STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON MAY 14, 2002
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners held a special-called meeting on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 2:00 pm in the Commissioners= Meeting Room of the Henderson County Office Building at 100 North King Street, Hendersonville, NC. The purpose of the meeting was two-fold: to appoint a temporary chairman and temporary vice-chair for a specified period of time; and, to conduct a North Carolina Department of Transportation Public Hearing on Secondary Roads.
Present were Chairman William Moyer, Vice-Chair Marilyn Gordon, Commissioner Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Charlie Messer, Commissioner Don Ward, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker and Clerk to the Board, Elizabeth W. Corn.
Absent was County Manager David E. Nicholson.
WELCOME/CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order.
APPOINTMENT OF TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN AND VICE-CHAIR
Chairman Moyer stated the need to make appointment of a temporary chairman for the period of May 15th through May 21st to be inclusive of the Vice-Chair in the absence of him and Commissioner Gordon during their business trip to Mexico with other local officials. Chairman Moyer made a motion to appoint Commissioner Ward as temporary Chairman for that period.
Commissioner Hawkins did not object to the nomination but he wanted the Board to consider amending the Rules of Procedure so that the chain of succession is already established in it. He recommended the next senior person on the Board assume that duty without having to go through the procedure each time that it occurs. The Board would consider that recommendation at another time.
All voted in favor of Chairman Moyer=s motion and the motion carried.
NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PUBLIC HEARING ON SECONDARY ROAD PAVING SCHEDULE
Chairman Moyer introduced Mr. Conrad Burrell who is the North Carolina Department of Transportation Board member for the 14th Division. Mr. Burrell thanked the Commissioners for allowing NCDOT to hold this public hearing. He stated the purpose of this meeting was to share with the Commissioners and the community the proposed gravel road paving program for the next fiscal year and to receive comments on the proposed schedule. Mr. Burrell introduced the Department of Transportation representatives present at the public hearing: Ron Watson, Division Engineer; Jay Swain, Division Maintenance Engineer; Ed Green, District Engineer; Mark Gibbs, County Maintenance Engineer; Jabot Pressley, Road Maintenance Supervisor; David Hensley, Road Maintenance Supervisor and several right-of-way employees.
Mr. Burrell explained that Henderson County=s share of the secondary road construction money is three million one hundred twelve thousand three hundred sixty-eight dollars and forty-eight cents. This figure represents the amount which is available for improving secondary roads during the next year. The proposed plan is based upon this figure and the paving priority system. A copy of the proposed plan had been posted at the County Courthouse for the past two weeks. After this public hearing is completed, the Board of Commissioners would be asked to pass a resolution approving the proposed plan.
Ron Watson reminded the Commissioners and audience that this meeting was for paving or improvements for secondary roads. NCDOT has been in the secondary road construction program for several years attempting to pave all the unpaved roads in the County. NCDOT was nearing the end of the list in a lot of counties. However, there are lots of roads where citizens do not want those roads paved. Mr. Watson further explained that if a majority of the residents on that road do not want it to be paved and are not willing to give right-of-way, NCDOT doesn=t force the issue. However, in the past there have been instances where a very few people or maybe even one property owner keeps an entire community from having a paved road. Legislature passed a law this past session which makes it mandatory for NCDOT to allow condemnation of parcels on a road if seventy-five percent of the property owners on that road agree to donate the right-of-way and it constitutes seventy-five percent of the frontage on the road. The other condition is that condemnation has to be sponsored by someone willing to put up a bond to begin that condemnation procedure. Division 14 has allowed that in the past in a lot of instances but now it is the law for those provisions. However, Mr. Watson had heard that the Transportation Subcommittee in Raleigh is considering lowering the requirements to fifty percent so that if a bare majority of people on the road wants it paved they can condemn the others. The NCDOT right-of-way unavailable list where the people do not want their roads paved in Division 14 is long due to the fact that Division 14, which covers ten counties, has forty percent of all the roads in North Carolina.
Jay Swain stated this secondary road paving program had been very popular with the citizens. NCDOT is proud of the program because it has been successful over a long period of time throughout multiple NCDOT administrations. NCDOT has been working on gravel roads and trying to get them paved or at least offer paving to the property owners on the roads for several years. It is a voluntary program in that if the property owner is willing to donate the right-of-way, NCDOT will pave the road. If the majority of the property owners don=t want their road paved, then NCDOT will leave it gravel. The Right-of-Way Unavailable list was attached to the roster of the paving program. NCDOT offered paving for those roads but right-of-way was unavailable. However, NCDOT has not given up on the roads on the right-of-way unavailable list. If property owners change their minds and right-of-way becomes available, those roads can be put back on the paving program as NCDOT funds allow.
Mr. Swain further explained that once NCDOT gets to the end of the paving list, NCDOT will then focus on paved road improvements projects like Howard Gap Road where widening and safety improvements were made. NCDOT wants to offer widening where possible to make a significant difference in capacity as well as safety, intersection improvements and other types of paved road improvements where they=re needed. Mr. Swain encouraged the Commissioners and the citizens to contact NCDOT about roads needing such improvements. NCDOT anticipates that program too will be successful.
Ed Green explained NCDOT previously had a subdivision residential list and a rural list for roads scheduled for paving, but the entire subdivision residential list has been completed so now only rural roads appear on the paving schedule. Only sixteen rural roads with available right-of-way remain to be paved. The 2002-2003 paving priority schedule for rural roads include: State Road #1836B, Pot Shoals Road; SR 1110, Terry=s Creek Road; SR 2208, Creasman Hill Road; SR 1128 CCC Road; SR 1798 Garrett Road; SR 1956 Gallimore Road; SR 1590 Smith Road; SR 1602B Grant Mountain Road; SR 1338 Watagnee Trail Road; SR 1130 Shoal Falls Road; SR 1106B Upper Green River Road; SR 1704 Lloyd Williams Road; SR 1420 Westfield Road; SR 1344 River Loop Road; SR 1114D Pinnacle Mountain Road; and SR 1799B Deep Gap Road for total of 25.66 miles proposed to be paved this year.
Nick Weedman, 130 Berry Creek Drive, Flat Rock, NC 28731-Mr. Weedman inquired about the status of Pinnacle Mountain Road, SR 1114A, on this year=s list. Mr. Weedman at a NCDOT public hearing two years ago requested that NCDOT propose a plan to address the safety concern at the intersection of SR 1114A and US 25. He inquired what the plans are to improve the intersection which is in a curve at the top of a hill and is a dangerous situation. Mr. Green replied that one property owner had refused to grant right-of-way and therefore progress had stalled. However, NCDOT was investigating the possibility of using a road that goes into an existing subdivision to remedy that safety concern. That intersection would be just north of where it is now and connect that road into Pinnacle Mountain Road. It would be a better alignment. Mr. Swain explained that NCDOT would continue right-of-way negotiations on the road and look at addressing the safety concern at that intersection.
Randy Neall-3033 Timber Trail, Hendersonville NC 28792-Mr. Neall inquired about the status of Lloyd Williams Road and Blythe Stepp Road. Mr. Green replied that Blythe Stepp Road is on the Right-of-Way Unavailable list. Mr. Neall wanted to know if NCDOT would pave that portion of Blythe Stepp Road where right-of-way is available. Mr. Green replied that NCDOT traditionally had done those types when they came up in the paving priority even though they are detached. Typically, NCDOT likes to do projects from pavement to pavement on new roads. Mr. Neall further inquired if Blythe/Williams would be an exception in this case. A right-of-way agent replied there was a possibility that NCDOT might get the right-of-way and that possibly could be done. Mr. Neall inquired if NCDOT knew when that would be done. Mr. Green replied it would be done when NCDOT got the right-of-way on Lloyd Williams Road. He further explained this was just a proposal and then after these are approved, NCDOT will stake them and the right-of-way agents will contact the property owners to get the right-of-way. Mr. Neall further commented that road would involve considerable excavation and wanted to know if the property owners would be given the opportunity to see the design for the road construction before NCDOT did the work. Mr. Swain replied that Mr. Neall and all other interested parties could see the design plan when NCDOT had it completed and urged Mr. Neall to keep in contact with Ed Green about its status. Mr. Green further explained that when NCDOT is in the right-of-way process if there are questions from the property owners, NCDOT will go out and usually slope stake their property or show them where the right-of-way will be and what it will involve.
Chairman Moyer clarified that although the new legislation specifies that NCDOT must allow condemnation to proceed if seventy-five percent of the property owners want it, but the fee for the condemnation would have to come from the property owners. No NCDOT funding would be granted to do it. Mr. Watson replied that was correct. The Division policy has been in the past that if seventy-five percent of the parcels and eighty percent of the road frontage agreed to donate the right-of-way, then NCDOT would allow condemnation. The new legislation just makes it mandatory to allow condemnation for all parcels with unavailable right-of-way. Chairman Moyer explained that the County=s Transportation Advisory Committee that was established by the Board of Commissioners had worked hard on trying to secure some of the rights-of-way on the right-of-way unavailable list but unfortunately the Committee was unsuccessful in getting any of them. People that are adamant about not giving right-of-way continued to be so.
Mr. Swain stated that NCDOT would not have the paving list next year unless some of the roads on the unavailable rights-of-way list became eligible for paving. Once the paving projects are completed, NCDOT would focus their efforts toward paved roads improvements.
Chairman Moyer made a motion that the Board approve the secondary road improvement paving schedule as presented for the paving of roads in Henderson County in the amount of three million one hundred twelve thousand three hundred sixty eight dollars and forty-eight cents and other spot projects in the amount of seven hundred seventy-eight thousand ninety-two dollars and twelve cents for a total of three million, eight hundred ninety thousand four hundred sixty dollars and sixty cents.
All voted in favor and the motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Moyer commended NCDOT representatives for their work done this past year. Considerable progress had been made. The relationship between the Board and NCDOT had worked very well and the Board knew that NCDOT would continue to improve the roads of Henderson County.
Chairman Moyer made a motion to adjourn at 2:25 pm. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman