|BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS||
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
June 15, 1998
PRESENT: W. Darrell Robertson, Chairman
Wesley Bolick, Jr., Vice Chairman
K. Craig Mayberry
W. Guy Kerley,
Timothy A. Glass
STAFF: Charles S. Mashburn, Clerk to the Board
Jerry Campbell, Attorney
The Board met in closed session at 6:00 p.m. with the Recreation Commission to discuss personnel matters (see minutes of closed session).
Chairman Robertson called the regular meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the Alexander County Courthouse. The Reverend Larry Swidzinski gave the invocation and Chairman Robertson led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Mr. Ben Hines and Mr. Wesley Fox presented to the Board for consideration a revised drawing of a bell tower proposed for the courthouse lawn. The recommended tower is about fifteen feet high by seven feet wide. The bell would go near the top and a corner stone would be installed to one side. Significant contributors would be listed on the one side, along with a history. The Board expressed concern about the contributors list because it is difficult to determine the limits to get included. No decision was made pending further evaluation.
1998-99 BUDGET-PUBLIC HEARING
Chairman Robertson called to order a public hearing as duly advertised and notice provided to consider public comment regarding the proposed 1998-99 budget.
Chairman Robertson thanked all the county department heads for submitting reasonable requests and for their cooperation in the budget process.
Chairman Robertson reported the budget includes a 5% increase in compensation for county employees, and includes a 10% increase in school funding, which helps the county toward the state averages. He indicated the Board has reached an informal decision to establish the tax rate at $.53, which is four cents less than the prior year. This reduction is possible because the fund balance is strong, the economy is strong, and the tax base and sales tax revenues have increased more than anticipated.
Commissioner Mayberry reported this is the third year in a row that education spending has increased more than 10%. In fact, over the past three years, spending for education has increased by over 40%, counting the special appropriation for technology. Though the county is not at the state average, spending has been increased significantly. The money previously budgeted for school debt is now being placed in a reserve fund for future capital projects.
Commissioner Bolick indicated it is very gratifying to see that the schools are debt free and the county is ready to proceed with capital projects when a plan is brought forward.
Commissioner Robertson indicated a strong fund balance must be maintained for a high credit rating, and for emergencies.
Commissioner Glass indicated that he supports more reliance on sales tax and less on an unfair property tax. Commissioner Mayberry pointed out that this Board is supporting sales tax increases with the understanding that property taxes will be reduced.
There being no comment from the audience, Chairman Robertson declared the public hearing closed, and called a final budget workshop to be held in the courthouse at 6:00 p.m. on June 22.
HUNTINGTON HOUSE-SEWER PROJECT
Ms. Nancy Coley, Western Piedmont Council of Governments, asked the Board to consider authorizing staff to proceed with the Huntington House sewer project. She reminded the Board that Huntington House has proposed to expand and needs sewer service in order to use the existing property. The company needs authorization by budget resolution in order to get a building permit. She indicated the grant is certain but staff can not await the paper work in order to get started. Other adjacent business, industry and residential developers are participating in the project. The project will cost about $214,000, with the county share $20,000, the grant share $160,500, and the business contribution $33,500.
Upon motion by Commissioner Kerley and second by Commissioner Mayberry the Board voted unanimously to approve the project budget ordinance for 1998-99 and to authorize staff to proceed with the project, and to authorize Chairman Robertson to execute grant documents when offered by the state (attachment #1).
HOME AND COMMUNITY CARE BlOCK GRANT
Ms. Angela Johnson informed the Board that the advisory committee has recommended a 1998-99 Home and Community Care Block Grant program of $226,548, with grants funding $193,298 and a local match of 10%.
Upon motion by Commissioner Bolick and second by Commissioner Mayberry the Board voted unanimously to approve the Home and Community Care Block grant as presented.
CONGREGATE AND HOME MEALS-BIDS
This item was postponed pending receipt of bids.
Representatives from Belle View Adult Care facility advised the Board that the facility needs access to public water because the existing well has had bacteria and it is expensive to perform the testing and monitoring each month. Ms. Moose has given permission to construct a three inch water line across her property. However, the best solution is the construction of six inch water line along Three Forks Road and Wood Lane. Residents beyond the Wood Lane intersection have previously petitioned for water.
Upon inquiry from Commissioner Mayberry, Belle View representatives indicated the facility would be willing to pay part of the cost if the county would finance the project. This could be done with money saved from eliminating the "B" well operator.
Commissioner Robertson recommended the proposal be deferred pending an evaluation of grants and other possible customers.
ROADS-MARSH ROAD ABANDONMENT
Upon motion by Commissioner Mayberry and second by Commissioner Kerley the Board voted unanimously to authorize the abandonment of a portion of George Marsh Road as recommended by the Department of Transportation
HIGHWAY 16 -WIDENING PROJECT
Chairman Robertson reported that Representatives Starnes and Holmes assisted with securing funding to widen Highway South 16 to three lanes, from Highway 64 to Macedonia Church Road. He thanked them for assisting to make the project possible.
BOARD AND COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS
Upon motion by Commissioner Robertson and second by Commissioner Glass the Board voted unanimously to make board and committee appointments as follows:
ALEXANDER COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENTS
Mr. Jimmy Moore was appointed to the Alexander County Board of Adjustments.
JOINT NURSING AND DOMICILIARY HOME COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Ms. Sara Keever was reappointed to the Joint Nursing and Domiciliary Home Community Advisory Committee.
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Ms. Nan Campbell was recommended to serve on the Workforce Development Board.
BOARD OF ELECTIONS-PERSONNEL
The Board of Commissioners was informed that the Board of Elections has requested the approval of an additional deputy elections supervisor, and making the part-time position a temporary full-time position. These positions are needed because Elections Supervisor Haroldine Watts in very ill, and because a new computer system installation will require an intensive effort over the next few months.
Upon motion by Commissioner Bolick and second by Commissioner Mayberry the Board voted unanimously to authorize positions as requested.
WATERSHED ENFORCEMENT-CITY OF STATESVILLE
The Board was advised again that the City of Statesville is proceeding with the process to reclassify the area around Lake Lookout Shoals in order to construct a water intake. The reclassification will require Alexander County to enforce the state watershed requirements in the classified area. Mr. Robertson indicated Alexander County wants to be a good neighbor, but he is concerned about the additional burden on staff to enforce regulations for the City of Statesville. A public hearing on this issue is scheduled for June 18 in Statesville.
Upon motion by Commissioner Robertson and second by Commissioner Mayberry the Board voted unanimously that a letter be sent to the City of Statesville and to the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission expressing some concern for the burden that will be placed on Alexander County, and to get clarification regarding the impact on construction of houses, industry, landfills, etc.
Upon motion by Commissioner Glass and second by Commissioner Mayberry the Board voted unanimously to approve the consent agenda as follows:
The minutes of June 1, 1998, and June 9, 1998, were approved as presented by the Clerk to the Board.
TAX RELEASES AND REFUNDS
Tax releases of $285.25 and tax refunds of $219.75 were approved as requested.
1997-98 BUDGET AMENDMENT
A final 1997-98 budget amendment was approved (Budget Amendment #60, Attachment #3).
Commissioner Mayberry was excused from the meeting at this time.
Upon motion by Commissioner Kerley and second by Commissioner Bolick the Board voted unanimously to go into closed session to discuss personnel matters, and to return to open session for purpose of adjournment only.
Upon motion by Commissioner Kerley and second by Commissioner Glass the Board voted unanimously to adjourn until 6:00 p.m., June 22, 1998, to meet in the courthouse to conduct a budget session.
Charles S. Mashburn
W. Darrell Robertson, Chairman