WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MONDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1999
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, October 4, 1999 at 9:00 A.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse.
PRESENT: Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Sue Sweeting, Vice-Chairman
James Coffey, Commissioner
Art Kohles, Commissioner
Jack Lawrence, Sr., Commissioner
Jeff Hedrick, County Attorney
Barry J. Reed, County Manager
Libby Link, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 9:01 A.M. welcoming those in attendance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the September 7, 1999 special and regular meeting minutes as well as the September 7, 1999 closed session minutes, and the September 10, 1999 and September 21, 1999 special meeting minutes.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to approve the September 7, 1999 special and regular meeting minutes, the September 7, 1999 closed session minutes, and the September 10, 1999 and September 21, 1999 special meeting minutes as presented.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to approve the agenda for the October 4, 1999 regular meeting as presented.
FOSCOE-GRANDFATHER ZONING MAP AMENDMENT
Mr. Brent Graybeal, Planner II with Planning & Inspections, addressed the Board regarding map amendments to the Foscoe-Grandfather Zoning Ordinance. This matter had been discussed at the Board’s September 7, 1999 regular meeting, however, the Board had requested further study before a decision could be made. Mr. Graybeal reviewed the Planning Board’s recommendation and stated the Board of Commissioners had three options to consider: 1) approval of the application, 2) approval of a modified version of the application or 3) denial of the application.
Chairman Hodges stated he had again spoken with Bradley Teague, who indicated he wanted to be a good neighbor and, therefore, was now in favor of having his property rezoned. Mr. Graybeal noted that since the Board’s September 7, 1999 meeting County staff had not heard from anyone who opposed these amendments.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve the amendments to the Foscoe-Grandfather Zoning Ordinance as recommended by the Planning & Inspections staff and the Planning Board.
AMBULANCE FRANCHISE ORDINANCE
County Manager Reed stated a second reading of the Ambulance Franchise Ordinance was required because the former vote (made at the Board’s September 7, 1999 meeting) was not unanimous. Mr. Reed added he had spoken with representatives from the Institute of Government who recommended a second reading on new ordinances as well as amendments to existing ordinances. He requested the Board vote again on the draft proposal.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to amend the Ambulance Franchise Ordinance as discussed at the Board’s September 7, 1999 meeting.
Prior to the vote, Commissioner Lawrence reiterated he still had the same concerns he had voiced at the Board’s September 7, 1999 meeting.
The following vote was then made on Vice-Chairman Sweeting’s motion.
ORDINANCE BOOK #9, PAGE #124
WATAUGA MEDICAL CENTER 1991 BOND DOCUMENTS AMENDMENT
County Manager Reed stated a request had been received from Watauga Medical Center (WMC) to amend WMC’s bond documents to lower the interest rate on the Hospital Revenue Bonds from 1.10% to .75%. Approval of this request would save WMC approximately $20,000 for the coming year. In addition, County Attorney Hedrick had reviewed this request with Finance Director, Doris Isaacs.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve this request.
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES – NEW DAY CARE COORDINATOR
County Manager Reed stated a request had been received from the Department of Social Services for approval of a new day care coordinator position. This position would be funded by Smart Start Funds through Watauga County’s Children’s Council. The purpose was to provide staff for the day care program to manage the increasing caseload and eliminate a waiting list. This new position would not cost the County any funds.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve a new Social Worker II position at the Department of Social Services as requested.
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES (DSS) JOB RECLASSIFICATIONS
Social Services Director, Jim Atkinson, addressed the Board regarding reclassification/reallocation of positions at DSS. He stated these reclassifications were necessary to meet the needs for clerical support. Mr. Atkinson requested the following personnel actions:
To change DSS’ Processing Assistant V, Clerical Supervisor (grade 61, step 11) to Administrative Assistant (grade 61, step 11) which would bring the employee’s classification more in line with the job she was doing.
To reallocate a vacant position for a Social Worker II (Grade 66, Step 1) to a Processing Assistant III (Grade 57, Step 1). Mr. Atkinson noted that a Social Worker II position had been approved for Fiscal Year 1998/1999 but was never filled due to a sharp decline in caseloads in the Work First Employment Program. He added that this reallocation would be helpful to meet DSS’ secretarial needs.
Reclassification of a current Processing Assistant III (Grade 57, Step 6) to a new Processing Assistant V (Grade 61, Step 6) in order to redistribute supervision of the clerical unit. This request would enable the current Processing Assistant V, Clerical Supervisor to spend more time performing administrative duties.
In addition to this request, Mr. Atkinson stated he had very recently been notified from the State that the General Assembly had passed Senate Bill 10 (to enact reforms in the long-term care industry in order to improve the quality of care, the increase protection of residents and to strengthen regulatory oversight of industry practices). In addition, Mr. Atkinson had been notified from the State that the General Assembly had appropriated State funds for an additional Adult Protective Services position in county DSSs effective January 1, 2000 through June 30, 2001. Mr. Atkinson noted this appropriation would require a County match of 25%. He estimated it would cost the County approximately $3,600 for January 1 – June 30, 2000 and approximately $7,190 for July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2001. Mr. Atkinson stated there had been a significant increase in the number of adult type cases handled at DSS, and this new position would allow DSS to redistribute the County’s Adult Protective Services caseloads as well as Senate Bill 10 requirements.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting voiced her concerns of changing the classification on the vacant Social Worker II position to a clerical position when the Social Worker II vacancy could be used for the Adult Protective Services position. Mr. Atkinson stated there was a deadline of October 15, 1999 for the County to commit to the 25% local match for the eighteen-month period beginning January 1, 2000. At the end of June 30, 2001, the County would be required to fund the position.
Following discussion, Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the reclassifications at the Department of Social Services as requested.
VOTE: Aye-4 (Coffey, Hodges, Kohles, Lawrence)
Commissioner Kohles seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve a new Social Worker position at the Department of Social Services for an additional Adult Protective Services position.
PROJECT ON AGING ANNUAL REPORT
Project on Aging Director, Rocky Nelson, stated that each year the Project on Aging was required to present an annual report for the Board’s review. He reviewed the annual report with the Board, and no changes were recommended at this time.
PROJECT ON AGING GRANT APPLICATION
Project on Aging Director, Rocky Nelson, requested the Board approve a grant application to the State for $25,000. Mr. Nelson reviewed the application with the Board which proposed using these funds to add weekend nutritional supplements for "at-risk" seniors, as well as, additional training and uniforms for In-Home aides. The grant required no match from the County, and Mr. Nelson requested the Board’s approval.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to approve the grant application.
ROCK BUILDING PROJECT CHANGE ORDERS
Architect, Randy Jones, presented the following change orders for the construction work at the Courthouse East Annex Building:
Electrical ($ 627.94)
Mr. Jones discussed the progress of the construction project and requested approval of the change orders.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the change orders as presented.
EXPANSION OF THE RECREATION COMMISSION TO INCLUDE A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
Parks & Recreation Director, Deb Wynne, stated the County’s Recreation Commission had voted at their August 18, 1999 public meeting to ask a person from the Watauga County Board of Education to serve on the Commission. She added the Recreation Commission currently was comprised of 16 members from each township and school district serving three year terms. Ms. Wynne added she had spoken with Dr. Richard Jones, Board of Education Superintendent, who supported this request.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to add a member of the Watauga County Board of Education to the Recreation Commission.
AGREEMENT FOR USE OF ATHLETIC FIELDS
Parks & Recreation Director, Deb Wynne, presented an agreement to utilize Templeton Properties, L.P.’s large athletic field property across from Watauga Opportunities for youth athletic activities until November 15, 1999. Ms. Wynne stated the County did not own enough property for the 239 youth and adult athletic teams that currently play outside and requested the Board’s approval.
Commissioner Kohles seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the agreement as presented.
PARKS & RECREATION TRUST FUND (PARTF) GRANT
Parks & Recreation Director, Deb Wynne, requested the Board’s permission to apply for recreational grant funding from the North Carolina’s Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) for a recreational land acquisition. Ms. Wynne recommended that the Coleman Field property (12.653 acres) in Foscoe be researched for this land acquisition purchase. She also recommended applying for the maximum grant amount of $250,000 so the County could light this already developed athletic field and maximize its use. The grant monies requested would have to be matched dollar for dollar by the County. Ms. Wynne added this property could also be used as a recreational area possibly with some picnic areas and a walking track.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to grant permission to the Parks & Recreation Director, Deb Wynne, to apply for the grant as requested for the purchase of additional property for recreational purposes.
Chairman Hodges declared a recess at 10:12 A.M.
The meeting resumed at 10:23 A.M.
TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM THE CAPITAL RESERVE FUND TO THE GENERAL FUND
County Manager Reed stated that the Board had approved $40,000 through the Capital Improvement Plan (for funds toward linking the County’s buildings electronically). He requested that the Board approve transferring the $40,000 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund (for Data Processing). Mr. Reed also requested $10,500 from the Capital Reserve Fund be transferred to the Tax Department for the purchase of a new plotter for the mapping department. In addition, Mr. Reed requested transferring $50,000 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund for the Parks & Recreation Grant awards for Fiscal Year 1999/2000.
Account # Description Debit Credit
109800-498021 Transfer to Capital Reserve 90,000
106125-469500 Cont. Services-Comm. Grants 50,000
104210-452000 Cap. Outlay-DP Equip. 40,000
213980-398100 Transfer from Gen. Fund 90,000
219930-442100 Data Processing 40,000
219930-461200 Recreation Facilities 50,000
213991-399100 Fund Balance Approp. 10,500
219800-498010 Transfer to the Gen. Fund 10,500
103980-398000 Transfer from Other Funds 10,500
104140-451000 Capital Outlay-Equip. 10,500
To recognize transfer of funds from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund for the Tax Office plotter, Data Processing to electronically link County buildings and for Recreation for the Community Grants award program.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to approve this request.
Monthly Collections Report – Tax Administrator, Larry McLean, presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of September, 1999.
Refunds and Releases – Tax Administrator McLean presented the following Refunds and Releases for September, 1999 for Board approval:
TO BE TYPED IN MINUTE BOOK
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report as presented.
Upcoming Farm Use Audit – Tax Administrator McLean briefly discussed the process of conducting an upcoming farm use audit. This was for the Board’s information, and no action was required.
County Manager Reed stated requests had been received from the Sheriff’s Department, the Finance Department and the Sanitation Department to declare the following items as surplus property:
1991 Chevrolet Blazer, VIN #1GNEV18K9MF118321
(Proposed sale date – October 22, 1999)
Animal Control 1 gas chamber & tank
6-cylinder Chevy motor
Cooperative Extension 2 pagers
Courts 3 wooden chairs (black)
Data Processing 1 paper basket (black)
1 IBM external 5.25 in. floppy drive
1 US Robotics 56K fax modem
3 Gateway computer keyboards-keys stuck
Social Services 1 Sampo computer monitor
2 United office chairs (1 black, 1 brown)
Board of Elections 1 Sharp calculator
Finance 4 black stack file bins
2 metal file sorters
1 Motorola pager-broken
4 single line console attachments
Health Department 2 electric typewriters
2 Micro Design Microfiche readers
7 bag cellular phones
2 sets of scales
2 16 mm film projectors and 1 box
1 Amberchrome computer monitor
1 Hyundai computer monitor
1 personal computer-brand unknown
4 printers, (1) Tandy, (1) Dotmatrix, (1) laser printer and (1) unknown
1 surge protector
2 tape recorders
1 cassette system
1 white chair
1 filing drawer
1 computer monitor
1 Consew industrial sewing machine and table
1 BTC keyboard
Note: The Health Department gave these items to the County to sell. The County would retain all proceeds.
Library 2 wooden magazine racks
Maintenance 1 Sears workbench
2 tool storage compartments
Project on Aging 1 dish sanitizing unit
1 stereo turntable with speakers
1 upright piano
4 14" x 15" glass panels
1 folding table
1 wooden display stand
2 sets of plexiglass sliding doors 2 ft. x 3 ft.
3 wooden straight back chairs
4 secretarial chairs (3 with rollers/1 without)
Parks & Recreation 1 drill bit
1 Holmes air heater
1 Magnavox T.V.-broken (lightning)
1 Samsung VCR-broken (lightning)
1 stapler & answering machine
1 Sharp QS 1760 calculator
82 Jr. Hornet uniforms
1 12 ft. fiberglass diving board
Sheriff 44 blank reel to reel recording tapes
5 office chairs with rollers (2 brown/1 green/2 black)
2 Samsung computer monitors
Tax 1 Mannesmann tally printer
Salvage Materials 2 window panes w/wire mesh
1 small sliding window
3 sets large sliding windows
4 mirrors 2’x7’ and 8’ long
1 door fan model #Standard 60 Serial #765E605L
1 metal sawhorse
1 gas nozzle
3 reap hooks (weed cutters)
1 pump for 5-gallon bucket
1 4½ ft. steel ladder
1 4x4 fluorescent light
1 window air conditioner
1 4’x4’ wooden table from Appalachian Regional Library
1 ceiling fan
1 typing table with rollers
1 metal cabinet with locking double doors and rollers
1 electric furnace
1 water pump (Goulds)
1 stainless steel sink 10 ft. long
1 automatic dishwasher
1 courier box (old mail box)
2 oil burners
2 paper towel holders
1 box of used outlets
2 20 ft. garage doors
1 chain link fence
1 10 ft. metal gate
Sanitation Department 1988 Trash Truck (to be disposed of via negotiated bid)
Vice-Chairman Sweeting asked if the 1991 Chevrolet Blazer could be transferred to the Department of Social Services to be used for the Work First program. In addition, she requested staff contact Work First Social Worker II, Pat Coley, to see if Ms Coley could use the Blazer to help Work First clients get to work.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to declare the items as surplus property to be disposed of as indicated contingent on the Department of Social Services having the first option on the 1991 Chevrolet Blazer.
JANUARY 1, 2000 HOLIDAY OBSERVANCE
County Manager Reed recommended the County observe Monday, January 3, 2000 as its New Year’s holiday rather than December 31, 1999 (which was the date the State planned to observe). Mr. Reed stated this request would allow an additional day in case there were problems created due to Y2K.
Commissioner Kohles seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to approve this request.
FRANCHISEE’S PERFORMANCE UNDER AMBULANCE FRANCHISE ORDINANCE
Vice-Chairman Sweeting stated she had not received any complaints about the service provided by Watauga Ambulance Service but felt that the Board needed to address the fact that there had been a problem with compliance to the Ambulance Franchise Ordinance. County Manager Reed stated that he had recently seen bills which showed a base rate ranging from $175-$225. Mr. Reed added it appeared the base rate varied for individuals, and some of the bills he had seen included charges for additional items.
Commissioner Kohles seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved for County Attorney Hedrick to issue a civil citation, commencing proceedings as to all violations by the Franchisee of the Ambulance Franchise Ordinance or the Franchisee’s Agreement thereunder.
BRUSH GRINDING BID AWARD
Assistant County Manager/OSD, Bob Frye, stated that once a year the Sanitation Department requested bids for the grinding of the brush/scrap wood pile at the Landfill. The following bids were received:
Banks Grading $37,649.50
Henson’s Inc. $41,500.00
J. W. Hampton $43,375.00
Mr. Frye added sufficient funds had been budgeted to cover this expense, and he recommended the Board award the low bidder, Banks Grading.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to approve the Banks Grading bid of $37,649.50.
PARKS & RECREATION – HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC COMPLEX PROJECT ORDINANCE
Finance Director, Doris Isaacs, presented an amendment to the Parks & Recreation-High School Athletic Complex Project Ordinance. This amendment prepared the project for close-out, and Ms. Isaacs requested the Board’s approval.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to approve the amendment to the Parks & Recreation-High School Athletic Complex Project Ordinance as presented.
ORDINANCE BOOK #9, PAGE #122
Finance Director, Doris Isaacs, presented the following budget amendments for Board approval:
Account # Description Debit Credit
253991-399101 Fund Bal.-Approp. New 187,258
259800-498010 Tran. to Gen. Fund 187,258
103980-398125 Trans. from Reval. Fund 187,258
104141-412600 Reval.-Salaries-P/T 61,232
104141-429000 Supplies-Other 17,000
104141-451000 Capital Outlay-Equip. 13,500
104141-469500 Contracted Services 78,600
104277-433300 Prison Camp-Propane 800
104277-433100 Prison Camp-Elec. 1,200
104277-433900 Dumpster Pick-up 440
104277-435100 M&R Bldg. 3,775
104277-435200 M&R – Equip. 600
104277-421100 Janitorial Supplies 700
104277-433400 Prison Camp-Water/Sewer 2,400
104277-429000 Other Supplies 300
104277-435101 M&R Grounds 4,200
104277-432100 Telephone-Data Service 2,511
To transfer funds from the Revaluation Fund to the General Fund to provide funding for the initial phases of the 2001 property revaluation. These functions would be housed at the Old Prison Camp facilities. Cost projections were estimated by Revaluation Director, Kelvin Byrd, and Maintenance Supervisor, Robert Marsh. Funds had been set aside in the revaluation fund since the last revaluation in 1995 in anticipation of these costs.
Account # Description Debit Credit
143991-399101 New Approp. F. Balance 1,509
145310-469846 FY 98-99 E&D Carryover 1,509
To appropriate unexpended Fiscal Year 1998-1999 Elderly and Handicapped Grant funds to the Department of Social Services medical transportation per the 7-15-99 EDTAP board action.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the budget amendments as presented.
NEW DEPOSIT ACCOUNT
Finance Director, Doris Isaacs, presented a resolution and agreement to open a new deposit account at BB&T. This was for the Sheriff’s Substance Abuse Excise Tax funds. (The County’s auditor recommended formalizing this account to comply with State law). Ms. Isaacs requested the Board’s approval.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve the new deposit account as requested.
County Manager Reed stated a request had been received from Bill Neal with the Watauga County Criminal Justice Partnership (CJP) Advisory Board for the Board to appoint Bruce Kaplan, Judge Bill Leavell, Judge Kyle Austin and Boone Police Department Assistant Chief, Bob Kennedy to this Board. These individuals had been attending meetings and were assumed to have been previously appointed by the Board of Commissioners. However, after reviewing the CJP records it was discovered that these appointments had never been made.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to appoint Bruce Kaplan, Judge Bill Leavell, Judge Kyle Austin and Bob Kennedy to the Watauga County Criminal Justice Partnership Advisory Board as requested.
County Manager Reed noted that Judith Wesson’s term expired in October, 1999 on the Watauga County Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee. However, no nominations had been received from Region D Council of Governments, therefore, it was the consensus of the Board to delay making an appointment until the Board’s next regular meeting scheduled for October 19, 1999.
INTERIM MANAGER APPOINTMENT
County Manager Reed had given notice that he was resigning effective October 19, 1999, and the Board needed to appoint an Interim Manager whose term would begin October 20, 1999.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to appoint Chairman Hodges as the County’s Interim Manager effective October 20, 1999.
VOTE: Aye-4 (Coffey, Kohles, Lawrence, Sweeting)
RED RIBBON WEEK IN WATAUGA COUNTY
County Manager Reed stated a request had been received from the Alcohol/Drug Council of Watauga County to proclaim October 23-31, 1999 as Red Ribbon Week in Watauga County.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to proclaim October 23-31, 1999 as Red Ribbon Week in Watauga County.
RESOLUTION BOOK #10, PAGE #2
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
County Manager Reed had distributed a number of miscellaneous administrative matters for the Board’s information and briefly discussed several of these items with the Board. None of these items required Board action.
SECONDARY ROADS ADDITION
Planning & Inspections Director, Joe Furman, presented requests for the addition of the following roads to the State Maintained Secondary Road System: Forest Park Drive - .5 mile, located off Flat Top Road (NCSR 1538) Forest Park Subdivision; Daniel Drive - .25 mile, located off Forest Lane (NCSR 1644) Brown’s Farm Ridge Subdivision; Donnie’s Drive - .10
mile, located off Bamboo Road (NCSR 1524) Keller Acres Subdivision; and Turkey Pen Gap - .5 mile, located off Will Isaacs Road (NCSR 1372).
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to approve the above requests be forwarded to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for consideration.
RESOLUTION BOOK #10, PAGES #3, 4, 5, 6
SUBDIVISION PERFORMANCE GUARANTEES
Planning & Inspections Director, Joe Furman, requested approval for the following performance guarantees:
Oak Ridge Estates (William O. Butler, Jr.) – Letter of Credit: $50,000
Junaluska Heights (Three Guys Properties) – Letter of Credit: $141,981.86
Heavenly Mountain Resort – Contract Renewal for Existing Certificates of Deposit: $6,487.37 and $33,234.15
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve the Subdivision Performance Guarantees as requested contingent on County Attorney Hedrick’s review of the Junaluska Heights’ Letter of Credit.
DRAFT OF AN ORDINANCE REGULATING SEXUALLY ORIENTED BUSINESSES
Planning & Inspections Director, Joe Furman, asked the Board of Commissioners to approve the way County staff and the Planning Board hoped to proceed with a Moratorium on Sexually Oriented Businesses. He reviewed a schedule for conducting a study upon which the ordinance would be based. In addition, he recommended two public hearings be scheduled as soon as possible (probably in late October or early November). Mr. Furman stated these public hearings could be conducted by the Planning Board or the Board of Commissioners and asked for the Board’s guidance.
Following discussion, it was the consensus of the Board of Commissioners for the Planning Board to conduct the first public hearing at a special meeting with the Commissioners in attendance, and the second public hearing would be held after the ordinance had been drafted to be conducted at a Board of Commissioners’ meeting.
Chairman Hodges declared a recess at 11:10 A.M.
The meeting resumed at 1:02 P.M. in the Administrative Conference Room, Watauga County Courthouse. Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to enter closed session at 1:02 P.M. to discuss: Personnel Matters – G.S. 143-318.11(a)(6).
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to resume the regular meeting at 1:50 P.M.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to adjourn the meeting at 1:50 P.M.
Elizabeth H. Link
Clerk to the Board