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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 

ALEXANDER COUNTY

MINUTES

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

September 12, 2000

PRESENT: John F. Watts, Chairman
Wesley Bolick
Joel C. Harbinson
W. Darrell Robertson
ABSENT: David S. Odom, Vice-Chairman
STAFF: Rick French, County Manager
Jamie Millsaps, Clerk to the Board

 

The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held their monthly meeting on September 12, 2000 in the Commissioner's Room in the Alexander County Courthouse, Taylorsville, North Carolina. 

REGULAR MEETING

Chairman Watts called the regular meeting to order at 6:55 p.m. No citizens were present for the People's Agenda.

Rick French, County Manager, gave the invocation and Megan Gantt from Wittenburg Elementary School led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. 

CITIZENS OF THE MONTH ** SPECIAL RECOGNITION**

Commissioner Harbinson presented the Citizen of the Month award to Dr. Walter Long and wife Mary Long. Commissioner Harbinson stated the Dr. and Mrs. Long had committed their lives to the people in Alexander County. Dr. Long served as a physician for 38 years and Mrs. Long was a teacher with Alexander County Schools. 

CHAIRMAN'S REPORT

Chairman Watts gave the Chairman's Report which included special recognition of Virginia C. G. Austin, Assistant Register of Deeds, and Jean A. Starnes, Deputy Register of Deeds. Ms. Austin and Ms. Starnes have been certified by the Certification Board of the North Carolina Association of Registers of Deeds. Chairman Watts also stated that Ben Hines, Register of Deeds, and Margie Mays were engaged at the Register of Deeds Association meeting in Asheville.

A letter was received from the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners regarding the legislative goals for this year. Commissioner Robertson suggested discussing this item under Other Business. 

ADOPTION OF AGENDA

Chairman Watts stated the Agenda Item #1 and #16 were to be tabled until the October meeting and that Wayne Sullivan with Municipal Engineering would be presenting Agenda Item #4. Commissioner Robertson stated that he had district representation notes to be added under Other Business.

Commissioner Bolick made a motion to accept the agenda as amended. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

PUBLIC HEARING: REZONING CASE 00-4

Sylvia Turnmire, Director of Planning & Development, conducted the public hearing for a request from Paul T. Forrest to rezone from RA-20 Residential-Agricultural to H-C Highway Commercial. The property is approximately one acre with street frontage on Adams Pond Lane and currently has a manufactured home located on the property. The property is close to US Highway 64 and there is a two inch public water line on Adams Pond Lane. Commissioner Robertson stated that the last sentence on Page 1 of the rezoning case should be deleted. The last sentence reads as follows: A two-inch waterline is not sufficient fire protection for a commercial structure and will require upgrading if a commercial structure is placed on the property.

Steve Whitley from North Wilkesboro approached the Board and stated his concerns about the rezoning. Mr. Whitley owns property next to subject property. Mr. Whitley inquired about fire hydrants, water upgrades, and property values.

There being no further business, Commissioner Robertson made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the rezoning request and to strike the last sentence on Page 1 of the rezoning case. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

PUBLIC HEARING: TEXT AMENDMENT 00-7

Sylvia Turnmire, Director of Planning & Development, conducted the public hearing for a request from Rick Stroupe to revise Section 154.156 of the Zoning Ordinance. Section 154.156 addresses permitted uses within the R-20 Zoning District. The Planning & Zoning Staff recommended including a subsection labeled Section 154.151(E), 154.156(E), and 154.166 as follows:

        (C)/(E)  Residential Subdivision Sales Office. In any residential district, the developers, builders or their agents may operate one residential subdivision sales office or model dwelling unit as a sales office for the specific to the following restrictions:

  1. The use of the office shall be for the initial sale of properties and buildings within the developing subdivision and the subdivision shall contain at least twenty (20) lots.
  2. The modular sales office or model dwelling unit shall meet all zoning district dimensional requirements and must be located on one of the development's numbered lots. No other structure shall be located on the same lot.
  3. Signs can be a maximum of 15 square feet and may be illuminated.
  4. There will be provided one (1) temporary off-street parking space per 300 square feet of floor area, but in no case shall less than three (3) temporary off-street parking spaces be provided. The off-street parking surface may be of gravel or asphalt.
  5. The unit shall not be used for any other business activity and no later than 9:00 p.m.
  6. The building used for the sales office is either constructed and intended for ultimate residential use as part of the residential development or a temporary modular office unit. If a temporary modular office is constructed, the following additional conditions shall be met;
  1. The modular office unit must meet all manufacturer requirements and applicable building codes.
  2. Skirting shall consist of any weatherproof material providing a continuous visual barrier between the ground and the underside of the modular unit.
  3. The term modular office unit as used herein shall have the same meaning characteristics as required by the North Carolina State Building Code.
  1. The modular unit may be used for such sales purposes for a period of two (2) years, but can be extended by the Code Enforcement Officer on an annual basis, if greater than ten percent (10%) of the lots proposed for initial sale remain unsold at the expiration of the initial permit. The modular office unit must be discontinued and removed from subdivision within fifteen (15) days of final expiration. A model or demonstration dwelling unit may be used for sales purposes until the last dwelling unit or lot is sold.

There being no further business, Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the revision to Section 154.156 of the Zoning Ordinance. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

PUBLIC HEARING: SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN

Wayne Sullivan, Municipal Engineering, conducted the public hearing for the Alexander County Solid Waste Management Plan which is a 10 year plan that is required to be updated every 3 years. Mr. Sullivan stated that Alexander County's goal for waste reduction was set at 26 percent (26 %) within 10 years as follows:

2000-2001 --- 10 %

2005-2006 --- 20 %

2009-2010 --- 26 %

Mr. Sullivan stated that several projects have been completed to help waste reduction in Alexander County. A transfer station was built in order to transfer waste out-of-county. The landfill was closed and a "swap shop" was assembled. Solid Waste employees are being trained regarding convenience sites, pesticide recycling, etc. Mr. Sullivan stated that the resolution approving the plan originally adopted in 1997 would have to be updated and approved.

There being no further business, Commissioner Bolick made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the 3 year update of the 10 year Solid Waste Management Plan and to update the resolution. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

PUBLIC HEARING: RESOLUTION APPROVING THE CONVEYANCE OF ALEXANDER CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL PROPERTY

Rick French, County Manager, conducted the public hearing to adopt a resolution authorizing the execution and delivery of an installment financing agreement, a deed of trust, and a construction and acquisition agreement in connection with an installment financing for the Alexander Central High School project. The Board of Education will also meet and hold a public hearing as required by the North Carolina Local Government Commission.

There being no further business, Commissioner Robertson made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the resolution approving the conveyance of ACHS. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

ALEXANDER COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION BUDGET AMENDMENT FOR ELLENDALE SCHOOL PROJECT

Rick French, County Manager, stated that the budget amendment for engineering services for the new Ellendale School sewer service is $50,000. The estimated cost for the entire sewer project is $500,000. Funds for the engineering services will be paid from school 1/2 cent sales tax monies.

Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the budget amendment for $50,000. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

CONTRACT FOR ENGINEERING SERVICES/ELLENDALE SCHOOL SEWER

Jerry Twiggs, West & Associates, presented the engineering contract for the Ellendale Sewer Project. Mr. Twiggs stated that a pump station will be constructed to pump waste water from Ellendale School to Fairway Oaks Subdivision. There will be approximately 23,000 feet of force main installed. Gravity facilities and a service area will also be provided. Chairman Watts requested that plans for the project be forwarded to Rick French, County Manager, as well as the Board of Education.

Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the engineering contract for Ellendale Sewer Project. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

RECOGNITION OF VISITORS

At this time, State Representative George M. Holmes and State Senator John A. Garwood entered the Commissioner's Meeting. Chairman Watts recognized the gentlemen and expressed his appreciation for their service to Alexander County. Commissioners Bolick, Harbinson, and Robertson echoed these comments of appreciation to them and also to retiring State Representative John W. Brown. Representative Holmes stated that he felt Alexander County had a good government body and an excellent manner in approaching problems. Senator Garwood stated that he felt it was an honor to represent Alexander County. Senator Garwood also stated that he had been working to get the old prison property land reclaimed for the County and felt his efforts would be successful. 

DECLARATION FOR DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS FOR-GET-ME-NOT WEEK

Chairman Watts presented the declaration declaring the week of October 7th through 14th 2000 as Disabled American Veterans For-Get-Me-Not Week. Commissioner Bolick made a motion to approve the declaration. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

TRANSPORTATION AND DISPOSAL AGREEMENT/BFI

Linda Ashendorf, with BFI, presented the Transportation and Disposal contract for renewal. The present rate is $34.51 per ton and the new proposed rate is $34.66. Ms. Ashendorf stated that this increase was due to the increased gasoline prices and was unavoidable. Rick French, County Manager, stated that Alexander County has had an excellent working relationship with BFI. Commissioner Robertson stated that BFI went beyond their contract in January, February, and March of 1998 and helped the County meet a deadline with clearing the landfill.

Rick French, County Manager, recommended approval of the contract with BFI. Commissioner Bolick made a motion to renew the contract with BFI. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

RESOLUTION FOR COMMUNICATIONS FINANCING

Terry Foxx, Emergency Services Director, presented a resolution for the new communications project financing. Mr. Foxx stated that Alexander County is pre-approved for some $400,000. The information for the Municipal Lease is based on a cost of $279,943.23. Alexander County would provide a down payment of $50,000. The lease payment per month will be $4,676.98 for a period of 5 years. Funds will be provided for this payment from the 911 surplus charge. At the end of the 5 years the equipment may be purchased for $1.00 or Alexander County will be able to upgrade it. Mr. Foxx stated that in the original plan, Alexander County agreed to provide the generator at the site on Linney's Mountain. The proposed cost from the final equipment bid is $21,554.22 for the generator and approximately $10,250 for installation and pad construction. Mr. Foxx stated that in reviewing the bids, this put the County over bid by some $31,000. Alexander County will purchase the same 40KW Onan Generator for $17,150 including the automatic switch. The installation can be accomplished for a lot less than $10,250 locally, bringing the project in under bid.

Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to approve the resolution for the communications project financing. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

WORK FIRST COUNTY BLOCK GRANT PLAN

Sherry Hart, Alexander County Department of Social Services, presented the Work First County Block Grant Plan. Ms. Hart stated that two years ago, the General Assembly required that counties determine if they wished to be a standard or electing county as far as the Work First program was concerned. It is recommended that Alexander County remain a standard county which means the county would follow the state guidelines from managing what is nationally known as TANF - Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. Alexander County would have some flexibility in determining aspects of the program, such as how much money is spent on emergency assistance and expenditures to assist the recipient in meeting their work related expenses. Alexander County will still be required to meet a county maintenance of effort level of $196,000. Alexander County currently has 144 families receiving assistance.

Commissioner Robertson made a motion to remain a standard county. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

CONSIDERATION OF APPLICATION FOR HEALTHY CAROLINIANS

Shelley Carraway, Health Director, presented an application for Healthy Carolinians. The North Carolina General Assembly has appropriated $1,000,000 for Healthy Carolinians. This funding is non-recurring and must be distributed during the FY 2000-2001. The funds can be used to establish and maintain a Healthy Carolinians Task Force, as well as other Healthy Carolinians initiatives. Every county can request up to $10,000 of this funding. Counties requesting the funding must identify a 50 percent (50%) dollar match which would be provided by Alexander County Smart Start. Ms. Carraway stated that a letter of support from Alexander County will need to be prepared.

Commissioner Robertson made a motion to apply for Healthy Carolinians and draft a letter of support. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

ALEXANDER COMMUNITY HOSPITAL REPORT

Lee Sharpe, Alexander Community Hospital Board, gave an update on Alexander Community Hospital. Mr. Sharpe stated that the Hospital had seen a 63 percent increase in volume from August 1999 to August 2000. A new accounting system is being used.

Mr. Sharpe presented the Board with a Tax Credit Plan for County Taxpayers. Every property taxpayer in Alexander County can qualify for up to a $100 one time credit on their Alexander Community Hospital bill. This Tax Credit Plan will be a dollar for dollar discount for the amount of property tax paid up to $100, but the discount to the bill will not exceed $100. After insurance is filed and the statement is sent to the patient by Alexander Community Hospital, the taxpayer can mail or bring the paid tax receipt to the hospital for credit. Patients having no third party payer (insurance) can receive the tax credit when payment arrangements are made or if the bill is paid at the time of service. The paid tax receipt for property tax for the year 2000 should be presented. The tax credit is available for the taxpayer or a dependent family member. Credit balances will not be given. For example, if the bill is $82, the tax credit could be utilized to discount the entire amount to a $0 balance. No credit balance or refunded amount will be given. This plan will be examined on a trial basis from October 1, 2000 through March 31, 2001 for its success and will be evaluated by the Hospital Board in March to determine its success.

Chairman Watts stated that he felt this was a great plan. Commissioners Harbinson and Robertson conveyed their appreciation to the Hospital Board for all their hard work. 

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOND ISSUE

Chairman Watts presented a resolution in support of the upcoming Community College Bond Issue. Chairman Watts informed the Board that Catawba Valley Community College added a seat for a representative from Alexander County to their Board of Trustees on August 24, 2000. The Alexander County Board of Commissioners requested that this be done a year ago and feels that there should be more representation for Alexander County. Chairman Watts also stated that a letter was received from Dr. Cuyler Dunbar, President of CVCC, concerning the receiving of funds from the state bond issue. No specific dollar amount was specified in Dr. Dunbar's letter for Alexander County's potential share of the funds for the CVCC branch for construction needs and R & R. CVCC is slated to receive almost $10 million in bond monies is the referendum passes. Chairman Watts stated that there is no concrete evidence that Alexander County will reap any benefits from the bond and therefore felt the Board should not vote in support of the resolution until a definitive amount is committed to by CVCC. Commissioner Harbinson stated that Alexander County should receive approximately 18 percent (18%) of the of the bond monies based on comparative populations of Catawba and Alexander Counties. Commissioner Harbinson stated that he felt Alexander County should disassociate with CVCC if it is not in writing by election time that Alexander County will receive some of the bond monies and also have more representation on the Board of Trustees. Commissioner Robertson instructed the Board to write a letter to Martin Lancaster, President of the NC Community College System and also to Dr. Cuyler Dunbar, President of CVCC concerning the bond issue and also to consider other surrounding community colleges. Commissioner Bolick stated that he supported the resolution in support of the bond issue because he felt schools should receive as much funding as possible, but also felt Alexander County should receive some of the bond proceeds. Chairman Watts stated that a letter of request should be written to all State Representatives and The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners concerning the above discussion. All Commissioner's signatures will be included in the letters.

Commissioner Robertson made a motion to table the resolution until the October Commissioner's Meeting and to write above mentioned letters. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

DISCUSSION OF CREATING A YEAR 2000 TIME CAPSULE

Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to table this item until the October Commissioner's Meeting due to the absence of Commissioner Odom. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

CAUTION LIGHT CONCERNS AT INTERSECTION OF RINK DAM ROAD AND CHURCH ROAD

Commissioner Harbinson stated that there has been several requests for a stop light at the intersection of Rink Dam Road and Church Road. The intersection has become extremely busy and hazardous since the new Wittenburg Elementary School opened. Traffic has increased tremendously. Commissioner Harbinson requested that a letter be written to the Department of Transportation requesting a study of the intersection and a stop light or at least a caution light during school hours. Commissioner Harbinson stated that the same problem exists at Bethlehem Elementary School.

Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to draft a letter to the DOT. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

REQUEST FOR LANDFILL ADJUSTMENT/TOWN OF TAYLORSVILLE

Rick French, County Manager, stated that a request has been made to reduce the cost for tipping fees at the landfill for disposal of six houses, which will be demolished in the Town of Taylorsville. The landfill is currently charging $20.15 per ton. Mr. French suggested reducing the rate to $10.00 per ton.

Commissioner Robertson made a motion to reduce the tipping fee to $10.00 per ton. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

RESOLUTION FOR THE REDNECK CLUB DAY

Commissioner Harbinson presented the resolution declaring September 30, 2000 as Redneck Club Day. Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to approve the resolution. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

COUNTY MANAGER'S REPORT

Rick French, County Manager, gave the County Manager's Report which included:

    1. The advertising for Personnel Director has closed. We have received 25 applications. Interviews are scheduled for September 12th and 13th, 2000. The position should be filled by mid-October 2000.
    2. County staff had to utilize the downstairs small conference room for part of the Information Technology Department. Also, the Personnel Office will be located in the old Solid Waste Office.
    3. Alexander County has paid Alexander Community Hospital $250,000 to date. Checks were written for $100,000 in July and August and a check for $50,000 was written Friday, September 1, 2000. Mr. French inquired about the payment schedule for the remainder of the fiscal year.
    4. Several requests for water extensions have been made. David Ellis has submitted a petition for Firemen's Lane. The estimated cost to serve this area is $8,300. Bob and Peggy Baum have requested water to be extended out to Wanderless Lane. No estimate is available at this time. Also, a number of inquiries have been received from citizens along the Little River CDBG project who need water.
    5. Mr. French attended a meeting on Friday, September 8, 2000 concerning buffers along the Catawba River Basin.
    6. Waylan Plaster, Architect for the new animal shelter, is scheduled to meet with Dr. David Linzey. Information from the meeting should be provided next week.

OTHER BUSINESS

Chairman Watts stated that The Legislative Goals Conference will be held in Pinehurst on January 11-12, 2000. Alexander County has been asked to submit proposed legislative goals which includes items such as 1/2 cent sales tax monies to schools and alternate income to counties other than property taxes.

Commissioner Robertson made a motion to update the letter that was sent last year and send to the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

CONSENT AGENDA

  1. Minutes from August 1, 2000 meeting.
  2. Minutes from August 9, 2000 Alexander County Tour.
  3. Tax Releases for July $52.53 and Tax Refunds for July $235.60.
  4. Tax Releases for August $3,540.72 and Tax Refunds for August $664.65.
  5. Budget Amendment #2 and #3.
  6. Adoption of Architectural Contract for Animal Shelter.
  7. Compensation for Jury Commission.

Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. 

CLOSED SESSION - CONTRACTUAL MATTERS

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to adjourn at 9:15 and to reconvene in Closed Session. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion. The next Commissioner's meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 3, 2000. 

 

                                                                                                          

  John S. Watts, Chairman           Jamie C. Millsaps, Clerk to the Board