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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 

ALEXANDER COUNTY

REGULAR MEETING

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

February 16, 2004

PRESENT: W. Norris Keever, Chairman
William L. Hammer, Vice-Chairman
Wesley E. Bolick
Joel C. Harbinson
W. Darrell Robertson
STAFF: Rick French, County Manager
Jamie Starnes, Clerk to the Board
David Icenhour, Human Resources Director
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, February 16, 2004 in the Catawba Valley Community College / Alexander Center Multipurpose Room, Taylorsville, North Carolina.

CALL TO ORDER

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

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

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

ADOPTION OF AGENDA

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

PUBLIC HEARING:   APPROVAL OF ROAD NAMES

Sylvia Turnmire, Director of Planning & Development, requested approval of the following road names:

Road No.                     Road Name                                         Road Location                        

3756PL                         Friendship Court                                    Off Friendship Church Road

3778LJ                         Liberty Estates Lane                              Off Liberty Church Road

3863TC                        Luther Place                                          Off Bethel Church Road

3769MM                      Mary Smith Lane                                   Off Lewittes Road

3747RA                        Rachel’s Lane                                        Off Alspaugh Dam Road

3738ML                       Ted Little Drive                                     Off Barrett Mountain Road

Ms. Turnmire informed the Board that Friendship Court, Liberty Estates Lane, and Rachel’s Lane were a part of a subdivision.  Ms. Turnmire also noted that all road names had been advertised and checked for duplication and sound indexing.

There being no public comment, Commissioner Robertson made a motion to close the public hearing.  Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

Commissioner Hammer made a motion to approve the road names as presented.  Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

APPOINTMENT OF THE ALEXANDER COUNTY MEDICAL DIRECTOR

Chairman Keever informed the Board that Dr. Trevor Craig had indicated that he wished to step down as the Alexander County Medical Director and allow Dr. Joel Inman to assume his responsibilities. 

Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to approve the appointment of Dr. Joel Inman as the Alexander County Medical Director.  Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

Commissioner Harbinson expressed his appreciation to Dr. Craig for his role as Medical Director for the past several years and he welcome Dr. Inman to the Alexander County team.  Commissioner Harbinson also took the opportunity to thank Dr. Inman on a personal level for the professional care he had given to his 16 year old autistic son, Jarrett.  Commissioner Harbinson stated that Dr. Inman had been extremely helpful and he thanked him for coming back to Alexander County to practice medicine.

Commissioner Robertson also thanked Dr. Craig for his great contribution to the community.   Commissioner Robertson stated that Dr. Craig was always willing to help in any way he could and he stated that he looked forward to working with Dr. Inman

Dr. Joel Inman stated that he had done a lot of traveling during his service with the U.S. Navy as well as during his education and he noted that Alexander County was truly the best place in the world.  Dr. Inman stated that he looked forward to serving as Medical Director.

***SPECIAL RECOGNITION***

Chairman Keever presented a plaque to Dr. Trevor Craig in appreciation for his service as the Medical Director for the Alexander County Emergency Medical Service.

After accepting the plaque, Dr. Craig stated that he had thoroughly enjoyed working with EMS.   Dr. Craig stated that EMS had grown and improved tremendously over the last several years and he thanked the Board for the continued support.

Commissioner Hammer mentioned that the late Dr. Hugh Shearin had gotten the Medical Director Program started several years ago.  Commissioner Hammer stated that he had great respect for Dr. Shearin because he saved his daughter’s life when she was 2 years old.  Commissioner Hammer stated that Dr. Craig had improved the program and had caused it to move forward and he felt that Dr. Inman would do well as Medical Director.

BUDGET ORDINANCE AMENDMENT #24

Rick French, County Manager, discussed the purpose of Budget Amendment #24, which included the following information:

            Budget Amendment #24 – To transfer funds to Emergency Assistance.

Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve Budget Amendment #24.  Commissioner Hammer seconded the motion.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

OTHER BUSINESS

Rick French, County Manager, discussed the following issues during Other Business:

A.      The next Commissioners’ Meeting will be held on March 15, 2004.  Mr. French stated that there would only be one meeting held in March.

B.      Some additional operating hours have been added at the Library.  Mr. French stated that he would get the Board a copy of the new schedule and he noted that this issue would also be reviewed further during budget discussions.

C.      The Town of Taylorsville is considering joining other towns to encourage the dissolution of a bill that would remove the 10% cap on satellite annexation.  Mr. French stated that Town officials would be approaching Representative Edgar Starnes and Senator R.B. Sloan in regard to the bill.

D.      The WPCOG Annual Meeting has been rescheduled for Monday, February 23, 2004 at 6:30 PM at the Holiday Inn Select.

CONSENT AGENDA

  1. Tax Refund Request for February $260.63.
  2. Minutes from February 2, 2004 Regular Commissioners’ Meeting.

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

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business for the regular meeting, Commissioner Hammer made a motion to adjourn a 6:17 PM to reconvene in the work session.  Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

 

                                                                                                           

W. Norris Keever, Chairman         Jamie M. Starnes, Clerk to the Board

 

 

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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 

ALEXANDER COUNTY

WORK SESSION

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

February 16, 2004

PRESENT: W. Norris Keever, Chairman
William L. Hammer, Vice-Chairman
Wesley E. Bolick
Joel C. Harbinson
W. Darrell Robertson
STAFF: Rick French, County Manager
Jamie Starnes, Clerk to the Board
Greg Cronk, Information Technology Director
Bradley Earp, Interim EMS Director
Dale Clary, Board of Education Member
Jack Hoke, Alexander County Schools Superintendent
Terry Foxx, Emergency Management / Communications Director
Stacy Austin, Wireless Communications
MEDIA: Gary Herman, The Taylorsville Times

 

The Alexander County Board of Commissioners held a work session following the adjournment of the regular meeting.

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Keever called the work session to order at 6:31 PM.

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND

Jack Hoke, Alexander County Schools Superintendent, presented a Power Point slide show presentation on the No Child Left Behind program, which included the following information:

            North Carolina & No Child Left Behind

The NCLB law is designed around the idea that not all students are making the academic progress they need to become successful.

        NCLB was signed into law on January 8, 2002; however, statistics were counted from the beginning of school year.

        This has had a tremendous impact on North Carolina’s public schools, especially Title 1 schools.

Key Requirements

        Closing achievement gaps.

        Holding schools accountable for all students.

        Highly qualified teachers.

        Integration with the ABCs.  Each state sets criteria approved by the federal government to determine adequate yearly progress.

NCLB Goal

        Have all students performing at grade level or better in reading and mathematics (according to state standards) by 2013-2014.

        ABCs will continue to measure student growth and individual school growth.

Mr. Hoke stated that NCLB required determination of student, school, school district, and state progress in achieving proficiency goals.  Mr. Hoke explained that students were placed into subgroups consisting of at least 40 students and then scores were counted in a school wide average.  Mr. Hoke stated that if any one of the subgroups did not meet proficiency, the school was deemed to have not met adequate yearly progress (AYP).   The subgroups included:

        The school as a whole

        White

        Black

        Native American

        Asian / Pacific Islander

        Hispanic

        Multiracial

        Limited English Proficient

        Students with Disabilities

        Economically Disadvantaged Students

Targets for Meeting Adequate Yearly Progress

Year

Grades 3-8

 

Grade 10

 

 

Reading

Math

Reading

Math

2002-2003

68.9%

74.6%

52%

54.9%

2004-2005

76.7%

81%

64%

66.2%

2007-2008

84.5%

87.3%

76%

77.5%

2010-2011

92.2%

93.7%

88%

88.7%

2013-2014

100%

100%

100%

100%

Mr. Hoke noted that meeting a target of 100% would be very challenging since every child did not coming from same background or would not have the same academic capability.

How Adequate Yearly Progress is Determined

        All subgroups meet or exceed AYP targets for the year or

        The percentage of students not scoring proficient in a subgroup is reduced by at least 10% in a year and the subgroup makes progress on the other AYP indicator.

The Achievement Gap

        Starting points were determined by average scores.

        Many student subgroups at many schools score below this average.

Achievement gap: percent at or above grade level in reading and math 3-8 EOGS

2001-2002 Avg. Test Score

74.7% total

56.6% blacks

84.4% whites

 

        More than half our schools probably won’t make AYP

School Improvement Schools

        Only 27% of NC elementary schools and middle schools would have made AYP for 2000-2001.

        Only 11 districts would have made AYP in 2000-2001.

        There are 15 schools currently in School Improvement under the old Title 1 AYP definitions, 11 of these are charter schools.

Title 1 School Improvement / Corrective Actions / Restructuring

Mr. Hoke stated that the Title 1 designation was based on the number of free and reduced lunches each school had and he noted that 50% of public schools in NC received Title 1 funding.  Mr. Hoke explained the consequences of a school not meeting the AYP for the year, which included the following:

Year

Status

Sanctions

Year 1

Fails to make AYP

None

Year 2

Fails to make AYP

None

Year 3

Fails to make AYP in Title 1 S1

Public school choice, technical assistance

Year 4

Fails to make AYP in Title 1 S1

Public school choice, supplemental educational services, technical assistance

Year 5

Fails to make AYP in Title 1 S1

Public school choice, supplemental educational services, plan for restructuring, technical assistance

Year 6

Fails to make AYP in Title 1 S1

Public school choice, supplemental educational services, plan for restructuring, technical assistance

Year 7

Fails to make AYP in Title 1 S1

Public school choice, supplemental educational services, implement plan for restructuring

Highly Qualified Teachers

        By June 30, 2006 all core subject area teachers will meet NCLB’s definition of highly qualified which required public elementary and secondary teachers to teach core academic areas, be fully licensed by the state and certified in a subject area, and have no certification or licensing requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis.

        Teachers must meet the requirements for full certification and have demonstrated competency in each of the subjects that they teach.

        Almost 30% of NC’s 85,817 teachers are not fully licensed and/or are lacking subject area certification.

        Newly hired teachers (those who began work in the 2002-2003 school year) working in Title 1 funded programs teaching in core academic areas must already meet NCLB’s definition of highly qualified.

        Lateral entry teachers must meet the same qualifications in 3 years (not 5 years).

        No provisional, emergency, or temporary licenses.

        Not new teachers in core subject areas must meet the definition of highly qualified by June 30, 2006.

        Passing Praxis II test(s) demonstrates subject area knowledge.

        Other options:  Major or its equivalent, graduate degree in subject area, master’s level licensure in subject area, NBC in subject area.

        Not new teachers can complete HOUSE (soon to be established in NC) instead of the Praxis II to demonstrate subject matter competence.

            New Standards for Instructional Paraprofessionals

        Designed to ensure they have the skills needed to help in reading, writing, mathematics and/or readiness for schooling instruction.

        Requirements vary depending on school (Title 1 or not), position held, and hire date.

        Law applies to 57% of our 25,900 paraprofessionals (unlike teachers where all core subject area teachers are affected).

        High school degree.

        Associates degree and/or two years of higher education.

        Formal assessment of instructional abilities including a staff development component.

        Work under direct supervision of a highly qualified teacher.

        Exceptions:  Paraprofessionals who perform translation, parental involvement, or only non-instructional duties.

Deadlines for Paraprofessionals

        January 8, 2006 for not-new paraprofessionals.

        Already for paraprofessionals hired on or before January 8, 2002.

2003 ABC’s and AYP Results (Unofficial)

School

Expected Growth

High Growth

Performance Composite

Special Recognition

AYP?

# of Target Goals Achieved

Bethlehem Elementary

Yes

Yes

91.8%

School of Excellence

Yes

15 out of 15

Ellendale Elementary

Yes

Yes

93.0%

School of Excellence

Yes

13 out of 13

Hiddenite Elementary

Yes

Yes

87.1%

School of Distinction

Yes

13 out of 13

Stony Point Elementary

Yes

Yes

83.5%

School of Distinction

Yes

13 out of 13

Sugar Loaf Elementary

Yes

Yes

88.6%

School of Distinction

Yes

9 out of 9

Taylorsville Elementary

Yes

Yes

80.8%

School of Distinction

Yes

13 out of 13

Wittenburg Elementary

Yes

No

88.4%

School of Distinction

Yes

13 out of 13

EAMS

Yes

No

78.9%

None

No

17 out of 21

WAMS

Yes

Yes

88.6%

School of Distinction

No

20 out of 21

ACHS

Yes

No

74.5%

 

Yes

13 out of 13

 

AYP Target Goals:

Grades 3-8 – Reading – 68.9%                         10th Grade Reading – 52%

Grades 3-8 – Math – 74.6%                             10th Grade Math – 54.9%

Commissioner Harbinson felt that the No Child Left Behind Program was unfair and unreasonable due to the fact that there was no way that every child could be brought up to the same level.   Commissioner Harbinson noted that there were children with disabilities enrolled in public schools that could never have the same learning abilities as other children.  Commissioner Robertson agreed that some children did not have the same opportunities as other and he noted that some children were better prepared than others.

Mr. Hoke agreed that it was not realistic to have exceptional children in the same category as academically gifted children.

Commissioner Bolick informed Mr. Hoke that several Board members would be attending a conference in Washington, D.C. at the end of the month and would be meeting with several members of Congress.  Commissioner Bolick asked if there was anything that Mr. Hoke would like to have relayed to them.  Mr. Hoke suggested the Board mention that this program was only 1/3 funded and also that State Board of Education recommendations needed to be taken seriously.

COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM – SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT

Terry Foxx, Emergency Management / Communications Director, discussed the Sheriff’s repeater located on Barretts Mountain as well as the control station on Linneys Mountain.  Mr. Foxx stated that when the communications project was completed several years ago, the Sheriff’s Department decided to not join the County since they had the coverage that they needed.

Mr. Foxx explained how the repeater and control station worked by informing the Board that calls coming from the console at 911 or the Sheriff’s Department out to the patrol cars went through the control station on Linney’s Mountain.  However, a call coming in from a patrol car to the console goes through the repeater on Barretts Mountain, which is also an FAA site that controls Atlanta Center as well as some frequencies from Hickory, Lenoir, and Asheville.  Mr. Foxx stated that some changes had taken place on the FAA frequencies over the last year or so causing the Sheriff’s repeater to go down and not transmit.  Mr. Foxx stated that a vendor technician had checked and replaced equipment only to find that it was in good working order.  However, Mr. Foxx noted that air traffic had been overheard through the radio during the equipment checks.  Mr. Foxx stated that it had been determined that FAA interference was the cause of the Sheriff’s repeater going down.

Mr. Foxx made a recommendation that the Sheriff’s repeater be moved off Barretts Mountain and placed on the County system in order to gain distance from the FAA interference.  Mr. Foxx stated that the cost of the move and necessary equipment would be approximately $42,000.  Mr. Foxx stated that FCC could license the Sheriff another frequency; however, he noted that it was a very slim chance of getting a 25kz frequency channel, which would result in the Sheriff’s mobiles and portables not being compatible.

Commissioner Robertson stated that he was concerned that the Board would spend the $42,000 to move the repeater and then have to deal with the same issue 6 months or a year from now.   Mr. Foxx did note that there was no guarantee moving the repeater or changing the frequencies would cure the problem.  Commissioner Robertson felt that FAA needed to give the County some information to work with in order to make a decision.

Mr. Foxx stated that the Rescue Squad had a repeater on Linney’s Mountain that could be reprogrammed for the Sheriff’s Department to use on an interim basis.

Rick French, County Manager, mentioned that no funding had been budgeted for this expense and he noted that the Fund Balance was on the borderline of being too low.  Mr. French suggested that the Board act carefully with this issue.

Commissioner Robertson suggested that Mr. Foxx write a letter to Congressman Richard Burr regarding the FAA interference to see if it is possible for FAA to take financial responsibility for the moving of the repeater.  Commissioner Hammer suggested inquiring about Homeland Security funding as well.  The Board agreed.

911 COMBINATION / UPGRADE

Terry Foxx, Emergency Management / Communications Director, discussed the 911 Communications Center remodeling project in order to upgrade the 911 console and equipment.  Mr. Foxx presented the following figures relating to the cost of the project:

Construct walls to enlarge the equipment room to accommodate all 911 equip - $750.00

Install new flooring (carpet or tile) - $500.00

Reconfigure HVAC to accommodate additional ductwork and reconfigure the returns - ?

Miscellaneous items (paint, light fixture covers, etc.) - $400.00

System Summary

            CML RescueStar, Spares, All Displays, 3 positions - $181,083.42

            Integrated Norstar Key System - $21,151.00

            Spectrcom Time Synchronization System - $8,686.78

            Watson Dispatch Furniture System - $38,034.88

            Nice Digital Recording System with Instant Recall Interface - $27,694.28

            Motorola Centracom Gold Console System - $130,172.10

            OSSI CAD System with Medical Priority Dispatch Cards - $140,177.00

            OSSI Mapping System with Geo File Mapping Creation - $38,650.00

Mr. Foxx stated that these items totaled $585,649.45.  However, he noted that these were top of the line products and equipment which would leave some room to maneuver on the quote.  Mr. Foxx informed the Board that the trade in option was no longer available on the console because the time period had lapsed to turn the old console in.

In regards to the flooring, Mr. Foxx suggested that tile be installed instead of carpet.  Mr. Foxx explained that the tile would be easier to clean since there was a larger amount of dust that accumulated in that area. 

Commissioner Bolick inquired about the cost of the lease purchase.  Stacy Austin, Wireless Communications, stated that the total cost of the project would be $585,649.45.  However, he noted that the County had received a $39,000 grant bringing the cost down to approximately $547,000.  Mr. Austin stated that the lease would be for 5 years and could be paid in annual payments or monthly payments.  Mr. Austin explained that a monthly payment would total $10,311.48 at a rate of 4.36% and an annual payment would total $121,335.30 at a rate of 4.444%

The Board agreed to discuss this issue further at a later date.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, Commissioner Bolick made a motion to adjourn at 8:10 PM.   Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion.   The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

 

                                                                                                           

W. Norris Keever, Chairman         Jamie M. Starnes, Clerk to the Board