Draft

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 

ALEXANDER COUNTY

REGULAR MEETING

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

April 21, 2003

PRESENT: W. Darrell Robertson, Chairman
William L. Hammer, Vice-Chairman
Wesley E. Bolick
W. Norris Keever
David S. Odom
STAFF: Rick French, County Manager
Jamie Millsaps, Clerk to the Board
David Icenhour, Human Resources Director
Russell Greene, Fire Marshal
Greg Cronk, Information Technology Director
MEDIA: Gary Herman, The Taylorsville Times
Norris Keever, WACB Radio

 

The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held its regular meeting on Monday, April 21, 2003 in the Catawba Valley Community College/Alexander Center Multipurpose Room, Taylorsville, North Carolina.

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Robertson called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM.

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Commissioner Bolick gave the invocation and Commissioner Odom led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

***SPECIAL RECOGNITION***

Chairman Robertson stated that this was the first Commissioners’ Meeting held in the new CVCC/Alexander Center Multipurpose Room. Chairman Robertson noted that the multipurpose room provided a more comfortable meeting area for the Board and for the public. Chairman Robertson informed the Board that he had asked former Commissioners John Watts and Joel Harbinson to attend the meeting in the multipurpose room since they were very instrumental in getting the CVCC/Alexander Center located in the new facility. Chairman Robertson recognized John Watts for comments but noted that Joel Harbinson was out of town and would not be present at the meeting.

John Watts conveyed his appreciation to speak at the meeting and he discussed the history of the new CVCC/Alexander Center. Mr. Watts stated that this process had began when he attended a meeting in Raleigh in 1999 at which Martin Lancaster, President of the NC Community College System, discussed the bond referendum that was to take place in November 1999. CVCC stood to gain over $10 million if the referendum passed. Mr. Watts stated that the referendum passed in November 1999 and CVCC was scheduled to receive the $10 million; however, there was no funding appropriated for the Alexander Center, which had always been a part of the CVCC service area. Mr. Watts explained that after several meetings with Martin Lancaster and the CVCC Board of Trustees and staff, the Board of Commissioners was able to procure $1 million for the renovation of new building for the CVCC/Alexander Center. In November 2000, the Board approved a resolution to purchase the building from Grier Lackey for $650,000 and use the $1 million to renovate the entire building. Mr. Watts mentioned that the former CVCC/Alexander Center building had very limited parking and a leaking roof and he felt that the new building would serve the needs of students and citizens very well. Mr. Watts also stated that he had specifically pushed for a multipurpose room to be used for a lecture hall and for governmental meetings. The new multipurpose room is 2/3 larger that the Commissioners’ Room in the Courthouse, has much better acoustics, a tremendous amount of technology that can be used during meetings and presentations. Mr. Watts noted that he was very proud to be present at the first meeting held in the new multipurpose room.

Chairman Robertson, on behalf of the entire Board, conveyed his appreciation to Mr. Watts as well as his family for attending the meeting.

Susie Barkley, CVCC/Alexander Center Director, stated that the new building was a "dream come true" and she noted that the new center would educate adults as well as students.

ADOPTION OF AGENDA

Chairman Robertson requested several additions to the agenda including discussion of the NC Moving Ahead Program as Agenda Item #1, discussion of local water testing, discussion of a subdivision issue, and an appointment to the Council on Aging during Other Business.

Commissioner Keever made a motion to adopt the agenda as amended. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

NC MOVING AHEAD PROGRAM

Chairman Robertson stated that the Board had met with local NC Department of Transportation representatives John Cook and Lynn Marshall prior to the meeting to discuss the NC Moving Ahead Program. Chairman Robertson explained that the State was planning to expend $50 million for special highway projects that would generate jobs and make highways much safer. The projects must cost less that $2.5 million, must have minimal environmental impact or need for studies, and must have little requirement for additional right-of-ways. Chairman Robertson stated that the Board, in meeting with Mr. Cook and Mr. Marshall, had prepared a list of projects for the NC Moving Ahead Program which included the following:

    1. Realign and widen Macedonia Church Road, Carrigan Road, and Old Landfill Road.
    2. Widen Highway 16 South between Macedonia Church Road and Alspaugh Dam Road.
    3. Widen and straighten Three Forks Church Road and Gill Childers Road.
    4. Add 2 turning lanes at Ellendale and Sugar Loaf Elementary Schools.
    5. Add a turning lane on Highway 127 at Teague Town Road.
    6. Add a traffic light at the intersection of Old Mountain Road and Highway 90.
    7. Realign the intersection of Icard Ridge Road and Sam Hefner Road.
    8. Provide 3-lane construction from east Taylorsville to the intersection at the NCDOT facility in order to make Highway 90 a 3-lane highway for its length in the County.
    9. Complete a traffic study and add a traffic light at the intersection of Boston Road and Highway 90.
    10. Straighten Sulpher Springs Road from Highway 90 to Sharpes Mill Road.
    11. Regrade the intersection of Mt. Olive Church Road and Russell Gap Road to provide better site lines.

Chairman Robertson stated that Hayden Bentley, Sheriff, would ask his deputies if they were aware of any other road or intersection that needed to be added to the list. Chairman Robertson stated that the list would be finalized by Thursday, April 23, 2003 and forwarded to the NCDOT in order to secure funding for these projects.

Commissioner Hammer made a motion to approve the list as presented along with any additional projects submitted later in the week. Commissioner Keever seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

Chairman Robertson conveyed his appreciation to Mr. Cook and Mr. Marshall for their interest and insight in preparing the list of projects.

PUBLIC HEARING: APPLICATION FOR FUNDING OF RURAL OPERATING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (ROAP)

Patti Foster, Transportation Director, presented an application for funding of the 2003-2004 Rural Operating Assistance Program (ROAP) and she stated that a public hearing was required since county governments were the only eligible applicants for these funds.

Ms. Foster stated that the ROAP program included 3 types of funding including EDTAP (Elderly and Disabled Transportation Assistance Program), Work First/Employment, and RGP (Rural General Public). Ms. Foster stated that Alexander County’s share for ROAP funding for 2003-2004 totaled $73,218, which included $41,232 for EDTAP, $5,181 for Work First/Employment, and $26,805 for RGP. Ms. Foster also noted that the EDTAP and Work First/Employment funding would be 100% funded. However, the RGP funding requires a 10% local match that can come from fares generated by the public or from regular local funding.

Chairman Robertson called the public hearing to order and requested any public comment. There being no public comment, Commissioner Bolick made a motion to close the public hearing. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

Commissioner Keever made a motion to approve the application for funding of the 2003-2004 Rural Operating Assistance Program (ROAP). Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

APPRECIATION WEEK FOR COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES EMPLOYEES PROCLAMATION

Chairman Robertson informed the Board that Governor Easley had declared April 20-26, 2003 as Appreciation Week for County Department of Social Services Employees.

Karen Hoyle, Director of Social Services, introduced several DSS staff members including:

Kaye Greene, Children Services
Ruth Jarrell, Foster Care and Adoption
Tim Lackey, Adult Services
Carol Farthing, Child Support Team
Vicky Alspaugh, Customer Service/Accounting
Susan Taffe, Income Maintenance Program
Sherry Hart, Income Maintenance Program

Ms. Hoyle stated that the DSS staff worked hard to provide cost effective service and she noted that staff was always open to suggestions for improvement.

Commissioner Odom stated that it was a wonderful experience serving as the Vice-Chairman of the DSS Board. Commissioner Odom stated that DSS was the heart of government because staff helped so many citizens in the county.

Chairman Robertson read aloud the Proclamation declaring April 20-26, 2003 as Appreciation Week for County Department of Social Services Employees in Alexander County.

Commissioner Odom made a motion to approve the Proclamation declaring April 20-26, 2003 as Appreciation Week for County Department of Social Services Employees in Alexander County. Commissioner Keever seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

VETERAN FLAG HOLDER COMMENTS

Gene Thomas, a local veteran, stated that he had been visiting different churches on Wednesday nights to get input from the members on the veteran’s flag holders and he noted that he currently had lists for 38 cemeteries throughout the county. Mr. Thomas stated that many cemeteries wanted the flat concrete markers that specified which conflict the veteran was involved in. Therefore, Mr. Thomas ordered markers from Gohn Manufacturing and traveled to Pennsylvania to pick up the markers to save shipping costs. Mr. Thomas was later informed that the County had only agreed to order and purchase the standard U.S. peacetime flag holder at a cost of $10.50 each plus shipping instead of the markers that specified the conflict. Mr. Thomas noted that the flat concrete markers cost $12 each.

Mr. Thomas also discussed the May 1, 2003 deadline to submit cemetery lists. Mr. Thomas stated that there were many churches that he still wanted to contact and he asked what would be done after the deadline.

Chairman Robertson stated that the County would maintain a stock of flag holders for veterans who pass on after May 1, 2003. Chairman Robertson also stated that staff had mailed letters to all churches and advertised in The Taylorsville Times and on WACB radio to get the message out about the flag holders and the deadline. Chairman Robertson stated that this had been a yearlong process and he explained that staff had to set a deadline in order to get a final list for ordering purposes due to Memorial Day.

Commissioner Bolick stated that his church had agreed to purchase 25 flag holders with their cemetery funds. Commissioner Bolick stated that he appreciated being able to purchase the flag holders through the County and he encouraged other churches to consider purchasing their own as well.

Mr. Thomas stated that he did not agree with placing a peacetime flag holder on a veteran that had served in a conflict. Mr. Thomas felt that each veteran needed to be recognized for the war in which they served.

Chairman Robertson stated that the Board agreed on purchasing the same flag holder for all veterans in order to simply recognize veterans that had passed on and also to have some organization in regard to ordering and placement of the flag holders.

Commissioner Keever stated that it was his understanding that the flat concrete markers that specified the conflicts cost approximately $18 each and the standard U.S. peacetime flag holders only cost approximately $11. Mr. Thomas replied that the flat concrete markers cost $12 without shipping charges, but $18 with shipping charges.

Commissioner Odom stated that the purchase of the flag holders was a starting point to simply recognize veterans. Commissioner Odom stated that the peacetime flag holders might not be the most appropriate marker but it served the purpose of helping citizens locate a veteran’s grave. Commissioner Odom noted that changes could be made and different markers could possibly be purchased in the future or as funds became available.

Commissioner Keever stated that he was inclined to delineate the appropriate conflicts on the grave markers if there was no difference in the price and he asked the Board to consider that effort for the future. Commissioner Keever asked Mr. Thomas if he would be willing to take the responsibility of finding veteran’s graves in the County and providing a list to Ms. Poole for ordering purposes if the Board so desired. Mr. Thomas stated that he would be willing to do so as well as travel to Pennsylvania to pick up the markers in order to save shipping costs.

Chairman Robertson stated that the Board would look into possibly ordering the flat concrete markers that specify each conflict. Chairman Robertson asked Barbara Poole, Veterans Service Director, to obtain a price list from Gohn Manufacturing. Ms. Poole stated that the peacetime flag holders cost $10.50 or $11.27 with shipping and the flat concrete markers cost $12 or $18 with shipping. Ms. Poole also noted that the peacetime flag holders only had a U.S. symbol on the front and did not state "peace time" anywhere on the flag holder. Ms. Poole felt that the peacetime flag holders were appropriate to simply recognize a veteran. Ms. Poole also noted that family members were given the option to purchase a grave marker that showed the conflict or branch of service when a veteran passed.

The Board agreed to discuss the matter further in the future.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE BULLETPROOF VEST GRANT REQUEST

Hayden Bentley, Sheriff, informed the Board that the Bureau of Justice Assistance had made available a 50% grant for bulletproof vests. The request for grant funding deadline is May 2, 2003. Mr. Bentley stated that if approved, staff would have 4 years to actually use the funding. However, Mr. Bentley requested that the Board move forward with the grant request for the 2003-2004 budget.

Mr. Bentley stated that the current vests were 4 years old with a life expectancy of 5 years and he noted that once new vests were purchased, the used vests would be passed down to part-time employees. Mr. Bentley stated that the proposed vests would cost $400 each and the carriers would cost $38.50 each for a total of $9,647 before taxes. The County would be responsible for 50% of that cost.

Chairman Robertson asked if Mr. Bentley would request funding throughout the 4-year period or the entire amount at one time. Mr. Bentley replied that he would request the entire amount of funding in his 2003-2004 budget.

Commissioner Odom asked if the proposed vest (Gator XL) was the best in quality. Mr. Bentley stated that the Gator XL was comparable to the current vests in use. The vest weighs 3.33 pounds and costs $400. Mr. Bentley stated that the XL2 vest was a better quality vest. The XL2 weighs 2.58 pounds and costs $530. Commissioner Odom felt that it would be worth the extra funding to have a better vest.

Commissioner Keever asked how often the current vests were used and for what periods of time. Mr. Bentley replied that most deputies wore their vest during their entire 12-hour shift and he noted that the investigators wore them if they went out on an arrest or search warrant. Mr. Bentley stated that staff was not required to wear vests at the present time; however, he noted that he was looking into a departmental procedure change that would require staff to wear the vests at all times while on duty.

Commissioner Bolick asked if the Board was required to specify which vest would be purchased with the grant. Mr. Bentley replied that the amount of requested funding would have to be locked in by May 2, 2003. Mr. Bentley stated that he could apply for funding to purchase the higher priced XL2 vests and the Board could decide whether to purchase the XL2 vests costing $530 or the Gator LX costing $400 at a later date.

Commissioner Bolick made a motion to approve the request for grant funding for the $530 XL2 vests with the understanding that the $400 Gator LX vest may be purchased depending on available funds. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

CONSOLIDATION OF ALEXANDER COUNTY COMMUNICATION SERVICES – 911 AND SHERIFF’S COMMUNICATIONS

Rick French, County Manager, stated that County staff had been discussing the possible consolidation of communications for the past several months due to the fact that a consolidation would save duplication of costs and services and increase the availability of state and federal grant funding. Several County staff members attended a meeting on April 11, 2003 with Catawba County Sheriff David Huffman and Lynn Baker, Catawba Records Division Sergeant, who discussed how the consolidated Catawba County system operated. Mr. Huffman stated that consolidation would be a great benefit because it saved money without taking away from the service provided to the citizens. Mr. French also informed the Board that, according to Mr. Huffman, $600 million would be soon be available in Homeland Security grant funds.

Mr. French stated that the key steps for success would be budget, committee, capital, and trial period. Mr. French presented the following steps in order to move forward with the consolidation:

    1. Instruct the County Manager to develop and present the 2003-2004 Communications budget as consolidated (911 and Sheriff’s Communications) under the County Manager.
    2. A Communications Consolidation Committee should be formed to consist of the Chairman of the County Commissioners, Sheriff, Town Police Chief, President of the Fire Association, Fire Marshal, President of the Rescue Squad, Emergency Services Director, Emergency Management Director, and the County Manager. This committee should remain in place until January 1, 2004.
    3. After January 1, 2004, a Communications Review Committee should be formed to address day to day operational issues. This committee will consist of the Sheriff, Fire Marshal, Emergency Services Director, Emergency Management Director, 911 Supervisor (to be designated), and the County Manager.
    4. Instruct the County Manager to investigate and report the capital cost involved in the consolidation.
    5. The combination of the communication services should take place on July 1, 2003 with anticipation that full implementation should be in place by January 1, 2004.

Commissioner Odom asked if the $600 million in Homeland Security grant funds would be distributed to just the state of North Carolina or nationwide. Mr. French replied that the grant funding would be distributed nationwide.

Commissioner Bolick stated that he would like the committee study the feasibility of consolidating several county systems together. Commissioner Bolick felt that this effort would save money for several counties.

Commissioner Hammer discussed the importance of every second in an emergency and he felt that consolidation would better address that issue and make the County safer. Commissioner Hammer stated that everyone would have to work together in the beginning stages of the consolidation.

Commissioner Odom felt that consolidation would result in a more efficient system but he noted that it would be an expensive but worthwhile investment. However, Commissioner Odom stated that he did not want the Board to rely on the $600 grant funding since there was no way to know how much actual funding the County would receive. Commissioner Odom stated that this effort would be a learning process and he commended the Board for taking this step. Commissioner Odom also suggested installing computers in patrol cars so the deputies could run tag information in the cars instead of relying on the dispatchers.

Commissioner Keever noted that Mr. Huffman had suggested increasing the 911 surcharge as well which he felt would not be popular but possibly necessary.

Chairman Robertson suggested allowing Commissioner Odom and Commissioner Hammer to serve on the Communications Consolidation Committee instead of the Chairman due to the fact that Commissioner Odom and Commissioner Hammer were more aware of the ongoings of emergency operations. Chairman Robertson also suggested allowing the committee to meet on occasion without commissioner’s present so members may express themselves more freely. Chairman Robertson also suggested looking into courthouse and jail security after hours as part of the plan as well 211 services.

Hayden Bentley, Sheriff, approached the Board and stated that he was against the consolidation. Mr. Bentley stated that no member of the Board had asked him how he felt about the consolidation and he noted that, according to the proposed steps, the consolidation would take place in July 2003 which meant that Mr. Bentley would no longer have any communications staff employed.

Chairman Robertson disagreed with Mr. Bentley and stated that the Board had, in fact, met with him informally during a Closed Session to discuss the consolidation.

Mr. Bentley stated that he had been informed since then that he needed to be at 2 meetings with Sheriff Huffman, of which he had to change his plans both times to attend. Mr. Bentley stated that there were many other sheriffs in the state that did not like consolidated systems. Mr. Bentley stated that he would like to be apart of the planning process and he felt that this effort needed to be reviewed before locking in the July 2003 implementation date. Chairman Robertson mentioned that Mr. Bentley’s name was listed on the Communications Consolidation Committee as well as the Communications Review Committee.

Chairman Robertson stated that the plan was not final and he noted that the July 2003 implementation date was simply the first step in the process to consolidate the system. Chairman Robertson stated that July 2003 would not be "set in stone" since the County would have to arrange for equipment, personnel, budget, etc.

Mr. Bentley felt that it was unrealistic to implement the consolidation in July 2003 and he also expressed his concerns with losing personnel that meet the public. Mr. Bentley explained that citizens have always been able to walk into the Sheriff’s Department and speak to someone face to face. Mr. Bentley stated that he did not want the Sheriff’s Department door to be locked, forcing citizens to pick up a phone to make a call into Communications for a problem. This would then require Communications staff to call an officer to be taken off the road to aid the citizen since no one would be available at the Sheriff’s Department to do so. Mr. Bentley also did not agree with having a system modeled after Catawba County. Mr. Bentley stated that Alexander County did not duplicate service like Catawba County since the Alexander Sheriff’s Department handled law enforcement and 911 Communications handled EMS, Rescue, and Fire. Mr. Bentley also stated that staff had addressed the issue with switching calls from 911 Communications to the Sheriff’s Office by allowing 911 Communications staff to determine the problem and dispatch the appropriate enforcement before switching a call to the Sheriff’s Department.

Commissioner Hammer stated that calls did not need to go through 2 separate systems (911 and Sheriff) because valuable seconds were lost during the switch.

Mr. Bentley felt that the consolidation proposal had been handled wrongly up to this point. Mr. Bentley also stated that this issue had initially been brought up 2 years ago and he asked why the Board had waited 2 years to initiate the consolidation. Mr. Bentley felt that the Board was trying to tell him how to run the Sheriff’s Department.

Chairman Robertson reiterated that he had asked that the Communications Consolidation Committee to meet on occasion without commissioner’s present so that those members may express themselves more freely. Chairman Robertson suggested that Mr. Bentley make arrangements to have a sheriff who was against consolidating systems to be present at a committee meeting to discuss his or her views on the issue. Again, Chairman Robertson stated that July 2003 was simply a goal and was not definite. Chairman Robertson noted that the Communications Consolidation Committee could make a recommendation whether or not to implement the consolidation in July 2003. Chairman Robertson felt that the issue would be placed on the back burner if the Board set an implementation date of July 2004.

Commissioner Odom stated that he did not feel that it would be possibly to have the consolidated system implemented by July 2003 due to the need for equipment and personnel as well as the upcoming budget process that would take a lot of time and effort by staff.

Commissioner Keever stated that staff needed a starting point but he noted that the Communications Consolidation Committee could make the recommendation for the implementation date. However, Commissioner Keever felt that the Board needed to move forward with approving the steps presented by Mr. French in order to plan for a budget for the consolidated system once implemented.

Commissioner Keever made a motion to approve the procedure steps as outlined by the County Manager with the understanding that the Board would be flexible with the implementation date of the actual consolidation. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

RECONSIDERATION OF MPO RESOLUTION

John Tippett, WPCOG Transportation Planner, requested reconsideration of the resolution to support the expanded MPO planning boundaries. This resolution was not approved at the April 7, 2003 Commissioners’ Meeting when presented.

Mr. Tippett explained that due to the 2000 census, Federal and State governments had implemented a requirement for urbanized areas with enough population density to have coordinated transportation planning. Therefore, RPO’s were established approximately 2 years ago in response to that requirement.

Mr. Tippett discussed the recent expanded boundaries and he stated that Bethlehem was the only area of Alexander County defined as an urbanized area. Mr. Tippett noted that the Town of Taylorsville was not included in the MPO planning boundary because it did not meet the required population density. Mr. Tippett, however, mentioned that the MPO would have the authority to set transportation priorities in the Bethlehem area and the RPO would set the priorities in Taylorsville.

Mr. Tippett stated that, even though Taylorsville was not included in the MPO, the area would be included and discussed during regional meeting in which Commissioner Hammer, MPO and RPO Committee Member, would be able to attend. Mr. Tippett stated that Alexander County would also have a vote in the MPO as well if the resolution was approved. He also noted that Taylorsville could possibly have more authority in the RPO since it was the only municipality included.

Chairman Robertson inquired about the population of Glen Alpine. Mr. Tippett replied that the population of Glen Alpine was 1,090. Chairman Robertson stated that he did not understand why Glen Alpine, who has a much smaller population, was included and Taylorsville was not. Mr. Tippett replied that Glen Alpine had a high enough population density because it could be tied in with Morganton. Taylorsville was not contiguous enough with Bethlehem to be included.

Chairman Robertson inquired about the length of the agreement. Mr. Tippett stated that the agreement would be in effect until the 2010 census or until it was changed by a three-fourths vote by the membership.

Chairman Robertson stated that, according to parliamentary procedure, those who voted against the approval of the resolution at the April 7, 2003 Meeting would have to make a motion to approve the resolution.

Commissioner Keever made a motion to approve the resolution to support the expanded MPO planning boundaries. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

AMENDMENT TO THE VASHTI WATER MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE AGREEMENT

Chairman Robertson presented an amendment to the Vashti Water Management and Maintenance Agreement for the Board’s review. Chairman Robertson explained that Alexander County and EnergyUnited Water Corporation had jointly installed water lines towards Vashti. EnergyUnited installed approximately 12,500 feet of water line on County Line Road and Paul Payne Road and had requested the County to participate by purchasing the materials once the lines were completed. Chairman Robertson stated that the cost of materials to install water lines along County Line Road and Paul Payne Road totaled $62,269.75. Chairman Robertson explained that the proposed amendment was to extend the time frame for the County to reimburse EnergyUnited for the material costs in the amount of $1,000 per month.

Commissioner Keever asked if there would be any revenues coming back to the County over and above the $1,000 or if the funding would be entirely consumed by maintenance, meter reading, etc. Chairman Robertson replied that the $1,000 per month was the total revenue to the County for the Stony Point/Millers agreement.

Commissioner Bolick made a motion to approve the amendment to the Vashti Water Management and Maintenance Agreement. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

CONSIDERATION OF SURPLUS PROPERTY SALE

Rick French, County Manager, presented a list of vehicles and equipment to be considered as surplus. Mr. French stated that staff planned to hold an auction on the items on May 15, 2003 at Central Park as a joint effort with the Board of Education. Mr. French also requested the authority to add or delete items if necessary. The list included the following items:

Surplus Vehicles Court Seizures
1990 Chevrolet Lumina 1988 Ford Van
1990 Chevrolet Corsica 1988 Mazda MX3
1978 Dodge Van ------ Oldsmobile Bravada
1982 Chevrolet Suburban ------ Datsun Pickup
1978 Ford Pickup
1964 Military Pickup
------ Dodge Pickup
------ Ford Ranger
Additional Equipment
3 push mowers doors
1 riding mower telephones
2 sofas chairs
lamps computers
glass table monitors
office desks computer components
tables cabinets
VCR tape recorder

Commissioner Hammer also discussed the camper that was received after Hurricane Floyd. Commissioner Hammer felt that the camper was of no use to the County and suggested selling it during this or the next surplus if allowed by the State. Commissioner Hammer also asked Mr. Bentley if the HumV and the 2 ton truck was ever used. Mr. Bentley stated that 2 ton truck was used during inclement weather and he noted that the HumV had never been used.

Commissioner Odom felt that the 2 ton truck was an asset to the Sheriff’s Department because it could be used to haul large items during drug busts or for rugged terrain. Commissioner Odom explained that the HumV was received several years ago when the military distributed surplus vehicles. Commissioner Odom suggested selling the HumV and he stated that he was in hopes that several counties would receive new equipment from the military due to the success of Iraqi Freedom and the military’s need to update equipment.

The Board instructed Mr. French to look into these suggestions to determine if and how these items could be sold.

Commissioner Keever made a motion to declare the proposed items as surplus to be auctioned on May 15, 2003 along with any additional items to be determined. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

BUDGET ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS #44 AND #45

Rick French, County Manager, discussed the purpose of Budget Amendments #44 and #45 which included the following information:

    1. Budget Amendment #44 – To budget for payment of workers compensation claims that are less than the annual deductible. To budget for the cost to clean up meth lab discovered in November 2002. To budget for payback of unexpended 2001-2002 DOT Work First grant funds. To budget for the cost of developing a Hazard Mitigation Plan for the county. To budget for the use of Federal and State drug funds.
    2. Budget Amendment #45 – To budget for insurance reimbursements for Ottawa Yarddog Tractor destroyed in the November 2002 fire. To budget for grants received from NCDENR for scrap tire disposal costs.

Commissioner Odom made a motion to approve Budget Amendments #44 and #45. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

OTHER BUSINESS

The following items were discussed during Other Business:

    1. Rick French, County Manager, stated that the NCACC District Meeting was scheduled for Thursday, April 24, 2003 in Burke County from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Mr. French noted that Commissioner Hammer and several department heads would be attending the meeting.
    2. Mr. French informed the Board that he and John Byrd, Landfill Supervisor, would be meeting with Municipal Engineering next week concerning the installation of three monitoring wells. The installation of the 3 wells will cost approximately $15,000. Mr. French stated that a certified warning letter from NCDENR had been received stating that these wells need to be installed within 90 days.
    3. Mr. French stated that a Legislative Briefing and Reception would be held at the Exploris IMAX Gallery and NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh on May 14, 2003. Mr. French encouraged all members of the Board to attend.
    4. Mr. French stated that a Budget Preparation and Financial Planning Workshop would be held on May 13, 2003. Mr. French informed the Board that the information to be discussed seemed to be similar to the information presented at New Commissioners school.
    5. Mr. French stated that he had received a letter from Steve Corley, the new Director of Foothills Mental Health, inviting the Board and staff to an open house at Alexander Opportunities on May 6, 2003 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM to celebrate mental health month.
    6. Mr. French mentioned that the House had approved a $15 billion budget that was approximately $65 million less than Governor Easley’s proposed budget last month.
    7. Russell Greene, Fire Marshal, presented a Power Point presentation regarding the clean up on County Hope Road which began on Wednesday, April 16, 2003. Mr. Greene stated that staff had a work order into the Department of Corrections for a prison crew to perform the clean up since the end of January but he noted that due to weather conditions and scheduling, the crew had just recently been available. Mr. Greene informed the Board that quite a bit of debris had been removed the morning of April 16, 2003 but he noted that the crews had to unfortunately stop working due to the discovery of a crime scene. Mr. Greene stated that the clean up effort has not been rescheduled as of yet.
    8. Chairman Robertson requested the appointment of Eric Burgess to the Council on Aging for a 3-year term.
    9. Commissioner Hammer made a motion to approve the appointment to the Council on Aging. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

    10. Chairman Robertson discussed an incident that began on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 in which fuel oil spilled into the South Yadkin River causing problems for EnergyUnited and many of its customers. Chairman Robertson explained that EnergyUnited submitted water samples to their water-testing firm who had guaranteed a test report for Friday morning. However, the testing technician was not in the office on Friday and the test report was not submitted until 3:00 PM on Saturday.
    11. Chairman Robertson expressed the need for regional labs and he suggested allowing Mr. French to draft a letter to State representatives requesting them to researching regional labs for situations like this one. The Board agreed.

      Commissioner Odom noted that there were 7 Emergency Reaction Teams in the state and he suggested that these teams could possibly incorporate water testing.

      Commissioner Odom commended the EnergyUnited staff and the many volunteers for their hard work and the customers for their patience during the fuel oil spill. Chairman Robertson stated that the School System had planned to make the ACHS locker rooms available on Sunday for citizens to take showers but fortunately the water problem was solved and the locker room was not needed. Chairman Robertson conveyed his appreciation to the School System for their generosity.

    12. Commissioner Hammer requested that staff draft a resolution in support of Governor Easley’s Spring Litter Sweep for April 21, 2003 through May 5, 2003 in an effort to make NC roads clean and beautiful. Commissioner Hammer stated that the local Department of Transportation would be providing orange litter bags and he encouraged citizens to take part in picking up litter along the roads and highways.

Commissioner Hammer made a motion to approve the drafting of a resolution in support of the Spring Litter Sweep for April 21, 2003 through May 5, 2003. Commissioner Odom seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

CLOSED SESSION – N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(5 & 6) CONTRACTUAL & PERSONNEL

Commissioner Odom made a motion to enter into Closed Session at 8:20 PM to discuss contractual matters and personnel issues pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(5 & 6). Commissioner Keever seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, Commissioner Bolick made a motion to adjourn at 9:20 PM. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

 

                                                                                                           

W. Darrell Robertson, Chairman         Jamie C. Millsaps, Clerk to the Board