April 24, 2000

PRESENT: John F. Watts, Chairman
David S. Odom, Vice Chairman
Joel C. Harbinson (late)
W. Darrell Robertson
ABSENT: Wesley Bolick
STAFF: Rick French, County Manager
Jamie Millsaps, Clerk to the Board
Terry Foxx, Emergency Management Director
Stacey Austin, Wireless Communications


The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held a work session on April 24, 2000 in the County Administration Building.

Chairman Watts called the work session to order at 6:40 p.m.

Chairman Watts stated that Project Graduation will be held again this year after the Alexander High School Commencement Ceremony. Anyone is welcome to make a personal donation to Project Graduation.


Terry Foxx, Emergency Services Director, presented the Board with the Communications Bid. Mr. Foxx stated that at the closing time on receiving bids, only two had been received. One bidder later withdrew, leaving only one bid proposal which was Wireless Communications. Mr. Foxx presented the Board with the bid proposal from Wireless Communications. He stated that the prices included reflected a worse case scenario and that he was awaiting the results of licensing from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The price listed in the bid proposal is $281,126.94. The prices included in the bid proposal are correct if they receive frequencies on 12.5 kHz spacing. If they are given frequencies on 25 kHz spacing, the prices will greatly decrease. Mr. Foxx stated that the fire departments would not have to upgrade their equipment if they received the 25 kHz spacing. This system could be completely installed in 120 days, starting at ordering equipment and ending at testing equipment.

Commissioner Harbinson entered the work session during this discussion. The time was 6:55 p.m.

Terry Foxx suggested that a 5 year lease/purchase plan be implemented. Stacey Austin, Wireless Communications, stated that Fleet Leasing offered an interest rate of 8%. Rick French, County Manager, stated that the lease/purchase would need to be looked into as well as interest rates. Commissioner Robertson requested that Mr. Foxx inquire about how much grounding the towers would have.

The Board agreed that this item would be discussed at the May Commissioners Meeting.


Commissioner Harbinson stated that he had met with the Hospital Board and talked with them concerning their views of the future of the hospital. Commissioner Robertson stated that he had also met with them. The Alexander Community Hospital does not want a bond referendum. They feel that the bond referendum will not pass in their favor. A new plan was discussed in which the County would not have to take over ownership of the hospital. The County would give the hospital a lump sum for emergency services and would then have no other obligations to the hospital. The County would turn over $420,000 to $500,000 during the 2000-20001 budget year and then possibly another $150,000 the next year. This method would not obligate the County to a long-term commitment and would give the hospital some assurances as to financial assistance.

Rick French, County Manager, suggested several dates for budget work sessions. Mr. French also requested that the Board meet with the Planning Board during their monthly meeting on Thursday, May 4 to discuss the Subdivision Regulations. The Town of Taylorsville will be having a public hearing to discuss the rezoning request from the County for the Animal Shelter on Monday, May 1, 2000 at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall.

Duke Power will install lights in the new downtown parking lot on May 3-4, 2000.

The County auction for surplus will be on May 20, 2000 at 10:00 a.m. Joe James will be the auctioneer.

A letter from Trevor Craig, E.M.S. Medical Director, was given to the Board. Mr. Craig is requesting a salary increase from $6,829 to $12,000.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 PM.



John F. Watts, Chairman                Jamie C. Millsaps, Clerk to the Board