August 1, 2000
The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held their monthly meeting on August 1, 2000 in the Commissioner's Room in the Alexander County Courthouse, Taylorsville, North Carolina.
Chairman Watts called the regular meeting to order at 6:50 p.m. No citizens were present for the People's Agenda.
Rev. Joyce Bunn from Rocky Springs Methodist Church gave the invocation and Kim Hertzler from Alexander Central High School led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
PRESENTATION ON NYLC
Kim Hertzler, a junior at ACHS and daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Keith Hertzler, attended The National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. from July 3 to July 11. The NYLC is a leadership development program for high school students who have demonstrated leadership potential and scholastic merit. Ms. Hertzler was one of 351 National Scholars from across the country that attended the conference.
Throughout the 11-day conference, Ms. Hertzler interacted with key leaders and newsmakers from the 3 branches of government, the media, and the diplomatic corps. Ms. Hertzler participated in the bill passing process, from writing the bill to finally getting the bill passed. She also toured the Washington Memorial and The Pentagon.
Ms. Hertzler stated that she had a great time at the NYLC conference and recommended that other students like her attend. Ms. Hertzler thanked the Board of Commissioners for the opportunity to attend.
Chairman Watts gave the Chairman's report which included a thank you card from John Hicks, of Iredell County, who was involved in an accident on Cheatham Ford Road on July 20, 2000. Mr. Hicks thanked the Alexander County EMS and the Stony Point Volunteer Fire Department for their assistance after the accident.
**SPECIAL RECOGNITION** COUNTY EMPLOYEE RETIREE
Chairman Watts presented a plaque to Virginia Jenkins for her services to Alexander County. Ms. Jenkins is retiring from the Department of Social Services after 25 years. Nan Campbell, Social Services Director, stated that Ms. Jenkins was a kind employee and has performed many duties such as answering the phone, clerical support, assistance with ATM cards and food stamps. Ms. Campbell, as well as Chairman Watts, stated that the work that Ms. Jenkins did for so many years was appreciated.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to adopt the agenda as amended adding Budget Amendment #1 under Other Business. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
PUBLIC HEARING: TEXT AMENDMENT 00-5: SECTION 154.076(B)
Corey Teague, Planner, conducted a public hearing for Text Amendment 00-5: Section 154.076(B). A text amendment application was submitted on May 26, 2000 from Robert Frye of Guy Frye and Sons, Inc. The application requests that the first sentence of Section 154.076(B), as follows, be deleted and replaced as noted.
Replace as follows:
Mr. Teague stated that staff had contacted Catawba, Caldwell, Burke, Davie, and Iredell Counties regarding regulations on retaining walls. No county contacted regulated retaining walls through zoning. The Planning & Zoning staff recommends deleting the first sentence of Section 154.076(B).
Commissioner Robertson stated that there should be some type of regulation for any retaining wall above 4 feet. A person would need to have some knowledge on how to construct a retaining wall of that height to ensure that it is constructed properly and safely. An addendum to this text amendment was suggested and asked to be researched by the Planning & Zoning Commission and addressed.
There being no further business, Commissioner Odom made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. Commissioner Robertson made a motion to adopt the staff's recommendation to delete the first sentence of Text Amendment 00-5: Section 154.076(B) and also for Planning & Zoning staff provide wording in Text Amendment 00-5 for structural integrity on retaining walls above 4 feet. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
PUBLIC HEARING: CLOSURE OF CDBG GRANT NUMBER 98-E-0507 TAYLOR KING FURNITURE, INC. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SEWER PROJECT
Nancy Coley conducted a public hearing for the closeout of Community Development Block Grant Number 98-E-0507, Taylor King Furniture, Inc. Economic Development Sewer Project. The purpose of this $270,000 grant was to construct sanitary sewer lines, force main, manholes and pumping stations. More than $91,250 in local funds has been spent because of the oversizing of the Macedonia Church Road pumping station. Additional gravity lines were installed on Macedonia Church Road to accommodate the new prison. A reimbursement will be submitted for overspent funds. Ms. Coley stated that an exact amount will not be known until the groundbreaking of the prison. Taylor King Furniture, Inc. created a total of 32 new jobs with 19 filled with previously low and moderate-income persons.
William Hammer inquired about the appearance of the road at Fashion House on Highway 16 where work has been done. There is still dirt by the road that has not been covered. Ms. Coley noted that approximately $8,000 is being withheld from the company involved until this situation has been addressed.
There being no further business, Commissioner Odom made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the closeout of CDBG Grant Number 98-E-0507. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
PUBLIC HEARING: CLOSURE OF CDBG GRANT NUMBER 96-E-0293 MITCHELL GOLD CO., INC. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SEWER PROJECT
Nancy Coley conducted a public hearing for the closeout of Community Development Block Grant Number 96-E-0293, Mitchell Gold Co., Inc Economic Development Project. The purpose of this $376,850 grant was to construct sanitary sewer lines, force main waterlines, manholes, and a pumping station to serve this expanding industry. A total of $125,617 in local funds was spent for this project. The Mitchell Gold Co., Inc created a total of 321 new jobs with 195 filled with previously low and moderate-income persons.
There being no further discussion, Commissioner Bolick made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the closeout of CDBG Grant Number 98-E-0293. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
BUILDING PERMIT REPORT
Sylvia Turnmire, Director of Planning & Development, presented a building permit report for fiscal years 1997-1998, 1998-1999, and 1999-2000 and a zoning permit report for 1999-2000. Ms. Turnmire state that there has been a steady increase in the number of permits issued during the three fiscal years:
FY 1997-1998 = 3,483
FY 1998-1999 = 3,540
FY 1999-2000 = 3,566
There was a 20 percent increase in the number of inspection from FY 1997-1998 to FY 1998-1999 and a minimal increase to FY 1999-2000.
Site-built homes are 23.9 percent of zoning permits issued. Manufactured homes are still the most permitted residential structure at an overall 37.9 percent of the total.
Commissioner Robertson inquired about the number of reinspections included. Ms. Turnmire stated that she would acquire that information. Commissioner Bolick commended Ms. Turnmire as well as the Planning & Zoning staff.
INTRODUCTION OF NEW EXTENSION AGENT/UPDATE ON COOP EXTENSION
Linney Rogers, Cooperative Extension Director, introduced the Cooperative Extension's new Agriculture Extension Agent, Allison L. Johnson. Ms. Johnson is a NCSU graduate and an Alexander County native. She taught Vocational Agriculture at Wilkes Central High School before coming here. Her areas of responsibilities are livestock, small grains, forages, tobacco, and forestry. Ms. Johnson filled the position of Kathy Bunton, who was promoted to Regional Poultry Advisor.
Mr. Rogers also gave a Cooperative Extension quarterly update. The update included activities that each Extension agent has completed during the months of April, June, and July 2000.
The Board inquired about tobacco farm acreage. Mr. Rogers stated that 5 years ago, there was 700 acres of tobacco in Alexander County. At the present time, there is 150 acres. Most families growing tobacco use it as a support to other income and not a main income source. Ms. Johnson stated that the tobacco farmers are having a tough time selling the tobacco. By next year, they will no longer be able to cure the tobacco in their barns; retrofit barns will have to be purchased to cure tobacco.
DISTRICT REPRESENTATION UPDATE
Commissioner Harbinson stated that he had done some research concerning district representation in Alexander County and felt that it would be a great benefit to ensure that all areas of the County are represented. Commissioner Harbinson gave his consideration as follows:
Begin district representation process in 2002, divide into 4 districts by precincts.
District 1 = Taylorsville Precincts 1-5. District 1 would have 2 representatives.
District 2 = Sharpes Precincts 1 & 2, Gwaltneys Precincts 1 & 2, and Millers Precincts 1 & 2. District 2 would have 2 representatives.
District 3 = Bethlehem Precincts 1 & 2 and Wittenburg precincts. District 3 would have 2 representatives.
District 4 = Ellendale, Little River, and Sugarloaf precincts would have 1 representative.
Commissioner Harbinson stated several factors as to why to implement district representation which included:
Commissioner Harbinson stated that this issue should be discussed during the October Commissioners Meeting to allow time for public comment and input. The County Manager and County Attorney were instructed to research the legal matters of this issue and what steps will need to be taken.
Commissioner Robertson stated that he was concerned that Commissioners serving on a district representation board would vote on what each felt was best for their district instead of what was best for the County which could be a negative factor.
RESOLUTION OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN ALEXANDER COUNTY AND CALDWELL COUNTY
Rick French, County Manager, presented a resolution of understanding between Alexander County and Caldwell County for water service. Mr. French stated that this was an agreement between the County managers until a permanent agreement is reached. Commissioner Robertson stated that this agreement would only stand for a short period of time because a rate increase was anticipated and instructed Mr. French to add this into the resolution.
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the resolution. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
COUNTY MANAGER'S REPORT
Rick French, County Manager, gave the Manager's report which included:
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to schedule the September Commissioner's meeting for September 12, 2000. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Harbinson made a motion approve Budget Amendment #1. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Bolick made a motion to adopt the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to adjourn at 8:15 p.m. and reconvene in Closed Session. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
John S. Watts, Chairman Jamie C. Millsaps, Clerk to the Board