STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                                        BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                                                      AUGUST 2, 2004


The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the Commissioners' Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building.


Those present were:  Chairman Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Bill Moyer, Commissioner Charlie Messer, Commissioner Shannon Baldwin, County Manager David E. Nicholson, Assistant County Manager Justin B. Hembree, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.


Also present were: Budget and Management Director Selena Coffey, Public Information Officer Chris Coulson, Fire Marshal Rocky Hyder, Finance Director J. Carey McLelland and Engineer Gary Tweed. Present through Nominations was Deputy Clerk to the Board Amy Brantley.


Absent was: Vice-Chairman Larry R. Young.



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



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



Rev. James Maybin gave the invocation.



Chairman Hawkins stated that Staff Report “C” – County Services Building Reimbursement Resolution needed to pulled. He also stated that Staff Report “D” would be discussed under “Important Dates”.


Chairman Hawkins added a Closed Session Item – NCGS 143-318.11 a(4) – To discuss matters relating to the location or expansion of industries or other businesses in the area served by the public body.


Commissioner Baldwin requested the addition of Discussion Item “E” for discussion on the frequency and times of Commissioner’s Meetings.  


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



Chairman Hawkins pulled Item “C” – Non-Profit Grant Agreements for discussion. He questioned the requested “progress report” and the “annual status report”, asking who was going to keep up with those reports and monitor them. Ms. Coffey stated that she had intended to have the agencies submit to her a semi-annual report, and would give those to the Board if they wished to see them that often. Commissioner Moyer suggested having agencies submit one report when they submit their budget request for the following year. It was the consensus of the Board to receive these reports annually with budget requests.


Chairman Hawkins then addressed Item “D” – Sewer Line Extensions. He questioned whether such requests were going through the Joint Water and Sewer Advisory Committee. Commissioner Moyer stated that they were not yet going through that Committee. The Committee had stated they would prefer to retain the processes currently in place until there was an approved Plan in place.  


Chairman Hawkins made the motion to approve the consent agenda as submitted.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.


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

            June 7, 2004, regular meeting

            July 21, 2004, regular meeting             


Tax Collector’s Report

Terry F. Lyda had submitted the Tax Collector’s Report dated July 29, 2004, for the Board’s information.


Non-Profit Grant Agreements

Per the Board of Commissioners budget deliberations and approval of the Fiscal Year  2004-2005 Budget, staff had developed funding agreements. The agreements were to be established between the County and the following organizations: Crimestoppers, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency, Henderson County Arts Council, Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), Social Serve, Western Carolina Community Action  (WCCA), and Partnership for Economic Development.


Sewer Line Extensions

The following extension requests for the Cane Creek Water and Sewer District had been made:

1.               St. John Woods Subdivision

2.               Twin Oaks Mobile Home Park


The requests were presented for informational purposes only, no Board action was required.



Notification of Vacancies

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


1.                Environmental Advisory Committee - Chairman

2.                Henderson County Historic Courthouse Corporation - 1 vac.



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


1.                Child Fatality Prevention Team – 1 vac.

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


2.         Henderson County Planning Board – 1 vac.

Commissioner Messer nominated Gary Griffin. There were no other nominations. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Mr. Griffin by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried. 


3.         Henderson County Transportation Advisory Committee – 1 vac

Commissioner Moyer nominated William Crisp. There were no other nominations. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Mr. Crisp by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.   


4.         Juvenile Crime Prevention Council – 4 vac.

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


5.                Mountain Area Workforce Development Board – 4 vac

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


6.                Nursing/Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee – 3 vac.

Commissioner Moyer nominated Kay Robinson for reappointment to position #15 and Rita Suder for reappointment to position #18. There were no other nominations. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to accept Mrs. Robinson and Ms. Suder by acclamation. All voted in favor and the motion carried.   

7.         Planning for Older Adults Block Grant Advisory Committee – 3 vac.

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


8.         Senior Volunteer Services Advisory Council – 1 vac.

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


9.                Solid Waste Advisory Committee – 1 vac.

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


BRCC Technology Education and Development Building – Reimbursement Resolution and Memorandum of Understanding

Angela Beeker had prepared a Reimbursement Resolution and Memorandum of Understanding for the County’s use in financing the proposed BRCC Technology Education and Development Building for the Board’s consideration. The statutory authority being used by the Board of Commissioners in proposing to finance the facility without a bond referendum was N.C.G.S. § 115D-15.1 and 160A-20. Those statutes authorize BRCC to convey title to the property to the Board of Commissioners so that the Board may use installment financing or a COPs issue to finance the construction of this building. The procedure being used was identical to that used to construct school facilities over the past few years.


The Reimbursement Resolution was necessary to allow the Board of Commissioners to reimburse the County or the Board of Trustees for any expenditures incurred in planning for this facility from the financing proceeds. The Memorandum of Understanding sets out the working relationship between the County and BRCC in the construction and financing of this facility. Both were, again, identical to those documents used in the previous school financings. Ms. Beeker noted that the attorney for BRCC had not had an opportunity to review the documents. She stated that with regard to the Memorandum of Understanding, the Board could act on it allowing the latitude to make minor changes, or could postpone consideration until another meeting.


Following some questions about the referenced financing amount of $12 million, and the need to reference N.C.G.S. § 160A-20 as well as 115D-15.1 in the Resolution, Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adopt the resolution as amended with the statute that Mrs. Beeker indicated for the reimbursement of the financing for the Blue Ridge Community College Technology Education and Development Building. All voted in favor and the motion carried. Commissioner Moyer clarified that the motion intended to wait on adopting the Memorandum of Understanding.


Reimbursement Resolution and Memorandum of Understanding for Dana and Hillandale Elementary Schools

Angela Beeker had prepared a Reimbursement Resolution and Memorandum of Understanding for the Dana Elementary and Hillandale School projects for the Board’s consideration. She had discussed the documents with a representative from the School Board, who approved of the Board’s proceeding with both documents.


Commissioner Moyer made the motion to approve the Resolution and the Memorandum of Understanding. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


Preliminary Report Water and Sewer Master Plan

During 2003, the Local Government Committee for Cooperative Action (LGCCA) formed the Henderson County Water and Sewer Advisory Council.  The Advisory Council has eleven members with representatives from the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, each of the municipalities within the County, and representatives of the Cane Creek Water and Sewer Advisory Committee and the Mud Creek District Advisory Committee.  Mr. Tweed and Hendersonville's Water and Sewer Director, Don Sides, serve as staff to this Council.  Commissioner Moyer serves as chairman to the Advisory Council. 


The Advisory Council was charged with developing a "long range master plan for water and sewer service" and delivering this plan to all of the governmental jurisdictions for their consideration. The Advisory Council had discussions about the existing jurisdictions for both water and sewer, the treatment plant capacities for water and sewer, and the types of lines being proposed. Those discussions had led the Council to focus on the sanitary sewer interceptors and water transmission lines, and not try to develop anything with respect to sanitary sewer collectors or water distribution lines. A preliminary drawing and report on the development of a Countywide Water and Sewer Master Plan had been prepared. The drawing represented a combination of previous studies with a focus on sanitary sewer interceptors and water transmission lines. Mr. Tweed explained the variety of things noted on that drawing such as: proposed water lines, proposed Henderson County sewer interceptors, and proposed sewer lines (based on a 1994 study).


Mr. Tweed noted that the map and report had been sent to each municipality with a request for their input. He had met with Mills River, but had not yet received their specific comments. He had talked with Flat Rock, but had not received feedback from the other municipalities. Once the feedback had been received, the map would be refined accordingly.


Commissioner Moyer stated that County also needed to provide input on what should be done with the County’s portion. He suggested the Board ask Mr. Tweed to refine the map and suggest reducing the number of lines based on the County Comprehensive Plan (CCP). Commissioner Baldwin stated that he would like to see the relationship between what is proposed on the map, density, and soil samples as related to perking. That would allow the Board to see the need to run the lines. Commissioner Moyer explained that density and areas identified by the health department as having failing septic systems were taken into account when devising the map. Mr. Tweed briefly discussed some ideas he already had on refinements to the map based on current needs. 


Chairman Hawkins stated that even with the new plant, the City of Hendersonville had about one million gallons per day of surplus treatment capacity. He questioned how long it would be before that surplus was used up. Gary Tweed stated that the City had told him that their water system demand was growing at rate of about 100,000 gallons per day on a yearly basis. If all that went back into the sewer system, the extra capacity would max out in about ten years. However, Mr. Tweed felt it would actually last much longer. There followed much discussion about who would cover the cost of expansion, the possible scope of the project given municipal plans, and how expansions will affect growth in the County.


Commissioner Moyer noted one factor that had not been taken into consideration was economic development. If the Board, in accordance with the County Comprehensive Plan, designates areas where they want to push for economic development, that might necessitate different lines. Chairman Hawkins stated that the preliminary report was a very good start, and could be refined using the CCP. Mr. Tweed stated that the boundary of the urban service area outlined in the CCP could be overlaid on the map, and efforts could then be focused inside that boundary first.


Mr. Tweed noted that the County is split into two service areas with respect to sewer, and he felt sewer was in good shape from a jurisdictional standpoint. Chairman Hawkins stated that because of the way the Cane Creek Water and Sewer District was organized, the County still had the prerogative of a special tax district. He questioned how that might play out if expanding a line into incorporated Mills River, would the County still have jurisdiction as a taxing district? David Nicholson stated that he recalled that issue arising when Fletcher was incorporated, and he believed that the rights of the district, including taxing, continued to be in place.     


Commissioner Moyer stated that the Board needed to take action by the next meeting, because in September the Council would begin putting together another draft based on received comments. Chairman Hawkins suggested having Mr. Tweed provide an expanded map of the urban corridor around Hendersonville that the Board might look at some more details on several areas because lines are very expensive to extend. Mr. Tweed stated that he could take the map and add the urban services corridor from the CCP. That would allow the Board to see where on the ground expansions were being contemplated. Commissioner Baldwin suggested that Mr. Tweed also do a slope analysis or run a topo. map over that same area for the Board’s consideration.


Following additional discussion Chairman Hawkins suggested Mr. Tweed bring back a more focused look at the urban corridor, using areas already identified by Lockwood Greene and the Chamber. That would allow the Board to look at the relationship between contemplated industrial areas and future sewer needs. Mr. Tweed stated that he would take the map, add the boundary of the urban corridor, get the information on the industrial sites and add them as best he could, and bring it back to the Board.         


TAC Recommendation Concerning Upward Road Project

Justin Hembree informed the Board that during their past three meetings, the local Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) had discussed the proposed NCDOT project for Upward Road. The current NCDOT design for the project was a four lane divided highway which allowed for very few access points to areas adjacent to the road. During those meetings, the Committee had received input from numerous citizens. The overwhelming majority of those citizens voiced concerns about access to properties along Upward Road if the road was built as designed. During their meeting on July 22nd, the TAC adopted a resolution recommending that the Board of Commissioners request a face-to-face meeting with NCDOT officials in order to address concerns raised by the community.  


Jack Lynch stated that he had met the Director of Pre-Construction at DOT. He felt they were willing to discuss the issue, but the cut off date with them was August 19th. Chairman Hawkins stated that the Board’s input had been taken to the public hearing on the matter both in writing and verbally. However, he stated that he had no problem approving the resolution.


Commissioner Moyer stated that he felt it would be a mistake to go to Raleigh and tell DOT that while the Board approved the concept of a four-lane road with more access, the County would leave it up to them to design it. He felt it would be much more effective to come up with a plan that the community would back, and tell the DOT that was what the community wanted. There was discussion about what the best course of action would be with respect to the asking DOT revise their plan. Commissioner Moyer stated that DOT had already heard from the Board and citizens twice, and questioned whether DOT would be willing to come back to further address concerns.


Chairman Hawkins suggested amending the resolution to focus on addressing proposals on the project rather that concerns on the proposed project. Commissioner Moyer agreed with such a change to the resolution. There followed some discussion about the proper wording on the resolution. Commissioner Baldwin questioned whether or not the TAC had a proposed plan. Mr. Lynch stated that the TAC voted to have a meeting with DOT at which ideas could be put forth, but they did not specifically have a plan concept.


Commissioner Baldwin questioned whether the Board could ask the TAC to work up a concept, and bring that back to the Board for support. Mr. Lynch stated the TAC could do that, and David Nicholson stated that the County would make sure they had the resources in place to work up a concept. Following some additional discussion, Chairman Hawkins suggested changing the last sentence of the resolution to read “The Board respectfully requests that NCDOT permits a face-to-face meeting with the Henderson County Board of Commissioners to address County proposals on the project.” Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adopt the resolution as amended with that last sentence. All voted in favor and the motion carried.       



There were none.


New Open Burning Rules

Rocky Hyder informed the Board, and citizens, that the rules had again changed with regard to open burning. Henderson County is now included in an “ozone forecast area” which restricts open burning to days when ozone forecasts are code green or yellow. Outdoor burning with or without a permit is prohibited any day the ozone forecast code is orange, red or purple (except for campfires, and land management activities). Mr. Hyder stated that his office planned to issue press releases and try to get the word out to the public about the rule change.

Chairman Hawkins noted that to hear forecasts, citizens could dial 1-888-RU4NCAIR. Mr. Hyder stated it could also be found on the internet at www.ncair.org. Chairman Hawkins requested that information be included in the County’s next e-newsletter. The group that issues the forecast is located in Raleigh, and the rules are enforced by Environmental Management staff. There was some discussion about a variety of specifics involved with this change.


Commissioner’s Meeting Schedule

Commissioner Baldwin stated that during his campaign he had pushed for effective and efficient County operations. In his experience as a municipal administrator, he was able to work more efficiently when the Governing Body met once a month rather than twice. He suggested the Board consider such a change.


He also requested that if the Board wished to continue with two meetings a month, they consider changing the meeting times to 6:00 pm or 6:30 pm. Mr. Baldwin noted that while such a change would accommodate a new work schedule for him personally, it might also encourage more participation in meetings from citizens.


Commissioner Messer mentioned the problems some citizens have driving at night, and the impact on them if both meeting are held in the evening. Commissioner Messer did express concern with the length of meetings and how late they might go, especially if there was just one meeting a month. Commissioner Moyer stated that he had a real concern with going to one meeting a month. The Board gets paid for attending special called meetings, and having one meeting a month might lead to more of those special called meetings.


Following some additional discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to change the meeting schedule for the next two months to the first and third Monday at 6:00 pm. Mrs. Beeker stated that she would check the statutes at a break to ensure all legal requirements were met.           


Amendment One:  Self-Financing Development Bonds

Bob Williford was present to ask for the Board’s help in changing the State’s Constitution. A measure concerning “self-financing development bonds” was scheduled to be included on the ballot for the General Election on November 2nd as Amendment One. Self-financing development bonds would give local governments more flexibility in supporting and financing development projects without raising property taxes. A resolution supporting and some background information on the issue was presented for the Board’s consideration.


Mr. Williford noted that this self-financing mechanism was used by all but two states, Arizona being the other state, to promote economic and community redevelopment projects. It allows improvements to be made possible with self-financing development bonds which pay for themselves. Mr. Williford explained in detail how Self Financing Bonds work, gave an example of a financial picture with a private partner, discussed a variety of different uses for the bonds, Amendment One endorsers and safeguards, and explained how the Amendment would level the playing field with surrounding states that currently use bonds to attract investment and jobs.


A resolution in support of Amendment One had been prepared for the Board’s consideration. Mr. Williford answered several questions from the Board on the specifics of the Amendment such as the amount of property in the County that could be included in a project, currently set at 5%. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adopt the resolution in support of Amendment One as presented. All voted in favor and the motion carried.  


PUBLIC HEARING -Economic Development Incentives – Raflatac, Inc.

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


Scott Hamilton stated that it was his pleasure to have with him Dan O’Connell, the President of Raflatac. He reminded the Board of previous discussion of a potential expansion at the facility located off Highway 280. Also present in support of Raflatac were: Bob Williford – President of the Chamber of Commerce, Kelly Leonard – Chair of the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, Mike Gouge – Board member of the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, Kyle Edney – Project Coordinator with Partnership and the Chamber, and Phil Webb – Human Resource Director for Raflatac. Gus Campano – Incoming Chair of the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development was also present.


Dan O’Connell told the Board that Raflatac was a company that had started on a kitchen table in Mountain Home in 1985. They quickly moved to Cane Creek Road in Fletcher, and then to the Broadpointe Industrial Park in 2001. They currently have approximately 265 employees throughout the United States, with about 200 people employed in Western North Carolina.


Mr. O’Connell explained that Raflatac needed to be a premium supplier to customers, they wanted to be a good, safe and environmentally clean place to work, and they wanted to be a good corporate citizen for the community. Though the paper industry had been challenging in the past few years, Raflatac’s business had been quite good. So good in fact that they planned to propose to the Board of Directors that they do a $37 million expansion of the local facility. The expansion would be for a coater, a large machine and other items that would give the opportunity to make more of the same goods that they currently make. The physical expansion would be about 10,000 sq. ft. and would ultimately produce about 70 new jobs at the Fletcher facility.


He felt the proposal would go before the Board of Directors in the October/November time frame. He stated that anything they could do to make this expansion make good economic sense for the corporation was very important. To help in that he requested the Board consider organizing similar types of incentives that had been offered in the past.


Chairman Hawkins stated that the County had a very good working relationship with Raflatac, and their contributions to the community had certainly been significant. The County appreciated that, as well as the fact that they were considering the expansion for the community.


Scott Hamilton noted for the Board’s information that when Raflatac previously came before the Board, they promised that they would invest $45 million dollars and create about 190 new jobs. They had exceeded the investment by millions of dollars and the job creation was on track to supercede the 190 estimation. Mr. Hamilton stated that Raflatac had been a good investment for Henderson County, and Raflatac’s track record continues to be very positive for the County.


Public Input

1.                Dick Baird – Mr. Baird stated that there was a discrepancy with the incentives amount listed in the notice that appeared in the paper ($1,078,000) and the figure listed in the Board’s agenda ($1,780,000).


Chairman Hawkins asked Mrs. Beeker to confirm the correct amount. Mrs. Beeker confirmed that the correct amount was $1,078,000, to be reimbursed over a 7-year period at $154,000 per year. Chairman Hawkins also noted that Mr. O’Connell had stated that they were looking at a $37 million dollar investment versus $38.5 million as was presented to the Board. Scott Hamilton agreed that Mr. O’Connell had said $37 million, but he was rounding. It would be no problem to meet the $38.5 million, $38.5 million was the correct figure.


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 Economic Incentive with the numbers as amended for Raflatac incentives. Angela Beeker stated that would be conditioned on an economic incentives agreement being entered into between Raflatac and Henderson County. All voted in favor and the motion carried.




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)(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 a motion that for September, the Board change the meeting dates to Tuesday, September 7th at 6:00 pm and Monday, September 20th at 6:00 pm. The Board did not amend the mid-month August meeting due to a previously scheduled public hearing for that date. All voted in favor and the motion carried.


The Fire and Rescue Advisory Committee requested a workshop/meeting with the Board of Commissioners to discuss funding and long range planning for the Henderson County Rescue Squad. It was the consensus of the Board to schedule that meeting in conjunction with the regularly scheduled meeting on October 4th.


Chairman Hawkins questioned the status of the work going on with Transylvania County and Mountain Laurel. Mr. Nicholson had not heard back from the Transylvania County Manager, but stated that he would follow up on that matter.


Commissioner Messer stated that for the Cane Creek Water and Sewer District Advisory Board, he had scheduled a meeting for August 12th at 4:00pm.


Chairman Hawkins asked Mr. Nicholson to inquire about some time when the Historic Courthouse Corporation could meet with the Board. Justin Hembree stated that he planned to have some information for the Board at their next meeting. 


Commissioner Moyer asked Chairman Hawkins to have the Water and Sewer Master Plan put on the LGCCA agenda scheduled for August 17th, and to have Mr. Tweed attend that meeting in the event there were any questions.


Chairman Hawkins asked the Board to be thinking about any legislative goals they might want to send to NACo for discussion at the next meeting. He also asked Mr. Nicholson to place a closed session item on the next agenda for personnel. He had received evaluation information back from Commissioner Moyer and asked the other Board members to please get that information to him.   





There being no further business to come before the Board, Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:20 p.m.  All voted in favor and the motion carried. 







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