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BOCC Meeting 06-02-08 Print
Board of Commissioners - Minutes

HAYWOOD COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
REGULAR MEETING – June 2, 2008

 

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Larry R. Ammons convened the regular meeting of the Haywood County Board of Commissioners at 9:00 a.m. in the County Commissioners’ Meeting Room at the Haywood County Justice Center, Waynesville, North Carolina, with Chairman Larry R. Ammons, Vice-Chairman J.W. “Kirk” Kirkpatrick, III, Commissioners Mary Ann Enloe, Charles “Skeeter” Curtis and Bill L. Upton present. Staff members present were County Manager David B. Cotton, Assistant County Manager Marty Stamey, County Attorney Leon M. “Chip” Killian, III, Public Information Officer David Teague, Finance Director Julie Davis, and Administrative Assistant Rebecca Morgan.

 

Pledge of Allegiance
 

Chairman Ammons led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick offered the invocation.

Chairman Ammons announced that Al Byers, Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC), will be attending later in the meeting.

 

Public Comments

Chairman Ammons opened the public comment session. Comments are generally limited to three minutes per individual, unless the speaker is representing a group for which the comment period may be extended to five minutes.

Being no comments Chairman Ammons closed the public comments session.

 

Constituent Concerns

Chairman Ammons inquired if the Board of County Commissioners had any constituent concerns. Commissioner Enloe stated that the staff was addressing her constituent concerns.

 

Discussion / Adjustment / Approval of Consent Agenda

Chairman Ammons inquired if the Board members had any adjustments to be made to the agenda.

 

Consent Agenda

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion to approve the consent agenda as presented. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

  • Approve Minutes of May 19th, 2008 Regular Meetings.
  • Approval of New Road – Kathy Hoglen, Addressing Coordinator, presented a request for approval of an existing un-named road, with a proposed name of Armory Drive, SR 1949, located in Clyde, NC. Mountain Projects, Inc. and the National Guard have approved the proposed road name. Haywood Community College has been notified, but has not signed a petition. Ms. Hoglen advised that Haywood Community College proposed naming the road Veteran’s Drive.  After discussion the Board agreed to discuss this issue at the next Strategic Planning Committee meeting with Haywood Community College.
 

Administrative / Agency Report

North Carolina Association of County Commissioners Legislative Liaison Update

David Cotton, County Manager, presented a summary of the General Assembly’s short session which convened Tuesday, May 13th, 2008 and the Legislative Liaison talking points from May 16th, 2008. Mr. Cotton advised that Senate Bill 1513, which was passed during the 2007 session, allows counties the authority to participate in the financing of the secondary road system. The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners has officially voiced opposition to this cost shifting measure. If the burden to maintain and provide for the secondary road system were to shift to counties, the cost would equate to approximately five cents on the tax rate for Haywood County. The state is projecting approximately a $65 billion shortfall over the next twenty years in maintenance and paving needs. Mr. Cotton explained that another position the Association has taken is to support a moratorium on the initiation of involuntary municipal annexations.

Commissioner Enloe stated that she spoke to Joe Hackney, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and advised Mr. Hackney, that counties do not want to get into the road business. Commissioner Enloe stated that mandatory board training is required for the Local Management Entities which is the Smoky Mountain Mental Health and disability drug dependence fifteen county board. Commissioner Enloe stated that she recently returned from that board training.

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick inquired if there was knowledge of any county agreeing to participate in the roads program. Mr. Cotton stated that to his knowledge, there are no counties in support of this program.

Commissioner Curtis expressed his opposition to the financing of roads by counties.

Old Business

Social Services Facility Evaluation (Architect(s) Opinion)

David Cotton, County Manager, explained that during a work session held by the Board of County Commissioners, there was discussion regarding renovating the building that houses the Haywood County Department of Social Services (DSS). Mr. Cotton presented reports from Dechant Architecture, P.A., and PBC + L Architecture regarding their review of the Haywood County DSS facility. Originally, the building was designed for a hospital. Mr. Cotton advised that some concerns include the width of the corridors, size of the rooms, cost of windows, the cost of asbestos abatement, and parking.  The cost of asbestos abatement could be approximately $150,000. Mr. Cotton stated that other departments may be able to use a single floor or a portion of a floor in the facility. Commissioner Curtis inquired if another work session was scheduled to consider the needs for office space. Mr. Cotton confirmed that this issue could be placed on the agenda for discussion at a work session. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick expressed his concern for the budget and the affordability to renovate the building at this time. Commissioner Enloe suggested that the Board begin considering long term needs for office space. Chairman Ammons stated that the issue of wide corridors is not a real concern. Energy efficient windows will be required regardless of which department occupies the space.

Health Insurance Audit and Oversight

David Cotton, County Manager, presented the contract for consulting services with Mark III Brokerage, Inc. as the consultant for the Medical Plan for Haywood County, effective July 1st, 2008. Mr. Cotton stated that presently, the cost of the Haywood County health insurance plan is more than $4 million per year. There is no full time manager or director overseeing this contract. As an alternative to hiring a full time manager, Mark III Brokerage, Inc., provides a risk management component to oversee the third party administrator, audit medical bills received, and will insure compliance with the present contract. Haywood County’s third party administrator, Appalachian Benefits, actually receives and processes medical claims. Mark III Brokerage, Inc., would oversee those medical claims.

Commissioner Upton made a motion to authorize approval and execution of the contract so that Haywood County could have professional oversight over this $4 million expenditure we make each year for employee health care. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Board Appointments

David Cotton, County Manager, announced that on June 30th, 2008, there will be one vacancy on the Library Board of Directors. Ms. Bette Sprecher’s term will expire and she is eligible for reappointment. Three applications have been received. This vacancy has been advertised in “The Mountaineer” and on the Haywood County website. After discussion the Board of County Commissioners agreed to interview the applicants on June 16th, 2008, beginning at 4:00 pm.

Mr. Cotton shared that Scott Sutton’s term on the Watershed Review Board expired January 31st, 2008. Mr. Sutton is eligible for reappointment and has submitted an updated application. There are three vacancies. These vacancies have been advertised.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to reappoint Scott Sutton to the Watershed Review Board. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Cotton confirmed that this motion will leave two vacancies on the Watershed Review Board.

Fire District Boundaries Revisions

Nolan Palmer, Fire Marshal, presented a PowerPoint presentation. Mr. Palmer explained that the maps depict areas within the county, which are outside of any fire district.  These areas are currently provided fire service by the fire departments.  However, since the areas are outside of the fire districts, the tax associated with the provision of service may not be assessed to these property owners.  Mr. Palmer requested a public hearing to discuss the proposed fire districts. 

David Francis, Tax Administrator, introduced Preston Yates, who now serves as the GIS Coordinator for Haywood County. Mr. Yates prepared the maps used for the PowerPoint presentation. Mr. Francis explained that there are 3,246 parcels that are affected by the proposed extension of boundaries. Each property owner will receive a mailing with a copy of the map of their district and a notification of the public hearing. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick inquired if the fire departments approved of these expansions. Mr. Palmer stated that the fire departments are aware of these proposed expansions. Mr. Palmer explained that those paying the additional fire tax will very likely have a decrease in insurance premiums.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to place the public hearing concerning the proposed changes to the fire districts boundaries on the regular board meeting for July 21st, 2008 at 5:00 pm. Commissioner Upton seconded. Commissioner Curtis suggested that Mr. Palmer invite a representative from the fire districts to the public hearing. Leon M. “Chip” Killian, County Attorney, advised that the North Carolina General Statute on extension of all service districts, requires a report be prepared and made available for public inspection at the County Manager’s office as well as the Fire Departments. The report should include a map, and certain financial data as to the feasibility of providing fire services. Mr. Francis stated that Waynesville has three fire districts, Big Cove, Camp Branch and South Waynesville. As part of the public hearing, Mr. Francis stated that he would like to present a proposal to have one fire district known as Waynesville, instead of three separate districts.  Chairman Ammons expressed his appreciation to Mr. Yates for the contribution made to the map conversion. The motion carried unanimously.

New Business

Solid Waste Ordinance – Proposed Revisions

David Francis, Tax Administrator, explained that there are two pressing issues that will soon affect the cost of delivering solid waste services to Haywood County. First, beginning in July, the County must begin paying a solid waste disposal tax to the North Carolina Department of Revenue in accordance with Article 5G of Chapter 105, the North Carolina General Statute (NCGS). The solid waste disposal tax is an excise tax imposed on the disposal of municipal solid waste and construction and demolition debris in a permitted landfill. The rate is two dollars per ton of waste. Second, is the need to move forward with cell expansion at the White Oak Landfill so that the County does not run out of space to deposit solid waste before a new cell can be constructed and permitted. Mr. Francis stated that there is an estimate of two years of useful life left within the current cell. The estimated cost of the cell expansion is $4.2 million. In January 2008, an advisory committee was appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to review the solid waste ordinance. The advisory committee reviewed the availability fees and the properties to which these fees were assessed. Based on the review, the advisory committee prepared recommendations for revising the solid waste ordinance. Mr. Francis presented the recommended revisions.

I. Reinstatement of a business availability fee per section 50.23 of the Haywood County Solid Waste Ordinance. All businesses will be assessed an availability fee of $360.00 and certain Large Volume Businesses will be assessed a $500.00 availability fee. The Large Volume Businesses are as follows:

                                                            Apparel Stores

                                                            Convenience Stores

                                                            Country Club / Golf

                                                            Department Stores

                                                            Glass

                                                            Grocery Stores

                                                            Hardware

                                                            Hospital/Nursing Homes

                                                            Junk Yards

                                                            Manufacturing

                                                            Restaurants

                                                            Storage Units

 

II. Home-based businesses would be excluded from the business availability fee since a household availability fee is currently assessed. The owner of a farm, including dairy farms would not be required to pay an availability fee.

III. All hotels, motels, cottages, inns and any business engaged as a Bed and Breakfast pay a $25.00 per unit availability fee. This availability fee would include all hotels, motels, inns and cottages owned by The Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church at Lake Junaluska Assembly. Campgrounds that have vacant hook-ups for rent or lease that do not have a camper permanently located on it would pay a $25.00 availability fee per site.

IV. Any residence where the power has been disconnected for a period of eight months of the calendar year or the residence is found to be unsound or condemned, the availability fee would be waived.

V. Any business engaged in hauling waste or recycling waste would be excluded from the business availability fee.

VI. The tipping fee increase from $50.00 to $55.00 per ton to cover the state mandated cost per Article 9 of Chapter 105 North Carolina General Statute (NCGS).

VII. The household availability fee increase from $60.00 to $65.00 to cover the state mandated cost per Article 9 of Chapter 105 NCGS.

Chairman Ammons inquired as to the amount of money Haywood County receives from the State. Stephen King, Solid Waste Director, explained that the State is proposing that thirty-seven percent be returned to the counties, which is based on a per capita formula.  Mr. Cotton confirmed that the information regarding the proposed revisions will be addressed and citizens will be given an opportunity to ask questions during the public hearing, June 16th, 2008, at 5:00 pm. Notification will be sent along with the tax bills to the business owners. Commissioner Curtis shared that the solid waste ordinance was passed in 1992 and the availability fee was set at $114. Businesses have not been required to pay the availability fee. Mr. Francis clarified that each year the property listing forms are mailed to businesses and are coded with a business code. The business codes indicate categories. Mr. Cotton advised that at the pleasure of the Board, this issue could be placed on the agenda for discussion at a work session. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick suggested that recycling be encouraged for businesses. Mr. Francis stated that the more we recycle as a County, the less we must pay on the dollar per ton. 

Tax Administration Scanning Project

David Francis, Tax Administrator, announced that the Tax Administration office will soon be a “paperless” office. Mr. Francis presented, on a compact disc (CD), the Tax Administration records retention schedule and a request to dispose of records. The CD outlined the type of documents the Tax Administrator may dispose of and the documents that must be retained, an outline of the Haywood County Tax Administration electronic document imaging policy of 2008, and the electronic records system policy for the Haywood County Tax Administration office.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to approve the three documents for execution. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Commissioner Curtis inquired if the records were properly backed up elsewhere. Mr. Francis explained that the documents are first captured on a CD. They are then backed up on a server that houses these documents, and they are backed up a third time, off site. Mr. Francis stated that certain documents are sent to the North Carolina Department of Archives. Chairman Ammons inquired as to the annual audit, if the auditors reviewed the protection of information. Julie Davis, Finance Director, stated that the auditors review the maintaining of the documents  through the Information Technology Department. Mr. Francis read the names of the three documents, records retention and disposition schedule of the County Tax Administration developed by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Division of Historical Resources Archives and Records Section Government Records Branch, dated April 1st, 2004, the Haywood County Tax Administration electronic document imaging policy of 2008, and the electronic records system policy for the Office of Haywood County Tax Administration. The motion carried unanimously.

Recess

Chairman Ammons called for a brief recess.

Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) Update

Upon returning from recess, Al Byers, Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HRMC, approached the Board. Mr. Byers explained that the HRMC received its recertification, effective May 22nd, 2008. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance will have a press release announcing its return of coverage at HRMC. All other insurance companies are back on line except for United Healthcare. HRMC is in negotiation with United Healthcare. There are forty-five patients at HRMC. Mr. Byers stated that more nurses are being recruited so that more patients can receive care at HRMC. There are two doctors scheduled during peak hours in the emergency room and HRMC plans to hire physician assistants to work in the emergency room. Interviews are being conducted for some key positions include Chief Medical Officer, Human Resources Director, Chief Nursing Officer, Emergency Department Director, and the Quality Assurance Director. The CEO search committee reports that they are ahead of schedule. The Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners will meet Thursday, June 5th, 2008. The round table discussions will continue with a change in focus to help the staff take ownership of changes they would like to see made at HRMC. Chairman Ammons inquired as to the interface with the Compass Group. Mr. Byers stated that a final report from the Compass Group will be presented to the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners. The report will include the recent changes made to HRMC and key recommendations for the future. After the meeting their roll will cease except for interim employees that the Compass Group placed through contract to the hospital. Chairman Ammons inquired if the new Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners’ members have been sworn in so that they can sit at the upcoming meeting. Mr. Byers confirmed that one has been sworn in, and others are expected to be sworn into office in time for the meeting. Chairman Ammons requested that the new members be contacted to ensure that they are sworn in before the next Board meeting. David Cotton, County Manager, confirmed that the new members would be contacted regarding their oaths of office. Commissioner Upton stated that one of the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners’ members who attended training in Chicago reported that the training was outstanding and very beneficial.

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick reported on the Future Directions Committee. The Future Directions Committee looks into issues concerning the future needs of the hospital and the possibility of incorporating the trends across the state and the country that have already developed quality health care for rural areas.  Meetings are set for June and July.

Resolution of Appreciation Healthcare Providers

Chairman Ammons presented a resolution of appreciation to the WestCare Health System and Mission Health and Hospitals for the support given to the citizens of Haywood County during the recent loss of federal and state funding to Haywood Regional Medical Center. Chairman Ammons inquired if the Haywood Regional Medical Center would adopt a similar resolution or possibly have a joint resolution with Haywood County. Chairman Ammons read the resolution.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to adopt the resolution. Commissioner Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Election Day – Resolution of Appreciation

David Cotton presented for consideration, a resolution of appreciation to the volunteer poll workers, Chief Judges and Judges, and the Board of Elections for their work related to the primary election of May 6th, 2008.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to adopt the resolution. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Commissioner Enloe read the resolution.

Wellness Clinic Professional Services Recommendation

 David Cotton, County Manager, presented proposals for the Wellness Center for Haywood County employees. Proposals were received from Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC), Dr. Richard Bunio, WeCare TLC, and Advanced Occupational Health Services PLLC, (AOHS). After reviewing the proposals, Mr. Cotton recommended awarding the contract to HRMC. Mr. Cotton stated that a semi-annual report will be presented to the Commissioners regarding the wellness clinic. Mr. Cotton stated that the wellness clinic, if utilized, will demonstrate cost savings and cost avoidance for the County. The success will be contingent upon the staff using the wellness clinic.

Commissioner Upton made a motion to grant approval for HRMC to provide the professional services for the wellness clinic. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Fiscal Year 2008 - 2009 Budget

David Cotton presented the proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2008–2009 for Haywood County. Mr. Cotton reviewed the guidance and goals of the Board of County Commissioners which is a continuation of the FY 2007-2008 budget goals and guidance. These include maintaining Haywood County as a low property tax burden local government, develop a comprehensive program to share our information with the citizens, to work to enhance the County’s competitiveness as an employer, to ensure adequate funding for the community college and the schools, to review new strategies for improving customer service, to review performance measurements, and review economic development. Mr. Cotton reviewed the revenue, expenses, and recommendations for the budget. Mr. Cotton explained that at the administrative level within the Department of Health and Human Services, there is a proposed cost shifting formula relative to foster care, which has the potential to significantly impact the County’s budget. The elected officials at the State level have not had an opportunity to weigh in on this subject. After discussion, the Board requested a letter be written expressing the concerns of the Board and the impact on the constituents of the County. The letter should be sent to Senator Queen, Senator Snow, Representative Rapp, and Representative Haire. 

Mr. Cotton reviewed the proposed project for constructing cell three at the White Oak Landfill with an estimated cost of $4.2 million. Mr. Cotton expressed concerns for increasing fuel costs. Chairman Ammons instructed Mr. Cotton to look at the vehicle replacements. All vehicles, except for those in emergency services, are to have small engines and be fuel efficient.   Personnel policies, training curriculum, safety programs will continue to be developed and implemented throughout the year. Mr. Cotton requested a public hearing on the subject of the FY 2008-2009 proposed budget for Haywood County for June 16th, 2008, at 5:00 pm and a special meeting on June 30th, 2008, to adopt the budget for FY 2008-2009. Commissioner Curtis urged the Board to consider funding a grant request from HAWA in the amount of $5,000 to be used to provide low cost spay and neuter for pet owners in Haywood County. Mr. Cotton announced that North Canton Fire Department is requesting a half cent increase and Cruso Fire Department is requesting a one cent increase in their respective fire district tax levies.            

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to set the budget public hearing for June 16th, 2008 at 5:00 pm and set a special meeting June 30th, 2008 at 5:00 pm for the final adoption of the budget. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Road Districts

David Cotton, County Manager, announced that Maggie Valley Country Club is requesting an increase from ten cents to fourteen cents and Upper Chestnut Grove is requesting an increase from twelve cents to sixteen cents in their respective road district tax levies.

Certificates of Appreciation – Memorial Day Parade

Ms. Mary Ann Enloe, Commissioner and Bicentennial Celebration Chairman presented certificates of appreciation to Mr. Roy Pressley, State Veterans Affairs Commission, President of the Haywood County Veterans Council, and the Tar Heel Boys’ State Director of the American Legion, and to Mr. Ronald L. Putnam, Haywood County Veterans Service Officer and Chairman of the Parade Committee, for their leadership in the planning and coordination efforts which made the Memorial Day Parade held on May 26th, 2008, such a successful event. Mr. Putnam approached the Board. Chip Killian, County Attorney, stated that he spoke to Charlie Smith, State Veteran Affairs Director. Mr. Smith stated that the Haywood County Memorial Day parade was the best he had ever attended. Mr. Putnam expressed appreciation to the Haywood County Veteran’s Council. Mr. Putnam explained that the request for a fly over was denied due to the increased cost of fuel. Mr. Putnam and Commissioner Enloe agreed that a Memorial Day Veteran’s parade will be held next year.

CLOSED SESSION

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion to enter into closed session for the purpose of        Potential Litigation – G.S. §143-318.11.(a)(3) related to contractual issues associated with the historic courthouse. Commissioner Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Return from Closed Session

The Board returned from closed session.

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The time of adjournment was 1:15 pm. The DVD is attached by reference to the minutes.

                                                                                                                                                           

CLERK                                                                 CHAIRMAN