STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON OCTOBER 1, 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, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
Also present were: Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, Planning Director Karen C. Smith, and Finance Director J. Carey McLelland. Amy Brantley, Volunteer Coordinator/Deputy Clerk to the Board was present through the Nominations.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Gordon led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
David Nicholson gave the invocation.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Chairman Moyer informed the Board of a need to go into closed session for a personnel item. Originally no closed session was scheduled.
Chairman Moyer added as C-2 - Sheriff=s Department Lease.
Chairman Moyer added as C-3 - Pardee item, MRI funding.
Chairman Moyer added as C-4 - update on the State Budget.
Commissioner Ward added as C-5 - update on the bid process for the architectural firm on the old courthouse, whether we=re complying with the State Statutes.
David Nicholson asked to move AF@ from the consent agenda to just after Nominations - APartnership for Health - Funding Request@.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the revised agenda. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Ward made the motion to approve the Consent Agenda, with the exception of item AF@ which was pulled for discussion. 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:
November 18, 1998, special called meeting
September 17, 2001, special called meeting
Tax Collector=s Report
Terry F. Lyda, Tax Collector, had provided the Tax Collector=s report for the Board=s information, dated September 28, 2001.
Henderson County Public Schools Financial Report - August 2001
The August Public Schools Financial Report was provided for consent approval. The School System=s Finance Officer will be asked to provide budget information for the Local Current Expense Fund on the September Financial Report. Due to the lateness in receiving the August report for this agenda, a revised report was not requested.
Financial Report - August 2001
Cash Balance Report - August 2001
The August Financial Report and Cash Balance Report were provided for consent approval. Non-departmental expenditures in the General Fund include the annual premiums paid to the NCACC Insurance Pools for the County=s Worker=s Compensation and Property/Liability insurance coverage. These costs will be distributed out to each of the departmental budgets. Excess expenditures in the Revaluation Reserve Fund are due to 50% of the budgeted vehicle lease payments being paid in July and August.
Set Public Hearing - Law Enforcement Grant
Annually, the Henderson County Sheriff=s Department receives a grant from the US Department of Justice. It is time to apply for the 2001 Local Law Enforcement Block Grant. The amount of the grant is $17,613 and it requires a local match of $1,957. The match will be provided through drug seizure monies.
David Nicholson recommended that the Board schedule a Public Hearing on October 17, 2001 at 11:00 a.m. for the purpose of applying for this grant.
Approval of Closed Session Minutes
The Board was requested to adopt the following motion:
Motion - The following closed session minutes and general accounts are hereby approved and shall be deemed sealed as provided by Section 11-6 of the Henderson County Code:
Minutes for the closed sessions held on January 4, 1999, July 6, 1999, August 18, 1999, October 4, 1999, July 25, 2001, August 6, 2001, and August 15, 2001 as presented and amended during the closed session held on September 19, 2001.
Unsealing of Closed Session Minutes
The Board was requested to adopt the following motion:
The closed session minutes and general account reflecting discussions of the specific items listed below are hereby unsealed:
1. January 4, 2000, Item Discussed Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3), Henderson County v. Crosby (99 CVS 527) and Henderson County v. Jackson (99CVS 526).
2. February 7, 2000, Item Discussed Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3), County of Henderson v. City of Hendersonville.
3. March 6, 2000, Item Discussed Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3) Consult with an attorney. Henderson County v. Jackson.
4. March 15, 2000, Item Discussed Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3) To Consult with an Attorney - Threatened Lawsuit
5. April 3, 2000, Item Discussed Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3), County of Henderson v. City of Hendersonville.
6. April 19, 2000, Item Discussed Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3) Henderson County v. Crosby (99 CVS 527).
7. April 19, 2000 Item Discussed pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(1) To prevent the disclosure of information that is privileged or confidential . . . or not considered a public record.
8. April 19, 2000 Item Discussed Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3), County of Henderson v. City of Hendersonville.
9. May 1, 2000 Item Discussed Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(5) Acquisition of Real Property.
10. May 1, 2000 Item Discussed Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3), Henderson County v. City of Hendersonville.
11. July 26, 2000 Item Discussed Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(4), Location or expansion of Industry in the area.
12. October 2, 2000 Item Discussed Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(4), Location or expansion of industries in the area served by the public body.
13. November 15, 2000 Item Discussed pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(1) Review/approval of Closed Session Minutes
14. December 4, 2000 Item Discussed pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(1) Confidential Information.
15. January 2, 2001 Item Discussed pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(1)
16. February 5, 2001. Item Discussed Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(5)
17. February 5, 2001 Item Discussed pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(1) Approval of Closed Session Minutes
18. February 21, 2001 Item Discussed Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(5) Property Acquisition.
19. March 12, 2001 Item Discussed Pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(5) Acquisition of Real Property.
Funding Request - Partnership for Health
The Henderson County Partnership for Health has been awarded a grant from the Community Foundation for a Health Care Access and Assessment. They are required to provide a match for the grant and requested $4,000 from the County to assist with the match. It is a $7,500 challenge grant.
Anya Petersen-Frey explained that they need assistance in filing the application and getting data.
She requested $4,000 from Henderson County and will request $1,000 from the City of Hendersonville and $2,500 from Board partners for a total of $7,500 in matching funds.
There was much discussion with much of it concerning the fact that this request is out of sync with our budget cycle. There was a consensus of the Board to give this request strong consideration in the next budget cycle and to ask that it be placed in the Health Department Budget.
Chairman Moyer reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:
1. Mountain Area Workforce Development Board - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
2. Equalization and Review - 3 vac.
Commissioner Gordon nominated Babs Kuykendall to fill position #3. Commissioner Gordon made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Ms. Kuykendall. All voted in favor and the motion carried. There are two remaining vacancies.
3. Retired Senior Volunteer Program Advisory Council - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
4. Juvenile Crime Prevention Council - 3 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
AMENDMENT TO HENDERSON COUNTY WORK FIRST PLAN FOR FY 01-03
The approval of the Board of Commissioners was needed for the amendment (with signature of the Chairman on the certification page) to the Work First Plan for FY 01-03. No additional county funds are needed. This amendment will allow the use of existing funds available in the Work First Grant to supplement funds in the Child Care Block Grant. This will allow more children to be served and the waiting list to be reduced.
In Liston Smith=s absence, Patti Leonard asked the Board=s permission to amend the plan. The amendment would allow the funds to be used in a little different way, spending the money on the working poor. There is a real need for day care funds (child care service) in Henderson County. They plan to use a smaller portion of the funds to help with job retention.
Following discussion, David Nicholson told the Board that Staff would provide to them an audit of the program, a full report soon.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the amendment to the Henderson County Work First Plan for FY 01 - 03 as set forth, specifically listed under Article 10 of the plan. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
The County Manager recommended approval of the Amendment to the Henderson County Work First Plan for FY 01-03.
AIR QUALITY ISSUES
The Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) was asked by the Board of Commissioners to study and make a recommendation on the Smokestack Bill and the Resolution of the Henderson County Board of Health.
Fielding Lucas, Chair of the Environmental Advisory Committee discussed air quality issues with the Board that the Environmental Advisory Committee had been studying. He presented a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners to support legislation to improve air quality in North Carolina and a recommendation to support the Board of Health Resolution. The Committee will continue to work on this and will come back to the Board with a recommendation on how they want to proceed with monitoring, etc.
The Environmental Advisory Committee requested that the Board of Commissioners support legislation at the national and state level to improve air quality in North Carolina, particularly with respect to contributions made by coal fired utilities and vehicle emissions.
The EAC also respectfully requested the Board of Commissioners support the Henderson County Board of Health Resolution.
The County Manager recommended the support of the Henderson County Board of Health Resolution.
Following discussion, Commissioner Gordon made the motion that the Board support the resolution of the Board of Health. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
UPDATE ON PENDING ISSUES
Hospital Revenue Bonds
David Nicholson reminded the Board that we have closed on the Pardee financing since the last time the Board met. Due to the issues with air travel because of the attack on America on September 11, this closing was done by mail. The final amount was $15.3 million and with fees the interest rate for the first week was 2.815%.
Pardee Hospital - MRI funding
Henderson County Hospital Corporation recently acquired a second MRI which is now in service. This equipment has already noticeably eased scheduling difficulties and allowed the hospital to provide a better quality of care to patients who are in need of MRI services.
The plan for acquisition of this MRI has always included the financing of this purchase. In order to expedite the provision of this service, the hospital corporation initially paid the purchase price and continued the process of obtaining the necessary financing. The hospital corporation solicited bids from interested lenders (twice) and entered into a commitment with Wachovia Leasing Corporation who was the low bidder, taking into account the interest rate and applicable expenses. A commitment letter has been issued and executed and the Installment Purchase Contract has been tendered to the hospital corporation. Copies of both documents were provided for the Board=s review.
NCGS 160A-20(el) requires the county=s approval of this contract. Bill Dunn requested (by letter) the county commissioners approve this borrowing under the terms as outlined in the commitment and Contract.
The terms of the commitment from Wachovia require that this transaction be closed on or before October 5, 2001, which would be before the Board=s next meeting. That is why the Board had not received prior notice of this agenda item.
Traditionally, the hospital corporation has paid these monies from its reserves and needs to Areimburse@ the reserves as soon as possible. The hospital corporation just approved Wachovia as the lender at its meeting on Wednesday, September 26 and the need for county approval was noted on September 28.
This borrowing was included in the projected long-term debt figures that were furnished to BB&T in their consideration of provision of the letter of credit which secures the bond financing.
Chairman Moyer asked Ms. Beeker what action the Board needed to take. Ms. Beeker stated that if the Board so desired, they would just need to issue a consent to the borrowing of the money.
Commissioner Hawkins made the motion for the Board to approve the borrowing from Wachovia Leasing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Sheriff=s Department Lease
Ms. Beeker distributed a lease that had already been approved by the lessor. The Sheriff=s Department has an opportunity to lease about 10 acres of property for use by the Mounted Patrol Program, basically for the taxes owed. This amounts to about $700 per year. The lease is for five years with an option to renew for an additional five years. The lessor has to remain responsible for paying the property taxes. Henderson County has to pay the insurance which will come out of the Sheriff=s Dept. budget as will the $700.00. No security deposit is required.
Mose Highsmith, Attorney for the Sheriff=s Department, introduced Wallace Mooney who is the Director of the Mounted Patrol Program. Mr. Highsmith stated that this property is in the Horse Shoe/Etowah area. It is 10 acres of an approx. 22 acre tract owned by Billie Mullinax. He explained that the Mounted Patrol plans to build some training rings and use that area to train their horses for crowd control, etc.
Ms. Beeker stated that the Sheriff=s Department will implement an acceptable use policy for the Mounted Patrol to make sure that the activities conducted on the property would be in accordance with their mission and would be insurable.
Mr. Mooney distributed a policy statement on what they do with the horses in the program. He explained that a horse and rider has to be certified once a year.
Commissioner Gordon made the motion to approve the lease and to send a letter to Mr. Mullinax thanking him for making his property available. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
INFORMAL PUBLIC INPUT
1. Carol Kauppert - Ms. Kauppert spoke in reference to the draft ordinance on the agenda APublic Demonstration Ordinance. Tuesday she inquired as to whom to speak to about such an ordinance. She talked with Carey McLelland who informed her we didn=t have such an ordinance but there would be discussion of one on tonight=s agenda and possible adoption. Ms. Kauppert felt that this had been pushed through quickly.
Angela Beeker explained that if the Board chose to adopt this ordinance this evening, they could do so. No public hearing is required. It would be a police powers ordinance.
Ms. Kauppert questioned the 10 day permit period since she had originally inquired on Tuesday. Ms. Beeker explained that could be changed Afor good cause@. Ms. Beeker also informed Ms. Kauppert that she would be glad to answer any of her questions following the meeting.
Update on State Budget
David Nicholson informed the Board that the State had final agreement on a set of revenue enhancements which include both sales tax and an increase in some of the income taxes across the county. The reimbursements and the issue of the half cent sales tax were of particular interest. The State approved a state-wide half cent sales tax which goes into effect October 15, it is not a local option sales tax. However, it has a sunset at the end of June 2003. The State sales tax will go away then and the Board will have the option prior to April of that year to continue it on as a local option sales tax. The State wanted to get this in place quickly so they put the State sales tax in effect and continue reimbursements, the intangibles tax reimbursement and the inventory tax reimbursement as well as the homestead exemption and the sales tax on food stamps. The State will continue to keep those reimbursements in the next couple of year=s budgets and then turn around the following year and eliminate the reimbursements and replace them with a local option sales tax. Mr. Nicholson explained that this was done just to get this tax in place as quickly as the State could.
Carey McLelland had informed Mr. Nicholson that last Friday, Henderson County got a wire transfer of $611,223.44 for half of the inventory tax. Mr. Nicholson assumes that in April we will get the other half.
The Board has until April of 2003 to decide about the local option sales tax. Mr. Nicholson will distribute any information he gets from the NC Association of County Commissioners to the Board as he gets it.
Bid Process - Architectural Firm - Historic Courthouse
Commissioner Ward had asked if we were following bid compliance for the work on the old courthouse.
Mr. Nicholson stated that we have followed the rules and procedures that we had in effect back in the 1990s. We are still working under that contract. The project had just been put on hold for some time. That contract is only for the footings of the current building (footprint). An addition may have to be an amendment to the contract, Staff will research that.
Ms. Beeker was asked for her legal opinion on this. She stated that the Board has not approved anything finally with respect to the historic courthouse. It is still being considered and under discussion. At the point in time that the Board does vote, if they decide to stick with the historic courthouse proper, then there is a contract. If the Board decides to go with the addition, she would recommend updating the contract and that the Board exempt themselves from any requirement for going out for bids on the new addition. She felt that going out for qualifications on the new pieces would end up costing much more money because we would have to pay a new architect to get up to speed and then could have two architects who would have to correlate and work together. Legally the Board could go out for proposal on the new piece if they choose to.
Change the date of the mid-November Commissioners= meeting
Chairman Moyer reminded the Board that the mid-November meeting is scheduled for the day before Thanksgiving. Some people go away for the holiday. There was some discussion of changing that date either one week earlier or one week later and November 14 was the suggested date.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to change the date of the regularly scheduled meeting from Wednesday, November 21 at 9:00 a.m. to Wednesday, November 14 at 9:00 a.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Set Public Hearing on Rezoning Application #R-03-01 (OU to I-2)
Hollabrook Farms, A Partnership, Applicant
Hollabrook Farms, A Partnership, had submitted an application requesting that the County rezone a 222.31 +/- acre parcel from OU (Open Use) zoning to an I-2 (General Industrial) zoning district. The parcel proposed for rezoning is located along Butler Bridge Road, just east of the intersection of Butler Bridge and Jeffress roads, and lying on the eastern bank of the French Broad River and the northern bank of Mud Creek.
The Henderson County Planning Board reviewed the application at its meeting on Tuesday, September 25, 2001 and voted to send the Board of Commissioners a favorable recommendation on the request to rezone the property from OU to I-2. Before taking action on the application, the Board of Commissioners must hold a public hearing. Staff proposed that the hearing be scheduled for Monday, November 5, at 7:00 p.m.
Commissioner Ward made the motion to set the public hearing for Monday, November 5 at 7:00 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE HENDERSON COUNTY SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE
At its retreat on September 14, 2001, the Henderson County Planning Board voted to send the Board of Commissioners a favorable recommendation on a set of three proposed amendments to the County Subdivision Ordinance.
Most of Proposed Amendment 1 involves modifications of an amendment related to Adriveways@ that was part of a set of amendments the Planning Board sent to the Board of Commissioners last year. The Commissioners did not adopt the Adriveway@ amendment, rather they referred it to the Planning Board for additional work. A new component of Amendment 1 involves the addition of standards for one-way roads. Proposed Amendment 2, which clarifies the road standards applicable to minor subdivisions of 3 or fewer lots, was initiated by staff and the Planning Board to help eliminate interpretation questions. Proposed Amendment 3 clarifies an amendment the Subdivision Ordinance adopted in November of 2000 regarding construction standards for bridges. It also requires the submission of an engineer=s certification that a bridge has been constructed according to plans before the County signs a final plat or releases an improvement guarantee.
The Board of Commissioners must hold a public hearing prior to taking action on amendments to the Subdivision Ordinance. At this time, Staff requested that the Board determine whether it wants to schedule a workshop on the proposed amendments prior to scheduling a hearing or if it wants to schedule both a workshop and a hearing. If the Board decides to schedule a public hearing, the earliest regular evening meeting at which it could be held, due to notice requirements, would be Monday, November 5, 2001, at 7:00 p.m.
The Board had some discussions and decided they would prefer to have a workshop prior to the public hearing. The Board will set a date at a later time. Mr. Nicholson asked the Clerk to list this on the bottom of the AImportant Dates Calendar@.
Commissioner Hawkins raised the question of a need for the Board of Commissioners to meet with the Board of Education to discuss class sizes, teachers= aides and similar issues. The State Budget will have a direct effect on them and these issues. Mr. Nicholson will speak with Dr. Burnham and try to get a date or something to bring back to this Board.
DRAFT PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION ORDINANCE
From time to time the County is approached by groups wishing to utilize County property to stage public demonstrations. The Board was given a draft ordinance that they could review and consider for adoption. This ordinance attempts to regulate the time, place, and manner in which public demonstrations will be permitted on County property.
Adoption of this draft ordinance could be accomplished as an exercise of the police powers granted to the County. In order for it to pass on its first reading the vote of the Board would need to be unanimous.
Ms. Beeker distributed a summary of the Proposed Public Demonstration Ordinance. She informed the Board that this ordinance is a compilation of four or five different ordinances from across the nation as well as some of her own ideas.
Ms. Beeker reviewed the Ordinance with the Board. The Board of Commissioners controls county property and this ordinance would control activities on county property. The Board can regulate time, place, and manner for public demonstrations. There are very few instances where the Board can regulate content; therefore, this ordinance does not attempt to regulate content with one small exception.
The County Manager is the administrator of the ordinance. The Ordinance requires a permit. A law enforcement officer is required at a public demonstration, more than one if Mr. Nicholson deems necessary. The applicant for the permit is the responsible party and must pay any additional costs incurred by the County, such as additional law enforcement or any clean up costs.
She reviewed the restrictions on the public demonstration:
1. Must be conducted in a peaceable manner
2. Limited to area permitted
3. Cannot interfere with normal operations of county government
4. Cannot interfere or impede provision of emergency and public safety services
5. No weapons allowed
6. No vicious animals allowed
7. No obscenity could be used
If a permit is denied there are a couple of options available in the ordinance. The permit may be revoked if:
1. Terms of permit or approved application violated
2. Public disaster or public emergency
3. Where necessary to protect public safety
She explained that the law enforcement officer on site would have the authority to order dispersal of the demonstration. Adverse decisions are appealable to the Board of Commissioners.
She did anticipate that there would need to be amendments to the ordinance in the future.
There was much discussion about the proposed $200 fee and the fact that they felt it was excessive. Costs would directly depend on the length of the demonstration, an hour is one thing but a 8 - 10 hour demonstration would be much more expensive.
Following discussion, Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the Ordinance with the $25 filing fee, effective today, and authorize Mr. Nicholson to estimate other costs. Part of the motion was for Staff to look into the fee arrangement to see if there were better ways to handle it. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Moyer made the motion for the Board to go into closed session as allowed pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11 for the following reason:
1.(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.
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