August 4, 2003
The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held its regular meeting on Monday, August 4, 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
Rev. Ron Vaughn, New Salem Presbyterian Church, gave the invocation and Commissioner Hammer led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Chairman Robertson mentioned the new Child Enrichment Center at New Salem Presbyterian Church. Rev. Vaughn stated that the facility currently had 32 children in care but he noted that the facility had a capacity of approximately 90 children. Chairman Robertson stated that the facility was located on County Line Road approximately one mile from the Alexander and Iredell County lines.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA
Chairman Robertson requested the addition of a Closed Session to discuss contractual matters pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(5).
Commissioner Harbinson briefly discussed the chart included in the agenda packets that addressed the General Fund debt service payments budgeted for the 2003-2004 budget year. Commissioner Harbinson stated that Alexander County was one of only 8 counties whose school projects were entirely funded by half-cent sales tax monies instead of property taxes. Commissioner Harbinson felt that Jennifer Herman, Finance Officer, had done an outstanding job putting this information together and he therefore made a motion that the chart be made a part of the official minutes of the meeting. Commissioner Keever seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Keever made a motion to adopt the agenda as amended. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
RESOURCE CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT (RC & D) PROJECTS
Wendell Kirkham, Carolina Land & Lakes RC & D Chairman, distributed a brochure to the Board that explained the Carolina Land & Lakes RC & D Office which was established in January 2001. Mr. Kirkham discussed the Carolina Land & Lakes RC & D 5-year plan, goals, objectives, & strategies, which included the following:
Goal B: Assist with Economic and Community Development.
Goal C: Increase Land and Water Opportunities.
Goal D: Improve Awareness of the RC & D program.
Mr. Kirkham also discussed projects in all 5 of the Carolina Land & Lakes RC & D Offices, which included:
Mr. Kirkham stated that the Carolina Land & Lakes RC & D Office was also beneficial with issues such as groundwater supply, water impoundment, fuels, animal waste, converting waste to energy, etc. Mr. Kirkham stated that he simply wanted to make the Board aware that the Carolina Land & Lakes RC & D Office was a great benefit to the County.
Dan McClure, Carolina Land & Lakes RC & D Coordinator, discussed another potential project in Alexander County for development of an institution where minorities such as latinos and asians would be comfortable discussing health and legal issues. Mr. McClure stated that he was working with representatives from First Baptist Church on this project.
Mr. McClure urged the Board or citizens to contact his office with any questions, comments, or suggestions for projects.
REZONING CASE 03-4: DOUGLAS LACKEY (PRECISION MECHANICAL, INC.)
Sylvia Turnmire, Director of Planning & Development, discussed Rezoning Case 03-4 which was tabled at the July 14, 2003 Commissioners Meeting allow the applicant, Douglas Lackey, time to have a site/soil evaluation completed as well as to receive an improvement permit for the subject property. Ms. Turnmire informed the Board that Mr. Lackey did, in fact, receive an improvement permit approval from Environmental Health on July 18, 2003. Ms. Turnmire submitted a copy of the permit.
Commissioner Hammer made a motion to approve Rezoning Case 03-4. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
COURTHOUSE LAWN OAK TREE
Russell Greene, Fire Marshal, discussed the removal of the courthouse lawn oak tree, which was recommended by Dennis Wahlers, County Ranger. Mr. Greene mentioned Mr. Wahlers recommendation letter that stated that the tree had been struck by lightning, had heart rot, slime flux disease, and other fungi and noted that the tree was hazardous.
Mr. Greene stated that he had received one phone call since the agenda was published from a gentleman in the downtown area who was in opposition to the removal.
Commissioner Harbinson suggested that staff get a second opinion by a tree expert to make sure that the tree was dead and a definite hazard before it was removed. Commissioner Harbinson discussed an incident some time ago where a tree in the downtown area was thought to be dead and was cut down. However, when it was cut down it was discovered that the tree was not dead. Commissioner Harbinson stated that he sincerely respected Mr. Wahlers recommendation but he noted that he would feel much better getting a second opinion before cutting down this monumental tree.
Commissioner Keever asked Commissioner Harbinson what the Countys legal liability would be if the tree was not removed immediately and a limb fell on a citizen. Commissioner Harbinson replied that he simply wanted to get a second opinion before removing such a historical tree since there was apparently no immediate danger.
Mr. Greene stated that the only immediate danger was that there was one large limb at the top of the tree that was dead and needed to come down.
Chairman Robertson stated that he had no problem with removing the tree but he noted that he understood Commissioner Harbinsons suggestion to have a second opinion. Chairman Roberson also noted that if removed, the wood from the tree should be given to civic clubs and churches to be donated to people in need of assistance for the winter instead of just hauled off and done away with.
Commissioner Hammer stated that he believed that the tree was dead but he noted that he had no problem with getting a second opinion. Commissioner Hammer suggested that Mr. Greene get estimates on grinding up the stump as well as a replacement tree.
Mr. Greene informed the Board that he had received one estimate of $4,000 to $5,000 that included complete removal of the tree, grinding of the stump, and cleanup.
Commissioner Keever suggested that, if the Board agreed to wait and get a second opinion, a barrier be placed around the tree to warn citizens that the tree was hazardous so that no one would be struck by a falling limb.
Commissioner Bolick made a motion to get a second opinion on the courthouse lawn oak tree within 30 days. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion.
Commissioner Keever asked if his suggestion for a barrier around the tree be accepted as part of the motion. Commissioner Bolick agreed and made a motion to accept that amendment. Commissioner Harbinson agreed. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Bolick made a motion to get a second opinion within 30 days and place a barrier around the tree to warn citizens that the tree was hazardous. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Chairman Robertson asked Mr. Greene to have the second opinion available for the August 25, 2003 Commissioners Meeting.
SELECTION OF VOTING DELEGATE FOR THE NCACC ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Commissioner Harbinson nominated Commissioner Hammer to serve as the Voting Delegate at the NCACC Annual Conference to be held on August 14-17, 2003. Commissioner Hammer declined.
Commissioner Harbinson therefore nominated Commissioner Keever to serve as the Voting Delegate. Commissioner Keever accepted.
Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to select Commissioner Keever to serve as the Voting Delegate at the NCACC Annual Conference to be held on August 14-17, 2003. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted 4 in favor of the motion (Commissioners Bolick, Hammer, Harbinson, and Robertson) and one abstention (Commissioner Keever). The motion passed.
Commissioner Bolick mentioned that it was Alexander Countys turn to appoint a District Director for District 13. Chairman Robertson suggested that Commissioner Keever serve in that capacity since he was serving as the Voting Delegate. Commissioner Keever accepted the position. The Board agreed unanimously to allow Commissioner Keever to serve as the District Director.
BOARD APPOINTMENTS AND REAPPOINTMENTS
Commissioner Hammer presented the following appointments and reappointments:
Reappoint Warren Hollar 3 years
Reappoint Keith Hertzler 3 years
Appoint Susan Teague 1-year terms
Appoint Karen Hoyle
Appoint Angela Johnson
Appoint Dr. Barry Redmon
Appoint Commissioner Hammer
Reappoint Hal Bond
Reappoint Paula Brawley
Reappoint Patti Foster
Reappoint Leeanne Whisnant
Reappoint Terry Foxx
Reappoint Rick French
Reappoint Keith Hertlzer
Reappoint Andrew Jackson
Reappoint Nolan Jarvis
Reappoint Tim Lackey
Reappoint Dana Robertson
Reappoint Ben Zachary
Reappoint Florence Davis
Reappoint Chris Fortner
Appoint Melissa Miller Until December 2005
Appoint Lisa Bentley
Appoint Jon Presnell
Appoint Mitch King
Appoint David Odom
Appoint Commissioner Hammer
Appoint Chairman Robertson
Appoint Commissioner Harbinson
Appoint Commissioner Keever
Commissioner Hammer made a motion to approve the appointments and reappointments as presented. Commissioner Keever seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
The following issues were discussed during Other Business:
Commissioner Keever made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
CLOSED SESSION N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(5) CONTRACTUAL
Commissioner Bolick made a motion to enter into Closed Session at 6:40 PM to discuss contractual matters pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(5). Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
There being no further business, Commissioner Hammer made a motion to adjourn at 7:30 PM. Commissioner seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
W. Darrell Robertson, Chairman Jamie C. Millsaps, Clerk to the Board