December 2, 2002
The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held its regular meeting on Monday, December 2, 2002 in the Commissioners Room of the Alexander County Courthouse, Taylorsville, North Carolina.
CALL TO ORDER
Vice-Chairman Hammer called the meeting to order at 12:45 PM.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Pastor Bill Carrier, Rocky Springs United Methodist Church, gave the invocation and Vice-Chairman Hammer led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to adopt the agenda as presented. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Vice-Chairman Hammer felt that it would be appropriate to begin the meeting with comments from the newly-elected Board members as well as Board members presently serving.
Commissioner Keever stated that he greatly appreciated the opportunity to serve the citizens of Alexander County once again. Commissioner Keever stated that he looked forward to working with County staff and to accomplishing many things together as a Board.
Commissioner Bolick stated that he also appreciated the opportunity to serve again as County Commissioner and asked God to guide him in everything that he did.
Commissioner Odom stated that he looked forward to the new opportunities and anticipated the transition to be smooth. Commissioner Odom stated that every member on the Board had a similar interest, what was best for the citizens of Alexander County. Commissioner Odom also urged the citizens to give the new members time to get settled on the Board.
Commissioner Robertson stated that he looked forward to two productive years with the new Board and also agreed that all Board members would work together for the best interest of the citizens. Commissioner Robertson also noted that if any citizen had any concerns that needed to be addressed they should feel free to contact any Board member.
Vice-Chairman Hammer also agreed that even though the opinions of the Board members would differ, each member would do what they felt was in the best interest for the citizens of Alexander County.
ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN
Vice-Chairman Hammer called for any nominations for Chairman
Commissioner Bolick nominated Commissioner Robertson to serve as Chairman for the next year.
There being no other nominations, Commissioner Bolick made a motion to approve the election of Commissioner Robertson as Chairman. Commissioner Keever seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIRMAN
Vice-Chairman Hammer called for any nominations for Vice-Chairman.
Commissioner Keever nominated Commissioner Hammer to serve as Vice-Chairman for the next year.
There being no other nominations, Commissioner Keever made a motion to approve the election of Commissioner Hammer as Vice-Chairman. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
EARLY ACTION COMPACT (EAC) AGREEMENT
John Tippett, Western Piedmont Council of Governments, presented the Early Action Compact (EAC) Agreement for consideration by the Board. Mr. Tippett stated that he was requesting that each of the 4 counties in the Unifour (Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba) participate in the EAC Agreement for ozone and air quality planning. Mr. Tippett stated that Caldwell and Catawba Counties had already approved participation in the EAC Agreement and he noted that he would be presenting the agreement in Burke County tomorrow night, December 3, 2002.
Mr. Tippett explained that ozone levels had increased slightly in the Unifour area and the counties involved were in danger of becoming non-attainment counties due to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency tightening up on standards. Mr. Tippett stated that a non-attainment status would result in more costly restriction of business and industry and would make construction of highway and transportation projects more difficult to obtain. Mr. Tippett stated that the ozone problems were generated mainly from automobiles and coal fired power plants, not businesses and industries; however, businesses and industries would feel the affects of the non-attainment status.
Mr. Tippett requested Alexander County to participate in the EAC Agreement in order to set up a proactive planning process across the Unifour region to try to implement measures to reduce our ozone. Mr. Tippett explained that the new federal guidelines would take effect during the spring of 2004. If the EAC Agreement is approved, the non-attainment status would be delayed and staff would have until 2007 to bring the ozone standards back down below the new federal guidelines.
Mr. Tippett stated that the project would be staffed by the WPCOG and that there would be no cost to the County. Mr. Tippett noted that the only obligation would be that a representative from the Planning Board or another committee would be needed to serve on a Unifour Air Quality Committee which would update the Board every 6 months. Mr. Tippett also stated that the County may also be asked at a later date to partner with the Town of Taylorsville to participate in some air quality efforts such as reducing pollution.
Mr. Tippett mentioned that WPCOG staff had consulted with an attorney on the EAC Agreement and had included a clause in the agreement which allowed any local government to walk away from the agreement at any time.
Chairman Robertson asked if there would be a penalty incurred if the ozone level was not reduced by 2007. Mr. Tippett replied that the only penalty would be the non-attainment status.
Commissioner Hammer discussed the Smoke Stack Act passed in Raleigh which resulted in the 14 coal fired power plants in North Carolina becoming much cleaner. Mr. Tippett stated that the act was a good idea since most of the ozone was transported by the wind.
Commissioner Bolick asked if there would be any funding required during the next budget year. Mr. Tippett stated that he did not anticipated requesting any funding and noted that grants may be available for further planning.
Commissioner Keever made a motion to approve the EAC Agreement. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
The following issues were discussed during Other Business:
Commissioner Keever made a motion to approve the meeting schedule. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
There being no further business, Commissioner Hammer made a motion to adjourn at 1:10 PM. Commissioner Keever seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
W. Darrell Robertson, Chairman Jamie C. Millsaps, Clerk to the Board