May 1, 2001
The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held their regular meeting on Tuesday, May 1, 2001 in the Commissioners Room in the Alexander County Courthouse, Taylorsville, North Carolina.
Chairman David Odom called the Peoples Agenda to order at 6:45 PM. Clyde Keever requested that the Board adopt an ordinance to prohibit smoking inside Alexander County restaurants.
UPDATE ON PLEASANT HILL CHURCH FIRE
Russell Greene, Fire Marshal, gave an update on the fire that took place at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church on April 21, 2001 that consumed the sanctuary and educational building. Approximately 13 fire departments and 101 firefighters were on the scene. Members of the Rescue Squad were present to provide oxygen to firefighters and the Ladies Auxiliary provided drinks and sandwiches. Mr. Greene informed the Board that the newly built sanctuary received smoke damage. Damages were estimated at $750,000 $850,000.
Chairman Odom gave the Chairmans Report which included:
Commissioner Robertson suggested that the pictures be put on the county web page for the public to view. Russell Greene, Fire Marshal, responded that he and Greg Cronk, Information Technology Director, had made plans to have the pictures on the web very soon.
CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Odom called the meeting to order a 7:02 PM.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Reverend Dan Spears, Macedonia Baptist Church, was not present at the meeting. Therefore, Russell Greene, Fire Marshal, gave the invocation. Tiffany Boston and Leah Krohn, from West Junior High School, led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
CITIZEN OF THE MONTH
Chairman Odom presented the Citizen of the Month Award to Cameron Harrison Hayes. Cam Hayes was born in April 1921 and married Rhoda Anderson in January 1944. Mr. Hayes has 2 daughters, Elizabeth and Linda, 5 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. Mr. Hayes is a member of Little River Baptist Church and DAV Chapter 84 Post 5466. In 1942, Mr. Hayes served in WWII at Guatemal Canal as a Private. In August 1943, Mr. Hayes was injured and after a stay in the hospital, was awarded a Purple Heart and given an honorable discharge from the United States Army. Mr. Hayes is a farmer and is a founder of the Little River Fire Department (currently Sugarloaf Fire Department).
The Board conveyed their appreciation to Mr. Hayes for his contributions to Alexander County.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA
Commissioner Hammer stated that he had a few questions to ask during discussion of Agenda Items #1 and #3. Commissioner Watts introduced corrected information to be added to Agenda Item #4.
Commissioner Watts made a motion to adopt the agenda as amended. At this time, Commissioner Robertson noted that May was Mental Health Month and requested discussion of adopting a resolution in honor of those who serve in the Mental Health field in Alexander County. Commissioner Watts stated that he would accept Commissioner Robertsons friendly amendment and Chairman Odom stated that this would be added to the agenda as Agenda Item #2A for discussion. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
PUBLIC HEARING: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SECONDARY ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
Mark Stafford, NCDOT District Engineer, presented the Secondary Road Improvement Program to be financed from the 2001-2002 allocation of funds and stated that there was approximately 8.4 miles on the 2001-2002 paving priority totaling $1,200,000. This includes SR1621 (Carl Fox Road), SR1435 (Cove Gap Road), SR1431 (Daniels Ridge Road), SR1307 (All Healing Springs Road), and SR1521 (Lona Daniels Road). The widening of 2.4 miles of SR1137 Rink Dam Road is also included for $128,401 for a grand total of $1,328,401. Mr. Stafford informed the Board that the total allocation is estimated at $1,703,401.
Commissioner Harbinson asked if the Board had the discretion of changing road paving priorities and felt that Rink Dam Road should have higher priority than Carl Fox Road. Chairman Odom stated that he had been informed by some residents of Carl Fox Road that they did not want the road paved. Mr. Stafford stated that NCDOT officials tried to continue down the priority list as shown but would work with the Board regarding the issue. Commissioner Harbinson and Chairman Odom agreed that Carl Fox Road should be the lowest on the priority list. All commissioners agreed by consensus that Rink Dam Road should have the highest priority.
There being no public comment, Commissioner Watts made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the Secondary Road Improvement Program for 2001-2002. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Additional Questions and Comments
At this time, Commissioner Hammer had several questions and/or comments which included:
PUBLIC HEARING: TEXT AMENDMENT 01-02 SECTION 154.351 (B)(5)
Sylvia Turnmire, Director of Planning & Development, conducted the public hearing for approval of Text Amendment 01-02 Section 154.351 (B)(5) to the Zoning Ordinance. The amendment reads as follows with additions in bold type and deletions are double-underlined.
(5) Sign(s) shall may be placed on the property at least 10 days prior to both the Planning Board and Zoning Commission and Board of Commissioners hearings. The sign(s) shall be placed in a conspicuous location(s) on the property and shall give the nature of the proposed amendment, and the date, time and place the hearing is set to consider the application. application number, and contact information.
Ms. Turnmire stated that if the amendment was not approved, signs must be posted on each property within the Bethlehem and US Highway 64/90 zoning areas at the time of countywide zoning.
Commissioner Robertson asked if property owners would be notified by letter. Ms. Turnmire responded an ad would be placed in The Taylorsville Times for 4 weeks and letters would be sent to non-Alexander County residents. Commissioner Robertson asked if it would be feasible to have a mass mailing and send letters to everyone to avoid complaints about not being informed of this afterwards. Ms. Turnmire responded that there were approximately 22,000 parcels of land in the affected area. The Planning staff will be sending approximately 2,000 letters to non-residents.
Commissioner Robertson requested that enough signs be placed on property so that everyone would be aware.
There being no public comment, Commissioner Watts 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 Text Amendment 01-02 Section 154.351 (B)(5) to the Zoning Ordinance. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
MENTAL HEALTH MONTH RESOLUTION
Commissioner Robertson stated that May was Mental Health Month and instructed Rick French, County Manager, to draft a resolution to recognize those individuals in Alexander County who serve in the mental health field. Commissioner Robertson suggested that this resolution be approved at the budget work session scheduled for May 8, 2001 and instructed staff to forward the resolution to The Taylorsville Times and WACB Apple City Broadcasting.
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to authorize Mr. French to draft a resolution to recognize Alexander County individuals who serve in the mental health field. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
REQUEST TO SCHEDULE A WORK SESSION WITH THE PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION AND THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Sylvia Turnmire, Director of Planning & Development, informed the Board that the Planning & Zoning Commission would be completing the countywide zoning Public Informational Meetings on May 3, 2001 and requested that a joint work session be held with the Board to review the maps prior to a public hearing. Ms. Turnmire suggested that the work session be held on Tuesday, May 15, 2001.
Ms. Turnmire also requested the Board set a public hearing date and location for countywide zoning. Ms. Turnmire stated that the early request was due to the extensive General Statute notice requirements for non-resident property owners and newspaper circulation. It was earlier suggested that the public hearing be held on June 19, 2001, but Commissioner Harbinson will be out of town and will not be able to attend. Ms. Turnmire suggested June 26, 2001 but Chairman Odom stated that he would possibly be out of town on that date. Rick French, County Manager, suggested holding the public hearing during the July 10, 2001 Commissioners Meeting.
After discussion of dates, Commissioner Watts made a motion to hold the joint work session with the Planning & Zoning Commission on Tuesday, May 15, 2001 at 6:15 PM in the Agriculture Extension Learning Center and to hold the public hearing on countywide zoning at the July 10, 2001 Commissioners Meeting. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
E911 Addressing Comments
Commissioner Hammer asked if the E911 Addressing had been completed for Alexander County. Ms. Turnmire responded the entire county had been completed except for those addresses within the town limits. Staff is working on those addresses within the town limits at the present time and expect to be completed by the end of this fiscal year.
HOME AND COMMUNITY BLOCK GRANT FY 2002 RECOMMENDATIONS AND RELATED FUNDING
Catherine Burgess, Alexander County Council on Aging Chairperson, presented recommendations for the Home and Community Block Grant for FY 2002. Ms. Burgess informed the Board that the Alexander County Council on Aging had chosen to recommend funding for 10 services including Adult Day Care, General Transportation, Medical Transportation, Home Delivered Meals, Congregate Meals, In-Home Aide Level I, In-Home Aide Level II, Housing and Home Repair, Information & Case Assistance, and Senior Center Operations plus Legal Services, Senior Center Outreach, and Health Promotions. The total local match requested is $24,543.
Commissioner Robertson asked if the total had increased from last year. Angela Johnson, Senior Center Director, responded the total had increased approximately $700.
Commissioner Hammer made a motion to approve allocations for Home and Community Block Grant for FY 2002. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
CATAWBA VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE LEASE WITH ALEXANDER COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Commissioner Watts presented the Catawba Valley Community College Lease with Alexander County Board of Commissioners for the community college building purchased from Grier Lackey. The lease was recently reviewed by Ed Hedrick, County Attorney, and necessary changes were made to the lease. Commissioner Watts asked Mr. Hedrick if he was satisfied with the lease. Mr. Hedrick stated that the lease did not state a definite amount of bond monies to be allocated to Alexander County. Commissioner Watts responded there is no definite amount specified as of yet but up to $1 million has been approved by both CVCC Board of Trustees and NC State Board of Community Colleges. The County has a letter from CVCC on file agreeing to the aforementioned $1 million appropriation. Mr. Hedrick stated that he was satisfied with the lease if the Board was satisfied.
Commissioner Robertson inquired about the payment of utilities. Mr. French responded Alexander County would be paying for all utilities for the building. This is the current setup with CVCC and is stipulated by NC General Statutes.
Commissioner Watts made a motion to approve the CVCC lease. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
RESOLUTION TO RESTORE BUDGET CUTS AFFECTING RURAL AREAS
Commissioner Harbinson discussed the Federal budget and stated that a number of programs that mainly benefit rural areas were being targeted for big cuts in the proposed Federal budget. Agriculture Department funding would drop $1.43 billion to $17.9 billion in the proposed 2002 budget released by the Bush administration on Monday, April 30, 2001. President Bush is proposing giving agriculture programs a smaller slice of the Federal budget than at any time in the last 25 years. This would greatly affect Alexander Countys funding for water/sewer, housing, and environmental protection.
Commissioner Harbinson mentioned the inventory tax resolution that the Board unanimously passed on April 3, 2001 and the letter that was sent to Governor Mike Easley regarding the State budget shortfall. Commissioner Harbinson felt that similar actions should also be taken at the Federal level and suggested Chairman Odom draft a letter to President Bush expressing Alexander Countys views as a rural county and urge him to restore the proposed cuts. Copies would be sent to all U.S. Senators and Congressman Cass Ballenger.
Commissioner Harbinson made a motion for Chairman Odom to draft a letter to President Bush urging him to restore the proposed cuts in the 2002 Federal budget. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
THREE FORKS WATER LINE PROPOSAL
Rick French, County Manager, proposed installing an 8-inch water line along Three Forks Church Road to complete the loop at Piney Grove Road. This line would pick up where the Three Forks/Little River CDBG project left off. The line would run be installed for 2 miles at a cost of $147,560 with Chester West and Associates. Mr. French mentioned that the county had a $50,000 credit with the City of Hickory which would leave approximately $100,000. Mr. French suggested taking a loan from the General Fund for the cost of the water line extension since there is no more CDGB funding available.
This extension would add 30-35 customers to the Sugarloaf water system and would benefit Alexander County since water would not have to be passed through the Town of Taylorsville system.
Commissioner Watts asked if the price quoted by Chester West and Associates included installation and engineering. Mr. French responded that it did. Commissioner Watts felt that this was an excellent price.
Chairman Odom asked if customers would have to pay an impact fee. Mr. French stated that customers would only have to pay a tap fee.
Commissioner Robertson asked Mr. French when a decision would need to be made on this issue. Mr. French stated that he could wait another 2 weeks but wanted to move ahead with the project as quickly as possible due to the very reasonable price from Chester West and Associates. Commissioner Robertson stated that he would like to look at pay back process to the General Fund during the budget work sessions.
Chairman Odom instructed Russell Greene, Fire Marshal, to contact WACB Apple City Broadcasting and inform them of action taken on this issue so that the public would be made aware.
Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to install an 8-inch water line along Three Forks Church Road to Piney Grove Road. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
CVCC Board of Trustees
Commissioner Watts discussed appointments to the CVCC Board of Trustees. On March 6, 2001, Commissioner Watts was appointed to serve a 4-year term to represent Alexander County on the CVCC Board of Trustees. The Board of Education recommended that Dr. Josephine Foster serve a 2-year term on the CVCC Board.
Commissioner Watts made a motion to appoint Dr. Josephine Foster to represent Alexander County for a 2-year term on the CVCC Board of Trustees. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Bethlehem Park Committee
Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to appoint Commissioner Hammer to the Bethlehem Park Committee. Commissioner Watts seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Planning & Zoning Commission
Discussion was held regarding an appointment to the Planning & Zoning Commission. Commissioner Harbinson suggested appointing Billy Sprinkle to serve on the Planning & Zoning Commission. Commissioner Watts stated that Keith Hertzler was also interested if Mr. Sprinkle was not. Chairman Odom noted that he would speak with Mr. Sprinkle over the next weekend regarding the appointment.
Town of Taylorsville Board of Adjustments ETJ
Discussion was also held regarding appointments to the Town of Taylorsville Board of Adjustments ETJ. Currently, 2 positions have expired. Glenn Deal, Jr. expressed interest in being reappointed. Commissioner Robertson suggested that Chairman Odom serve on the ETJ Board as an ex-officio.
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to reappoint Glenn Deal, Jr. to the Town of Taylorsville Board of Adjustments ETJ for a 3-year term and appoint Chairman Odom as an ex-officio member. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Rick French, County Manager, reviewed the meeting schedule which included the following:
Commissioner Harbinson stated that he had been in contact with a Duke Power representative regarding the Dusty Ridge lease and wanted the lease put on the agenda for the May 15, 2001 budget work session for discussion.
Commissioner Watts made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
CLOSED SESSION N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(1)
Commissioner Watts made a motion to enter into Closed Session at 8:25 PM for the purpose of discussing personnel and contractual matters pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(1). Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
There being no further business, Commissioner Watts made a motion to adjourn at 8:55 PM. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
David S. Odom, Chairman Jamie C. Millsaps, Clerk to the Board