STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                                              BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                                     AUGUST 20, 2003


The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a regularly scheduled meeting at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners' Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building.


Those present were:  Chairman Grady Hawkins, Vice-Chairman Larry Young, 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, Fire Marshal/Emergency Management Coordinator Rocky Hyder, Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson,  and Finance Director J. Carey McLelland.   Deputy Clerk to the Board Amy Brantley was present through nominations.


Absent was: Commissioner Bill Moyer.



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



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



Father John Aurilia, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, gave the invocation.



Chairman Hawkins stated that Commissioner Moyer would not be at the meeting today.


Chairman Hawkins asked for one item to be pulled from the Consent Agenda, item “D - Application for Ambulance Franchise - Medical Emergency Ambulance Transport, Inc.” for some discussion. He inserted this as Staff Report “C”.  


A new item “D” will be an announcement from the the Partners for Economic Development.

A new item “E” will be a report from Mr. Meade and the Shelter Planners of America.


“C, D, and E” were changed to item “F, G, and H”.

He also added #2 to “H” - Update on LGCCA meeting from yesterday.

He added #3 to “H” - Update reference some economic development on a regional scale.

He added # 4 to “H” - Update from the County Manager on LME.


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



Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to approve the Consent Agenda minus the one item mentioned above.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Tax Collector’s Report

Terry Lyda, Henderson County Tax Collector, had submitted the Tax Collector’s Report dated August 13, 2003, for the Board’s review.


Tax Release Requests (5)

A list of 5 tax release requests was presented for approval by the Board.


Waterline & Sewerline Extension(s)

The City of Hendersonville had requested any County comments on proposed waterline/sewerline extension(s). 


This request was for Living Water Baptist Church sewer line extension.  This is a project to extend existing sewer lines to provide sewer service to a church along Sugar Loaf Road.   The project requires approximately 1,265 linear feet of water lines sized as follows:

8" PVC/SDR-35            = 1,105 ft.            GRAVITY

8" D.I.P./CL-350            =    160 ft.            GRAVITY


The proposed use of this area is a 500 seat capacity church.


The amount of wastewater generated by this project will be approximately 1,500 gallons per day.


The entire cost of the proposed sewer line extension is to be paid for by the owner/developer, Living Water Baptist Church. 


The project conforms to the Land Use Plan.


Employee Recognitions/Awards

The Board of Commissioners had asked that recognitions/awards received by County departments and/or employees be included on the agenda for special recognition.


Chris Salerno Coulson, Henderson County Public Information Officer (PIO), had received a 2003 Superior Award from the National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO) for the 2002 Annual Report to Citizens.



Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board of the following vacancies and opened the floor to nominations:


1.         Cane Creek Water & Sewer District Advisory Committee - 2 vac.

Commissioner Messer nominated Jeff Young and Billy Johnston. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept both nominees by acclamation.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


2.            Juvenile Crime Prevention Council - 5 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 - 5 vac.

Chairman Hawkins nominated Rita Suder.  There were no other nominations.  Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Ms. Suder by acclamation.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


4.            Regional Water Authority of Asheville, Buncombe and Henderson - 1 vac.

Commissioner Messer requested that this item be rolled to the next meeting for action since Commissioner Moyer was absent and he had made it known that he would like to address this issue.


5.         Senior Volunteer Services Advisory Council - 1 vac.

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


6.            SmartStart - 1 vac.

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


7.            Western Carolina Community Action Board of Directors - 1 vac.

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



During the recent budget deliberations, the Board funded a request from the Greater Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce to develop a program to encourage our citizens to shop in Henderson County.


Bob Williford, Chamber of Commerce, was present and informed the Board that the Shop Henderson County Committee had met several times to develop an advertising plan that will encourage citizens to purchase their goods and services in our County.  The mission is to educate citizens regarding the benefits of shopping locally and to tout the growth in our retail and service economy that has brought a wider variety of goods and services to Henderson County. He distributed a hand-out and reviewed it with the Board.  He stated that Henderson County is losing $2.5 million a year in sales tax revenues for Henderson County.


The Committee has a very diverse membership.  There are member representatives from The Chamber, DHI, The Merchants Association, the Historic Seventh Avenue Group, the Fletcher Area Business Association, the Flat Rock Merchants Association, Blue Ridge Mall, Highland Square Shopping Center, the Laurel Park Shopping Center and Pardee Hospital.


He reviewed an outline of their proposed advertising campaign and a sample billboard ad with the campaign logo.  Presented for Board review also was a copy of the Chamber Guest Column that ran in the Times-News recently.


The committee was also able to leverage the requested county funding ($10,000) to increase the value of the advertising campaign.  The Times-News, WHKP, WTZQ, CableVantage, Lamar Advertising and the Town Tooter have all made special advertising commitments that will expand the advertising dollars by over 50%.


WalMart had also offered to contribute bag stuffers at no cost and The Chamber and other organizations will supplement the effort through newsletters and “Cross-Marketing.”  Another component of the campaign will be to distribute “Thank You for Shopping Henderson County” bag stuffers to retail establishments.


The Chamber looks forward to proceeding with the campaign as soon as possible.  He thanked the Board for their support on behalf of The Chamber and all of the organizations participating in this effort. 


He stated that if someone is having difficulty locating a service or a good in our county, they are welcome to call one of the members of the Shop Henderson County Committee or the Chamber of Commerce who will help locate the item.



Dr. Chuck Albers, a surgeon at Pardee Hospital and Chairman of the Hospital Board of Trustees, came forward and thanked the Board for the opportunity of being present to present the annual report.  Dr. Albers mentioned his interest in breast cancer for the past 22 years.  He stated that our breast cancer survival statistics at Pardee are better than the State average and they are the best in Western North Carolina. He introduced Bob Goodwin.


Bob Goodwin, CEO and President, made the Hospital’s Annual Report to the Board of Commissioners.  They had provided a separate notebook containing the Annual Report, their most recent audited financial statements, and their proposed 2004 Fiscal Year Budget.  


Bob Goodwin introduced several persons from Pardee who were also present: Pamela Booher, Chief Financial Officer; Sandy Smith, Senior Vice-President; and Terry Locuson from the Marketing Department.


Mr. Goodwin stated that Pardee recently finished an over $12 million portion of their construction project, specifically related to the emergency department containing a new lobby, and a new centralized registration area.  The project was done on time and within the Certificate of Needs limits.  They recently opened a $500,000 helideck which sits atop the new emergency department.  They have already had three transports via helicopter from Pardee to Mission Hospital. They have just recently announced and begun the expansion of both the Urgent Care Facility and the Pardee Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Services.  Both will be moving into the old Ingles building, a $1.3 million expansion, doubling the size of both operations. They had recently appeared before the Board of Commissioners to request permission on a couple of items that require Certificate of Need approval.  They now have the approval and are installing their third CT scanner and also have received permission from the State’s Certificate of Need Board to add four operating rooms to the six they currently have. The operating room expenditure will be in the neighborhood of about $8 million.  Operating room construction is the single most expensive healthcare construction that you can do.  That construction will hopefully begin early this fall.  They also recently began doing cardiac catheterizations on an outpatient basis at Pardee.  The American College of Radiation has recently accredited their nuclear medicine radiation therapy program.  They have also begun a strong linkage of a variety of different programs with Western Carolina University through their outreach programs  in addition to their affiliations with Blue Ridge Community College.  Pardee is beginning a 10 plus year master facilities planning process which will take them well into the future.


Mr. Goodwin stated that Pardee Hospital is the second largest employer in Henderson County.  They are dealing with ever-increasing healthcare costs.  The recent mental health reform has caused them more than a little anxiety from the service provision perspective.  He then turned the presentation over to Pam Booher to give a brief overview of their financial statements and proposed budget.


Pamela Booher reviewed the audit and the budget with the Board of Commissioners, stating that their financial position was good with strong equitity and low debt.   







Terry Layne, EMS Director, is responsible for administering the Ambulance Ordinance.  He informed the Board that Emergency Ambulance Transport, Inc. had reapplied for their franchise. They provide non-emergency ambulance transport services and backup emergency ambulance services.  They had a five year franchise which expired about one year ago. They are currently operating pursuant to a contract with the County which is set to expire on September 30, 2003.


Pursuant to Section 87-4(C), the applicant must be given an opportunity to be heard by the Board of Commissioners on the applications.  This is also the Board’s opportunity to ask the applicant any questions concerning the application and proposed services to be offered by the applicant.


To be effective, an ordinance granting a franchise must be approved at two regular meetings of the Board of Commissioners.  Therefore, if directed by the Board, an ordinance granting a franchise to the applicant will be placed on the Board’s agenda for approval at the September 2, 2003 and September 17, 2003 regular meetings.


Kermit Tolley, one of the owners of the business, came forward and was available to answer any questions.  He stated that they operate at the paramedic level which is compatible with Henderson County EMS.  They have seven (trucks) paramedic units available.  They also have an off-road rescue vehicle capable of going into the woods.  It is the only one that exists in the United States and it will be on display at the North Carolina Mountain State Fair. Mr. Tolley said they wish to continue operations as they have in the past which is mainly assistance to the EMS system. 


Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept the contract as presented on the first reading and that it be placed on the agenda for the September 2 meeting for the second reading.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Scott Hamilton, Chamber of Commerce, reminded the Board that earlier this year the Board had offered an incentive package to The Warm Company to encourage the consolidation of their operations to a site in Henderson County.  The Company signed the agreement to express their acceptance of the incentives should they choose to locate in Henderson County.  Since that time the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development continued to work with the company along with a number of our allies including Duke Power, The North Carolina Dept. of Commerce and Blue Ridge Community College to assure the selection of Henderson County as the location for the consolidation. 


He introduced Mr. Barry Brown, Operations Manager, The Warm Company.  Mr. Brown announced the consolidation of their operations to Henderson County.  They are moving ahead with construction on a piece of property they have in Henderson County.  He thanked the Board for the incentive package and the interest in seeing the company stay local.  He also thanked Scott Hamilton, the Partnership for Economic Development, Lamar Workman from the USDA office, and Mike Gooch from Duke Power. They hope to double their size in the next year or so. They were up 30% last year and 18% this year.


Scott Hamilton recognized Dan Williams, the Chair of the Greater Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce; Kelly Leonard, Chair elect of the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development; Mike Gooch and Sandy Talent from Duke Power; and Bob Williford, President of the Greater Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce.



Tom Bridges, Public Health Department Director, reminded the Board that we have a contract with the Humane Animal Care Services Inc. known as the Shelter Planners of America.  With us today was Mr. Bill Meade, Director of Planning and Design with the group. He comes with a lot of experience and first hand knowledge of shelter management as well as designing a facility.  We have a contract for him to work with our county to design a new shelter, site location, etc. as well as reviewing the proposed ordinances and the timeline that Dr. Chapman had outlined to the Board of Commissioners.  Mr. Meade will provide written detail of his recommendations. 


Mr. Meade addressed the Board, stating he was in Henderson County to do a needs assessment, feasibility and building program study for the planned building.  In addition to that he will be reviewing the ordinance and looking at the overall program of animal control and how to implement that as the new building comes on line.  Mr. Meade stated that his firm is the largest architectural and design consulting firm in the United States that does animal shelters exclusively.  They have been doing animal shelters for over twenty years and have worked with over 700 facilities nationwide to plan brand new buildings, additions, and remodels.  He stated that Animal Shelters are specialized buildings.  They are not warehouse structures. They are closer to a human hospital than anything else because they have very intensive HV/AC systems in them to keep fresh air so that you don’t have diseased animals.  They have intensive plumbing under the floors for proper drainage when they are washed out.  They have a lot of special finishes and equipment that will hold up well over the years.  They don’t do gold-plated buildings but they want you to have a building that will last well for the next 2 or 3 decades and not be falling apart. There had been mention of using a pre-engineered metal building and they don’t find much cost savings, if any, in an animal shelter structure.  They have done some pre-engineered metal buildings for shelters but he doesn’t recommend that.  In shelters you need concrete block rooms so they can be washed down.  He told the Board to keep in mind that it’s great that all these improvements are taking place but they won’t be able to happen overnight.  It will take a period of months in order to find the right staff people and then you need the place to put them.  He visited the site yesterday and stated that it looks like a good site.  He stated that good public exposure is critically important to these buildings.  Currently our shelter is destroying in the neighborhood of about 3,000 animals a year.


Mr. Meade stated that the report he will be submitting to the Board in the next few weeks will not only outline a building program for the shelter with all of the room spaces delineated and the square footages, it will also have the cost for the building based on their best knowledge for areas similar to ours.  It will also have a staffing level needed to staff that size building, based on national averages as well as an annual operating budget. 


Mr. Meade informed the Board that he had been impressed with the County Health Department and Animal Shelter staff, stating they have a hard job because they are working with a very substandard building and much less staff than is typical for any shelter handling 4,000 animals a year. Staff has an attitude of open-mindedness and interest in doing their job and improving it. 


Mr. Meade stated that they would propose a building to fit what we are planning to do in our community.





Terry F. Lyda, Tax Collector, read his Tax Collector’s Settlement for FY 02-03, dated August 13, 2003.  To date, his office had collected 97.88% of the annual tax bills.  This was slightly lower than last year’s collection percentage and he felt it could be attributed to economic conditions. (This document is attached as a part of these minutes)


Darlene Burgess, Deputy Tax Collector, referred to her “FY 02-03 Progress Report regarding Delinquent Property Tax Collections and Report on Efforts to Collect Delinquent Taxes.” (This document is attached as a part of these minutes)


Ms. Beeker reminded the Board that it was time once again for the delivery of the tax receipts to the Henderson County Tax Collector; however before they can be delivered, the following must occur (pursuant to NCGS 105-352):


(a)             PREPAYMENTS.            The Tax Collector must deliver any duplicate bills printed for

prepayments received by the Tax Collector to the Finance Director and demonstrate to the Finance Director’s satisfaction that all prepayments received have been deposited. 

Note: No prepayments were received; therefore no action regarding this step was necessary.


(b)            SETTLEMENT.            The Tax Collector must make settlement with the Board of

Commissioners for all taxes placed in his hands for collection for the past year.

Note: The Tax Collector’s Settlement for FY 2002, including both current and delinquent taxes for which the Tax Collector was charged for the 2002 Tax Year, were placed in the Board’s mailboxes.  Additionally, a report of unpaid taxes for both real property and personal property was placed in the Clerk’s office prior to this meeting.  Approval of the settlement will be necessary.  A proposed resolution approving the settlement was presented for the Board’s consideration.


(c)            BOND.                        The Board of Commissioners must approve the bond to be issued for the

Tax Collector and Deputy Tax Collector for Delinquent Taxes.  Copies of the current bonds were included for Board review.  A proposed Resolution Setting the Bond Amounts was also included.


(d)            ORDER OF COLLECTION.            An Order of Collection must be adopted at this meeting,

which will charge the Tax Collector with the collection of FY 2003 taxes, plus all outstanding delinquent taxes.  It will be necessary to Adopt the Order of Collection included in the agenda packet for the Board’s consideration.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion that the Board approve the Settlement Statement as indicated in item B, the Bond as indicated in item C, and the Collection Order as amended and as indicated in item D. All voted in favor and the motion carried. 



Several years ago the Board of Commissioners authorized the use of the radio signal from WHKP to be heard on HCTV-11 when we were not utilizing the time for our programming.  At that point, WHKP was the only locally operated radio station.  However, WTZQ is now operated locally.  The owner of WTZQ has expressed interest in having his radio signal also heard on HCTV-11.


The purpose of this agenda item was to discuss the use of any radio signal on our cable channel.


The County Manager had provided the Board with a memo entitled “Radio Signal and HCTV” as follows:

“I am writing to express my thoughts to the Board concerning the use of a radio signal on Henderson County’s cable channel.  This item is scheduled for your August 20, 2003 meeting.


While developing the cable channel, I was approached by representatives of WHKP who expressed their interest in assisting Henderson County with the purchase and operation of a character generator.  We chose not to accept their offer.  However, in 1999 they approached the Board requesting that their signal be used.  The Board approved allowing WHKP to be broadcast on the channel when we were not utilizing it for programming.  At this time, WTZQ was just a simulcast of a radio station in Asheville.


We have been approached by the owner of WTZQ expressing his interest in broadcasting his signal on the cable channel.  He has stated that his station is now locally operated and wishes the same cable coverage that we have provided to WHKP.  Following the request from WTZQ last year, I spoke to representatives of both stations and notified them of our desire to fully utilize the cable channel for our use in the long term.  Following this year’s budget deliberations, I held a meeting with representatives of the two radio stations and Mediacom.  I expressed my desire that both stations share the cable channel with the understanding that it is still our goal to fully utilize this channel.  Both stations stated that it would not be practical to share the channel.  WHKP stated that they had been on local cable since they started cable in our community.  WTZQ stated that Henderson County had allowed WHKP to utilize the channel for the past years and since they were also a locally operated station that they should be able to use it for the next several years.  I stated that I believed the only alternative would be to use one of Mediacom’s music channels for background music for the character generator as offered at no cost to the County by Mediacom. 


We have utilized both stations to inform the community of events and emergencies during the time of the day that they locally broadcast (approximately 5:00 am to 6:00 pm).  We also have the ability to override the entire cable system for emergencies.


As the Board knows, I have held discussions with Blue Ridge Community College concerning their use of the cable channel.  I requested funding for this effort in the budget which was not approved.  However in recent discussions with the College, they still wish to utilize the cable channel.  Instead of a “live” head-in and studio at the College, they are now planning to utilize the channel in the same manner as the County.  They are discussing the purchase of three digital tape decks for their programming thus doubling our current programming capacity.


My recommendation to the Board is to use one of the music channels from Mediacom for background music when we are not using the channel for programming.  I had hoped to work out some type of compromise between the two local radio stations.  However, both stations stated that sharing the channel for their radio signals would not work.  I do not believe that it is appropriate that the County get between two local companies trying to generate business.  I am still planning to work towards utilizing the channel with programming from the County and the College.  I would also hope that the municipalities would choose to use the channel in the future.”


There was much discussion of the information in the above memo to the Board from Mr. Nicholson.


Commissioner Messer mentioned that he along with many other people in the northern end of the county cannot pick up either radio signal so he listens to Cable Channel ll on Friday night to get the High School Football final scores or to get emergency information.  He felt this could have a big impact on a lot of people in Henderson County. 


Commissioner Baldwin felt that a radio station can provide valuable public service announcements for local folks.  He felt that we should solicit proposals from both radio stations and review them and make a choice, based on Board set criteria. 


There was discussion of adding another Channel on Cable for County Government/Education.  If we utilized two channels then we could use one station on one channel and the other station on the other channel.


Angela Beeker discussed briefly a memo that she had prepared for the Board yesterday.  She felt that the most important thing was fairness and equality of treatment.  Obviously one way to treat both stations the same would be to allow neither the access to Channel ll.  In her legal opinion, that would pose a very low liability for the county to do that.  She felt that allowing both stations to submit a proposal would also be treating them equally.  She felt it was important to hear from Mediacom.


Maggie Blythe, Mediacom, stated that under Federal Regulations all cable operators have to set aside so much capacity for what is called “leased access”.  Leased access rates are for video programming and they are governed by an FCC formula.  Maggie Blythe stated “As far as availability of additional channels. First of course is the fact that there is only one channel that we are “so called” contracted to give the county under our current agreement.  That all comes up for negotiations probably a whole lot quicker than any of us would like it to be because you do enter the renewal window in September.  Uh - you know - personally yes I feel sure that the PEG access (Public/Educational/Governmental access) is probably going to be one of our major uh negotiation points so what’s available down the road uh I guess is for all of us to see how those negotiations turn out but currently there is only the one channel.  It is controlled by the county.  Uh as far as what Mediacom can - any stumbling blocks so to speak I guess or - that we would have and what you decide to do uh is really uh very minimal because under Federal law there are only a couple of things we can tell a county they can or cannot do with their channel.  They can’t have pornographic information on it and they can’t make money off of it. Uh so from that prospective what you choose to do for background audio is indeed really governed by the county and what decisions they make in controlling that channel.  There are some concerns on using a commercial radio station uh that uh the county I think in the past has certainly been made aware of uh because they have commercials and commercials are kind of a little gray area on public channels.  So I guess at this point you know we’re certainly willing to work with the county uh you know we’ll certainly give our input as far as what is technically feasible and what is I guess realistic uh.  As David says we do currently work with the county as far as popping tapes in and out, that kind of thing.  I’m getting older, I’m getting a little senile.  We certainly have some issues there.  Uh you know for when we all of a sudden say opps that tape was supposed to be changed uh so you know there are certainly some logistics that would uh might be very difficult in a sharing situation uh but should that be the decision uh you know we’ll certainly uh assist as much as we possibly can.”  


Following discussion, Chairman Hawkins suggested the Board consider asking the County Attorney to see if we can enter into some preliminary negotiations on this one subject with Mediacom and direct the County Attorney to begin that dialogue with Mediacom for two additional channels.  If we’re able to secure an additional channel that would give us more options.  He further suggested tabling this discussion for a period of 90 days to work through this.  He included that at the end of 90 days that the Board may decide to pick up the Mediacom offer for background music on Channel 11.  Chairman Hawkins asked Commissioner Baldwin to work with the County Manager on developing some of the standards mentioned.  That might serve as a backup at the end of the 90 day period.  His suggestion included leaving the Mediacom operation as is for a period of 90 days, at the end of which the Board either needs to be looking at some kind of contract of services or hopefully will have picked up another channel from Mediacom or will then have to look at either discontinuing everybody’s radio signal or picking one. 


Commissioner Baldwin stated he would be glad to work with Mr. Nicholson to establish a set of criteria in the next 90 days and bring back to the Board for approval.


Commissioner Young - “Ms. Blythe, would you need a letter from this Board to your superiors asking for an additional channel for an educational channel?”


Maggie Blythe - “Essentially what would happen is it would mean we’d need to go into the franchise renewal process.  Uh that window, as I said, does open in September however there’s nothing that prevents us from going into early renewal so we could have essentially started two years ago if we had desired so really all I need to know is that indeed that is the intent of the Board, is to go ahead and enter into new renewals, notification of who I will be dealing with if that is going to be Ms. Beeker uh that’s what, that’s really very - that’s it - we can easily go into the informal negotiation process.  Uh it would not stop either of us from having our formal rights uh to always go back to the formal proceedings if uh informal didn’t get there.  Hopefully I think we will all agree that that won’t be necessary uh but sure that’s essentially all I need is to know that that’s the direction and someone to contact me to get rolling on it.”


Chairman Hawkins offered a chance to the two radio stations at this time to address the Board.


Randy Houston, WTZQ, expressed that some profiteering was going on, stating the current situation is inequitable.  He feels that the County is endorsing the inequitable situation. 


Art Cooley, President and General Manager of Radio Hendersonville, Operators of WHKP, stated that WHKP has been broadcasting locally since 1946.  They have been the only radio station continuously on cable channels in Henderson County since they were the pioneer broadcasters who started cable back in 1969 or 34 years ago.  He reminded the Commissioners that there is another local radio station, previously owned by WHKP’s parent company or Radio Hendersonville Inc., which was sold in 1985.  That locally licensed radio station was formerly WKIT-FM.  WMYI-FM broadcasts from studios in Greenville, SC although their city of license is Hendersonville, NC.    His suggestion would be to study the issue but since WHKP has been the station of record for Henderson County since 1946 that they be allowed to remain on channel 11 until such time as Mediacom offers additional channels to the county.



Chairman Hawkins called a short technical recess to change videotapes.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board of Commissioners to direct the County Attorney to approach Mediacom and start looking at some early negotiations on our franchise/contract with Mediacom, specifically looking for some additional cable channels for utilization by the county.  In conjunction with that the motion included a motion to table the decision on this issue for a period of 90 days to allow those negotiations to take effect and see what kind of results we can get from them and also that Commissioner Baldwin will work with the County Manager to establish some criteria to help further enhance the information we try to get to the public.  At the end of 90 days we may be in a position where we have no radio station on channel 11.  All voted in favor and the motion carried. 




1. Dr. Kathryn Reiter - Dr. Reiter addressed mental health reform.  She is a member of the CFAC (Consumer Family Advisory Council) and represents Henderson County in the health reform efforts.  Her adopted son is now 15 years old.  He was six when she adopted him from the foster care system.  He has a complicated case with multiple diagnoses and is severely emotionally disturbed.  He breaks windows and doors.  He kicks holes in walls.  He screams.  He assaults people.  Police come pretty regularly to my house.  It’s dangerous if you don’t have him in line of sight supervision by an adult at all times.  He’s had 14 hospitalizations between the age of eight and thirteen.  He receives a significant amount of Medicaid monies from Henderson County.  Things are getting better at her house but it’s not due to the public mental health system.  She is not optimistic about the reform but if the new local business plan for providing mental health care isn’t well thought out and consumer driven, she feels the Board can expect to spend a lot of money on kids like hers between jail service, the emergency room, and locked residential facilities which start at over $200.00 a day.  She has tried for over a year to get Trend to provide the services that Thomas is legally entitled to but she has been unsuccessful.  Blue Ridge Center isn’t any better and it will be driving the new mental health system.  She stated that the only way the system works is when they get an Attorney and that’s not the way it is suppose to be.  She asked that the Board let consumers be involved in the process as they know the cheapest, most effective ways to help their kids that will keep them out of the jails, emergency rooms, and residential locked facilities.  She addressed the number of consumer representatives on the new local LME.  She asked the Board to rethink their decision to vote against having eight consumers with the eight County Managers. 


2. Dr. Philip Stanley- Dr. Stanley addressed Historic Courthouse Renovation.  The Board will receive the formal recommendation from the Historic Courthouse Committee on September 2, 2003.  He had researched pages and pages of background information regarding the courthouse.  His general comments seemed to discourage renovation of the historic structure.  He read numerous quotes over the past few years concerning the historic courthouse renovation. Dr. Stanley felt the decision should lie with the citizens or a referendum.  “Your obligation to us, the citizens of Henderson County, is to fund active governmental concerns that benefit all the people or the people’s business.”  He stated that renovation would only benefit a small segment of our county residents. 


PUBLIC HEARING - Property Address Changes

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


Rocky Hyder reminded the Board that pursuant to NCGS 153A-239.1, the Board of Commissioners established a public hearing for the purpose of approving the property address number changes in Henderson County from February 2003 to August 2003.   They have established 1,573 addresses during that time, or approx. 11 per day. 


The Clerk to the Board had been given a record of property address changes for public inspection.  A copy was also made available at the Property Addressing office.


Public Input

There was none.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to go out of public hearing.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the changes as requested by Mr. Hyder.  All voted in favor and the motion carried. 


PUBLIC HEARING - Hazard Mitigation Plan

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


Rocky Hyder had submitted the draft Henderson County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan for comment from the public and the Board of Commissioners.  The plan contained input from each governmental unit within Henderson County regarding strategies to protect human life and health, minimize damage to existing buildings, protect infrastructure, and the environment from the effects of natural or technological hazards.  Pursuant to NCGS 166A-6.01, local governments must have an approved Hazard Mitigation Plan adopted by November 2004.


Mr. Hyder recognized the contractor and consultant who helped put this Plan together, Elgina White (who was present). 


Mr. Hyder stated that the Plan is designed to substantially or permanently reduce the planning areas vulnerability to natural or technological hazards.  Some of the key things they kept in mind as they approached the Plan is that they wanted to protect human life and health and minimize damage to existing buildings as well as protect our infrastructure and areas of environmental concern within our community.  This plan was designed to compliment existing government documents such as Zoning Ordinances, Land Use Plans, Comprehensive Development Plans, etc.  Each of those documents was reviewed to make sure there were no conflicts.  They also endeavored to manage the floodplain within Henderson County.  The plan seeks to increase our capability to receive grant funding and to increase public awareness to hazardous areas so we don’t have people trying to build in those areas or locate something in areas that would be inconsistent with the area itself.  It also endeavors to discourage development within any special flood hazard area or the floodplain itself.  Overall it endeavors to protect our tax base in our community as we know it today.


Chairman Hawkins asked Mr. Hyder - “So we’re gonna be forced by the State to develop a floodplain ordinance?”


Mr. Hyder responded - “To a certain extent, yes sir, if this plan is approved.”


Elgina White, a private consultant, came forward to explain that the City of Hendersonville is eligible at this point in time to participate in the community rating system.  The NFIP is what makes a community eligible to receive disaster relief funds/ disaster assistance funds, etc.  The CRS is strictly a voluntary program that a community can participate in and there is a lot of planning that goes along with that.  Participation in the CRS is one of the things they will be looking at with Hendersonville as a strategy for the mitigation plan.  Fletcher is currently not eligible to participate in the CRS program because they are in a very embryotic state in the participation of the NFIP.


Public Input

There was none.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to go out of public hearing.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


No action was required at this time.


PUBLIC HEARING - Ordinance Amendments

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


Ms. Beeker explained that this public hearing was being held to consider amendments to the Henderson County Code to enable the following County Ordinances to be applicable within the town boundary for the Town of Mills River upon the request by the Town and consent by the County:


Chapter 66, Animals:  § 66-2. Enforcement.

Chapter 81, Communications Towers:  § 81-2. Jurisdiction

Chapter 85, Emergency Management, Article I, Emergency Management Agency:  § 85-2. Purpose; coordinating agency; county departments and volunteer agencies.

Chapter 85, Emergency Management, Article II, State of Emergency:  § 85-10. Proclamation by County Manager.

Chapter 114, Manufactured Home Parks:  § 114-4. Jurisdiction.

Chapter 116, Massage Parlors:  § 116-1. Jurisdiction.

Chapter 125, Noise:  § 125-3  Jurisdiction

Chapter 134, Pawnbrokers:  § 134-3. Jurisdiction

Chapter 142, Property Addressing:  § 142-4. Jurisdiction

Chapter 142, Property Addressing:  Section 142-5, OFFICIAL NAME

Chapter 142, Property Addressing:  § 142-6. List of official street names; road signs.

Chapter 142, Property Addressing:  § 142-11. Posting of numbers; interior spaces excluded

Chapter 142, Property Addressing:  § 142-18. Prohibited acts

Chapter 156, Signs, Article I, Outdoor Advertising Signs:  § 156-4. Jurisdiction.

Chapter 165, Solid Waste, Article I, Incinerators:  § 165-1. Title

Chapter 165, Solid Waste, Article II, Collection and Recycling:  § 165-9. Purpose; statutory authority; jurisdiction.

Chapter 170, Subdivision of Land:  § 170-5. Jurisdiction

Chapter 183, Vehicles, Abandoned or Junk:  § 183-6. Applicability.

Chapter 192, Water, Part 1, Water Supply Watershed Protection:  § 192-4. Jurisdiction.

Chapter 192, Water, Part 1, Waster Supply Watershed Protection:  § 192-12. Water Supply Watershed Map.

Chapter 196, Weapons, Part 2 Discharging of Firearms, Article II, Restrictions Regarding Discharge of Firearms:  § 196-9. Authority

Chapter 200, Zoning:  § 200-4. Jurisdiction


She stated that it would be appropriate for the Board to take action with respect to these proposed amendments at the close of today’s public hearing. She also certified that this had been advertised in accordance with the requirements of NCGS 153A-323.  Some of these ordinances don’t actually require a public hearing but could require two readings; therefore, for those ordinances this would count as the second reading since they were introduced at the last meeting.  For the ordinances that require a public hearing this meets that requirement.


Public Input

There was none.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to go out of public hearing.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion that the Board adopt the changes as presented.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Angela Beeker reminded the Board that provided for their consideration were the following documents concerning Mills River Incorporation:


1.                   Draft Contract:            This contract provides for the County’s enforcement of most of its ordinances

within the Town of Mills River.  Staff had made the changes requested by the Board at the last meeting with the exception of the Fees and Costs provisions.


2.            Ordinance Amendments: Cable Television --- These amendments are necessary to allow both the

Cable Television Ordinance and Mediacom’s franchise to be applicable within the Town of Mills River if both the County and Mills River agree.


Note: These amendments were approved at the August 4, 2003 meeting; however they must pass at two readings of the Board, so if the Board would like for the Cable Ordinance and the Mediacom franchise to be applicable within the Town of Mills River before August 24, 2003, it will be necessary for the Board to vote to pass the Ordinance again at this meeting.


Note: The other ordinance amendments are part of a public hearing scheduled for 11:00 a.m. today. (The Board had already taken action on this item)


Chairman Hawkins called attention to a document in the agenda packet of estimated net expenses associated with the Mills River Incorporation.  He had received a letter from Mayor Snyder after sharing this document with him. 


Interim Mayor Roger Snyder came forward but yielded his time to Sharon Alexander, Interim Attorney for the Town of Mills River. Ms. Alexander stated that the Town Council had a work session yesterday.  She attended a portion of that work session.  The Town Council had a brief time yesterday to consider the estimated cost of expenditures as it had been faxed to the Town Hall after the Council meeting had already started.  They asked her to bring several discussion points to the Board’s attention:


·            Throughout the incorporation process they had felt that there was a gentleman’s agreement with the county that during the infancy of the municipality that it would be “business as usual” and that the county would continue to provide those services and in fact it doesn’t appear that any of the county’s processes or expenditures or personnel would change by virtue of this contract. Obviously as the community grows there may be need for changes but those changes are not a result of or related to the incorporation at all.


·           The folks in Mills River felt pretty strongly that they pay for the services that the county has been providing in the past and they will continue to pay in the future and actually the county tax rate will be increased.  In some regards that has been presented to them as related to the incorporation and the revenues that the county has lost.


·           Looking at the expenditures, some of them appear to be skewed.  There’s $21,617 of expense that’s attributed to elections when in fact the contract that’s proposed between the Board of Elections and the Town would require the Town to pay all expenses of the elections.  The Fire Marshal expenses that are listed, the Town had understood that would be a user fee that would be a pass through fee. It looks like there have been some Assessor’s Office expenses attributed that may not be incurred by the county but would in fact be incurred by the Town.  They had understood that all the expenses related to tax billing and tax collection would be passed through to the Town. 


·           The other expense she mentioned was a flat fee plus the Town being liable to pay all litigation costs that are associated with the county continuation of services and enforcement of the ordinances.  That is real problematic for the folks at the Town because it is an open-ended item.  The more practical problem is that any litigation would arise from a decision that was made by county staff based on ordinances that had been enacted by the County Board of Commissioners and the Town wouldn’t have had any control over the genesis of that litigation and wouldn’t have any control over the process of the litigation.  They are more inclined to want to agree on a flat fee and know what their expenditures are.  They would obviously be willing to bear any litigation costs related to any decisions they have made or ordinances they have enacted or information they have provided and the county has relied upon that has resulted in litigation but as far as litigation that grows out of the county’s decision making and the county’s ordinances, they have a real problem with committing their public funds to that. 


·           The Town is very open to discussing a flat fee that would remain the same over the four year course of the contract understanding that after two years more than likely Planning and Zoning would be dropped out of that to balance out some of the other factors.


Ms. Alexander stated that everyone that’s been involved with the process of incorporating this municipality and birthing this municipality has always appreciated the support that has been voiced by the members of the Board of Commissioners.  Now is the time when the rubber is meeting the road and it’s time for there to actually be some action and the folks in Mills River feel like that has been promised and they are really just asking to continue the way things started with the County.  They will continue to be neighbors and want to be treated as neighbors and constituents.  They are trying to create a real solid foundation for a Town that has been a community for a long time but has not had a governmental structure and their concern is to do it absolutely the right way.  Their concern is if they are rushed into having to do certain things, and zoning is a real good example, to do it quickly it would not be done properly and the proper foundation would not have been established for the Town of Mills River.  They requested that the Board of Commissioners continue to partner with them in the process of establishing the Town of Mills River and establishing the way it will be governed and how it will run.


Ms. Alexander stated that the concern was that there hasn’t been proper consideration and discussion given to the financial terms of the contract which are obviously very important terms to both bodies.  The folks in Mills River aren’t comfortable that they understand fully the County’s position and they certainly don’t feel that they’ve had an adequate opportunity to convey to the Board their position as far as finances are concerned.  At this time their request would be that any action on the contract be delayed for a period of time with which the Board would be comfortable, 30 days was mentioned, but some period of time that would allow the continuation of the discussions that started yesterday and that during that time period the temporary contract that actually expires on the 24th be continued during this interim time period.


Chairman Hawkins stated that the litigation issue is one of the things that makes what we’re trying to do here very complicated in that there is a possibility of litigation occurring.  The County has a full plate of business to take care of as it is.  We didn’t look for the opportunity to run Mills River during the interim they need to get cranked up.  The county has certainly shown a willingness to contract with Mills River and do some of their services and all that was spelled out in the Senate Bill along with a referendum and other things but the General Assembly saw fit not to let that happen.  Mills River would like their involvement with the county to be very similar to our involvement with Flat Rock.  A lot of the services that the county provides to Flat Rock were laid out in the charter that the General Assembly gave them. They didn’t give the county an opportunity to vote on whether or not we would offer services free or with a contract.  It was put right in which ended up an unfunded mandate for the county to come up with. 


Commissioner Messer made the motion to give Mills River the 30 day extension on the contract and meet with them again to discuss these issues.


Commissioner Baldwin expressed some concerns that Mills River is expecting county staff to be experts at the municipal level when in fact we are not.  His opinion was that Mills River would be best served to actually work with a private consultant or an agency that specializes in what your needs are, municipal planning.  Mills River could enact a moratorium which would keep out the nasty things to buy them time to contract with someone that knows about municipal planning. 


Sharon Alexander explained that there is not an inequity but rather that the services that Mills River is asking the county to provide were provided for Flat Rock and possibly Fletcher for some period of time while they took the time to study and get up to speed on their own.  Mills River is requesting maintenance of the status quo and the assistance of the county’s staff in enforcing that. 


Ms. Beeker explained that the joint resolution that is in place only dealt with the police power ordinance, it did not deal with the land use ordinance.  She asked if Commissioner Messer might consider amending his motion to adopt a resolution to grant Henderson County the jurisdiction to enforce both the police power and land use ordinances through a particular date by resolution.  September 30 was the date offered and Commissioner Messer so amended his motion.


Following much discussion, a vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.


Amendments to Cable Ordinance and Franchise

Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the second reading of the Ordinance to Revise the Jurisdiction Provisions of Certain Chapters of the Henderson County Code Pertaining to Cable Television, the same amendment approved at the prior Board meeting.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  This allows Mediacom Ordinance and Franchise to apply in Mills River versus just in the county.



Joint Facilities Meeting

Chairman Hawkins updated the Board about the Joint Facilities Meeting he and Commissioner Young attended along with the School Board.  A number of topics were covered.  One point of concern was the enrollment the schools had experienced on the first day.  The enrollment numbers were in excess of what the school had projected for the 2007-2008 year which means there were quite a few more who showed up than what was anticipated.  However, the School Board pointed out that their numbers are not very usable until about the 20th day of school.  They have all agreed to meet again in October to look at a number of issues, including these numbers. The School Board has undertaken class size reduction as a project and the need for additional facilities.  The issue of accountability was raised as far as results coming from class size reductions.  Following the Joint Facilities Meeting in October he expressed the need for a joint meeting with the School Board and the Board of Commissioners to take a look at some of their requirements they anticipate and look at some common goals.


LGCCA Meeting update

Yesterday was an LGCCA meeting.  Henderson County stood in for Laurel Park as the host.  The main topic of discussion was looking at a combined water and sewer planning board and how to make it workable.  There was a lot of good dialogue.  Mayor Niehoff, Councilman Stephenson, Commissioner Moyer and Chairman Hawkins are going to work more on the verbiage of the charter for the group.  After their review it will be taken back to the LGCCA and then on to the individual governing bodies for a closer look.  The next LGCCA meeting is scheduled for September 16 with the City of Hendersonville hosting.


Regional Economic Development (this was actually done during discussions re: Mills River Incorporation)

Chairman Hawkins stated that Transylvania County, Buncombe County, and Henderson County, had met to discuss ideas related to regional economic development and discussed the 280 corridor from Brevard to Arden.  They planned to make sure that Mills River and Fletcher would be involved in the next meeting. 



David Nicholson stated he would probably come back to the Board at the next meeting or so to give the first quarterly report as is required by the local business plan.  There was an issue associated with governance that he needed some Board direction on.  Mental Health Reform = Trend is basically the operational and administrative function of mental health services in a community that is being split away from the services.  The LME will be the administrative organization.  The services will be provided by contract with government agencies, public hospitals, private hospitals, private providers, not-for-profit organizations, etc.  The LME will not be providing services.  Services are being much more controlled by what’s happening at the State level.  Service standards are out there.  How much they get paid for those services will be decided by the State of North Carolina, not by the LME. 


Mr. Nicholson recognized Dr. Kathryn Reiter who was present.  She is a member of CFAC (Consumer Family Advisory Council) which is nineteen members from across the eight counties who are people who are directly involved in the mental health system.  They are our watchdogs. 


Mr. Nicholson distributed a copy of a memo from him to the Board about governance.  He stated that they spend lots of time talking about governance to the point that they are not accomplishing much else because they are still arguing over how the Board of Directors for the Western Highlands Local Management Entity will be established.  Mr. Nicholson reviewed the options for governance:


            Name                                       3 year plan                  Counties


#1.        Local Business Plan                 8/3; 8/5; 8/9                    Henderson and Polk


#2            Buncombe County                     8/5; 8/7; 8/9                    Buncombe, Transylvania,

                                                                                                Madison, Mitchell and



#3         Yancey                                     8/8; 8/8; 8/8                    Yancey (State Plan Model)


#4         Nathan Ramsey                         8/7; 8/8; 8/8                  


#5         Artie Wilson                          8/6; 8/7; 8/8       


Mr. Nicholson asked for direction on what the County Board of Commissioners would support.  Most of the counties are willing to consider the Buncombe County option.  Polk has stated they would support Option II.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion to support Option II, the Buncombe County option.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.  The County Manager will take this action back to the LME work shops.



Chairman Hawkins mentioned the Apple Festival – King Apple Parade to see if any Commissioners were interested in riding in that parade.  Mr. Nicholson asked the Commissioners to arrive by 2:00 p.m. in the Boyd Pontiac Used Car lot.  He will arrange for a vehicle(s) for the Board.


The Board was asked to look at their calendars and consider a date for the annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet.  Tuesday, October 7th was the suggested date and the Board was in agreement.  The Annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet will be at The Chariot.


Commissioner Messer stated he would like to set a meeting for the Cane Creek Water and Sewer Advisory Board to meet on September 10 at 4:00 p.m. at Fletcher Town Hall. 


PERFORMANCE CONTRACTS - Not for Profit Agencies

Mr. Nicholson reminded the Board that Commissioner Baldwin had requested that this item be placed on the agenda to discuss the issue of performance contracts with not for profits.


Staff had provided some information from the School of Government (formerly Institute of Government).


Commissioner Baldwin proposed to the Board to develop performance agreements with these agencies we give money to as a way to introduce some accountability.  The consensus of the Board was in agreement.


Looking at the list of nonprofits we give money to, we give over a half million dollars to nonprofits.



Mr. Nicholson reminded the Board that the purpose of this agenda item was for the Board to discuss the idea of a retreat this fall to develop a strategic plan for Henderson County.  Mr. Nicholson had included a memo with some of his thoughts and an article on strategic planning.


Mr. Nicholson and Ms. Corn will work together on a calendar for the Board to review and mark better week-ends for them for the retreat.  It was suggested to have the retreat on a Friday/Saturday combination.  Mr. Nicholson needs a date so he can start to work with a facilitator for the retreat.


Chairman Hawkins had previously distributed his initial thoughts on strategic planning. 




Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to adjourn as the Henderson County Board of Commissioners and convene as the Cane Creek Water & Sewer District Board.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adjourn as Cane Creek Water and Sewer District Board and reconvene as Henderson County Board of Commissioners.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.





Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to adjourn.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.






                                                                                                                                                              Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board                                  Grady Hawkins, Chairman