STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON OCTOBER 17, 2001
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a regularly scheduled meeting at 9:00 a.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, Assistant County Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Assistant to the County Manager/Budget Analyst Selena Coffey, I.T. Director Kelli Laughton, Land Records Supervisor Pam Carver, Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Coordinator Rocky Hyder, Interim Tax Assessor Mark Edney, Sheriff George Erwin and Debbie Ward from his staff, Planners Nippy Page and Josh Freeman, 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 Ward led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
Rev. Gus Martschink, Pardee Hospital Chaplaincy Program, gave the invocation.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Chairman Moyer added one item to Discussion Items as AA@ - NC Department of Transportation TIP hearing.
Commissioner Gordon added item AB@ - MSD Policy update.
David Nicholson added item AC@ - Financing for Blue Ridge Fire Dept.
Chairman Moyer informed the Board of an additional need to go into closed session for, (a) (6) to discuss a personnel item.
Commissioner Ward asked that an additional item be added as AD@ - update on capital projects - Animal Shelter, EMS, Carolina Apparel building. Chairman Moyer asked that the Board discuss the EMS issues under AImportant Dates@.
Commissioner Ward also asked that he be allowed to make a public service announcement at some point. Chairman Moyer stated that he could do that prior to the consent agenda.
Chairman Moyer made the motion that the Board approve the adjusted agenda. All voted in favor an the motion carried.
Chairman Moyer pulled item AB@ - tax releases, to be placed back on the next agenda for approval. Some of the Commissioners have questions about some of these releases and Chairman Moyer will try to get those answers prior to that time. He also pulled item AJ@ - Resolution - Seeking Tax Relief for Members of the United States Armed Forces Who Are Residents of the State of North Carolina. Commissioner Hawkins will comment on the Resolution.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the Consent Agenda, except for items AB@ and AJ@. 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:
February 11, 1999, special called meeting
September 19, 2001, regular meeting
September 21, 2001, special called meeting
Tax Releases - were pulled from the consent agenda and will be on the next Board agenda.
A list of 10 tax release requests was presented to the Board for review and approval, which is hereby made a part of these minutes.
Tax Collector=s Report
Terry F. Lyda, Tax Collector, had submitted the Tax Collector=s Report dated October 15 to the Board for information purposes.
Darlene Burgess, Deputy Tax Collector, had submitted the Deputy Tax Collector=s Report dated October 19, 2001 for the Board=s information.
Revision to Performance Guarantee Agreement for Meadow Woods, Phase II
On July 25, 2001, the Board of Commissioners approved a performance guarantee agreement for HomeAid to cover road improvements in Phase II of Meadow Woods Subdivision. Staff recently discovered that the draft agreement that had been presented earlier to the Commissioners for approval contained an incorrect completion date for the improvements. The draft agreement stated the completion date as September 30, 2001. The application for the improvement guarantee that had been submitted by HomeAid actually requested a completion date of September 30, 2002. The 2001 date matched the completion date of an improvement guarantee that the Commissioners had approved for Phase I of Meadow Woods.
Staff requested that the Board of Commissioners approve the performance guarantee agreement that has been revised to show the proper completion date. The County is already holding the performance bond for the improvements in Phase II. The requested change in the performance guarantee agreement will not require any changes to the performance bond.
David Nicholson recommended that the Board approve the revised performance guarantee agreement for Meadow Woods, Phase II.
Pawnbroker=s License Renewal - Etowah Pawnbrokers, Inc.
Bruce Gosnell, who operates Etowah Pawnbrokers, Inc. has filed an application to continue operating a pawnshop at the Etowah Shopping Center in Henderson County.
Mr. Gosnell first applied for a pawnbroker=s license in 1990 and has renewed his application/petition every year since. The most current license expired on September 30, 2001. A complete renewal application was submitted on September 25, 2001 and was submitted for the Board=s review. The only item that Mr. Gosnell submitted that was not in the packet was his financial statement of capital assets. If the Board wishes to review this financial statement it would be appropriate for the Board to go into closed session pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11(a)(1) and NCGS 53B-3 in order to consider the same.
The Assistant County Attorney had reviewed the application/petition and the attachments and believed that everything was in order. Should the Board wish to renew such license, action at this meeting to renew Mr. Gosnell=s pawnbroker=s license for a term beginning October 1, 2001 and ending September 30, 2001, would be appropriate.
State Road Addition Petitions
The Board was requested to approve and forward State Road Addition Petitions to NCDOT for the following roads: Arrowwood Lane in Cimarron Forest
White Cedar Lane in Cimarron Forest
Cimarron Blvd. In Cimarron Forest
Cherry Blossom Lane in Cimarron Forest
Aspen Lane in Cimarron Forest
North Hillandale Drive in Hillandale Subdivision
Cresent Way Lane
Leigh Anne Lane
Repeal of Public Demonstration Ordinance
On Friday, October 5, 2001, the Board members present at the special-called meeting voted to repeal the Public Demonstration Ordinance that had been enacted on Monday, October 1, 2001. The full Board was asked to ratify this action at this time.
Proclamation - Henderson County Benefit Toy Run Parade Day
Henderson County Benefit Toy Run Parade Day
Saturday, November 17, 2001
WHEREAS, Fletcher, Hendersonville, Henderson County and area motorcyclists have banded together to actively promote a positive image of motorcyclists through community support; and,
WHEREAS, the motorcyclists recognize that many families need assistance in order to ensure a happy holiday season for their children; and,
WHEREAS, toys are provided in this annual parade have helped ensure a happy holiday season for hundreds of children throughout Western North Carolina.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Henderson County Board of Commissioners does hereby proclaim Saturday, November 17, 2001 as THE 2001 HENDERSON COUNTY BENEFIT TOY RUN PARADE DAY, and applauds the efforts of those who participate in this charitable event.
Adopted this 17th day of October, 2001.
Commissioner Hawkins introduced and read the following Resolution, stating that many states in the Union do not have either any sales tax nor do they tax military on active duty from those states. North Carolina is not one of those states.
Seeking Tax Relief for Members of the United States Armed Forces
Who Are Residents of the State of North Carolina
WHEREAS, our nation has been called to war by the terrible and heinous acts of terrorism perpetrated on innocent citizens within our shores; and,
WHEREAS, in response to this attack upon our nation, society, and inherent freedom our President has called this country to war; and,
WHEREAS, the members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America shall be one of the primary instruments by which this war is fought; and,
WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of every state and local government, and every citizen of our great land to support the members of our armed forces; and,
WHEREAS, many citizens serving in an active duty status within our armed forces claim residence in other states which do not levy a state income tax upon them; and,
WHEREAS, the state of North Carolina currently requires all residents of the State to pay state income tax regardless of their military status.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Commissioners for the County of Henderson in support of our armed forces hereby petitions the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina to, by appropriate vehicle and method undertake the following two (2) changes to our state=s tax system:
FIRST, that North Carolina residents on active duty in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, inclusive of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, who serve outside North Carolina or who reside in government quarters on a military installation within the State of North Carolina, or any combination of the two, for a period greater than 180 days in a calendar year shall be exempt from North Carolina state income tax for that year; and,
SECOND, that any North Carolina resident on active duty who qualifies for federal Combat Zone Tax Exclusion or Imminent Danger Pay for any part of the year shall also be exempt from state income tax for that year.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Commissioners for the County of Henderson respectfully requests that this measure be implemented with all due haste in consideration of the world situation in which the United States of America currently finds itself.
Adopted this, the 17th day of October, 2001 by the Henderson County Board of Commissioners.
Commissioner Hawkins made the motion that the Board adopt this resolution and directed staff to send copies to our elected officials in the General Assembly as well as to the Governor. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Public Service Announcement - add-on by Commissioner Ward
Commissioner Ward stated that several people had approached him in the last couple of weeks asking about the new singing group in the community. They had heard of the group that sang at Etowah Valley including Dick Powell and Hershel Moore and David Nicholson and Chairman Moyer. It is now a ADo-Wop@ band. He asked that the two members present today give a little review of the entertainment they provided for all the County Commissioners across the state.
Chairman Moyer questioned that this item would fall under the label of Apublic service announcement@. Chairman Moyer stated that they did have a good time. David Nicholson stated that the most interesting part of the evening was Commissioner Ward doing the AHokey Pokey@ and yes there are pictures of that available.
Notification of Vacancies
The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear under Nominations on the next agenda:
1. Apple Country Greenways Commission - 1 vac.
2. Community Child Protection Team - 6 vac.
Chairman Moyer reminded the Board that they had a recommendation from Mr. Bill Blalock on behalf of the Greenways group for a volunteer. Chairman Moyer placed his name in nomination - John Antrim. Chairman Moyer made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Dr. John Antrim to that position. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
The vacancies on the Community Child Protection Team were rolled to the next meeting.
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 and this item was rolled to the next meeting.
2. Equalization and Review - 2 vac.
There were no nominations at this time and this item was rolled to the next meeting.
3. Retired Senior Volunteer Program Advisory Council - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time and this item was rolled to the next meeting.
4. Juvenile Crime Prevention Council - 3 vac.
There were no nominations at this time and this item was rolled to the next meeting.
COMMITTEE OF 100 - INDUSTRIAL ZONES
The Board had requested that the Committee of 100 make a recommendation on areas that the Board should consider establishing as industrial zones. The Committee of 100 provided a map for the areas that they are suggesting as industrial zones.
Scott Hamilton and Bill Lapsley were present from the Committee of 100 to make this presentation. Scott Hamilton informed the Board that they were present today to present to the Board what their Task Force had reviewed, based on the Board=s request in a letter dated May 24 from County Manager David Nicholson, asking them to identify potential future industrial sites, current industrial sites, and sites that are presently being marketed for industrial opportunities.
The Committee of 100 had a Product Development Task Force in place already to identify and list the existing industrial product. The Product Development Task Force took this request up from the Board of Commissioners. The Task Force consisted of Chairman Bill Lapsley, Meredith Elliott (Chamber Chair), Jim Crafton (Committee of 100 Chair), Bob Williford (President of the Chamber), Lee Macklerath (from PSNC Energy), Greg Burnette (First Citizen=s Bank), Tom Cooper (Cooper Construction), and Scott Hamilton (Vice-President of the Chamber and the Director of the Committee of 100).
Scott Hamilton introduced Bill Lapsley who served as the Chairman of the Product Development Task Force of the Committee of 100. Mr. Lapsley explained that he personally had been involved in economic development in Henderson County since 1974. Since 1981 he had been actively involved through the Chamber of Commerce in recruiting industry and site development matters for new industry in Henderson County.
The Task Force met on several occasions during the past summer months and presented their recommendations to the Board of Directors of the Committee of 100 last week and they were accepted and unanimously approved.
Mr. Lapsley spoke briefly about a stable economy in our community - the availability of good paying jobs with a strong fringe benefit package to all of our working age adults. While a low unemployment figure might seem to be a good indicator of a strong economy, it is deceptive if those jobs that are created are low paying or minimum wage type assignments. Our community has been fortunate to have an economic base segmented between four distinct areas: agriculture, tourism, retirement services, and manufacturing and industry. If any one of these areas takes a major set-back our local economy will be hurt and the stability severely impacted.
Mr. Lapsley stated that their assignment was to focus on the industrial segment of our economy. They were asked to identify three distinct topics related to industrial activities in our county:
1. Identify where the existing industry locations are
2. Identify the sites currently being marketed for new industrial development
3. Identify those areas where future industrial development should be considered
He stated that items 1 and 2 were pretty easy to respond to but item 3 was a harder task, being controversial. There are a number of factors that control where new industry locates:
1. Cost of land and availability of reasonably large tracts of land (20 - 50 acres)
2. Availability of infrastructure
2) water supply
3) wastewater treatment
4) electric power
5) natural gas
3. Site Development Constraints
2) flood plains
3) water supply protection
4) buffering - adjacent property land use
5) room for future expansion
4. Local Community Constraints
1) attitude of the community towards business
2) local tax rates
3) zoning of adjacent properties
Considering all these obstacles to new industry, it=s easy to understand why it is so hard to attract anyone to locate a major industrial facility in Henderson County. Our track records show that we=ve been able to locate a new significant industry about one every five years.
The Task Force felt that common sense would dictate that future potential industrial zones should be in locations that meet as many of the criteria and should be limited in scope because they do not anticipate a major increase in attraction of new industry to Henderson County.
Scott Hamilton and Carey McLelland held up a larger map of the one the Board had received in their agenda packet. The map was of Henderson County. Mr. Lapsley recommended that the Board consider the areas shown on the map in red as industrial development areas or zones for Henderson County. They did not identify specific parcels, only areas/zones for the Board=s consideration. The map answered all three questions presented to them:
1. Where existing industries are
2. Where the current sites that are being marketed for new industry are
3. Where those areas are that they believe meet as many of the criteria that are important to attracting new industry as possible.
The Committee of 100 highly recommended that the Commissioners consider these areas in red for existing and future industrial development zones, looking at a 10 - 15 year time frame.
Many of the larger sites identified were along the I-26 corridor with a small site in Mills River, one near Corn Mountain, and a larger one in Hoopers Creek. Mr. Lapsley stated that they did not follow existing zoning maps. They followed the criteria that they know, based on experience, are essential to new industry.
Commissioner Gordon expressed that she hoped the public would understand that this is a part of a real revaluation of what some of our economic expectations and policies are and will be. We have to keep all this in mind as we look at what we=re doing on water and sewer and our relationships with Buncombe County on those issues, realizing that some things we have control over and some things we don=t.
Following much discussion, Chairman Moyer proposed that the Board accept the information presented, thank the Committee of 100 and the Chamber for it=s development, and send the same to the Planning Board and the Comprehensive Planning Committee.
Scott Hamilton explained that the Constitution in North Carolina does not allow us to offer some of the incentives that other states can offer, making it very competitive to attract industry. On a state-wide level the Department of Commerce is starting to look at our incentive package and whether it might be time to revamp that. On a regional level, we=re looking at what our challenges are for economic development and expansion and recruitment of our industry. He explained that we want industry that will be compatible with Henderson County, clean and quiet industry. He explained that the Chamber has another Task Force which is the Industrial Visitation Task Force and their number one job is the retention and expansion of existing industry. The Task Force is working closely with existing industry. Last year alone we had a $75 million investment and 300 new jobs, all from existing industry in our county.
QUARTERLY REPORT - Property Addressing Project
Rocky Hyder informed the Board that staff had completed data collection in the following areas:
$ All of Fletcher=s rural routes.
$ Gerton rural route and surrounding area.
$ Bat Cave area, including portions of Buncombe County that is served by the Hendersonville Post Office.
$ Saluda rural routes and surrounding area.
$ Zirconia rural routes and surrounding area.
He thanked the citizens for their support. Many have volunteered to help facilitate when a new road name was necessary. Phone calls have certainly been reduced into the Property Addressing Department.
Mr. Hyder and his staff have met with the vendor, 3Di Management, to discuss the progress and how they will obtain their goals. They also revised their time line to conclude data collection by the end of November 2001, with notification to residents by the end of December 2001.
3Di has also hired part time some of the Henderson County 911 dispatchers to assist with the data collection process. They are being provided with some training in the operation of the new mapping system and how it will integrate with the Vision software. This training will be an invaluable assistance for these dispatchers in how this data was collected, how some decisions were made and how it relates to the overall 911 process.
The Property Addressing Office has had to hire new staff to replace departed staff. The new staff required training and this had placed an additional burden to the existing staff to bring these people up to department standards.
Mr. Hyder explained that the Hendersonville Post Office will deliver many more rural routes than the other smaller Post Offices. The reason his staff chose the outlying areas to work on first was to refine the process so that when they arrive in Hendersonville to start working those rural routes their process would be as defined as it possibly could be. They plan to finish one route per day when they work the Hendersonville Post Office area.
Rocky Hyder also used this time to let citizens know how to post their address. It must be on a contrasting background so it will show up. Preferably it will be on a background that will allow it to be seen at night and from the road. The size of the numbers should be dictated by the distance of the house from the road or the tree cover in the area.
GIS STEERING COMMITTEE REPORT
The County Manager had established a GIS Steering Committee to review the status of our transition onto the new GIS software and to guide the other departments within the County and other outside agencies towards meeting a common goal of improving our use of the GIS product. The Board had been presented with a copy of the PowerPoint presentation that Mr. Hyder explained.
Rocky Hyder explained that all members of the GIS Steering Committee were present in support and introduced the members as follows:
Mark Edney, Interim Tax Assessor
Pam Carver, Land Records Supervisor
Kelli Laughton, IT (Information Technology) Director
Daniel Madding, GIS Specialist
Curtis Griffin, Emergency Management/Property Addressing Office
Karen Smith, Planning Director
Rocky Hyder, Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Coordinator
These people have helped explain how we all will share the information, how to network it and how to get the best use out of it. Mr. Hyder explained that this is a small committee that will effect the GIS Project beginning. There is a much larger user committee.
David Nicholson had requested that the departments from the major users of GIS to begin the conversion to the >Arc= products and set forth a plan to address their specific plans for this fiscal year.
Mr. Hyder explained that with the GIS Project they are trying to provide a powerful analytical tool that will facilitate decisions based on the best information available while developing partnerships that will ensure that we=re sharing accurate and timely information. The tool of choice is a product developed by ESRI, Arc View or Arc GIS. This product is a national standard. To make informed decisions, we have to gather the right information. The IT and GIS personnel have enabled Henderson County to be able to purchase the software for a fraction of the cost. GIS or Geographic Information Systems give decision-makers the power to make better decisions. GIS data consists of data layers: Land Ownership, Transportation, Surface Waters, Boundaries, Geodetic Control, Elevation, Aerial Imagery, Flood Zones, Wetlands, Landcover, Water lines, Sewer Lines and Soils. The power of GIS is the power of partnership, a partnership between Henderson County departments, municipalities, and the community. Some of the partnerships that staff envision are: county departments, municipalities, schools, non-profit organizations, state governments, federal government, local businesses, and public access.
Our Countywide GIS Project:
Where we are
We already have a lot of information available to us. It is in a very proprietary format now and is not easily shared or used with other software programs. The Arc GIS product will help us bridge that gap, we can begin to share that information in a more open format.
Where we want to go
We want the County GIS to serve as the basis for delivery of services countywide. We can do that by building partnerships internally, externally, and intergovernmentally. For those people that have information that can be shared in this system, that can be utilized in a GIS so that we all benefit from it. We want to expand our information base through that measure as well as improve the accuracy and the timeliness of the information that we=re distributing.
How we will get there
First we have to convert and collect the existing data which means that we describe all the data that=s available to us now, that we identify which agency holds the data and what kind of format that data is in so if it needs to be converted we can convert it to the Arc GIS product, if not then it=s automatically transferrable into it and then we can see the relationship that it has with our product at that point in time. We can begin to prioritize that list of layers discussed earlier and how we=re going to develop those. Once our foundation of layers are built, then we can unveil our flagship to deliver this information to the public, to other departments, to municipalities and that will be through a County GIS Website - the most effective and efficient means by which to deliver this information. It is easily accessible to the users, especially public access. For the folks that are used to using the Mapview CD at this point, that will still be available. This project will require much training of Henderson County Personnel.
Mr. Hyder explained that a time table has not been developed. Mr. Nicholson explained that staff is doing this step by step. The things they are charged with now are to finish the inventory of what data we have and what format it is in. Once we have that detail it would be easier to develop a time table.
10:30 a.m. - INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
There were none.
UPDATE ON PENDING ISSUES
Economic Development Chart
Angela Beeker had developed this chart for the Board=s review and information. Staff began developing the chart when we began active economic development efforts about 1992. That was when the Board began entering into economic development agreements that outline county incentives to be paid to industry. Included was the development of Appleland Business Park as a major initiative to try to attract industry to Henderson County. The numbers reflected in this chart are based on numbers contained within the contracts that the County has entered with these industries or in the case of Appleland, information that was provided to the county at that time as to capital investment and number of jobs created. The chart lists all the companies since that time that the County has been actively involved with in granting economic incentives or selling land to them in Appleland to create jobs and create capital investment in Henderson County. In some cases, industries have been worked with to help retain existing jobs to keep the jobs from leaving Henderson County. The Aprivate capital investment@ column reflects the taxable capital investment that generates tax dollars within Henderson County and are based on what the company contracted with Henderson County to do or informed Henderson County they would do ($192,100,000.00). The last column is titled Aannual tax dollars generated@ and it applies the tax rate to the taxable capital investment that has been generated ($960,500.00).
Ms. Beeker explained that Andy Petree Racing was not included in the chart as they utilized industrial revenue bonds rather than county funds assisting the industry. Based on what they told the Board when they requested the bonds, they made about $5 million in capital investment and retained 78 jobs in the county, 14 jobs were transferred from Buncombe County but about ten more new jobs will be created, paying an average of $22.50 hour. She stated that she could add that to the chart if the Board wants. No direction was given. She informed the Board that when she receives the information on the Aactual tax bills@ she would put it in the Commissioners mailboxes, it was not ready in time for this agenda packet.
Out of the column entitled Ajobs created or retained@, Ms. Beeker stated that 804 were new jobs and 338 were retained jobs. Out of a county investment of $4,641,016.90 there were 1142 jobs created or retained for our county.
Commissioner Hawkins stated that he would like to see an additional item added to the chart - the annual net bottom line, knowing how much the Aannual tax dollars generated@ was on an annual basis. Ms. Beeker felt that the information she had requested and was waiting on would be what Commissioner Hawkins was wanting. He was looking for the true return to the county.
Chairman Moyer asked that the Board get this chart on an annual basis.
EMS issue - add-on by Commissioner Ward
Chairman Moyer stated that as a result of a number of discussions that are going on that the Board needs to set up a detailed workshop on EMS issues:
$ Paramedics in the fire stations
$ Location of EMS, number of substations, etc.
$ Inter-relationship between first responders, paramedics, EMS
$ Whether to continue the EMS station at Pardee Hospital
$ The offer from Park Ridge Hospital to have an EMS station in their area
The Board set the workshop for Tuesday, November 6 at 3:00 p.m. That will be election day. The workshop will be held in our meeting room. Chairman Moyer expected to get everything out on the table at the first meeting and then decide where to go. The Board wants to develop a long-term plan/strategy as to how to handle emergency response calls in the county. This will be the objective to work towards.
Request Public Hearing for new road names
Staff had requested the Board set a public hearing for purposes of naming and renaming roads. List of proposed road names:
Naming of un-named roads - proposed name
Double H Drive
Upper Red Oak Trail
Re-naming of existing road
Existing Name Proposed Name
Derby Drive Derby Drive West
Chairman Moyer made the motion to set the public hearing as requested, for Monday, November 5 at 7:00 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Hawkins asked Ms. Corn why we frequently don=t have the LGCCA meetings posted on the AImportant Dates@ calendar. She responded that months ago she was instructed to remove that from the list and has not been instructed to put it back on the list. Following discussion, it was decided that the Board wished for Avalina to add LGCCA meetings to her list of Board/Committee meetings. Mr. Nicholson will take that direction to Avalina Merrill.
Mr. Nicholson reminded the Board that this coming Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. will be the dedication of the Fletcher Elementary School. Commissioner Gordon suggested that anyone in the community go out and take a look at the impressive school.
Chairman Moyer called a 10 minutes technical break, to change videotapes.
11:00 a.m. - PUBLIC HEARING
2001 LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT BLOCK GRANT
Commissioner Ward made the motion for the Board to go into public hearing for the above item. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Sheriff Erwin had to leave the meeting before this item came up. Debbie Ward, from his staff, presented this request to the Commissioners.
Annually, the Henderson County Sheriff=s Department receives a grant from the US Department of Justice. The grant, Local Law Enforcement Block Grant, is in the amount of $17,613 and will be used to purchase additional equipment for the Department. A local match of $1,957 is required and will be funded through Drug Seizure money. In order to receive these funds, the Board of Commissioners is required to hold a public hearing.
Ms. Ward filled out the application, then along with the Sheriff set up an Advisory Board which was a requirement of the grant and the U.S. Dept. of Justice. The Advisory Board included:
Cory Ellis, D.A.=s Office
Tom Starling, Magistrate=s Office
Dr. Burnham, Henderson County School System
Ed Ingle, Crime$toppers
Captain Raines, Patrol Captain in the Sheriff=s Dept.
Sheriff George Erwin, and Ms. Ward.
The Advisory Committee discussed what the monies would be used for this year and came up with the following:
$ Mobile data terminal
$ Video in-car camera
$ Crime prevention video to be made locally, geared to Henderson County youth (Dr. Burnham and Sheriff Erwin will work on this together).
There was none.
Following discussion, Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to approve the receipt of the 2001 Local Law Enforcement Block Grant. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Ward stated that Sheriff Erwin has been actively involved in securing matching grants for the County and through the drug seizure money has paid the required matching funds.
Mr. Nicholson stated that a good number of our patrol cars have mobile data terminals and video cameras. Every bit of those have been paid for by federal grants. The County has not put any general county money up for those items. We=ve been using our drug seizure monies to provide the required match.
Commissioner Messer made the motion to close the public hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
ROCKY - update on this past week or so
Rocky Hyder stated that he has had a busy week, chasing every white powder product that they know is available at this point in time. He felt that their response was due in large amount to the amount of concern that has been generated by the media about these issues.
He conveyed to the public that anthrax is not a disease that will kill you on contact. It is detectable and is treatable. A certain amount of awareness is necessary. He does not wish to create undue alarm in the public. Mr. Hyder explained AWe have chosen in this county to respond to these instances with a very small force, for two reasons. One, as we=ve already mentioned before we don=t want to create undue alarm, the second is our standard protocol indicates that we should reduce the amount of exposure to our emergency responders as much as possible. We chose to send our emergency management force out to respond to these events and actually handle some of this powder just because it limits the amount of emergency personnel that=s exposed in those situations, it allows our emergency responders to continue to respond to the everyday emergencies. Our Fire and EMS people are busy everyday as it is and we do not want to put this county in a position to where our emergency responders are tied up on an event or could be susceptible to contamination that would eliminate a large number of volunteers. It would eliminate their response resources and apparatus and it would certainly have an effect on our overall ability to respond. So our procedure protocol is developed as a risk management level to limit the amount of people that are exposed to the three people in our Emergency Management Office and Fire Marshal=s Office so that we can monitor those individuals very closely. If they begin to present signs or symptoms, they can be treated very easily and we can take care of these situations with a relative amount of surety as well as certainly a reduced amount of, for a better term I=ll call it >hoop la= and not create such an undue panic in the community. I want our customers to know that we=ll take care of the situation but certainly this is not a situation in which it=s at an epidemic level, which I think the media is trying to make it at this point. As far as we know in the United States there are four active cases of anthrax, there are four active cases of anthrax in the whole United States. That is far from an epidemic level, OK. It certainly demonstrates that our system is capable of detecting this disease early and treating it. We=ve only had one death associated with that and that has been from the very first case that was discovered. Now we don=t know how many cases have happened in past years that due to normal exposure to anthrax that were associated with a case of pneumonia or a severe bout of the flu because it wasn=t tracked and it wasn=t tested at that point in time. So certainly we just want to convey to the public that the facts are there and this is certainly not epidemic level and we will respond accordingly but also that due care should be taken on all of our parts to make sure that we utilize our emergency response resources effectively.@
NC DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TIP - add-on
Chairman Moyer informed the Board that he had received a letter about October 5 and the County Manager received one about the same time, from NC Department of Transportation saying they are going to have public input meetings for the 2004-2010 TIP (Transportation Improvement Program). Chairman Moyer was not aware that we were even going to have hearings this year. We had hearings last year and the Board spent a lot of time coming up with a list of projects. We did quite well getting our projects on the list. Much to his amazement, the schedule for the 2004-2010 list says our hearings will be on Oct. 23 and 24 which does not give any reasonable time to prepare a list of TIP projects. The letter states that TIP is the departments planning document that sets priorities for highway, aviation, bicycle, pedestrian safety, public transportation, rail, safety projects, etc. Henderson County has sent a letter to the State objecting to the date of this and the lack of any notice for preparation. At the same time, they have come forth with the RPO concept and maybe one or two RPOs have been formed, certainly have not had the chance to develop. The letter also states that they would like input from the RPOs.
Due to the unreasonable time schedule for this comment period, he suggested that if the State will not change this date, that we just send a letter supporting the listing we gave at the last meeting. He does not have time to do an effective job changing our local list. According to the letter received from the State, what will happen is, based on the input, they will come out with a new TIP some time in the summer of 2002 and the Board will then have an additional comment period.
The Board was in agreement to submit the prior list from a year ago, if the State is not willing to change the time.
UPDATE ON MSD POLICY - add-on
Commissioner Gordon has been attending MSD planning meetings over the past few months at the request of this Board. She updated the Board on a recent change that has been implemented in MSD policy as a result of sessions of the planning committee. They now have a policy in place to share some of the development costs of off-site connection lines to MSD sewer. She stated that this is a considerable change in philosophy for the Metropolitan Sewerage District (MSD). Their previous policy had been never to participate on these particular types of lines. One reason this has happened is that MSD is in need of a larger customer base if they expect to be able to reduce rates at any time in the future. Commissioner Gordon stated that their (MSDs) usage per mile is among some of the lowest in the area if not the country and so they are hoping this will be a tool that they can use when there=s an issue of whether or not a line will be built, based on the cost, that they can share those costs with a five year pay back. It will apply to the government entities as well. They have the opportunity to get funding but then the line would have to be turned over to MSD.
FINANCING REQUEST - Blue Ridge Fire Dept. - add-on
Rocky informed the Board of a need for the Board to approve by Resolution a tax-exempt loan for $350,000 to Blue Ridge Fire Department for the replacement construction of a portion of the existing fire station, owned by Blue Ridge Fire & Rescue, Inc. at 2503 Old Spartanburg Highway, East Flat Rock, North Carolina 28726. This item had been discussed by the Board during the budget process this year.
Commissioner Hawkins made the motion for the Board to consent to this project. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
CAPITAL PROJECTS - add-on
Commissioner Ward raised a question concerning the prospect of the county utilizing the Trace Barn as an animal shelter. He had several people who approached him with this idea. Mr. Ward had a couple of contractors look at the Barn for this purpose. They put an estimate of $50,000 to build a road to the Trace Barn. They told Mr. Ward that it wouldn=t take much more to pave the road. The barn could be used for running pens for the animals and be totally enclosed. There is office space in the barn as well as office space in an adjacent building. Commissioner Ward estimated that the whole project would cost less than $100,000. This would be much cheaper than the $400,000 to $500,000 that was put on the table previously for a new animal shelter. He asked the Board to give the County Manager permission to explore this possibility.
Chairman Moyer asked the County Manager to update the Board on the issue of the Animal Shelter. The Board had previously asked the County Manager to take a look at a long-term plan for the animal shelter.
David Nicholson and his staff have been working on the selection of an architect for the project and have not completed that discussion. Mr. Nicholson stated that from the standpoint of operational issues, the Board of Health has agreed to bring in a group to help analyze the operations of the Animal Shelter, providing assistance to staff and the Board of Health.
Mr. Nicholson stated that Commissioner Ward had already shared his idea with him and staff was already looking at that as a possibility. Mr. Nicholson needs to share this idea with the Board of Health and get their input. A lot of folks are now building indoor shelter space. Mr. Nicholson will come back to the Board of Commissioners with a recommendation as more information is gathered.
Carolina Apparel Trading Building - Human Services Building
Commissioner Ward stated that he was expecting some financial options on the Carolina Apparel Building/Historic Courthouse project. He thought it would be on today=s agenda. He checked previous minutes and the Board had been told that the information would be presented at this meeting.
Chairman Moyer explained that Mr. Nicholson sent a memo to the Board stating that he needed a little more time. Commissioner Ward suggested separating the two projects and proceeding with the Carolina Apparel Building because of the needs of the Health Department and DSS. He didn=t want to hold up the CAT building with the Historic Courthouse project.
Mr. Nicholson explained that the Historic Courthouse project is farther along than the CAT building. DSS is not ready to sign off on the project at this time. Mr. Nicholson will be meeting with the architectural firm next week about the CAT building. Chairman Moyer asked that Mr. Nicholson be allowed to continue to work on the building with staff, both Boards, and the architects.
Commissioner Ward raised the issue again about not having financial options to review at this time. He cannot vote to continue with the Historic Courthouse project at this time but would like to proceed with the Carolina Apparel Trading building.
Commissioner Hawkins agreed with Commissioner Ward about separating the two projects. The other three were not in agreement about separating the two projects.
It was the consensus of the Board to allow the County Manager to continue to work on the CAT building project and get additional information and bring this back to the Board of Commissioners.
Mr. Nicholson stated that he would get this information back to the Board as soon as he possibly could.
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)(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. To consult with an attorney employed or retained by the public body in order to consider and give instructions to the attorney with respect to the following claims:
Henderson County, et al. v. Asheville-Buncombe-Henderson
Water Authority; et al. 01-CVS-344
American Woodland Industries, Inc., et al. v. Muriel Offerman,
Secretary of Revenue, et al., 01-CVS-2978
2.(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.
Commissioner Ward 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 at approximately 12:30 p.m.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman