STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON DECEMBER 19, 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.
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: Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, Deputy Clerk to the Board/Volunteer Coordinator Amy Brantley, Assistant to the County Manager Selena Coffey, Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Coordinator Rocky Hyder, and Environmental Planner Nippy Page.
Absent was: Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Charlie Messer led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
Rev. Gus Martschink, from the Pardee Chaplaincy Program, offered the invocation.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Chairman Moyer added the following to the consent agenda:
AF@ Tax Releases
AG@ Tax Refunds
Chairman Moyer asked to move Staff Reports AC@ up to AA@ - Update on Comprehensive County Plan. He also added as AA@ under Discussion Items - Abandonment of Macedonia Church Road and as AB@ - Commissioner Appointments to Boards and Committees.
Commissioner Hawkins added as item AC@ under Discussion Items - Board Communications.
Commissioner Ward added #4 to Update on Pending Issues - Update on County Facilities.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the agenda as revised. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Moyer made the motion for the Board to approve the consent agenda. A vote was taken and the motion passed four to one with Commissioner Hawkins voting nay.
The Board was presented copies of the following sets of minutes for review and approval:
February 25, 1999, special called meeting
May 4, 1999, special called meeting
December 3, 2001, regular meeting
Tax Collector=s Report
Terry F. Lyda, Tax Collector, had provided the Board the Tax Collector=s Report dated December 13 for the Board=s information.
Petitions for addition to State Road system
Staff had received petitions to add the following roads to the state road maintenance system:
1. Forest Bend Drive
2. Stella Lane
3. Mitchelle Drive
It has been the practice of this Board to accept road petitions and forward them on to NC DOT for their consideration.
The City of Hendersonville had requested any County comments on the following proposed waterline extension(s):
1. Kenmure - Phase V - Lots 236, 245-248 & 43-51
The size of this waterline would be 657 lineal feet of 2" pvc SDR-21 and 800 feet 6" pvc C-900. The subject lots were part of previously approved plans, however due to significant changes in the plans, including changes in the road and lot layout, the developer has had to revise the plans for the project. Kenmure Properties has submitted a revised Phase V Master Plan and two Development Plans for portions of Phase V, which include the areas shown on the subject water plans, for approval by the Planning Board. The Planning Board will consider the plans at its meeting on December 18, 2001.
The project is in the Open Use Zoning District.
The project does not fully conform with the County Land Use Plan because the 1993 Land Use Plan did not anticipate the extension of public water to the areas south of Pinnacle Mountain Road, however other sections of Kenmure that are south of Pinnacle Mountain Road are already served by the City of Hendersonville water system. The subject property is designated as AResidential@ and ARural Conservation@ on the future land use map in the Land Use Plan.
The flow rate will not meet fire protection standards until the storage tank is operational.
2. Woodcliff Heights Subdivision waterline extension
The size of this waterline would be 4,100 feet of 6" pvc waterline C-900.
Conditions imposed under the County Subdivision Ordinance: erosion control, water and sewer plan approval, road and drainage plan changes, plan details.
The project is in the Open Use Zoning District.
3. High Vista Falls - Phase V
The size of the waterline is 1,700 feet of 6" pvc waterline.
Conditions imposed under the County Subdivision Ordinance: erosion control plan approval, road and drainage plan revisions; farmland preservation district affidavit.
The project is in the Open Use Zoning District.
Commissioner Grady Hawkins accepted a ACertificate of Appreciation@ to the Board from the Fletcher Fire & Rescue in recognition and appreciation for the generous support given to Fletcher Fire and Rescue Department. He planned to present the plaque to the Board at this meeting.
Notification of Vacancies.
The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear on the next agenda for nominations:
1. Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 11 vac.
#17 - due to resignation.
#2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 13, 16, 18, and 23 - due to terms expiring in 2002.
Chairman Moyer notified the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:
1. Equalization and Review - 2 vac.
Commissioner Gordon nominated Raymond LeStrange to one of these positions. She made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Mr. LeStrange. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
2. Retired Senior Volunteer Program Advisory Council - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
3. Juvenile Crime Prevention Council - 3 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
4. Community Child Protection Team - 4 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
5. Henderson County Zoning Board of Adjustment - 1 vac.
This is an alternate position that is available. The Board had not heard from Mr. Shelley whether he was interested in continuing to serve. Amy Brantley was asked to check with Mr. Shelley to see if he is interested in continuing to serve on this Board.
Commissioner Ward nominated Nancy Zimmer.
It was the Board=s pleasure not to vote on this position until the next meeting.
6. Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
7. Library Board of Trustees - 1 vac.
Chairman Moyer nominated Maxine Mays to fill the vacancy. Commissioner Gordon made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Ms. Mays. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
8. Henderson County Board of Health - 2 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
DISCUSSION re: CONSENT AGENDA
Commissioner Ward raised a question regarding the Consent Agenda because of the fact that Commissioner Hawkins did not vote to approve the Consent Agenda. He felt the Board should discuss what concerns Commissioner Hawkins had with the Consent Agenda.
Chairman Moyer stated that he had given the opportunity for anyone to state if they wanted to pull anything from the Consent Agenda and no-one spoke up. Chairman Moyer and Commissioner Gordon agreed that the Board usually discuss Consent Agenda items that have been pulled, otherwise they are voted on and approved. Chairman Moyer stated that if someone wanted to go back and pull an item, they could do so. No-one spoke up to pull an item from the Consent Agenda.
Commissioner Hawkins did not address this issue and the Board moved on.
UPDATE ON COMPREHENSIVE COUNTY PLAN
As per the Comprehensive County Plan (CCP) Project Schedule, our consultant, Dennie Martin, had completed his individual interviews with Commissioners and Steering Committee members. Mr. Martin had prepared a Summary of Findings, Final Project Scope and Schedule, and Statement of Purpose and Objectives for the Board=s review and discussion at this meeting. Mr. Martin stated that this finalizes phase I of the project. Data collection and mapping work will be done as phase II. Beyond the summary of his findings, his report also proposed a final outline for the County Comprehensive Plan. He still visualized August 2002 as an appropriate completion date. He informed the Board that he had drafted a Statement of Objectives, beginning with page #9 of his report and he welcomed feed-back from the Commissioners on this. It was meant only as a starting point.
There was some review and discussion of the documents presented. Following some discussion regarding the Land Use Plan, Chairman Moyer stated that the CCP is far more than a land use plan and that it is a growth management document. Chairman Moyer stated he would like to see a buy-in of all the municipalities of the CCP.
The County Manager recommended that the Board approve the Project Scope and Schedule, Statement of Purpose and Objectives, and committee roles in order to proceed with this important project.
Chairman Moyer asked the Commissioners to review the summary presented in detail and get any input to Dennie Martin by mid January 2002 on the Final Project Scope and Schedule and the Statement of Purpose and Objectives. There was discussion that the Board needed to meet with the Steering Committee. There was some discussion of the Community Committees and the make-up of the committees. No appointments were made at this time. There was some discussion regarding the four factors of our economy: retirement, industry, agriculture, and tourism. There was discussion of the need for some workshops on the issue of the CCP.
Commissioner Hawkins mentioned some additional people to consider when appointing to the Community Committee:
State and National Forest Parks
Environmental Advisory Committee
NC Department of Transportation
Chairman Moyer advised the Board that he had been appointed to the DuPont State Forest Advisory Committee and they are in the process of developing a plan. Mr. Martin stated that it would have a bearing on transportation and other considerations in the CCP.
It was the consensus of the Board to set a workshop under AImportant Dates@.
BELL SOUTH - Request for Long Distance
Chairman Moyer asked that this item be pulled at this time. The representative (LaVoy Spooner) had contacted staff, stating that he was not able to attend the meeting today. It was the consensus of the Board to pull this item for a future agenda.
CARL SANDBURG HOME=S DRAFT MANAGEMENT PLAN
Connie H. Backlund, Superintendent of the Carl Sandburg Home National Historical Site had requested time to present their Draft General Management Plan for the Carl Sandburg Home and did so.
Ms. Backlund informed the Board that the site was established one year after Carl Sandburg=s death, in 1968. It is a unit of our National Park System. The site=s mission is to preserve and protect both the site and the legacy of Carl Sandburg for our enjoyment and the enjoyment of future generations. They have been operating under an old Master Plan established in 1971. It has been accomplished and is complete. They are currently developing a new General Management Plan to guide them for the next 20 - 30 years. It will be the foundation for all decision making. They began the process of the new plan about 2 years ago. They have had several public meetings and have received public input. They held the public hearings on three alternatives.
She discussed the ASandburg Center@, stating that it has a lot of components to it. It focuses on outreach and strong education components. She focused on the land components of the Center:
Added parking and a hope for a visitor=s center. They have up to 20 acres in their plan to consider for this component. They are not sure yet where that land will be. They would need authorization from Congress for any added land or even to enter a lease. They will not condemn property and they are committed to remaining a good neighbor. They have been in discussions with Ms. Jane Singleton about a possible long-term lease from her.
Buffer boundary/Viewshed protection. This component has some very defined parcels. They are beginning to work with landowners to define what their interests are. Ms. Backlund stated that she had met with two landowners last week and she has two more meetings scheduled with landowners over the next couple of weeks.
Ms. Backlund stated that she would like to come back in a couple months when she can propose something on a map for the Board=s review. She also invited the Board to come out to the site.
No action was requested of the Board.
PUBLIC HEALTH NURSE POSITION
The Board had received a letter from Tom Bridges requesting the Board approve a PHN position for his Department. They have had a contract with an outside organization for a part-time Spanish-speaking nurse for several years. Unfortunately, the person they have been using is leaving the area and they have been told that it will be difficult for this organization to provide them with this position in the future.
The Public Health Department requested the funds being used to fund the contract and their surplus Medicaid funds be used to employ a bilingual registered nurse.
Mr. Nicholson stated that he could support the mid-year request. Certainly the need for a bilingual nurse for the Public Health Department can be justified. Funds are available for this position within their current budget and through Medicaid.
Barbara Stanley came forward to make the request and to answer any questions. The change can be justified due to increased caseload, employee benefits, and the need for a full time bilingual nurse.
Following discussion, Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the request on the basis stated. A vote was taken and the motion carried four to one with Commissioner Ward voting nay.
UPDATE ON PENDING ISSUES
Mr. Nicholson reminded the Board that on August 2, 2000, the General Assembly of North Carolina created the Rural Internet Access Authority. The Rural Economic Development Center provides operational and program staff support.
There are five goals that the authority is charged with meeting:
August 2001 Local, dial-up Internet Access available statewide
November 2001 Inventory of state=s telecommunications infrastructure completed
January 2002 Model telecenters established
December 2003 High-Speed Internet access available statewide
Ongoing Promote increases in use of computer devices and the Internet
Three of the five goals have been met and the other two are in progress.
The focus of RIAA at present is the creation of Ae-communities@ across North Carolina. The initiatives are premised on the belief that technology can spark community change, allowing communities and citizens to overcome fundamental disparities that are limiting opportunities in low-income communities. Technologies can speed the delivery of critical human services, attract new resources, facilitate neighborhood planning and community organizing and build learning networks. The vision is to provide the citizens of North Carolina with social, cultural and educational opportunities utilizing current information technologies in an accessible community environment.
RIAA will be providing a series of grants to help plan and implement this vision. To date all grants have been to tier 1 and 2 counties (Henderson is a tier 5 county). What is available to Henderson County is a $10,000 planning grant. To qualify for the grant, Henderson County must designate a Steering Committee. This committee will prepare a plan to use the grant, initiate a public engagement effort, access the community=s status relative to information technology, develop a list of community needs and encompass gathered information into an e-communities plan. The grant period for this planning grant begins January 2, 2002 and ends April 30, 2002.
Mr. Nicholson had asked Mr. Snyder from the Library to cover a meeting that was held in Raleigh in November. He has talked with him several times about this issue.
Mr. Nicholson had been appointed by the State as the AChampion@ of this program, meaning he is responsible to convene an e-community steering committee. The Steering Committee should include representatives from government, business, education, Internet providers and other interested parties. This committee must be named during the month of December 2001.
CDBG - Parkside Commons
Commissioner Hawkins referenced a letter from the NC Department of Commerce dated December 3, 2001. The letter referenced the Parkside Commons Project. What caught his attention in the letter was the comment AAfter June 30, as funds remain available, we will give priority consideration to your application as it supports >Smart Growth= principles by re-using the East Flat Rock Elementary School.@ He questioned what the Department of Commerce=s definition of Smart Growth would be.
He felt this Board should correspond with the writer of the letter and query him as to what are the >Smart Growth= principles so we know what they are if there is funding contingent upon it.
INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
1. Bill Blalock - Mr. Blalock stated that yesterday morning he received a call stating that he should be here this morning because Apple Country Greenways was again going to be on the agenda and that the specific issue on the agenda was the issue of Apple Country Greenways contracting with Mr. Blalock to provide consulting services. AThe last time I appeared before this commission and attempted to deal with some Apple Country Greenways issue, after an extended discussion there were then a whole series of questions fired at me and I was not given the opportunity to respond to those questions. So I thought I would take the approach this morning of taking a couple of minutes at public forum because then you=ve got to hear the story. The essence of this thing is that the Apple Country Greenway was formed by an interlocal agreement signed by the four municipalities, that being Fletcher, Flat Rock, Laurel Park, and the City of Hendersonville and the County. That agreement contains two paragraphs that sort of deal with this issue. One paragraph of the agreement permits Apple Country Greenways to contract for services and part of my existence and this is not a personal issue, we=re talking about Apple Country Greenways and how they=ve handled this - part of my existence they contracted with Land-of-Sky Regional Council and then subsequently they contracted with me. And that is one approach that they=ve used and I find it very interesting this morning that Mr. Ward said that he thought contracting for a nurse was an excellent way to go because it provides flexibility.
The other paragraph that covers the issue in the interlocal agreement says that if Apple Country Greenways chooses to employ or have an employee >the employee shall be an employee of the county= and that the County Manager selects that employee, hires that employee, has the right to termination, administers that employee, etc. and so the question I believe that=s here is did Apple Country Greenways act appropriately in either hiring me as a consultant or should I have been hired as an employee? Now it=s interesting to note that the county is one of five government bodies involved in this interlocal agreement. The other four government bodies have had no problem whatsoever with the contracting arrangement and as far as the actual physical contracting arrangement there is a legal contract between myself and Apple Country Greenways. It meets legal requirements. It also meets the IRS requirements. This frankly and candidly folks is seen as a power play on the part of the County and a control issue. The cities would far rather see support to Apple Country Greenways on a contract basis and it remain out of the control of the County. To the extent that the person trying to provide support to Apple Country Greenways becomes a county employee, the perception is that one Commissioner in particular and or some others may attempt to harass, influence the County Manager and therefore control that employee, control the activities of that employee and suboptimize the results of Apple Country Greenways because clearly there is at least one Commissioner who is strongly opposed to greenways. So that is the basic situation. Now the Board could have taken two different approaches to this. One approach is that they could have contacted Apple Country Greenways and said there=s a difference of opinion here as to whether you acted appropriately, notice I didn=t say legally. Whether the Board acted appropriately in going after contract services again or whether they should have hired an employee and you could have sat down with Apple Country Greenways and tried to work through the issue in a professional and businesslike manner. The other approach is you know you can, you can bring me in and we can go through another one of these inquisitions in which there is an attempt to create an aura of wrong-doing, which does not exist and you can continue to attempt efforts at intimidation and clearly harassment. The third approach is one in which and that=s what our position is at this point. I am speaking on behalf of Apple Country because I was asked to do that this morning. And that is you can identify your questions, put them in writing, send them to Apple Country Greenways regarding what is the, what is their, why did they do it this way and what is their position and Apple Country Greenways will respond in a timely and professional way. Thank you very much.@
Commissioner Hawkins stated that he had two specific issues that he wanted to ask about. He referenced a memo from the County Attorney on the two questions that he asked. (I did not have a copy of the Confidential Attorney memo.)
One of the questions dealt with the issue of contracting for services. The other one dealt with the fiscal aspects of the greenway commission. The County Attorney had provided an opinion to the Commissioners.
Commissioner Hawkins - AIt would seem to me that there=s been a, at least a general lack of leadership on the part of the greenway commission in as much as we keep having difficulties and/or support even from the municipalities both financially and otherwise with some of their plans. And the thing that I was most curious about was some of the handling of the finances and this contract of which the County Attorney has given us her opinion on it. There are really in a way conflicting information on both the personnel to serve the commission that=s indicated in paragraph 4-D on page 3 which is indicated in your package in another place so I think it=s the sort of thing that needs clarifying and I think that the interlocal agreement should operate in the context it was designed to operate in. I think the greenways commission including Mr. Blalock ought to be able to answer the questions that were presented here and I don=t know necessarily what the solution is but I think that=s good information and it=s been provided for the Board=s consideration.@
Chairman Moyer - AWhat is the question that you=re@
Commissioner Hawkins - AI had two specific questions - does it mean in paragraph A of the greenway which states that Henderson County shall be the fiscal agent, particularly in regards to grant monies, that was one of the questions that I asked and then the contract for employees in light of paragraph 4-D, beginning on line 32 as indicated and you have the - those were the two questions that I had.@
Chairman Moyer - AWell, with respect to the employment agreement or the contract with Mr. Blalock, what would you like done?@
Commissioner Hawkins - AI=d like to know whether or not at least in the opinion of the Board if that is in compliance with what we thought the interlocal agreement was or whether it wasn=t.@
Chairman Moyer - AWell based on the advice you got from counsel, what is your opinion? I=m not sure where you want to go with this. Do you have an opinion as to whether@
Commissioner Hawkins - AI have an opinion. I certainly do. I do not think it is. But that=s my opinion. That=s the reason I asked the question. That was the way I interpreted it.@
Chairman Moyer - AAnd would you like to discuss that, the other Board members give their opinion and discuss that now and see whether this is appropriate or?@
Commissioner Hawkins - AWell, either that or I would suggest maybe that you take it to the LGC and uh because there are of course other - the other folks that are involved here and find out what - you know what - what their thoughts were on it so that if that=s the way they interpret it or if it wasn=t the way they interpreted it.@
Chairman Moyer - AHow bout if we combine two things and we prepare a letter to the Greenways indicating that these issues have been raised by the Commissioner, give them a copy of Angie=s memo, if that=s satisfactory to you and ask them to get their advice - to think about these and come up with a position, that we=re going to ask the LGCCA to consider these issues and see how the other municipalities feel about this issue and then we=ll bring it back to the Board? Is that satisfactory?@
Commissioner Hawkins - AThat=s fine with me. I just wanted clarification on it.@
Commissioner Gordon - ABefore taking this to the LGCCA for their opinion, I think it needs to be clear since our public comment session isn=t a part of the telecast that goes out to the viewers, that we did have comment during public comment from the executive director of the greenway commission on this specific point and I think this commission should determine if we collectively want to take this tract or not. I think Commissioner Ward spoke very well when he opposed making a nurse full-time, about the benefits of contract labor. So I think that certainly puts in my mind a justification on the part of the greenway commission considering that they do have limited funding and issues there that they have to deal with and the ability of that commission to make decisions as to how it structures it=s support. I think if this commission would like to draft a letter to the greenway commission and ask that we receive verification that there is in fact a contract and it is in compliance with all those things that a contract should be in compliance with, I have no problem with that if that would satisfy Commissioner Hawkins but as to creating an issue with the LGCCA when there might very well not be an issue, I don=t know that we should be taking that tract.@
Chairman Moyer - AWell I think we have, if I understood what you said Commissioner Gordon, I think we have to go a step further, of course Commissioner Gordon has, I mean Commissioner Hawkins has said under the agreement as he interprets it, that based on legal advice, he does not believe it=s appropriate for them to have a contract position of an employee and if that=s his position we need to discuss that and work through that and if you want to do that now and try to reach an agreement with the Board we can do that.@
Commissioner Gordon - AWell I think the memo that we received points out the issue of intent in making that determination and becomes rather complicated but as Commissioner Ward pointed out there are very logical justifications for the use of a contract in situations like this and evidently they have used a contract in the past with Land-of-the-Sky without this issue being raised. So I think that needs to be weighed in.@
Chairman Moyer - AI think we suggested and approved that agreement with Land-of-Sky but - Commissioner Ward or Commissioner Messer, do you have any@
Commissioner Ward - AThe only thing that I can say as stated before contract employees gives you greater flexibility of scheduling. I hadn=t saw the contract on Mr. Blalock but knowing his other contracts it=s pretty flexible and in view of the benefit to the greenway commission so I=m assuming - the question here does the contract serve the greenway commission or is it a contract employee to the County. That=s the only way I can see. As far as the contract, I have no problem with a contract employee. Maybe that=s the only question that I read - who is the contract to, to the County or to the Commission.@
Chairman Moyer - AAnd right now it=s to the commission.@
Commissioner Ward - ATo the commission and I think the employee is for the benefit of the greenway project which is the project at Oklawaha. My big concern with any of the Apple Country Greenway is and the LGCCA can discuss it is whether we go after this final project. Cause I=ve heard was it Fletcher or one of the municipalities that didn=t go along with the plan. We had some questions about it. I don=t know where that final state is. Maybe that=s the direction we ought to go with the LGCCA instead of the contract employee.@
Chairman Moyer - AWell let=s - let me update you on that. I think the greenways commission, Mr. Blalock heard our concerns and I think after thinking about that, if you recall we got a letter from Mr. Blalock indicating that the greenways commission would like to have some time to think about those, to revisit their plan, to see if they did want to make any changes, talk to the other municipalities, and when they were ready they would come back to us and put it on the agenda. And that is where that stands and they=ve not asked to be back on and I know from talking to Mr. Blalock that they are looking at that, reviewing what they=re going to do in the future. You know one very simple way to deal with this would be to say they are in the process of going through this, revisiting what they=re doing, revisiting their future, say we have no problem with Bill remaining a contract employee, if things decide to go forward we=ll have to revisit this interpretation and maybe clarify the agreement or do something but for now why raise this issue when they=re in the middle of so many other things and that=s where I would prefer to come out, just say OK we=ll - we have this issue, we=ll let it sit, we=ll advise the Greenway Committee this issue has been raised, we=ll see when they come back to us with their plan or revised plan of what their schedule is. They can come back to us on this issue, we=ll put everything together and see how we want to proceed.@
Commissioner Ward - AWell, that=s fine. I can live with that.@
Chairman Moyer - AWell, I=d recommend that we take that course of action.@
Commissioner Gordon - AAnd I agree with that course of action. I think as we mention the intent of the original agreement and the language that was there in regards to the county=s role in employment issues. My thinking or my intent was that that related to insuring that if a decision was made to have an hourly employee that all procedures were followed so that there would be no liabilities on anybodies part and that the paycheck would simply be generated through our department. It was not an issue of that employee, upon them having an hourly employee with that employee becoming an employee of Henderson County Government and under its direct direction. Since this Commission really was established as a joint effort by all of these entities, I think that would be unappropriate so I think that the course that we have come to I think is the more appropriate one.@
Commissioner Ward - AMy interpretation of an employee if we - I feel like it ought to be discussed at budget for one and two a Greenway employee would be part of the Recreation Department. I would say that would be the fit ........ several people speaking ......... and we=re not far along.@
Chairman Moyer - AWe=re not quite that far along.@
Commissioner Gordon - AAnd we=re just not there so I think we do need to just@
Chairman Moyer - ACommissioner Hawkins, is that satisfactory with you?@
Commissioner Hawkins - AWell yeah and I just have two other comments. First of all it=s kind of amusing that Commissioner Gordon finds a contract is appropriate here but not in the Health Department but that=s another question. But, I think the main thing is this - is that - you know just because you ask a question about a procedure or what=s going on in County Government or in the Greenway Commission doesn=t necessarily and should not be necessarily interpreted that you=re just totally opposed to what=s going on there. If you can=t answer the questions then you need to rethink what you=re doing and I would remind the Board that I voted for the Oklawaha Green Trail and voted for this interlocal agreement and to ask a question about some of the details on it doesn=t mean that there=s one Commissioner on the Board that=s totally opposed to greenways and that=s just not the case but I feel an obligation to ask about how the Agreement has been applied and I=ll continue to do that, if there=s questions that I have.@
Chairman Moyer - AAlright Bill, I think - I hope it=s clear that we will - I will send a letter - ... A
Angela Beeker - AI just had a comment about releasing the opinion or not. That is totally at your discretion, it=s not something that is my decision at all. As with any opinion that I give the Board, I would just ask you to be aware that there are other issues addressed in the opinion as well so if you do decide to release it you may want to pull the other issues out.@
Chairman Moyer - AYeah, absolutely. And when we do the letter we may just quote from it, I=m not sure about which way we=re go but we=ll send a letter to the Greenways Commission indicating that these issues have been raised. It=s something that the Board would like to discuss with the Greenways Commission and when they come back - when they ask to come back with their plan we will discuss that item, this item and any other items the Board might want to discuss. Mr. Ward has raised yet another issue that will need some discussion so we=ll be looking for a broad discussion at that time. Commissioner Gordon.@
Commissioner Gordon - AI would just refer the Board back to my comments regarding the pros and cons of contract labor with the nurse situation and this one and they can reach their own conclusions as to whether I have changed my position. I think that it speaks for itself. Thank you.@
David Nicholson updated the Board on the two major projects we=re working on regarding facilities:
Historic Courthouse - Staff is working on the bid package for the demolition of the old jail. That either has hit the street this week or will do so late next week, because of the holidays. The final bid package should be on the street fairly quickly if they are not already there. The bids will be opened about mid-January. Staff should have bid award recommendations to bring to the Board either at the January 16 or the February 4 meeting.
Our Architects, Freeman White Associations, were in the community yesterday. Mr. Nicholson used some of their time while they were in town, particularly to work with Travel & Tourism on their area in the building.
Human Services Building - Department of Social Services has been working with Freeman White on the individual offices.
The Public Health Department - the Board of Public Health asked that we shift the clinical area more to the center of the building to be more convenient to their patients. The Architects are working on that now.
Chairman Moyer called a technical break. The Board will reconvene for the public hearings.
When the Board reconvened, Chairman Moyer stated that Commissioner Ward had one additional question he wanted to raise about facilities.
Commissioner Ward asked for any update on the animal shelter. He had earlier proposed a slightly altered plan and the Board of Health was going to review that plan. Where does that stand?
The County Manager stated that he spoke to Mr. Bridges about that plan last week. They had hoped to have their recommendation out by the middle of December but it has been delayed due to the holidays. Staff was waiting to receive that recommendation including input from the representative reviewing the plans.
Commissioner Gordon stated that the Board of Health didn=t meet in December but that report should be forthcoming any day. They were awaiting the report.
PUBLIC HEARING - Economic Development Incentives - Printpack, Inc.
Chairman Moyer made the motion for the Board to go into public hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
The Board had been asked to consider granting economic development incentives to Printpack, Inc. which is a business having a manufacturing plant located in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Scott Hamilton informed the Board that Printpack has recently announced its desire to add and upgrade its printing equipment in order to increase its manufacturing capacity in the Hendersonville plant. The net taxable capital investment for such addition and upgrade is expected to be $5.5 million, resulting from a capital investment of $8.5 million and the retirement of old equipment having a value of $3.0 million
Printpack requested economic development incentives from the County in an amount of approximately $22,000.00 as partial reimbursement for the expenses associated with its plan to add and upgrade its printing equipment.
Mr. Hamilton introduced Keith Love, Manager of Printpack, Inc. Mr. Love stated that Printpack is a flexible packaging business primarily for the foods industry. They are the second largest supplier in the flexible packaging market. They are trying to convince their corporation to do a capital project expansion in Hendersonville. They have eighteen plants in the United States, one plant in Mexico and two in the United Kingdom. They have been in business for 45 years, since 1956 and are headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Their company has a sales revenue of $1,000,000,000. The Hendersonville plant has been here since 1976. It was originally part of Daniels Packaging. The plant in Hendersonville is part of the confectionary division. They make packaging for the confectionary industry. Their largest customer in this plant is Hershey Foods. They have no food or candy in the Hendersonville Plant. Printpack is Hershey=s largest flexible packaging supplier. They do about $75,000,000 worth of business with Hershey annually, about $55,000,000 out of the Hendersonville plant with most of it being with Hershey Foods. They have 5 printing presses in the Hendersonville plant, three of which are six color and two are eight color. In their business, customers are always looking for greater and greater graphic enhancement or more color. Their eight color presses are full. They run typically seven days a week most of the year. They need more capacity. The capital expansion project is about bringing more eight color presses on line (more capacity) to help sustain their market share and to grow. Mr. Love explained that the project includes the purchase of a ten color printing press with two outboard stations, these outboard stations allow them to do some things in-line which they couldn=t do otherwise plus the various support equipment. Overall the project is valued at $10,000,000. It will offer greater capacity in their eight color and ten color business and greater efficiency. They will retire some older equipment as part of this project. They are a light, clean manufacturing business with good paying jobs. They are very involved in the community. They support United Way every year. In the last 5 years their labor wages have been about $40,000,000 to the community and they=ve paid around $500,000 in property taxes to Henderson County.
A draft incentives agreement was presented for the Board=s consideration. This agreement had been sent to the company, and at agenda preparation was still in negotiation. Angela Beeker had given the Board (in their mailboxes) a revised agreement that had some very minor changes to it.
NCGS S158-7.1 requires that the Board hold a duly advertised public hearing on the proposed economic development incentives prior to approving the same. At the close of the public hearing, it would be appropriate for the Board to take action with respect to this matter.
There was none.
Commissioner Ward made the motion for the Board to go out of public hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the economic incentive package to Printpack and approve the Agreement with the changes as mentioned by the County Attorney (on the basis that they are not inconsistent with the substance the Board had been given) and authorize the execution and delivery of that Agreement. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
MACEDONIA CHURCH ROAD - add-on
Chairman Moyer stated that there have been back and forth discussions with the NC Department of Highways. They are pressing to get this issue resolved.
David Nicholson reminded the Board that they had earlier considered the Abandonment Petition for a portion of SR#1835, Macedonia Church Road. The Board held a public input session to get the communities= comments on this possible abandonment off the State Maintenance System. There were some citizens who raised some questions about it. Staff has worked with facilitation of the discussions between the citizens and some of the folks from Macedonia Church. There have been some on-going discussions. Mr. Nicholson had recently received a phone call from the NC Department of Transportation who indicated that the Board needed to make a decision on the portion of SR#1835 because, if not NCDOT is planning to widen it and pave it. Part of the discussions had to do with an eventual expansion or addition to the Macedonia Church Cemetery property.
Mr. Nicholson referred to a map of the area. The original petition referred to point A to point B on the map and that is what is under consideration. There had earlier been some discussions about an additional section but that can be forgotten. Staff recommended that the Board approve the abandonment of the portion of Macedonia Church Road in question. Mr. Nicholson stated that his feeling was that the worst thing that the Board could do now would be allow the State to come in and widen and pave the road because it would limit the Churchs= capability to expand its operation. This will not close the road, it will just abandon it off the State Maintenance System. Hopefully the Church and Mr. Beach can clarify their responsibilities for the road.
Following some discussion, Chairman Moyer made the motion to abandon from the State Maintenance Program only the section of Macedonia Church Road from point A to point B, which is what was stated in the original application. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
BOARDS/COMMITTEES - Commissioners serve on
Chairman Moyer had spoken with several of the Commissioners about the appointments and possible changes for this year. He asked each Commissioner to get with him if they were interested in any changes. He will try to get a revised list for the Board=s consideration during January.
BOARD COMMUNICATION - add-on
Commissioner Hawkins had asked that this item be added to the agenda for several reasons:
1. A few days ago he asked for a copy of the County=s Budget Ordinance. He got it but when he got the copy attached to it was a distribution memo to him and all the Commissioners. He questioned the Clerk at the time why everyone was copied when he requested items. She informed him that she had been instructed that anytime a Commissioner made a request to send the results of the request to all the Commissioners so that everyone had the same information. The legal department follows that procedure and had recommended that the Clerk do the same.
Commissioner Hawkins questioned that procedure, stating he felt it was something the entire Board should act on, not just the Chairman. Following much discussion, Commissioner Gordon made the motion to approve a procedure that would provide that when requests are made by Commissioners to staff for information relevant to Commission work responses would be copied to all the Commissioners and the legal department so that all would have the same information. A vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.
2. Commissioner Hawkins questioned Board communication from the Chairman and the County Manager, stating he sometimes gets his communication information from sources other than where he feels it should come. He particularly mentioned letters that come addressed to the Board that the Chairman receives but no other Commissioner does.
Chairman Moyer stated that he and the Clerk to the Board had been working on a procedure
for handling mail for the department. The Clerk had been instructed to copy any mail addressed to the Board to all Board members. She also had been noting on the Chairman=s copy of mail whether the other Board members received the same. That way the Chairman was aware if he was the only one who saw a letter and could decide whether to copy to the other Commissioners. Occasionally things get put in the Commissioners= mailboxes that have not been opened or copied to anyone.
There was some discussion about a request from HomeAid and whether the Board had approved a match for that application. The County had not been made aware of a county match and therefore no money was budgeted for one. Staff is addressing that problem with Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Nicholson referenced a December 6 letter addressed to him from Ken Perkins. Mr. Nicholson clearly stated that Henderson County has not appropriated any funds toward a match. Part of the problem was that staff had requested but had not received from Mr. Perkins, prior to the meeting where the Board approved the Home funds nor during the meeting, a copy of the application. When it came to a match, the issue was not raised during the meeting (County Attorney listened to the tape recording of the meeting). Angela Beeker stated that the Chairman=s signature alone is never enough to create a liability for the County. Anything that the Board of Commissioners has not specifically authorized, the Chairman cannot sign that away.
Request Public Hearing for new road names
Rocky Hyder proposed that the Board set a public hearing to name four new roads:
Evergreen Country Lane
Wyatt Hill Road
Edward Capps Drive
Lilac Ridge Trail
and rename Campground Hill Circle to Windfall Circle and Arborwood Point Lane to Washaway Lane.
Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to set this public hearing for January 7 at 7:00 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Schedule workshop on County Comprehensive Plan
The board set a workshop for Friday, January 11 at 9:00 a.m. They will begin with the Comprehensive Plan and then move into the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite.
Schedule workshop on Zoning Ordinance Rewrite
Friday, January 11, at 9:00 a.m. (see above).
Commissioner Ward asked for three additional meetings to be set in the near future:
1. Budget workshop
2. Facilities workshop
3. Workshop with Sheriff re: 100 N. King Street
Some discussion followed. Commissioner Hawkins stated that he would be out of town the fourth week of January.
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, in accordance with and pursuant to NCGS 143-318.10(e) and Article II of Chapter 11 of the Henderson County Code.
2.(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 a claim or the following lawsuit:
Village of Flat Rock, et al. v. Kenneth & Winnie Swing; et al.
All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman