STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                            BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                                    JULY 8, 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 to the County Manager Selena Coffey, Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, and Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Coordinator Rocky Hyder. Deputy Clerk to the Board/Volunteer Coordinator Amy Brantley was present through nominations.



Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.



Commissioner Messer led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.



David Nicholson gave the invocation.



Commissioner Hawkins added one item under Staff Reports as AC-3" - Update on the Board=s Policy on Resolutions and Proclamations.


David Nicholson pulled Staff Report AA@ - Comprehensive County Plan, apologizing for having to do so.  Dennie Martin was scheduled to be here for that presentation but had a family emergency today and could not make the meeting.   This item will be on the Board=s agenda for July 24.


Chairman Moyer stated a need to have a closed session and would explain further later in the meeting.


Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the revised agenda.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Chairman Moyer made the motion to approve the consent agenda.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  The CONSENT AGENDA consisted of the following:



Minutes were presented for the Board=s review and approval of the following meetings:

May 6, 2002, regular meeting

May 14, 2002, special called meeting

May 23, 2002, regular meeting

June 13, 2002, special called meeting

June 20, 2002, special called meeting

June 27, 2002, special called meeting


Petition to Abandon a Portion of Thomas Street (SR #1466)

On June 19, 2002, the Board considered a petition to abandon and remove from the State maintenance system a portion of Thomas Street (SR #1466) near US Highway 25.  After some discussion the Board approved by motion the petition.  Staff had notified Ed Green of the action taken by the Board.


While the statute that governs the abandonment of roads, NCGS 136-63, contemplates that action by motion of the Board of Commissioners is sufficient, NCDOT prefers such action to be formalized in a resolution.  Such a resolution had been drafted and presented for the Board=s consideration and approval.


The County Manager recommended the Board adopt the resolution as presented so that it can be forwarded to NCDOT for appropriate action.


Tax Collector=s Report

Terry F. Lyda, Tax Collector, had provided the Tax Collector=s report dated July 1 for the Board=s information. 


Darlene B. Burgess, Deputy Tax Collector, had provided the Deputy Tax Collector=s Report dated June 28 for the Board=s information.


Employee Recognitions/Awards

Chris Salerno Coulson, Public Information Officer, won the 2002 Meritorious Award for the 2001 Annual Report to Citizens (Annual Reports Category).  Ms. Coulson has won this award of excellence from the National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO) for the Annual Report to Citizens for three consecutive years.



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 - 2 vac.

There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.


3.               Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 4 vac.

Commissioner Ward nominated Aubrey Carruth for reappointment to position # 3 and Barbara Sherman for reappointment to position # 12. There were no other nominations at this time. Commissioner Ward made the motion to suspend the rules and appoint both nominees. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


4.               Zoning Board of Adjustment, Hendersonville City - 1 vac.

There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.


5.               Zoning Board of Adjustment, Fletcher - 1 vac.

There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.


6.               Mountain Area Workforce Development Board - 1 vac.

There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.



This item was pulled from this agenda (see above) but will be on the agenda for July 24, 2002.




Rocky Hyder reviewed the following excerpt from the Fire & Rescue Advisory Committee minutes of March 18, 2002 - New Stations for Edneyville:


ARobert Griffin, Chief at Edneyville, presented plans for new stations because the existing facility is the oldest in the county and during a windstorm last year the roof and ceiling were damaged and repair costs would amount to $40,000.  Robert presented quotes for construction of a main station and two substations from AMC, Cooper, and Morton.  Because Edneyville=s territory is expansive, covering 39.5 square miles, the department would like to build one main and two substations rather than one main building.  The main station would be built behind the existing station; substation # 2 would be located at the intersection of Gilliam Mountain Road, Sugarloaf Mountain Road, Lamb Mountain Road, and John Delk Road; and several locations are being considered for substation #3, one consideration being the intersection of Fruitland Road and Terry=s Gap.


The department is considering the metal building from AMC at a cost of $70 per square foot or a total cost of $1,111,340.00 for all three stations.  The community would benefit from lower insurance rates with three stations.  There are plans for four paid people at the main station with substations initially unmanned.  Other paid firefighters would go to the substations.   Firefighters= residences are strategic to the proposed sites thereby reducing driving time to the stations.  Each substation will have an engine and tanker with the remaining apparatus located at the main station.


John Goins, President of Wachovia Bank, provided financing options for the building expansion with the following figures recorded at a 3.40% interest rate with a 20-year amortization.







$1 Million




$1.2 Million


$81,475 +/-


$1.3 Million


$88,264 +/-


Edneyville had been making yearly $77,000 payments on the apparatus.  The department=s apparatus, which had been financed for 3-4 years, will be paid off in 2003.


The building will be single story, and the bay areas will have separate living quarters from business offices.  There will be an 80' drive in the back of the station.  The first phase of the construction would be to build the bays.


A motion was made by David Johnson, seconded by Bill Hill, to approve the construction of three stations, one main station and two substations, for Edneyville.  Unanimous approval.@


The County Manager requested the Board consent to this borrowing.  Funds are included within their budget. 


Mr. Hyder answered questions from the Board.  Following discussion, Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to authorize the Chairman to sign the necessary documents approving the Lease Purchase Agreement for Edneyville Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, Inc.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Legislative Update

Angela Beeker updated the Board on Senate Bill #1292 which provided for an accelerated Article

44 One Half Cent Sales Tax implementation by counties.  Mid June it went from the Senate to the House and went to Committee and has not moved out of Committee.  There is other legislation tied to SB #1292 and is holding it back.   There are several income tax and estate tax provisions added to it to delay some of the tax breaks intended for this year


The Bill as proposed had a possible effective date for the Article 44 Sales Tax of August 1, 2002 but to do that this Board had to give the General Assembly notice by July 15, 2002.  It looks like, unless they make some modifications, we are looking at an effective date of September 1, 2002 as an earliest possible effective date.


The County Manager then brought up the question of the Ahold harmless@ part of the Bill and whether it will be left in HB #1292.  This would mean that Henderson County would get their full amount of funding up to the $3.2 million, made up of sales tax as well as the hold harmless.


Ms. Beeker expressed that there had not been much action on things that she had brought to the Board=s attention previously.


Chairman Moyer thanked her for the update and asked her to keep the Board informed.


Mr. Nicholson informed the Board that in the current issue of ACounty Lines@ he received today there is an article about Representative David Redwine from Brunswick County who is the co-Chair of the House Appropriations Committee who are the ones working Abehind closed doors@ right now.

ARedwine said he would support legislation to move up the implementation date for the Article 44 Sales Tax to replace the reimbursements.  He also said he would work to restore reimbursements to  the budget in case the General Assembly refuses to do the sales tax option.@


Mr. Nicholson also reminded the Board of a note he had given them earlier about the possibility of Henderson County being added to a Bill that requires delinquent taxes to be payed before a deed can be recorded.  Senator Carpenter called him to ask if Henderson County wished to be added and Mr. Nicholson saw no reason not to consider that.  It still takes this Board=s action to actually make the law effective in Henderson County.


Ms. Beeker stated that Jim Blackburn of the NCACC told her that a lot of the counties across the State took the same action this Board took to include the sales tax revenues as part of their budget.


NCACC Voting Delegate

The information about the NCACC Annual Conference in Forsyth County had been shared with all the Commissioners.  Chairman Moyer asked if anyone planned to attend.  He had indicated that he would attend to represent Henderson County.  No one else showed interest in attending. 


NCACC had requested that each county designate a voting delegate.  Commissioner Ward made the motion to authorize Chairman Moyer as the voting delegate for Henderson County.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.




Previously a question had been raised about the Board passing Resolutions and Proclamations.  There is no written policy on this issue.  Staff had been asked to look into this and report back to the Board.


David Nicholson had put out the question on the City/County Manager Listserve about how other counties handle Resolutions and Proclamations.  He had received a few responses.  Some governments are no longer adopting Resolutions and Proclamations unless they are associated with City or County Government.  Mr. Nicholson planned to have this item ready to present to the Board on the July 24 agenda.



Set Public Hearing on CDBG: Highlander Woods Development

Staff requested the Board of Commissioners set a Public Hearing on a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Habitat for Humanity=s proposed new development, Highlander Woods, for Wednesday, July 24, 2002 at 11:00 a.m.


Mr. Nicholson requested the Board set this public hearing as presented.  Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to set the public hearing for July 24 at 11:00 a.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Request for Public Hearing on road names

Rocky Hyder had requested the Board set a public hearing on the following list of road names:


Old Name                                                       Proposed Name

Samuley St                                                      E. Walker Street Ext.

Sugarloaf Ridge Rd                                         Ivy Hill Rd

Jewel Dr                                                         Leucothe Cove Rd

Axiom Way                                                     Pats Pl


New Road Names

Bynums Pl

Orchard Valley Dr

Trail Creek Rd


The County Manager requested the Board set the public hearing on these road names for Wednesday, July 24, 2002 at 11:00 a.m. Commissioner Ward made the motion to set the public hearing for July 24 at 11:00 a.m.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


1st Forum on Mental Health Reform

Mr. Nicholson announced that Henderson County, IAM, and the Partnership for Health are hosting the first public forum on Mental Health Reform on July 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hendersonville High School Auditorium. 


Mr. Nicholson has invited and has gotten a favorable interest, not a commitment of time yet, but a favorable interest from the Division Director in Raleigh, Dr. Visingardi, who is the person running this program.  His staff will let Mr. Nicholson know by mid-week whether he will be able to come address our community on what=s happening with mental health reform including target populations and the services.


Chairman Moyer mentioned the South Hwy. # 25 Corridor Study.  He had planned to propose that the Board add this to the agenda of the July 24 meeting for consideration but the fact that the CCP had to be pulled from this agenda affected that. Following some discussion, Chairman Moyer asked that the South Hwy. #25 Corridor Study be put on the agenda for the July 24 meeting, at least an update on the study.



Chairman Moyer asked the Clerk to call the names of those who had signed up to speak even though it was only about 6:00.  Our Informal Public Comments are scheduled for 6:30 so the Chairman planned for anyone else who wished to speak at 6:30.


1. Dick Baird - Mr. Baird stated that he is a member of the Valley Hill Fire District.  On a couple of occasions recently Commissioner Hawkins had brought up the disparity between the fire tax rate for the county members (of which he and Commissioner Hawkins are a part) and the Laurel Park members.  County members pay 9 cents and Laurel Park members pay 7 cents for Valley Hill Fire tax.   Mr. Baird stated that he looked into this and this goes back historically for probably more than 20 years.  It has been estimated that this year the county subsidizes to the extent of probably $60,000.   He stated that for the past 10 years he has been paying for fire service for people in Laurel Park and maybe it=s time they paid for him.


2. Roger Snyder - Mr. Snyder distributed a hand-out and spoke about the Mills River Incorporation Effort.  The Town of Mills River will have an estimated 6,890.04 population and 21.5 square miles.  Mills River plans to go with a one cent property tax which would create approximately $36,427.43 in tax revenue for the Town.  They have also projected to receive about $800,000 in sales tax from the State.  Mills River currently receives 6.5 cents fire district tax and in addition to that they plan to assess one cent for town operations with the 6.5 cents going to the Mills River Fire Department as usual.


He reviewed their timeline.  The proposed Town of Mills River referendum is scheduled for May 1, 2003.


In response to a question from Commissioner Hawkins Mr. Snyder answered that the Town of Mills River will plan to provide the following four services for Town residents: Fire Department (current), Sheriff Department (current) plus possibly one additional Deputy, Garbage collection with a user fee, and Street Lights.


Chairman Moyer again asked if anyone else wished to speak and there was no one.



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.

All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Chairman Moyer again asked if anyone wished to address the Board, since the Board had taken informal public comments earlier than the scheduled time.  There was no one.



Commissioner Gordon made the motion for the Board to go into public hearing.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Angela Beeker explained that Article 44 of the General Statutes authorizes the Board to enact a Sales Tax of one half cent effective July 1, 2003.  There are procedural requirements the Board had to comply with for that and they have been complied with.  The Board is scheduled to vote on that issue on August 5, 2002.  The Board had the first public hearing on April 17, 2002.    However, there is pending legislation that would allow the Board to have an effective date as early as August 1, 2002.  At the last meeting, the Board decided to hold this second public hearing today to consider just the issue of the levy of a half cent sales tax to be effective early, August 1, 2002.   The purpose of this public hearing is to take public comment on levying that tax early.


Public Input

1. Larry R. Young - Mr. Young stated that Henderson County does not have a balanced budget because we have $2.5 million or so which would be this Article 44 Sales Tax that may not get approved.    He said the State is balancing their budget on the back of a Lottery that we don=t yet have.  He accused the County and the State of practicing voodoo economics.   If you don=t have money how can you include it in your budget, county or state.


2. Dick Baird - Mr. Baird stated he was opposed to increasing the sales tax by one half cent.  He also said that Henderson County does not have a balanced budget, stating that we have no authority to count that $2.4 million anticipated from Article 44 Sales Tax.


He made two recommendations to the Board:

1.               Do not enact this Article 44 Sales Tax.

2.               Reopen budget negotiations and balance the budget.


3. Bill Ramsey - Mr. Ramsey defined himself as a disappointed Republican voter.  He suggested the Board go back to the State Government and demand that they stop playing games with us, causing us to have to raise taxes on the county level.


Angela Beeker - recap

Ms. Beeker informed the Board that they could not vote to take action on this issue at this time.  The law as it sits currently is that the Board is authorized to enact a half cent sales tax effective July 1, 2003.  The Board had certain procedural requirements which have been met.   The Board is calendared to consider this issue for effective date of July 1, 2003 on August 5, 2002.  It will be on the agenda for August 5, 2002 per prior Board direction unless the Board takes differing action in the meantime.  


The pending Bill would authorize the earlier effective date but it is still pending. 


Commissioner Hawkins addressed the issue of $2.4 million vs. $3.2 million.  He stated that when the Board considered their budget they assumed that this tax would be enacted by October 1, 2002, the reason for the difference in the $3.2 million and the $2.4 million.  


Discussion then followed briefly about the Ahold harmless@ part of the Article 44 Sales Tax.


Commissioner Gordon stated that when the Board passed the budget ordinance they were given several options, Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C.  The Board chose Plan B based on projecting revenues from sales tax more as a strategy position in an effort to indicate to the State how serious the Board was about keeping revenue that they had been receiving in some form.  Plan C was considered as a back-up plan.  She felt a budget ordinance was passed with consideration of a contingency plan.  She asked the County Manager to address the question raised about the gross amount of sales tax that one half cent would generate and why the county didn=t budget for the full amount.


David Nicholson explained that you have to look at the accumulation of sales tax, not just our share of it.  What is in our budget is just our share.  We use population in Henderson County to figure our share.  There is a percentage that goes to the municipalities.  The State also keeps a portion of the sales tax to fund its costs.  There are things that are exempt from the sales tax such as food.  This thing is a hybrid of both collections made here as well as collections across the entire state.   Mr. Nicholson explained that we actually get three sales taxes: we get Article 39 sales tax which is point of collection in Henderson County, we get Article 41 sales tax which is point of sale/some adjustment made for things purchased in other communities.  They actually massage that one a little for Henderson County.  The last 2 cent sales tax was Article 42 which is a 2 cent sales tax that is distributed on a state-wide basis based on population across the entire state.  Article 44 is a hybrid of the two 2 cent sales taxes.  It actually goes into a pot.  They have developed a formula that says you=re gonna get some of it back because people spent their money here, you=re not going to get some of it back because of the fact that we believe people in Polk County or Transylvania County come shop in Henderson County so we have to share our sales tax with them.


Chairman Moyer stated that the County Manager had courageously recommended a number of budget cuts and in a lot of cases the Board didn=t implement them and took away some of the cuts he proposed.  If the Article 44 Sales Tax does not get approved we will have to look at a cut in services and taking money from our fund balances.  This Board has very judiciously created a rainy day fund (a fund balance) to protect against an unusual year.  If we don=t get the reimbursements or monies to replace those that will not be a one year problem but rather a forever future problem. 


Chairman Moyer made the motion to close the public hearing.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.






Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:33 p.m.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.





                                                                                                                                                              Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board                     

William L. Moyer, Chairman