WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2002
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, November 4, 2002, at 9:00 A.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse.
PRESENT: Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
James Coffey, Vice-Chairman
Jack Lawrence, Sr., Commissioner
Sue Sweeting, Commissioner
Pat Wilkie, Commissioner
Jeff Hedrick, County Attorney
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 9:02 A.M. welcoming those in attendance.
A moment of silence was observed.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the October 15, 2002, regular meeting minutes, and the October 15, 2002, closed session minutes.
Commissioner Sweeting, seconded by Vice-Chairman Coffey, moved to approve the October 15, 2002, regular meeting minutes, and the October 15, 2002, closed session minutes as presented.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the agenda and the County Manager requested that Item # 6 be changed to the following:
Cooperative Extension Matters
a. Farm-City Proclamation Request
b. Leave Match Request
The County Manager stated that the he would present the Assistant County Manager’s agenda items as he was home sick.
Vice-Chairman Coffey, seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the November 4, 2002 agenda as amended.
BLUE RIDGE RESOURCE CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL, INC. REQUEST
Mr. Stan Steury, Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc., requested the County’s participation in a feasibility study to determine the potential for collecting and using methane gas from the Watauga County Landfill. The EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program would fund the study without cost to the County. Mr. Steury was aware of the situation regarding the Landfill cap and the post closure monitoring that was mandated.
Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Wilkie, moved to approve the feasibility study as presented by Mr. Stan Steury.
WATAUGA EDUCATION FOUNDATION PROCLAMATION REQUEST
Ms. Jane Rex with the Watauga County Education Foundation presented the Board with a Proclamation declaring November 2002 as “Watauga Education Foundation Awareness Month.”
Commissioner Sweeting, seconded by Vice-Chairman Coffey, moved to adopt the Proclamation declaring November 2002 as “Watauga Education Foundation Awareness Month”.
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION MATTERS
A. Farm-City Proclamation Request - Ms. Sue Counts presented a proclamation for “Farm-City Week” in Watauga County for the period of November 4-10, 2002. Ms. Counts also invited the Commissioners to the Farm-City Banquet that was scheduled at the Boone United Methodist Church on November 7, 2002 at 6:30 P.M.
Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Vice-Chairman Coffey, moved to proclaim the week of November 4-10, 2002 as “Farm-City Week” in Watauga County.
B. Leave Match Request – Ms. Sue Counts stated that the State of North Carolina awarded State workers 10 extra vacation days in lieu of a raise in Fiscal Year 2003. Ms. Counts stated that the County matches salaries of most Cooperative Extension workers at an approximate 45% ratio, and therefore requested that the Board “match” the awarded vacation days.
The match, if approved, would not require any additional funding only less service time worked. Had the employees received a regular salary increase the County would have been obligated to match.
Commissioner Wilkie, seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the match for the 10 additional vacation days as presented by Ms. Counts.
C. Introduction of Cooperative Extension Agent – Mr. Bill Edmisten announced that Mr. Jim Hamilton was the new Assistant Agricultural Agent for Watauga County. Mr. Hamilton was out of town at a training and was not able to be at the meeting.
No Board action was required and none was taken.
WATAUGA MEDICS CONTINUATION REQUEST
Mr. Craig Sullivan requested continuation of the additional twelve hour EMT crew. The requested subsidy amount was $6,183.70 per month. This amount has been in place since Medicare recognized the rate increase beginning in April 2002. Mr. Sullivan projected that the supplement for the additional crew may be reduced to $5,439 a month beginning April of 2003 when the second phase of the Medicare incremental increases would take effect.
The County Manager stated that necessary funds were present in the existing budget and requested that the continuation be through December 31, 2002. The County Manager also requested that the supplemental amount for the additional crew be reflected in the annual contract from January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2003 and be reviewed at the first Board meeting in January.
Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Vice Chairman Coffey, moved that the Board continue funding in the amount of $6,183.70 per month for the months of October, November, and December 2002.
VOTE: Aye – 5
Nay – 0
SENIOR CENTER FUNDING REQUEST
Ms. Angie Boitnotte, Project on Aging Director, addressed the Board regarding an additional appropriation of State funds for the County’s two senior centers. She stated the total of $12,718 required a local match of $1,403, which was present in the Project on Aging’s current budget.
Commissioner Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Wilkie, moved to approve the additional appropriation of State funds as presented by Ms. Boitnotte.
Finance Director Doris Isaacs presented the following budget amendments for Board approval:
Account # Description Debit Credit
143531-323000 Admn. Cost Reimb. $25,282
145480-438800 CIP $25,282
The amendment recognized an increase of federal funds for Crisis Intervention Prevention Program.
Account # Description Debit Credit
103300-352100 Criminal Justice Partnership Prog. $55,661
105210-469820 NRBHC-CJPP $55,661
The amendment recognized grant funds for the continuation of the Criminal Justice Partnership Program, which “pass through” to New River Behavioral Health Care.
Vice-Chairman Coffey, seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to approve the budget amendment as presented.
A. Monthly Collections Report – Tax Administrator, Kelvin Byrd, presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of October 2002.
B. Releases and Refunds – Tax Administrator Byrd presented the following Refunds and Releases for October 2002 for Board approval:
TO BE TYPED IN MINUTE BOOK
Vice-Chairman Coffey, seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report for October 2002 as presented.
BRUSH GRINDING CONTRACT REQUEST
J. V. Potter, Operation Services Director, presented bids received for brush grinding at the landfill. Four bids were received as follows:
Hensons’ Inc.............................................................. $23,900.00
J.W. Hampton Company............................................ $19,200.00
DR Banks Inc............................................................. $13,200.00
Target Contracting...................................................... $11,700.00
The least expensive bid was from Target Contracting for $11,700. Mr. Potter requested that the Board accept Target Contracting’s bid.
Mr. Potter stated that there was approximately 30-40 additional tons of brush and wood that had been collected in addition to the 1,200 ton amount that was present when the bids were solicited.
Commissioner Wilkie seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to accept the bid from Target Contracting as presented for brush grinding services at the Landfill contingent upon the County Attorney’s approval of the contract.
SUBDIVISION PERFORMANCE GUARANTEE
Mr. Joe Furman, Planning and Inspections Director, presented a Subdivision Performance Guarantee for Echota Phase II Section A, final plat. Mr. Furman stated that the performance guarantee was for completion of the road and other improvements that may be required. The Guarantee was in the form of a draft letter of credit for more than necessary and would cover future work as well.
Commissioner Sweeting, seconded by Vice-Chairman Coffey, moved to approve the subdivision performance guarantee.
PROPOSED CONTRACT FOR ARCHITECTURAL/DESIGN SERVICES FOR THE TRANSFER STATION
County Manager Nelson stated that a proposed contract with Draper Aden for architectural/design services for the Transfer Station was tabled at the last meeting and was still the staff recommendation.
Vice-Chairman Coffey, seconded by Commissioner Wilkie, moved to award the contract for architectural/design services for the Transfer Station to Draper Aden contingent upon the County Attorney’s approval.
VEHICLE PURCHASE REQUEST
County Manager Nelson stated that bids were approved for three vehicles at the October 15, 2002 Board of County Commissioners meeting. The bid approved from John Cook Subaru was submitted for a 2002 Subaru Legacy when the bid requirements were for a 2003 Subaru Legacy. When the discrepancy was noticed John Cook Subaru was contacted and agreed to lower the bid amount to $18,659 for the 2002 model.
Commissioner Wilkie, seconded by Vice-Chairman Coffey, moved to approve the bid submitted by John Cook Subaru in the amount of $18,659 as presented.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
A. County Attorney Rate Increase Request – County Manager Nelson stated that County Attorney Hedrick requested a rate increase from $85 to $110 per hour. This would be the first rate increase for the County Attorney since his first appointment, four years ago.
By consensus, the Board agreed to table the request until either December at which time appointment would be made for County Attorney or until the budget process for fiscal year 2004.
B. Watauga County Board of Education Request – County Manager Nelson stated that the Watauga County Board of Education requested a joint effort in obtaining land for future school expansion. The County Manager stated that if it pleased the Board, a joint meeting could be scheduled to determine the specific needs and plans identified by the Board of Education.
By consensus, the Board instructed the County Manager to schedule time at or around the Annual Pre-Budget Retreat for a joint meeting with the School Board for discussion.
C. Boards and Commissions – County Manager Nelson stated that the Watauga County Board of Adjustment had three positions (Mr. Lyle Schoenfeldt [alt.], Mr. James Watts, and Mr. Phil Trew) open due to expiring terms. Mr. Trew did not wish to serve again, however Mr. Schoenfeldt and Mr. Watts were willing to be reappointed. The County Manager stated that advertisements were placed in the media and on the County’s website for persons interested in serving on this Board.
The County Manager stated that Mr. Alex Jernigan, Regional Ombudsman with Region D Council of Governments, requested that Ms. Judith Wesson be reappointed to the Watauga County Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee for a three-year term.
The County Manager stated that the Watauga Medical Center Board of Trustees nominated the following individuals to submit to the Commissioners to fill four positions on their Board:
Vote for one: Stephen Fleming, MD
(Physician representation) William Horn, MD
Vote for three: Armfield Coffey
Paul Miller, Jr.
This was the first reading of the above recommendations and therefore no action was required until the next meeting.
D. Announcements – The County Manager stated a public hearing on the High Impact Land Use Draft Ordinance was scheduled for 7:00 P.M. on November 19, 2002 in the Large Courtroom of the Courthouse. The County Manager presented the recommended changes to the draft ordinance as complied by Joe Furman, Planning and Inspections Director. The County Manager also stated that the current moratorium was due to expire November 23, 2002 and that a public hearing could be scheduled at the same time in the event the moratorium should need to be extended.
The County Manager announced that the Annual Farm-City Banquet was scheduled at the Boone United Methodist Church on November 7, 2002 at 6:30 P.M.
At 10:02 A.M., Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Wilkie, moved to enter Closed Session to discuss Attorney/Client Matters, per G. S. 143-318-11(a)(3) and Land Acquisition, per G. S. 143-318-11(a)(5)(i).
Commissioner Wilkie, seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to resume the open meeting at 10:49 A.M.
Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:49 A.M.
Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board