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BOCC Minutes 5-19-08 Print
Board of Commissioners - Minutes

HAYWOOD COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
REGULAR MEETING – May 19, 2008

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Larry R. Ammons convened the regular meeting of the Haywood County Board of Commissioners at 5:00 p.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, and Administrative Assistant Rebecca Morgan.

Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman Ammons led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Commissioner Upton offered the invocation.

Public Hearing 

Secondary Road Improvement Plan

Conrad Burrell, Member, Board of Transportation introduced Joel Setzer, P.E. Division Engineer, Brian Birch, Division Maintenance Engineer, Jonathan Woodard, District Engineer, and Ben Williams, County Maintenance Engineer. Mr. Burrell explained that the purpose of the public hearing was to share the secondary road program for Fiscal Years (FY) 2007 – 2008, and 2008 – 2009, and request approval of a resolution for the secondary road program that will be presented. Joel Setzer approached the Board. Mr. Setzer presented for consideration the proposed plan to expend the secondary road funds received for the 2006-2007 fiscal year. A list titled “Prior Fiscal Year Programmed Projects” was presented to the Commissioners. These included a list of roads in the past years but were not completed. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) has been working on many of these roads during the summer of 2007.

Jonathan Woodard approached the Board. Mr. Woodard referred to a list of projects entitled “Secondary Road Program for Haywood County”. Mr. Woodard explained the prior year programmed projects. Mr. Woodard stated that the secondary road allocation for Haywood County for FY 2008 is approximately $877,000. Mr. Woodard presented resolutions recommending a program of total needs for secondary road improvements in Haywood County.

Commissioner Curtis inquired if there were plans regarding repairs to Highway 110 near Canton, and Highway 276, above the Springdale Country Club. Mr. Woodard explained that a retaining wall on Highway 110 has shifted and caused settlement in the road. Mr. Woodard stated that Highway 110 is a primary highway, not a secondary highway, and is funded from a different source. The DOT is currently reviewing a project to repair that area. Mr. Woodard stated that there are no plans at this time to repair Highway 276. Commissioner Curtis asked if work has begun on the projects that were previously approved. Mr. Woodard confirmed that the projects listed have not been constructed yet, but the DOT is pursuing a right-of-way acquisition and environmental permits for these roads. Commissioner Curtis inquired if the majority of these roads would be completed in 2008-2009. Mr. Woodard confirmed that several of the projects are expected to be completed in 2008-2009. Thickety and Rich Cove may not be completed, but the DOT intends to pursue those projects. Commissioner Curtis inquired as to the study committee’s discussion that would require counties to fund the costs for maintenance of the secondary roads. Mr. Burrell replied that there were discussions regarding funding shortfalls in transportations. in North Carolina the State maintains county roads. Mr. Burrell confirmed that the Future Transportation Financing is discussing requiring the counties to take back over the secondary roads. This would enable DOT to focus on the bigger roads such as Interstate 40. Commissioner Enloe stated that before this commentary continues, part of that commentary should be that the DOT would take back over the schools. Commissioner Curtis expressed that a county could not possibly absorb the funding for secondary roads. Commissioner Curtis requested that Mr. Setzer keep the Board informed as to this possibility.

Commissioner Upton inquired as to the Plott Creek area near Hazelwood Elementary to widen the road. Mr. Setzer confirmed that the plans include widening that road and the primary purpose of that project was to help the road become a safe place to walk by including sidewalks by the road.

Chairman Ammons opened the public hearing to the public regarding the proposal put forth by the DOT. Hearing no comments, Chairman Ammons closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to adopt the resolution for ‘09 and fiscal year ’08, both of these and authorize the Chairman to execute. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Call To Public Hearing

¼ Cent Sales and Use Tax Resolution

David Cotton, County Manager requested a public hearing be scheduled for June 16th, 2008, regarding the ¼ Cent Sales and Use Tax Resolution. Mr. Cotton explained that since the sales tax referendum passed, and in order to levy the tax by October 1st, 2008, the Board of County Commissioners could consider adoption of a resolution levying an additional ¼ cent sales and use tax at their regular Board meeting on July 7th. At the regular board meeting scheduled for July 21st, 2008, the Board could approve and adopt the actions of the minutes of the July 7th meeting. On July 22nd, a certified copy of the resolution and the election results could be sent to the Secretary of Revenue, which must be delivered sixty days prior to any levy. The Board agreed to schedule a public hearing for June 16th, 2008. Chairman Ammons confirmed that the resolution will be available on the Haywood County website, www.haywoodnc.net.

Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) Update

Al Byers, Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HRMC explained that the HRMC reserves as of March 1st, 2008, were $18.5 million. Mr. Byers stated that HRMC made their annual bond payment on May 1st, 2008, of approximately $390,000. Mr. Byers explained that last week HRMC implemented a reduction in hours which included a temporary two week layoff of some employees. HRMC anticipates calling these employees back later this week. Those who did not experience layoff, their hours were reduced. Mr. Byers shared that HRMC is eligible for the survey. There is a required period of reasonable assurance, which means that the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare services (CMS), wants to be reasonably assured that those actions which they found on their first initial survey have been corrected and would remain in compliance. Mr. Byers shared a preliminary plan for HRMC. HRMC plans to maintain their Joint Commission accreditation, improve their nursing care even more, and HRMC has already established a comprehensive performance improvement program. HRMC wants to maintain their patient satisfaction, physician satisfaction and employee satisfaction at a high level.  HRMC plans to implement two training sessions for management in July 2008. Steps will be taken to decrease the operating costs without sacrificing quality. There are plans to develop bank relationships and an information technology program. As part of keeping the public informed, Mr. Byers shared that part of the plan for HRMC is to continue his presentations at the Board of County Commissioners meetings.

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick reemphasized the need for HRMC to remain open and transparent as to the  status of the hospital.

Commissioner Curtis expressed his appreciation to Al Byers for attending the Board of County Commissioner’s meetings. Commissioner Curtis stated that he read a quote from a member of the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners, “The hospital board is in the driver’s seat and the Commissioners can’t do a thing about it”. Commissioner Curtis expressed his appreciation for that comment, because that statement reconfirms the position of the Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Curtis stated that the Board of County Commissioners’ hands are tied regarding the actions of the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners.

Commissioner Enloe stated that she was extremely pleased that one of the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners members stated that they are, indeed, in the driver’s seat.

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 Upton stated that one constituent concern he received is that the asphalt at the convenience center in Bethel is hot. Commissioner Enloe stated that most of the constituent concerns she received were in regards to the hospital. Commissioner Enloe shared that one individual expressed concern about private property that is not being kept clean. Commissioner Enloe stated that Haywood County is presently having a spring clean up to help those in the community get rid of items they no longer need. Commissioner Enloe read from the minutes of May 5th, 2008, “There will be a Spring Clean-Up”, May 19th through May 31st. Plans include placing a collection bin at various sites for items which cannot properly fit inside the compactors and containers for scrap metal / appliances. The first site for these bins will be Bethel. The next site will be Cruso, then Fines Creek, Hazelwood and Mauney Cove”.

Discussion / Adjustment / Approval of Consent Agenda

Chairman Ammons inquire if the Board members had any adjustments to be made to the agenda. Chairman Ammons added under “Administrative / Agency Reports”, a report on Emergency Medical Services from Marty Stamey, Assistant County Manager.

Consent Agenda

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

  • Approve Minutes of May 5th, 2008 Regular Meetings. Commissioner Enloe stated that the name “Stephens” should be spelled “Stevens”. The word “charrette” was misspelled. Commissioner Enloe requested including the letter received from KMD Construction to the minutes. After discussion the Board agreed to include the mentioned letter in the minutes from this meeting, May 19th, 2008.
  • April 2007 Refunds, Releases, Discoveries and Amendment – Judy Ballard, Tax Assessor. Chairman Ammons requested a month-by-month report of how much farmland has been replaced with a marketplace for houses or other purposes. Chairman Ammons explained that the Board is currently working on farmland preservation and needs to understand the impact this is having on Haywood County.

                         

Budget Amendments  – Julie Davis, Finance Director

  • Library - $3,709 – Memorial Donations - Revenue received from memorial donations; funding will be used to purchase books and to make improvements at the Fines Creek Library.
  • EMS - $460 – Memorial Donations - To budget donations received for the Jane Melvin Excellence Dinner.
  • Department of Social Services - $2,250 – Food Stamp clients eligible for work first reimbursement - Increase in number of Food Stamp clients eligible for Employee & Training. Requires transfer of funding between departments.
  • Haywood County Schools - $175,000 – Release of project contingency for furniture and equipment – Phase II GO Bonds - To cover the cost of furniture and equipment for the school buildings constructed with the bond funds. The project is nearing completion and the contingency is not expected to be needed for construction.
  • Haywood County Schools - $25,812 – Release of project contingency for change order for synthetic turf project - To cover the change order to include concrete fill for the border between fencing and turf, as approved by the Board of Education.

Administrative / Agency Report

Smoky Mountain Center Quarterly Report

Julie Davis, Finance Director, presented the Smoky Mountain Center’s quarterly report, ending March 31st, 2008. The total operating budget is $35,517,221. The total actual revenues are $26,041,665. The total actual expenditures are $22,750,231. Revenues in excess of expenditures are $3,291,434. 

Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting

David Cotton, County Manager, shared that the Haywood County comprehensive annual financial report was recognized for eligibility for a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting. Less than ten percent of eligible agencies apply for this award and even a smaller percentage receives this award. Mr. Cotton shared that this is a document that Haywood County could hand to lending institutions as a seal of approval. Mr. Cotton congratulated Ms. Davis and the Finance Department.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Marty Stamey, Assistant County Manager shared that the Haywood County EMS are operating six paramedic ambulances. The Center Pigeon Fire Department allows for the housing of one additional unit. No additional staff has been hired, however, there has been increased overtime for the staff workers. The recent additional out of county transport has been handled very well and there has been no lack of coverage in Haywood County. Mr. Stamey read the proclamation recognizing May 18th – 24th, 2008 as Emergency Medical Services week. Jim Pressley, EMS Director, approached the Board. Mr. Pressley expressed his appreciation to the Board for their support.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to adopt the proclamation of Emergency Medical Services week in Haywood County for May 18th – 24th. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Old Business

Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners Appointments

David Cotton, County Manager, presented the ballots for selection of the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners appointments. There are four vacancies. Chairman Ammons explained that the Board of County Commissioners would first vote for ten applicants.

Dr. George Brown approached the Board. Dr. Brown expressed that he felt it unwise to have three practicing physicians on the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners. Chairman Ammons stated that the issue concerning having three physicians serve on the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners was addressed with the recent changes to the hospital by-laws. Chairman Ammons suggested Dr. Brown present his views at the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners’ meeting.

Recognition of Jeff Schmerker

Commissioner Enloe shared that a news reporter with “The Mountaineer”, Jeff Schmerker, has attended the Board meetings for several years. Mr. Schmerker and his wife will be traveling the world and will no longer be attending the Board meetings. Commissioner Enloe expressed her appreciation for Mr. Schmerker and wished him well on his journey.

Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners Appointments

David Cotton reported the results of the ballots. Roy Patton, Jr. , Cliff Stovall and Suzanne Morrison Supola received five votes. The Board agreed that these applicants were unanimously selected to serve on the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners.

The Board of County Commissioners voted again for one applicant.

Commissioner Curtis stated that according to the statue, the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners is to submit names for consideration for appointment. Because the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners did not submit names for consideration, the Board of County Commissioners took the initiative to advertise the vacancies and receive applications for appointments. Mr. Cotton confirmed that the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners did not recommend anyone for membership to their board.

Mr. Cotton tallied the ballots. Mr. Cotton announced that Pam Kearney received two votes, Robert Sherman received two votes, and Ken Stahl received one vote. After discussion the Board agreed to vote again on either Ms. Kearney or Mr. Sherman. 

Mr. Cotton tallied the ballots. Mr. Cotton announced that Pam Kearney received three votes and Robert Sherman received two votes. County Attorney Killian stated that the statue allows for all members to serve three year terms. Mr. Cotton read the names of all newly selected members, Roy Patton, Jr. , Cliff Stovall and Suzanne Morrison Supola and Pam Kearney. Chairman Ammons requested that Mr. Cotton notify the new board members of the urgency to take their oath in order that they may be active on the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners for the next meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 3rd, 2008.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion that the term of the four people that the Board of County Commissioners appointed as hospital trustees expire on 4/21, April 21st, 2011.   Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Ammons requested that Mr. Cotton notify the applicants and ask that their application remain active for upcoming vacancies next year.

New Business

2008 Special Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Grant

Robert Inman, Elections Director, stated that there is a high probability for a second primary, for the Commissioner of Labor. In March, funds were available from the State Board of Elections (SBE) to approve the request for 2008 Special Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, which is the most comprehensive federal legislation concerning elections since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 Grant funds, to purchase electronic technology and voting equipment for one-stop and Election Day voting locations. Mr. Inman presented the Haywood County’s approval letter outlining the procedures the county must follow to receive reimbursement. The “HAVA Reimbursement Request Form”, with all the required documentation and signatures, should be mailed to the SBE office.

Recess

Chairman Ammons called for a brief recess.

Upon returning from recess, Julie Davis, Finance Director, presented a budget amendment for $37,593 – Special HAVA grant for electronic technology and voting equipment - to appropriate the amount for warehouse security for the new voting area at the administration building and the IT related networking improvements. This will be funded by the 2008 Special HAVA grant.

Commissioner Upton made a motion to approve the budget amendment for $37,593. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Haywood County Schools ADM Capital Building Fund

Dale Burris, Haywood County School Finance Officer, presented for consideration an application for a construction project for the Junaluska Elementary School roof replacement - $926,248.

Commissioner Upton made a motion to approve the request as presented. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Julie Davis presented a budget amendment for ADM project with 25% county match to appropriate the cost of the roofing project to be paid with ADM revenues which require a county match of 25%. The County’s 25% match is comprised of the FY08 budgeted ADM match in the General Fund and the FY07 amount ($98,229), which was reimbursed to the County when the school board received the NC Hurricane Recovery Act funding.

Julie Davis presented for consideration the recommendation from PBC + L Architecture to accept the bid for construction contract to AAR of North Carolina, Inc.

Commissioner Curtis made a motion to approve the budget amendment as presented. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Clyde Volunteer Fire Department Request for Approval to Borrow          Money for New Fire Apparatus - $410,000

Mitch Sellers, Clyde Volunteer Fire Department, presented for consideration a request for bank financing of the acquisition of a new fire engine with a 1,500 g.p.m. pump and a 1,000 gallon tank.

Commissioner Curtis made a motion to approve the request. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded. Julie Davis, Finance Director, advised that the motion include the name of the lending institute, Home Trust Bank, since a letter will be required to the lending institute from the Board of County Commissioners.

Commissioner Curtis amended his motion to recognize Home Trust Bank as the lending authority. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick amended his second and the motion carried unanimously.

Public Library Tobacco Policy

Robert Busko, Library Director, presented for consideration the Haywood County Public Library Tobacco Policy. The Library Board of Directors decided to ban the use of tobacco on the campus of the library with the exception of inside private vehicles. The proposed effective date for the tobacco policy is June 1st, 2008.

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion to approve the Haywood County Public Library Tobacco policy as presented by Mr. Busko. Commissioner Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Internal Security Cameras

Mr. Busko presented for consideration a proposal for interior cameras to be installed inside the Haywood County Public Libraries. The internal security cameras will be paid for with Library Foundation money.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to approve the purchase of nine internal security cameras at the library in accordance with Robert’s request. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Tuscola High School Family Career and Community Leaders of America – Funding Request 

Wendy Rogers, Tuscola Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Advisor and Teacher from Tuscola High School, and Amanda Hyatt, Tuscola High School student, presented for consideration a request for funds to attend the National Leadership meeting in Orland, Florida. The FCCLA competed in the state leadership competitive events and received gold medals, earning them the privilege of representing North Carolina at the National Leadership meeting. Funds would be spent to help students with the expenses of this trip.

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion to grant $1,500. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

David Cotton, County Manager, stated that he and Julie Davis, Finance Director, discussed the request for funds for this project. Mr. Cotton advised that the funds should come from governing body, contracts and grants.

Commissioner Upton made a motion to take $1,500 from contracts and grants for a budget amendment. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mountain Projects, Inc. (MPI) Deeds of Trust

Chip Killian, County Attorney explained that MPI is the contracting party to administer a program receive applications from those who have needs for their homes. The loans  are made so that the owners of the homes stay in possession and do not convey the property for a period of time, the deeds of trust are to be cancelled. There are nine deeds of trusts that require cancelling presently. Three deeds of trusts are to be cancelled August 10th, 2008, and three more in 2009.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to authorized County Attorney Killian, to cancel these deeds of trust when the maturity date expires so long as these people still own the property and are in possession of the property. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Health Insurance Audit and Oversight

David Cotton, County Manager, presented for consideration a contract with Mark III Brokerage as the consultant for the Health Insurance effective July 1st, 2008, to June 30th, 2009. The contract is renewable on an annual basis. Mr. Cotton explained that in the auditing section Mark III Brokerage will focus on possible errors and will review eligibility confirmations, compliance with our contractual terms, and ensure there are no duplicate payments. County Attorney Killian advised that some stylistic changes could be made to the contract. After discussion the Board agreed to review the contract once the changes have been made.  

CLOSED SESSION

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion to enter into closed session for the reason of Potential Litigation – G.S. §143-318.11(a)(3). Commissioner Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Return from Closed Session

The Board returned from closed session. Commissioner Enloe announced that the Haywood County Bicentennial Proclamation will be read on the floor of the General Assembly, Wednesday, May 21st, 2008. Commissioner Enloe and Chairman Ammons will attend the reading of the proclamation.

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioner Upton made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The time of adjournment was 7:55 pm. The DVD is attached by reference to the minutes.                                                               

David B. Cotton                                                   Larry Ammons
CLERK                                                                CHAIRMAN