STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON JUNE 21, 2001
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 2:00 p.m. in the Commissioners= Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building at 100 North King Street, Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Those present were: Chairman Bill Moyer, Vice-Chair Marilyn Gordon, Commissioner Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Don Ward, Commissioner Charlie Messer, County Manager David E. Nicholson, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, Assistant to the County Manager/Budget Analyst Selena Coffey, Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order, reconvening the regularly scheduled meeting from yesterday, June 20, 2001. The purpose of this meeting was a Budget Workshop.
Net Changes to Budget
David Nicholson distributed a hand-out entitled ANet Changes to Budget@ and reviewed those changes with the Board. There were some additions and some subtractions to the budget balance. The balance added to the budget as of 6/21/01 with these net changes equaled $85,522. The second hand-out was House Bill # 831, which changes the way counties do Ano excuse voting@ so an additional $18,016 had to be added for a satellite Ano excuse voting@ polling station. The effective date of this legislation also changed. Mr. Nicholson had originally thought it would become effective in our next budget year. He continued to review the items on that list.
Mr. Nicholson reviewed some information regarding fire departments. He had provided a memo to the Board dated June 21 regarding fire dept. budget information.
He briefly touched on the Town of Fletcher and their funds provided to the Fletcher Fire & Rescue Department, stating that $80,000 was lost from Buncombe County. At that time Fletcher came to our Board of Commissioners and asked for a one time increase in their rate of 2 cents. They have now continued that request as a temporary request to the Board of Commissioners in this year=s budget because their building has not sold yet. There was some discussion that Fletcher is not living up to their contract with Fletcher Fire & Rescue. Following much discussion on this item, Chairman Moyer made the motion to grant Fletcher Fire & Rescue Dept. 9.5 cents for the coming year as a set rate, not temporary. A vote was taken and the motion carried four to one with Commissioner Messer voting nay.
Mr. Nicholson reminded the Board that earlier during budget deliberations, they had requested additional information from Mountain Home Fire & Rescue Department concerning their request for a two cent property tax increase. Mountain Home realized a problem with their budget computer program concerning payroll taxes. They are correcting their budget request and are now requesting a one cent increase instead of 2 cents. Following discussions, Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to accept the revised budget as presented with the tax rate as requested, a 1 cent increase. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Alternative Capital Plan
Mr. Nicholson distributed a 3rd hand-out entitled APlan B@. Much thought and review went into this alternate plan which would require no tax increase. The original APlan A@ required a 2 cent tax increase.
Plan B proposed:
FY 00-01 Carry Forward - Fund Balance $1,000,000
FY 01-02 Appropriate Fund Balance 780,000
Capital Projects 250,000
Available Funds to Capital Projects
From Fund Balance 250,000
1/4 Debt Service 330,000 (Human Services Bldg. & H. Courthouse)
Demolition/Abatement 200,000 (@ Historic Courthouse/Jail)
FY 02-03 Annual Debt Service Payment $1,366,776
(Human Services Bldg. & H. Courthouse)
Savings - Debt on Building 328,066
1/4 Debt 330,000
Because of the hiring freeze Henderson County has had in place since the State Budget Crisis and the fact that Department Heads actually did not spend for things they did not absolutely have to have, as the County Manager had requested of them, the County Manager was able to propose this alternative plan. Mr. Nicholson felt that Plan B can do what the Board has talked about doing except for the animal shelter and it puts us back at least a year on that. Plan A did allow us to look at the animal shelter during the coming year. Mr. Nicholson felt that the Board might be able to start on the grading and the architectural work this coming year for the animal shelter. Commissioner Gordon expressed the need to keep going on that project. Chairman Moyer expressed that he felt the County would get some monies back from the State. He doesn=t expect to get it all but part of it and if we do he felt the monies should be targeted for the animal shelter.
Not for Profits
Chamber of Commerce
Committee of 100 $72,351.00
Labor Market Study - 0 -
Downtown Hendersonville/7th Ave. 8,500.00
Historic 7th Avenue District 500.00
America=s Pride - 0 -
Army National Guard 1,000.00
Rescue Squad 64,500.00
Community Development Council 1,000.00
WNC Development Association 7,500.00
Total Departmental Non-Profit Contributions $158,351.00
There was some discussion of the above numbers with the Board deciding to change the Army National Guard to $750.00 instead of $1,000.00 and to delete monies going to Downtown Hendersonville/7th Avenue. Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve Plan B and the Departmental Non-Profits contributions with the changes discussed. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Apple Country Greenway Commission $ 2,500.00
Sentencing Services Program 1,000.00
Arts Council Grassroots Program 10,000.00
Henderson County Council for Women 500.00
Biological Testing - 0 -
Total Non-Profit Contributions $40,400.00
There was some discussion of the above numbers with the Board deciding not to change the County Manager=s recommendations. Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the $2,500.00 for Apple Country Greenway Commission, contingent with Apple Country Greenway Commission raising the remainder needed for their staff person from the other municipalities. All voted in favor and the motion carried. Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve $1,000 for the Sentencing Services Program. All voted in favor and the motion carried. Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve $10,000 for the Arts Council Grassroots Program. All voted in favor and the motion carried. Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve $500 for the Henderson County Council for Women. All voted in favor and the motion carried. Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve $6,400 for ECO/VWIN. All voted in favor and the motion carried. Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve $20,000 this year as the last year for Visioning (Designing Our Future) and stated that the Board looks forward to their final project. A vote was taken and the motion passed four to one with Commissioner Hawkins voting nay. The Board felt that they would be able to use some data, input, etc. that the Visioning Group had accumulated which would end up saving the Board time and meetings.
Dues & Memberships
Land-of-Sky Regional Council $ 48,428.00
Western Carolina Community Action 60,000.00
Apple Country Transportation 16,803.00
Local Match on New Vehicles 6,803.00
Transportation - Other 10,000.00
NC Association of County Commissioners 9,230.00
NACO 2000 1,000.00
National Association of Counties (NACo) 1,255.00
Institute of Government 6,100.00
Total Dues & Memberships $159,619.00
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve $48,428.00 for Land of Sky Regional Council. A vote was taken and the motion passed four to one with Commissioner Ward voting nay. Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve $16,803 for Apple Country Transportation, $6,803 for Local Match on New Vehicles, and $10,000 for other Transportation for WCCA but to move the $60,000 from WCCA to contingency. All voted in favor and the motion carried. Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve $9,230.00for NC Assn. of County Commissioners, $1,255.00 for National Assn. of Counties, and $6,100.00 for the Institute of Government. All voted in favor and the motion carried. Mr. Nicholson informed the Board that the $1,000 recommended for NACO 2000 can be deleted as that was a year 2000 project.
Human Service Agency Requests
David Nicholson distributed hand-out #5, listing the agencies, their requests, and his recommendations to them. Selena Coffey explained that the Alliance for Human Services would have liked to increase donations but realized that this is a tight budget year due to the State Budget Crisis so they requested that the Board fund the same amount as last year.
Following some discussion, Commissioner Ward made the motion to approve $180,000 for the Human Service Agencies as recommended by the Alliance for Human Services. All voted in favor and the motion carried. The agencies had requested $235,806.00.
David Nicholson provided the Board a draft of the Budget Ordinance, hand-out #6. The Budget Ordinance includes Plan B which was presented by the County Manager today. This includes a tax rate of 50 cents, no tax increase. Mr. Nicholson recommended the Board consider adopting the Budget Ordinance approving the budget as amended [through the interim motions approved by the Board today]. Mr. Nicholson stated that the State Reimbursements are still hanging over our head. We don=t know what we might or might not get back from the State. Reimbursements are in the Senate Budget and in the Governor=s Budget.
Chairman Moyer wanted it to be clear that the Board was approving funds in the amount of $47,515.00 for the Career Centers for the Schools for 2 year. He asked for a resolution stating that the Board is financing the Career Centers to the extent that the School Board revised their request for the current year. Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the $47,515 for the Career Centers as part of the School=s Budget. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
The tax rate will remain the same for the coming year. There is no tax increase. Chairman Moyer felt that the Board has stepped up and addressed all the issues except for the animal shelter and he thinks that mechanisms have been provided to deal with that in the coming year. He commended the Board for their work in addressing these issues without a tax increase.
Commissioner Messer raised a question about whether the municipalities would be joining in the county=s central booking.
Commissioner Ward raised a question regarding $8,000 for locking up the county parks at night. It was decided to leave this $8,000 in the budget but with directions for the County Manager to come back to the Board with a plan by mid July regarding locking the parks at night.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the Budget Ordinance as amended by action of the Board at today=s meeting with the rates in the ordinance as adjusted today which was continuing with the 50 cent tax rate and the change in the two fire rates as discussed [Mtn. Home and Fletcher].
Commissioner Ward asked a couple of questions regarding numbers in the proposed budget ordinance. He raised a question regarding the salaries of elected officials. Mr. Nicholson stated that he would be happy to provide those numbers to the Commissioners at a later date. He and Chairman Moyer have not had time to review those numbers. Any salary increases would have to come from contingencies at this time anyway. He reminded the Board that they meet again in about 10 days.
There was some discussion regarding Section 18-1 AThe Budget Officer may re-appropriate amounts between objects of expenditure within a department@.
Commissioner Hawkins stated that overall the budget is a good budget. He was glad that the Board did not have to raise taxes this year. But he did say that he could not support the funding for debt service on the Historic Courthouse at this time.
A vote was taken on Mr. Moyer=s motion and the motion passed three to two with Commissioners Hawkins and Ward voting nay.
Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:55 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman