|BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
|January 19, 1999
ABSENT: Wesley Bolick
Chairman Joel Harbinson called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room in the Alexander County Courthouse. Commissioner John Watts gave the Invocation and Commissioner Darrell Robertson led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Chairman Harbinson added to the agenda several announcements of general interest and information to the public as follows:
He read a note from Deb Buchanan thanking the Board for the support it gave to recently deceased fire marshal Ben Buchanan.
He read correspondence from the North Carolina Department of Correction that acknowledged Alexander Countys interest in providing a site for a new correctional facility that is under consideration.
He read a letter from the North Carolina Department of Correction that acknowledged Alexander Countys interest in acquiring the existing prison property for possible use by the county for public safety purposes.
Chairman Harbinson asked the Board if he could adjust the sequence of the agenda items in order to better accommodate Department of Social Services Director Nan Campbell by moving items 5, 10, and 14.
Commissioner Watts made a motion that agenda items 5, 10, and 14, be considered consecutively. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Odom and passed unanimously.
RAIL PARK BIDS
Mr. Chester West announced that bids for the rail park sewer project were opened and publicly read at 2:00 p.m., on January 12, 1999. See attachement #1.
He recommended the Board accept the $35,898.20 low bid as submitted by Iron Mt. Construction Company.
The Board was advised that this project was funded by a $50,000 Rural Center Grant, a $50,000 county match, and was also supported by the Alexander Water Corporation and Town of Taylorsville.
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to accept the low bid of $35,898.20 for construction of a sewer line and pump station to the Rail Park as submitted by Iron Mt. Construction Company. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Odom and passed unanimously.
The contracts are to be submitted to the county manager for execution.
Ms. Nancy Coley, Western Piedmont Council of Governments, explained to the Board the Community Development Block Grant procedures and project qualifications. She explained that CDBG funds are intended to benefit low and moderate low-income citizens. She indicated that a second public hearing would be required should the Board identify and pursue a specific project. She asked the Board to help identify possible projects. The grant application deadline is March 31, 1999.
The Board reached a consensus for the COG staff to proceed with reapplication procedures to apply for grants to extend water to Belleview Rest Home and the Little River areas.
PLANNING-TOWN OF TAYLORSVILLE
Town Manager George Holleman requested the Board authorize the planning director to work a few hours each week assisting the Town of Taylorsville by reviewing applications.
Upon inquiry from Commissioner Robertson, Mr. Holleman agreed to inquire if the Taylorsville Town Board will pay part of the staff cost.
He indicated the Town Board would meet next on February 2, 1999. He also indicated he would evaluate other cases where the county and town might cooperate in providing services.
FIBER OPTIC PROJECT
Commissioner Robertson reported that he and others met with representatives from B & L Telephone and clarified several questions regarding their proposal to construct fiber optic cable from the Library to the Administration Building. It was agreed that the contract as presented included provision for any rock encountered during construction. Mr. Robertson informed the Board that the contract would be resubmitted in time for the February 2 meeting.
Upon motion by Commissioner Watts and second by Commissioner Odom the Board voted unanimously to table the fiber optic project until the February 2 meeting.
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES-BUDGET AMENDMENT
Department of Social Services Director Nan Campbell asked the Board to accept a $34,097.00 Welfare to Work grant. The funds will be used to employ a caseworker to assist at the Employment Security Commission with the employment and/or training of DSS clients. No matching funds are required.
Commissioner Watts made a motion to accept the grant of $34,097.00, to approve the new position as requested, and to amend the 1998-99 budget (budget amendment #34, attachment 2).
EMPLOYMENT SECURITY COMMISSION-EXPANSION
Ms. Dana Robertson, Employment Security Commission manager, explained the new Job Link program, and asked the Board to consider expanding the local Employment Security Commission building. She explained that the new Job Link program will allow the ESC to partner with the DSS in providing jobs and training, but that the building is already too small and needs to be enlarged to accommodate the new programs. Commissioner Harbinson reported that this project could be included in the pending economic development workshop.
Commissioner Watts made a motion that we coordinate the Job Link, ESC, and DSS programs, and that the Employment Security Commission building expansion request be considered during the economic development workshop. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Robertson and passed unanimously.
COMPUTER SUPPORT CONTRACT
Commissioner Robertson reported that due to the recent resignation of the computer systems administrator, Hal Bond Enterprises has proposed to offer computer support and assistance on a contract basis pending the hiring of a new employee. He recommended the proposal be accepted as presented if a termination clause is added per the county managers suggestion.
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to accept the proposal by Hal Bond Enterprises to provide computer support pending an application evaluation, provided a termination clause is added as negotiated by the county manager, and with the contract submitted to Chairman Harbinson for final approval. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Odom and carried unanimously.
Mr. Steve Scruggs, Pierson and Whitman, submitted an engineering study regarding a project to provide water to the Vashti area. The study was contracted in anticipation of applying for Clean Water Bond grant money. Mr. Scruggs indicated there were about three options, with the cost of each being about or more than three million dollars. He reported that it was his opinion that the project would not qualify for grant approval, but would be eligible for the loan pool. Applications are due by March 31, 1999.
Commissioner Robertson made a motion that Pierson and Whitman is authorized to proceed with applying for a Clean Water Bond grant to construct water to the Vashti community. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Odom and passed unanimously.
WATER EXTENSION-LITTLE RIVER
Mr. Chester West, West and Associates, reported that the Little River water extension project had been updated in order to be considered for the Clean Water Bond money and/or a CDBG grant. He indicated the previous grant application was not approved.
Commissioner Odom made a motion that staff be authorized to proceed with another grant application to provide water to the Little River community. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Robertson and passed unanimously.
CABLE TV FRANCHISE RENEWAL
County Manger Charles Mashburn shared with the Board a draft of a proposed Cable TV Franchise renewal. He indicated that this was the initial introduction to the Board and that further review and a public hearing would be required prior to approval. The Board can choose to hire a consultant if it desires. Commissioner Robertson reminded staff that Charter Communication has not furnished information requested at the first public hearing.
Commissioner Odom made a motion that Charter Communication manager Landon Barefoot be invited to a special workshop to discuss the proposed franchise document. Upon inquiry from Jim Harris, Mr. Odom indicated the workshop would be a public meeting. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Watts and passed unanimously.
HOME AND COMMUNITY CARE BLOCK GRANT-PLANNING COMMITTEE
The Board was advised that for the past several years the Council on Aging members had also been designated as the planning committee, and that the WPCOG had been designated as the lead agency, for the purpose of recommending disposition of Home and Community Care Block Grant monies.
Commissioner Watts made a motion those members of the Council on Aging serve as the planning committee, and that the Western Piedmont Council of Governments serve as the lead agency for the Home and Community Care Block Grant program. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Odom and passed unanimously.
BOARD AND COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS
Chairman Harbinson introduced a list of appointees to various boards and committees, with an explanation that the Foothills Mental Health appointment would need to be postponed pending clarification regarding the appointing authority.
Upon motion by Commissioner Odom and second by Commissioner Watts the Board voted unanimously to make appointments to various boards and committees, with the exception of Foothills Mental Health and Region E Emergency Medical Service. (See attachment #3)
ROAD ABANDOMENT PETITIONS
The Board reviewed petitions from the North Carolina Department of Transportation regarding the abandonment of a portion of two state roads. First, the Board reviewed a petition to abandon a railroad crossing on SR1485 located in Stony Point. Commissioner Robertson reported he attended the public hearing and was concerned that it was held in Iredell County and that not many residents were aware of the proposal.
The second petition was to abandon a portion of SR1496 that left after a curve in the road was straightened.
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to deny the abandonment of the rail crossing on SR1495, and that consideration of SR1496 is tabled until verification that a public hearing had been held. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Odom and passed unanimously.
LAME DUCK SPENDING ORDINANCE
Commissioner Odom introduced for consideration a draft of an ordinance that would control spending by boards of commissioners subsequent to elections when a majority of the board changes. Commissioner Watts asked that it be clarified regarding grants, etc.
Commissioner Odom made a motion to refer the "Lame Duck" ordinance back to the county attorney for clarification regarding the spending of grants.
This motion was seconded by Commissioner Watts and passed 3-1 (Robertson).
County Manger Charles Mashburn reported to the Board that staff had for many months been working on the Y2K problem. "Y2K" refers to situation where computers will fail because they were not programmed to operate in the year 2000. The board was advised that staff had begun to inventory equipment, identify those with problems, and then fix the problem. Though every computer will be evaluated, the finance, tax, and water billing computers had gotten priority, and were in the process of being fixed. Hal Bond has also agreed to continue the Y2K project.
ADMINISTRATION BUILDING-SPACE ALLOCATION
The Board was advised that staff will soon propose how to allocate space made available when the Emergency Medical Services office was moved to the Taylorsville base station. The finance and planning departments are evaluating a proposal.
The Board was advised that consent items such as minutes of the last meeting were omitted from the agenda. Commissioner Watts made a motion that these items be included in the February 2 agenda. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Odom and passed unanimously.
Upon motion by Commissioner Watts and second by Commissioner Odom the Board voted unanimously to go into closed session to discuss a personnel matter.
Upon returning from the closed session Chairman Harbinson adjourned the meeting.
Helen Anthony Joel C. Harbinson, Chairman