July 26, 2004
The Alexander County Board of
Commissioners held a regular meeting on
CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Keever called the meeting to order at .
INVOCATION & PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioner Harbinson gave the invocation and also led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Chairman Keever discussed his recent
trip to the NACo Conference in
Chairman Keever informed the Board that Commissioner Hammer would not be present at the meeting tonight because he had previous commitments. The Board excused his absence.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA
Commissioner Robertson 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: REZONING CASE 04-5: TIM LAIL
Sylvia Turnmire, Director of Planning
& Development, presented Rezoning Case 04-5 submitted by Timothy Lail. Mr. Lail requested rezoning of property located on
Ms. Turnmire stated that the
applicant wished to rezone the property to expand his existing business, Hickory Tile and
Marble and she noted that a 7,200 square foot building was proposed for the northern
section of the property. She stated that the
property was currently occupied by a singlewide manufactured home. Ms. Turnmire pointed out that
Ms. Turnmire stated that the property was served by an 8-inch water line and would be served by an individual septic system. She also explained that current tax records indicated 2 taxable structures on the property including one 1,800 square foot building and one 5,800 square foot building.
Ms. Turnmire presented several photos of the property for the Boards viewing and she pointed out the location for the proposed building as well as the proposed entrance and exit.
Ms. Turnmire stated that several
neighbors had raised concerns regarding heavy traffic in the area during the Planning
& Zoning Commission Meetings. Therefore,
Ms. Turnmire presented the following table which provided average daily traffic counts for
Ms. Turnmire explained that the purpose of the H-C (Highway-Commercial) District was to provide a suitable location for those commercial activities which serve primarily the traveling public, including those which function rather independently of each other. She also stated that the Alexander County Land Development Plan showed these properties as being in an Urban Transition Area which was to provide for future intensive urban development on lands that are suitable and that will be provided with the necessary urban services to support intense urban development. Areas meeting the intent of Urban Transition classification are presently being developed for urban purposes or will be developed in the next 5 to 10 years to accommodate anticipated urban growth.
Ms. Turnmire informed the Board that several neighboring property owners had submitted a protest petition for the rezoning request; however, she noted that the petition did not meet the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance and was therefore not a valid petition. She also stated that staff had received 2 calls regarding the rezoning request, one in favor of the rezoning and one in opposition. Ms. Turnmire informed the Board that staff as well as the Planning & Zoning Commission had unanimously recommended approval of the rezoning request.
Commissioner Robertson inquired about current traffic to the business and asked if there was any increase in traffic anticipated with the business expansion. Tim Lail, property owner, replied that he did not anticipate any increase in traffic.
Commissioner Bolick stated that he had known Mr. Lail for 3 or 4 years and he was aware of what Mr. Lail had done to improve the property his current business was located on since purchasing it. Commissioner Bolick felt that Hickory Tile and Marble was one of the better businesses within the county and surrounding areas where citizens that were building homes could purchase stone and marble. Commissioner Bolick also stated that he was a neighbor to the business and was proud to have the business in his area.
Chairman Keever called the public hearing to order and requested any public comment. There being no public comment, 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 Bolick made a motion to approve Rezoning Case 04-5. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT REPORT
David Icenhour, Economic Development
Director, gave a report on economic development activities that had taken place during the
first part of 2004. Mr. Icenhour briefly
discussed his position as Economic Development Director by explaining that he began the
position part-time on
Mr. Icenhour stated that one of the first things he pursued as Economic Development Director was the rejoining of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, a 16-county organization that serves as the primary economic development organization for our region. Mr. Icenhour informed the Board that he served as a member of the Economic Developers Advisory Committee that consisted of other economic developers in the region. He stated that the economic developers discuss many different things that affect economic development in the region, ways to develop a network within the region, and approaches that are used in each county for economic development purposes. Mr. Icenhour stated that the Economic Developers Advisory Committee provided suggestions to the Charlotte Regional Partnership Board of Directors, on which Rick French serves, on how to address needs of the entire region, which also helps to develop a network of people that have an influence over economic development activities in the region.
Mr. Icenhour stated that one of the
primary advantages of being a member of the Charlotte Regional Partnership was their
website. He explained that he was able to
enter available industrial and commercial properties into the Partnerships website
to allow citizens, business owners, etc. to search out specific information on each
property. Mr. Icenhour stated that there were
19 land-only properties available in
Mr. Icenhour also explained that
properties were automatically loaded to the N.C. Department of Commerce website once
entered into the Partnerships website. He
mentioned that there had been a problem with data entry on the Partnerships website,
preventing any properties from being loaded to the Department of Commerce. This meant that someone searching for property on
the Department of Commerce website would not find any property available in
Another effort made has been the development of the Countys own economic development webpage. Mr. Icenhour stated that the webpage provided information on the County such as location, transportation, water and sewer, etc. as well as information on available properties and buildings. Mr. Icenhour informed the Board that each property had its own informational page formatted in PDF files so that they could be printed, faxed, and emailed. Each page includes basic information on the property as well as acreage, price, contacts, aerial photos, and location maps.
Mr. Icenhour stated that he had spent a tremendous amount of time developing the Internet aspect of economic development because he had learned, in speaking with local economic developers in surrounding counties, that the Internet was crucial in todays world. He explained that companies or site consultants did their initial research for property on the Internet and then followed up with actual visits if they found something they were interested in. He felt that it was important to establish that Internet presence and make sure that information was updated and accurate for potential customers to research.
Mr. Icenhour discussed tangible
results since January including 7 actual visits to the county by company representatives
who were considering relocation. Mr. Icenhour
informed the Board that those representatives were from
Mr. Icenhour stated that existing industries were the backbone of the Countys economy and he gave employee totals for the following businesses:
Alexvale 330 employees
Schneider Mills 356 employees
Mitchell Gold 620 employees
Mr. Icenhour discussed the progress of existing industry in the County and pointed out that one company had recently completed a 62,000 square foot expansion and purchased another 187,000 square foot building. Existing industry investment expected for this year are $4 or $5 million with 50 to 70 new jobs. Mr. Icenhour stated that he wanted to strive to make companies aware of the advantages of the County Incentive Policy as well as incentives through the N.C. Department of Commerce.
Mr. Icenhour stated that he had also started a visitation program, which included a visit to one or two companies a week to discuss economic development or any problems that could be solved. He informed the Board that he had visited 5 or 6 companies so far and he noted that all seemed to be eager to participate and were happy to have one person they could call when they had a problem. Mr. Icenhour noted that even though the County couldnt solve all problems, he could be there to listen and help all he could.
Mr. Icenhour stated that he was also
a member of the Hickory Metro Foreign Trade Zone Board and would become a member of the
WPCOG Workforce Development tonight. He stated
that he had met with each economic developer in surrounding counties to discuss their
daily activities involving economic development. He
also informed the Board that he had completed the
Mr. Icenhour stated that he was enjoying his work in economic development, which he felt was an important part of being successful; however, he noted that being successful would be a team effort. He mentioned that another economic developer in a neighboring county had said Economic Development is not a project its a process. Mr. Icenhour stated that his interpretation of that quote was that economic development was not just about putting water and sewer lines in the ground, but that it was a long process that required patience. Mr. Icenhour felt that getting involved with the Charlotte Regional Partnership and the Department of Commerce along with getting to know local industries and having an Internet presence was a good start of a long process that would result in some successes. Mr. Icenhour stated that he would never be able to take credit for any particular success within economic development but he noted that he looked forward to playing a role, along with the Board, citizens, and business leaders, in helping making the pieces of the puzzle fall in the right places.
Chairman Keever discussed the
Economic Development seminar that he and Mr. Icenhour attended in
Commissioner Bolick asked what steps
an individual would need to take to establish a retail business in
Commissioner Bolick asked if there were any future plans to include retail buildings on the County and Charlotte Regional Partnership websites. Mr. Icenhour replied that any commercial, industrial, or retail property could be placed on either website.
Commissioner Robertson asked if the
property pin number was listed on the County and Partnerships website for each
individual property in conjunction with the
Commissioner Harbinson stated that Mr. Icenhour had been hired several years ago to work with the County. He stated that some members of the Board saw skills and talent in Mr. Icenhour that they felt would benefit in the promotion of the County. Commissioner Harbinson felt that Mr. Icenhour had set up an extremely effective economic development system through the County and Partnerships websites and he also mentioned that Mr. Icenhour had been instrumental in the acquisition of the new state prison. He also stated that one had to be aggressive and persevere to be successful and he felt that Mr. Icenhour would do just that. Commissioner Harbinson conveyed his appreciation to Mr. Icenhour for his work with the County for the last several years.
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
Terry Foxx, Emergency Management Director, presented the proposed Alexander County Emergency Operations Plan for consideration. Mr. Foxx stated that staff began revising the plan 2 years ago.
Mr. Foxx stated that the revision of the plan began during the move of his and several other offices which resulted in a delay of locating a complete copy of the plan. He stated that the previous plan was in hard copy only and was not in electronic format. At that time, Mr. Foxx began transferring the plan onto computer from the original document. Mr. Foxx pointed out that during that process he presented the Incident Management Ordinance, Animal Response Plan, and Terrorism Plan to the Board for consideration. He noted that those plans had been approved by the Board and were now a part of the revised Emergency Operations Plan.
Mr. Foxx stated that the proposed plan was now in electronic format and could be accessed through his County departmental webpage. He also noted that certain individuals who would need access to the document would be given clearance with a user name and password, which would make the facilitation of annual updates easier. Mr. Foxx stated that the Local Emergency Planning Committee had reviewed the proposed plan and made suggestions and corrections. He also stated that the Town Council approved the plan at their meeting last week as they are part of the County Emergency Management System.
Mr. Foxx stated that federal grant funding in the amount of $6,065 had been used to help facilitate this plan. He explained that the grant funding was on a reimbursable basis and he noted that the County would receive its reimbursement once the plan was approved.
Commissioner Robertson felt that
Mr. Foxx pointed out that there had
only been one Red Cross shelter, located at
Commissioner Bolick discussed the
fact that the Town of
Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to approve the Emergency Operations Plan as presented. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
COMMENTS FROM COMMISSIONER HARBINSON
Commissioner Harbinson informed the
Board that he had submitted his resignation by letter dated June 14, 2004 to be effective
August 2, 2004 at 12:00 Noon. He stated that
his reason for resigning was so that he could focus on his campaign for the N.C. House of
Representatives, which he noted took up a tremendous amount of his time. He felt that it was unfair to the citizens of
Commissioner Harbinson stated that being a commissioner had been the greatest honor to have bestowed upon him, other than being the father of 2 sons, and for that he was very appreciative. Commissioner Harbinson stated that this honor included being elected by the people of the county to serve for 4 years and also being selected by the Democratic Party to serve out the term of David Odom who became Town Manager.
Commissioner Harbinson also appreciated the opportunity to serve with his fellow board members, including David Odom and John Watts who had become like brothers to him. He stated that he and Chairman Keever had not agreed on all things but that they disagreed without being disagreeable. He pointed out that every moment he served on the Board he had served with Commissioner Robertson. He stated that when he first began his tenure as commissioner, he tried to find a reason to dislike Commissioner Robertson but just couldnt. He felt that he and Commissioner Robertson had come to respect each others opinions even when they disagreed with each other. Commissioner Harbinson felt that Commissioner Bolick was the nicest person anyone could ever get to know and he stated that it had always been a pleasure serving with him.
Commissioner Harbinson stated that he
had been invited to board the U.S.S. Cole 2 years ago by his brother-in-law, Kurt Barrett,
who has served 18 years in the U.S. Navy and holds the position of Administrative
Assistant to the U.S.S. Cole. He explained
that the U.S.S. Cole was one of the battleships attacked by Al Qaeda in October 2000,
taking the lives of many
Commissioner Harbinson mentioned that
the Board had at one time discussed working with the Town to place a large flag on top of
the water tank on Linneys Mountain so that anyone coming into
Commissioner Bolick stated that he
had the privilege of serving with Commissioner Harbinson on 2 different boards. He stated that he and Commissioner Harbinson were
good friends even though they were from opposing parties.
He commented on Commissioner Harbinsons resignation by stating that
Commissioner Harbinson was not quitting government, but going a step further and he felt
that Commissioner Harbinson would do everything he possibly could to help
Commissioner Robertson stated that he and Commissioner Harbinson had agreed more than disagreed and he noted that they had always been able to see each others point even though they didnt always agree with each other. He agreed that they could disagree without being disagreeable. Commissioner Robertson conveyed his appreciation to Commissioner Harbinson for his willingness to be of service to the County and he wished him the very best.
Commissioner Bolick made a motion to accept Commissioner Harbinsons resignation. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
DESIGNATION OF NCACC CONFERENCE VOTING DELEGATE
Chairman Keever informed the Board
that a Voting Delegate needed to be designated for the NCACC Conference to be held
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to nominate Chairman Keever to serve as the Voting Delegate.
Commissioner Harbinson asked if the Board would accept a Friendly Amendment to nominate Commissioner Hammer to serve as the alternate in the case that Chairman Keever was unable to serve. The Board agreed to accept the Friendly Amendment.
Commissioner Robertson made a motion nominate Chairman Keever to serve as the Voting Delegate and Commissioner Hammer as the alternate. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
BUDGET ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS #47 - #53
Budget Amendment #47
To budget for the Antioch Church Road Water Project.
To budget for moving an 8-inch line for DOT at
Budget Amendment #48 To budget a net increase of $1,212,482 in the expenditures in the General Fund.
Budget Amendment #49 To budget a net increase of $37,493 in the expenditures in the Fire District Funds.
Budget Amendment #50 To close out the Mitchell Gold Grant Project.
Budget Amendment #51 To budget for the DSS addition project.
Budget Amendment #52 To budget for the Auditorium / Field House project.
Budget Amendment #53 To budget a net increase of $84,600 in the expenditures in the Solid Waste Fund and the Enterprise Capital Reserve Fund.
Mr. French stated that the purpose of these budget amendments was simple housekeeping of the budget and approval of items that had basically already been approved. Mr. French stated that this was done at the last meeting each July to complete the budget for the year.
Commissioner Bolick asked what the difference was between the original budget amendments and the revised ones that had been distributed. Mr. French pointed out a couple items including additional expenditures in the Sheriffs medical supplies and an increase in expenditures for water project bills that had just been received.
Commissioner Harbinson asked what the change was for the Alexander Central debt service and asked if it was auditorium related. Mr. French replied that the change was for the refinancing piece of Alexander Central that had already been approved.
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve Budget Amendments #47 - #53. Commissioner Bolick seconded the motion. The Board voted 3 in favor of the motion (Commissioners Bolick, Keever, and Robertson) and one against the motion (Commissioner Harbinson). The motion carried.
BOARD APPOINTMENTS & REAPPOINTMENTS
Chairman Keever presented the following appointments and reappointments:
A. WPCOG WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Appoint David Icenhour (to replace Keith Hertzlers term expiring May 2005)
Appoint Judy Honeycutt
Reappoint Karen Hoyle
Reappoint Dane Whitworth
B. TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY BOARD
Appoint Angela Garrison
Appoint Bradley Earp
Appoint Susie Barkley
Appoint Brent Davis
Appoint Mark Odom
Reappoint Hal Bond
Reappoint Patti Foster
Reappoint Karen Hoyle
Reappoint Leeanne Whisnant
Reappoint Angela Johnson
Reappoint Terry Foxx
Reappoint Rick French
Reappoint Andrew Johnson
Reappoint Dr. Barry Redmond
Reappoint Tim Lackey
Reappoint William Hammer
Reappoint Dana Robertson
Reappoint Chris Fortner
Appoint Carol Crowgey (ex-officio)
Commissioner Bolick made a motion to approve the appointments and reappointments for the WPCOG Workforce Development Board. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Robertson made a motion to approve the appointments and reappointments for the Transportation Authority Advisory Board. Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to approve the appointment for the Town of Taylorsville Board of Adjustments. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Robertson asked if the stipulations for use of these funds had been established and if they were available. Mr. French replied that the stipulations were established and he noted that he would get a copy to Commissioner Robertson.
Commissioner Bolick made a motion to approve the project budget ordinance. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
A. The next step in the consolidated communications project is to order a new telephone system. This is something that was discussed but not budgeted. The cost of a new telephone system is $20,028. Mr. French requested the Boards approval to move forward with ordering the phone system and he noted that a budget amendment would be prepared for an upcoming meeting.
The Board agreed to allow staff to move forward with the telephone system purchase.
Inspections, Permitting, and Planning & Zoning
Offices were moved to the
The Liledoun CDBG project was completed on
E. The new air monitor should be installed this week. Mr. French stated that the County had complied with all necessary actions to get the new monitor.
F. The DSS expansion is underway. Mr. French stated that the clearing and grading work was moving along nicely.
G. Mr. French discussed fire department contracts and recommended that the same forms used last year be used again this year.
Chairman Keever discussed the possibility of
made a motion to cancel the
Commissioner Harbinson stated
that he had left out thanking Rick French during his resignation speech. Commissioner Harbinson thanked Mr. French for
taking the position of
Commissioner Harbinson made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
CLOSED SESSION N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(1, 5, & 6) TO PREVENT DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION, CONTRACTUAL, & PERSONNEL
Chairman Keever made a motion to enter into Closed Session at 7:09 PM to prevent the disclosure of confidential information as well as to discuss contractual matters and personnel issues pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(1, 5, & 6). Commissioner Harbinson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
There being no further business, Commissioner Bolick made a motion to adjourn at . Commissioner Robertson seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
W. Norris Keever, Chairman Jamie M. Starnes, Clerk to the Board