HAYWOOD COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
REGULAR MEETING – May 5, 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, and Administrative Assistant Rebecca Morgan.
Pledge of Allegiance
Chairman Ammons led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioner Enloe offered the invocation.
CALL TO Public Hearing
Secondary Road Improvement Plan
David Cotton, County Manager, on behalf of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) requested a public hearing on the issue of secondary road improvement projects, which was presented to the Board of Haywood County Commissioners in January 2007. Mr. Cotton explained that the purpose of that meeting was to update the Commissioners on the status of the secondary road program in Haywood County, and to present the proposed plan to expend the secondary road funds received for the 2006-2007 fiscal year. Also presented was an anticipated program for fiscal year 2007-2008 and fiscal year 2008-2009. The list titled “Prior Fiscal Year Programmed Projects” is a list, presented to the Commissioners, of roads in the past years but was not completed. The DOT has been working on many of these roads during the summer of 2007. Mr. Cotton explained that the DOT has advertised for the public hearing to be held at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting, May 19th, 2008. Chairman Ammons explained that the proposed plans of the DOT can be viewed on their website and a copy of the plan will be available in the County Manager’s office. Chairman Ammons announced the DOT telephone number for citizens to call for more information, 828-488-3683, in Bryson City, North Carolina. The Board agreed to hold the public hearing on May 19th, at 5:00 pm, as requested.
Revised Animal Control Ordinance
Jean Hazzard, Haywood Animal Control Director, presented for consideration the proposed revisions to the Haywood County Animal Control Ordinance and requested a public hearing for the proposed revised ordinance. Chairman Ammons inquired if the proposed animal control ordinance could be made available to citizens. Mr. Cotton confirmed that the proposed animal control ordinance would be in the County Manager’s office for review and posted on the Haywood County website at www.haywoodnc.net. Ms. Hazzard will have copies of the proposed ordinance in the office of Haywood Animal Control. After discussion, the Board agreed to hold a public hearing during the regularly scheduled Board meeting, June 16th, 2008, at 5:00 pm.
Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) Update
Al Byers, Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HRMC explained that the required data has been completed and the forms have been completed as requested by the surveyors. The office in Atlanta determines the date of the actual survey. Presently, costs saving measures have been developed to help sustain HRMC through July 2008. The Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners held its annual meeting last week and elected officers; Mr. White is Chairperson, Mr. Stevens is Vice-Chairperson, Mr. Clasby is Treasurer and Dr. Steele is Secretary. Three board training sessions will be held in May, 2008. A rally was held to support and motivate the employees of HRMC. Mr. Byers stated that through the HRMC Foundation a Community Relations Council developed to provide feedback through the community. Applications are being accepted for this twelve member council. The recruiter met with the committee to develop a profile for the potential CEO. Mr. Byers shared that the staff of HRMC has been very busy in training and preparing for the survey. A survey was conducted by the Joint Commission and HRMC remains accredited by the Joint Commission. Mr. Byers has been meeting, weekly, with twelve HRMC staff members to discuss their concerns. These meetings continue to be a wonderful opportunity to hear from employees their concerns. Mr. Byers expressed his appreciation to the Haywood County Board of Commissioners for their leadership throughout this ordeal.
Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick stated that this process takes time to resolve. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick stated that Mr. Byers should be commended for the excellent work he has done with HRMC during this crisis.
Commissioner Curtis inquired as to the financial status of HRMC. Mr. Byers answered that another plan is being reviewed in order to help HRMC to continue through July, if necessary. Mr. Byers explained that HRMC owes $5.8 million on bond. With three payrolls in May HRMC projects this will require approximately $4 million. With the cost saving measures they are implementing, HRMC is expected to have approximately $3.5 million at the end of May.
Commissioner Enloe shared her appreciation for Mr. Byers and the employees of HRMC. Commissioner Upton stated that the positive attitude of Mr. Byers, the HRMC employees, and the community is appreciated. Chairman Ammons shared that while all areas of communication have improved, he particularly appreciates the communication Mr. Byers has maintained with the Board of County Commissioners and the citizens of Haywood County.
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.
Chairman Ammons recognized Terry Rogers, President of Haywood County Farm Bureau. Mr. Rogers approached the Board. Mr. Rogers shared that the North Carolina General Assembly directed the Evaluation Division to study the structure and management practices of the eighteen agricultural research stations. The North Carolina Assembly believes it would be more efficient for North Carolina State University to sell seven of the research stations; however, the farmers of Haywood County disagree. The Agricultural Commissioner is selected by the people and thereby, is accountable to them. Mr. Rogers explained that an evaluation report will be presented to the oversight committee on Thursday, May 8th. Commissioner Enloe explained that a resolution supporting the farmers and their efforts will be discussed during this meeting. Chairman Ammons confirmed that he will be attending the meeting. Chairman Ammons further stated that replicating the research that is done in Haywood County, with our soil, our altitude and our rainfall, is not accessible in the piedmont area. Commissioner Curtis stated that if the property for the research station is sold, the proceeds will most likely go to the university system. Commissioner Curtis confirmed his support for the farmers of Haywood County. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick inquired as to the reason to suspect that the Board of Governors for the university system would sell the farmland. Chairman Ammons stated that a price has been placed on the property and is listed in the report. Chairman Ammons requested that further information regarding this issue to be given to David Cotton, County Manager, who could pass the information along to the Board of County Commissioners.
Being no other comments Chairman Ammons closed the public comments session.
Chairman Ammons inquired if the Board of County Commissioners had any constituent concerns. Commissioner Upton asked as to the status of the license plate agency. Commissioner Curtis suggested a letter be drafted to the Department of Motor Vehicle requesting them resolve the issue concerning the need to open a license plate agency in Waynesville. Waynesville has not had a license plate agency in approximately ten months. Chairman Ammons requested David Cotton to contact the office in Raleigh and relay the message that the Haywood Board of County Commissioners are strongly urging their office to quickly finalize plans for the license plate agency and request a date as to the opening of a new license plate agency. Chairman Ammons further instructed Mr. Cotton that if the office in Raleigh does not have satisfactory answers, to draft a letter and include it in the agenda books for the next regularly scheduled Board meeting, May 19th, 2008. The letter will be presented to the Board for consideration for adoption.
Discussion / Adjustment / Approval of Consent Agenda
There were no adjustments to the agenda.
Commissioner Enloe made a motion to approve the consent agenda as presented. Commissioner Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Approve Minutes of March 28th, and April 11th, 2008 Special Meetings and April 21st, 2008 Regular Meeting. Chairman Ammons requested a change to the spelling of the name, “Dr. Francis Al Smith”. The correct spelling is “Dr. Francis Owl Smith”.
Resolution for Declaration of Surplus Property - Sandra Fortune, Purchasing Manager.
Sale of Property via Electronic Auction – Haywood County has in its possession:
- 2002 Ford Crown Vic #2016
- 2002 Ford Crown Vic #2014
Donation of Property to Clyde Police Department
2- Gateway towers – Serial numbers 0029138598, 0029071583
2- Gateway monitors – Serial numbers MUL7006C0055094, KUL7002E0026469
Budget Amendments – Julie Davis, Finance Director
Emergency Management - $5,605 –To appropriate the funds for the Emergency Management Performance Grant to address catastrophic disaster planning, development of mission ready resource packaging, or fill a specific identified response or recovery gap
CJPP - $7,550 – To appropriate funding for reallocated funds for the CJPP Program, to use for Substance Abuse Treatment Services and Office Equipment (laptop, software, personal computer) New funds from the North Carolina Department of Corrections for substance abuse treatment services
Health Department – Adult Health and Family Planning - $2,636 – mini grant received from Haywood County Schools for the abstinence program in the high schools and middle schools
Health Department – Adult Health - $381 – Funds received from Appalachian District Health Department to be used in the Families in Smoke free Homes (F.I.S.H.) program
Detention Center - $140,000 – To increase the Jail budget to cover the additional costs of housing inmates. The fees for housing inmates from other counties and for longer periods of time is expected to cover these costs
Sheriff’s Office - $15,000 – To cover the cost of the policy legal review project: Comprehensive Policies and Procedural Manual Legal Update, Liability Review and Rewrite. To be paid with the controlled substance drug tax as requested by the Sheriff
Administrative / Agency Report
Haywood Community Connections
Victoria Young, Haywood Community Connections Director, Shirley Topper, Information Central Coordinator and Yvonne Gold, Project Coordinator presented the Act of Caring award which Haywood Community Connections received from the National Association of Counties (NACo). Ms. Young explained that Commissioner Curtis nominated them for this award. Ms. Young shared that the award belongs to Haywood County and presented it to Chairman Ammons on behalf of all Haywood County. Chairman Ammons stated that the award should be displayed at the location of Haywood Community Connections. Chairman Ammons requested that Commissioner Curtis present the award back to Haywood Community Connections. A video presentation would be presented after the recess.
North Carolina Forest Service
Junior Ward, Haywood County Ranger, reported that the recent fire that occurred on Pinnacle Ridge was the largest fire in Haywood County since 1987. Mr. Ward shared there are approximately seventy-seven fires per year in Haywood County. The average size of the fires is approximately three acres. The Pinnacle Ridge fire destroyed 425 acres. Mr. Ward recognized Greg Shuping, Emergency Management Director, Joe Jones, Equipment Operator, Joey Webb, Sr., Waynesville Fire Chief, and Dwayne Vigil, Assistant Ranger. Mr. Vigil expressed his appreciation to the volunteer fire departments, the fire departments, Haywood County Emergency Management Services, 911, and the Board of County Commissioners for their support. Mr. Vigil shared that the fire that began on Pinnacle Ridge from a debris burning by a landowner. It originated in the Big Cove section of Haywood County. Mr. Vigil gave a power point presentation to show the difficulty in containment of the fire. Mr. Ward stated that Haywood County is blessed to have excellent fire departments. Haywood County will not see a cost for this fire. Mr. Ward explained that once an incident management team is involved the cost reverts to the C. O. funding from the office if Raleigh. The total cost to suppress the fire was approximately $167,000.
Slope Ordinance Revision
Mark Shumpert, County Engineer, presented the proposed slope revisions. The Haywood County Slope Ordinance is a year old. Mr. Shumpert has been working with the Engineering Review Board to improve the clarity and effectiveness of the ordinance. Commissioner Upton inquired as to the statement on page ten, “all artificial slopes at any stage of construction are subject to…”. Mr. Shumpert clarified that the slope ordinance gives him, as County Engineer, the discretion to realize when something requires testing. Chairman Ammons inquired if Mr. Shumpert received feedback from citizens after the public hearing, held at the last regularly scheduled Board meeting, April 21st, 2008. Mr. Shumpert confirmed that he did not receive feedback.
Commissioner Upton made a motion to adopt the revisions to the existing ordinance. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Farmland Preservation Summary
Commissioner Enloe stated that through the years the Haywood Boards of County Commissioners have stood firmly for preserving farmland and open land. David Cotton, County Manager, as requested by Commissioner Enloe, presented a detailed summary of the Farmland Preservation activities. Mr. Cotton explained that he contacted Leslie Smathers, Soil & Water Conservation District Office Manager, George Ivey, Bethel Rural Preservation Project Coordinator and Tony Sexton, Hurricane Recovery Director, to compile this list of activities. Mr. Cotton shared some of the positive actions taken by the Boards. These activities include the ordinance created by the Voluntary Agricultural Districts. There are eighty acres in Bethel that have come into the enhanced agricultural district voluntarily. The Commissioners, at a previous Board meeting, approved the spending of $5,500 for the transaction costs which Mr. Smathers presented for a permanent conservation easement of ninety-four acres, which effectively took a mountain top from ever being potentially developed. Contributions have been made to the Pigeon River Fund which have helped the Farmland Preservation Protection Plan. Several grants, including the Division of Water Resources, have been received. A county-wide farmland protection plan has been developed. Haywood County was awarded a $1 million grant for the Clean Water Management Trust Fund which has the potential for acquiring land between Canton and Clyde.
David Cotton, County Manager, stated that a Tourism Development Authority (TDA) Board subcommittee member for the 28716 zip code, Steve Sorrells, has resigned. Mr. Cotton presented The Town of Canton’s recommendation for replacement, Mike Graham.
Commissioner Curtis made a motion to approve Mike Graham to fill out the unexpired term of Steve Sorrells. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Cotton explained that the Recreation and Parks Advisory Board has one vacancy. The member would serve the remaining term ending August 31st, 2008 and must live in the Beaverdam Township. One application has been received from Dr. Albert Cline, Jr.
Commissioner Enloe made a motion to approve Dr. Cline for the Recreation and Parks Board. Commissioner Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Cotton shared that the Engineering Review Board has one vacancy. The member would serve a three year term ending February 28th, 2011. Two applications have been received, Randy Best and Dan Wright. These men have been interviewed by the Board of County Commissioners. Chairman Ammons requested ballots be presented for voting.
The Watershed Review Board has five vacancies. Four vacancies would serve remaining terms ending January 2011. One vacancy would serve the remaining term ending January 31, 2009. These vacancies have been advertised twice in “The Mountaineer”. Mr. Cotton explained that two applications have been received, Robert Cathey and Charles D. Miller.
Commissioner Enloe made a motion to approve Charles Miller and Robert Cathey for the Watershed Review Board. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick explained that at the recent meeting of the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners, he requested that they amend their bylaws to increase the number of board members. The Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners passed an instruction to their attorney to put an amendment on at their next meeting to allow for their board to be extended by four members, which would make it a total of twelve members. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick explained that the amendment would first need to be passed by the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners before the Board of County Commissioners could appoint six members. Presently, there are two vacancies to be filled on the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners. After discussion the Board of County Commissioners agreed to postpone appointing members to the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners until a decision can be made regarding the number of potential members to be appointed. Chairman Ammons requested each Board member return to the next regular Board meeting, May 19th, with names of ten applicants to be considered for appointment.
Stephen King, Solid Waste Director, presented plans for the second annual “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. Mr. King explained that the first site for these bins would be Bethel. The next site would be Cruso, then Fines Creek, Hazelwood and Mauney Cove. Chairman Ammons inquired as to disposing of cans of old paint. Mr. King explained that the Solid Waste Department requests paint should be disposed of with the use of cat litter or saw dust to help dry the paint. The cans should be left without the lid. The material can be brought into the transfer station. During the Spring Clean-Up Mr. King explained that containers of sawdust will be made available at the various sites for proper disposal of paint. Mr. King stated that advertisements for “Spring Clean-Up” will be in the form of a press release and announced on the website, www.haywoodnc.net. Mr. Cotton shared that he and Mr. King have discussed offering a day of amnesty to the community at large to allow them to bring all hazardous materials in for disposal. A location for properly handling these items has not been decided at this time. Chairman Ammons inquired as to the proper disposal of old tires. Mr. King stated that tires should be brought into the transfer station at no cost.
Mountain Landscape Initiative (MLI) Funding Request
Chairman Ammons recognized Bill Gibson, Executive Director Region A Council of Government (COG) and Vicki Green. Mr. Gibson presented the Board with information regarding the mountain landscapes of western North Carolina. Ms. Green explained that the Mountain Landscape Initiative (MLI) is a long-range project by the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to help citizens and communities in the eighteen counties it serves plan for growth. The Foundation has partnered with the Southwestern Commission, the non-profit Council of Governments organization in North Carolina’s seven easternmost counties, to produce a “tool box” of best practices for planning and development in the mountain region. Ms. Green shared that the Community Foundation offered to collaborate on a public engagement process, conducting a week-long charrette, developing a “tool box”, and making information available throughout western North Carolina. Ms. Green, on behalf of the MLI, requested funding for the charrette and for the phase three part of the MLI program.
Chairman Ammons called for a brief recess.
Upon returning from recess, Chairman Ammons announced that David Cotton, County Manager, received ballots from the Board for the Engineering Review Board member selection and the results will be announced in a later portion of the meeting.
Ms. Green continued her presentation on the MLI. Ms. Green explained that of the seven mountain counties, Jackson County has steep slope regulations as does Haywood County. Ms. Green stated that MLI is hoping for a token of participation from Haywood County for potential funding. Ms. Green stated that the Haywood Waterways Process will be modeled on the first morning of the charrette. Chairman Ammons instructed Mr. Cotton to add this item on the agenda and include a recommendation at a future Board meeting. Commissioner Curtis inquired if anyone from the County would be attending the charrette. Mr. Cotton stated that he would review the dates of the charette and report back with names of staff members attending.
Haywood Community Connections
Victoria Young, Haywood Community Connections Director, presented a video, “Neighbor Helping Neighbor”.
Haywood County Schools – Annual Budget Presentation
Larry Smith, Haywood County School Finance Officer, presented the Haywood County Schools summary of requested increases in proposed FY 2008-2009 local budget. Mr. Smith explained that the budget was presented to the Board of Education on April 7th, 2008, a public hearing was held and the budget was approved. Mr. Smith reviewed the summary of the budget. The county supplement includes increasing increments for certified employees and noncertified employees. Mr. Smith shared that these increases are expected to help retain employees. Chairman Ammons stated that the largest amount budgeted is to cover the expense of public utilities. Chairman Ammons inquired if studies have proven that raising the Mr. Smith explained that an incentive committee reviewed the rewarding of the certified staff according to their years of service. Teachers who have served Haywood County longer will receive higher pay raises. Dr. Anne Garrett, Haywood County School Superintendent, approached the Board. Dr. Garrett stated that surrounding areas that have similar pay incentives are Buncombe County, Henderson County and Asheville City. Commissioner Upton expressed that he hopes the pay increases continue for the Haywood County school employees. Commissioner Enloe shared her approval of the budget, especially the increase for paying the noncertified employees. Commissioner Curtis expressed his support for the capital budget request. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick stated that the capital outlay is important and the facilities must be maintained. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick reiterated the importance of increasing supplements for the Haywood County school employees.
Peace Officer Appreciation Proclamation
David Cotton, County Manager, shared that the congress and the President of the United States have designated that there be a National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, and a week which Peace Officers’ Day falls be Police Week. Mr. Cotton presented for consideration a proclamation recognizing May 11th through 17th, 2008 as National Law Enforcement Week and May 16th, 2008 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day. Mr. Cotton read the proposed proclamation.
Commissioner Enloe made a motion to adopt this resolution and make the declaration. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion to enter into closed session for the reason of Potential Litigation – G.S. §143-318.11(a)(3), and Approval of Closed Session Minutes – G.S. §143-318.11(a)(1). Commissioner Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Return from Closed Session
Upon returning to open session Chairman Ammons declared the meeting in recess for one hour and fifteen minutes. The Board will resume the meeting at 1:45 pm.
Return from Recess
Upon returning from recess, Commissioner Enloe made a motion to return to closed session for the reason of Potential Litigation – G.S. §143-318.11(a)(3), and Approval of Closed Session Minutes – G.S. §143-318.11(a)(1). Commissioner Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Return from Closed Session
Commissioner Enloe made a motion to approve and release the closed session minutes of closed session of April 7th, 2008, regarding an Environmental Health Specialist, the closed session minutes of April 7th, 2008, regarding a GIS Coordinator, and the closed session minutes of April 8th, 2008, regarding approval of other minutes that were done at that point in time. Commissioner Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Upton made a motion to approve, but not release the closed session minutes of April 7th, 2008, regarding the Lucius Jones property litigation, and the closed session minutes of April 7th, 2008, regarding potential litigation on another matter, and these to be release at another point in time. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Engineering Review Board Members
David Cotton, County Manager, announced that the Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to re-appoint Randy Best as the Engineer Review Board member.
David Cotton explained that upon the recommendation of PBC + L Architectural, the County will serve a notice on KMD Construction that we are terminating the contract with them to perform the work on the historic courthouse. The reasons for termination have been outlined in a letter to KMD Constructions. The reasons include essentially persistent and repeatedly failing to supply sufficient, properly skilled workers, proper materials, and they have yet to provide a contractually compliant schedule. KMD Construction is essentially over 410 days into a 450 day contract with sixty percent of the work being completed, and only thrity days left to finish the remaining work. Mr. Cotton stated that the County has serious reservations with some of the quality of the work that has been performed thus form. Mr. Cotton requested that he be authorized to sign a letter to KMD Construction notifying them of the County’s decision to terminate them as the general contract for the historic courthouse renovation project.
Commissioner Upton made a motion to authorize the letter of termination being sent and to authorize County Manager, David Cotton, to execute the letter. County Attorney Killian stated that the letter must include the date of the writing of the letter. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Upton made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The time of adjournment was 2:12 pm. The DVD is attached by reference to the minutes.
David B. Cotton Larry Ammons