WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2004
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, November 1, 2004, at 9:00 A.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse.
PRESENT: James Coffey, Chairman
Jimmy Hodges, Vice-Chairman
David Blust, Commissioner
Keith Honeycutt, Commissioner
Allen Trivette, Commissioner
Stacy C. Eggers, IV, County Attorney
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Deron Geouque, Assistant County Manager
Anita J. Fogle, 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 October 19, 2004, regular meeting minutes.
Commissioner Honeycutt, seconded by Vice-Chairman Hodges, moved to approve the October 19, 2004, regular meeting minutes as presented.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairman Coffey called for additions and/or corrections to the November 1, 2004, agenda.
County Manager Nelson requested the following: 1) add after item # 11, North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund Request to be presented by the Assistant County Manager; 2) allow Mr. Joe Furman to present item # 12 B; 3) add a closed session for Attorney/Client Matters, per G. S. 143-318-11(a)(3) per County Attorney request.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Trivette, moved to approve the November 1, 2004, agenda as amended.
“I-HAVE-A-DREAM WEEK” PROCLAMATION REQUEST
Ms. Mary Gray of the I Have A Dream Task Force presented a proposed proclamation for January 15-23, 2005, as “I-Have-A-Dream Week” in Watauga County. Ms. Gray read the proclamation.
Vice-Chairman Hodges, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to proclaim the week of January 15-23, 2005, as “I-Have-A-Dream Week” in Watauga County.
“NOVEMBER AS NATIONAL HOSPICE MONTH” PROCLAMATION REQUEST
Mr. Dick Hearn of the Hospice Advisory Council presented a proposed proclamation for the “November as National Hospice Month”. Mr. Hearn read the proclamation.
Vice-Chairman Hodges, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to proclaim “November as National Hospice Month”.
DISCUSSION OF EMS SERVICES RATES AND SCHEDULE OF IMPLEMENTATION FOR CONTRACT RENEWAL
Mr. Craig Sullivan of Watauga Medics reviewed options for scheduling a phase in of rate increases to reduce the annual County subsidy. Mr. Sullivan reviewed Options 3-1 and 3-2. Under Option 3-1 rates were to increase on January 1, 2005, for BLS by $45.00 ($200.00); ALS by $75.00 ($250.00); and the mileage charge would increase by $1.00 to $6.50 and include the no transport charge, a subsidy of $661,885 was to be required. In year two the rates for BLS and ALS were to go up an additional $50.00 and the mileage charge was to increase by .50¢ to $7.00. The second year subsidy required was to be $580,090 plus the CPI escalator that was included in the current contract. The third year of Option 1 was to increase rates by an additional $25 to $275 for BLS and $325 for ALS with the mileage staying the same for a subsidy requirement of $550,706, plus the CPI escalator.
Option 3-2 was listed as a two year phase in with less of an increase in charges but with a larger subsidy requirement. Also Option 3-1 or 3-2 could be phased in over an additional year by keeping the rates as they are currently at $155 BLS and $175 ALS and the same mileage charges at $5 and $5.50 per mile respectively, with a subsidy requirement of $775.350. The increased rates were to occur the second, third, and forth years of the contract.
Commissioner Trivette, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to approve the Option 3-1 schedule of implementation to reduce the County subsidy and directed the County Attorney to prepare a contract as such. Rate increases were as follows:
Effective January 1, 2005: BLS rate increase by $45.00 to BLS $200.00
ALS rate increase by $75.00 to ALS $250.00
Mileage increase of $1.00 per mile to $6.50
Effective January 1, 2006: BLS rate increase by $50.00 to BLS $250.00
ALS rate increase by $50.00 to ALS $300.00
Mileage increase of $.50 per mile to $7.00
Effective January 1, 2007: BLS rate increase by $25.00 to BLS $275.00
ALS rate increase by $25.00 to ALS $325.00
Mileage increase of $.50 per mile to $7.50
APPALACHIAN DISTRICT HEALTH DEPARTMENT ANNUAL REPORT
Mr. Daniel Staley, Appalachian District Health Department Director, reviewed the annual report for Fiscal Year 2003/2004. The report contained successes and community health concerns.
No Board action was required as this report was for information only.
ADDITIONAL FUNDING APPROPRIATION FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
Ms. Angie Boitnotte discussed additional Senior Center General Purpose funding available to the County’s two senior centers in an amount totaling $23,653. A 25% local match was required in the amount of $7,885 which was present in the current Project on Aging budget.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to approve the local match and accept the additional funding as presented by Ms. Boitnotte.
A. Law Enforcement Center Cabling Proposal – Mr. Robert Marsh reviewed the cabling proposal for the new Law Enforcement Center that was tabled at a previous meeting. Mr. Marsh stated that after consulting with the IT Director, Ms. Glenda Duncan, staff was of the opinion that the lease should be for ten years in that this was to allow for a secure connection for confidential communications that was required of Law Enforcement Center operations that may not be available with a wireless system.
Mr. Len Cross with Charter Communications was present and addressed the issue of ownership of the cable. The cable was to be dedicated to Watauga County only. Mr. Cross stated that the maintenance agreement for this was routine as the cable company charged to maintain the service on that line for the length of the contract.
Commissioner Honeycutt, seconded by Commissioner Trivette, moved to approve the contract in the amount of $38,850 plus an annual maintenance fee for years 1-10 with Charter Communications for cabling of the new Law Enforcement Center contingent upon the County Attorney’s review.
B. Project Updates – Mr. Marsh gave an update on the following projects:
1) BrookshireRoadPark – Mr. Marsh stated that he had met with the contractor and designer to review the project and that after a few punch list items were taken care of the final inspection should within the week at which time the park was to be handed over to the County. Mr. Marsh stated that the contractor was to be responsible for re-seeding next spring as needed.
2) LawEnforcementCenter – Mr. Marsh stated that the project was continuing on schedule. The pre-cast roof was to be installed this week and installation of roof membranes was to begin on Friday.
3) Pool Renovation – Mr. Marsh stated that final inspections were due this week as all items were scheduled to be completed by Friday. Mr. Marsh stated that the pool was to be reopened as soon as the water was properly balanced after final inspection.
No action was required on these reports and therefore none was taken.
A. Monthly Collections Report – Tax Administrator Kelvin Byrd presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of October 2004.
B. Releases and Refunds – Mr. Byrd presented the following Refunds and Releases for October 2004 for Board approval:
TO BE TYPED IN MINUTE BOOK
Vice-Chairman Hodges, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report for October 2004 as presented.
PROPOSED WATAUGACOUNTY PERSONNEL ORDINANCE
Assistant County Manager Geouque presented the proposed Watauga County Personnel Ordinance and reviewed the changes from the existing ordinance.
By consensus, the Board agreed to set a public hearing for the November 16, 2004, meeting to consider the proposed Watauga County Personnel Ordinance.
NORTH CAROLINA DISASTER RELIEF FUND REQUEST
Assistant County Manager Geouque stated that Watauga County qualified to receive $19,529.29 from the North Carolina Disaster Relief fund to be used for humanitarian causes directly related to recent flood damage in the County. Mr. Geouque stated that there was a cap of $200 per recipient family. Mr. Geouque requested that a committee be appointed to identify the needs and set the distribution criteria of the funds.
Mr. Geouque suggested committee members include the Directors of DSS, Cooperative Extension, and United Way; David Tucker, Joe Furman, Lisa Danner, Derek Goddard, and Mr. Geouque. Commissioner Honeycutt requested that Mr. Ned Fowler with Northwest Regional Housing Authority be included as a committee member.
Mr. Geouque stated that a plan must be submitted to the Governor’s Office by November 15, 2004, and that the committee was to report back to the Board at a future meeting regarding how the funds were disbursed. Any unused funds had to be returned.
Commissioner Honeycutt, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to appoint the directors of DSS, Cooperative Extension, United Way, and David Tucker, Joe Furman, Lisa Danner, Derek Goddard, Mr. Ned Fowler and Mr. Geouque to the NC Disaster Relief Fund committee and approve the submittal of the plan and the distribution of funds received as determined by the committee.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
A. Inmate Meal Provision Contract – County Manager Nelson stated that the inmate meal provision contract between the Watauga County Sheriff’s Department and Watauga Medical Center was tabled at the last meeting. Mr. Nelson stated that the Medical Center agreed to modify the termination clause from 60 days to 180 days. Mr. Nelson requested approval of the contract as well as the medical care addendum that provided a 30% discount on care provided to the Watauga County inmate population.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Trivette, moved to approve the contract for meal provision as amended and the medical care addendum with Watauga Medical Center contingent upon the County Attorney’s review.
B. Proposed Amendment to the Ordinance to Govern Subdivisions and Multi-Unit Structures – Mr. Joe Furman stated that the Planning Board had forwarded an amendment to the Ordinance to Govern Subdivisions and Multi-Unit Structures. The amendment referenced the required number of parking spaces at facilities that were different in their nature of operation from the commercial space and their accompanying parking requirements. The change was necessitated when a variance was requested from the Planning Board from an individual who was seeking approval to construct a warehouse type facility but did not agree with the required one parking space for every 200 feet of floor area was appropriate for a warehouse space.
Mr. Furman reviewed the recommended changes to the ordinance under Section I that required one and a half spaces per three employees for industrial and warehouse use. Mr. Furman requested a public hearing prior to action be scheduled at the November 16, 2004, Board meeting.
By consensus, the Board agreed to set a public hearing for the November 16, 2004, meeting to consider the proposed amendment to the Ordinance to Govern Subdivisions and Multi-Unit Structures.
C. Discussion of Upgrading US 321 – Mr. Joe Furman stated that the Department of Transportation was beginning a feasibility study of widening and improving US 321 from the US 421 to the Tennessee State line. The feasibility study was the initial step in the highway planning process and at this time no funding was in place for the project. The project was not currently on the Transportation Improvement Plan. However, the Department of Transportation asked for comments, questions, or other input that the Board may have to be considered during the feasibility study stage of the project.
By consensus, the Board agreed to direct Mr. Furman to encourage the Department of Transportation to move forward with the project.
D. Announcements – County Manager Nelson announced that the 49th Annual Farm City Banquet was scheduled for Thursday, November 4, 2004, at 6:00 P.M. at the Boone United Methodist Church. The deadline to reserve tickets was Tuesday, November 2, 2004.
At 10:04 A.M., Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to enter Closed Session to discuss Attorney/Client Matters, per G. S. 143-318-11(a)(3).
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to resume the open meeting at 10:16 A.M.
VANNOY & SONS SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT REGARDING THE BROOKSHIRE PARK PROJECT
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to approve the Brookshire Road Park Project settlement with Vannoy and Sons Construction and a change order for flood damages in the amount of $16,000 and import fill in the amount of $4,000.
[Clerk’s Note: The import fill occurred in the early construction phase of the project and was not related to the flood damage repairs.]
Commissioner Trivette, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:18 A.M.
James Coffey, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board