November 16, 1999 


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


Rick French, County Manager
Helen Anthony, Clerk to the Board

The Alexander County Commissioners held a Workshop session on Tuesday, November 16, 1999 at 6:15 p.m. in the Alexander County Department of Social Services Conference Room, Taylorsville, North Carolina.

Chairman Joel Harbinson called the meeting to order at 6:15 p.m. This is a work session and no 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. Steve Scruggs with Peirson and Whitman presented the Alexander County Water and Sewer Feasibility Study update. Alexander County’s Water and Sewer Advisory Committee members and the City of Hickory representatives were present. Mr. Scruggs stated that the Study was incomplete. However, he did review some short-term goals and long-term goals as stated in the Study that could provide water and sewer services in Alexander County for future growth.

A short-term goal included a recommendation to increase the number of water tanks to three regional tanks. He noted that Highway 16 South and Black Oak Ridge areas would be good areas to locate these tanks.

He commented on Long-term goals that included increasing the water tank size from 250,000 gallons to 400,000 gallons or 625,000 gallons. He stated that there were three options to obtain more water: 1) purchase water from the City of Hickory; 2) build a water and sewer plant in the county; 3) purchase water only from Energy United. Alexander County does have a lot of water needs due to growth. Hickory would be a good resource since they are providing water to Caldwell County, which is the better option from an engineering point of view.

The Town of Taylorsville owns the only the sewer system in Alexander County. If a major water/sewer plant was built by the county, Little River and the Yadkin River near the Energy United Plant would be good locations. Again, the Water and Sewer Feasibility Study is incomplete and he welcomed other comments or questions from the community.

Rick French asked the question: "Will Alexander County need an Engineering Department to monitor and make plans for the future? Is there a need for three different contracts with the City of Hickory since the current contract is from 1963 to 2013?" These questions should be answered during the study’s completion.

A Water Plant would cost approximately 4 – 5 million dollars, according to the Study. The City of Hickory can provide water at the cost of $1.18 per thousand gallons. It would be more economical to buy water than to construct a water plant in the county.

Gene Haynes, representing the City of Hickory, stated they are willing to continue the partnership with Alexander County. They hope that Alexander County will buy into the Hickory Water Program.

George Holleman, Town of Taylorsville Manager, wants to partner with Alexander County and the City of Hickory with water provisions in the county. He also stated that the Town of Taylorsville is willing to partner with Alexander County on a Sewer Plant and that land will have to be purchased to accomplish this goal.

David Robinette asked if this proposed plan includes pumping water through the Town of Taylorsville to Sugar Loaf Community since two meters are currently pumping 1 million gallons per month? That is a detail that will have to be discussed in the future.

Steve Scruggs was officially invited to participate in the Alexander County Retreat to be held on January 14 –16, 2000 in Blowing Rock, NC.


Terry Foxx and John "Buddy" McMannis gave the presentation. They recommended that Linney’s Mountain is the best location for a Radio tower to get 100% coverage, but this may not be the most economical. Currently we receive 70% coverage and the greatest problem is the EMS channel interference is not strong enough. He recommended that we could change the EMS frequency as a short-term fix.

Three options to improve communications included:

1) A 120 - 180 foot tower at Linney’s Mt. that would provide 98% coverage.

2) A better generator on sight at Linney’s Mt. that will have Security added. Add Repeator System on EMS and Fire channels.

3) A Receiver System at other sights, such as Vashti, Linney’s Mt. and Barrett’s Mt.

The greatest concern is the safety of the community and the needs of the Sheriff’s department to have 98% communication with 911 Emergency Services.

A Lease agreement is advantageous due to cost and technology changes. We may need to replace the EMS frequency which will be discussed in the near future.


Rick French, requested that the Commissioners consider approval to give a Holiday bonus to county employees. The guidelines were read again and discussed.

The Commissioners agreed for the County Manager to move forward with the preparation of such action and to add this to the Agenda for December 7, 1999. No action will be taken tonight.


Rick French referred to the October 28, 1999, Manager’s Report. Alexander County needs this additional benefit of providing payment of hospitalization insurance at retirement to attract and keep eligible qualified employees. If a person is employed 20 years and has medical problems, there needs to be an option to retire early. This benefit should also be considered.

This shall be added to the Agenda December 7, 1999.


Sylvia Turnmire feels the Amendment 156 being amended discriminates against private owners and that the 90-day time provision should be for Mobile Home dealers as well as citizens. The building inspection department should check it to make sure it meets the Appearance Standards codes.

James Wheat, Truckers for Christ, has requested permission to use the Courthouse for a Gospel Singing. Rick French will notify Mr. Wheat and finalize these plans and dates.

A Public Hearing will be held on November 29, 1999, at 7:00 p.m. at the Alexander County Courthouse concerning the Alexander Community Hospital. Mr. Charles McGinnis will present some statistical information and he can be contacted at 632-9332 for comments.

Chairman Harbinson declared the meeting closed.


_____________________ ______________________________

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