STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON JUNE 3, 2002
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the Commissioners' Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building.
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, Assistant County Attorney Jennifer O. Jackson, Assistant to the County Manager/Budget Analyst Selena Coffey, Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Coordinator Rocky Hyder, Property Addressing Technician Curtis Griffin, and Deputy Clerk to the Board/Volunteer Coordinator Amy Brantley.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Gordon led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
County Manager David E. Nicholson gave the invocation.
MAYOR=S CUP RAFT RACE
Chairman Moyer announced that Henderson County had a team in the Raft Race on Sunday and did better in the Raft Race this year than they ever have, coming in with a yellow ribbon for fourth place (beating Fletcher). Our Captain this year was Chairman Moyer with the following team mates: Commissioner Messer, Deputy Ken McCraw, and Deputy Duane Frickle. Chairman Moyer stressed that they were the first raft to cross the finish line with only four members, the teams ahead of them had six members. Congratulations to our team.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
Chairman Moyer added the following items under ADiscussion Items@:
1. Update on Westfeldt Park
2. Regional Water Agreement - Negotiations Meeting update
3. Update on Legislative Briefing in Raleigh - NCACC
Commissioner Hawkins added one item under ADiscussion Items@
4. County Manning
Commissioner Ward added one item under ADiscussion Items@
5. Budgeting Procedures
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the agenda as revised. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Ward asked to pull item AD - Financial Report@ to ask the County Manager a question. After asking his question, he was satisfied that Item AD@ go back into the Consent Agenda.
Chairman Moyer asked that item AG@ be pulled for some discussion - AResolution - Strive to Drive Week@.
Angela Beeker reminded the Board that they had received a revision to the May 2 set of minutes and if they approved them to please approve them with the revision.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve items A through F (as follows) of the Consent Agenda. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
The CONSENT AGENDA included the following:
Minutes from the May 2, 2002 special called meeting were presented for the Board=s review/approval. A revised set was presented with an amendment which was considered to be the set approved at this meeting.
AB@ -State Road Addition Petitions
A road petition had been submitted for Kendrick Court in Grove Hills Subdivision to be added to the State Maintenance System. It has been the practice of this Board to accept road petitions and forward them to NC Department of Transportation for their review. It has also been the practice of the Board not to ask NC DOT to change the priority for roads on the paving priority list.
AC@ -Tax Collector=s Report
Terry F. Lyda, Tax Collector, had provided the Tax Collector=s Report dated May 29 for the Board=s information.
Darlene B. Burgess, Deputy Tax Collector, had provided the Deputy Tax Collector=s Report dated May 28 for the Board=s information.
AD@ -Financial Report - April 2002
Cash Balance Report - April 2002
The Financial Report and the Cash Balance Report for April were presented for the Board=s information and consent approval.
AE@ -Henderson County Public Schools Financial Report - April 2002
The Schools Financial Report for April was presented for the Board=s information and consent approval.
AF@ -Community Advisory Committee Report
The Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee Chairman (Nuala Fay) had submitted their annual report for the Board=s information.
Discussion of Item G - AResolution - Strive to Drive Week@
Chairman Moyer questioned what the Board=s policy is going to be with respect to individuals that submit Proclamations/Resolutions for discussion and adoption. His policy had been in the past not to accept individual Proclamations/Resolutions. We do not have a written policy. Chairman Moyer felt that we should develop a written policy to serve as a guide.
Much discussion followed with the consensus of the Board being to develop a procedure or policy for handling Proclamations/Resolutions in the future. There was a question raised about how to handle this one since we have received it and placed it on the agenda.
Mr. Nicholson and Ms. Beeker were asked to put this out over their professional listserves and see how other counties handle this issue, whether they accept Proclamations/Resolutions from individuals. It seems that some counties have discontinued placing Proclamations/Resolutions on their agenda altogether because of issues that have arisen. No formal policy has been found as yet.
Mrs. Beeker informed the Board that even though they don=t have a written policy, their past actions have created a policy in practice.
Following continued discussion, Chairman Moyer asked the individual (in attendance) if it was OK with him if the Board pulled his resolution and delayed action on it. Staff will do some further research and the Board will review it again at a later date. He agreed to the Board pulling his resolution from this agenda.
No action was taken on the Resolution.
Chairman Moyer reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:
1. Equalization and Review - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
2. Juvenile Crime Prevention Council - 5 vac.
Commissioner Ward nominated Jim Rasmussen for reappointment to position #17 and Tim Hopkins from the Recreation Department to position #18. There were no other nominations at this time. Commissioner Ward made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint both men by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried. Three vacancies remain.
Commissioner Messer stated that position # 10 has been open for some time. It must be filled by someone from the faith community.
3. Henderson County Board of Health - 5 vac.
Commissioner Gordon nominated John Bell, Susanne Kilgo, Karylee Clark, and Keith Dale for reappointment to their respective slots and Richmond Meadows from the General Public to position # 9. There were no other nominations at this time. Commissioner Gordon made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint all five by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
4. Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 5 vac.
Commissioner Hawkins nominated Doris Goodwin for position # 2. There were no other nominations at this time. Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Ms. Goodwin by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
5. Community Child Protection Team - 1 vac.
Commissioner Messer nominated Sherri Norman. There were no other nominations at this time. Commissioner Messer made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Ms. Norman by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
6. Zoning Board of Adjustment, Hendersonville City - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
7. Zoning Board of Adjustment, Fletcher - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
8. Mountain Area Workforce Development Board - 4 vac.
Commissioner Hawkins nominated Richard Raube for reappointment. There were no other nominations. Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint Mr. Raube by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Moyer asked Ms. Brantley to contact the other members of this Board to see if they are willing to continue to serve on this Board, prior to the next meeting.
9. Social Services Board - 1 vac.
Commissioner Ward nominated Argie Taylor. Chuck McGrady had previously been nominated. The Clerk was asked to poll the Board:
Commissioner Ward - Argie Taylor
Commissioner Messer - Chuck McGrady
Chairman Moyer - Chuck McGrady
Commissioner Hawkins - Argie Taylor
Commissioner Gordon - Chuck McGrady
Chuck McGrady received three of the five votes so he was appointed to the Social Services Board.
WORK FIRST BLOCK GRANT
The Chairman and the County Manager had received a memo from Liston Smith, DSS Director, concerning the County=s Work First Block Grant and the need for clarification of the statutes associated with this program. This issue deals with the County=s funding responsibilities.
Liston Smith was present to make the Commissioners aware of this information in case they desire to bring this issue up with the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC). The main question Liston asked was ADoes the NC General Assembly intend for electing counties to be responsible for the cost of cash assistance payments that result from increased caseloads beyond the funds allocated?@ County Budget Estimates for FY 2002-2003 (provided by DHHS in accordance with General Statutes 108A-88) states:
AElecting counties are responsible for the cost of cash assistance payments that result from increased caseloads beyond the funds that have been allocated to them.@ [page 2]
Mr. Smith stated that available information, or the lack thereof, raises reasonable doubt as to whether the DHHS interpretation accurately represents the intent of the General Assembly. To the best of his information, no written document is available nor has been made available to County Commissioners in electing counties from DHHS or the General Assembly supporting the DHHS interpretation.
Mr. Smith felt that this might be an effort to end electing counties. He feels that DHHS has taken a position that if an electing county runs out of their cash assistance line item, then the electing county is on their own, if a standard county runs out of the cash assistance line item, the State will help them. Mr. Smith feels that is not in the Statutes nor is it the intention of the General Assembly.
Henderson County is an electing county. Mr. Smith did not feel that Henderson County will be negatively impacted by that fact. Every two years counties decide whether they want to be standard or electing.
Mr. Smith=s recommendation to the DSS Board was that we would not experience an actual fiscal impact. It=s too unpredictable so he took the prudent route to allocate $252,000 for FY 2002-2003 for the cash assistance line item. He stated that this was moving monies from one pot to another. He also does not plan to fill two vacant positions in anticipation of this possible deficit.
Much discussion followed. There was a suggestion that we get an opinion from the Attorney General.
Chairman Moyer reviewed what the County Manager=s recommendation was - that the Board request the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) assistance in clarifying this law. It was suggested to also work through our Legislators. Staff will proceed to try to get some clarification. There was still some consideration concerning getting the Attorney General=s opinion.
OFFER TO PURCHASE FORECLOSED PROPERTY
Lots 26, 38, 39, & 40 of Lee Morgan Subdivision
Ms. Beeker reminded the Board that on September 19, 2001, the Board of Commissioners proposed acceptance of a bid submitted on Lots 26, 38, 39, and 40 of Lee Morgan Subdivision (property which was acquired by the County in a Sheriff=s sale held for the nonpayment of taxes in 1985). The bid submitted at that time was for $600.00. In accordance with the Policy Regarding the Sale of Real Property Owned by Henderson County as a Result of a Tax Foreclosure Sale, this original bid was advertised in the Times-News and went through an unusually active upset bid process. The final bid received by the County was submitted by David LaFave on May 6, 2002, in the amount of $18,000. This bid was advertised on May 13, 2002, but no further upset bids have been received. The proper paperwork, including a signed release and deposit, are on file for this bid. The County Attorney submitted this bid for final acceptance by the Board.
Ms. Beeker stated that if the Board is inclined to accept Mr. LaFave=s bid, the Commissioners should consider the proposed resolution which accepts the offer and authorizes the sale to Mr. LaFave based on the bid of $18,000.00 that he submitted.
The County Manager noted that the bidding process worked well in this instance in that the original bid of $600 was increased to $18,000 (30 times the original bid). Acceptance was therefore recommended.
Following discussion, Commissioner Gordon made the motion to adopt the Resolution as presented authorizing the sale of lots 26, 38, 39, & 40 of Lee Morgan Subdivision as discussed. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
ETOWAH-HORSE SHOE FIRE DISTRICT EXPANSION
Etowah Horse-Shoe Fire Department is scheduled to receive an insurance grading survey from the NC Department of Insurance (State Fire Marshals Office) in mid June. As part of the survey the department must present current information on their insurance district boundaries. Therefore the department is requesting a resolution accepting the district boundaries for insurance grading purposes only. This resolution will not affect the fire tax district. The State has changed their rules allowing a six mile radius for an insurance district now instead of a five mile radius. The area in the four to five mile radius will receive the same insurance grade as the rest of the district. The department of insurance has decided that the area in the six mile district (from five to six mile radius, across the state) can only have class IX coverage because of the distance from the fire house, response times, etc.
Following discussion, Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to approve the presented Resolution (attached hereto and incorporated as a part of these minutes) approving the expansion of the boundaries of the Etowah Horse-Shoe Fire District. Commissioner Ward seconded the motion. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
1. Dotty Effinger - Ms. Effinger asked the Board to please authorize the County Manager to get started with the Committee on Mental Health. On December 5, 1996, at the request of Chairman Kumor, Ms. Effinger had written a report on the organization/reorganization of County Government and an Analysis of Mental Health Statutes. She asked the Board=s permission to redistribute that report because it fits what is happening right now. She informed the Board that she has loads of information she would be happy to share with anyone.
She again stressed to the Board to allow the County Manager to get the Committee going to find out what our needs are.
UPDATE - WESTFELDT PARK - Add-on by Chairman Moyer
Commissioner Messer reminded those in attendance that Westfeldt Park is a park in the northern part of the county, off Hwy #280. Westfeldt Park was shut down last fall, around Labor Day due to safety concerns at the park. Following the shut-down the Army Corp of Engineers became involved and did a lot of clearing at the park. All the clearing has been done now. The park is now open, the dock, the ramp, etc. There has been some activity there in the last week or so. He encouraged everyone to go by and check out Westfeldt Park, enjoy the trails and the French Broad River.
David Nicholson explained that after the Corp of Engineers did their clearing, our Solid Waste personnel used a chipper and ground up the debris. Staff leveled it out and have been hydroseeding. He also stressed for people to use the park.
REGIONAL WATER - NEGOTIATIONS MEETING - Add-on by Chairman Moyer
Chairman Moyer stated that he and Commissioner Gordon were at a negotiations meeting in Asheville this morning as was the County Manager. This was the seventh negotiations meeting. Mr. Nicholson had shared copies of the materials distributed at the meeting with each Commissioner in their mailbox today.
One of the issues discussed was the value of the Bent Creek property. Someone suggested as a possible solution to the building of regional water lines that either the Bent Creek property would be sold by the Authority and the City, and the monies received would be given to Henderson County in lieu of that obligation or that the property would be transferred to Henderson County free and clear of any obligations and Henderson County could then do whatever they chose to with the property. When that suggestion was made questions were raised about the appraised value of the property. It was agreed the Authority would hire an Appraiser to get the appraisal on the property. The appraisal was delivered this morning just before the meeting so noone had time to take a look at it. The value was judged to be $1,345,000. The appraisal was discussed at great length at the negotiations meeting. The City of Asheville and Buncombe County indicated that they were quite surprised with the value. They thought it would be substantially higher. They asked to have time to review the appraisal in detail. The appraisal will be an item on the agenda for the next negotiations meeting. The next negotiations meeting will be July 18 in the Commissioners= Meeting Room in Henderson County. Chairman Moyer and Commissioner Gordon would like to have some guidance from the Board about their wishes on this issue prior to the July 18 meeting.
Nathan Ramsey, Buncombe County Chairman, suggested that what he thought would be fair would be to take a look at the tax loss to Henderson County by giving that property to the Authority. He estimated that to be about $150,000 per year. Much discussion followed on that subject.
The third issue raised was AIf the money issue could be solved, would that solve all the issues?@ Chairman Moyer and Commissioner Gordon answered that it would not. Then discussion followed concerning a regional approach and a True Authority (162-A). It appears that the City of Asheville is not interested in a True Authority. The other entities were interested in a True Authority and working toward that end. There was some discussion of putting the Treatment Facilities in an Authority and the major Distribution Lines, hoping to save the State Non-Betterment Costs and it would be a step in the way of coming up with a regional approach. The City of Asheville did not like that approach. The City of Asheville was asked to take a look at whether there was a basis on which they would consider going into a True Authority. The City indicated that they would study the comments made today and would explore whether there was any way they would consider going into a True Authority or whether there was another alternative they would consider. One of the issues the City of Asheville kept making was that they did not want to go into a Regional Water Authority but they wanted to continue to work toward regionalization. The other three entities had trouble seeing how to move forward on a regional approach if the City of Asheville is moving to get control.
Chairman Moyer stated that we have two providers of water that are more than ready to sell us whatever water we want. The issue is who=s going to pay to run the lines.
There was a suggestion of our Board having a water workshop prior to the July 18 meeting. Chairman Moyer asked Mr. Nicholson to get a copy of the map to each Commissioner that shows where the water lines are located. The Board will plan to set a workshop under AImportant Dates@ today.
PUBLIC HEARING on Street Names (continuation of Public Hearing from May 23rd
Chairman Moyer called to order the continuation of the public hearing.
Rocky Hyder reminded the Board that on May 23, 2002, the Board held a public hearing to adopt several road names. At that meeting, the Board discussed their concern with a citizen over the proposed name of Zzyzx. The applicant offered the alternative of Off Road. In the meantime, Staff has reviewed this alternative name and found it not to be a duplicate name. Staff recommended the Board approve Off Road.
Angela Beeker reminded the Board that after the public hearing had already been continued on May 23, Mr. Coggins spoke and requested his comments be made part of the continued public hearing today which is attached hereto and incorporated as a part of these minutes. The Clerk distributed copies of Mr. Coggins comments at this time.
Commissioner Ward made the motion for the Board to go out of public hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Gordon made the motion to accept the renaming of these streets as present with the change of Light Breeze Drive to Off Road as discussed and the other names as listed. (A copy of these street names is attached hereto and incorporated as a part of these minutes) All voted in favor and the motion carried.
PUBLIC HEARING To Consider the Abolition of the Mud Creek Water and Sewer District (Henderson County Board of Commissioners Sitting Also As the Mud Creek Water and Sewer District Board of Directors)
Commissioner Ward made the motion for the Board to go into this public hearing as the Henderson County Board of Commissioners. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Jennifer Jackson explained that on April 17, 2002 the Board of Commissioners, on behalf of Henderson County and the Mud Creek Water and Sewer District, scheduled a public hearing for tonight to consider the abolition of the Mud Creek Water and Sewer District. Since the procedure on this public hearing was a little out of the ordinary, Ms. Jackson distributed a proposed procedure.
Ms. Jackson informed the Board that this public hearing was advertised in the Times-News on May 20, 2002.
The Mud Creek Water and Sewer District was formed by the Henderson County Board of Commissioners on August 1, 1998 under the authority of Article 6 of Chapter 162A of the North Carolina General Statutes. The formation of this District has been codified as Henderson County Code Chapter 504. NCGS 162A-87.2 governs the abolition of the Mud Creek Water and Sewer District. Action to abolish such district is appropriate only after holding a properly noticed public hearing and upon the Board=s finding that there is no longer a need for a county water and sewer district and that there are no outstanding bonds or notes issued to finance projects in the District. Any abolition of the District would be effective at the end of the fiscal year in which action is taken to abolish the District.
On December 20, 2000, the County and the City of Hendersonville entered into an agreement concerning provision of sewer services within the Mud Creek Water and Sewer District (codified as Code Ch. 504). The Mud Creek Agreement calls for the City of Hendersonville to provide sewer services in that District. Section IV of the Agreement contemplates that the boundaries of the District would be redrawn to more accurately reflect the drainage basin of Mud Creek. That Section IV also reserved the right of the County to determine whether that new district would be a formal district or a service area. This work was accomplished by joint efforts between the County, the City, and the Mud Creek District Advisory Council with the outcome being a sewer service area to be known as the Amended Mud Creek District. The Commissioners approved the boundaries of the Amended Mud Creek District on November 14, 2001 but reserved action on the effective date. It is contemplated that the Amended Mud Creek District would be effective July 1, 2002, but action by the Board of Commissioners and the City of Hendersonville is still required.
It is contemplated that the remaining area that was previously within the Mud Creek Water and Sewer District but outside the newly drawn Amended Mud Creek District is to be added to the existing Cane Creek Water and Sewer District. Plans are underway on the expansion of the Cane Creek Water and Sewer District with a public hearing scheduled for June 27, 2002. Such expansion, if approved at the close of the public hearing, would be effective July 1, 2002.
With these plans in place and the fact that neither bonds nor notes have ever been issued for projects within the Mud Creek Water and Sewer District, Staff believes that the Board can make the necessary findings that are required to abolish the formally established Mud Creek Water and Sewer District.
After hearing from the public on the proposed abolition of the Mud Creek Water and Sewer District, it would be appropriate for the Board to consider adopting the draft resolution. This resolution does the following:
(1) Abolishes the Mud Creek Water and Sewer District effective at the end of this fiscal year (June 30, 2002).
(2) Amends the Mud Creek Agreement to make the Amended Mud Creek District (which is to be served by the City of Hendersonville) effective on July 1, 2002.
(3) Authorizes the conveyance of the remaining assets within the Mud Creek Water and Sewer District to the Cane Creek Water and Sewer District prior to July 1, 2002.
There was none.
Commissioner Ward made the motion for the Board to go into Mud Creek Water and Sewer District. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
MUD CREEK WATER AND SEWER DISTRICT
Commissioner Ward made the motion for the Board to go out of Mud Creek Water and Sewer District. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Close Public Hearing
Commissioner Ward made the motion for the Board to go out of public hearing as the Board of Commissioners. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to adopt the Resolution presented concerning the Mud Creek Water and Sewer District in Henderson County for its dissolution and the presented addendum. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Recess - Chairman Moyer called a 15 - 20 minute recess. There was a need to change videotapes.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATIVE BRIEFING - NCACC - in Raleigh Add-on by Chairman Moyer
Chairman Moyer reminded the Board that there was a NCACC Legislative Briefing in Raleigh on Wednesday, May 29. Commissioner Messer, David Nicholson, and Chairman Moyer attended that briefing. Chairman Moyer had distributed a packet of information to all the Commissioners that he received at the briefing.
They heard a briefing on the State Budget which has not improved. He reviewed what the key issues were that the counties had put forth:
C Medicaid - counties should be relieved of the responsibility for paying medicaid program costs. Counties should continue to administer the program according to Federal and State regulations and pay the current 50% administrative costs but would be relieved of the match.
C Public Education - the General Assembly should act to fulfill its responsibilities under existing laws by providing from state revenues the resources needed for the standard course of study that must be made available in every public school throughout the state. Counties should continue to be responsible for building and maintaining capital facilities but not the expense monies.
C Funding - consistent with the action we took to try to get the General Assembly to let us institute the one half cent earlier or have an additional one half cent tax. That was pretty much unanimously agreed.
There was a time on the agenda where Mr. Moyer presented our Board=s concern with respect to the mental health and reform bill and the lack of assistance and guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). There were others at the meeting that shared the same concern. Chairman Moyer asked for a deferral of these deadlines, to give more time for studying the plan and getting more input with respect to moving forward. The NCACC accepted the letter and said it would be brought up at their next Board Meeting to see if they would want to make this a priority item, to try to get the dates changed.
Commissioner Messer stressed that people watching the meeting and anyone present at the meeting should contact their legislators and encourage them to allow counties to have a half cent sales tax. He stated that some of the people he talked to from some of the larger counties are looking at a large tax increase this year. He also stressed the concern about the mental health issues.
David Nicholson stated that he is currently creating a list for the Mental Health Committee and he is meeting with staff this week. He was open as to how the Board wanted this set up. Chairman Moyer felt the Commissioners should be involved. Mr. Nicholson explained that there are groups that will need to be involved in this process and he will come up with a list and the Board can add to it if they wish.
There was some discussion concerning Trend Mental Health and what our relationship will be with them. We have a Commissioner sitting on the Trend Board. Mr. Nicholson stated that Trend is cutting back on staff because they are receiving less State monies. It seems that no one on the State level is working on the mental health issues currently and the deadline is quickly approaching for counties.
Commissioner Messer stated that as long as Trend is in Henderson and Transylvania County, we=ve got a job to do to make sure our mentally handicapped people in Henderson County are taken care of to the best of our capability and as long as the funds are available.
Angela Beeker distributed copies concerning the Bills that have been introduced concerning many of the issues the Board has been discussing. Text was not available for the Senate Bills. She briefly discussed the text of the House Bills. She will keep the Board up to date as Bills are introduced and as text becomes available, placing copies in the Commissioner mailboxes.
COUNTY MANNING- Add-on by Commissioner Hawkins
Commissioner Hawkins briefly discussed population versus how many county employees you have, ratio of county employee to county citizens. The last analysis done in Henderson County revealed we have 140 employees per 1,000 citizens. This is very close to average. Manning is very expensive. Commissioner Hawkins stated that by the end of this budget cycle we will have fewer employees serving more people and likely with less resources. He made the motion to direct the County Manager to ensure that Henderson County Employees keep their dental insurance. He does not feel that county employees should be held hostage to this budget crisis. It will cost $203,000 to keep that benefit for county employees. Commissioner Hawkins further stated as part of his motion that if the funds aren=t available in our normal budget procedures, to utilize the $200,000 that the Board has set aside to do the demolition on the old jail.
Much discussion followed with some of the Commissioners feeling that this was not the time to do this, take one item out of context and approve it outside of budget deliberations. Budget sessions have been set throughout the month of June to discuss and decide on budget issues. Some Commissioners expressed that if county benefits are cut we will begin to lose county employees.
Following much discussion, Commissioner Hawkins called the question on the motion. A vote was taken and the motion carried three to two with Chairman Moyer and Commissioner Gordon voting nay.
BUDGETING PROCEDURES Add-on by Commissioner Ward
Commissioner Ward suggested to the County Manager that he go to his Department Heads and ask them AWhat would a 3% decrease do to your department budget?@ This would help him in his deliberations of the budget as he would know where the Department Heads felt cuts could be made. This would be 3% of the recommended budget. In the recommended budget many departments have already cut their budgets considerably. If more cuts are necessary, Mr. Ward wanted to know where the recommended cuts would be. Mr. Ward has talked with others that are putting in place a 2% to 5% cut across the board on budgets, especially some of the eastern counties.
Mr. Nicholson explained that he needed to look at the budget because there are areas that cannot be cut because of mandates. DSS and the Health Dept. have county monies but also have state and/or federal monies. It will take him some time to break the budget down.
Chairman Moyer announced the kick-off of the local bus service next Monday at Travel & Tourism with the service beginning Tuesday, June 11.
Mr. Nicholson reminded the Board that at the last meeting the Board wanted to set up some workshops for the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite for July. Following discussion two workshops were set for the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite: July 25 at 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. and July 29 at 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Discussion followed about possibly changing the July 1 meeting date due to the fact that it is a holiday week and many families spend it with family. Chairman Moyer made the motion to reschedule the July 1 meeting to 5:30 p.m. on July 8. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
A workshop was set for July 11 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss water issues in northern Henderson County.
Mr. Nicholson also asked the Board to set a public hearing on street names. Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to set it for June 19th at 11:00 a.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Karen Smith reminded the Board that on February 4, Bill Alexander, Attorney and Agent for Hollabrook Farms had asked the Board to cancel the public hearing on a rezoning application for property off Butler Bridge Road in order to give him and his client time to come up with some other alternatives. He has submitted an amendment to his application and asked Ms. Smith to ask the Board if they would be willing to refer this amended application to the Planning Board so they could hear it at their meeting in June.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to refer this matter back to the Planning Board for their recommendation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Moyer made the motion to set the public hearing on Hollabrook Farms for July 8 at 7:00 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
RULES OF PROCEDURE - Add-on by Commissioner Gordon
Commissioner Gordon reminded the Board that they do have Rules of Procedure and part of that is setting the agenda. She feels it is important to review those rules and try to have the agenda set when it is published. She feels that the public should know what will be discussed when they come into the meeting or when they get a copy of the agenda. The Commissioners should know what will be discussed prior to coming into the meeting. A little planning and forethought could prevent so many add-ons.
Commissioner Messer made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:34 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board
William L. Moyer, Chairman