STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON SEPTEMBER 10, 2001
The Board of Commissioners (the "Board") of the County of Henderson, North Carolina (the "County") held a meeting in the County Administration Building, 100 North King Street, Hendersonville, North Carolina on September 10, 2001, at 5:30 PM. The following Commissioners were:
PRESENT: Chairman William L. Moyer, Vice-Chair Marilyn Gordon, Commissioner Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Don Ward, and Commissioner Charlie Messer
Also present were: County Manager David Nicholson, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn, Public Information Officer Chris Coulson, Assistant County Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, and County Engineer Gary Tweed. Amy Brantley, Volunteer Coordinator, was present through the Nominations.
This meeting had been rescheduled from September 4, the day following the Labor Day holiday, to September 10.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Chairman Moyer led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
David Nicholson gave the invocation.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Chairman Moyer requested the following adjustments to the agenda:
Update on Pending Issues, #3 - Clean Air Resolutions
#4 - Comprehensive County Plan
#5 - Regional Water Authority, Negotiating Sessions by Chairman Moyer and Commissioner Gordon
#6 - The accident on Spartanburg Highway which involved
EMS personnel by David Nicholson and Commissioner Gordon
#7 - Update on Westfeldt Park by Commissioner Messer
#8 - Update on the Detention Center by the County Manager
#9 - Update on Animal Control by Chairman Moyer
#10-Update on Howard Gap Road situation/opening of the new
school by Commissioner Messer
#11-Distance based education update by Commissioner Hawkins
Commissioner Hawkins asked that one item be added, as #12 - Mud Creek agreement.
Commissioner Hawkins also asked for an update on the last LGCCA meeting, added as #13.
Chairman Moyer added one additional item as #14 - Mud Creek by Commissioner Ward.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the agenda as revised. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Moyer pulled the following items from the consent agenda for discussions:
AC@ - Henderson County Public Schools Financial Report - July 2000.
AE@ - Reappointment of Deputy Tax Collector for Delinquent Taxes
AG@ - Resolution - NC Big Sweep
AK@ - Hunger Walk Resolution
Henderson County Public Schools Financial Report - July 2001
The July 2001 Public Schools Financial Report was presented for the Board=s consent approval.
Chairman Moyer stated that he finds the report we are currently getting from the finances for the Schools just about worthless. He asked the Board if they could ask the County Manager to work with the School System to come up with a report that will give the Board meaningful information that would be of some help. The Board agreed by consensus. Commissioner Hawkins asked that land sales be tracked because by statute those land sales go back into our capital fund. The Commissioners were asked if they had any other ideas about the financial report to speak to Mr. Nicholson soon about it.
Chairman Moyer then directed the Board to go to the last page of the Henderson County Financial Report for July 2001. The last page is basically the cash balance report. He felt it was extremely important to monitor this as we move forward, with what is happening with the State budget. Cash becomes a real consideration as we get into this time of year.
Reappointment of Deputy Tax Collector for Delinquent Taxes
The Board was asked to consider the reappointment of the office of Deputy Tax Collector for Delinquent Taxes. That position is appointed by the Board of Commissioners but performs the work of the Tax Collector (i.e. the collection of delinquent taxes) under the direction of the Tax Collector. Darlene B. Burgess has served in that position since the Board took action to appoint her on October 20, 1999. She has been serving one-year terms since that time with the most current term due to expire on October 20, 2001.
At the Board=s meeting on August 15, 2001, the Board approved a bond in the amount of $250,000 for the Deputy Tax Collector.
If the Board wished to reappoint Ms. Burgess as Deputy Tax Collector for the collection of delinquent taxes for another one-year term (to expire October 20, 2001), it would be appropriate to do so at this meeting.
The County Manager recommended the reappointment of Ms. Burgess to that position for another one-year term to expire October 20, 2001, with a $250,000 bond as previously set by the Board.
Chairman Moyer asked if the Board had to set compensation at this time. Mr. Nicholson explained that the compensation was set during the budget deliberations. Ms. Beeker explained that Ms. Burgess is on the county=s pay plan, administered the same as most employees are. Chairman Moyer explained that it was odd that the Board set her salary and bond and then two months later decide whether to reappoint her or not, he felt it was a timing thing.
Ms. Beeker stated that Ms. Burgess= term could be modified to the end of June. It was the consensus of the Board to modify that resolution, rather than for the period of one year it would be for the period ending June 30, 2002.
Resolution - NC Big Sweep
Last year the Environmental Advisory Committee and the Environmental & Conservation Organization co-sponsored the Big Sweep event in Henderson County, which is the statewide clean-up of waterways. This effort resulted in 6,500 pounds of trash being taken out of Mud Creek by 8 teams of 70 volunteers. Big Sweep will be held Saturday, September 15 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. this year.
The sponsoring entities requested the Board of Commissioners sign a prepared AResolution Declaring September 15, 2001 as Henderson County Big Sweep Day@. All municipalities in the County have been requested to sign a similar resolution.
Chairman Moyer wanted to mention this for the public=s information, in case they wanted to participate in the clean up day. He read the resolution, which is hereby made a part of these minutes.
Hunger Walk Resolution
The Board was requested to approve the following resolution which Mr. Moyer read in its entirety:
WHEREAS, The Henderson County Hunger Coalition annually raises money to provide food and fuel for the needy citizens of Henderson County through its annual Hunger Walk; and,
WHEREAS, The money raised is distributed to eight Human Services agencies in Henderson County which are: Interfaith Ministry, Main Stay, Council on Aging, the Hendersonville Rescue Mission, the MANNA Food Bank, the Blue Ridge Health Clinic, the Henderson County Chapter of the American Red Cross and Western Carolina Community Action; and
WHEREAS, Last year, over 300 participants raised $57,000 through pledges during the Hunger Walk; and
WHEREAS, The 19th Annual Hunger Walk will be held on Saturday, September 15, 2001 at Jackson Park beginning at 8:00 a.m.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Henderson County Board of Commissioners applauds the efforts of the Henderson County Hunger Coalition on behalf of Henderson County=s needy citizens, and encourages Henderson County citizens to participate in the Hunger Walk on September 15, 2001.
Chairman Moyer stressed that this was a valuable community effort. It is a ten mile walk but you can walk as little as you wish. He stated that registration is at 7:30 a.m. and each participant will receive a very nice t-shirt. He also applauded Carolina Village for their efforts and contribution to the Hunger Walk. Their goal this year is $10,000.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the Consent Agenda including the one change the Board made in the Resolution concerning the Deputy Tax Collector. All voted in favor and the motion carried. The CONSENT AGENDA consisted of the following:
Minutes were presented for the Board=s review and approval of the following meetings:
January 20, 1999, regular meeting
June 8, 1999, special called meeting
October 4, 1999, regular meeting
October 20, 1999, special called meeting
July 25, 2001, regular meeting
July 26, 2001, special called meeting
August 6, 2001, regular meeting
August 15, 2001, regular meeting
Tax Collector=s Report
Terry F. Lyda, Tax Collector, provided the Tax Collector=s Report dated August 31, 2001, for the Board=s information.
Henderson County Financial Report - July 2001
Henderson County Cash Balance Report - July 2001
The July 2001 County Financial Report and Cash Balance Report were presented for the Board=s information and consent approval.
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 47-30.2. 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 in the agenda packet for the Board=s review. The Board has from time to time updated its list of appointed plat review officers.
The Planning Director requested that her two new employees, Dan Gurley and Melissa Peagler, be appointed as plat review officers and Shannon Baldwin, who is no longer employed by Henderson County, be deleted as such.
A proposed resolution had been prepared by Staff and was included 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.
The County Manager advised that it would be appropriate 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.
The City of Hendersonville has requested any County comments on two proposed waterline extensions:
1. Highland Golf Villas Waterline Extension
This project includes 2,520 lineal feet of 6" PVC, DR 18 water line to serve this non-standard subdivision.
No Staff comments or recommendations were offered.
2. Etowah Elementary School Waterline Extension
This project includes 230 lineal feet of 6" PVC, C900 water line to serve the Etowah Elementary School.
Staff Comments/Recommendations - Flow rate of 530 gpm is well below required fire flow for a facility of this size. 5 psi residual pressure indicates a severe capacity problem, a minimum of 20 psi residual is recommended. City needs to improve water pressure to area.
Request for Improvement Guarantee for Bridge in Oleta Falls
On behalf of Waterside Properties, L.L.C., Mr. Luther E. Smith had submitted a request for approval of a subdivision improvement guarantee. Waterside Properties, L.L.C., would like to post an irrevocable letter of credit to cover costs associated with constructing a covered bridge over the Little Hungry River between Sections 1 and 2 of Oleta Falls. The Planning Board approved a Master Plan and a Development Plan for the entire project on April 25, 2000, subject to several conditions, two of which pertain directly to the bridge.
Pursuant to Section 170-39 of the Henderson County Code, a developer may, in lieu of completing all of the required subdivision improvements prior to Final Plat approval, post a performance guarantee to secure the County=s interest in seeing that satisfactory construction of the incomplete improvements occurs. Waterside Properties, L.L.C., intends to secure an irrevocable letter of credit from Palmetto Farm Credit in the amount of $225,519.70, which includes the cost of the bridge as well as the required contingency amount of twenty-five percent. The proposed completion date for the improvements is March 31, 2002.
The Board of Commissioners previously approved for the developer the posting of a letter of credit as an improvement guarantee for improvements in another portion of Section I of Oleta Falls. The developer completed the improvements in that portion and the improvement guarantee was released by the County on August 23, 2001.
A draft Performance Guarantee Agreement for the current application was included for the Board=s review. If the request is approved, Waterside Properties, L.L.C., must submit the letter of credit in accordance with the terms of the Agreement. The Assistant County Attorney must review the letter of credit and certify the Agreement as to form prior to its execution by the Chairman and the developer.
The County Manager recommended the Board approve the request for an improvement guarantee for the construction of a bridge in Oleta Falls subject to the developer submitting a letter of credit for $225,519.70, in accordance with the terms of the draft Agreement and subject to the Assistant County Attorney reviewing the letter of credit.
Withdrawal of Improvement Guarantee for a Minor Subdivision to be known as AThe Ridge@
On August 6, 2001, the Board of Commissioners approved an improvement guarantee for James E. Wear. The Improvement guarantee, an irrevocable letter of credit issued by MountainBank in the amount of $15,750.00 was posted to cover the cost of road and drainage improvements to serve seven lots in a proposed minor subdivision to be known as AThe Ridge.@
Since the approval of the improvement guarantee, Mr. Wear has decided to develop a family subdivision instead of a minor subdivision. Developers of family subdivisions do not have to build roads in the project prior to final plat approval, therefore Mr. Wear has submitted a letter requesting that the letter of credit he posted be returned. Mr. Wear did not record a final plat for the minor subdivision.
Staff requested the Board of Commissioners consider terminating the Performance Guarantee Agreement with Mr. Wear and return the letter of credit to him.
Notification of Vacancies
The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear under Nominations on the next agenda:
1. Juvenile Crime Prevention Council - 2 vac.
Chairman Moyer reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:
1. Solid Waste Advisory Committee - 1 vac.
Plus selection of Chairman
Commissioner Hawkins had some discussion with Mr. Bill Farrell, who serves on the committee. He has indicated a willingness to serve as the Chairman. Commissioner Hawkins nominated Bill Farrell for Chairman. All voted in favor and Mr. Farrell was named Chairman of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee.
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. Equalization and Review - 3 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
Ms. Beeker reminded the Board that she had placed information in each of their boxes related to Board of E & R appointments. There are two requirements for someone to be considered for the Board of E & R:
1. They must have resided in Henderson County for at least three years
immediately preceding the appointment.
2. They must have satisfactory knowledge of or experience in real estate,
fee appraisals, banking, farming, or other business management.
She stated that it would be up to the Board to make the determination as to what is satisfactory knowledge in those specialty areas.
Commissioner Hawkins reminded the Board that the Motor Vehicle Valuation Review Board had been combined with the Board of Equalization and Review. The MVVRB probably meets more frequently than the Board of E & R. He brought up the issue of how vehicles are evaluated and suggested getting someone for this Board with vehicle value experience.
4. Retired Senior Volunteer Program Advisory Council - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
5. Juvenile Crime Prevention Council - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
6. Henderson County Planning Board - 1 vac.
Commissioner Hawkins nominated Mike Cooper for this vacancy. There were no other nominations. Chairman Moyer made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Mr. Cooper. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Appraisal of Automobiles
Chairman Moyer stated that this issue has been raised. It started with a study by the American Automobile Association in Charlotte and then carried to our area. What they basically do is look at a specific type vehicle and then go to the different counties and see how it is being appraised for tax purposes.
He and Commissioner Hawkins both expressed that they felt there was a standard set of appraisals for automobiles but learned differently.
The way the appraisal actually works, the man who does the appraisal service for all the counties in the State comes out with a range of a low, medium, and a high figure. Then the county can select which of those values it chooses and any one of them can be defensible. Some counties use the low figure while other use the medium figure and still others use the high figure. Henderson County is currently using the high range of figures. We=re one of eleven counties who use the high range.
The Board was surprised, stating that they had never heard of this previously. The Assessor gets to select which range will be used in his particular county.
Obviously, if you change your assessment on motor vehicles, there is a gap in revenue that may have to be made up somewhere else. Staff is working on getting more information on this item and the Board will have more information available at a later meeting.
APPROVAL OF HOSPITAL REVENUE BONDS
Chairman Moyer reminded the Commissioners that they had a separate binder dealing with the County Hospital Revenue Bonds Financing.
Jennifer Jackson reminded the Board that the LGC (Local Government Commission) met on September 4 and approved the Board=s application for the issuance of up to $15.3 million in revenue bonds for the following hospital projects: to fund in part the Hospital=s emergency room expansion, parking deck addition and the medical office building project.
A closing is scheduled for this transaction for September 20. Ms. Jackson had distributed a lot of information for the Board=s review (via binder). An extract was attached in the Board=s agenda book that the Board will need to follow. She informed the Board that they would need to adopt a bond order which is part of the extracts.
Jennifer Jackson briefly explained to the Board the mechanics of the transaction. The Henderson County Hospital Corporation came to the Board of Commissioners, requesting their assistance in the issuance of up to $15.3 million in revenue bonds. They would have issued them if they had the legal authority to do so independently but they do not have that authority. The County must issue those bonds. The County then contacted an underwriter and the underwriter through a process of Request for Proposals turned out to be BB&T Capital Markets. Staff of Pardee Hospital and of Henderson County have been working with BB&T in this project. We potentially have a buyer of these bonds but the entity that can actually sell the bonds is the LGC. In order to establish the relationship with LGC and the underwriter for the purchase of the bonds and the sale of the bonds, there is a Bond Purchase Agreement. LGC agrees to sell them and the underwriter agrees to purchase them through the Bond Purchase Agreement under certain conditions. LGC looks for whether there is a proper mechanism to essentially administer the bonds over the 20 year period that they will be outstanding. With that, they look to what is called the Master Trust Indenture and the First Supplemental Trust Indenture. Those are the documents that really outline the administrative end of the bonds themselves plus they go into the specifics of this particular bond issue. The LGC would also be looking to make sure that the county has the proper pledging authority for the security for the bonds, which is the net revenue of the hospital. Here, they got into some amendments of the lease agreement because prior to the most recent amendment, the hospital owned its revenues. In the most recent lease amendments, the hospital conveyed those revenues to the county in order for the Board to have the legal authority to pledge them. The bonds are backed by the net revenues of the hospital. The third thing the LGC looks to is whether the borrowers have proper security and in this particular transaction that is through a direct pay letter of credit. BB&T through their banking side has issued or will be issuing the letter of credit and the reimbursement agreement.
Jennifer explained that generally, due to the revenue bonds being sold on the public market, the Board=s relationship with the hospital will be under some public scrutiny because there are bond holders out there that have entered into and invested in this $15.3 million in reliance upon the Board=s relationship with the hospital and the hospital=s diligent efforts as far as their operation of that hospital is concerned in order to secure the revenue stream. So essentially, any reorganization or restructuring of the hospital would need to be reviewed by the tax folks in order to protect the tax exempt status of this transaction. There will be several different folks interested in any restructuring or amendments to the lease agreement in order to make sure the bond holders are protected.
Commissioner Hawkins asked three questions:
1. to Mr. Nicholson - Does this $15.3 million count against county debt for our calendar year? Mr. Nicholson explained that it does count against our IRS limit of $10,000,000 but we were already over that IRS amount this year because of what we had done earlier in the year for schools so that was not an issue and now has been factored in.
Commissioner Hawkins asked then how that would affect the tax exempt status and how does it affect our financing for the school projects.
Mr. Nicholson explained that the $10 million limit basically gives the banks an additional credit on their taxes that they can issue if we issue ten million dollars or less. It gives them a little more incentive to do the project at a little lesser rate. The effect is minor, on this issue particularly, because it is direct placement of a letter of credit, if we were going to do some additional schools this year, we would be in a position, because of what we issued the first of the year, for it not to make a lot of difference to us this year. It is on a calendar year, not a fiscal year.
Ms. Beeker stated that it is all tax exempt financing.
Commissioner Hawkins asked AIt=s not going to affect our financing plans as far as restricting us on anything the Board chooses to do for the capital outlay for school construction?@
Ms. Jackson stated that it shouldn=t because what is pledged is not any county assets or taxing power to cover these. They are backed by the net revenues of the hospital system only. If there is a problem, the bond holders can only go to the net revenues of Pardee Hospital for payment of the indebtedness.
2. to Jennifer Jackson - On page 52 of the Master Indenture, it says in section 8.05 - compensation of Trustees - it says that the trustee will be paid a reasonable compensation for services. What is that number, is it a percentage, is it a fixed amount. What are we paying the Trustees to handle this?
Ms. Jackson wasn=t sure of what the figure was but stated that the Hospital Corporation would actually being paying it. Carey McLelland stated that their annual charge is about $2,000.
3. to whomever. In the letter of credit and reimbursement agreement on page 1 - it talks about the aggregate principal being $15,250,000, our resolution called for $15,300,000. Paragraph 3 then talks about a 35 day interest and the amount is listed at $15,425,480. That is $175,000 difference and he couldn=t figure out where that money was. We didn=t borrow it.
Jennifer Jackson explained that when you close this deal, there will be up to $15.3 million in bonds outstanding. The letter of credit is a separate contract that we enter into with BB&T, the bank side. It is separate from the capital market section, it=s really a separate entity. When you enter into that agreement, they agree to essentially make good on all our outstanding bonds. They are there to essentially secure the bond holders that no matter what happens with the county or with the corporation, they are going to get paid. Because of that, the letter of credit provider must, in order to protect themselves, assume if we default on day 1 that they will have enough to pay off the bonds with the necessary interest so therefore that 35 days accounts for the notice period and it gets those bond holders paid off with that month=s interest. When the trustee has to draw down to make principal and interest payments to the bond holders, they don=t come to us, they go directly to the letter of credit provider which is BB&T. BB&T will make sure that the trustee has the amount of money to make sure the bond holders are paid and then BB&T bank looks to us for reimbursement of those monies.
Commissioner Hawkins stated AHere=s the question, that was an assumed rate of 12% per annum which is a maximum rate that we could be charged, if I understand the limit. If the rate=s less than that then that $175,000 would be less. What happens to that money if it=s less than 12% that we get?@
Jennifer Jackson stated that we would be in a default situation if this ever comes to pass. She thinks that the interest rate that is associated with a default is 12%.
Chairman Moyer raised a question to the marketing, stating that the resolution refers to this as a private sale and yet we have a remarketing agreement. AAre these bonds going to be offered to the public for purchase?@
Jennifer Jackson stated that BB&T Capital Markets is underwriting this deal. The LGC will sell the whole $15.3 or up to that amount to BB&T Capital Markets. They will then, through the public market system sell chunks of that indebtedness. She was not sure that she could purchase some because they are offering it in fairly large increments. They will be offering it through the public market system.
Mr. Nicholson stated that it was his understanding that they will market this first and foremost to the institutions. It doesn=t mean that the institution won=t turn around and sell it so there may be some that will hit the local market.
John Hester, Chief Financial Officer for Pardee Hospital, stated that he understood it would be offered through brokers and institutions. It will be up to BB&T. He stated that it would be in fairly large denominations, $100,000 per bond. He understood that they would be available for the public.
At this point, Chairman Moyer pointed out that the hospital had a negative pledge. They promised not to put any lien, pledge, charge, anything against any of their assets ever in the future and that=s quite a restriction.
Jennifer Jackson explained that what the negative pledge actually does, which was a result of the negotiations under the letter of credit and reimbursement agreement - the way that is to work is that there is not that prohibition except for those things listed on exhibit A. The hospital has listed the things that they will not put a lien on, mortgage, or encumber in any way. The rest of the assets will remain somewhat free from that covenant.
Chairman Moyer then questioned the language Aor hereafter acquired@ if exhibit A will be used. He stated if you=re going to only place a lien on certain assets you don=t say or hereafter acquired. Attorney Alexander, Pardee=s Attorney, informed Ms. Beeker that it would be a percentage, up to a certain percentage.
After discussion the Chairman of the Board introduced the following bond order, the title of which was read and copies of which had been previously distributed to the Board:
BOND ORDER AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE AND SALE BY THE COUNTY OF NOT TO EXCEED $15,300,000 OF COUNTY OF HENDERSON, NORTH CAROLINA, HOSPITAL REVENUE BONDS (MARGARET R. PARDEE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL PROJECT), SERIES 2001 AND AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH
BE IT ORDERED by the Board of Commissioners (the "Board") of the County of Henderson, North Carolina (the "County"):
The Series 2001 Bonds shall be issued as variable rate fully registered bonds in denominations of $100,000 and multiples of $5,000 in excess thereof and shall be subject to provisions of the book-entry-only system for registration of the Series 2001 Bonds as set forth in the First Supplemental Indenture. While at the Variable Rate, interest on the Series 2001 Bonds shall be payable on the first day of each month, commencing on October 1, 2001, until the payment in full of the principal thereof. After the Conversion Date, if any, the Series 2001 Bonds shall bear interest at the Fixed Rate and interest will be payable on each March 1 and September 1. The final maturity of the Series 2001 Bonds shall not exceed September 1, 2021.
The officers of the County and the agents and employees of the County are hereby authorized and directed to do all acts and things required of them by the provisions of this Bond Order, the Series 2001 Bonds, the Master Trust Indenture, the First Supplemental Indenture, the Bond Purchase Agreements, the Official Statement, the Amended and Restated Lease Agreement, the Negative Pledge Agreement, the Letter of Credit and Reimbursement Agreement or the Remarketing Agreement for the full, punctual and complete performance of the terms, covenants, provisions and agreements of the same.
Upon motion of Chairman Moyer seconded by Commissioner Hawkins, the foregoing Bond Order entitled "ORDER AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE AND SALE BY THE COUNTY OF NOT TO EXCEED $15,300,000 OF COUNTY OF HENDERSON, NORTH CAROLINA, HOSPITAL REVENUE BONDS (MARGARET R. PARDEE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL PROJECT), SERIES 2001 AND AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH" was passed by the following vote:
AYES: Chairman Moyer, Vice-Chair Gordon, Commissioner Hawkins, Commissioner Ward, and Commissioner Messer
Mr. Nicholson explained that the preclosing is scheduled for September 19 and the closing for September 20. He met with two of the bond rating agencies in New York last week, Moodys and Standard & Poors. He introduced Pardee Hospital to the bond rating agencies because we have not issued any debt for Pardee Hospital since 1982. Some time was spent talking about the relationship between the county and Pardee Hospital, the fact that it is a county hospital, your lease with them and the responsibilities under that lease. He spent a lot of time with Moodys to talk about the deal itself. Moodys has been chosen to do the one formal rating. Bill Dunn, Chairman of the Hospital Board; John Hester, Chief Financial Officer of the hospital, and David Nicholson made the trip to New York. He explained that the Board would be pleased when it is announced next week what the first week=s rate will be. He felt that the meetings had gone very well. He took time to update the bond rating agencies on the county=s projects.
Chairman Moyer asked Steve Pennock to update the public on where the construction project stands. Steve Pennock is Vice-President for Professional Services. He stated that the Medical Office Building opened about 3 weeks ago. It is occupied and they are very pleased.
He explained that one project that was not in the bond offering was the MRI project where they made a small addition to the outpatient radiology building and added a second MRI to the hospital. That came on line just last week.
The next project is the parking deck and the upper level of the deck serves the emergency department and the word they have gotten back from the contractors is that the contractors plan to turn it over to the hospital earlier than the rest of the deck, October 8. The lower two levels of the deck should be turned over to the hospital October 24.
The last phase of the project will be started when the parking deck is completed, and that is the new addition to add the emergency department and the new entrance to the hospital which is scheduled to take about 15 months to complete.
WATER MASTER PLAN
The County Manager had received a letter from David C. Hanks, Interim Director of the Water Resources Department, concerning the development of a Water Master Plan for northern Henderson County. The Regional Water Authority requested that Henderson County fund 50% of the expected cost of $44,000.
Mr. Nicholson recommended that the Board approve funding of the development of the Water Master Plan. Staff had no involvement, with the exception of the County providing a map, in the development of the RFQ for these engineering services. The agreement does not specifically state who will pay the cost of the study. However, staff believes that our involvement in the Plan is very important. If our funding of 50% of this Plan ensures participation by staff in its development, Staff would recommend the Board=s approval of this request.
Chairman Moyer stated that Gary Tweed has been involved in this and raised the question of whether the Hendersonville Water System was being considered as part of this evaluation because the two quotes were substantially different. They went back to the people making the proposal and they said that definitely it was and that it would be part of the study. Since that, Chairman Moyer talked to Mayor Niehoff who said that they would be willing and pleased to participate and think the study would be of benefit to that area and they would share any of their information and would participate to the extent that they can.
Chairman Moyer stated that the discussions from the Water Authority and the Policies and Priorities Committee were as follows:
$ The authority started from the standpoint that if Henderson County wants a study, they should pay for the entire study. There was a range of options, do we spread this over the various projects or how to do it. It got quite complicated. Rather than litigate, we basically struck a deal to split the difference and move forward and get the study done.
There was no indication that the City of Hendersonville would participate in the cost.
Mr. Nicholson stated that they had asked that we send our $22,000 up front. If they are paying the $44,000 up front he has no problem with that but if they are billed on a regular basis by Mattern & Craig, then we=ll be happy to submit checks at the same time.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve it on the basis that Gary Tweed have involvement with respect to the study and that the City of Hendersonville and their water system would be involved and that Henderson County will participate in payment of the bills as the billing is received.
Angela Beeker added that with the American Freightways Line there was a lot of discussion as to whether the line had to be on the Master Plan before the county could request it as a regional water line under the agreement and she wanted it to be clear that the Board is not going to give up the right under the Regional Water Agreement to request regional water lines, regardless of whether they happen to show up on the Master Plan when it is finished or not. She did not want the Board to lock themselves in. The Board reserves any right they have to request a regional water line, regardless of whether it is actually on the Master Plan or not. This will generate some discussion. She felt the Board should leave all their options open in the future with regard to requesting regional water lines.
Chairman Moyer stated that the Board never conceded to that issue but the Authority took care of that issue for the Board by simply saying that they have a Master Plan that has that line on it. Ms. Beeker stated that the Authority voted to amend it as did Buncombe County. Chairman Moyer stated that we need two out of the three to basically approve the change in the Master Plan and addition of a line. He stated that is one of the issues he=s sure Commissioner Gordon and he will be getting into in the negotiations. With the added condition, he asked for a vote on his motion. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
There were none.
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)(1) To prevent disclosure of information that is privileged or confidential pursuant to the
law of this State or of the United States, or not considered a public record within the meaning of Chapter 132 of the General Statutes as allowed by and pursuant to NCGS 131E-97.3.
2.(a)(1) To prevent disclosure of information that is privileged or confidential pursuant to the law of this State or of the United States, or not considered a public record within the meaning of Chapter 132 of the General Statutes, in accordance with and pursuant to NCGS 143-318.10(e) and Article II of Chapter ll of the Henderson County Code.
3.(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 and to consult with an attorney employed or retained by the public body in order to give instructions to the attorney with respect to a claim.
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.
Chairman Moyer made the motion for the Board to go out of closed session. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
UPDATE ON PENDING ISSUES
House Bill #984 Commissioner Ward
Commissioner Ward had received some calls from local landscapers, contractors, and yard maintenance people that had brought House Bill #984 to his attention. This HB affects all house owners, business people and anyone who does landscaping throughout the county. The bill was generated in the House. He had talked with a couple of House members. At 5:00 p.m. this evening he spoke to Senator Carpenter who believes that this will die in committee this year. He talked with the sponsors on the House side and he said he would hold it until next year because it is not moving in the committee and they=ll set up a study commission to look at the Bill and show some areas where it could be improved on, if it=s brought back up. As far as Henderson County, Commissioner Ward thinks it is unfair to Henderson County. He stated that a group of bureaucrats had put together a bill basically to raise money for Raleigh. It could raise from $250,000 to $500,000 a year. He thinks it is just another hoop that the working people have to jump through to aid Raleigh in their budget troubles. He hoped that all the Commissioners would support a resolution to the State that they need to send this House Bill to a study commission for its improvement. There are at least 200 landscapers in our county and this Bill would have a huge effect on Henderson County. He asked the other Commissioners to join him in a resolution of not supporting this Bill.
Commissioner Ward made the motion that this Board oppose House Bill #984 as it is presently written and ask that it be referred to a study commission for further study and improvement.
Following discussion, a vote was taken on the motion which passed unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - Road Names
Commissioner Ward made the motion for the Board to go into public hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
The purpose of this public hearing was to name several roads in Henderson County. The list of road names to be considered was as follows:
Proposed Name Current Name
Sunrise Hill Lane Pullover Lane
Deer Meadow Lane
Grand Peak Springs Road
Try and Find It Lane
Staff recommended Board approval.
Chairman Moyer made the motion for the Board to approve the road names submitted. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Moyer made the motion for the Board to go out of public hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
State Budget David Nicholson
David Nicholson informed the Board that the House has passed a tentative budget which includes a replacement for our reimbursements of a half cent local option sales tax, that is 105% guaranteed. They are still trying to figure out what this new bill is going to do.
At the end of last month we were to receive intangibles tax reimbursement. A resolution passed by the members of the General Assembly said until the budget was adopted that could not be forwarded to us. For Henderson County it is $2,028,439. We did not get those funds at the end of last month.
He reminded the Board that there is another revenue that we get, it=s very small but still a revenue - food stamp reimbursement. This is where they took the sales tax off food stamps, it=s $35,430 that we should have gotten last month that we have not received.
The continued pressure goes on that we=re suppose to get the first payment in the inventory reimbursement on September 30 which should be about $600,000. A lot of things are happening. They are looking at other alternatives which include this Board having to levy an additional sales tax.
The Senate=s Finance Committee is expected tomorrow to approve its version of the budget which at this point in time includes the additional half cent sales tax for local governments and no reimbursements for our loss of revenues that had been in the state budget. One of the caveats however is that we would receive a monthly sales tax reimbursement instead of a quarterly sales tax reimbursement. They are expecting the Senate Finance Committee to approve it tomorrow and by the end of this week it should be on the floor of the Senate.
Mr. Nicholson stated that from what he hears within the next two weeks you=re going to see a finalized budget from the state. At this point in time it appears to include the alternative the Board is going to have to face and that is looking at levying a half cent sales tax.
Chairman Moyer reminded the Board that we could be facing an economic downturn. We could go into this for one year and then if next year sales tax revenues are off we could really be hurting. The State is nicely passing the problem back to the Board.
Clean Air Resolution Chairman Moyer
Chairman Moyer reminded those in attendance that when the Board rechartered the Environmental Advisory Board, the Board charged them with looking at air quality and handed to them three resolutions to review and make a recommendation back to the Board:
1. Board of Health Resolution
2. Canary Coalition Resolution
3. Clean Smokestacks Act Resolution
Commissioner Gordon wanted it to be known that she voted in favor the Resolution that came before the Board of Health. She encouraged anyone with questions to read the text of the Resolution because the Board of Health put a lot of thought and study into the wording of that resolution.
Comprehensive County Plan
Chairman Moyer stated that this has been delayed. He felt that this project is so important and we need to get started off on a good footing. All the Commissioners are comfortable with where we stand and David has been talking with a consultant. Mr. Moyer has talked with the consultant also. Mr. Moyer will ask the consultant (Denny Martin) to come to the next Commissioners= meeting to make a presentation to the full Board so they can see what he has in mind.
Regional Water Authority Meetings - Negotiations Sessions
Chairman Moyer stated concerning the negotiations with Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, and the Asheville-Buncombe-Henderson Water Authority that there have been two meetings of this group. He and Commissioner Gordon were at both meetings. He asked Commissioner Gordon to update the Board.
Commissioner Gordon stated that the two meetings have been laying the framework for further discussions. Today they got into a little more meat of the issues. Today a facilitator was selected, Jim Stokoe from Land of Sky Regional Council of Governments, and he was at the meeting today outlining the process that will be used going forward. She reminded the Board that the meetings are being recorded and will be broadcast on our cable channel. The meetings will be alternated between here and Buncombe County so that members of the public can more easily attend when it is in your area.
Chairman Moyer stated that there will be a public comment period at the end of each session of 10 minutes or 2 minutes per person. The next session will probably be at the Water Treatment Plant on September 26 at 9:00 a.m., if not at the water treatment plant it will be here in this meeting room.
Accident on Spartanburg Highway
Chairman Moyer asked Commissioner Gordon to speak to the unfortunate accident on the Spartanburg Highway last Friday.
Commissioner Gordon explained that there was an accident on the Spartanburg Highway that involved some of our EMS personnel as well as the City Police and victims from the public. It was a very unfortunate situation that couldn=t have been avoided by any procedures that ordinarily would have been followed. She was very appreciative of the steps that staff took to notify the Commissioners of what was happening and keep them informed. She also expressed appreciation for Rocky Hyder=s role there. She expressed our concern for those employees and victims. She stated that she understood there was nothing that was life-threatening which was a big relief for everyone concerned. We are going to have some people that will have to take some time to recuperate and our thoughts are with them.
David Nicholson stressed that our thoughts and prayers are with all the folks who were involved. We are going to have some employees who will have to undergo rehabilitation before they=ll be back to work. Our employees followed all normal procedures and were doing exactly what they were suppose to do. It=s just one of those things that happened because of someone else=s medical condition when we were trying to deal with someone.
Chairman Moyer stated that he and staff tried so hard to get the information out to the Commissioners. There were so many rumors floating about. He wanted the Commissioners to have the facts.
Commissioner Messer stated that as of last Tuesday Westfeldt Park was closed. There have been some minor changes in the way the park will be cleaned up. Fletcher Police Department, some of Fletcher Council and the Mayor met at the park Saturday morning. A section of the Army Reserve - Combat Engineers are willing to come in at the end of October or the first of November, about six or eight men, to do a lot of the work. Mr. Swain has the project on hold for a while but there are definite plans to get the park back open as soon as possible.
David Nicholson informed the Board that we had a very successful grand opening last Wednesday which was well attended by the community. A substantial number of people were toured through the facility. In-mates were moved into the facility over the week-end. Sheriff Erwin had informed David that the transition has gone well. It is locked down and operational. He hopes to have a report to the Board at next Wednesday=s meeting on the close-out of the facility and the budgetary information the Board had requested.
Chairman Moyer briefly mentioned the issues that All Creatures Great and Small have been encountering with the State and the City of Hendersonville. He and Commissioner Gordon had a meeting with representatives from all the agencies to develop a contingency plan in case that agency were to be shut down to find homes for all the animals. If it were to close it would place a tremendous burden on the humane society and our animal shelter. The decision has been appealed so it may be put off.
Howard Gap Road/Opening of new Fletcher School
Commissioner Messer stated that the School opened and it all went well. There was a license check or road check that was in effect August 27 - 31 by the NC Highway Patrol, Henderson County Sheriff=s Dept. and the Fletcher Police Department. They spent approx. eight hours on the four days. They gave out approx. 1,000 pamphlets to motorists. They had 1,800 to 2,000 contacts on the opening day of school last Tuesday and passed out another 150 - 200 pamphlets to the parents of the school children. They wrote very few citations during this time. The bottom line was to increase safety on that road in the vicinity of the school and decrease speeding.
Distance Based Education
Chairman Moyer stated that there had been some articles in the newspaper about distance based learning. He asked Commissioner Hawkins to address this issue. Commissioner Hawkins reminded everyone that this Board has worked very diligently with the Board of Education over the past several years to meet both their capital needs and their current operating expenses. He was surprised to read in our local newspaper where this Board had been accused of not supporting distance based education in our high schools. He felt that this issue had never been presented to the Board of Commissioners and challenged Mr. Moss, from the Times-News, to come visit with the Board on tape and tell them about the process. He would like to know when this Board turned down distance based education.
Mud Creek Water & Sewer Agreement
Commissioner Ward serves on the Mud Creek Advisory Council with Ron Stephens chairing the group. They have met three or four times and progress has been made. The boundaries have been set but are in rough draft. They have another meeting scheduled this month and then will take the agreement to the City Council and the Board of Commissioners to show the progress. They have invited different people to come to the meetings. Robert Smith from the Health Department will attend a meeting and offer his help regarding the problem areas in the community regarding septic tanks. They are still working on the Sewer Plan.
Commissioner Hawkins stated that one of the prime drivers on this agreement was for the County and the City of Hendersonville to do joint planning. Hendersonville has been wanting to do joint planning for years. He stated that here is the golden opportunity for it. He was surprised when Hendersonville made a unilateral request to extend the sewer down Hwy. #25. He expressed that this was covered in the Henderson County Code under 303B - it says that the county or the city can conduct studies.
Commissioner Hawkins made the motion that Chairman Moyer contact the Chairman of this Committee and ask for a study reference the relevance of running sewer line down Hwy. #25. We have a committee studying that as well as some folks from Flat Rock.
Chairman Moyer stated that there has been an ongoing problem that needs addressing regarding sewer service in the area of Hwy. #25 South. It is a health condition problem with respect to sewage. One of the benefits of the line was to relieve the problem in the manufactured home park. That problem is the prime motivation but the people may not want it. The City of Hendersonville won=t do it if the people in that area don=t want annexation because they don=t extend sewer service unless the people in the area agree to annexation.
It was the consensus of the Board to send a letter to ask for this to be included as part of the planning process.
Chairman Moyer informed the Board that the last meeting was August 21. They had several things on the agenda, one being an update on the Central Booking at the new Jail and the opening of that facility. They were given an update on the progress of the Hwy. #25 South Comprehensive Land Use Plan and the formation of that committee. At that time they had not had a meeting. Since then they have had their first meeting and have started the study of what they were asked to do in that area. They discussed a Planning Mission Statement to share information regarding zoning, planning, ETJs, and annexations where it would affect another jurisdiction or is on the boundary of another jurisdiction. There was much discussion and now Chairman Moyer is tasked with drafting the Planning Mission Statement for the LGCCA. He felt that the unanimous consensus of the group was that before actions are taken in the future that a group will be notified of proposed annexations, ETJ changes, zoning, etc. where it affects another jurisdiction and then advise the group. The group may decide they want to have a joint study. This would start the process so that everyone would know what is going on and have a chance to have some input in it if they choose to. Any recommendations would come back to the various governing boards for action. They spent some time identifying other priority areas that the municipalities would like to work on with the county and talked about Hwy. #64 East and the need to study that as well as Hwy. # 25 North and possibly some of the areas between us and Fletcher. LGCCA will be finalizing that. The last item they touched on was RPOs (rural planning organizations) and LGCCA was brought up to date on the county=s position with respect to that.
The next LGCCA meeting will be here, Henderson County will host it, on September 18 at 3:00 p.m.
This was deferred until the next meeting on September 19, due to the lateness of the hour.
Commissioner Ward made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:48 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman