November 14, 2000
The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held their monthly meeting on November 14, 2000 at the Bethlehem Elementary School Library in Bethlehem, North Carolina. A reception was held in honor of outgoing Commissioner Wesley E. Bolick preceding the meeting. The Board of Commissioners presented Commissioner Bolick with a plaque in honor of his service on the Alexander County Board of Commissioners. Bill Randlett, Chairman of the Republican Party, presented Commissioner Bolick with the American Flag which was flown over the Capital Building in honor of him.
Chairman Watts called the regular meeting to order at 7:15 PM. The Peoples Agenda was not held.
Pastor Robert Warren from Fellowship Advent Christian Church gave the invocation and Kurtis Hertzler, a student at Bethlehem Elementary School, led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Chairman Watts gave the Chairmans Report which included:
ADOPTION OF AGENDA
Several items were added to the agenda under Other Business. Commissioner Harbinson stated that he would like to discuss Commissioner Bolicks position on the Bethlehem Incorporation Task Force. Commissioner Bolick stated that he would like to further discuss the Resolution to Adopt the District Representation Plan that was approved in October and suggested the purchase of mobile phones for Alexander County Building Inspectors. Commissioner Robertson stated that he would like to discuss the water meeting with the Town of Taylorsville.
Commissioner Odom made a motion to adopt the agenda as presented with additions to Other Business included. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
PUBLIC HEARING: OSSI OPEN SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS FOR SHERIFFS DEPT.
Sheriff Ray Warren and Detective Hayden Bentley conducted a public hearing for the purchase of computer software and equipment from Open Software Solutions, Inc. in Pinecrest, Florida. OSSI will provide a variety of software and equipment for the Sheriffs Department including a mugshot camera station. Sheriff Warren stated that he had spoken with the Wilkes County Sheriff who recommended this company and their services. The $75,000 grant that the Sheriffs Department received from the State of North Carolina will cover the cost. Sheriff Warren requested that the Board allow them to "piggy back" and waive the bidding process so that the Sheriffs Department may contract with OSSI and take advantage of the reasonable cost. Sheriff Warren stated that he has been in contact with the County Attorney, Ed Hedrick, regarding the matter and felt that the Sheriffs Department is in compliance to waive the bidding process.
Commissioner Robertson stated that since the software is proprietary, he felt that it could be excluded from the normal bidding process. Commissioner Robertson instructed Sheriff Warren to contact the County Attorney and make sure all necessary paperwork is in order.
No citizens asked to speak at the public hearing. Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to approve the waiving of the bidding process and the purchase of the software and equipment from OSSI. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
PUBLIC HEARING: FINANCING FOR BUILDING & PROPERTY FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGE/COUNTY OFFICE SPACE
Chairman Watts conducted a public hearing to consider financing for the purchase of a building and land to accommodate the community college and provide office space for other agencies. The building is located off Highway 16 S across from Wal-Mart and is currently owned by Grier Lackey. The property was appraised in 1999 by Rhyne Realty for $750,000 including the 15,000 square foot building and 4.726 acres of land. Mr. Lackey is asking $650,000 for the property. Chairman Watts presented 2 resolutions for approval; one authorizing the filing of an application with LGC and one approving the financing terms.
Chairman Watts stated that the current property accommodating the community college is inadequate. Space is limited inside the building for classrooms, more parking space is needed, and the roof leaks badly.
Ken White, Finance Officer, stated that RFPs (Request for Proposals) were mailed to five financial institutions requesting a proposal to finance $650,000 to purchase the property. A response was received from 4 of the 5 institutions, with 3 submitting proposals and one declining to submit a proposal. A proposal was received from Taylorsville Savings Bank, BB&T Governmental Finance, and First Union Bank. Mr. White recommended that the Board consider the proposals submitted by BB&T and First Union. Below is the information received in the proposals:
Mr. White stated that the absence of a prepayment premium and no up-front legal expense or document preparation fee makes the First Union proposal more favorable.
Commissioner Harbinson stated that he felt the property was in a good location. Since it is located close to Alexander Central High School, it would be ideal for dual-enrollment for high school students.
Commissioner Bolick stated that his only concern was the cost of renovation and inquired as to whether or not it would be less expensive to buy land somewhere and construct a building that would accommodate a community college.
Chairman Watts responded to Commissioner Bolick by stating that renovations will need to be made to the Mr. Lackeys property to accommodate a community college and offices. The County plans to receive some of the R & R monies from the school bond that was passed on November 7, 2000. Those funds would pay for the cost of renovations. Chairman Watts also stated that the DSS Building would be paid in full for this fiscal year 2000-2001. The cost for the DSS building is currently $71,000 per year. This money could be put towards the proposed building.
Commissioner Harbinson also responded by explaining that the R & R monies that the County should receive from CVCC from the school bond can only be used for renovations, not to build.
Commissioner Robertson inquired about the old Wittenburg Elementary School building and suggested using that building for the community college. Commissioner Robertson stated that he could not vote to purchase the proposed property since the Wittenburg property is empty and could be used to accommodate the community college. Commissioner Robertson also expressed concerns about renovations to the proposed property and inquired about what community college programs would be placed in the building stating that the programs would determine the type of renovations needed. Commissioner Robertson also suggested constructing a building for the community college on the Alexander Central property and suggested meeting with the Board of Education for discussion on this issue.
Commissioner Harbinson stated that the Wittenburg property has been mentioned to the Board of Education on several occasions in regard to how they want to use the property and that no answer has been received. Commissioner Harbinson was opposed to the idea of using the Wittenburg property because it is not located near Alexander Central and would not be ideal for dual-enrollment for high school students and the County would be passing up the offer that Mr. Lackey has proposed ($100,000 less than appraised value). Commissioner Harbinson stated that this matter needed to be acted upon immediately since the County would lose Mr. Lackeys offer if the matter was postponed.
Commissioner Bolick stated that he has always supported the school bond and felt that the Board should demand the R & R funds from CVCC since there is still no specific dollar amount specified for Alexander Countys share of the bond monies.
No citizens asked to speak at the public hearing. Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to finance with First Union for 15 years and to approve the 2 resolutions. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted 4 for the motion (Commissioners Bolick, Harbinson, Odom, and Watts) and 1 against the motion (Commissioner Robertson). Motion carried.
RESOLUTION(S) FOR SECONDARY ROAD CONSTRUCTION
Due to the absence of Clay Lunsford and Lynn Marshall with the NCDOT, Chairman Watts presented the resolutions for secondary road construction. The NCDOT is requesting approval of the use of $75,000 from the 2000-2001 Secondary Construction Funds to widen the ditches and back slopes along SR 1610 Millersville Road from NC Highway 90 to SR 1605 Paul Payne Road to accommodate pavement widening for a distance of approximately 3.10 miles. The NCDOT is also requesting $75,000 from the 2000-2001 Secondary Construction Funds to widen the ditches and back slopes along SR 1137 Rink Dam Road from Rink Dam Bridge to NC Highway 127 for a distance of approximately 2.7 miles. These funds total $150,000 and are available because of Right of Way difficulties on previously funded paving projects.
Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to approve the 2 resolutions for secondary road construction approving the use of $150,000 for construction on stated roads. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
RECOMMENDED EMS FEE REVISION
Nolan Jarvis, EMS Director, presented the recommended EMS Fee Revision to the Board. This fee revision is due to changes in Medicare ambulance reimbursements. In the old method, ambulance providers either charged an all-inclusive rate or a lower base rate plus a set rate for various supplies. Under the new rule, a nationwide fee schedule has been set with fees based on the level of service rendered. Multiple levels of treatment are defined rather than simply Basic or Advanced. A factor called the Geographic Practice Cost will be used to take into account cost-of-service differences in different parts of the country. Medicare reimbursements will increase under the new rule. HCFA will phase in the new reimbursements over a period of 4 years.
Current Fee Schedule:
Proposed Fee Schedule:
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the revised fee schedule. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
APPLICATION FOR NON-BUDGETED FUNDING FOR ALEXANDER COUNTY HISTORY BOOK PROJECT
Kent Kerley presented an application for non-budgeted funding for Alexander County History Book Project and gave some history on the project. In the fall of 1996, a committee was formed to oversee the writing of an Alexander County History book and a contract was signed between the writer Sidney Halma, the researcher Robin Moretz, and the Alexander County Board of Commissioners. Also, $14,000 was allocated for the project. Later into the project, Mr. Moretz and Mr. Halma both resigned from the project. The committee contacted Mildred Miller from Iredell County who was interested in completing the book. Ms. Miller plans to have the book finished in 2 years and will be compensated every 6 months. Approximately $4,000 has been spent on the original contract. Approximately $10,000 is remaining but has not been appropriated. Mr. Kerley requested that $2,500 be allocated for FY 2000-2001, $5,000 for FY 2001-2002, and $2,500 for FY 2002-2003.
Commissioner Bolick stated that he would vote to allocate $2,500 for this fiscal year but did not feel that it was right to allocate future monies and to set a budget for future boards. Commissioner Bolick felt that that decision should be left up to the Board in office at that time.
Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to approve the non-budgeted funding request for the Alexander County History Book project. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
The $2,500 will be taken out of Contingencies for FY 2000-2001 and the $5,000 for FY 2001-2002 and $2,500 for FY 2002-2003 will be in the budgets as line items.
TRI-COUNTY NON-CUSTODIAL PARENT EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM STATEMENT OF WORK FY 2000-2001
Nan Campbell, Social Services Director, presented the Tri-County Non-Custodial Parent Employment Program Statement of Work FY 2000-2001 to the Board. This Statement of Work is being carried out throughout the tri-county area (Caldwell, Catawba, and Alexander) and is modeled after the Work First Employment Services offered to custodial parents. The tri-county area has been extremely successful with the Work First Program and feels the Non-Custodial Parent Employment Program will also be a success. The program will be carried out collaboratively by Caldwell County DSS, which will serve as the lead agency. A Case Manager will be hired in all 3 counties. The Case Manager position will be a full-time position in Caldwell and Catawba (40 hours per week) and part-time in Alexander (24 hours per week). The Case Manager will be responsible for overall program operation including providing the monitoring and documentation required by the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG), budgeting, establishing one-on-one relationships with participants of the program, and delivering and facilitating a full array of employment, training, and support services. Services for the program may include Job Readiness Activities, Employment Activities, Job Placement Services, Post-Employment Services, and Job Retention and Support Services. All participants of the program have a period of 60 days to obtain employment. Follow-up services will be provided for a period of 90 days once the participant obtains employment. The Case Manager will have contact with the participant for a minimum of 5 months. There is no County match for this program.
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the Tri-County Non-Custodial Parent Employment Program Statement of Work FY 2000-2001. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
RESOLUTION REQUESTING RELEASE OF WPCOG FUNDS FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Chairman Watts informed the Board that the General Assembly has again set aside State Funds for use by the Western Piedmont Council of Governments and each of the other 17 regional councils in North Carolina in providing economic/community development technical assistance. The funds can be used to maintain and expand some of the programs WPCOG has provided such as continuing provision of grants assistance, continuing the provision of certain technical and planning assistance, and continuing to develop our Geographic Information System (GIS). Each local government receives $55,000 and must adopt a resolution requesting that their portion of the $55,000 be released to WPCOG. Chairman Watts presented the resolution at this time and stated that these funds would be reverted back to the State if the resolution was not approved.
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the Resolution Requesting Release of WPCOG funds for Economic Development Technical Assistance. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
APPOINTMENTS TO THE ALEXANDER COUNTY/TAYLORSVILLE HUMAN RELATIONS COUNCIL
Chairman Watts presented a letter from Lucy Allen, Human Relations Council Chair, requesting that the following individuals be appointed to the Human Relations Council to represent Alexander County:
Commissioner Bolick made a motion to approve the appointments to the Human Relations Council. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
SCHEDULE CALLED MEETING IN NOVEMBER TO CONSIDER COUNTY BUSINESS
Chairman Watts stated that a 2nd Commissioners meeting needed to be scheduled for November. Several items need to be discussed including the audit report and water. Chairman Watts stated that action would be required on some items. November 27th and 28th were discussed.
Commissioner Bolick requested that incoming Commissioner William Hammer take his place at the meeting. Chairman Watts stated that Commissioner Bolick would need to be present at the meeting to be included in the voting process. Mr. Hammer could not take Commissioner Bolicks place since he will not be legally sworn in and seated until Monday, December 4, 2000.
Commissioner Odom made a motion to meet on Tuesday, November 28, 2000 at 6:30 PM in the Commissioners Room. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
ADOPTION OF JANUARY 18 20, 2001 PLANNING RETREAT BROYHILL INN & CONFERENCE CENTER, BOONE, NC
Chairman Watts stated that the Annual Commissioners Planning Retreat will be held at the Broyhill Inn & Conference Center in Boone, NC. The proposed dates for the Retreat are January 18 20, 2001.
Commissioner Robertson stated that Inauguration Weekend would begin on January 20, 2001 in Washington D.C. Chairman Watts stated that the reservations have already been made and a deposit mailed that could not be refunded.
Commissioner Odom made a motion to adopt January 18 20, 2001 as the dates for the Commissioners Planning Retreat. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
COUNTY MANAGERS REPORT
Rick French, County Manager, gave the Managers Report which included information regarding riparian buffers. Mr. French informed the Board that another buffer meeting will be held on November 30, 2000. Temporary rules should be set in February 2001. Mr. French informed the Board that all individuals attending the meetings are welcome to give input. The attendees discuss which areas need buffers such as undisturbed areas, stream and creeks, and major rivers and what size buffer is needed. Some suggest 100 foot buffers, some suggest 50 foot buffers. Mr. French suggested that anyone interested should attend the public hearings that will be held regarding the buffer rules.
Items added under Other Business were as follows:
Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to approve that Commissioner Bolick remain on the Bethlehem Incorporation Task Force. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Harbinson stated that the District Representation Plan was not intentionally partisan and that he wanted it to be voted on before the November 2000 election so no one could say that it was a political issue. Commissioner Harbinson stated that the Institute of Government had been contacted regarding the advantages and disadvantages and that a public hearing was not required. Commissioner Harbinson responded to Commissioner Bolicks comments on some areas having more control by stating that the larger areas of the County would need more representation. At this time, Commissioner Harbinson suggested tabling this until the December Commissioners Meeting. In the meantime, Commissioner Harbinson would like to discuss the issue with Commissioner Robertson for the purpose of putting together a compromise plan. If a compromise plan can be reached, a bipartisan District Representation Task Force will be formed to study the issue. David Odom will be Chairman of the Task Force. The Chairman of each political party will be allowed to choose 3 members each for the Task Force. The Task Force will meet in January and February and report findings back to the Board at the February Commissioners Meeting. Commissioner Harbinson stated that a public hearing on the Task Forces recommendation could be held sometime in February, and a vote will be made to adopt or reject the recommendation at the March Commissioners Meeting. Commissioner Harbinson asked Commissioner Robertson to speak with the Republican State Representatives to ask if they will support introducing a blank local bill in the 2001 General Assembly and also if they will introduce a bill in the General Assembly that the State pay for all costs for a local public referendum on the District Representation Plan. Commissioner Harbinson stated that if this is agreeable, he will make a motion at the December meeting to withdraw the action to adopt the District Representation Plan Resolution.
Commissioner Odom stated that he felt this issue has been blown out of proportion. Commissioner Odom also stated that he was disappointed in the actions of the Republican State Representatives since they stated that they wouldnt even look at the District Representation Plan. Commissioner Odom stated that he would always bring an issue to his fellow Commissioners to at least look at and gather input from them before turning it down.
July 5, 1994; August 1, 1994; August 15, 1994; November 7, 1994; November 21, 1994; November 29, 1994; January 3, 1995; January 16, 1995; March 29, 1995; April 3, 1995; August 7, 1995; February 19, 1996; April 21, 1997; August 4, 1997; August 18, 1997; June 1, 1998; July 6, 1998; August 17, 1998; August 31, 1998; October 5, 1998; November 9, 1998
Tax Releases for October $1,361.60 and Tax Refunds for October $768.13
Commissioner Bolick made a motion to approved the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board unanimously to in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Bolick made a motion to adjourn at 9:05 PM. 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