STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON APRIL 16, 2001
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the Fletcher Town Hall, Fletcher, North Carolina. The purpose of this meeting was a joint meeting with the Fletcher Town Council to discuss annexation of Continental Teves and other issues of mutual interest.
Those present were: Chairman Bill Moyer, Vice-Chair Marilyn Gordon, Commissioner Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Charlie Messer, County Manager David E. Nicholson, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
Absent was: Commissioner Don Ward.
Also present were: Mayor Bill Moore, Mayor-Pro-Tem Eddie Henderson, Councilman Milton Byrd, Councilman Jim Clayton, Councilman Hugh Clark, Town Manager Craig Honeycutt and Town Clerk Jan Sherlock. Filling in for Fletcher Town Attorney (who was on vacation) was Attorney Ed Bleynat.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the Commissioners= meeting to order and Mayor Moore called the Town Council=s meeting to order.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor-Pro-Tem Eddie Henderson, led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
Councilman Jim Clayton gave the invocation.
Mayor Moore asked that there be no public input at this meeting due to the two Boards meeting together.
CANE CREEK ADVISORY BOARD
Chairman Moyer recognized Commissioner Gordon who sits on this Board to update both Boards. She stated that they have been meeting and working diligently and are now in the process of evaluating their purpose and their work done to date. Each Board will receive a status report soon from the Cane Creek Advisory Board.
BROADPOINTE INDUSTRIAL PARK/ ANNEXATION OF CONTINENTAL TEVES
Chairman Moyer stated that the Board of Commissioners has been working with the Committee of 100 and the Greater Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce regarding job opportunities and the location of industries in our county. The Board and the Chamber have encountered problems drawing the kind of jobs we need and want in our county. Some problems encountered have been:
price of land versus price in other counties
topography of available land (requires a lot of site preparation)
Mayor Moore stated that the Town of Fletcher is now looking at economic incentives and has met with the Chamber of Commerce.
Broadpointe is one of the few industrial areas we have available in Henderson County with water and sewer and each entity is protective of it.
Henderson County is protective of Broadpoint Industrial Park because of the monetary investment they have made to supply water and sewer to the park. They fear that if Fletcher annexes Broadpointe it could deter future industries from interest in that park because they would have to pay county taxes and town taxes.
Chairman Moyer stated that the LGCCA meets tomorrow and annexation will be on the agenda. Others expressed that it was about time that LGCCA discussed annexation and the need for a county-wide plan to deal with annexation.
Several of the Commissioners stated that it was hard to wear two hats, one as County Commissioner representing all residents of the county and what is best for the entire county but then also representing the residents of the municipalities what is best for each of the municipalities and those residents.
There was discussion of municipal services and responsibilities and Commissioner Hawkins reminded Fletcher Council that the State has declared why a municipality exists - created to provide governmental services. He also asked Fletcher to consider the timing and take a closer look at County/Municipal responsibilities.
Commissioner Messer stated that Continental Teves does not want to be annexed by the City of Asheville. He stated that the county and all four municipalities need to come together and work out a plan and get all sides of the issue on the table.
Chairman Moyer thanked the Town Council for listening to the Commissioners and stated that the Commissioners would now listen to the Town Council.
Mayor Bill Moore asked what is the County=s plan and how does it involve the Town of Fletcher. He asked this question more than once during the discussions. Chairman Moyer stated that hopefully the Mills River Study will develop or evolve into a Plan but the Board needs input from all involved before adopting a Plan. The County has been working on the Mills River Study for the past 18 months to 2 years. It was explained that the County has no written plan as yet but there is a plan.
Craig Honeycutt was asked to give a brief background of Fletcher=s Annexation Plan. Fletcher started this process in 1997, looked at a Master Annexation Plan in 1999. Fletcher Town Council approved a Comprehensive Master Plan for Annexation in March of 1999. In August of 2000 they approved a contract to do an Extension Services Report. April 3 of this year they held a public information meeting and tomorrow night will hold a public hearing on the annexation of Continental Teves. That issue is scheduled to be on their May agenda for possible action.
Before the Town of Fletcher finished their annexation plan, a copy was sent to Meritor, Continental Teves and Cranston Print Works. Meritor responded within 30 days. No other responses were received. Meritor approached the Town of Fletcher regarding a land transfer (almost 94 acres) in lieu of taxes.
Commissioner Gordon asked the Town what process they use to determine the mix of type of land uses in the Town of Fletcher. She also stated that we have an airport but it will never be a hub airport which do tend to help attract industry. That general area is slated for industrial growth and we must be sure that they are appropriate uses around an airport as that area continues to grow.
Craig Honeycutt explained that they have a large residential population which has grown quickly but are beginning to get a larger mix of commercial and industrial development. They are looking at trying to maintain their same tax rate which is 25 cents.
Mayor Moore explained that the annexation of Continental Teves is not for the monetary gain but rather to help control the growth and to have a say in what happens in that area. It is in their backyard and Fletcher has a right to know what is going on in their backyard because it affects roads, schools, etc.
Councilman Byrd stated that there are bigger issues here than the annexation of Continental Teves that need to be discussed by all municipalities in the County, to get all sides of the story. He recognized the need for leadership to be interactive.
Commissioner Messer suggested sitting down with Advantage West, Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce, Henderson County and all Municipalities to look at the short-term and the long-term plans of all. He also asked if Fletcher=s intent was to stop at Continental Teves or to move into Mills River.
Councilman Henderson (Mayor-Pro-Tem) expressed that he had no idea that Henderson County had made such an investment in Broadpointe Industrial Park ($2.1 million) but stated that Fletcher has been going down this path for a long time. He expressed disappointment in the County Commissioners.
Councilman Clayton stated that the Town Council wanted to have a say in what goes in on Hwy. # 280. Henderson County does not have zoning. Citizens in Hoopers Creek felt they had to do something regarding zoning because the County wasn=t doing anything. He stated that the 280 area was too close for them not to act, they have to act. He stated that Fletcher is a player in Henderson County and they want to be involved with Henderson County as to what goes into the northern end of the county. Henderson County didn=t ask the Town of Fletcher if they wanted water and sewer to the Broadpoint Industrial Park, they just supplied it. Town Council must protect the residents of the Town of Fletcher.
Commissioner Gordon asked Councilman Clayton what he wanted to protect his residents from.
Councilman Clayton answered that he didn=t want the City of Asheville in Henderson County. He stated that getting Continental Teves was of utmost importance to him for this year.
Commissioner Gordon explained that the county cannot protect the area from annexation from the City of Asheville, the county doesn=t have that authority. She stated that Henderson County and the Town of Fletcher should be working together.
Councilman Clayton asked about the county=s land use for the Mills River area, stating that Fletcher wants to have a say regarding the types of industry etc. that are being attracted.. They don=t want dirty industry.
Commissioner Gordon explained that the County wants to enhance the quality of life by bringing in good industry.
Councilman Byrd mentioned Smart Growth and stated a need for problem solving communication, consistent communications as new things develop. He also discussed community oriented planning and stated there are challenges to face together.
Councilman Clayton stated that he is probably the most anti-annexation councilman. He stated that as far as he was concerned, once they get Continental Teves they are not going farther out Hwy. # 280 or out Hwy. # 25.
Commissioner Messer stated AWe=ve got to work together, we all live in Henderson County.@ He stated that it costs $7,000 to $10,000 per household to put water and sewer in a new residence. The County Commissioners are trying to be aggressive and go to the people and get a Planning/Zoning Plan.
Chairman Moyer stated that for the last couple of years Henderson County has tried to involve Fletcher when issues involved the Town of Fletcher.
Councilman Henderson stated his appreciation for everybody coming out tonight, stating it was a good starting point.
Councilman Clark stated that there are groups working on economic development but it=s not coming down to the Fletcher area. He stated that good jobs are good for Henderson County and good for the Town of Fletcher. He stated that Fletcher=s Annexation Plan was out there and that these two groups should have come together 2 years ago. He further stated that Fletcher wants to support industry and economic growth.
Commissioner Gordon spoke regarding the Mills River area, stating that in many northern states there are lots of little townships everywhere and that is not what we want. Mills River could incorporate.
Mayor Moore reminded everyone in attendance that Fletcher incorporated in 1989 and they have not been proactive in annexation, not aggresive. They have only annexed three areas that were not voluntary. He stated that Fletcher=s intent is to have a say so on the #280 corridor, then work on a plan of where to go. Fletcher wants to be partners with Henderson County and anyone else.
Chairman Moyer suggested that the two Boards talk seperately. He again stated that the LGCCA should have active discussion on annexation.
Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to adjourn the county meeting at approximately 8:45 p.m. and Councilman Byrd made the motion to adjourn the Town Council meeting. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman