STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                                             BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                                                APRIL 21, 2004


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 Bill Moyer, Commissioner Charlie Messer, County Manager David E. Nicholson, Assistant County Manager Justin Hembree, 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 Rocky Hyder, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland, County Engineer Gary Tweed, Deputy Clerk to the Board Amy Brantley and Paralegal Connie Rayfield.


Absent were: Commissioner Shannon Baldwin and Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson.



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



Chairman Hawkins led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.



Pastor Mike Stewart from Living Water Baptist Church gave the invocation.



Chairman Hawkins stated that Commissioner Baldwin would not be in attendance at the meeting.


David Nicholson introduced the new Assistant County Manager, Justin Hembree. Mr. Hembree had started with Henderson County just last week. Mr. Nicholson stated that Mr. Hembree came with a good resume from the standpoint of education as well as service, most recently serving as the County Manager in Mitchell County.


Chairman Hawkins added under “Update on Pending Issues” Item 4 – Cane Creek Water and Sewer District for an update by Commissioner Messer. Commissioner Moyer stated that the Board would be going into session as Cane Creek, and questioned whether Mr. Messer’s update would be more appropriately discussed at that time. Chairman Hawkins agreed to discuss that item while in session as Cane Creek . Chairman Hawkins also indicated that under Closed Session there were two different items for which the Board would go into Closed Session, and the K-mart item would be deleted.


Commissioner Moyer asked for an addition under “Update on Pending Issues”, an update on the Strategic Plan Responsibility Chart.


David Nicholson asked for an addition under “Update on Pending Issues” so that he and Mr. Hembree might update the Board on some of the things they had heard at the NC County Commissioners Association meeting. Chairman Hawkins added that as Item #5.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept the agenda as presented.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.




Chairman Hawkins added Item G - “Tax Releases” to the Consent Agenda. The information has been included in the agenda packets, but inadvertently left off the agenda. Commissioner Moyer pulled Item A – February 18, 2004 minutes for a correction.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept the Consent Agenda except for Item A with Item G, Tax Releases added. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


The Consent Agenda then consisted of the following:


Tax Collector’s Report 

Terry F. Lyda had submitted the Tax Collector’s Report dated April 16, 2004, for the Board’s information.


Order for Livingston Farms and St. Johns Commons Request for Approval of Late Application Filing and Release of Property Taxes

On March 8, 2004 the Board of Commissioners denied the requests of the homeowners associations for both Livingston Farms and St. Johns Commons for the approval of the late filing of an application for property tax exempt status for the common areas of each for the 2003 tax year, and for the release of the associated property taxes.


Attached for the Board’s consideration was the proposed order.


Request for Improvement Guarantee for Mountain Vista Subdivision

Mr. Lowell Frazier of Pavilion Development Corporation had submitted an application for an improvement guarantee for a proposed subdivision the company is developing known as Mountain Vista. The subdivision was being constructed off U. S. Highway 176 (Spartanburg Highway) west of Saluda. The Planning Board granted conditional approval of the combined Master Plan and Development Plan for the project on April 16, 2002. The Henderson County Planning Board was scheduled on April 20, 2004 to review an application for a one-year extension to cover road and drainage improvements, shoulder stabilization, water system improvements and maintenance of erosion control measures.


Pursuant to Section 170-38 of the Henderson County Code, a developer may, in lieu of completing all of the required improvements prior to Final Plat approval, post a performance guarantee to secure the County’s interest in seeing that satisfactory construction of incomplete improvements occurs. One type of permitted guarantee is the posting of an irrevocable letter of credit. Mr. Frazier (the developer) intends to post with the County such funds in the amount of $706,151.00, which includes the cost of the improvements ($564,920.80) as well as the required twenty-five percent (25%) contingency ($141,230.20). The proposed completion date for the project was May 1, 2005.


A draft performance guarantee was presented for the Board’s consideration. If approved, the developer must post with Henderson County an irrevocable letter of credit in accordance with the terms of the Agreement. Once the County receives such funds, the (Assistant) County Attorney must certify the Agreement as to form prior to its execution by the Chairman and the developer. 


Audit Services Proposal

Staff requested a list of certified public accounting firms that conduct local government audits in Western North Carolina from the N. C. Local Government Commission (LGC). From that list, staff had mailed out on March 1, 2004 a Request for Proposal (RFP) to conduct the County’s annual financial and compliance audit for a three-year term. Five firms responded to the County’s request for proposal.


The certified accounting firm, Gregg & Company, P.A., located in Asheville had submitted the lowest cost proposal to conduct the County’s annual financial and compliance audit for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2004, 2005 and 2006. They had proposed a fee of $40,000 to conduct the County’s current fiscal year financial audit with the annual fee increasing to $41,000 and $42,000 for the second and third years. Gregg & Company, P.A. currently performs the annual financial audit for Madison County, and had for a number of years. Staff contacted references as well as the Local Government Commission about this firm and there were no negative comments or outstanding issues pertaining to them.


Staff recommended that the Board consider accepting the proposal submitted by Gregg & Company, P.A. to perform Henderson County’s annual financial audit for a three-year term subject to annual audit contract approval.    


Surplus County Vehicles and Equipment

Staff had prepared for the Board’s consideration a resolution declaring several vehicles and equipment no longer used by the County as surplus property. The resolution authorized staff to advertise for sale and dispose of the surplus property at a public auction tentatively scheduled for 9:30 am on Saturday, May 22nd at the Henderson County Garage located at 322 Williams Street, Hendersonville, North Carolina.  


Tax Releases                     

A list of forty four (44) tax release requests was submitted by the County Assessor for approval by the Board of Commissioners. 




Chairman Hawkins stated that the Board had received a letter from Tedd Pearce, Chairman of the Henderson County Planning Board, requesting that the Board consider continuing the current make-up of the Planning Board until they finish with the Comprehensive County Plan. Angela Beeker noted that from a legal standpoint the current members would continue to serve until such time as they were replaced, so that would be the simplest way to approach the request. It was the consensus of the Board to roll this item until the CCP was completed. 


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


1.      Downtown Hendersonville Inc. - 1 vac.

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


2.      Equalization and Review – 1 vac.

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


3.      Fletcher Zoning Board of Adjustment - 1 vac.

Commissioner Messer stated that he had spoken with Don Rhodes, who’s term had just expired. Mr. Rhodes had indicated that he would be willing to serve another term, so Commissioner Messer nominated Mr. Rhodes. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Mr. Rhodes by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


4.      Henderson County Planning Board  - 3 vac.

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


5.      Industrial Facilities and Pollution Control Financing Authority – 1 vac.

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


6.      Juvenile Crime Prevention Council – 1 vac . 

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


7.      Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee – 5 vac.

Chairman Hawkins nominated Ms. Leca Harris for appointment to Position #21. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Ms. Harris by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


8.      Planning for Older Adults Block Grant Advisory Committee – 2 vac.

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


9.      Senior Volunteer Services Advisory Council – 1 vac.

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


10.  Solid Waste Advisory Committee - 3 vac.

Commissioner Young nominated Mr. Jack Johnson Sr. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Mr. Johnson by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


11.  WCCA Board of Directors - 1 vac.

Commissioner Messer nominated Madeline Royes. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Ms. Royes by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Mr. Matt Buchanan, Complex Manager at the WNC Agricultural Center, addressed the Board on some of the events that currently take place at the Center. In 1997 the WNC Agricultural Center became an independent facility and were self-supported, receiving no tax based dollars. They generate about $18 million per year, and Henderson County realizes about half of that. The WNC Agricultural Center is also the home of the NC Mountain State Fair, which is in it’s 11th year.


On average, the Center has to turn down about two shows per week due to having insufficient facilities for some types of shows. Therefore, the WNC Agricultural Center is proposing to build a multi-purpose type facility to meet these needs. Three different layouts had been proposed: Plan A - a 38,000 square foot facility at a cost of $3.2 million, Plan B – 68,000 square feet at a cost of $6.5 million, and Plan C – 74,000 square feet (the optimum size) at a cost of $7 million.


Mr. Buchanan pointed out that neither Henderson nor Transylvania County had an area conducive for trade type shows. The WNC Agricultural Center is easily accessible from both the airport and the interstate, and has ample hotel properties in the area.  He reminded the Board that Western North Carolina realizes an economic impact of over $18 million annually from events that take place at the WNC Agricultural Center, and with this expansion he felt an additional $2 million could be added to that total.


Mr. Buchanan stated that the best part was that they were not asking Henderson County for any money. They were just asking for a letter of endorsement for Congressman Charles Taylor’s office supporting and encouraging the project. They had already submitted Plan B to him at a cost of $6.5 million, and his office had requested that they go to the three closest counties and try to obtain letters of endorsement which would make it easier for him to secure the funds.


Commissioner Moyer questioned the organizational structure, how the Center is run. Mr. Buchanan answered that they are run out of Raleigh, out of the Marketing Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. They fall under the Commissioner of Agriculture, and they have a Marketing Director, Assistant Directors and a Manager of the complex. While their activities are directed by the Department of Agriculture, they do not receive any money from the Department of Agriculture.


Mr. Buchanan noted that the submitted plan, Plan B, would have a seating capacity of about 3,000. There will be curtains around the walls with push back bleachers behind those curtains. They would also retain the current building which seats about 4,000 but it has only a dirt floor. Mr. Buchanan noted too that the NC Mountain State Fair is the youngest fair in North Carolina, but the second largest. Commissioner Moyer made the motion to endorse the endorsement. All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Chairman Hawkins stated that Angela Beeker had prepared a Resolution regarding sales tax distribution for the Board’s consideration. He noted that the County had sent out the opportunity for each of the municipalities to participate in the Interlocal Agreement if they so chose. To date Flat Rock had signed the agreement, while Mills River was waiting for the Board’s vote prior to signing the document.


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



Mr. McLelland stated that he had worked with the Department Heads that were scheduled to get the 20 vehicles, including the 15 passenger van for the motor pool. He worked with those Department Heads to make sure their needs were met, and to determine the specifications that needed to be included in the Request for Proposal (RFP). On March 3, 2004, staff prepared a Motor Vehicle RFP which was made available to interested bidders. The RFP was also available on the County’s website. An invitation to bid pursuant to the RFP was duly advertised in the Hendersonville Times-News on March 5, 2004. On March 26, 2004 at 3:00 p.m., a total of five (5) bids were received by the Finance Director in the Office of Budget and Finance. The bids were reviewed for responsiveness by the Finance Director with the assistance of the County Attorney.


The bid package received from Fletcher Motor Company, Inc. was considered to be non-responsive because it was not sealed. A sealed bid, which was a requirement of the RFP, is also a mandatory requirement under NCGS 143-129(b).


The bid package received from Hunter Chevrolet was considered to be non-responsive because it failed to acknowledge the receipt of Addendum No. 2 issued by the Finance Director on March 9, 2004. The RFP stated that failure to acknowledge receipt of all addenda in the bid form “shall render the bid non-responsive and ineligible for consideration”.   


The RFP stated that total cost would be evaluated on the basis of the bid price offered plus the estimated fuel costs for 60,000 miles. Where miles per gallon for city and county were listed, 40% of the 60,000 miles were considered city and the remaining 60% considered highway. Each bidder was required to submit the most recent projected gas mileage for each category of vehicle bid. A bid comparison table that included gas mileage calculations for the three (3) responsive bidders was submitted for the Board’s review. 


Staff had prepared for the Board’s consideration a Resolution which rejected the bid packages for Fletcher Motor Company and Hunter Chevrolet, and authorized, for the first nine categories, awarding the bids (A-I) for the corresponding categories to each dealership that was the lowest responsive bidder. Staff recommended to the Board that Category 10 be rejected, as there were no responsive bids in Category 10. Staff asked that the Board direct the Finance Director to re-bid that category and bring bids back to the Board at a later date. 


Commissioner Moyer expressed concern about the number of mistakes, and that two out of the five bidders were completely rejected. He stated that raises a lot of questions about the process and whether the guidelines are clear. Mr. McLelland explained that they had held a pre-bid conference, every dealership was notified that they were recommended to be there, and only two dealerships out of the nine in the county showed up at that conference. Angela Beeker stated that neither of the dealerships being recommended for rejection had attended the conference. She agreed that it was troubling, but that the County had gone to great lengths in advance to try to avoid these types of errors. There followed some discussion about the bidding process. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the Resolution. All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Mr. McLelland stated that after receiving the vehicle bids, he had requested proposals from financial institutions to do an installment contract purchase financing for twenty (20) new vehicles at a total cost of $364,000. RBC Centura was certified as the lowest responsive proposal to finance the new vehicles for a 3-year term as a bank-qualified interest rate of 2.02 percent. The total annual debt service payments required would be $125,352.88. The first quarterly payment of $31,338.22 would be due August 2004. Provided for the Board’s review were copies of the Installment Financing Contract and Escrow Deposit Agreement.


Staff had prepared for the Board’s consideration a Resolution accepting and approving the proposal from RBC Centura, and authorizing the Chairman and Staff to execute the financing documents necessary to close the transaction. Following some discussion about the insurance on the vehicles, Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adopt the Resolution as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried. 



Water Line Extension – CDBG        

David Nicholson updated the Board on the County’s side of the Howard Gap Road/Brookside Camp Road waterline extension discussion. The County had suggested that the City split the project into two pieces, the first being the main water line which would run from Park Ridge Hospital, down Naples Road to Howard Gap Road then to Brookside Camp Road. That extension of the project is not eligible for the CDBG projects, because those projects do not allow for services more than ¼ of a mile away from the net of the project. The City of Hendersonville approved that Phase I of the project at a recent meeting.


Henderson County, working with the City and Kate O’Hara at Land-of-Sky, is responsible for the $400,000 CDBG Grant. Ms. O’Hara had to do a complete income verification with each member of the community, which had been difficult to complete. She had informed Mr. Nicholson that the residents in the area would clearly meet the income requirements, but there were still residents with whom she needed to make contact.


Mr. Nicholson then noted that the people from the Division of Community Assistance, who are holding the money, had decided to take the funds from their Federal Fiscal Year 2004 monies. Therefore they are redoing the application. Before the Board can set a Public Hearing, the County has to have a completed application and thus far the State had not provided the completed application. Following the completion of this portion of the project, the City of Hendersonville can begin the hookups for individual residents.     


MPO Boundary

Mr. Nicholson reminded the Board that the French Broad River MPO had two different committees: the Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) on which Mr. Nicholson serves, and the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) on which Chairman Hawkins and Commissioner Young serve. At a recent TCC meeting, the TCC heard Henderson County’s request to expand the boundaries of the MPO to cover all of Henderson County. The TCC then voted to recommend to the TAC that the boundaries of the MPO be expanded to cover all of Henderson County, so Henderson County would not have to belong to two organizations. Mr. Nicholson noted that at a future meeting, the TAC would be asked to approve that recommendation also.      


Animal Shelter Architect       

David Nicholson reminded the Board that the County had received six different proposals for architectural services for the animal shelter. The committee assigned to review those applications had reviewed those firms, found two which had experience in building animal shelters, had interviews with those firms and then unanimously voted to recommend to the Board that Daggett & Gregg be considered for the architectural services contract. Mr. Nicholson briefly discussed Daggett & Gregg’s qualifications, and requested approval from the Board to allow the Committee to continue negotiations with Daggett & Gregg Architects. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to direct Staff to continue their negotiations. All voted in favor and the motion carried.  


Strategic Plan Responsibility Chart

Commissioner Moyer stated that he had noticed in the Plan that the approval date for the Plan had been moved to July, but didn’t see any provision for Public Hearings or Public Input Sessions. Mr. Nicholson stated that he had assumed that, but would be happy to add those. Commissioner Moyer stated that he would like to see the plan, so the Board would know the number of hearings and how Staff planned to do those hearings. Chairman Hawkins requested that be put back on a future agenda so the Board could look at it.   


NCACC Meeting Update

Justin Hembree stated that he and Mr. Nicholson had recently attended the NCACC Meeting held in Sylva. He stated that it was one of the longest meetings he had attended, lasting about four hours. The first two hours were spent talking about mental health. They then covered State issues and legislative updates which consisted of:


Mr. Hembree informed the Board that the NCACC’s Annual Legislative Briefing and Reception was scheduled for May 19th in Raleigh. He and David Nicholson answered several questions from the Board on issues such as Medicaid funding, and Economic Development. There was also a lot of discussion about Homeland Security funding, and the issue of the state diverting money that should come to the local government for upgrades to the Highway Patrol’s communications equipment. Commissioner Moyer requested that Chairman Hawkins send a letter to the NCACC indicating that this money should be used locally as it was intended. 



David Nicholson reminded the Board that NCACC’s Annual Legislative Briefing and Reception was scheduled for May 19th, which was the same day as a regularly scheduled Board of Commissioner’s Meeting. He stated that if several members of the Board wished to attend that briefing, that meeting date might need to be changed.


David Nicholson had several proposed dates for possible budget workshops. Since Commissioner Baldwin was absent, it was the consensus of the Board to wait on scheduling those meetings until everyone’s schedule could be checked.



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


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



1.         Dick Baird – Mr. Baird welcomed Justin Hembree to Henderson County government. He wished everyone a Happy Local Government Week, and expressed his respect and admiration for the quality of local government enjoyed in Henderson County. He thanked the Board for the fine job that they do.


2.                   Bob Noble – Mr. Noble stated that he was VIP (Volunteers in Partnership) Director for Henderson County. He represented a group of about 75 volunteers, one of the largest groups in the State of North Carolina. The VIP’s were organized in January, 1995, when Sheriff Erwin was first elected Sheriff. The purpose of the VIP’s is to perform services that previously had been done by sworn deputies such as manning the metal detector at the courthouse, security in the courthouse control room, keeping track of court records for community service, finger-printing, traffic control, funeral escorts, patrolling subdivisions and outlying areas and working with DARE functions. The VIP’s free up those deputies to do the jobs that only they can do. Since the VIP’s are volunteers, there is no charge to the County which results in a savings to the Henderson County taxpayer. During 2003 law enforcement volunteer groups worked 4,592 hours for Police Departments and 12,166 hours for Sheriff’s Departments in Henderson, Buncombe and Transylvania County. The total for Henderson County was 11,993 hours.   


Mr. Noble presented the Board a ceremonial check showing the Board what the VIP’s had been worth to the Henderson County Taxpayers since 1995. That amount was $1,921,300. He stated that by the end of April they would crack the $2 million dollar mark. He invited everyone to give something back to the County, and consider joining the VIP’s. Chairman Hawkins thanked the group for the services they provide to the County and led a round of applause.



Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to go into closed session as allowed pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11 for the following reason(s):


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 the case of


Jasmine M.  a Minor by and through her Guardian Ad Litem, Douglas Claxton v. Henderson County Department of Social Services; and Liston Smith, in his capacity as Director of Henderson County Department of Social Services Civil Action No: 01-CVS-1035


2. (a)(4)           To discuss matters relating to the location or expansion of industries or other businesses in the area served by the public body.


All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to adjourn at 11:15 am.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.







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