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BOCC Meeting Minutes 07-07-08 Print
Board of Commissioners - Minutes

HAYWOOD COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
REGULAR MEETING – July 7, 2008
 

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Larry R. Ammons convened the regular meeting of the Haywood County Board of Commissioners at 9:05 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, Bill Upton and Charles “Skeeter” Curtis present. Staff members present were County Manager David B. Cotton, Assistant County Manager Marty Stamey, County Attorney Leon M. “Chip” Killian, III, Finance Director Julie Davis, and Administrative Assistant Rebecca Morgan.

Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman Ammons led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioner Enloe offered the invocation.

Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) Update

Al Byers, Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HRMC, approached the Board. Mr. Byers explained that since June 1st, 2008, HRMC has received more than three hundred applications for employment. The Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners will meet Thursday, July 10th, at 6:00 pm, at the Health and Fitness Center. HRMC has elected to redeem their bonds, August 1st, 2008, making HRMC debt free. Mr. Byers stated that over the past five years, HRMC has spent between $4.5 million and $5 million on capital projects each year. HRMC has not begun receiving funds from Medicaid and Medicare. By the end of August 2008, HRMC will have approximately $716,000. Gwen Evans, Vice President of Finance, approached the Board. Ms. Evans advised that at this time, HRMC has $7.6 million in gross receivables, sixty percent of which is Medicare. Commissioner Curtis stated that the status of the hospital prior to losing their funding from Medicaid and Medicare seemed to be dire as the hospital was losing money. Commissioner Curtis inquired as to the reason the hospital was losing money prior to February 2008. Commissioner Curtis stated that the citizens of Haywood County have expressed concern for the hospital. Mr. Byers explained that prior to February 2008, the hospital was losing year to date, approximately $1.5 million. This amount includes depreciation. There were a number of projects that HRMC was involved in that cost the hospital money. Those projects are no longer on the table. There were a number of inefficiencies in patient care that have been resolved.  Mr. Byers confirmed that the hospital would lose money this year, but next year HRMC hopes to break even. Commissioner Curtis asked how HRMC can remain open when losing so much money. Mr. Byers stated that the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners is looking at a number of options, but no decision has been made at this time. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick inquired as to payments from Medicaid and Medicare. Ms. Evans explained that when the Medicare side of the platform opens, HRMC will receive a check fourteen days later, electronically. Medicaid will actually send a check to HRMC. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick announced that the Future Directions Committee is meeting this week with two entities. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick confirmed that he would continue to be involved until there is a long term solution for the hospital. Chairman Ammons stated that Mr. Byers and David Cotton, County Manager, presented a resolution of appreciation from the Board of County Commissioners and the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners to WestCare and Memorial Mission. Mr. Byers shared that WestCare and Memorial Mission were grateful to be recognized for their efforts.  


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.

Connie Hewitt approached the Board. Ms. Hewitt stated that as a board member of the Haywood Animal Association, she supports the revised Animal Control Ordinance.

CoNstituent Concerns

Chairman Ammons inquired if the Board of County Commissioners had any constituent concerns. Chairman Ammons stated that the Board of County Commissioners had issued to communities throughout Haywood County an opportunity to do planning if they would like, and to share their plans. Two communities have discussed plans, Jonathan Creek and Crabtree / Hyder Mountain area. Both of the communities have decided not to do any community planning at this time and have notified the Board. The Bethel community advised, in a letter, that they were satisfied in the direction they were going and would continue in that same direction.  

Commissioner Upton expressed concern for the hospital and the need to inform the citizens of the status of HRMC.

Commissioner Enloe stated that her constituent concern is in regard to the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Enloe stated that she believes most citizens know why and how the hospital stopped being a county hospital and became a self-sufficient nonprofit entity governed by a hospital authority. Commissioner Enloe suggested that the newspapers write an article on the history of the hospital. Some of the County Commissioners who made that decision are still alive and reporters could speak directly to them. What the Board of County Commissioners agreed to is not what became entrenched in the state law. Commissioner Enloe stated that some citizens have shared that they see the veteran members of the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners as ineffective, and the word, “obstruction”, has been used by some. The citizens have inquired as to what can be done to correct this problem. Commissioner Enloe shared that there are four options. The first option is replacement by attrition. The second option would be to change the state law. The third option would be to sue to dissolve the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners. The fourth option would be to remove Board members for cause. County Attorney Leon M. “Chip” Killian, III, explained that changing the state law is possible. The North Carolina Hospital Association is a very influential and powerful organization. If the North Carolina Hospital Association agreed in principle with a proposed change, the prospects of that change would be greater. County Attorney Killian stated that a fifth option would be resignation. Commissioner Enloe inquired if the Board of County Commissioners chose to sue to dissolve the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners, would there be an appeals process. County Attorney Killian confirmed that since the issue would be in court, there would be an appeals process.  Commissioner Enloe asked as to the time frame required to conclude such a law suit to dissolve the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners. County Attorney Killian stated that if there was a contested litigation matter it could take as long as two years. Commissioner Enloe asked as to the due diligence on removal for cause. County Attorney Killian read the section of G.S. §131e-22a indicating that the appointing authority as stated in G.S. §131e-18, may remove a commissioner for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or misconduct in office.

Commissioner Curtis explained that many citizens expressed a desire for the Board of County Commissioners to terminate the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners as well as the Administrators of the hospital. Commissioner Curtis explained that by terminating the entire Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners the hospital would struggle, since there are members of the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners who could guide the hospital during the time that Medicaid and Medicare were denied.

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick stated that since February 2008, there has been a great deal of open communication regarding the hospital. There are several doctors serving on the Future Directions Committee. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick encouraged everyone to continue to support the hospital and continue to ask questions. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick stated that it is his belief that the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners and the hospital administration is getting used to answering questions, which is very positive.

Chairman Ammons expressed appreciation to the staff, the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners, the administration, and the healthcare providers for their contributions to the hospital. Chairman Ammons stated that the most pressing issue surrounding the hospital is receiving Medicaid and Medicare.

Commissioner Upton stated that recently five new members have been placed on the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners. There are a total of ten members. Board members sometimes say things in frustration that they should  not say. Commissioner Upton urged the community to understand that the entire Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners should not be charged with making comments made by only one or two members.

Commissioner Curtis inquired as to who would receive the money in the event that the hospital is sold. County Attorney Killian explained that the funds would be in the authority, but there would no longer be any need for the authority. At that point, the authority would be dissolved and the funds would go for like purposes.

Chairman Ammons announced that during the festivities of July 4th, held at Lake Junaluska, Bishop Lawrence McCleskey presented a plaque recognizing the bicentennial of Haywood County, to the Board of County Commissioners. Chairman Ammons shared the plaque to with the Board.


Discussion / Adjustment / Approval of Consent Agenda

Chairman Ammons inquired if the Board members had any adjustments to be made to the agenda. Under “New Business”, Chairman Ammons removed from the agenda, “Scrap Tire Request for Proposal”.

Consent Agenda

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

 
  • Approve Minutes of June 16th, Regular Meeting and June 30th, 2008 Special Meeting
 

Old Business

Acreage Owned by the County Adjoining Haywood Community College (HCC) Property

Neal Ensley, Trustee and Chairman of Committee on Buildings and Grounds, explained that the County currently owns property adjoining HCC. An active part of the HCC master plan includes a demonstration house that is being funded by a grant from the US Forest Service Wood Products Research Lab and others. The HCC master plan includes a secondary access for traffic control and emergency response. The HCC master plan also includes applied training stations for the emergency services occupations. Mr. Ensley requested that the County transfer the track of land on the south side surrounding the North Carolina National Guard Armory, adjoining HCC, as well as the state road leading from Jones Cove up to the armory, less the land that is needed for the transportation hub by Mountain Projects, Inc., (MPI). The original track was just over twenty-one acres. Mr. Ensley confirmed that HCC has requested the remainder. The value of this property will serve as a match in regards to any state bond money that may be made available in the future to the HCC.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to convey this property to HCC, the remainder of the Smathers’ property, except for 100 feet, which will be conveyed at a later point in time, subject to needs from MPI for the Department of Transportation hub that will be located there, and approval for the appropriate surveys done in order for the deed preparation. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Revised Animal Control Ordinance

At the regular Board meeting, June 16th, 2008, a public hearing was held to discuss the proposed revised Haywood County Animal Control ordinance. Jean Hazzard, Haywood Animal Control Director, presented the proposed revised Haywood County Animal Control ordinance. The revisions are highlighted in red, which indicates deletions, or in yellow, which indicates additions to the ordinance. Ms. Hazzard stated that the proposed revised Animal Control ordinance was reviewed at a meeting with Hollis Messer with the Bear Hunters, Joe Smith with the Coon Hunters, Sarge’s Rescue, and the Haywood Animal Welfare Association (HAWA). Since that meeting some proposed revisions were made. Ms. Hazzard reviewed those proposed revisions. After discussion, the Board agreed to have this item presented at the next regular Board meeting, July 21st, 2008.

Commissioner Enloe inquired as to “creating a nuisance”, regarding a dog barking at pedestrians. Ms. Hazzard explained that barking dogs are mostly a concern which falls under the noise ordinance. When the Animal Control office receives a complaint about a barking dog, Animal Control office staff will often go to the site and determine that the dog is receiving proper care. If the dog is receiving proper care, and the complaint is only regarding the noise from the barking, the Animal Control office staff would then contact the proper authorities to handle the barking since the barking falls under the noise ordinance. If a pedestrian is walking or jogging by a barking dog, and the pedestrian feels threatened by the dog, the proposed revised Haywood County Animal Control ordinance would require that the dog be restrained. As long as  the dog is on property that belongs to its owner, and is restrained so that the pedestrian is in no danger, the barking dog is not a concern unless, of course, the barking is a nescience as described in the noise ordinance.


Contract between Health Department and Paul M. Turner, Jr.                            

Carmine Rocco, Health Director, presented a contract with Paul M. Turner, Jr. to implement the statewide North Carolina Spit Tobacco Education Program. The contract amount is for $87,500. The funding comes from the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund. It is a one year contract. Mr. Rocco confirmed that County Attorney Leon Killian has reviewed and approved the contract.

Commissioner Upton made a motion to authorize the execution of this contract on behalf of the County. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Recess

Chairman Ammons called for a brief recess.

Contract - Haywood Women’s Medical Center

Upon returning from recess, Carmine, Rocco Health Director, presented a contract with Haywood Women’s Medical Center to supplement payment for Medicaid deliveries for Medicaid patients. The contract amount is for $99,750.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to approve the execution of this contract on behalf of the County. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Request Funds to Complete Thickety Community Building

Paul Allen presented cost estimates for the Thickety Community building project.  Mr. Allen stated that the most pressing need of the project is repairing the restrooms and making the restrooms handicapped accessible.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to appropriate $2,500, which includes the $1,500 that has already been appropriated for the Thickety Community building for this coming year, for the bathroom needs. Commissioner Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Allen stated that when newspapers and new telephone directories are distributed, they are often dropped underneath mailboxes. Sometimes these newspapers or directories are run over by an automobile, and the pages are scattered throughout the area. Mr. Allen suggested that these newspapers and telephone directories be dropped off at the door of the home, rather than underneath the mailboxes. Chairman Ammons stated that Commissioner Enloe and Commissioner Upton are on the “Commission for a Clean County”. The proposed recommendation should come from that group. Commissioner Enloe and Commissioner Upton expressed appreciation for Mr. Allen’s suggestion and confirmed that they would discuss this with the “Commission for Clean Haywood”.

Board Appointments

David Cotton, County Manager, stated that there are four vacancies on the Clyde Board of Adjustments. These vacancies were advertised. There are four members who are eligible for reappointment; Floyd Brooks, William Osborne, Carl Jackson, and Tommy Stamey. No other applications were received and these members have expressed that they would like to be reappointed.

Commissioner Curtis made a motion to reappoint these four people. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Cotton stated that the Maggie Valley Zoning Board of Adjustments has one vacancy. No applications have been received, but Maggie Valley has a name that will be put forward for consideration at the next regular Board meeting, July 21st, 2008.

Mr. Cotton announced that the Town of Waynesville Planning Board has one vacancy, Patrick McDowell; he is eligible for reappointment and has agreed to serve.

Commissioner Upton made a motion to approve Patrick McDowell as the Waynesville extraterritorial jurisdiction person. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Cotton explained that the Home Builders Association has an appointment to the Sediment Control Board and has submitted the name of Dawson Spano for consideration. This vacancy is appointed by the Home Builders Association or a private organization with similar functions and is approved by the Board of County Commissioners. Since this is a specific appointment from a specific group, the Home Builders Association was contacted directly for a nomination.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to appoint Dawson Spano as the Home Builders’ representative. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Resolution Levying an Additional One-quarter Cent (1/4¢) County Sales & Use Tax

David Cotton, County Manager, explained that since the sales tax referendum passed, and in order to levy the tax by October 1st, 2008, the resolution levying an additional one-quarter cent (1/4¢) county sales and use tax must be approved. A public hearing was held May 19th, 2008. If the resolution is approved, the action, along with the minutes of the meeting, would be considered at the next regular Board meeting, July 21st, 2008. Mr. Cotton stated that he has drafted a letter dated July 22nd, 2008, to the Secretary of Revenue, denoting those intentions.

Commissioner Curtis made a motion to approve the resolution and to authorize the execution on behalf of the County. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

 

New Business

Sugar Mountain Road Request

Joanne Strop, Treasurer of Sugar Valley Springs, Inc., presented a request for Sugar Mountain Road to become a state maintained road. The Homeowners’ Association is responsible for the maintenance of Sugar Mountain Road in Jonathan Valley. Ms. Strop stated that Jonathan Woodard, District Engineer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), has guided her through the process. Sugar Mountain Road provides access for all the homes in the subdivision.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to approve this issue. Commissioner Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Site Development at Beaverdam Industrial Park

Mark Clasby, Economic Development Director, and Ron Leatherwood, Economic Commissions Board Member and President of Haywood Advancement Foundation, presented a proposal to complete a mass grading project with assistance from the Haywood Advancement Foundation. The property is site number three, which is the site next to Plus Linen and is approximately twenty-two acres. During the month of May, 2008, seventeen companies submitted bids. The bids received were for approximately $690,000. Mr. Leatherwood explained that a memorandum of understanding of July 23rd, 1999, with the Waynesville Industrial Park, the County Commissioners, and the Haywood Advancement Foundation stated that the Haywood Advancement Foundation would be given all of the assets of money and land and the County agreed to match that contribution at some time in the future. Those assets were determined to be $391,099. Mr. Leatherwood stated that the minutes of the Board of County Commissioners’ meeting of August 16, 1999, indicate this agreement. Approximately two years later the Town and the County granted Haywood Advancement Foundation a grant of $650,000 each to assist with the purchase of the Dayco property, and begin working on the project for developments. The Haywood Advancement Foundation determined to give the money of the grants back to the County and to the Town. It was agreed that the Haywood Advancement Foundation would take $391,099 from those funds and give them back, less expenses incurred in selling the property, which leaves approximately $130,000 owed to the County. Therefore, the  Haywood Advancement Foundation will write a check to Haywood County to go toward the capital improvements fund for Beaverdam, for $130,000. Mr. Leatherwood stated that the Haywood Advancement Foundation is proposing this as a loan to the County, at four percent interest to be paid whenever the County sells or conveys the property.

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

Haywood County Fencing Proposal

Bennie Roberts, Public Grounds and Maintenance Director, explained that property was purchased by the County that is adjacent to Haywood Community College, (HCC). Within the contract agreement for the sale of the property was a clause stating that Haywood County must install a four strand barbed wire fence between the purchased property and the remaining property. The total linear distance of fencing required is 1,434 feet at a proposed cost of $8,200.

Commissioner Upton made a motion to approve the request for $8,200 to go forward with this fencing proposal. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Buyout Property Lease Requests

Claire Stewart, Recreation Director, presented requests to lease buyout properties as recommended by the Recreation Advisory Board. Ms. Stewart stated that Norman and Mary Medford have requested to lease properties on Broad Street and Spruce Street. William Coleman has requested leasing property on Broad Street for gardening and mowing.

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion to approve the three leases as presented by Claire. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Clean Water Management Trust Fund 

Tony Sexton, Hurricane Recovery Director, presented a memorandum of understanding that was entered into on March 3rd, 2008. Haywood County, the Town of Clyde, and the Town of Canton entered into a joint grant application to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund to acquire properties abutting the Pigeon River in order to preserve and protect the Pigeon River and its banks. Julie Davis, Finance Director, presented the Clean Water Management Trust Fund grant project ordinance for the purchase of property / conservation easement.

Commissioner Curtis made a motion to approve this grant project ordinance. Commissioner Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimous

 

CLOSED SESSION

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

CLOSING COMMENTS

Commissioner Upton stated that the 4th of July celebration held at Lake Junaluska was a great event. Commissioner Enloe stated that the bicentennial events held by Maggie Valley have been exemplary. 

ADJOURNMENT

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The time of adjournment was 12:15 pm. The DVD is attached by reference to the minutes.

                                                                                                                                             

David B. Cotton                                                    Larry Ammons 
CLERK                                                                CHAIRMAN