STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                                            BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                                                          MAY 19, 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, Commissioner Shannon Baldwin,  County Manager David E. Nicholson, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.


Also present were: Assistant County Manager Justin B. Hembree,  Planning Director Karen C. Smith, Budget and Management Director Selena Coffey, Paralegal Connie Rayfield, Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson, Fire Marshal Rocky Hyder, County Engineer Gary Tweed, and Finance Director J. Carey McLelland. Deputy Clerk to the Board Amy Brantley was present through nominations.



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



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



David Nicholson gave the invocation.



Chairman Hawkins asked for an addition to the agenda – a reason to go into closed session for the location or expansion of business or industry (NCGS 143-318.11(a)(4)). 


Commissioner Messer asked for one addition under Staff Reports – “D-3” Discussion of some recreational matters. 


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



Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board that they had received a revised version of the March 30 set of minutes as well as a revised Proclamation for Small Business Week.


He made the motion to approve the consent agenda as amended by the two revisions.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Draft minutes were presented for the Board’s review/approval of the following meeting(s):

            March 30, 2004, special called meeting

            April 21, 2004, regular meeting


Tax Releases

A list of 57 tax release requests was submitted for approval by the Board of Commissioners.


Tax Refunds

A list of 24 tax refund requests was submitted for approval by the Board of Commissioners.


Tax Collector’s Report

Terry F. Lyda, Tax Collector, provided the Tax Collector’s Report dated May 17 for the Board’s information.


Register of Deeds – Request to use Restricted Funds for Document Preservation Project

A budget amendment was submitted requesting to use the Register of Deeds Restricted General Fund Balance for the production of archival style index books for the Consolidated Real Property Index for the period 1995 through 2003.  The total proposed cost to have these real property documents indexed for the nine year period was estimated to be a maximum of $25,016.


The Board was reminded that the General Assembly enacted legislation that required counties to place 10% of certain revenues generated by the Register of Deeds Office into a fund to pay for automation enhancements and document preservation beginning in January 2002.  This fund, which is a portion of the County’s Restricted General Fund Balance, has in excess of $120,000 currently.  Only the Board of Commissioners may authorize the use and release of these restricted funds.


The County Manager stated that due to the extensive use of the real property indexes by the public, the Register of Deeds Office has a need to consolidate and archive these records in books that can handle the demand.  It would be appropriate for the Board to consider adopting the budget amendment to appropriate $25,016 from the Register of Deeds Restricted General Fund Balance for this much needed request.


Extension of Time for Liquidlogic, LLC

In October of 2002, the County entered into an incentives agreement with Liquidlogic, LOLC/Landlogic, LLC (“Agreement”), to increase the taxable capital investment in Henderson County.  The Agreement requires that Liquidlogic LLC/Landlogic LLC make a capital investment through the consolidation and relocation of their kayak manufacturing facility and their research and development office to Henderson County in the amount of $2.950 million in two phases.  In exchange, the County agreed to pay $35,000 in incentives up front for their Phase I investment in the amount of $1.75 million to build a Research and Development facility.  The Agreement requires that Liquidlogic LLC/Landlogic LLOC complete its Phase I capital investment and certify that the capital investment is complete and paid for no later than July 1, 2004.


The water and sewer portion of the development is complete and ready to be utilized; however, unforeseen circumstances have forced them to alter the timeframe in order to develop their financial strength.  They have therefore requested that the dates of their Economic Incentive Contract be extended.  They would like the deadline for completion and certification to be extended to December 31, 2006, and eighteen month extension.


The dates for Phase II completion and certification would be extended eighteen months as well, putting the completion date for Phase II at September 1, 2008.


An addendum to the incentives agreement prepared by the County Attorney was presented for the Board’s consideration.  It is very straightforward and simply extends the deadlines as requested.


Home and Community Care Block Grant

The Planning for Older Adults Block Grant Committee recommended the following for our use of the FY 2004-05 Home and Community Care Block Grant:





Council on Aging

Congregate Meals

$            28,127.00

Council on Aging

Home Delivered Meals


Council on Aging

Information & Assistance


Council on Aging

Senior Center Operations


Housing Assistance Corporation

Housing/Home Improvements


Land of Sky Reg. Council

Senior Companion


Pardee Home Care

In-Home Aide II


Pardee Pavilion

Adult Day Care


Pardee Pavilion

Adult Day Health Care


Pisgah Legal Services

Elder Law


Visiting Health Professionals

In-Home Aide II



General Transportation



Medical Transportation



Liquid Supplement Program




$           606,577.00

Mandated Legal Funds





$           614,077.00


Request Public Hearing for Road Names

Rocky Hyder requested the Board to set a public hearing date for the following road names:


Proposed Name

Enigma Lane

Lazy Lake Lane

Adams View Drive

Old Possum Holler Road


Staff’s recommended date for the public hearing was June 16 at 11:00 a.m.


Request for Improvement Guarantee for Coven Cliffs Subdivision

Mr. Robert L. Bruner, owner and developer, had submitted an application for an improvement guarantee for a proposed minor subdivision he is developing known as Cloven Cliffs.  The subdivision is being constructed off Little Creek Road.  The Subdivision Administrator granted conditional approval of the Development Plan for the project on February 14, 2004.  The improvement guarantee is proposed to cover road improvements, shoulder stabilization, and installation 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. Bruner intends to post with the County a letter of credit in the amount of $33,125.00, which includes the cost of the improvements ($26,500,00) as well as the required 25% contingency ($6,625.00).  The proposed completion date for the improvements is August 31, 2004.


A draft Performance Guarantee Agreement was presented for the Board’s consideration.  If the application is 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 the letter of credit, the (Assistant) County Attorney must certify the Agreement as to form prior to its execution by the Chairman and the developer.


The County Manager recommended that the Board approve the application for an improvement guarantee for Cloven Cliffs subdivision subject to the developer posting with Henderson County an irrevocable letter of credit in accordance with the terms of the draft Performance Guarantee Agreement.


Water Line Extensions

The City of Hendersonville had requested County comments on two proposed water line extensions for:


1.                   Kanuga Conferences, Inc.  (off Kanuga Lake Road)


This is a project to extend existing water lines to provide water service to an existing retreat and conference center.  The center is located along Lake Rd. off of Kanuga Road.  This area is within Henderson County jurisdiction and not within Hendersonville City Limits.


The project requires approx. 7,300 linear feet of water lines.  Fire protection will be provided by the installation of 11 fire hydrants.  The entire cost of the proposed water line extension is to be paid for by the owner/developer, Kanuga Conferences Inc.


If the subject property is divided, such division would be subject to the Henderson County Subdivision Ordinance and would be treated as a major subdivision.


The Kanuga Conferences, Inc., property is zoned R-40 (Estate Residential) and OU (Open Use).  Future development may require review for zoning compliance.


The project does not fully conform with the County Land Use Plan because the Urban Services Area map in the County’s 1993 Land Use Plan shows the boundary for the Urban Services Conference Center during the Plan’s 10-year span, however, the Water Distribution System map in the 1993 Plan showed that the City of Hendersonville expected a line to be run out Kanuga Road at some point.  The Land Use Plan map in the 1993 Plan designates the Kanuga Conference Center property as “Residential” and “Rural Conservation”.


2.                   Hospice House Administrative Building (off South Allen Road)


This is a project to extend existing water lines to provide water service to a proposed Hospice Housing administration building located along Allen Road near East Henderson High School.  This area is under Henderson County jurisdiction and not within Hendersonville City limits.


The project requires approx. 135 linear feet of water lines.  The proposed use of this area is commercial/institutional.  Fire protection will be provided by the installation of 1 fire hydrant.  The entire cost of the proposed water line extension is to be paid for by the owner/developer, Hospice of Henderson County. 


The subject property, which is owned by the Blue Ridge Technical College Foundation, Inc., is within a County O&I (Office & Institutional) district.  If the proposed office building is constructed on its own lot, the use is allowed by right and a zoning permit would need to be obtained from the Henderson County Zoning Administrator.


Dana Fire and Rescue Lease Purchase Agreement

At the May 10, 2004 Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee meeting, Jimmy Womack, Chief of Dana Fire and Rescue presented a proposal to order a new American La France, Metropolitan series engine.  This truck will replace a 1973 American La France on a For cab-over chassis.  Dana Fire and Rescue expects delivery mid June 2004.  The total price of the new engine is $304,066.82.  Dana will make a down payment of $150,000, financing the remaining $154,066.82 through United Financial at a rate of 3.85% with a yearly payment of $32,000 for 5 years.


A motion to approve the purchase of the American La France engine was made by Rick Livingston and seconded by Joe Swain with unanimous approval.


Dana Fire and Rescue respectfully requested the Chairman sign the drafted letter to United Financial.


Resolution – Small Business Week

Chairman Hawkins had requested that staff place on this agenda a Resolution Proclaiming the week of May 17, 2004 through May 21, 2004 as Small Business Week in Henderson County. 


Staff recommended the Board approve the proposed resolution.



Notification of Vacancies

The Board was notified of the following vacancies which will appear on the next agenda for nominations:


1.                   Child Fatality Prevention Team – 1 vac.

2.                   Henderson County Board of Health – 4 vac.

3.                   Juvenile Crime Prevention Council – 6 vac.

4.                   Mountain Area Workforce Development Board – 4 vac.

5.                   Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation and Development – 1 vac.



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


1.                   Alliance for Human Services – 1 vac.

Chairman Hawkins nominated Selena Coffey for reappointment.  Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Ms. Coffey by acclamation.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


2.                   Downtown Herdersonville Inc. – 1 vac.

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


3.                   Equalization and Review – 1 vac.

Chairman Hawkins nominated Dr. Stanley for position 8 as an alternate.  There were no other nominations.  Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Dr. Stanley 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.

Commissioner Young nominated Rev. Anthony Craver.  There were no other nominations.  Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Rev. Craver by acclamation.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


7.                   Land-of-Sky Regional Advisory Council on Aging – 2 vac.

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


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

Chairman Hawkins nominated Viola Walker to position #2 and Perry Robinson to position #5.  There were no other nominations.  Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept both these nominees by acclamation.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


9.                   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.


10.               Senior Volunteer Services Advisory Council – 1 vac.

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


11.               Social Services Board – 1 vac.

Chairman Hawkins nominated David Adams.  There were no other nominations.  Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Mr. Adams by acclamation.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


12.               Solid Waste Advisory Committee – 1 vac.

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



Justin Hembree informed the Board of two specific requests from the Historic Courthouse Corporation Board of Directors. First, the Corporation requested $10,000.00 in “seed” money to assist with operational costs associated with the activities of the Corporation.  Second, it requested that the Board of Commissioners grant permission for the Corporation to enter into an agreement with Mr. Moshen Ghoreishi of the Kohan Group to provide programming, phasing, and consulting services for the Historic Courthouse project.  Mr. Hembree stated that the Corporation plans to reimburse those funds and then some.  They certainly hope to raise well over $10,000.00 and reimburse that so those funds actually go into the brick and mortar part of the project. 


Mr. Nicholson stated that the Historic Courthouse Corporation is in the process of planning and organizing its operations and activities.  As was anticipated, the Corporation is in need of start-up operational funds in order to open a checking account, pay for event advertisements, cover initial consulting fees, and provide for other administrative and operational requirements.  The Corporation also feels that it is essential to formally begin phasing and programming work as soon as possible.  The Corporation Board of Directors met with Mr. Mohsen Ghoreishi last week.  Mr. Ghoreishi is very familiar with the Historic Courthouse and has done design work for the structure in the past.


Mr. Nicholson recommended that the Board of Commissioners provide the Historic Courthouse Corporation Board of Directors $10,000 for operational costs from the $250,000 previously appropriated for this specific project.  Furthermore, he recommended that the Board of Commissioners grant permission to the Historic Courthouse Corporation to enter into an agreement with Mr. Mohsen Ghoreishi of the Kohan Group to provide programming, phasing, and consulting services for the Historic Courthouse project.


Following discussion, Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the budget amendment in the amount of $10,000 contingent upon the completion of an accountability letter between the Historic Courthouse Corporation and the County about the Board receiving a trail of how the monies are spent and documentation that they plan to repay the $10,000 out of monies raised .All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Selena Coffey reminded the Board that Henderson County has been a participating member of the Asheville Regional Housing Consortium since its inception in 1992.  This allows the County to receive annual planning level allocations for rehabilitation and construction of affordable housing within our County.  In order to continue our designation and involvement as a participated jurisdiction and receive annual funding allocations, the Asheville Regional Housing Consortium must execute a new Joint Cooperation Agreement and submit the documentation to HUD by June 30, 2004.  The  proposed resolution authorizes the Chairman of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners to enter into this Joint Cooperation Agreement with the Asheville Regional Housing Consortium.  This is a three-year agreement. 


Ms. Coffey informed the Board that recently HUD actually sent a representative to visit with us and to see how the Consortium operates so as to use our Consortium as a model for others across the nation. 


The County Manager requested that the Board approve the resolution and authorize the Chairman to enter into the Joint Cooperation Agreement with the Asheville Regional Housing Consortium.


Following discussion, Commissioner Moyer made the motion to adopt the Resolution and authorize the Chairman’s signature.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Angela Beeker informed the Board that the proposed ordinance makes it clear that the Abandoned or Junk Vehicles Ordinance, Chapter 183 of the Henderson County Code, applies to any and all property owned or controlled by the County of Henderson, whether located within or outside of a municipality in Henderson County.


The proposed ordinance amends section 183-6 of the Code (“Jurisdiction and applicability”) to add language clarifying the applicability of this Chapter to Henderson County property located inside municipalities.


The County Manager recommended adoption of this ordinance.  The attempt to deal with a number of abandoned vehicles recently at the Public Library, the Land Development building, and the County Offices had raised questions of the applicability of Chapter 183, as codified, within the City of Hendersonville.  This amendment would resolve such questions.


Any adoption of this ordinance on May 19 would require unanimity.  Any non-unanimous majority vote would require the ordinance to be sent to a second reading at a subsequent meeting.


Following discussion, Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adopt the amendment as presented.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Architect – Animal Shelter

David Nicholson updated the Board about the selection of an architect for the Animal Shelter project.  At a previous meeting a recommendation was made for the committee to enter into negotiations with Daggett and Grigg to develop a proposal for architectural services for the facility. 


Mr. Daggett was provided with a copy of our current contract with Calloway & Johnson as an example of a contract we would enter into.  We don’t sign the standard AIA contract.  He didn’t have a problem with the contract.  Discussions were held about doing the project in two steps.  Some discussions were held regarding having a leash law and what kind of space would be required for that as well as staffing.  They will help us do a Master Plan of the facility so that we could actually expand it in the future should we need to. They have requested a topographical survey. They will also do a site plan for the project. 


The pre-design cost is $7,500 and the total cost if the project $850,000 is $95,000 for the architects.  That’s just over 10% of the cost which is not unusual for this size project.


Mr. Nicholson recommended Daggett and Grigg to the Board of Commissioners. 


Commissioner Baldwin brought up the issue of traffic back-up at the landfill/animal shelter site. He felt the key to alleviating some of the traffic back-up was to acquire a second set of scales.


Gary Tweed stated that there are three things he has looked at this year in the landfill/solid waste budget:

1.                   a second transfer station

2.                   put in an exit scale

3.                   move the recycling center


These three items would help with the traffic flow out there.


Ms. Beeker recommended that the Board not approve the flat fee part of this yet.  The way the agreement is designed, it says that once the scope is determined, the first fixed fee part is done, the Board would then negotiate on the fixed fee, based on the scope of the project as determined through that process.


Chairman Hawkins made the motion for the Board to enter into the contract and agree to the amount of Phase I and authorize the negotiations later for a fixed fee.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Update on County Services Building

Mr. Nicholson updated the Board.  Demolition is coming along on the project.  They have recently had a major equipment break-down and were not able to work a few days but are back on the project today.


The architects are meeting with the department heads and staffs regarding spaces.  They are leaning toward option “D” which is an L-shaped building turned sideways and located farther off of the Spartanburg Highway.  That option also gives us more parking. 


Mr. Nicholson informed the Board that the new architects have used the former work as a basis for their work on the project. 


Mr. Nicholson answered a few questions from the Board.


Recreation Issues Update – this was an add-on

Commissioner Messer stated that Parks and Recreation has a lot going on.  He reminded the Board that the Edneyville Grange made a presentation to the Board of Commissioners a few months ago.  They voted on their officers and are on the outlook for property in that Hwy. # 64 area around Edneyville.


There was a meeting yesterday at the East Flat Rock park.  There was some discussion about the topographical map out there.  They have trails planned.


The Gerton folks came to the Advisory Board last month.  They have two small parcels:  one has two tennis courts and a recreation facility and restrooms. The other parcel is just over an acre.  They will likely ask about whether the county can take the second parcel over. 


The Mayor of Fletcher and a councilman made a presentation to the Advisory Board, about possibly doing a joint venture with them on a 93-acre tract of property they own off Highway # 25 that is currently known as the Meritor property.  The Advisory Board was in favor of looking at some kind of joint venture because there is a definite need for recreation property.  Once Highway # 25 gets completed, it would definitely be an asset for Henderson County. 


We had a tournament last month in Henderson County, approx. 33-35 teams that came to the county.  It had a lot of impact on Henderson County because of motel rooms, gas purchases, and restaurant sales.


The Recreation Advisory Board is going to make a presentation on the budget next week.  He reminded the Board that there has been a five-year Master Plan for 10 years or more.  The last three years recreation has been at a standstill.  The recreation department generates a lot of revenue for Henderson County.


The July 4th event will be coming up soon.



Mr. Nicholson presented his Budget Message: 


To the Honorable Henderson County Board of Commissioners:  “I respectfully submit to you my recommended Fiscal Year 2004-05 Budget for Henderson County, North Carolina.  The Budget has been prepared in accordance with the North Carolina Budget and Fiscal Control Act and General Statute 153A-82.  The budget identifies the estimated revenues and expenditures for Fiscal Year 2004-05.”


Executive Summary

“The Board will recognize through your review of this document that it represents the County’s efforts to provide quality services while recognizing this year’s very limited resources.  It also represents staff’s commitment to address issues within your Strategic Plan.  The Strategic Plan was approved by the Board of Commissioners in December 2003 after a two-day retreat.  The Plan identified three issues that the Board wanted to address during the upcoming fiscal year and beyond.  These issues were growth management, the county economy, and fiscal priorities.You will notice that each department has been asked to identify ways in which their departmental operations are linked to the Strategic Plan.


This Fiscal Year 2004-05 General Fund Budget totals approximately $82.7 million.  This amount is a very modest 1.7% increase over the current year’s budget.  When viewed in light of the County’s typical growth of between 3% and 3.5%, this budget will demonstrate how I propose that, as always, Henderson County’s departments can do “a lot with a little.”


Revenue Highlights

Ad Valorem property Tax

The County Assessor’s Office has projected the valuation for Fiscal Year 2004-05 to be approximately $8.7 billion dollars.  As the Board heard during the March 31st pre-budget workshop, the County Assessor has estimated a “flat” property tax base projection.  Henderson County has always been blessed with steady growth in property valuations.  Fortunately, we continue to have ongoing residential and commercial development, and even some industrial development.  However, as you heard from the County Assessor, this year’s growth will only  offset our losses in business personal property.  The figures the Assessor has provided indicate that we should expect no growth in our property tax collections over the current fiscal year.  Obviously, this creates a substantial hole in the budget, when we have typically budgeted for growth in the property tax revenues each year.  Our normal growth would have provided the County with an additional $1.2 million for its Fiscal Year 2004-05 operations.


Local Options Sales Tax

The Fiscal Year 2004-05 Budget includes an approximate 5% increase projected in our overall sales tax collections.  This projected sales tax is based on projections from the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners as well as analysis on each Article by County staff.


Inter-Local Agreements

The Board will note that $426,400 has been programmed into this budget in response to the County’s recent inter-local agreements with the Town of Mills River and the Village of Flat Rock for reimbursements for the County’s loss in local option sales taxes received by these municipalities.  As you will see in the following sections of this Budget Message, these funds will help fund the County’s Capital Improvement Program for the upcoming and future fiscal year.


Expenditure Highlights

Strategic Plan Initiatives

I have included funds to address a number of initiatives outlined within the Board’s Strategic Plan.  These initiatives are detailed as follows:


Position Classification Study – I have included funds within this budget for the completion of a compensation and position classification study per the Strategic Plan.  This study addresses Strategy 2.2.2 of the Plan and provides the foundation for performing a capability and resource assessment on new and existing programs as directed within the Plan. The funds for the development of this study and its implementation are budgeted within the Human Resources Department budget.  However, in order to fund this effort, monies previously budgeted for employee performance bonuses are being utilized to fund and implement this study.


Code Book Update – Strategy 1.1.4 addresses the Board’s desire to evaluate and update the County’s code book as necessary.  Funding for this effort is included within the Legal Department for the upcoming fiscal year.


Growth Plan Development – Within this budget, I have also included funds  to develop a growth plan, per strategy 1.1.1.  These funds will be used to provide staff with professional assistance to evaluate the major components of the County’s growth and develop a growth plan to address the Board’s desires raised during the November 2003 retreat.


Community-Based Planning – As we continue to address the Strategic Plan and complete the Comprehensive County Planning process (Goal 1.2), I am recommending funding for activities associated with the small area planning process identified within the Comprehensive County Plan (CCP).  By the end of this budget process, the CCP should be completed and this second phase will then begin.


Program Evaluation Study – In an effort to address Goal 2.2 of the Plan, staff has initiated an effort to gather and assimilate information regarding the County’s various programs with the final goal of determining new and existing program viability.  This effort was actually initiated during April of the current fiscal year when staff distributed program surveys to all departments.  The departments were asked to complete a survey for each program within their department.  The next step in this process will involve a rather intensive review of departmental programs and interviews and visits to departments, with a resulting report on the kinds of programs the County offers, the legal or mandated basis for these programs, and their cost effectiveness.


Economic Development – Within this budget I have also included funds for more in-depth study of the County’s local economy per Goal 3.1.  These funds will be used to assist in the effort to evaluate the major components of the County’s economy and develop an approach for balancing the various components of the local economy.


Departmental Initiatives

Due to the lack of revenue growth within this budget, there are minimal enhancements to the County services or funding levels.


Information Technology – The proposed budget includes the final funding for the North Carolina Property Tax System (NCPTS) and the Permitting & Inspections system.  As you will recall, these are software applications owned by our association, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.  Therefore, they are tailored to our state’s specific needs with respect to taxation and building code enforcement.  The funds within the budget should provide essential enhancements to the systems and meet the respective departmental needs for the future.  Funds are also provided to fund our technology replacement policy, as described within our Strategic Information Technology Plan.

Personnel –
Although I believe that I could have justified several new positions within the Fiscal Year 2004-05 Budget, I have included no new positions in this budget.  Although several departments had the associated Federal and/or State grants to fully or partially fund their positions, I could not, in fair conscience, recommend positions in one department over another when the needs in the county – funded department may be as great or even greater than those with outside revenue sources.  In addition, the County’s workers compensation and health insurance expenses continue to increase.  This requires that the County increase its contributions to these accounts, which are reflected throughout all the County’s departmental budgets and have impacted their personnel line items.


New Vehicles – I am proposing the purchase of seven new vehicles per the guidelines established within the County’s Vehicle Replacement Policy.  I am proposing that we utilize installment purchase contract financing at today’s favorable rates to purchase these vehicles.  Since we will be issuing debt, funds for the purchase of these vehicles will not be seen in the individual departments but within our debt service line items.


Capital Improvement Projects – The budget includes funds for capital projects as I first presented to the Board during your discussions about the sales tax distribution method.  Although these are explained in more detail within a separate CIP binder, the County’s capital projects include Animal Shelter; EMS Main Station; EMS Southeast Substation; Historic Courthouse; County Services Building and Jackson Park Improvements.  There are also projects from the Henderson County Public School System and Blue Ridge Community College included within the CIP binder.


Non-Expendable Supplies – In accordance to recent accounting guidelines associated with the implementation of GASB 34, the County has changed the manner in which we account for the purchase of equipment.  Those items that were previously categorized as capital outlay must now be categorized as “non-expendable supplies” if less than $4,999 per unit.  Only outlay costing over $5,000 is now considered capital.  I am recommending only $55,000 in County-funded non-expendable supplies in the Fiscal Year 2004-05 General Fund Budget.



The Board has made significant strides at increasing their financial support for the Henderson County Public School System over the last several years.  This support has been provided in the current expense category for operational expenses, in the capital expense category for the improvement and maintenance of school facilities across the County, and in greatly increased annual payments for debt service for school construction projects.  Unfortunately, I am not able to recommend a major increase in funding for education.  As I mentioned earlier in this message, the overall growth in this budget is 1.7%.  I am recommending a 3.4% increase in Current Expense funding, which is double that of the total General Fund budgeted growth.  Funding would remain the same in recurring capital expense as per the School System’s request.  I have also recommended the 3% growth in funding for Blue Ridge Community College as in Current Expense for the Public School System.



I believe that the Board will recognize that this budget reflects staff’s efforts in maximizing our resources. The County’s departments have been very forthright in the past several years in saving taxpayer dollars without jeopardizing the high quality services that they provide.  Their efforts should be recognized by the Board and the community.  Again, with the Fiscal Year 2004-05 Budget, our departments are being asked to do “a lot with a little.”

I wish to thank all the County’s departments for their cooperation and stewardship during this difficult budget process and throughout the fiscal year.  Finally, I also wish to thank the Board of Commissioners for your involvement in the budget process throughout the past year and for making some tough, but important decisions on behalf of the County’s citizens.  I would also like to thank Budget & Management Director, Selena Coffey and Finance Director, Carey McLelland, for their hard work in developing this budget.


Respectfully Submitted, David E. Nicholson, County Manager/Budget Officer”


Mr. Nicholson recommended no increase in the current tax rate of 47.5 cents.


Staff distributed the budget notebook and the CIP (Capital Improvements Program) notebook. 


Mr. Nicholson discussed briefly how he felt it best to fund some of the projects in the CIP.  The Board will need to discuss options for some of those.  The School System has a substantial amount of projects.  Mr. Nicholson recommended that those projects be phased in over three fiscal years.  He did, however, recommend a bond referendum on the school projects as well as the BRCC gymnasium.  Otherwise the Board would be in a position to have to raise property taxes to fund these projects. 


Mr. Nicholson then discussed the schedule of who and when different departments would address the Board regarding their budget requests. 


Mr. Nicholson requested a public hearing be set on the budget today.  He recommended June 7 at 7:00 p.m. for that hearing. 


Chairman Hawkins made the motion to set the public hearing on the FY 2004-05 Budget for Monday, June 7, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.



Chairman Hawkins reminded the Board that LGCCA had decided not to meet May 18 nor June 15 due to busy schedules related to budget deliberations. 



  1. P.M. Anderson – Mr. Anderson distributed a hand-out of his comments regarding the motor vehicle tax.  Mr. Anderson recently purchased a new vehicle and was surprised that its valuation was not determined by its true market value but by a listing based upon “manufacturer’s suggested retail price” or M.S.R.P.  He stated that a M.S.R.P. valuation is not the same that is specified by Article 13, provisions 105-330.2 and 105.283 of the North Carolina State Code.


He requested that the Board look into this matter and give him a definitive answer regarding county policy concerning this matter.


2.   Bill Ramsey – Mr. Ramsey addressed the issue of recycling.  He assured the Commissioners that some of what we’re seeing in letters to the editor and some of the comments heard on the street indicate that the public does not understand the rules that apply at the transfer station and indicate that the general public does not understand that the recycling program is in fact viable and working as advertised.  We have a very substantial job on our hands of educating the public.  He urged people to visit the county web site for more information as to what those rules are and/or stop by Gary Tweed’s office to pick up a copy of the educational material his department has prepared. 



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


All voted in favor and the motion carried.



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







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