WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MONDAY, JUNE 1, 1998
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, June 1, 1998 at 9:00 A.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse.
PRESENT: James Coffey, Chairman
Jack D. Lawrence, Sr., Vice-Chairman
Linda S. Craig, Commissioner
Jimmy Hodges, Commissioner
Jack Wellborn, Commissioner
Stacy C. Eggers, Jr., County Attorney
James S. Ratchford, County Manager
Libby Link, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Coffey called the meeting to order at 9:00 A.M. welcoming those in attendance.
A moment of silence was observed.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Coffey called for additions or corrections to the May 19, 1998 regular and/or closed session minutes and/or the May 26 and May 28, 1998 special meeting minutes; there being none, they were approved as presented.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairman Coffey called for additions or corrections to the June 1, 1998 agenda.
County Manager Ratchford stated he had two additional items to discuss with the Board regarding an elevator contract and surplus property. It was agreed to add these items to the Agenda under Item 9 (Miscellaneous Administrative Matters).
Commissioner Craig seconded by Vice-Chairman Lawrence, moved to approve the agenda for the June 1, 1998 regular meeting with the amendment.
FRONTIERVISION CABLE SERVICE ISSUES
Veterans Service Officer/Safety Director Jim Harmon addressed the Board and noted that FrontierVision (F.V.) had been given 90 days to provide adequate FCC Customer Service Standards. This 90-day period expired May 31, 1998, and Mr. Harmon asked Mr. Don Geisler, F.V. Regional Government Relations Manager, to address the Board reporting on F.V.’s progress.
Mr. Geisler stated service problems had declined, and although service had not been restored at 100%, F.V. was committed to providing good service to residents in the County. He stated that as of this date, approximately 90% of customers were receiving satisfactory service. Service calls were a priority and handled before other work in order to ensure the other 10% of households would have service restored promptly. Several Commissioners stated they were currently receiving phone calls from citizens regarding F.V.’s continued poor service. Mr. Harmon added that he too continued to receive phone calls regarding service issues. Mr. Geisler stated F.V. had intended to hire additional technicians but had not been successful, and F.V. had four technicians covering four counties. The Board voiced dissatisfaction with F.V.’s service and requested Mr. Geisler provide a report of everything that had been done to improve service at the first regular meeting scheduled for July 6, 1998. Mr. Geisler understood that F.V. had been given 90 days to improve service and reiterated that service would continue to improve.
After discussion, Commissioner Hodges seconded by Commissioner Craig, moved to impose a $50 fine per day in accordance with the County’s Cable Television Ordinance, section 13 (e), for a 30-day period. If at the end of this 30-day period, adequate service had been restored, the fine would be waived.
A. Monthly Collections Report – Tax Administrator, Larry McLean, presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of May, 1998.
B. Refunds and Releases – Tax Administrator McLean presented the following Refunds and Releases for May, 1998 for Board approval:
TO BE TYPED IN MINUTE BOOK
Commissioner Wellborn seconded by Commissioner Hodges, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report as presented.
Social Services Director, Jim Atkinson, presented the standard monthly report for that Department. In addition, Mr. Atkinson provided County Attorney Eggers with a contract for the electronics benefit transfer program for his review to be discussed at a future meeting.
COPS MORE GRANT PROPOSAL
Sheriff James C. "Red" Lyons addressed the Board regarding a COPS MORE Grant application to acquire a new 911/Cad/Record-keeping system. However, after reviewing the software and hardware costs, this grant would not be cost effective for the County. The total amount for this project was $306,500. The County could apply for $86,000 in federal grant funds, and the County would be responsible for the remaining $220,500.
Sheriff Lyons stated if the County waited until January, 1999 and applied for a Governor’s Crime Commission Grant, application could be made for grant funds of 75% with the County matching funds of 25%. He added the grant could be written in January or February, and the County would discover if the grant was approved by April or May. Sheriff Lyons recommended not approving the COPS MORE Grant proposal and to wait until January, 1999 to apply for a Governor’s Crime Commission Grant. After discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to comply.
Assistant County Manager/OSD Bob Frye stated the tipping floor in the transfer station was in need of repair (this included approximately 1500 square feet). Mr. Frye noted one company chose to bid as follows:
Duracon, Inc. $45,471.00 Alternative 1
$46,372.00 Alternative 2
Mr. Frye recommended alternative 1, which entailed the replacement of the damaged floor area with a high tensile strength polymer. He added that the County’s solid waste engineering firm, Draper Aden Associates, also recommended this option.
Commissioner Wellborn seconded by Commissioner Hodges, moved to approve the Duracon bid in the amount of $45,471.00.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
AppalCART Contracts – County Manager Ratchford stated it was time to renew the County’s AppalCART service contracts with the Human Service Agencies for the forthcoming year (effective July 1, 1998). Mr. Ratchford noted there was no change in the current contracts except for a $1.00 per hour rate increase. In addition, Mr. Ratchford requested authorization to approve the renewal of all County contracts with AppalCART at this time.
Vice-Chairman Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Craig, moved to renew all AppalCART contracts with the County.
Court Facilities Resolution –At the previous regular Board meeting, discussion occurred regarding the need to increase court facilities and officers’ fees. Resolutions were presented from Lincoln and Wilkes County for review.
After discussion, Commissioner Craig seconded by Vice-Chairman Lawrence, moved to adopt a resolution similar to Lincoln County’s to be forwarded to the necessary parties.
RESOLUTION BOOK #_____, PAGE #_____
Boards & Commissions – County Manager Ratchford noted Commissioner Craig’s terms expired 6/98 and required reappointment to: the Social Services Board and the Children’s Council. He suggested the one year term be shortened to six months (June, 1998 to December, 1998) to coincide with the Board members’ appointments to committees which occurred annually at the first regular meeting in December.
Commissioner Wellborn seconded by Vice-Chairman Lawrence, moved to reappoint Commissioner Craig to the Social Services Board and the Children’s Council effective June, 1998 through December, 1998.
Budget Amendments – Finance Director Doris Isaacs presented the following budget amendments for Board approval:
Account # Description Debit Credit
133593-359003 PSFF-Voc. Ed. 239,000
135912-459003 Vocational Ed. Bldg. 239,000
133593-359004 PSFF-High School 87,717
135912-459004 Cap. Outlay-BOE/H. Sch. 87,717
To recognize balance of Public School Facilities Funds to be expended on Vocational Education and High School project.
Account # Description Debit Credit
223594-333000 State of N.C. School Bond Proceeds 2,159,000
225912-463000 Project Allotment 2,159,000
To recognize State of N.C. School Bond proceeds as grant-in-aid to Watauga County. These funds were drawn down by the local school administration but must be reflected on the County’s general ledger.
Commissioner Hodges seconded by Commissioner Wellborn, moved to approve the budget amendments as presented.
Doc Watson Proclamation – County Manager Ratchford stated there had been interest from residents in the Cove Creek community to proclaim July 18, 1998 as Doc Watson Day in Watauga County. If approved, a proclamation would be prepared.
Vice-Chairman Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Craig, moved to proclaim July 18, 1998 as Doc Watson Day.
CCC&TI Driveway Row – Pursuant to discussion during the previous regular meeting, County Manager Ratchford noted the Department of Transportation (DOT) had agreed to maintain the new driveway to be built by DOT for the new CCC&TI campus. This right of way included 50 feet of right of way as well as a temporary construction easement.
Commissioner Wellborn seconded by Commissioner Hodges, moved to approve the transfer of this right of way to the N.C. Department of Transportation.
Elevator Contract – County Manager Ratchford stated the County had elevators to maintain in the Courthouse and Human Services Building. The Courthouse elevator was maintained by Montgomery Kone and in April 1998, the five-year contract was renewed pursuant to the terms of the contract. The Human Services Building elevator’s warranty period would soon expire, and Maintenance Supervisor Robert Marsh recommended one contractor to maintain both elevators for the County. Montgomery Kone had provided adequate services, and an additional service agreement could be attached to the current contract for an additional $135/month for the Human Services Center elevator.
Vice-Chairman Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Wellborn, moved to approve Montgomery Kone to provide service for the County’s elevators.
Surplus Property – County Manager Ratchford requested the following items be declared as surplus and sold by the County (in addition to the items which were declared as surplus at the previous meeting) at the public auction scheduled for June 6, 1998. He noted these items had been removed from the old library and were not on the fixed asset list.
Old Library Space
Old Library Space
(55) 4 ft. light fixtures
(9) interior wooden doors
- set bifold doors
- entrance doors-wood with glass and screens
(2) entrance doors-metal with glass
(2) sections single face gray metal shelves #3007
(3) sections single face gray metal shelves #3008
(1) reading table with 2 chairs asset #01493
Commissioner Craig seconded by Commissioner Hodges, moved to declare these items as surplus property and authorize the County to sell all items at a public auction to be held on June 6, 1998.
Commissioner Wellborn seconded by Commissioner Craig, moved to enter closed session at 10:15 A.M. to discuss: Attorney/Client Matters – G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3), Avery County Line and Personnel Matters – G.S. 143-318.11(a)(6).
Commissioner Craig seconded by Commissioner Wellborn, moved to resume the regular meeting at 11:33 A.M.
Commissioner Wellborn seconded by Commissioner Hodges, moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:35 A.M.
Elizabeth H. Link
Clerk to the Board