan but I=m sure that the full sized plan would be available also and I can put that up on the monitor if you like, just to see those new parking spaces.@


Chairman Moyer - AWell then why don=t we include that in the record also, the sketch he has so far and then you can add to it the full complete sketch when he has it so it=s part of the record, alright?@


Karen Smith - ACertainly.@


Chairman Moyer - AJennifer, any other questions?@


Jennifer Jackson - ANo sir, not at this time.@


Chairman Moyer - AAny other Commissioners have.  Mr. Todd, do you have any questions for Karen?@


Mr. Todd - ANo sir.@


Chairman Moyer - AMs. Bounds, do you have any questions for.  Alright Ms. Bounds now would be the time for you to come up and make any statement that you would like as a party.@


Candy Bounds - AI originally came here because I was worried and questioned the parking for the building and Mr. Todd has completely explained it and I am satisfied with that.  However, now it=s been brought up, I am extremely concerned about the opening up of that rear exit that is there on the corner of Jones Street.  It=s an extremely narrow road, it=s a dead-end.  Only the residents use it at this time that live on that stretch.  It=s so narrow it doesn=t even have painted lines.  I do worry about increased traffic.  It=s a community that has several children.  Children walk up and play on the street even and I do think that that=s gonna cause a problem for all the residents that live down that stretch of road.@


Chairman Moyer - AAnd would you just stay there.  Mr. Todd, do you have any questions of Ms. Bounds? Just questions now, not statements?@


Mr. Todd - ANo I don=t.@


Chairman Moyer - AKaren, do you have any?  Alright.  Does the Board have any? Would you like to make any kind of statement, Mr. Todd, I=ll let you with respect to that since she=s raised this issue.@


Mr. Todd - AYes sir.@


Chairman Moyer - AMs. Bounds you can stay here till@


Mr. Todd - AFirst and foremost we, well its right at the top of the list, we would to be a good neighbor.  We really believe in the project enhancing the neighborhood.  If we could work something  out so that that dumpster in the rear, you know could be serviced by using the main entrance to the park, we=d have no objection to that rear entrance being, remaining closed, as long as it satisfied the wishes of EMS and the Fire Department.@


Chairman Moyer - ACouldn=t you put some type of lock on there that would enable your, to get the people in for the dumpster and emergency people when necessary without having it open all the time?@


Mr. Todd - AI believe we could do that.@


Commissioner Hawkins - AOr could you just open it on the day the trash guy comes by?@


Mr. Todd - AWe=d probably just give the trash guy a key.  If that would satisfy her, I=m just trying to work with her at this point.@


Commissioner Gordon - AWell I think@


Chairman Moyer - ACommissioner Gordon@


Commissioner Gordon - AI don=t have the full plan here.  We=re looking I guess at maybe an older plan for the park but I know the map that the Mountain Bank is sponsoring is going back in that area that is accessed by Jones Street and before we make a decision not to open that up I think we need to consider the traffic will I=m sure increase on Jones Street.@


Chairman Moyer - AThat=s not the entrance he=s@


Commissioner Gordon - ANo, but what I=m thinking is if that were opened up, people could go in that main entrance to the park and go through couldn=t they? And then go back to there without having to go on Jones Street?@


Candy Bounds - ANo.  They=d have to go onto Jones Street to get to that.@


Commissioner Ward - ALet me bring this up.  I served on the Recreation Board when we closed this off.  There were several times where there was kids where the parking area was and there was cars that went extremely fast through that neighborhood and at that time we made the decision to close it off for a safety factor because at one time we were out reviewing the park and there was a car that sped through the parking lot at that given time, just throwing rocks cause it=s a gravel parking lot.  And it is a safety concern, especially when we have an abundant amount of kids over there during the week at any given time and the playground is right off those steps and you know how kids are, they=ll wander and I=d just rather save one kid=s life by keeping that gate closed or finding another situation or a remedy to the dumpster or EMS=s situation.@


Chairman Moyer - AJennifer, did you have.  I=m sorry, David?@


David Nicholson - ANo@


Chairman Moyer - AJennifer?@


Jennifer Jackson - AMr. Chairman, Ms. Smith just pointed out to me that actually the entrance off of Jones Street is actually not on, I don=t believe it=s on property that the developer owns.  That actually is county property fitting in with the park.@


Chairman Moyer - AOh, that=s on the park property.@


Commissioner Ward - AYeh, that=s why I was.  That=s why we put the gate up.@


Chairman Moyer - AOh. So then we can make the decision, not Mr. Todd as to what we can work out.  We=ll take that under consideration.  I think we have to consider Commissioner Gordon=s comment about the access back to the map and everything.  But we certainly appreciate your concern and we will take that into consideration. Are there any further questions for any of the parties.  Do you wish to put on any rebuttal testimony, Mr. Todd, or anything further?@


Mr. Todd - AWell I guess since the pandora=s box has been at least cracked, we would like to work with you about access to the rear of the building from the main park entrance.@


Chairman Moyer - AOK@


Mr. Todd - AYou know just for, if you decide to leave that gate closed that=s fine with us as long as we can service@


Chairman Moyer - AI think we recognize your interest and will deal with that as a separate issue.  We=ll take that into consideration.@


Mr. Todd - AThank you, Mr. Moyer@


Chairman Moyer - AOK. So I gather there is no further evidence to be.@


Jennifer Jackson - ADoes Mr. Todd wish to call the one witness?@


Chairman Moyer - AOh, I=m sorry. Thank you. You have a witness we swore in.  Would you like to call your witness which is Evelyn Nichols?  We almost missed you, I=m sorry.  I know you=d never have forgiven me if I=d@


Too many people speaking ...

Evelyn Nichols - AYes, I=m Evelyn Nichols and I am from the East Flat Rock community and I would like to say for over 100 years this has been the center of the East Flat Rock community and for the past ten years we have been working diligently to have something very productive in there and from the very beginning we were the ones from the East Flat Rock Community Center that had it designated historical and we were from the beginning, thought the project, elderly housing would be a perfect match for our park and would fill a much need in Henderson County.  One of the things I=d like to say is that in working with Regency, I also have had family in Garner who lived in East Flat Rock and moved to Garner and it has been a tremendous success down there.  I=ve checked them out because I=m, this is a crucial step to turn over to somebody and they get raving reviews.  I wholeheartedly endorse this project and the Community Club has worked very hard and they want you to do whatever possible to help this man.  That=s all I have to say.  Thank you.@


Chairman Moyer - AThank you.  Any questions for the witness?  Alright, we=ll move to closing remarks.  Mr. Todd you have first opportunity if you.  These can be waived.  You don=t have to make any closing remarks unless there=s something you=d like to add.  But you do get the opportunity.@


Mr. Todd - AThank you I=ll waive it.@


Chairman Moyer - AAlright.  Karen, do you have any closing remarks?  Ms. Bounds, do you have any closing remarks?  OK.   Then I assume all the parties have waived their right to make closing remarks and now appropriate for the Board to have any discussion that they would like to have at this time.  I think as you all know from before, we don=t have to vote today.  We don=t have to make a decision.  Can have discussion.  We can ask staff to bring back findings of fact and conclusions.  We can make a decision tonight and ask staff to bring back findings of fact and we review those and the conclusions.  I think that normally, it works the best, to give them a chance to formulate our thinking and put it into it since it=s gotta be in the format of a legal decision with findings of fact and conclusions of law.  Well, lets move into any discussion.  Does anybody want to kick it off?@


Commissioner Hawkins - AI, maybe just a couple of comments and I guess the reason I asked the questions on the utilities, is because that apparently is one of the findings that the Board needed to make.  I wasn=t aware that, from just what we had to read here that the CDBG Grant Block, concerned the sewer out there so I guess the question I ponder is how we might be able to address that issue as far as a finding where we=re looking at, according to the ordinance, I guess in 200-70A that talked about utilities and lists some other things, of course buffering and the other things that have been made apparent, you know from the hearings and I don=t know how, since we hadn=t done this that how we=d address the utilities side?  I=d ask that@


Chairman Moyer - AWe probably should have clarified that.  We can, I can, Mr. Todd can verify this if necessary but I think the answer to it is they=re going to go ahead with the project and get the water and sewer to the project in some fashion.  They=re gonna come and ask for us to help with the Community Development Block Grant but that=s not a condition to moving forward.  Mr. Todd, is that a correct statement?@


Mr. Todd - AYes sir.  We=re in competition for tax credits which the final application will be April 26.  We won=t know if we have the funding until August.@




Mr. Todd - ASo we.  There=s two things, one there=s a point system and there=s@


Chairman Moyer - AI think you need to move over to the microphone, I=m sorry, Mr. Todd.@


Mr. Todd - AI should have listened before.  We are in competition State-wide for the housing tax credits and the historic tax credits.  We will apply for the housing tax credits April 26 or 27 rather.  We won=t know if we=ve won, if you=ve won until August, in the first part of August.  If so, there=s a point system with which we=re trying to gain points and also the issue of financial feasibility.  Of course, if we, if you help us submit a block grant and let the State provide the infrastructure, that makes our, that makes Henderson County=s application much more competitive and much more financially feasible.  We=re trying to do both things, OK.  But we will, we want to proceed anyway.@


Commissioner Hawkins - AOK that, and I guess that was the point I wanted to hear for the record because the second public hearing that we had for the grant didn=t say what it was for and so that=s the reason I ask you the question about the utilities but you=ve clarified that to the point where the utilities are going to be addressed in your project regardless of the grant money so I just needed to clarify that for myself I guess.@


Mr. Todd - AOK.@


Karen Smith - AI was going to add just a little bit of clarification.  Earlier I think when he said, he answered your question about the utilities, he was referring to the sewer.  There is public water already there.@


Commissioner Hawkins - AOK. Alright, thank you.@


Chairman Moyer - AI think this as you=ve heard from at least one of the witnesses, it=s obviously a very good project for the community and I think we ought to move forward and approve the special use permit and ask staff to come up with finding of facts based on the record and conclusions of law that are necessary and appropriate.  Jennifer, you can ask any questions of us you need to help formulate those but that=s where I would be.  Commissioner Ward?@


Commissioner Ward - AYeh, I=m the same way.  I think it=s a good fit for East Flat Rock and the park, especially, the main concern is the gate. I=d be willing to work with the applicant in any way on their dumpster or any other requirements for EMS or Sheriff=s Department or whatever it is, I=m assuming the Legal Department will draw up any standard contract or agreement that will be satisfactory with both parties.  But the gate would be my main thing on safety.@


Chairman Moyer - AI think that after we approve their work on it, take a vote on the application, then I think it would be appropriate to ask staff to work with the residents on the street and the developer and staff to come back to us with a recommendation as to how they could handle the gate situation.  But I think we=ll do that separately.@


Commissioner Ward - AUh, that would be good, Mr. Chair, but I think, for the record the gate is county property and the gate=s been brought up and I think that it should be part of the record that some kind of agreement can be worked out.@


Chairman Moyer - AWell, OK, we can put that in as a finding of fact.  Commissioner Gordon, do you wish to make any comments?@


Commissioner Gordon - ANo, I think it=s an excellent project and I want us to do everything we can to expedite its completion and not hold things up and I think we certainly can work out something that would be satisfactory on the gate issue.  I do think the point that was made about Jones Street is something that=s separate and apart from this as the park continues to develop and that map is completed there may need to be a look taken at Jones Street because it may not be adequate for the  ...@


Chairman Moyer - ABallfields back there ... ongoing problem@


Commissioner Gordon - AYeh, it=s something we really need to factor in but I=m impressed with what has been accomplished so far and the scope of the plan and I=d like to see it done.  I don=t see anything here that would, is not in compliance with the zoning that would be a factor in turning this down.  I think it seems to fully comply.@


Chairman Moyer - ACommissioner Messer, do you wish to make any comments?@


Commissioner Messer - ANo, I also agree with the Commission.  By the way Mr. Todd we have another, or going to have another building open in the northern part of the county sometime soon. I=m sure that a lot of people would like to see a project like this.@


Chairman Moyer - AJennifer, do we, do you want to?@


Commissioner Hawkins - AI think it=s a great project too.@


Chairman Moyer - AWell, I=m sorry.@


Commissioner Gordon - AI have a question that I=m dying to ask and this is, it has nothing to do with the decision we make but the landscaping that is on the plat and the buffering, is that going to work for the project and I=m thinking in terms of security and compatibility with the park and I know you=ve gone with what=s in the zoning ordinance but this is just for future reference as we go into our zoning.@

Mr. Todd - AUh, yes mam.  Our architectural firm, who does all of our historic adaptor reuses, is very sensitive to that community impact from a landscaping standpoint so we think it will be very compatible and work well with the park.@


Commissioner Gordon - AOK, good.@


Chairman Moyer - AAnd then I would move that we draw up finding of facts and conclusions of law in support of approving the application for the special use permit for the RA Residential Apartment Development as proposed in the application. Do you need anything further in the motion?@


Jennifer Jackson - AI don=t believe so at this point, at this point we will endeavor to get something back before you at your 21st@


Chairman Moyer - ANext meeting@


Jennifer Jackson - AUm huh@


Chairman Moyer - AAll in favor of that motion say aye.@


In unison - AAye@ and none opposed.


Chairman Moyer - AOK, it passes unanimously.  Thank you very much.  We very much appreciate your effort in that building.@


Commissioner Hawkins made the motion for the Board to go out of public hearing.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Chairman Moyer called a brief technical recess to change videotapes.


PUBLIC HEARING - Applications for Community Development Block Grant

Commissioner Ward made the motion to go into Public Hearing for the application for the Community Development Block Grant.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Selena Coffey reminded the Board that Regency Development Associates, Inc. requested that  Henderson County apply for a North Carolina Small Cities Community Development Block Grant on their behalf.  This public hearing is on the proposed grant.   The notice of public hearing was published on March 2, which meets the requirements for adequate timing of public hearing notices. The Board has been approached by Regency Development Associates, Inc. regarding tax credit application for CDBG grant and has heard the information regarding this grant in the previous public hearing. 


Ms. Coffey explained that this public hearing was held to allow for citizen participation in the planning process for the CDBG application.  The purpose of the public hearing was to allow citizens to express views and proposals prior to formulation of the application by Regency Development Associates, Inc.  A second public hearing will be held after Regency has prepared its CDBG application.  No action was requested, except for allowing citizen input.


Mr. Rex Todd explained that the project as approved in the special use permit does not have sewer.  They are allowed to apply up to $4,500 per unit x 25 units or $112,500 maximum CDBG application. They are obtaining a preliminary engineering study now and that will be done in detail.  They would like to come back for a second public hearing as required by DCA guidelines, with complete details to the community about the specifics.  At this time it appears the following would be covered: boring under hwy.#176, obtaining some easements for gravity sewer and access across some property lines, some water line extension, planning, and administration items. 


Public Input

There was none.


Commissioner Ward made the motion to close the public hearing.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


The second public hearing will be scheduled for April 2, 2001, under AImportant Dates@. 



Tom Peppia, Executive Director of Designing Our Future, thanked the Board for their support through the first phase of input. 


On February 8, they issued their first report which summarized the first phase of public input, the listening sessions.  The listening sessions ran from September of 2000 through January of 2001.  They conducted 34 public listening sessions throughout Henderson County as well as over 125 personal listening sessions via telephone.  Their 110 professionally trained facilitators led more than 900 participants through the listening sessions.  Designing Our Future received more than 5,800 responses to three basic questions they asked.  Answers to those questions showed that the top item people treasured about our county was the people.  In regards to what residents need to be able to stay here and live successfully were jobs and a comprehensive long term land use plan.  The citizens stated a need for better education between the citizens and the government.


Mr. Peppia explained that the 5,800 responses were divided up into twelve basic categories that they referred to as community issues:


1.               Community

2.               Diversity

3.               Economy

4.               Education

5.               Environment

6.               Growth

7.               Government

8.               Safety

9.               Transportation, and others.


They are currently conducting a series of public meetings called ACommunity Issue Sessions@.  They have scheduled four meetings per topic and over the course of March and April will conduct those meetings in various locations around the county getting input.  The sessions will continue through the end of April. 

They plan to hold a Vision Fair and give people the opportunity to vote on what they feel the highest priorities for our county are.  They plan to have a Working Vision for Henderson County by the end of July.



This was an add-on to the agenda by Commissioner Ward.


Commissioner Ward explained that Bill Barnwell had talked with him about this problem.  When the School System started the demolition of the old auditorium at Etowah School, Henderson County told them we would waive our solid waste fee for the brick.  Some of the contents would have a fee charged on it.  Mr. Ward stated that we waived the fee for the brick and for the contents of the small auditorium, the fee equaled $25,000.00.  Needless to say, the School System was a little disturbed about the costs.  


David Nicholson asked our County Engineer, Gary Tweed, to explain what happened.  Mr. Nicholson explained that we agreed to take the Aclean materials@ (brick and cement) that we can use at the landfill to build roads, etc.  We got some loads like that and did not charge for them.  Then the contractor started bringing mixed loads to us that were not usable to us.  Mr. Nicholson reminded the Board that it has been policy not to waive the fees.


Gary Tweed explained that last December we started receiving loads of demolition material from the School.  In the beginning the Contractor was bringing mixed loads, were not separating the materials.  Mr. Tweed immediately called Jack Robertson with the Schools and advised him that if they could keep the brick and concrete and soiled materials separate that we would not charge for the brick and concrete (clean materials).  Out of the loads that came in there were about 30 loads of materials that we did not charge for, there were 65 loads that we did charge for because they were mixed with other debris.  Mr. Tweed said that he had also learned that they hauled about 30-40 loads to another, private landfill. 


Commissioner Hawkins stated that there will be a Joint Facilities Meeting in early April.  He felt that this issue should be on that agenda and that the County could make it clear just what materials they would accept without cost because the schools will be doing more demolition in the future.


Mr. Tweed stated that if we do not charge for items going into the Construction & Demolition (C & D) landfill, that=s revenue lost to the Enterprise Fund.  We depend on that revenue to cover about a third of the operating budget of the Solid Waste Department.



This was an add-on to the agenda by Chairman Moyer.


David Nicholson reminded the Board that on February 12, 2001, the Board embarked on a 3-month plan to adopt Open Use (OU) Zoning.  At their most recent worksession on the subject, held on March 7, 2001, the Board also discussed setting some public input sessions on the proposed Open Use regulation.


Mr. Nicholson distributed a tentative timeline for the Board to review.  The timeline proposes March 29, 2001 for public informational sessions and public input sessions in the afternoon and evening. Staff has prepared a public information packet for distribution prior to the public input sessions which contains the tentative timeline, an overview of the proposed regulation, the proposed standards chart, detailed summaries for each regulated use and the two proposed maps.  In addition, Staff suggested that they conduct information sessions prior to each public input session in order to give an overview of the regulation and answer the citizens= questions in a less formal setting than during the Board=s official meeting.


Mr. Nicholson recommended that the Board follow the Tentative Timeline as proposed and asked for the following Board action at this meeting:


1.               Set Public Input Sessions for March 29, 2001 at 2:00 p.m. at the Board=s Meeting Room and for 7:00 p.m. at a place to be announced and consider whether they wish to limit input to 3 minutes per person;

2.               Authorize Staff to conduct the information sessions prior to the input sessions;

3.               Authorize Staff to distribute the information packets and advertise the information and input sessions;

4.               Determine whether the Board wishes to solicit input on any specific questions (i.e. what specific or general questions would the Board like citizens to answer?)


Following much discussion as well as the Board members looking at their calendars,  it was the consensus of the Board to hold one session on March 29 in the Board=s Meeting Room at 100 N. King Street, Hendersonville.  Chairman Moyer made the motion to set the first public information session for 6:30 on March 29, here.  All voted in favor and the motion carried. The public input  will begin at 7:00 p.m. The public information part of the meeting will be taped and shown on cable tv, channel # 11.  It was also the consensus of the Board to hold similar input sessions out in the different areas of the county, one in the eastern part, one in the western part, one in the southern part, and one in the northern part of Henderson County.  It was the intent of the Board to get as much public input as possible, hoping it will produce a better end product.



This was an add-on to the agenda.

Chairman Moyer stated that the position of the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) with respect to the widening of I-26 was to concentrate on the local roads and not get involved in that battle or take a specific position.  Since it was mainly a federal/state project, TAC had opted to stay out of it. 


The Citizens for Transportation Planning has taken an active position against this project.


Chairman Moyer wanted to clarify his position at this time and see if the Board of Commissioners wished to take a position on this.  He personally felt that the Board should take a stand.  Chairman Moyer strongly supports the widening of I-26.  He believes it would be in the best interest of Henderson County.  He thought that the money that will not come from other future projects that we need, is really money that is coming from other local road projects that have now been killed.  He mentioned several reasons to support the widening:

1. Present traffic volume on I-26

2. Future traffic when I-26 through Tennessee and Buncombe County gets open, it will

    increase traffic on I-26 through Henderson County

3. He felt that if we do not relieve that traffic on I-26, the traffic will go elsewhere. 

    It can=t go to Hwy. # 25 as it is not completed and therefore much of it may end up on        Hwy. # 191.


All the Commissioners voiced their support of the widening project.


Following much discussion, Chairman Moyer made the motion that the Henderson County Board of Commissioners take a position in favor of the widening of I-26 to six lanes as has been proposed and authorized all members of the Board to indicate and so talk in public whenever they so choose. He also directed the County Manager to draft a Resolution for endorsement at the next Board meeting and to send the adopted Resolution to NC DOT and to the municipalities in our county.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Chairman Moyer mentioned the need to set a second public hearing for Regency (elderly housing in the former East Flat Rock Elementary School).  Commissioner Ward made the motion to set that public hearing for April 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioners= Meeting Room.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


He further stated the need to set a public hearing for the Noise Ordinance Amendment.  The County Manager proposed the date of April 18 at 11:00 a.m.  Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to hold that public hearing on April 18 at 11:00 a.m. in the Commissioners= Meeting Room.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


There was some discussion regarding the setting of a joint meeting with the Town of Fletcher Mayor and Council.  It was decided that Chairman Moyer and Commissioner Hawkins will draft a letter to go to the Fletcher Town Council to request a joint meeting.  The date will be set at a later time.


Commissioner Gordon asked for the Board=s direction on the following: The Partnership for Health has almost completed the Community Health Resource Assessment.  They anticipate that it will be completed next week.  They would like to make a presentation to the Board of Commissioners, expecting that it will take about one hour.  She asked if the Board wished to set a special called meeting to hear the presentation or whether it should be placed on the agenda of a regularly scheduled meeting.  The County Manager suggested that it be placed on the agenda of the regularly scheduled meeting on April 18.  The Board was in agreement that it be tentatively set for the agenda on April 18.


Commissioner Hawkins stated that he had a request from the Fire Chiefs for a meeting with the Board of Commissioners.  He asked the Board to set a date for that.  It was suggested that the County Manager and the Fire Marshal be given some flexibility in scheduling that meeting.  The Board asked that this issue be placed on the agenda for the next Board meeting for discussion.


Budget Discussions

Chairman Moyer expressed concern over what is going on with the State budget.  A lot of the focus is on next year and some of the proposals that are being suggested to remedy the situation. He felt that they intend to shift more of the problem onto the counties.  There is no question that the Board will be facing continuing issues.

David Nicholson informed the Board that staff is currently collecting the budgets from Department Heads.


Mr. Nicholson stated that there are several Bills that have been introduced both on the House side and Senate side.  On the House side there are enough co-sponsors to get it passed.  It is geared to take the money for the reimbursements ($95,000,000 across the State) out of the State=s Rainy Day Fund and provide that to local governments.   The bigger issue is what is going to happen next year.  From what Mr. Nicholson has heard, it will probably be some time the middle of May before the State Budget begins to bubble up.  Much of it will be happening behind closed doors at the leadership level.  Counties will likely not hear anything from the standpoint of what the State Budget will contain for next year until sometime the middle of May.


Mr. Nicholson stated that there is a broad range of feelings about what counties will do, some of them very strongly will adopt their budget as usual, others are taking a very conservative approach.  The conservative approach is one that Mr. Nicholson plans to take for Henderson County.  He plans to base-line things.  He feels that the reimbursements are gone.  He stated concern that we will get an offer for some additional revenues, a transfer tax, additional one cent sales tax, or some other offer.  Most of these would require voter approval before Boards could levy the tax.  


Chairman Moyer stated that what it boils down to is that the State is going to take the Counties= money and give the Counties the authority to raise taxes.  He stated AThey are going to take our money and dump the rest of the problem on us, maybe give us the right to raise taxes to cover it@.


Mr. Nicholson stated that the State is $1 Billion off in this year=s budget but also $1 Billion off in next year=s budget.  The State can make up a third of that ($324,000,000) by cutting out the reimbursements to counties, thus making their budget adoption much easier.


Mr. Nicholson stated that 25% - 30% of our budget is locked in.  He has asked the School Superintendent to prepare his budget as he did last year, give us a list of those things that he has to have to keep things running and then give us a list of other things they would like to add.


Chairman Moyer reminded the Board of the plan to extend elementary school to all four year olds. He asked them to think about what that would do to our facilities, our teachers, and costs of education if this gets added this year.  It has been proposed by the Governor.


Mr. Nicholson mentioned the need for the Board of Commissioners to set a joint meeting with the School Board to discuss a number of issues.


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