|BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS||
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
April 6, 1998
PRESENT: W. Darrell Robertson, Chairman
Wesley E. Bolick, Jr., Vice Chairman
Timothy A. Glass
K. Craig Mayberry
ABSENT: W. Guy Kerley
STAFF: Charles S. Mashburn, Clerk to the Board
Jerry Campbell, Attorney
Chairman Robertson called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the Alexander County Courthouse. The Reverend Bill Goble gave the invocation and Chairman Robertson led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Chairman Robertson called to order a public hearing as advertised and notice duly provided to consider the rezoning of property known as the Wittenburg property. Ms. Sylvia Lamb, Western Piedmont Council of Governments, advised the Board that this approximately 100 acre tract of land is located on Rink Dam Road in Bethlehem. Homestead Land and Timber Company has purchased an option and is requesting the property be rezoned from RA-20 to R-20. A sewer system will be installed that will allow for smaller lot sizes. Ms. Lamb reported the Alexander County Planning Board voted on March 5, 1998, to recommend the rezoning as requested. No opposition was reported at the planning board hearing.
Mr. Tracy Warlick and Mr. Dent Allison said there are plans for restrictive covenants and other design criteria. Manufactured homes are not allowed in an R-20 area. About 200 lots are planned with houses in the $125,000 range.
No one in the audience spoke in opposition to the rezoning request.
Upon motion by Commissioner Bolick and second by Commissioner Mayberry the Board voted unanimously to approve the rezoning as requested.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT-HUNTINGTON HOUSE
Chairman Robertson called to order a public hearing as advertised and notice duly provided to consider a Community Development Block Grant application. This was the second of two required hearings.
Huntington House Furniture Company plans to construct an addition to their facility located on Rink Dam Road in Bethlehem. Due to the location of the septic tank, it is necessary to hook to the municipal sewer system. The total cost to construct the sewer line is about $209,000. Huntington House plans to hire 15 to 20 new employees. By agreeing to hire low and moderate-low income employees, the company is eligible for CDBG money to help construct the sewer system.
The Board was advised that the owners of Hancock and Moore, The Bethlehem Seafood Restaurant, and the Bethlehem Shopping Center, are also interested in hooking to the sewer system, and have expressed a willingness to share in the cost. The Board of Commissioners must commit to paying twenty-five percent of the cost of the project in order to get the grant approved. The Board was advised that a pre-application conference was held with the Department of Commerce on April 3, 1998, and the representative indicated this project appeared to meet funding criteria.
There being no comments or questions from the audience regarding the project, Chairman Robertson declared the public hearing closed.
Upon motion by Commissioner Robertson and second by Commissioner Mayberry the Board voted unanimously to authorize staff to work with the businesses and to authorize the CDBG application and commit the required match by resolution: (See Resolution 98-#3 Attachment # 1).
BOARD OF EDUCATION-SPECIAL APPROPRIATION
The Board discussed a request from the Board of Education for a one-time appropriation to purchase student computers. Dr. Warren Hollar, Interim Superintendent of Schools, presented growth statistics and other information related to a request for additional funding. He emphasized the need for $200,000 to purchase computers and to enhance the Internet connection for the high school.
Commissioner Glass made a motion to appropriate to the Alexander County School System a one-time allocation of $35.00 per student, with the amount being $186,000 based on 4,839 students, and to approve a budget amendment #52 (Attachment #2). This motion was seconded by Commissioner Mayberry and passed unanimously.
Commissioner Mayberry related that the Board of Commissioners appropriated a 10% increase at last budget, and with this one-time appropriation increased that percentage greatly. He indicated several people had praised the proposal.
WATER LINE-TAYLOR KING
Mr. Ron Downs, Chief Financial Officer with Taylor King Furniture, asked the Board to fund construction of a ten inch water line to their facility located on County Home Road. The company is planning a $1.0m expansion and will bring 25 employees from a leased facility and possibly hire 25 additional employees in Alexander County. The existing six inch water line will not provide adequate water to serve a sprinkler system being required for the expansion. A ten inch line will cost about $40,000. Mr. Downs indicated the company is willing to commit $20,000 if a grant can not be secured to cover the cost. A determination has not been made whether this project is grant eligible.
The Board questioned whether the 8" line on South 16 will provide adequate pressure and volume to operate the sprinkler system and indicated a reluctance to participate in the project without those assurances.
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Bolick the Board voted unanimously to ask staff to apply for a CDBG grant pending verification the ten inch water line will be effective, but to proceed if the grant is not approved.
Chairman Robertson presented a retirement plaque to Mr. French Lackey who has worked as a jailer for nine years.
UNIFOUR HOUSING CONSORTIUM AGREEMENT
Mr. Rick Oxford, Western Piedmont Council of Governments, explained details of the Unifour Consortium and offered for consideration a new two year agreement. Mr. Oxford explained the Consortium is composed of twenty-seven local governments in the Unifour, with a mission to provide better housing to qualified residents. One of the primary tools is downpayment assistance. The agreement requires each local government to provide a 25% match. However, all match to date has been raised from private sources. Monies are allocated to prorated to each local government. Alexander County has obligated less than its allocation, partly because there are no non profits in the county that provide housing.
Upon motion by Commissioner Bolick and second by Commissioner Glass the Board voted unanimously to approve Unifour Consortium Agreement by resolution (See Resolution 98-#4).
MARCH FOR PARKS RESOLUTION
The Board was asked by the Valdese Lions Club to pass a resolution supporting April 18, 1998, as "March for Parks" day. The primary goal is to raise funds to help South Mountain State Park construct a nature trail for handicapped citizens.
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Glass the Board voted unanimously to support improvement of the South Mountain Park nature trail by declaring April 18, 1998, as "March for Parks Day" in Alexander County. (Resolution 98-#5)
WATER DISTRICTS-INSTALLATION FEE
The Board was advised that the Alexander County Water Corporation recently raised the meter reading fee to $.75 per meter, and the meter installation fee to $575.00 from $375.00. It is anticipated the meter reading fee can be absorbed in the current rate structure, but it was recommended the meter installation fee be increased.
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Bolick the Board voted unanimously to raise the meter installation fee to $575.00.
Ms. Gina Silva, Director of the Exchange/SCAN Center, explained the SCAN program and asked the Board to declare the month of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Alexander County.
Upon motion by Commissioner Robertson and second by Commissioner Glass the Board voted unanimously to declare the month of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month by resolution (Resolution 98-#6).
BOARD AND COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS
No board or committee appointments were made.
OLD JAIL LEASE
County Attorney Jerry Campbell presented for consideration a proposed Old Jail Lease and recommended the Board schedule a public hearing as required for real property leases. The lease would require the lessee to repair the roof within two years; the lease would be for a period of twenty-five years.
Upon motion by Commissioner Bolick and second by Commissioner Mayberry the Board voted unanimously to declare an intention to enter a lease for the Old Jail and to schedule a public hearing for April 20, 1998.
SALES TAX RESOLUTION
The Board discussed whether to ask the North Carolina General Assembly to add Alexander County to House Bill 99 that would allow the county to receive reimbursement for sales tax paid during construction of Wittenburg and other schools. The Board wanted clarification regarding whether the county or school will receive the money.
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Bolick the Board voted unanimously to table until April 20, 1998, consideration of the sales tax request.
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Glass the Board voted unanimously to authorize establishing the combined position of Planning Director/Economic Development Director, and to establish the position of Building Inspector III (Supervisor), and to authorize recruitment and hiring for both positions.
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Glass the Board voted unanimously to change the name of Bobs Road to Ridge Lane.
SOLID WASTE-SWAP SHED
The Board was advised that construction of the swap shed will begin the week of April 6.
Inmates from the prison will perform most of the work. The shed will be constructed adjacent to the scale house so that it can be monitored. The Board directed that the shed will be used for swap items only and is to be used by people to avoid the tipping fee. If the facility is abused, then it will be closed.
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Glass the Board voted unanimously to approve the Consent Agenda as follows:
The minutes of March 16 and March 30, 1998, were approved as presented by the Clerk to the Board.
E911 BUDGET AMENDMENT # 49
Budget amendment #49 was approved to increase the equipment maintenance line item in the E911 Fund for insurance payments due to lightning damage (Attachment #3).
Upon motion by Commissioner Glass and second by Commissioner Bolick the Board voted unanimously to adjourn.
W. Darrell Robertson, Chairman