BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

ALEXANDER COUNTY

MINUTES

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

Draft

October 5, 1999 

PRESENT: 

Joel Harbinson, Chairman
John Watts, Vice Chairman
Wesley Bolick
David Odom
Darrell Robertson

STAFF: 

Rick French, County Manager
Edward Hedrick, IV, County Attorney
Helen Anthony, Clerk to the Board

The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held the Peoples’ Agenda at 6:45pm in the Commissioner’s Room in Taylorsville, North Carolina. Chairman Joel Harbinson called the Peoples’ Agenda to order with one person, Russell Greene, County Fire Marshal, coming forth to remind the community about Fire Prevention Week. He acknowledged Allstate Insurance agent, David Goodin, and publicly thanked Allstate for $15,000.00 in grants donated to the Alexander County Fire Prevention Teams.

Chairman Joel Harbinson called the regular meeting to order at 6:55 p.m.

Rev. A. L. Childers read a scripture and gave the Invocation. Holly Lucas led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

CITIZEN OF THE MONTH AWARD

Commissioner Darrell Robertson presented the Citizen of the Month Award to Bill Johnson, a former president of the Stony Point Ruritan Club, a member of the Alexander County Planning Board, a member of the Alexander Water Corporation, and involved in other community activities.

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

Chairman Harbinson noted several letters that had been received:

  1. NC Department of Correction is grateful that Alexander County has accepted the challenge to provide a site for the new prison.
  2. Annual Drinking Water Report of the Highway 16 South District.
  3. Alexander County Planning and Inspection Monthly Report.
  4. Financial Report from Ben Hines, Register of Deeds, Alexander County.
  5. Monthly Report of the Veterans Administration.

ADOPTION OF AGENDA

Chairman Harbinson stated four additional items had been submitted by the County Manager to be added to the regular agenda.

  1. Item #13 – Appointment to the Department of Social Services Board
  2. Item #14 – Library Budget Grant approval
  3. Item #15 – Common Sense Fitness, Incorporation presentation
  4. Item #16 – Consideration of garnishments for overdue EMS accounts

Commissioner Watts made the motion to adopt the agenda with the above four items added. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

BUBBA WATTS AWARDS

The seven organized recreation teams recognized one volunteer coach with the First Annual "Bubba Watts Award". This Award is given in memory of Wayne "Bubba" Watts, a beloved coach and employee of the Alexander County Recreation Department. As a Coach, he exemplified a love for all children, a willingness to help, and a commitment to sports. Recognized: Chris Boston, Bethlehem; Melvin Teague, Ellendale; Shelby Earp, Hiddenite; Michael Mayberry, Stony Point; Reggie Brown, Sugar Loaf; Darren Hayes, Taylorsville; Todd Smith, Wittenburg.

CONSIDERATION OF ALEXANDER COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATION SURVEY

Sam Ervin had presented, at the previous Commissioners’ meeting, the survey of the Parks and Recreation Study, which made recommendations to be used as a guide for reorganizing the Board of Directors for the Recreation Department.

Upon a motion by Commissioner Bolick and second by Commissioner Robertson, the Board voted unanimously to adopt the recommendations of the completed "Alexander County Parks and Recreation Study" as presented by Sam Ervin of the Western Piedmont Council of Governments.

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS CABLE TV FRANCHISE RENEWAL

Landon Barefoot, representing Charter Communications, stated they are willing to extend cable service to Wittenburg and Ellendale communities within 12 months of the approval to renew the 15 year franchise agreement. All Alexander County schools would have access to cable TV, including Wittenburg and Ellendale. In addition, the government channel can be used to make public service announcements.

Commissioner Robertson made the motion to approve the franchise renewal with Charter Communications if cable TV is installed in the Wittenburg and Ellendale schools, and if the final draft of the renewal agreement is approved by the County Attorney. Commissioner Watts seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

RESOLUTION TO REVITALIZE THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND (LWCF)

Chairman Joel Harbinson presented a Resolution to Revitalize the Land and Water Conservation Fund that was created in 1964. This will assure that all Americans have access to high quality recreation and resources, to enhance the health and vitality of the nation, and to preserve valuable habitats. (Attachment #1)

Commissioner Watts made a motion to adopt the Resolution, which was seconded by Commissioner Odom. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

RESOLUTION SUPPORTING MANDATORY BUFFERS

Commissioner John Watts presented a joint Resolution supporting the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission to adopt temporary rules requiring mandatory riparian buffers along the perennial streams for the upper Catawba River Basin in order to protect water quality. Sylvia Turnmire stated that the Alexander County Planning Committee had a representative at the public meeting held October 5, 1999, at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC. (Attachment #2)

Commissioner Watts made the motion to support the Resolution for Mandatory Buffers along the upper Catawba River Basin’s perennial streams. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of this motion.

CONSIDERATION OF ALEXANDER COUNTY PERSONNEL ORDINANCE

Charles McGinnis presented the Alexander County Personnel Policy Ordinance as recommended by the MAPS study of employee duties in Alexander County. Under the County Management form of government, the Clerk to the Board would serve as an administrative officer and as Clerk to the County Commissioners. (Attachment #3)

Commissioner Bolick made the motion to adopt the Alexander County Personnel Ordinance with the exception that the current Clerk to the Board remain employed at the pleasure of the Board and the future Clerk report under the County Management form of government. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

COMMUNICATIONS REPORT

Terry Foxx, Alexander County Emergency Service Director, gave an update that the Wireless Communications Study is incomplete at this time. However, he made four recommendations to the Board. (Attachment #4) He stated that a Workshop would be scheduled to review the Wireless Communication Nextel Contract.

Commissioner Odom made the motion to accept the four recommendations as submitted by Terry Foxx. Commissioner Watts seconded the motion. Commissioners Bolick, Watts, Odom, and Harbinson voted for the motion. Commissioner Robertson voted against the motion.

Motion carried 4-1.

HURRICANE FLOYD REPORT

Terry Foxx reported that the Emergency Management Services had sent the Alexander County Rescue Squad’s Special Force team to Nash County to assist in rescue efforts of the recent flood victims of Hurricane Floyd. He reported about the local EMS preparation for Hurricane Floyd in Alexander County, which included East Taylorsville Baptist Church being identified as a qualified shelter. Other churches have expressed an interest in becoming certified/qualified as an emergency shelter in the county.

No action was required.

WATER FUNDING REQUEST FROM BILLY MILLSAPS

Billy Millsaps had requested that Alexander County provide some financial assistance to help pay for the installation of water lines into a new subdivision, Fairway Oaks, which would be adjoining the Brushy Mountain Golf Course.

The County Manager, Rick French, recommended that this request be tabled until the Planning Board has finalized the Subdivision Zoning Ordinance.

Commissioner Bolick made the motion to table this request until the Planning Board and Commissioners have reviewed the Subdivision Ordinance. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

EMERGENCY VEHICLE PURCHASE CONSIDERATION

Commissioner David Odom requested that Alexander County consider purchasing an additional vehicle for the Alexander County Rescue Squad. The present vehicle, a 1982 ton Suburban, has 168,000 miles and has repeatedly had severe mechanical problems. Tim Pennell, Alexander County Rescue Squad treasurer, gave an update on the financial status of the squad and a bid proposal.

Commissioner Odom made the motion that the County provide the Alexander County Rescue Squad sufficient funds to purchase a vehicle from Contingency funds not to exceed $33,660.00 and to use the 1982 Suburban either as a trade-in or sell as surplus, subject to the approval of the County Manager. Commissioner Watts seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

REPORT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CONCERNING REQUEST FOR SIGNAL LIGHT STUDY AT SR 1110 AND EXIT DRIVE ALEXANDER CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL

The North Carolina Department of Transportation engineering investigation revealed that neither the accident nor the count data met the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control devices for signalization at this time. They recommended a Stop Sign be installed and both lanes be used as "Exit only" during dismissal times. They also recommended that two "Do Not Enter" signs be added at appropriate times.

No action was taken.

COUNTY MANAGER’S REPORT

Rick French, County Manager submitted his monthly report and noted that there is a Planning Work Session to be held Tuesday, October 19, 1999, at 7:00 p.m. at the County Administration Building.

The date for the Planning Retreat is January 14 – 16, 2000. Judy is checking out the location.

Personnel updates: Patty Foster - Transportation Coordinator replacing Terry Foxx that was promoted to Emergency Services Director; Jamie Millsaps - new Office Assistant; Kim Spencer - Inspection , Recreation, and back-up in the Solid Waste department.

No action required.

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES BOARD APPOINTEE

Betty Long was recommended to be the appointee to the Alexander County Department of Social Services Board that has a vacancy.

Commissioner Watts made a motion to appoint Betty Long. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

LIBRARY BUDGET ORDINANCE

Alexander County has received notification from the State Library of North Carolina that two grant applications have been approved a Retrospective Conversion Grant in the amount of $26,274.00 and an Automation Planning Grant for $15,000.00. No matching funds are required from Alexander County.

Upon a motion by Commissioner Watts and a second by Commissioner Odom, the Board voted unanimously to accept the Library Budget Ordinance.

COMMON SENSE FITNESS INCORPORATED

Keith Hertzler introduced James Benfield, Common Sense Fitness, Inc.’s owner and operator. He was seeking the Commissioners’ approval of a fitness / training facility in the Bethlehem area with no cost to the County. Memberships will be offered. It was recommended that he meet with the YMCA.

No action was required.

CONSIDERATION OF GARNISHMENT FOR OVERDUE EMS ACCOUNTS

Nolan Jarvis, EMS Director, requested the Commissioners approve a policy of using garnishment proceedings, where feasible, to collect overdue ambulance bills with the following criteria:

  1. Not a Medicaid or Medicare recipient.
  2. Account has been sent an initial invoice, 30-day statement, 60-day statement, and a 90-day statement with a letter warning of collection proceedings.
  3. The bill is not in dispute (i.e. vehicle accident where there may be pending litigation, etc.)
  4. No payments made on the account in the past 90 days, and the responsible party has not contacted EMS to make arrangements for payment.

Commissioner Robertson made the motion to approve the Garnishment Amendment Criteria. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

CONSENT AGENDA

  1. Minutes of September 7, 1999 and September 21, 1999 Commissioner’s Meetings.
  2. Budget Amendments #10, Child Health Dept. Supplies (Account 10-5909.3300) increased by $1,791.00 with the total amount equal $4,999.00.
  3. Tax Releases for September $2,346.00 and Tax Refund Requests for September $1,247.07.

OTHER BUSINESS (ORIGINAL ITEM #13)

A RESOLUTION CONCERNING CLEAN NORTH CAROLINA 2000 INITIATIVE

The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners adopted two resolutions and urges each county government to support and coordinate efforts to accomplish the aims of the Clean North Carolina 2000 Initiatives and The Census 2000 effort.

Commissioner Odom made a motion to adopt the Clean North Carolina Resolution, which is to improve the appearance of our roadsides to create a clean environment. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

A RESOLUTION CONCERNING COUNTY SUPPORT OF THE CENSUS 2000

Commissioner Robertson made a motion to adopt The Census 2000 Resolution, which promotes an accurate account for the 2000 census. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioner Odom made a motion to adjourn the regular and to re-convene in a Closed Session to discuss personnel matters. Commissioner Watts seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion to adjourn until the Commissioner’s Workshop scheduled on October 19, 1999, at 7:00 p.m. in the County Administration Building.

_______________________ ______________________________

Joel C. Harbinson, Chairman       Helen P. Anthony, Clerk to the Board