|BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
June 1, 1998
PRESENT: W. Darrell Robertson, Chairman
Wesley E. Bolick, Jr., Vice Chairman
K. Craig Mayberry
W. Guy Kerley,
Timothy A. Glass
STAFF: Charles S. Mashburn, Clerk to the Board
Jerry Campbell, Attorney
Chairman Robertson called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the Alexander County Courthouse. The Reverend Roger Underwood gave the invocation and Chairman Robertson led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Chairman Robertson indicated he noticed ,as he entered the meeting, the veteran memorials on the courthouse lawn. He asked that all of us take time to remember the service rendered by our veterans.
County Attorney Jerry Campbell presented for consideration the draft of a noise nuisance ordinance. The ordinance was initiated by a large group of citizens who live near Telephone Exchange Road in Bethlehem. Neighbors complained that a gas powered noise device was making a blast-type sound every eight minutes, twenty-four hours a day. People living in the area were told by Sheriff Ray Warren that action could only be taken if the county commissioners adopted a noise or nuisance ordinance. The owner of the device reported it was being used to keep birds and animals from eating seeds from his farm. He has refused to modify the sound to please the neighbors.
Commissioner Mayberry and Commissioner Glass expressed concern that the ordinance is comprehensive and could be used to control such things as students practicing their musical instruments, barking dogs, etc. The ordinance might cause more problems than it solves. They inquired if a public hearing may be in order prior to considering a new ordinance. Definitions may need to be decided prior to enacting the ordinance. Some of the neighbors who were present emphasized that they had tried to get the owner to control the sound, but he refused. They urged the Board to pass the ordinance.
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Kerley the Board voted unanimously to adopt the "Alexander County Nuisance Ordinance" as presented by Attorney Campbell, with the ordinance becoming effective immediately, but with the Board reserving time to reassess the ordinance the first of August, and upon report by Sheriff Warren regarding any problems being caused by the ordinance (Please refer to the Alexander Code of Ordinances).
Commissioner Mayberry asked that the county manager be directed to write a letter to the owner of the noise device sharing with him that the Board of Commissioners is disappointed that it has taken an ordinance to silence what should have been done to be a good neighbor. He is to be notified that an ordinance has been adopted and will be enforced if a complaint is made.
SOLID WASTE-GDS FEES
Upon motion by Commissioner Kerley and second by Commissioner Mayberry the Board voted unanimously to approve a 1.6% across-the-board fee increase for GDS collection fees. (Attachment #1).
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES-FRAUD INVESTIGATOR
Department of Social Services Director Nan Campbell requested the Board authorize a new fraud investigator position. This proposal was made upon evaluation by the Board of Social Services regarding contracting or hiring a deputy. This employee will be a certified law enforcement officer, hired by the sheriff, but assigned to DSS full time. The General Assembly provided $25,000 for 1997-98 that has not yet been spent, and will provide another $25,000 for 1998-99. Ms Campbell proposed that part of the unexpended money for this year be used to immediately purchase start up equipment and supplies in order that an officer be able to begin duty on July 1. Funding for the position beyond June 30, 1998, will depend upon the General Assembly. Revenue generated by the investigations and possible reenactment of the legislation might provide enough money to continue the program after July 1, 1999.
Commissioners directed that any revenue generated by the program be accounted for and periodic reports made to the Board of Commissioners. After two years the program should be evaluated and eliminated if not effective.
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Glass the Board voted unanimously to establish a fraud investigator position as requested.
Mr. Ben Hines asked the Board to authorize construction of a bell tower on the courthouse lawn. Mr. Wesley Fox presented a drawing of the proposed structure, which will cost about $8,000 to construct and will be paid by the sesquicentennial committee.
Commissioner Robertson suggested the bell be placed high enough so as not to be an attractive nuisance. Mr. Hines indicated the preferred site is where one of the large oak trees is standing. The tree needs to be removed or trimmed so that limbs or the tree will not fall on the structure.
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Glass the Board voted unanimously to authorize the county manager and Mr. Billy Meadows to evaluate the trees on the courthouse lawn and have them trimmed appropriately.
LANDFILL CLOSURE BIDS
The Board was advised that only one bid was received on the landfill closure, the project will be rebid, and a new bid opening date will be established.
EMPLOYMENT SECURITY COMMISSION-BUILDING LEASE
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Glass the Board voted unanimously to offer to the Employment Security Commission a lease renewal on the building (old health department building) located at 324 1st Ave., S. W., based on $6.00 per square foot for the $1,408 square foot building ($8,448 per year), and provided that ESC also pay the monthly utility expense.
The Board directed that staff evaluate the bathrooms for handicap accessibility, evaluate the windows for replacement with more energy efficient type, and also repair pot holes in the driveway, as required.
BOARD AND COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Kerley the Board voted unanimously to make board and committee appointments as follows:
Ms. Beatrice Wellman and Ms. Helen Anthony were reappointed to the Transportation Authority.
NATIONAL CANCER SURVIVORS DAY RESOLUTION
Upon motion by Commissioner Kerley and second by Commissioner Bolick the Board voted unanimously to declare by resolution that June 6, 1998, is Cancer Survivors Day in Alexander County (resolution 98-#8).
Chairman Robertson gave a brief summary of the recommended 1998-99 budget and announced the public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., June 15, 1998.
He indicated the recommended budget is based on a $.54 tax rate, which is three cents less than the current year rate. A copy of the recommended budget is available for inspection at the County Managers office.
Upon motion by Commissioner Bolick and second by Commissioner Mayberry the Board voted unanimously to approve the consent agenda as follows:
The minutes of May 18 and May 26, 1998, were approved as presented by the Clerk to the Board.
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Kerley the Board voted unanimously to go into closed session to discuss a personnel matter, and to return to open session for purpose of adjournment only.
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Kerley the Board voted unanimously to adjourn until 6:00 p.m., June 9, 1998, to conduct a budget workshop.
Charles S. Mashburn
W. Darrell Robertson, Chairman