May 9, 2000
The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held a work session on May 9, 2000 in the County Administration Building.
Chairman Watts called the work session to order at 6:35 p.m.
PRESENTATION OF SPACE NEEDS STUDY
Jim Powell, Atkinson/Dyer/Watson Architects P.A., presented the Space Needs Study for Alexander County. Studies were completed for the following departments: General Administration, Finance, Information Technology, Emergency Services, Veterans, Soil & Water, Solid Waste, Board of Elections, Tax, Planning & Development, and Health Department. The Space Needs Study reviewed existing space for each department, current needed space, and 5-10 year growth space needed. For these departments, there was a total of 17,272 square feet of existing space, 25,725 square feet of current needed space, and 5,286 extra square feet that would be needed in 5-10 years,
Mr. Powell stated that the Health Department was organized very well in regard to offices, labs, and exam rooms, but that they just needed more space to work in.
Commissioner Robertson asked why Social Services and Sheriff's Department were not included in this study. Rick French, County Manager, replied that these departments will be next on the list in the Space Needs Study. Commissioner Robertson stated that he would like a study on these departments as well to have a total view of all department's needs as a whole.
Many suggestions were brought up by the Commissioners on how to create more space for offices. Commissioner Bolick suggested moving the Health Department to the Alexander Community Hospital. The Hospital would be an ideal place for the Health Department. The rooms are already set up properly with labs, exam rooms, etc. Uncertainty involving the hospital, along with infrastructure needs for such a move leaves this option questionable at this time. Commissioner Bolick also mentioned putting County offices in Bethlehem.
Commissioner Robertson suggested that the County investigate leasing space to Agriculture Extension, which takes up most of the first floor in the Administration Building. Most other counties in the state charge rent to Agriculture Extension since they are a state office.
Commissioner Harbinson suggested contacting Wal-Mart for office space. Plans are to vacate the current building when a new Wal-Mart is constructed. Commissioner Harbinson said that he had made a phone call about the property but had not received a call back. Commissioner Watts has provided information regarding this avenue.
The Board thanked Mr. Powell for his hard work on the Space Needs Study.
TAX REVENUE UPDATE
Luther Stocks, Tax Administrator, stated that the Tax Office has seen a 5 percent increase in values since last year. Values usually increase 5 percent per year so this percentage was anticipated. Mr. Stocks stated that car taxes are unpredictable and are not consistent. Mr. Stocks reported that car values for 1998-1999 were estimated $197 million and $217 million in 1999-2000. Personal property values usually increase and business/commercial is fairly constant. The Tax Office anticipates to collect $7.73 million during the 2000-2001 budget year, not including the fire tax. With the fire tax included, the Tax Office anticipates collecting $8,338,149. The Tax Office does not anticipate an increase in business/personal property. Mr. Stocks stated that he would like to help people in financial difficulty by allowing them to make payments. He stated that this could, however, be a problem since some people still won't make their payments. The Tax office has contracted with a local attorney, Caryn Brzykcy, for collection of delinquent accounts. All Commissioners are intent on improving the yearly collection percentages.
TRANSPORTATION & DISPOSAL AGREEMENT - BFI
Rick French, County Manger, stated that the County currently has a Transportation & Disposal Agreement with BFI which expires at the end of this year. Mr. French stated that he has had some contact with GDS which thinks they can save the County some money. Mr. French suggested that the County bid out the service to find a suitable agreement.
Rick French, County Manager stated that the County has the final change order with White Fox Construction. Bob Oxford has been in touch with Mr. French as well as the Finance Department and this project will soon be completed.
Rick French stated that the County will be funding monies to Economic Development to help in future growth of the community and to make the public aware of Economic Development in the 2000-2001 budget.
Sylvia Turnmire, Planning & Development Director, gave the Board a copy of the revised Subdivision Regulations. Ms. Turnmire stated that she had also distributed copies to the Planning & Zoning Commission members, and 3 of the 7 members had called and approved the regulations. Ms. Turnmire suggested putting the regulations on the June meeting for approval. Commissioner Bolick suggested meeting with a contractor to get another opinion on the Subdivision Regulations. Ms. Turnmire stated that she would put copies in the County offices. The Board suggested that Ms. Turnmire and 2 or 3 Planning & Zoning Commission members make their debut on the radio show "What Do You Think" to address the public on this issue.
Commissioners Odom and Bolick stated that they would be attending Alexander Community Hospital Day which is being held on May 20, 2000 at 1:00 p.m. It was suggested that the County ask the Town of Taylorsville to help with financing the Hospital. For example, if the County gives the Hospital a total of $600,000, the Town could possibly give $200,000.
Rick French, County Manager, stated that the new lights in the old jail parking lot are now installed and working.
The work session was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.
John F. Watts, Chairman Jamie C. Millsaps, Clerk to the Board