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Board of Commissioners - Minutes

 HAYWOOD COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
REGULAR MEETING – December 15, 2008

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman J.W. “Kirk” Kirkpatrick 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 J.W. “Kirk” Kirkpatrick, III, Vice-Chairman Bill Upton, Commissioners Charles “Skeeter” Curtis, L. Kevin Ensley and Mark S. Swanger 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 Kirkpatrick led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Commissioner Ensley offered the invocation.

Call to Public Hearing

Telecommunications Tower

Kris Boyd, Planning Director, requested rescheduling a public hearing for the consideration of a special use permit to extend the height of an existing cell tower. Mr. Boyd stated that on November 17th, 2008, a public hearing was originally scheduled for the present meeting. However, Crown Castle and Verizon Wireless have extended the telecommunications tower from 100 feet to 120 feet in height without a permit. The height limitation of 120 feet is in compliance with the Telecommunication Section of the Haywood County Ordinance. There is a request to the setback requirement which is half the tower height as a fall zone, which would be sixty feet, plus a twenty-five foot setback from the property line, for a total of eight-five feet. As built, there is a setback of seventy-nine feet to the property line. The variance request is for a reduction of six feet based on the setback requirements. The Haywood County ordinance requires half the tower height as a fall zone plus a twenty-five foot setback. If the additional height is approved for this tower, Crown Castle and Verizon Wireless will be unable to meet the setback requirement. Mr. Boyd confirmed that, as required in the ordinance, the notice of public hearing, the notification to all abutting property owners by registered mail, and the notification to all property owners within ¼ mile radius via regular mail will need to be published and sent again. The new date and time for the public hearing is Tuesday, January 20th, 2009, at 5:00 p.m.

Commissioner Swanger made a motion to require Crown Castle to resubmit their application for an extension and variance for the cell tower located at 488 Justice Trail. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Public Comments

Chairman Kirkpatrick 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.

Walter Russell approached the Board. Mr. Russell expressed his appreciation to the Board for requiring Crown Castle to resubmit the application for a permit and variance to the setback requirements. Mr. Russell suggested that an engineer review the plans for the tower in regards to the steep slope.

Richard Moore approached the Board to express his concern for the road leading to the tower. Mr. Moore stated that the increase in traffic to and from the tower location, the gravel road has sustained damage.

Adele Wilkins expressed her concern for the deterioration of the road leading to the tower.

Being no other comment, Chairman Kirkpatrick closed the public comment section.

Constituent Concerns

Chairman Kirkpatrick, inquired if the Board of County Commissioners had any constituent concerns. Commissioner Ensley stated that the Haywood County website offers information for a tax mapping system. It seems that the tax mapping system on the County website is difficult to navigate and often unavailable. David Francis, Tax Administrator, confirmed that he would review the website.

Commissioner Curtis inquired as to the County’s recycling effort. David Cotton, County Manager, stated that an update regarding recycling would be presented in January 2009. Commissioner Curtis asked if Haywood County was actively engaged in investigating a methane system for the landfill. Mr. Cotton reported that staff is currently evaluating the various options and will have this item on the retreat agenda for discussion. 

Commissioner Curtis inquired as to the status of the Haywood County Nuisance Ordinance. Marty Stamey, Assistant County Manager, replied that the Planning Board is reviewing the Nuisance Ordinance and is expected to report to the Board sometime in January or February 2009.

Discussion / Adjustment / Approval of Consent Agenda

Chairman Kirkpatrick inquired if the Board members had any adjustments to be made to the agenda. The “Economic Development Seat” was added under “Old Business”. Discussion of the “Lake Junaluska Volunteer Fire Department Financing of the Fire Truck” was also added under “New Business”. 

Consent Agenda

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

  • Approve Minutes of November 17th, and December 1st, 2008, Regular Meeting with a correction to the minutes of December 1st, under “Election of Vice-Chairman”.
  • November 2008 Refunds, Releases, Discoveries and Amendments as presented by David Francis, Tax Administrator
  • Land Records / Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Service and Product Fees for January 2009 – as presented by David Francis
  • Revised Business Availability Fee Schedule to change the business availability fee for storage units and restaurants as presented by David Francis
  • Budget Amendments as presented by Julie Davis, Finance Director

    DSS – Public Assistance – $180,373 – Crisis Intervention – Fuel Additional Crisis Intervention funding - 100% reimbursed.

    Health Department – $21,430 – Medicaide contract service - To cover the WIC contract services to be paid out of the Medicaid function. Funds will be transferred from the Health Department escrow account to cover this ex-pense.

    NC ESC – $21,645.61 – spread unemployment expense - To allocate the NC Unemployment Insurance cost to the relative departments.

    Sheriff Office – $74,002 – Drug forfeiture funds - To appropriate the federal drug seizure funds to be used for purchases within the sheriff’s office. For drug enforcement.

    Relocation Costs – $45,000 – extension of expenses for plaza offices due to extended stay in building - To appropriate additional funding for relocation costs during the renovation of the courthouse. The amounts are for rent of building and telephone bills through the end of June.

    Legal – $147,000 – increase due to litigation and potential litigation matters - To cover the legal expense for litigation and potential litigation costs.

    Courthouse renovations – $45,000 from investment earnings to cover additional construction consulting contracts.To appropriate the investment earnings over the budgeted amount to cover engineering and construction consultants for the courthouse renovation project.

    Resolution Declaring Surplus Property and Sale of Property via Electronic Auction – a resolution to sell surplus property on GovDeals as presented by Julie Davis

    Request for consideration a funding match for the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC) – Increase of County Match as presented by Julie Davis - To appropriate the additional state funding and the county match for the JCPC programs.

    Holiday and Meeting 2009 Schedule – as presented by David Cotton, County Manager, the proposed Haywood County 2009 Holiday and Board of County Commissioner’s meeting schedules.

OLD Business

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Medic Six Update

Jim Pressley, EMS Director, gave a PowerPoint presentation. Mr. Pressley explained that Medic 6 was added in February 2008 to provide additional coverage for out of county transports. Response times to citizens in the Bethel, Cruso and Lake Logan community have decreased by five minutes because of Medic 6. Mr. Pressley requested that Medic 6 continue to be funded by the County for the remainder of this fiscal year with the addition of six full time employees. Medic 6 will be located in the space provided by Silver Bluff Village in the Bethel community.

Vice-Chairman Upton made a motion to fund Medic 6 through June 30th, 2009 with the addition of six full time employees. Commissioner Ensley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Recess 

Chairman Kirkpatrick called for a brief recess.

Board / Commission / Committee – Commissioner Representative

Chairman Kirkpatrick presented a request for a representative from the Board of County Commissioners to serve on three boards, the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) Board (Chairman or designee), the Economic Development Commission (Ex-Officio) and the Engineering Review Board (Ex-Officio). Commissioner Curtis volunteered to relinquish his position on the Economic Development Commission to Commissioner Swanger. Commissioner Swanger accepted the appointment. Commissioner Curtis will, instead, serve on the Tourism Development Authority Board (Ex-Officio). Commissioner Ensley was appointed to the Engineering Review Board (Ex-Officio).

Wellness Center Update

David Cotton, County Manager, presented updated information regarding the Haywood County Wellness Center. Mr. Cotton stated that the County received notice from Haywood Regional Medical Center, (HRMC), that HRMC wanted to concentrate on their core mission. The core mission did not include providing professional staffing for the County Wellness Center. Mr. Cotton stated that the search for providers for the Wellness Center began immediately upon receiving that notification. Dr. Richard Bunio will serve as the Medical Director of the Wellness Center and essentially oversee the operations of the Wellness Center. Jennifer Shuping has agreed to serve as the Physician’s Assistant under Dr. Bunio’s supervision. HRMC will provide the receptionist and the nurse. Mr. Cotton recognized Marty Stamey, Assistant County Manager, for his efforts regarding the Wellness Center. 

Lake Junaluska Volunteer Fire Department Financing of the Fire Truck

Chairman Kirkpatrick announced that at the regular Board meeting held November 17th, 2008, the County agreed to refinance the refurbishing of a fire truck for the Lake Junaluska Volunteer Fire Department. Chairman Kirkpatrick did not abstain from voting on the issue because at the time he was unaware that he would be requested to provide legal counsel on the finance of the fire truck. For this reason Chairman Kirkpatrick inquired if the Board preferred that another attorney provide the legal counsel for the financing of the fire truck. County Attorney Killian explained that as long as this information is disclosed to the Board he sees no conflict. After discussion the Board agreed to allow Chairman Kirkpatrick to continue his work with the Lake Junaluska Volunteer Fire Department.

NEW BUSINESS

Surplus of Handguns to Retiring Officers

R.T. Alexander, Sheriff, presented a request to declare two service handguns surplus. The handgun’s serial numbers are: UU629842 and UU634356. Upon approval, these handguns will be presented to two officers, Chuck Boyce and Beecher Phillips, at their retirement.

Commissioner Ensley made a motion to declare as surplus the handguns that have been used by Chuck Boyce and Beecher Phillips. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Haywood Community College (HCC) Creative Arts Facility Construction Project

Dr. Rose Johnson, President, explained that the Creative Arts Facility is the #1 new construction project for HCC. Approval by the Board of County Commissioners would enable HCC and the County management to develop a construction and funding timeline. Approval is required for HCC to meet the mandates of the State Construction Office and the North Carolina Community College System. Proceeds from the County local sales & use ¼ cent sales tax approved in May 2008, for HCC’s capital needs, will be used to finance the construction of this facility. Mark Bumgarner, Vice-Chairman of the HCC Board of Trustees, approached the Board. Mr. Bumgarner requested approval of the Creative Arts Facility in order that HCC could continue to improve the education in Haywood County. David Cotton, County Manager, stated that the commencement date of the sales tax was October 1st, 2008. The quarterly report will be available sometime in January 2009. Dr. Johnson confirmed that the design firm has been selected. Commissioner Swanger inquired if the design firm would be willing to utilize local craftsmen, engineers, and other professionals. Dr. Johnson stated that during a preliminary meeting with representatives of the design firm the importance and even the requirement of using local professionals and resources was discussed. 

Commissioner Swanger made a motion to approve the use of the quarter cent sales & use tax to fund the construction, or help construct, the new Creative Arts Facility project at Haywood Community College. Vice-Chairman Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously. It was noted that this approval does not otherwise obligate the County to the funding of this project and additional steps are required in the approval process including seeking approval from the LGC.

Maggie Valley Volunteer Fire Department Request to Purchase Land

Scott Sutton, Chairman of the Maggie Valley Volunteer Fire Department (MVVFD) Board, and Tim Carver, Chief, explained that the Maggie Valley Volunteer Fire Department is considering purchasing approximately one acre of land located to the west of the Fire Department. This land is needed for parking issues for meeting, training, etc. A public hearing was held by the MVVFD. A residence located on this property could be used for emergency medical services purposes. This property is located in a commercial zone of the Town of Maggie Valley. Julie Davis, Finance Director, explained that the financial analysis of the MVVFD has been completed and it does appear that they have the capacity to pay off the loan. County Attorney Killian stated that by this action the County is assuming no responsibility financially for this indebtedness. This is a private loan. Ms. Davis read the resolution approving the financing by MVVFD of up to $405,000 for the acquisition of real property.

Commissioner Ensley made a motion to approve the request for financing by the Maggie Valley Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of property adjacent to their current location. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Saunook Fire Department Request to Solicit Loan for Fire Truck 

Bennie Arrington, Chief, requested approval for the financing of the purchase of a fire truck that is expected to cost approximately $735,000 for the Saunook Volunteer Fire Department. A public hearing was held by the Saunook Fire Department. County Attorney Killian stated that by this action the County is assuming no responsibility financially for this indebtedness. This is a private loan.

Commissioner Swanger made a motion to approve the financing for the Saunook Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of the truck that has been presented to the Board as exhibit seventeen. Commissioner Ensley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Board Members

David Cotton, County Manager, explained that there are four vacancies on the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) Board. These vacancies were advertised in The Mountaineer. Attendance records were presented. The four vacancies on the TDA Board are:

 

More than 20 units, term would expire 12/31/11 – the four applications received were:

Samuel Carver – currently serving and requested to be reappointed

Jayprakash “Jay” Parmar

Andy Taylor

Jeffrey J. Smith

20 Units or less, term would expire 12/31/11 – three applications received were:

Jennifer Duerr

Betsy Boyd

Mindy Cole Wood

 

Town of Waynesville Representative, term would expire 12/31/11, one recommendation received:

Ken Stahl – currently serves as a representative with more than 20 units. His term expires 12/31/09.

Town of Canton Representative, term would expire 12/31/11, one recommendation received:

Pat Smathers – currently serving and requested to be reappointed

Interviews for the TDA Board applicants were scheduled for Monday, December 29th, 2008, beginning at 3:00 p.m. in the County Commissioners’ Meeting Room at the Haywood County Justice Center.

Commissioner Swanger made a motion to appoint Ken Stahl as the Town of Waynesville representative to the TDA Board and Pat Smathers as the representative as the Town of Canton to the TDA Board. Vice-Chairman Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Cotton explained that there are three vacancies on the Health Department. These vacancies were advertised in The Mountaineer. The three vacancies include one engineer, and two public members at large. No applications have been received. These vacancies will be re-advertised by the County.

Closed Session

Vice-Chairman Upton made a motion to enter into closed session for the purpose of Closed Session Minutes – Approval and / or Release of Minutes – G.S. §143-318.11(a)(1), and Potential Litigation – G.S. §143-318.11(a)(3). Commissioner Swanger seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Return from Closed Session

The Board returned from closed session.

Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion to approve, but not release the closed session minutes of November 17th, 2008. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

CLOSING COMMENTS

Each Board member encouraged the citizens to remember those in need during this Christmas holiday.

ADJOURNMENT

Vice-Chairman Upton made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The time of adjournment was 8:12 pm. The DVD is attached by reference to the minutes.

 

David B. Cotton                                                    Kirk Kirkpatrick
CLERK                                                                 CHAIRMAN