October 19, 1999


Joel Harbinson, Chairman
John Watts, Vice Chairman
Wesley Bolick
David Odom
Darrell Robertson


Rick French, County Manager
Helen Anthony, Clerk to the Board
Edward Hedrick, IV, County Attorney

The Alexander County Commissioners held a Workshop session on Tuesday, October 19, 1999 at 7:00 p.m. in the Alexander County Administration Building, Taylorsville, North Carolina.

Chairman Joel Harbinson called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. He stated that, as the custom with Workshop sessions, no official action would be taken.


Commissioner John Watts made the motion that was seconded by Commissioner Odom to adopt the Agenda as presented. The Board vote unanimously in favor of the motion.


Mr. David Lawrence, North Carolina Institute of Government, Chapel Hill, NC, spoke to the Board about "Incorporation of North Carolina Towns" and the effects on the county.

Mr. Lawrence stated that Incorporation is adopted only by an act of the General Assembly. People in the community must vote for the incorporation. A proposal of the Incorporation is sent to the Joint Municipal Commission. This Commission makes a negative recommendation that is submitted to the General Assembly. He discussed several facts and answered questions from the County Commissioners.

As a general rule, incorporated towns are not required to do anything. However, to be eligible for state shared money, a town must levy a minimum $.05 sales tax. Most towns, however, do provide fire department and safety protection.

Bethlehem could be annexed by the City of Hickory, because of they are within a four (4) mile radius and Hickory’s population is over 25,000 people. It is easier for a smaller community such as Hiddenite and Stony Point to incorporate rather than incorporating under the Constitution, based on population and the location of the nearest incorporated municipality.

The Criteria for Incorporation that a Task Force would use as a guide:

    1. Petitions are needed only if you go before for the Municipal Commission.
    2. People want to know what are the reasons for the Incorporation such as the cost/ benefits
    3. Define the boundaries and area cluster.
    4. Determine what the town would look like, such as public officials and their terms.
    5. Present the Incorporation Package.

Defensive Actions:

    1. People want better benefits that other cities provide.
    2. People want better water and sewer services and police protection.
    3. Subdivision benefits are well defined.

Incorporation does not impact the school system. If the City of Hickory annexed Bethlehem, Alexander County would still be the sole provider of schools in the Bethlehem area. Alexander County students would be eligible to attend Hickory schools the same as they are now, upon permission of the receiving school and the payment of an out-of-county fee.

If an incorporated city chooses to have an ABC store, a separate referendum would be required. However, if a city with current beer, wine and liquor sales annexed an area, the area annexed could automatically take on the same characteristics.

Mr. Lawrence discussed the Annexation Time Frame, which can be voluntary or involuntary. There are standards required by law:

  1. Resolution of Intent for the Annexation with an effective time stated.
  2. Adoption of the Resolution for Annexation.

People can sue if opposing the effective date of Annexation.

The town may have a volunteer to serve as a Clerk or Financial Officer, which could be a Board member.

Mr. Lawrence agreed to come back to Alexander County and answer questions for each community, if each so desired.

At the November Commissioners’ meeting, Chairman Harbinson will probably make the recommendation that the County Commissioners investigate Bethlehem, Stony Point, and Hiddenite areas for their interest in incorporation as a town. Two Commissioners, one Democrat and one Republican, will conduct the investigations: Bethlehem: Commissioner Wesley Bolick and Chairman Joel Harbinson; Stony Point: Commissioners John Watts and Darrell Robertson; and Hiddenite: Commissioners David Odom and Darrell Robertson. Commissioner Robertson recommended that if any of these community’s citizens have an interest, they should come forward, seek information, and get help from the County Manager.


Sylvia Turnmire provided a Work session packet on the Proposed Subdivision Regulations that the Alexander County Planning Board had been working on since 1997. This document provides regulations for the orderly subdivision of land and provisions for the installation of infrastructure. Highlights of this proposal were discussed:

Compliance – No subdivision plat of land within the subdivision jurisdiction of Alexander County shall be filed or recorded by the Register of Deeds until the plat has been submitted and given approval by the Planning Director, or the Alexander County Planning Board.

Terms are defined on pages 4 - 6.

Exceptions were discussed and it is requested that the Planning Board needs to add an exception for Subdivision for a family to a waiver when deeding property to their children.

It was suggested that 157.007, Subdivision Approval Procedure and Approval Process, on pages 8,9, 12 and 13 should be revised to be an Appendix.

It would be up to Alexander County’s Engineer and NCENR to approve public utilities. The County Attorney would approve any bond or guarantee for installation of utilities.

Sewer and water will come under the existing Water and Sewer Extension Policy. Because of safety concerns, it is important that all future water line extensions be increased in size for better fire protection.

The regulations will require roads to be built to North Carolina Department of Transportation standards and maintained privately until NC DOT assumes maintenance.

The Planning Board will try to meet prior to the Commissioners’ Meeting on November 2, to review and make recommendations stated tonight.

Flood management is covered by a separate Ordinance.


Rick French presented the "Draft" of a Water Contract with the City of Hickory, Alexander County, and Caldwell County.

It was suggested that when questions are asked by citizens, they should be submitted to a Review Board. Also, a consistent water rate should be negotiated for all parties to this contract. There will be more information available at the November 2nd Commissioners Meeting.

There will a water feasibility study available at the November 16, 1999, Commissioners’ meeting.


Mr. Charles McGinnis made a request for a proposal for Solid Waste and Convenience Center Operations for Contact services for the county. Currently he presented three companies to be considered:

    1. GDS Inc. Recycling Division, Hickory, NC
    2. BFI – CMS Development Corp., Charlotte Motor Speedway, Orlando, Fla.
    3. J & J Recycling Co., Inc., North Wilkesboro, NC

Mr. McGinnis welcomed any other vendors that the Commissioners knew or wanted to recommend for consideration. He would proceed to request a bid from these three services.


There will be a work session at 6:15 p.m. on November 16, 1999, to review the Water and Sewer Study.


    1. Budget Amendment #12

This item was tabled until the next regular meeting.


Commissioner Watts made the motion to adjourn. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

The next Commissioner’s Meeting will be 6:45 PM on November 2, 1999, at the Alexander County Courthouse, Taylorsville, NC.


______________________ __________________________________

Joel Harbinson, Chairman      Helen P. Anthony, Clerk to the Board