WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MONDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2006
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, October 16, 2006, at 6:00 P.M. in the Commissioners’ Board Room of the Watauga County Administration Building.
PRESENT: Jim Deal, Chairman
William R. Winkler, III, Vice-Chairman
David Blust, Commissioner
Keith Honeycutt, Commissioner
Winston Kinsey, Commissioner
Anthony di Santi, County Attorney
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Deron Geouque, Assistant County Manager
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Deal called the meeting to order at 6:02 P.M., welcoming those in attendance.
Vice-Chairman Winkler opened the meeting with a prayer.
PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER A RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE THE INSTALLMENT PURCHASE FINANCING FOR PROPERTY FOR THE NEW HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT
Chairman Deal declared the public hearing open at 6:04 P.M. to allow for comment on a resolution to authorize the installment purchase financing for property for the new high school project.
The following citizens spoke (19 in support and 3 in opposition to the project):
In Support of the Project Opposed to the Project .
Andy Reece Barbara Linville Karen Carter
Ivan Roten Shelton Wilder Louise Cornett
Michelle Gibson Mary Cavanaugh Deborah Greene
Deborah Miller Rob Holton
Joe Shuford Bunk Spann
John Cooper Miranda Dooglass
Steve Combs Ian Snyder
Marshall Ashcraft Ben Shoemake
There being no further public comment, Chairman Deal declared the public hearing closed at 6:50 P.M.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Deal called for additions or corrections to the October 2, 2006, regular meeting and closed session minutes.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to approve the October 2, 2006, regular meeting minutes as presented.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to approve the October 2, 2006, closed session minutes as presented.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairman Deal called for additions and/or corrections to the October 16, 2006, agenda.
County Manager Nelson requested to add an “Out-of-State Travel Request” as item C. under Planning and Inspections Matters and to add a “Discussion of November Meeting Times” under Miscellaneous Administrative Matters.
Commissioner Kinsey, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to approve the October 16, 2006, agenda as amended.
PROPOSED RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE THE INSTALLMENT PURCHASE FINANCING FOR PROPERTY FOR THE NEW HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT
After discussion, Commissioner Kinsey, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to adopt the Resolution to Authorize the Installment Purchase Financing for Property for the New High School Project contingent upon Local Government Commission approval of the financing plan.
VOTE: Aye-4(Deal, Winkler, Honeycutt, Kinsey)
PROPOSED NEW RIVER BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE INTERLOCAL GOVERNMENT AGREEMENT
Mr. Don Suggs presented a proposed Interlocal Agreement to provide mental health services for Watauga County through the New River Service Authority (NRSA). In the past, New River Behavioral HealthCare (NRBHC) provided both management services as a LME (Local Management Entity) and client services as a mental health authority. NRBHC operated in the five county area of Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Watauga, and Wilkes. Due to the state mandated reorganization of the mental health delivery system, a LME could no longer be a service provider. Therefore, the Board of New River Behavioral Healthcare was proposing to establish a new entity to provide services. Once this occurred, the required management function was to be merged with an existing LME entity. At that time the LME arm of NRBHC was to cease to exist and all assets were to be transferred to the new entity, NRSA.
County Manager Nelson stated that, based on review by staff and comments from the Board of Commissioners, changes were made in Article 10 Section 1 and Article 11 Section 2. These changes were to allow local control of the budgeted amounts each year and also allow Watauga County to maintain flexibility in furnishing space to NRSA.
Mr. Suggs stated that a Commissioner needed to be appointed to serve on the NRSA Board. The appointment needed to be a separate Commissioner from the seat on the existing NRBHC Board. Mr. Suggs requested that the appointment be made at this meeting if possible.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to approve the Interlocal Agreement as presented by Mr. Suggs.
The appointment of a Commissioner to the NRSA Board was to be considered under “Boards and Commissions.”
“I-HAVE-A-DREAM WEEK” PROCLAMATION REQUEST
Ms. Mary Gray presented a proposed proclamation denoting the week of January 13-21, 2007, as “I-Have-A-Dream Week” to celebrate diversity of the people of Watauga County, to discourage prejudice and discrimination, and to make a commitment to unity and diversity.
Chairman Deal recommended the following change under the second “Whereas”:
“WHEREAS, racism is one of the most challenging issues confronting…”
Commissioner Honeycutt, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to adopt the proclamation as amended.
PROPOSED MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH NORTH CAROLINA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION
Ms. Sue Counts reviewed a new, proposed Memorandum of Understanding between Watauga County and the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Ms. Counts reviewed the comparisons between the current and proposed Memorandum of Understanding.
Ms. Counts stated that based on the existing Memorandum, the salaries of Extension staff were funded on a percentage basis by the State and County. Most were funded at approximately 47% County and 53% State. Some were 37% County and 63% State. The proposal was to fund all regular employees at 55% State and 45% County to be effective January 1, 2007. The new funding formula was to be easier for all to administer but might add approximately $3,000 to $4,000 in the fiscal year 2008 Extension budget based on current year salaries.
By consensus, the Board, agreed to table consideration of the Memorandum of Understanding until budget preparation time for the fiscal year 2008 budget.
PROPOSED WATAUGA COUNTYDSS (2007-2009) WORK FIRST PLAN
Mr. Jim Atkinson presented the 2007-2009 Watauga County Work First Plan that was required to be submitted to the State. Mr. Atkinson stated that the document had been available for public comment.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to approve the Work First Plan and forward it to the State.
SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT GRANT APPLICATION REQUESTS
Detective Troy Cook with the Sheriff’s Department requested approval to submit four grants over this and the next fiscal years.
Detective Cook stated that the first grant was for the current fiscal year (FY 2007) in the amount of $15,000 that required $5,000 in County match for a total of $20,000 to be used for overtime expenses in combating the drug problem in Watauga County. If the grant was awarded, the $5,000 match was to be taken from the County’s fund balance.
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to approve the grant application and local match of $5,000 for the grant as presented by Detective Cook.
Detective Cook stated that three grants were proposed for fiscal year 2008. The first was for $10,000 with a local match of $3,333 for overtime; the second was for $9,000 with a $3,000 County match for equipment purchases; and the third grant was for two AFIS (Automatic Fingerprint Information System) machines for a total cost of $51,000 which required $12,750 in local match.
Detective Cook stated that in summary, the requested amount for fiscal year 2008 was three grants totaling $76,333 that required $19,083 in County match. If the grants were awarded, the local match needed to be included in the Sheriff’s operating budget for fiscal year 2008.
Commissioner Honeycutt, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to approve the three grant applications and local match, if approved, for fiscal year 2008.
A. Financing Bid Award Request for Property for New High School Project – Ms. Doris Isaacs reviewed proposals that the County had received for reimbursement financing for land purchases for the high school project. Ms. Isaacs recommended the proposal from RBC that carried a fixed rate percentage at 3.71% with no pre-payment penalty and $2,500 in expense costs.
Ms. Isaacs stated that if the proposal from RBC was accepted, financing counsel, Parker Poe, recommended the adoption of the resolution entitled “A Resolution of the Board of Commissioners of the County of Watauga, North Carolina, Authorizing the Approval of an Installment Financing Contract and a Deed of Trust and the Delivery Thereof, and Providing for Certain Other Related Matters.” Ms. Isaacs stated that the amount of the financing proposal was not to exceed $7,000,000.
Commissioner Honeycutt, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to approve the financing through RBC Centura and adopt the proposed resolution from Parker Poe.
B. Surplus Property Request – Ms. Isaacs requested that property as outlined in two memos to the Board be declared as surplus and be authorized for disposal through a public auction with the exception of the 1996 Volvo trash truck which was recommended to be disposed of by sealed bid.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to declare the property surplus and to authorize disposal through public auction or sealed bid.
PROPOSED PURCHASE OF PROPERTY FOR THE HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT
County Manager Nelson reviewed the following properties that were previously discussed in closed session for the high school project:
Baker Edmisten $842,000 1.044 acre tract
3.174 acre tract
Claudine Edmisten $125,000 .4768 acre lot
.535 acre lot
Joe and Bill Miller $1,200,000 6.928 acre tract
7.898 acre tract
B&W Greene Property $500,000 two parcels ID # 2910-78-6911-000
for 2.059 total acres
The funds for the purchases were to be taken from the County’s fund balance and then replaced with proceeds from financing once approval was received from the Local Government Commission as discussed earlier in the meeting.
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to approve the purchase of the Joe and Bill Miller property in the amount of $1,200,000 for the high school project with a closing to be scheduled the week of October 23rd.
VOTE: Aye-4(Deal, Winkler, Honeycutt, Kinsey)
Commissioner Kinsey, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to approve the purchase of the B&W Greene property in the amount of $500,000 for the high school project with a closing to be scheduled the week of October 23rd.
VOTE: Aye-4(Deal, Winkler, Honeycutt, Kinsey)
VEHICLE BID AWARD
Mr. Geouque reviewed bids to purchase Sheriff Department vehicles, four 2007 Crown Victorias and two 2006 Ford Explorers. Five of the vehicles were for replacement with one of the Explorers being for the new Solid Waste Officer. The amount budgeted for this purchase was $147,000. Mr. Geouque requested an additional $14,000 be transferred out of the administrative contingency fund to cover these purchases and fees.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to award the bid for the purchase of the Sheriff Department vehicles to Bobby Jones Ford in the total amount of $153,556.90 with the additional $14,000 to be transferred from the administrative contingency fund.
UPDATE ON THE COURTHOUSE ADDITION PROJECT AND CONSIDERATION OF CHANGE ORDER # 4 SECTION 2
Mr. Jack Hemphill, with Hemphill Associates, stated that the cause for the second section of Change Order 4, in the amount of $2,667, which requested an additional CMU layer required to miss the steel beam below the floor, was the need for an additional wall in the holding cell area that was not discovered until after construction had began.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to approve the additional CMU layer in the amount of $2,667 which was to be written in a new change order, yet to be numbered.
Mr. Hemphill updated the Board on future change orders and requested direction on the fire alarm system. Mr. Hemphill stated that due to requirements of the Fire Marshal, the fire alarm system (new and old components) had to become “fully addressable” either now or in the near future. Mr. Hemphill stated that there were three options in addressing the issue: 1) leave the system as planned (new components fully addressable with the old to be updated in the future); 2) Contract with a separate contractor to update the old components while construction is underway with the new components; or 3) authorize a change order for the entire system to become “fully addressable” under the current contract which would therefore authorize the current contractor to bid the project out.
Commissioner Honeycutt, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to authorize Mr. Hemphill to proceed with option # 3, to have the current contractor solicit bids to bring the entire fire system to a “fully addressable” status and to prepare a change order for approval once the amount of the project is known.
PLANNING AND INSPECTIONS MATTERS
A. Community Development Block Grant Public Hearing Request – Mr. Joe Furman requested that a public hearing be scheduled to consider the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for the demolition of a house that was to be replaced with Crisis Housing Assistance Funds (CHAF). In order to use the funds for this purpose, the grant must be amended which required a public hearing. Mr. Furman requested that the public hearing be scheduled for the next Board meeting.
Chairman Deal stated that discussion on the November meeting schedule was to take place later in the meeting and therefore the actual date of the next meeting was yet to be determined.
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to schedule a public hearing at the next Board meeting to consider the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for the demolition of a house that was to be replaced with Crisis Housing Assistance Funds (CHAF).
B. Secondary Road Addition Request – Mr. Furman stated that a secondary road petition was received for McGuire Road, 1 mile long, located off US Highway 321 North, west of NCSR 1201. Mr. Furman presented a proposed resolution which if adopted was to be forwarded to the Department of Transportation for consideration of adding this road to the state maintained secondary roads system.
Commissioner Honeycutt, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to adopt and forward to the Department of Transportation the resolution requesting McGuire Road be added to the state maintained secondary roads system.
C. Out-of-State Travel Request – Mr. Furman requested for Mr. Stan Hanna to travel to Myrtle Beach, SC, to attend the Plan Review Institute as part of his required training. Mr. Furman stated that he had received verbal confirmation that the training was not offered in North Carolina but was still awaiting written confirmation. The training was scheduled for November 6-9, 2006.
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to approve the out-of-state travel request for Mr. Stan Hanna as presented by Mr. Joe Furman.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
A. Proposed Green Valley Community Park Agreement – County Manager Nelson reviewed a proposed agreement between Watauga County and Green Valley Park that was drafted by the County Attorney and reviewed by staff detailing the County’s rights to Green Valley Park should the property become available due to outstanding indebtedness. Also, the agreement was to ensure that the $20,000 County match was to be used for the public purpose of the continued existence of the Green Valley Community Park.
County Manager Nelson stated that the amount of $174,521.44 listed under the second “Whereas” should be $202,000 as that was the original amount.
Commissioner Honeycutt, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to approve the agreement between Watauga County and Green Valley Park as amended.
B. Discussion of Anne-Marie Park Grant Application – County Manager Nelson stated that, as previously discussed, Watauga County was eligible to apply for up to $500,000 for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PART-F) grant for the Anne-Marie Drive Park that was to include the baseball fields, parking, the tot lot, and other amenities to be designed. The County Manager stated that Mr. Steven Poulos, Parks and Recreation Director, was of the opinion that no site work could be started prior to award of the grant. The County had obtained necessary permits and surveys required to start the process of preliminary grading for the park; however, staff recommended waiting to begin until Mr. Poulos had written confirmation that his interpretation was correct and if so, to delay the project until notice of the grant award was received. County Manager Nelson stated that if the grant was received, the local match could possibly be met by the County’s in-kind contribution of the preparation that was planned for the park.
By consensus, the Board agreed to suspend operations on the Anne-Marie Drive Area Park until Mr. Poulos had written confirmation that his interpretation that no site work could be started prior to award of the grant was correct and if so, to delay the project until notice of the grant award was received.
C. Boards and Commissions – County Manager Nelson stated that due to a resignation, a vacancy existed on the Boone Board of Adjustment for an ETJ alternate member.
No action was taken on an appointment of an ETJ alternate member to the Boone Board of Adjustment at this time.
County Manager Nelson stated that Ms. Virginia Ward and Mr. Mike Presnell’s terms on the Farmland Preservation Advisory Board were to expire this year and that the Advisory Board recommended reappointment of both who were willing to continue to serve if reappointed.
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to waive the second reading and re-appoint Ms. Virginia Ward and Mr. Mike Presnell to the Farmland Preservation Advisory Board.
By consensus, the Board agreed to appoint Vice-Chairman Winkler to serve as the Watauga County Commissioner on the New River Service Authority (NRSA) Board and to leave the NRBHC appointment vacant at this time.
D. Announcements – County Manager Nelson announced that the North Carolina Department of Transportation had invited the Board to the Local Officials Meeting for the US 221 Improvement Study on Tuesday, October 24, 2006, from 3:30 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. at the Ashe County High School Cafeteria in West Jefferson, North Carolina.
E. Discussion of November Meeting Schedule – Due to a conflict in schedule, the Board discussed rescheduling the first meeting in November so that all could attend.
After discussion, the Board agreed, by consensus, to reschedule the November 6, 2006, Board meeting to Monday, October 30, 2006, at 9:00 A.M. The second meeting in November was to remain scheduled for Tuesday, November 21, 2006, at 6:00 P.M.
Due to this change of schedule, the public hearing to consider the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for the demolition of a house that was to be replaced with Crisis Housing Assistance Funds (CHAF) was to be held on Monday, October 30, 2006, at 9:00 A.M.
There was no public comment.
At 8:50 P.M., Commissioner Blust, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to enter Closed Session to discuss Attorney/Client Matters, per G. S. 143-318.11(a)(3); Land Acquisition, per G. S. 143-318.11(a)(5)(i); and Economic Development Matters, per G. S. 143-318.11(a)(4).
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to resume the open meeting at 9:31 P.M.
Chairman Deal adjourned the meeting at 9:31 P.M.
Jim Deal, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board