STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON FEBRUARY 3, 2003
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 Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Bill Moyer, Commissioner Charlie Messer, Commissioner Shannon Baldwin, 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, Budget and Management Director Selena Coffey, Paralegal Connie Rayfield, Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Coordinator Rocky Hyder, County Engineer Gary Tweed, and Deputy Clerk to the Board/Volunteer Coordinator Amy Brantley.
Absent was Vice-Chairman Larry Young.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Baldwin led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
David Nicholson gave the invocation following a moment of silence in memory of the seven Astronauts who lost their lives this past Saturday in Spaceshuttle Columbia.
Chairman Hawkins announced that Commissioner Young would not be present at this meeting as he was feeling under the weather.
DISCUSSION/ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA
David Nicholson asked the Board to pull item AE@ from the Consent Agenda - Tax Collector=s Report and place it as AA-1" under Staff Reports.
He also asked that item AL@ be deleted from the Consent Agenda. Keystone requested withdrawal of the request for public hearing at this time.
Mr. Nicholson asked for the addition of one item as new AL@ in the Consent Agenda - Amendments to Mills River EPA Grant.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the revised agenda. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the revised consent agenda. All voted in favor and the motion carried. The revised CONSENT AGENDA consisted of the following:
Draft minutes were presented for the Board=s review and approval of the following meetings:
January 6, 2003 regular meeting
January 10, 2003 special called meeting
Henderson County Public Schools Financial Report - December 2002
The School=s Financial Report for December was presented for consent approval.
Henderson County Financial Report - December 2002
Henderson County Cash Balance Report - December 2002
These two reports were presented for consent approval.
Non-departmental expense includes the annual property/liability and worker=s compensation insurance premiums paid to the NCACC Risk Management Pools. A majority of these costs were allocated out to individual departments during the month of December. The remaining costs will be allocated out in the month of January.
Sheriff=s Department - Sidearm Requests
Sheriff Erwin had requested that the Board authorize the sale of a service firearm to the following four deputies:
Captain Eddie Pruett, Detention Center
Lieutenant Preston Leon Jackson (Sandy), Criminal Investigations
Lieutenant/Professional Standards Vicci Rene= Bane, Criminal Investigations
Lieutenant David L. Hill, Criminal Investigations/Property Crimes
In 1994, the Board approved a Service Sidearm Policy. According to the Policy, the Board must establish a purchase price for the weapon. The Sheriff has indicated that the value of the sidearm is $420. Should the Board approve this request, these deputies would be responsible to pay for the weapon less the discount provided by the Policy.
Lease of Property Adjacent to Broadpointe Center
Since April of 1997 the Board has on an annual basis approved a lease to Carland Farms, Inc. of approximately 28 acres of property located adjacent to Broadpointe Center. A map was distributed for the Board=s information. The most recent lease was effective from January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2002 and allowed Carland Farms, Inc. to continue to farm land it had farmed for years.
Wayne Carland had requested that the Board consider leasing the tillable land to Carland Farms, Inc. from January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2003 for a rental amount of $1,834.00. As the plans for the park areas on this property have not been finalized to the point that development of the park areas will begin during calendar year 2003, Staff recommended that the Board lease the property to the Carlands as outlined in the proposed lease. The lease agreement proposed was substantially similar to the current lease executed by the County and Carland Farms, Inc.
Pursuant to NCGS 160A-272 (made applicable to counties by NCGS 153A-176) the County may adopt a resolution authorizing the execution of a lease agreement, such as the one proposed, without public notice. A draft resolution was presented for the Board=s consideration and adoption.
Waterline & Sewerline Extension(s)
The City of Hendersonville had requested any County comments on proposed waterline/sewerline extension(s):
C Kenmure - Phase V - Lots 211,212,214, 229-232
The project requires approximately 2096 linear feet of water lines sized as follows:
6" PVC-C900= 650 ft.
2" PVC-C900= 1446 ft.
Water pressure in this area is currently inadequate due to the elevation of these lots. This water line extension will connect these lots to the pressure side of the existing hydro-pneumatic water tank, which will increase the flow to a minimum of 500 GPM, and increase to residual pressure to a minimum of 45 psi.
The intended use of this property is residential with seven residential units.
The entire cost of the proposed water line extension is to be paid for by the owner/developer, Kenmure Properties Ltd. of Flat Rock, North Carolina.
Based on the above information, the Water and Sewer Department can support the additional connections and recommended approval of the project contingent upon approval of the final plans and specifications from the Water and Sewer Department.
The project complies, in part, with the 1993 Land Use Plan in that the area in which the project is proposed is designated on the future land use map (Figure 14 in the Plan) as AResidential@ with a ARural Conservation@ designation nearby. No residential density is specified by the Plan. However, the project does not fully conform because the 1993 Plan did not anticipate the extension of public water to most of the land on the south side of Pinnacle Mountain Road (see Figure 17, Urban Services Area, in the Land Use Plan), however other sections of Kenmure that are south of Pinnacle Mountain Road are already served by the City of Hendersonville water system.
C Red Wing Estates
The project requires approximately 11,020 linear feet of water lines sized as follows:
8" DIP-C1350= 3100 ft.
6" PVC-C900= 7000 ft.
2" PVC-DR21= 1020 ft.
Water pressure and flow in this are as follows:
Static Pressure = 110 psi.
Residual = 80 psi.
Flow = 1000+ GPM
The intended use of this property is residential with seventy-one single-family units.
Fire protection will be provided by the installation of nine fire hydrants.
The entire cost of the proposed water line extension is to be paid for by the owner/developer, Red Wing Estates, LLC of Asheville, North Carolina.
Based on the above information, the Water and Sewer Department can support the additional connections and recommends approval of the project contingent upon approval of the final plans and specifications from the Water and Sewer Department.
The project complies with the 1993 Land Use Plan in that the area in which the project is proposed is designated as AResidential@ and ANon-Site-Specific Park@ on the future land use map (Figure 14) in the Plan. No residential density is specified by the Plan. However, the project is close to, but is not within the Urban Services Area shown in Figure 17 of the Land Use Plan, therefore, the Plan did not anticipate that public water would necessarily be extended to the subject property.
LEPC Annual Report
Pursuant to Article VIII, Section I of the Henderson County Emergency Planning Committee by-laws, the annual report of activities conducted in the 2002 calendar year was submitted for review. No action was requested on this item.
Local Emergency Planning Committee
The Henderson County Local Emergency Planning Committee held quarterly meetings at Binions Restaurant, Hendersonville, NC. The focus of this year=s activities was community terrorism preparedness. Following the events of September 11, 2001, preparing for and responding to events involving weapons of mass destruction has become paramount to local emergency response agencies. The Local Emergency Planning Committee has worked on several projects toward improving our overall community response to weapons of mass destruction including, response guidelines for chemical and biological emergencies, grant funding for local emergency response force protection, grant funding for a mobile decontamination unit, and development of a AField Operations Guide@ (FOG manual) to assist emergency responders in responding to all disaster/emergency incidents.
The LEPC received Hazardous Materials Inventory Reports from forty-nine county businesses. These reports are kept on file for emergency planning and public access purposes in accordance with the Emergency Planning and the Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986. The LEPC has received state and national attention for innovative Emergency Planning pertaining to Hazardous Materials, Natural Hazards, and Earthquake Preparedness. The Henderson County LEPC serves as a model program for emergency preparedness and planning at the local level.
Set Public Hearing on Rezoning Application #R-02-06 (R-20 to C-4)
Gordon McAuliffe, Applicant
Gordon McAuliffe had submitted an application requesting that the County rezone 1 parcel totaling 2.32 acres from an R-20 Low-Density Residential zoning district to a C-4 Highway Commercial zoning district (See Attachments 2 & 3). The parcel proposed for rezoning (the Subject Parcel) is located beside King=s Grocery in East Flat Rock, just northwest of the intersection of Old Spartanburg Highway and Fairground Avenue (See Attachment 2).
The Henderson County Planning Board reviewed the application at its meeting on Tuesday, January 21, 2003, and voted to recommend to the Board of Commissioners that only the front portion of the Subject Parcel be rezoned from R-20 to C-4, and that the remaining portion of the Subject Parcel remain as R-20 (See Attachment 4). Before taking action on the application, the Board of Commissioners must hold a Public Hearing. Staff proposed that the Hearing be scheduled for Monday, March 3, 2003, at 7:00 P.M. When setting the Hearing, the Board may want to consider advertising that the parcel is being considered for either C-4 on the entire parcel or C-4 on only a portion of the parcel.
Set Public Hearing on Rezoning Application #R-02-05 (OU to I-2)
Tap Root Dairy et al, Applicant
Tap Root Dairy et al, had submitted an application requesting that the County rezone 3 parcels totaling 329.97 acres from an OU Open Use zoning to an I-2 General Industrial district. The parcels proposed for rezoning (the Subject Property) are located at the northeast corner of the intersection of the French Broad River and Butler Bridge Road (see Attachment 2).
The Henderson County Planning Board reviewed the application at its meeting on Tuesday, January 21, 2003, and voted to send to the Board of Commissioners a favorable recommendation on the request to rezone the Subject Property from OU to I-2. Before taking action on the application, the Board of Commissioners must hold a Public Hearing. Staff proposed that the Hearing be scheduled for Monday, March 3, 2003, at 7:00 p.m.
Set Public Hearing on Economic Development Incentives - The Warm Company
The Board was asked to consider granting economic development incentives to The Warm Company, a business that has a craft manufacturing plant located in Henderson County and a craft manufacturing plant in Washington State and is considering construction of a new manufacturing facility in Henderson County. The taxable capital investment from the project is expected to be $3 million, consisting of $1.5 million in the 45,000 sq. ft. building and $1.5 million in machinery and equipment. The Warm Company proposed to retain the 11 employment positions in Henderson County currently and create an additional 6 new employment positions paying an average, annual, hourly wage of $9 to $12.
The Warm Company requested economic development incentives from the County in the amount of $60,000 to be used as assistance toward the purchase of machinery and equipment.
NCGS 158-7.1 requires that the Board hold a duly advertised public hearing on the proposed economic development incentives prior to approving the same. The Board was requested to set a public hearing for Monday, March 3, 2003 at 7:00 p.m. A draft Notice of Public Hearing was presented for the Board=s review.
Amendment to Mills River EPA Grant
On September 3, 2002, the Board of Commissioners approved the Henderson County Soil and Water District to apply for EPA funding to continue their Mills River Partnership Program. Staff just learned at the end of last week that we will be receiving additional funding and need to alter the budget. A corrected grant request was submitted for review.
Staff recommended that the Board approve this corrected grant and authorize the Chairman to sign it.
Notification of Vacancies
The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear for nominations on the next agenda:
1. Agriculture Advisory Board - 2 vac.
2. Board of Equalization and Review - 2 vac.
3. Recreation Advisory Board - 2 vac .
4. Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee - 1 vac.
5. Henderson County Planning Board - 1 vac.
6. Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 1 vac.
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:
1. Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee - 9 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
2. Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee - 1 vac.
Chairman Hawkins nominated Richard Barnwell for reappointment. There were no other nominations for this vacancy. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Mr. Barnwell by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
3. Juvenile Crime Prevention Council - 1 vac.
There were no nominations at this time so this item was rolled to the next meeting.
4. Historic Courthouse Committee (new Committee) - There is no predetermined number.
Chairman Hawkins nominated: Ron Stephens City of Hendersonville
Dr. George Jones &
Virginia Johnson Genealogical & Historical Society
Rudy Tichy &
Larry Winson DHI
Ruth Birge &
Randy Houston New Media
Mary Singleton Public
Commissioner Messer nominated: Marilyn Gordon & Public
Commissioner Moyer nominated: Betty Carter &
Argie Taylor Veteran=s Assn.
Commissioner Baldwin nominated: Matt Matteson Public
Chairman Hawkins nominated: Mary Jo Padgett City of Hendersonville
Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept this slate of candidates (14) as members of the Blue Ribbon Committee and leave it open for further nominations. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
David Nicholson will plan an initial meeting for the group to tour the Historic Courthouse.
5. Henderson County Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee - appt. Chairman
Two members of the Committee had indicated they were willing to serve as Chairman, Jack Lynch and Tedd Pearce.
Commissioner Baldwin nominated Jack Lynch as Chairman. Commissioner Moyer nominated Tedd Pearce for Chairman.
Chairman Hawkins asked that action be rolled to the next meeting since there was not a full Board present.
TAX COLLECTOR=S REPORT (moved from Consent Agenda)
Terry F. Lyda, Henderson County Tax Collector, read his Tax Collector=s Report dated February 3, 2003.
It was his recommendation to the Board of Commissioners that unpaid tax liens be advertised once: on May 19, 2003 (the third Monday in May). The reasons for his recommendation were as follows: (1) our tax statements sent to the taxpayers tell them that as long as their taxes are paid by April 30, their lien will not be advertised; (2) the Times-News states that they must have ample time for preparation of the advertisement; and (3) with the implementation of the new rules regarding advertisement, our costs per parcel will essentially double even without allowing for any per-inch increase the newspaper may add. Since many people rely upon income tax refunds to pay their property taxes, he feels we should remain on the same schedule we have used to reduce as far as possible the costs incurred by advertising. Giving taxpayers until the end of April to pay ensures that anyone who is planning to use income tax refunds to pay county property taxes has an opportunity to do so.
There was some discussion about advertising the current owner of a property as well as the listing owner.
Commissioner Moyer made the motion to approve the advertising schedule as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
EPA PHASE II STORM WATER PERMIT PROGRAM
Gary Tweed explained that Staff had been able to obtain a draft copy of the proposed permanent rules being developed for the Phase II Storm Water Permit Program. The proposed draft rules are being developed by the N.C. Division of Water Quality. The Division is attempting to bring all units of government into this program. Staff had discussed the draft rules and the current temporary rules with the Division of Water Quality. Their recommendation is for those counties that do not own any storm sewer systems to submit the Certification that they do not own any system and wait for final rule development. Staff concurred with this recommendation and did not recommend that we apply for a partial program. Staff will continue to follow the development of the final rules and keep the Board advised.
Mr. Tweed had been told that the earliest these Rules could be adopted and put into place would be August 2004.
Mr. Nicholson recommended that the Board certify that Henderson County does not own any storm water systems as recommended by the staff of the Division of Water Quality and the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.
Commissioner Moyer made the motion to file the Certification that we do not own or operate any storm sewer systems. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
HUMAN SERVICES BUILDING - Alternatives
Mr. Nicholson presented a report on the alternatives associated with the creation of a Human Services Building. He reminded the Board that the discussions on the Human Services Building have been going on for well over three years. A plan was submitted to the Board in December of 2000. The Facility Plan=s goals at that time were:
C Establish a program to try to do Aone-stop@ service for distinctive client groups
including human services, land development departments, county administration and the
C Easy access
C Sufficient parking for clients and staff
C To remain in the core of Hendersonville and be on a major road
C Available water and sewer and natural gas, if available
C At least 5 years growth and the ability to do future expansion if the Board chose to do so
at a later time
C Uniform space standards
C Tie the renovation of the Historic Courthouse to this project
Some of this happened because of the fact that the Commissioners received a proposal to purchase the Carolina Apparel Building on Spartanburg Highway. The Board and Staff also looked at a number of other properties. The Board charged Staff with trying to work with the departments to come up with a plan. There were a number of alternatives the Board looked at but also a number of different feelings at different times.
This was part of a plan. Besides the Human Services Department there was an idea to combine the Land Development Departments. Currently a developer has to go to about three different buildings to try to get permits. One of the thoughts was to co-locate those people in the same building. At that point in time the Sheriff=s Department was in four buildings. We=ve consolidated some of that since then by opening the Detention Center. It was also the Board=s thought to co-locate County Administration. Looking at the overall project, a number of these issues were addressed.
From the Retreat January 10 and 11, the Board asked Mr. Nicholson to come up with some review of the different alternatives discussed for the Human Services Building.
This is staff=s review of the options that the Board has discussed. All costs should be considered as estimated project numbers based on information derived from the design process of the Human Services Building. The actual costs can only be determined based on final design and through the bid process.
Carolina Apparel Building - Option A
This project would entail the renovation of approximately 64,000 sq. ft. of a former warehouse located on a major highway approx. 2 miles from the Historic Courthouse. Architectural drawings and bid documents have been completed. We will have to deal with the issue of the project architects, Freeman White, who have chosen to end their governmental studio. A sub-contract with another firm is one of the possibilities. Once this question is answered, this project could be placed out to bid.
We utilized a construction firm to develop the cost estimate for the building. The total cost for the project is projected to be 9.2 million dollars less several offsets to both the borrowing and the debt service payment.
Current Debt - Land and Building 2,400,000
Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment (FF&E) 500,000
Medicaid Reserve -450,000
Sale of Land Development Building/Nuckells Bldg. -1,000,000
Amount of Borrowing $7,750,000
Although the County has several financing options, staff recommended the issuance of Certificates of Participation (COPS). The time frame for issuance of COPS is between 90-120 days. For purposes of calculating debt service on all of the options, staff utilized an interest rate of 4.5% for twenty years. Based on this financing plan, the annual debt service payment would be $595,790. We have some sources of funds to assist with this payment including the elimination of the McCallister lease of $26,400, DSS space reimbursements of $235,000 and our current debt payment on the building and land of $318,000. The net cost to the County on an annual basis would be projected to be $16,390.
Following much discussion, Commissioner Moyer asked Mr. Nicholson to get the figures to the Board to show how much has already been spent on this building, thus showing total costs.
This facility is located on an under utilized major highway in the County. It has two-way access to the property.
The original plan for this building included the open space concept. However, the privacy considerations of HIPAA changed this design to a more traditional office environment.
The current design includes some growth space. The building also has an indention that could be utilized for a physical expansion to the building in the future.
Should the Board not choose to proceed at this location it could return to an industrial site adding it back to the tax base.
The current Health Department would be utilized for a new Land Development Building and the Sheriff=s Department to the County Office Building.
Mr. Nicholson stated that the building could last us for about 15 years.
Carolina Apparel Building - Option B
The possibility of the removal of the current building and the construction of a new facility has been raised. At this point, there is no possible way to project the cost of the replacement construction and disposal of the old building. The cost of the project could run between 6 and 8 million dollars plus other costs. The current building will have to be demolished and disposed of.
Financial Considerations $90 sq. ft. $120 sq. ft.
Construction/Contingencies $6,000,000 $8,000,000
Current Debt 2,400,000 2,400,000
Fees 540,000 720,000
FF&E 500,000 500,000
Medicaid Reserve -450,000 -450,000
Sale of Buildings -1,000,000 -1,000,000
Cost $7,990,000 $10,170,000
Debt Service $614,240 $781,830
Increased cost to county $ 34,840 $202,430
A new architectural firm would have to be selected. However, many of the space design concepts that have already been developed could be used for this project. Mr. Nicholson suggested that a new design should be for a multi-story building to better utilize the site and allow for additional growth space. Staff had not included in this calculation the cost of demolition and disposal.
Old Wal-Mart Property - Lease
Staff had spoken to JDN Realty concerning a possible lease of the building that previously housed Wal-Mart. They are currently considering two other leasing alternatives. Due to the configuration of the building, they could offer the facility in two different ways. The first would be for 80,000 sq. ft. and the other alternative would be for 123,000 sq. ft. This facility is located just off of a major thoroughfare and is 1.5 miles from the Historic Courthouse.
They have proposed an original twenty-year lease term with an option for an additional twenty years. The rent payments would increase every five years. The initial five year term would be at $5 per square foot. Based on their two offers of rental space, the annual cost would be $400,000 or $615,000. Over twenty years the costs would be either $9,200,000 or $14,145,000 based on the square footage alternatives. Annual offsets would include DSS reimbursements of $235,000 and $26,400 from the McCallister lease.
Without having control of the building, it is very hard to project the cost of renovations. Just as in the plan to utilize the Carolina Apparel Building, it is expensive to retrofit a building for the Health Department due to their needs for water and sewer in the clinic. Another issue would be currently the realty company is in negotiations to lease neighboring spaces within the complex. The Board would also need to consider the traffic on Four Seasons Blvd.
Mr. Nicholson had not utilized the current debt service payment for the Carolina Apparel Building towards offsetting the lease payment due to the renovation costs and the timing of the sale of the building.
Although Henderson County would not be issuing additional debt, it would be considered a long-term obligation in calculation of our outstanding debt.
Henderson County would be paying lease payments without building up equity in the building.
There was no discussion on this option because there has been some information released that the building is being developed for a movie theater.
BRCC - Land
Staff had met with representatives of the College concerning the possibility of utilizing property purchased by Henderson County next to the Pardee Care Center on College Drive. This property is located near Upward Road which is a road improvement project included in the NC Department of Transportation=s Transportation Improvement Program. The property, which lies between the Pardee facility and the Fire Training Ground, is approximately 3.5 miles from the Historic Courthouse.
This property was purchased by Henderson County a few years ago. The purchase was made to provide a location for the Pardee Care Facility, Hospice=s Elizabeth House and additional land for the College. It lies between the Pardee Pavilion and the Fire Training Ground.
The cost of new construction ranges from $90 to $125 per sq. ft. However due to the Health Department=s clinical needs, staff would suggest utilizing the higher cost. Mr. Nicholson had utilized the approximate square footage of the Carolina Apparel Building.
New Construction of 64,000 sq. ft. $8,000,000
Other costs/fees (site prep.) 2,500,000
Medicaid Reserve -450,000
Sale of Land Development/Nuckells -1,000,000
Net Estimated Project $11,675,000
Staff projected the annual debt service to be $738,167 for this option. Should we be able to sell the Carolina Apparel Building, this would free up $318,000. Other offsets would include the DSS Reimbursements of $235,000 and the McCallister lease of $26,400. The net additional annual cost would be $154,767.
There is a possibility of the construction of additional square footage to include the departments located within the current Land Development Building and the Board of Elections.
The annual debt service payment would be approximately $897,529. With the offsets, the net debt service payment increase, including the elimination of the Board of Elections lease would be $283,929.
Staff believes that a portion of the property would be considered as wetlands and a small area is within the floodplain. Due to the lay of the land and lack of road frontage, a multi-story building would have to be constructed on the site with parking near the ditch lines and creeks at the rear of the building. Staff was trying to determine the amount of buildable acreage.
The flow of traffic would be a consideration. A traffic study should be requested to NCDOT to determine if road improvements would need to be made.
The Foundation holds title to some of the properties surrounding the College and the Trustees hold title to other pieces of the property.
County Manager=s Recommendation
After developing this report and seeking input from several staff members, Mr. Nicholson made the following comments to the Board. First, he could not recommend to the Board that they consider the lease of the old Wal-Mart building nor the property at Blue Ridge Community College. He does not see us gaining a lot by leasing in the long run. Various times we have leased facilities to address a temporary solution.
As for the College property, he was excited about this possibility when it was first presented. However, after visiting the property and reviewing the topographical information on the site, he believes that this is a limited site which just cannot handle this size of facility without filling in the wetlands. If the Board decided to take this option some type of traffic study would be necessary.
This leaves the two options of utilizing the Carolina Apparel Building. First, he stated that we need to address the issue of the space needs of these two departments. However, we also need to develop a plan that serves our community for the long-term. For these reasons, he suggested that the Board authorize staff to develop a proposal based on replacing the Carolina Apparel Building with a new structure.
It was the consensus of the Board for the Chairman to correspond with Dr. Sink of Blue Ridge Community College to get a clarification from both the Trustees and the Foundation on any land that they would be willing to offer. The Board also wanted some more information about the construction for Option B with the difference between a pre-engineered building and/or a multi-story building. The Board also wanted the total cost of investment in the current CAP site. The Board asked Ms. Beeker to explore the legal ramifications of getting another architectural firm to take over the project, etc.
INFORMAL PUBLIC COMMENTS
1. Tom Ballard - Mr. Ballard addressed the Board asking that they go on record (with the Governor, Representative Justus, Senator Apadoca, and the Secretary of Corrections Mr. Beck) as being in favor of reopening the prison in Henderson County. The Ministry funded a Chaplain at the prison. He is currently being funded at the Jail. He offered a suggestion that the prison be opened under the management of Prison Fellowship. They currently operate prisons in four states. This would dramatically reduce the cost to the State because Prison Fellowship would fund the Christian portion of the operating costs.
2. John West - Mr. West expressed that he was here to speak about the up-coming rezoning issue and had signed the wrong sheet.
3. Sam Summey - Mr. Summey addressed the proposed Ordinance regarding discharging of firearms in the county. He felt that 1,000 feet from a residence was too much distance for the Ordinance. He felt this Ordinance could infringe on the rights of the citizens of Henderson County and also the citizens of the United States on the second amendment. Mr. Summey felt that a more reasonable distance would be somewhere around 25 feet or 50 feet of someone=s home.
4. Bob Nelson - Mr. Nelson also addressed the proposed Ordinance. He had concerns and felt there should not be a blanket Ordinance but rather each incidence should be addressed individually.
PUBLIC HEARING - Rezoning Application #R-04-02 (R-T to C-2 or C-4)
Mr. Nathan Benson, Applicant
Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to go into public hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Mr. Nathan Benson had submitted an application requesting that the County rezone 1 parcel totaling approximately 1.25 acres from an R-T Residential Transient zoning district to a C-4 Highway Commercial zoning district. The parcel proposed for rezoning (the Subject Parcel) is located on the southwestern side of US 25 North, at the intersection of Cely Drive and US 25 N, less than 0.20 miles north of the intersection of Brookside Camp Road and US 25 N (See Attachment 3).
The Henderson County Planning Board reviewed the application at its meeting on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 (see Attachment 7), and recommended to the Board of Commissioners that the Subject Parcel be rezoned from R-T to C-2 Neighborhood Commercial, rather than C-4 Highway Commercial as proposed by the Applicant.
In accordance with Section 200-76 of the Henderson County Zoning Ordinance and State Law, a Notice of Public Hearing regarding Rezoning Application # R-04-02 was published in the Hendersonville Times-News on January 24, 2003 and January 31, 2003. The Planning Department sent notices of the hearing via first class mail to the Applicants and the owners of properties adjacent to the Subject Parcel on January 10, 2003. Planning Staff posted signs advertising the hearing near the Subject Parcel on January 10, 2003.
Mr. Nicholson informed the Board that following the Public Hearing, Board action to approve, modify, or deny the Rezoning Application would be appropriate.
Josh Freeman reviewed the purpose statement for R-T districts with the Board as well as the purpose statement for C-4 districts and answered questions the Board had.
Staff=s opinion was that the proposed rezoning conflict with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan from the standpoint that it does recommend residential uses of the subject property. He also stated that the proposed rezoning to C-4 on the subject parcel would be consistent with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan from the standpoint that the Comprehensive Land Use Plan does encourage expanding commercial zoning districts where possible to encourage commercial development within the urban corridor of the county.
Staff=s recommendation - to deny this rezoning application as proposed from the standpoint that C-4 is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. It is staff=s opinion that it is premature to grant rezonings along US #25 North, given the impending widening, until staff has undertaken a broader study of that corridor to determine how to respond to that widening. Staff recommended that a corridor study be conducted upon completion of the Comprehensive County Plan that they are currently working on. That would satisfy key strategies 2 and 3 of the Land Use Regulation Guide and provide staff with the appropriate guidance they need to make rezoning decisions. The Planning Board recommended against C-4 but in favor of C-2, their basis being that C-4 is a bit too extensive of a commercial zoning for the subject property, that it would encroach upon the residential areas around it and also that it would constitute spot zoning from the standpoint that there are no adjacent C-4 zoning districts within the vicinity of the subject parcel. They recommended C-2 based on the fact that C-2 is adjacent to the subject parcel on the opposite side of US #25 and it wouldn=t constitute spot zoning per se.
1. John West - Mr. West had signed up to speak but Mr. Nicholson had already talked with him and he had left.
2. Roger Rutter - Mr. Rutter was opposed to the rezoning request, agreeing more with Planning Staff. He was not for spot zoning.
3. Tim Andrews - Mr. Andrews owns the property right behind the subject parcel, having been there for over twenty years. He feels that this is a residential area and should not be rezoned at this time.
4. Marcelle Andrews - Mrs. Andrews has lived in that neighborhood for 47 years and feels that this is a residential neighborhood, a good neighborhood for families.
5. Mike Johnson - Mr. Johnson stated he was also a life-long resident of Henderson County. Some of his family have owned property in the neighborhood since 1919.
Chairman Hawkins called a brief technical recess.
There was discussion. At some point in the future the Board will need to prioritize the projects for the Planning Staff to address.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to go out of public hearing. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Much discussion followed. Commissioner Moyer made the motion to deny the request to rezone to C-4. All voted in favor and the motion carried. He felt that a zoning study should be done of the area as soon as possible.
There was discussion of the need for a study of both #25 North and the Mills River area. No one seemed to know the time frame for the #25 North widening. The Board will need to give Planning Staff some direction regarding these two study areas as well as the Comprehensive County Plan in addition to the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite. They will all be inter-related.
OUTCOME BASED BUDGETING
Selena Coffey reviewed with the Board what Catawba County is doing regarding outcome based (or performance based) budgeting. It is defined as allocation of resources based on achievement of measured goals and objectives. The goal here is to access how a program or department achieves it=s goals and objectives by assessing the relationship between the inputs (or the amount of funding you give them) and the outputs (the things they have achieved throughout the fiscal year). She explained that there are four types of measures that are generally used in this kind of budgeting:
Some of the units of government that are currently using outcome based budgeting are Catawba County, Durham County, City of Asheville, Town of Cary. There are several units of government across the state that are using some form of outcome based budgeting. Henderson County started this in 1997, gathering some of the indicator measures and looking at how departments were achieving their goals. We didn=t get to the point of allocating resources to the departments based on the achievement of those outcomes, partly because of budget woes in the last couple of years.
Ms. Coffey explained that Catawba County=s experience began as a reaction to the book AReinventing Government@. They saw the need to start small scale. Their County Manager raised the limit on purchase orders and gave department heads the authority to hire new employees above the minimum salary. They began with six Apilot@ departments. They have learned a lot and have made changes over the years with the project. There is very much training necessary to implement the project.
Mr. Nicholson stated that we are reimplementing the project somewhat this year. We are doing outcome focused budgeting. We are focusing ourselves on the outcomes, gathering departmental objectives and developing measurable outcomes. A memo went out to department heads in December to begin gathering their information. Mr. Nicholson sees this year as a base year, re-gathering of information to determine where we are in the process. He can visualize the Board adopting budgetary and departmental goals next year. Department heads must be trained.
Discussion followed with Commissioner Baldwin wishing to see the County Manager come up with a plan as to how the Board will implement (steps for) the process. He realized that it would take time to implement this.
Chairman Hawkins briefly mentioned a Staffing Study and Revenue Neutral Budgeting. There was discussion that the Board wished to meet with several departments up-front during the budget process this year: DSS, Health Dept., Board of Education, and Sheriff=s Department. Chairman Hawkins stated that he would like for the Board to give the County Manager some guidance regarding next years budget at the next Commissioners= meeting, February 19.
The Chairman asked Mr. Nicholson to put Budget on the next agenda for the Board to discuss some departmental budget issues.
UPDATE ON PENDING ISSUES
LGCCA meeting update:
Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board that he had given them a draft copy of the minutes from the January 21 LGCCA meeting.
Cable Ad Hoc Committee
All the cable users in the county could look at some kind of consolidated approach to the recent Mediacom Cable rate hike. John Crook has been working on the Ad Hoc Cable Committee since 1999 and he asked if the Board would be willing to come up with some kind of charter that his committee could approach Mediacom with as representing the county as well as the municipalities as a solid front.
Mr. Hawkins gave a little history of Cable TV. There are two things that deal with cable, one is the franchise and one is the cable ordinance. The Cable in Henderson County got started with the Essex Company in 1991. At that time the Board approved a 15 year lease which we are still operating under. The Board has not had to renew the lease yet but has dealt with about three changes of ownership. There have been a couple of laws passed that pretty well close out any options of doing any regulating on cable rates. It=s suppose to be regulated on the competitive market. One of the other aspects of the franchise is that it is non-exclusive. Mediacom does not have a monopoly because anyone else who wanted to operate a cable company in Henderson County could operate one. The idea of the competitive market is there. He spoke of the ability for the County Manager to ask for and conduct an audit of the Cable Company.
Mr. Hawkins introduced Mr. John Howell as a cable expert and Mr. Howell addressed the Board. Chairman Hawkins asked Mr. Howell to clarify two areas:
C Control over the fee schedule
C How litigation is coming along as far as the challenge
on considering Internet service as part of the cable service and part of the revenue
Mr. Howell works for cities and counties across the southeast regulating cable operators. He represents about 35 clients currently in 5 states. As far as rates are concerned, the FCC and Congress passed in 1992 the Cable Consumer Protection Act and in that particular act they said in 10 years they would sunset their rate regulation. But in that 10 years they said they would let the FCC regulate everything above basic. They wanted cities and counties to regulate the basic rate, if they wanted to. If they wanted to then they would probably have to have an accountant go to school and learn how to do this because the forms to do the regulation on are so highly complicated that nobody would understand how to do it. Consequently most cities and counties across the country didn=t certify to regulate rates. At the end of 2002 the FCC=s rules for rate regulation for the tier sunseted. So now the rate is whatever the market will bear. However the Board still has as a body the authority to regulate the basic rate. The cable operators don=t usually put their rate increase there, they stick it in the territory that the Board can=t regulate.
Mr. Howell stated that as far as cable modem revenue, counties used to collect 5% franchise fees on cable modem revenue but the FCC last year said that they don=t think cable modem services is a cable service but rather a telecommunication service therefore it would not be subject to franchise fees. Counties and cities lost their franchise fees on that. For every 10,000 cable modem customers that would equal about $30,000 a year in lost revenues. Municipalities across the country are going to lose about $300,000,000 in franchise revenue this year because of that decision. The FCC got sued about two weeks ago by the National League of Cities, the National Organization of Telecommunications Officers (Cities and Counties), the National Association of Mayors, the National Association of County Commissioners, and the Texas Coalition of Cities.
Mr. Howell stated that counties do have the authority to audit. He has audited Mediacom before in a couple of environments and would bet that they are not in compliance on every facet of the agreement. If they owe us money he will find it, that=s what he does. He informed the Board that there has been talk for about two years of a Mediacom/Charter merger. That=s just talk. The general operating strategy is not to overbuild your neighboring cable company.
The Chairman felt that the Board needed to do a couple of things:
Update our Cable Ordinance
Get an audit of Mediacom
He asked if the Board wished to get a proposal from Mr. Howell on those two areas. It was the consensus of the Board to proceed. He would also look at our Franchise Agreement and tell us the weak and strong points of it.
Water Advisory Board
Chairman Hawkins stated that Mayor Neihoff had made an inquiry as to whether or not the municipalities were interested in a Water Advisory Board. Chairman Hawkins= thoughts on that was that it was a good idea but he felt those tasks could be assigned to the Sewer Advisory Board that was generated out of the Mud Creek Agreement. Those in attendance at the LGCCA meeting were interested. Fletcher was not a part of the Mud Creek Board. It would have to be addressed to allow them to have some representation on that combined Board. As far as planning is concerned, Mr. Hawkins felt that a Water and Sewer Advisory Board would probably do as much or more and particularly in the Mud Creek Basin. There was some discussion of how this would be handled in the Cane Creek District.
The Commissioners= calendar was reviewed. Mr. Nicholson and staff will bring back a timeline of Planning Staff projects for Board discussion and approval.
Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to go into closed session as allowed pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11 for the following reasons:
1. (a)(3) To consult with an attorney employed or retained by the public body in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege between the attorney and the public body, which privilege is hereby acknowledged. To consult with an attorney employed or retained by the public body in order to consider and give instructions to the attorney with respect to a claim.
2. (a)(6) To consider the qualifications, competence, performance, character, fitness, conditions of appointment, or conditions of initial employment of an individual
public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee; or to hear or investigate a complaint, charge, or grievance by or against an individual public officer or employee.
All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Commissioner Messer made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board Grady Hawkins, Chairman