September 24, 2002

PRESENT: David S. Odom, Chairman
William L. Hammer, Vice-Chairman
Joel C. Harbinson
W. Darrell Robertson
ABSENT: John F. Watts
STAFF: Rick French, County Manager
Russell Greene, Fire Marshal
David Icenhour, Human Resources / Public Information Director
Jamie Millsaps, Clerk to the Board


The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held a Special Called Meeting on Tuesday, September 24, 2002 in the Commissioners’ Room of the Alexander County Courthouse, Taylorsville, North Carolina.


Chairman Odom called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.


Commissioner Robertson explained that the mental health service was changing from a service provider to a management entity and noted that counties had 3 designation options to choose from for mental health service which included:

Single County (Stand Alone) County
Area Program
Area Authority

Commissioner Robertson stated that in order to be designated as a single county, the county was required to have a population of 200,000 which Alexander County did not have. Therefore, Commissioner Robertson suggested that the Board designate Alexander County to be apart of an area program since Alexander County had functioned as part of an area program for the last 35 years along with Caldwell, Burke, and McDowell Counties. Commissioner Robertson noted that this designation would give us the same amount of input into the administration of the new organization as in the past.

Commissioner Robertson asked if Rick French, County Manager, had received a resolution in order to approve the designation. Mr. French replied that there was no resolution available and felt that a letter from the Board would be sufficient.

Commissioner Robertson made a motion to designate that Alexander County would provide mental health services through an area program and to have the County Manager to send a letter to the division stating this designation along with a copy of the minutes from this meeting. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

Commissioner Hammer asked about the mental health budget. Commissioner Robertson stated that the budget for Foothills Mental Health had been cut approximately 11% for the 2002-2003 budget year. Commissioner Robertson also reported that by 2007, services would be provided through private providers and the area program would become a local management entity and would provide quality control of the private services.

Chairman Odom conveyed his appreciation to Commissioner Robertson and Rick French for their work on the Foothills Mental Health Board.


Rick French, County Manager, presented the revised agreement between Alexander County and the Alexander Animal Action League. Mr. French stated that staff had added a few items to the agreement for clarification purposes which included a 60-day required notice for any modifications to the animal shelter and also a possible 7-day required notice if necessary in the case of a controversial modification.

Mr. French noted that the Alexander Animal Action League would be required to have proper insurance including workers compensation and would be required to follow all federal, state, and county laws and regulations.

Mr. French recommended approval of the revised agreement with an effective date of October 1, 2002.

Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to approve the revised agreement between Alexander County and the Alexander Animal Action League. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.


Rick French, County Manager, informed the Board that staff would be meeting with Denny Martin, McGill Associates, on Friday, September 27, 2002 in regards to the sewer feasibility study. Mr. French stated that this item would therefore be discussed at the October 1, 2002 Commissioners’ Meeting.


The following items were discussed during Other Business:

    1. Rick French, County Manager, informed the Board that a fire at the landfill on Friday, September 20, 2002 burned a solid waste trailer and caused smoke damage to the back of the transfer station. Mr. French stated that he had spoken with a representative from GDS, Inc. to determine who’s insurance would be responsible for the damage. Mr. French noted that staff was in the process of resolving the issue and would keep the Board informed.
    2. Mr. French stated that he had traveled to Raleigh yesterday for the House vote of the half-cent sales tax acceleration. Mr. French explained that the House passed the second reading with a vote of 60-55 and passed a third reading with a vote of 58-54. The Senate voted on the second reading today and is scheduled to vote on the third reading in the morning, September 25, 2002. Mr. French explained that the enactment of the sales tax would raise the rate to 7 cents, would be effective on December 1, 2002, would sunset on June 30, 2002, and would generate $583,000 for Alexander County, according to the NCACC. Mr. French reported that there would be no hold harmless with the tax, distribution would be on a half per capita basis and half point of sale basis, and proceeds would be distributed quarterly until July 2003.
    3. Mr. French stated that the Board would need to approve another resolution to enact the sales tax and send a copy to the NC Secretary of Revenue by November 1, 2002 in order for the sales tax to take effect on December 1, 2002. Mr. French noted that a resolution would be received in the near future.

    4. Chairman Odom stated that he had been approached by several members of the Taylorsville Lions Club who would like the county’s assistance in leveling the fairgrounds. The members would like to borrow some equipment such as a bulldozer. Mr. French stated that the work would need to be completed on the weekend since the equipment was needed for county operations during the week. Mr. French also noted that the county did not have a trailer to transport the earth and debris from the fairgrounds to the landfill. Chairman Odom felt that the Lions Club could arrange for a trailer and an operator. Commissioner Robertson inquired about insurance. Mr. French felt that the county’s insurance carrier would not cover the county since the work would not be done on county property. Mr. French stated that he would contact the insurance carrier in regard to the coverage. Chairman Odom noted that he felt that the Lions Club should provide the county with some type of waiver. Chairman Odom also stated that he informed the Lions Club members that the county would not be responsible for compaction.

Mr. Greene also noted that the Department of Labor had asked the Lions Club for several years to flatten the area for fair rides. Mr. Greene explained that they planned to terrace the grounds probably 3 or 4 terraces.

Commissioner Robertson stated that the Lions Club also needed to do compaction and felt that they would have some problems if the ground was not compacted.

The Board agreed to discuss this issue at a later date.


There being no further business, Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to adjourn at 7:20 PM. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.



David S. Odom, Chairman           Jamie C. Millsaps, Clerk to the Board