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Board of Commissioners - Minutes

HAYWOOD COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
REGULAR MEETING – November 17, 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 Charles “Skeeter” Curtis, Mary Ann Enloe and Bill Upton present. Staff members present were County Manager David B. Cotton, Assistant County Manager Marty Stamey, County Attorney Leon M. “Chip” Killian, III, Public Information Officer David Teague, Finance Director Julie Davis, and Administrative Assistant Rebecca Morgan.

Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman Ammons led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Commissioner Enloe offered the invocation.

ANNOUNCEMENT

Chairman Ammons announced that Commissioner Upton was unable to attend the meeting as he is recuperating from surgery.


Call to Public Hearing

Telecommunications Tower

Kris Boyd, Planning Director, explained that an application from Crown Castle and Verizon Wireless was received with a request to extend the height of the existing tower to 120 feet. The existing tower was built at 100 feet. With the application is a request for variance to the section of the ordinance of setback. Our ordinance requires that we have half the tower height as a fall zone plus a twenty-five foot setback. If the additional height is approved for this tower, they will be unable to meet the twenty-five foot setback. The request for variance is six feet to the required twenty-five foot setback. Mr. Boyd presented a request for a public hearing for December 15th, 2008, for increase in height of an existing telecommunications tower and a variance request. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick requested that the property owner(s) wherein they are requesting the variance to six feet be notified. Mr. Boyd confirmed that the owner(s) will be notified as required in the ordinance. The notification will be sent by registered mail to all abutting property owners, and regular mail to all adjacent property owners within ¼ mile radius. Also mailed will be the notice of public hearing. After discussion the Board set a public hearing as requested for December 15th, 2008.

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 comment, Chairman Ammons closed the public comment section.

Constituent Concerns

Chairman Ammons inquired if the Board of County Commissioners had any constituent concerns. There were no constituent concerns.

Fire Districts Annexation Resolutions

David Francis, Tax Administrator, and Nolan Palmer, Fire Marshal, approached the Board. Mr. Francis explained that a public hearing was held in July 2008, for extension and for the consolidation of some fire service districts in Haywood County. Mr. Francis requested approval of individual resolutions. Mr. Francis explained that the changes include that those living in the northern most part of the Fines Creek region in Haywood County were amended in the report. This report is available for review at the County Managers office. County Attorney Killian inquired if the maps would be attached with the reports. County Manager confirmed that the maps would be attached with the reports.

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion to approve the individual resolutions for the extension of the following Fire Service Districts pursuant to NC.G.S. §153A-302 and N.C.G.S. §153A-303: those districts being Big Cove, Camp Branch, South Waynesville, Central Haywood, Crabtree Iron Duff, Cruso, Jonathan Creek, North Canton, Lake Junaluska and Fines Creek with the amended report on the proposed annexation to the Fines Creek Fire Service District as presented herewith. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

David Cotton, County Manager, requested adding Maggie Valley to the motion for approval.  Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick amended his motion to add Maggie Valley Fire District. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Francis stated that part of the plan was to consolidate the Big Cove, Camp Branch and South Waynesville Fire Service Districts to become the Waynesville Fire Service District. Mr. Francis requested approval to consolidate those extensions and those current districts into the Waynesville Fire District.
Commissioner Enloe made a motion to approve the resolution for the Consolidation of the Big Cove, Camp Branch and South Waynesville Fire Service Districts to become the Waynesville Fire Service District pursuant to N.C.G.S. §153A-302 and N.C.G.S. § 153A-304. County Attorney Killian stated that this would be effective July 1st, 2009. Mr. Francis confirmed that the effective date of July 1st, 2009, is included in the resolution. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) Report

Mike Poore, Chief Executive Officer HRMC, approached the Board. Mr. Poore announced that the sixteen-bed Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) is open. The BHU services a seven county area and is provided with the help of Smoky Mountain Center.   
Mr. Poore explained that HRMC has been working on the revenue cycle with more than $2.8 million owed to HRMC from Medicare allowing HRMC to have a cash flow position. The financial report for October shows HRMC at break even. With controlling expenses and enhancing revenues the financial status is expected to improve within a few months. Mr. Poore announced that the first joint study committee meeting was held with Westcare regarding the future direction of HRMC. A first draft of a request for proposal has been reviewed. The proposal is expected to be complete by the end of November and sent to Novant, Carolinas Medical Center and Mission Hospitals. Mr. Poore stated that communication with the doctors and hospital staff occurs in multiple venues. Medical staff meetings called “Town Hall” meetings are held in the hospital. Ten of these “Town Hall” meetings were held last week. In the past forty-five days Mr. Poore stated that he has met with more than one hundred people, many of which are medical staff.

Discussion / Adjustment / Approval of Consent Agenda

Chairman Ammons inquired if the Board members had any adjustments to be made to the agenda. There were no adjustments to the agenda.

Consent Agenda

Commissioner Curtis made a motion to adopt the consent agenda as presented. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

  • Approve Minutes of November 3rd, 2008, Regular Meeting
  • October 2008 Refunds, Releases, Discoveries and Amendments as presented by David Francis, Tax Administrator
  • Budget Amendments as presented by Julie Davis, Finance Director

    Administration Governing Body – Insurance and Deductibles – $86,061 – from balance in insurance budget - To move balance from departmental fund 11 and fund 24 vehicle insurance and move to cover insurance deductibles and increase contingency.

    Library – $3,931 – contribution from the library foundation for computer purchases - Additional revenue received from the Library Foundation to purchase computers

    Public Safety – $400,000 Arrest Grant - Grant funding to encourage arrest policies and enforcement of protection orders

    Environmental Health – $2,500 from contingency - To cover the cost of vehicle maintenance within the Environmental Health Department.

    Economic Development – $11,858 – project change order and budget amendment - To appropriate the amount to cover the change order for the Ec. Development project at Beaverdam.

    Solid Waste Management – $175,000 – Repairs and maintenance, etc. from Household tax - To appropriate amounts for repair and maintenance on the baler, provide heating and cooling at the recycling center, cover the costs of radios for employee safety and cover the cost of the new impact fee for the new cell. Amounts covered by levy of household fee, now known. 

Administrative Agency Report

Smoky Mountain  Center Quarterly Financial Report

Julie Davis, Finance Director, presented the Smoky Mountain Center’s fiscal monitoring report for the quarter ending September 30th, 2008.


OLD Business

Haywood Mountain Home Options


Tony Beaman, Department of Social Services (DSS) Director, David Teague, Public Information Officer, and Donna Lupton, DSS Program Administrator, presented various options for the services offered by Haywood Mountain Home.  Mr. Teague explained that in 1996 a group of Haywood County citizens led by Board of County Commissioner Bill Noland, began looking into the possibility of an emergency shelter for youth. At that time, a child needing emergency shelter would often be transported by DSS to places outside Haywood County, even as far away as Charlotte or Raleigh. In 1997, in order to have a group home in Waynesville for the purposes of operating an emergency shelter for youth, the County purchased property and contracted with Baptist Children’s Home to manage the program. Since the home opened in November 1998, there have been over 500 admissions, and 364 children served.

Baptist Children’s Home has now ended the contract. Mr. Teague explained that a foster home is the first option to continue providing these services. Sometimes a suitable foster home is unavailable. Mr. Teague explained that other possibilities include placing a request for proposals to have another entity operate a group home as an emergency shelter, or establishing a standard foster care contract to place children at Broyhill with Baptist Children’s Home on an “as needed” basis.

Mr. Teague explained options for the property. One option is to sell the property. Another possibility is relocating the Maple Leaf Adult Respite program, currently in rental housing, in Hazelwood.

Mr. Beaman explained that the DSS Board recommends moving the Maple Tree Respite to the Haywood Mountain Home facility in order to meet the needs of that population. If the program continues in the current facility, it would be necessary to renovate the building and add water sprinklers. Commissioner Curtis inquired as to the number of children in Haywood Mountain Home. Ms. Lupton replied that the contract with Baptist Children’s Home will end in November 2008. Therefore, children have been relocated out of the home leaving no children in the group home at this time. 

David Cotton, County Manager, recommended reviewing options to offset some of the cost to help DSS purchase another house. Mr. Beaman stated that the building code requirements may be best reviewed by an architect. Mr. Beaman advised that in the spring, DSS will be applying for a grant which could help with this type of project. Commissioner Curtis suggested that Mr. Beaman return with a cost estimate for such a facility.
Chairman Ammons recognized Reverend Riley Covin, Chairman of the DSS Board of Directors.

Cost Containment

David Cotton, County Manager, stated that the County’s largest revenue sources are derived from property tax and sales tax collections. Year to date collections show a decrease. Mr. Cotton suggested a one percent cost decrease to all departments in Haywood County, exclusive of personnel and capital, which are both frozen. In light of recent news from the State of the $2 billion shortfall, Mr. Cotton stated that the State is expected to share that shortfall with counties and towns. Taking prudent, small steps throughout the budget, Mr. Cotton stated that it is expected future decisions will be better for the County and staff with less impact on the services provided. Mr. Cotton explained that the County over-budgeted based on the formula for foster care and the County switched the property liability carrier, which has given the County a savings. The lapsed salaries from the current hiring freeze have also generated a gap. Commissioner Curtis inquired if the Board of County Commissioners’ work session scheduled for January 2009, would be televised. Mr. Cotton replied that the work sessions are open to the public, and could be televised if the Board desires. Commissioner Curtis stated that televising the work session may help citizens better understand the budget process. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick advised that the budgeting process should benefit the citizens of Haywood County and televising the work session is a possibility. Chairman Ammons suggested that the work session held in April might be more beneficial to the citizens since the work session held in January does not entail specific proposals for spending.


Convenience Site Hauling Contract

Stephen King, Solid Waste Director, presented a proposed contract with Consolidated Waste Services, (CWS) LLC. Mr. King explained that at the last regular Board meeting, November 3rd, 2008, the Board discussed the differences between a five year extension to the existing contract and a ten year contract. The Board requested that County Attorney Killian review the contracts. Mr. King reviewed some of the differences between the two contracts. County Attorney Killian explained the termination of the five year extension to the contract being at the discretion of the County. David Cotton, County Manager, explained the reason the County did not request bids for this service was because the existing contract with CWS allows for a five year extension. The County has been very pleased with the services received from CWS.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to approve this five year extension of the original contract for the execution by the County Manager, David Cotton, with the adjustments as noted in number 1 D, increases in ’09, ‘10 and ’12. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Clean Water Management Trust Fund Grant, (CWMTF)

Tony Sexton, Hurricane Recovery Director, presented a letter regarding the property acquisition services for the Pigeon River CWMTF Grant. Mr. Sexton explained that the engineering consultant firm of Martin McGill, was the entity retained by the County and the Town of Canton during the flood recovery efforts. The request for Martin McGill to be the project manager of the grant recently received from the CWMTF is an extension of that endeavor. 
Commissioner Enloe made a motion to approve Martin McGill as the provider for these services for the grant. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Crabtree Mountain Communications Tower – Addendum to Lease Agreement

Chip Killian, County Attorney, presented a new ten year lease for the Crabtree mountain communications tower. County Attorney Killian explained that the original lease with a previous owner expired in 2005. The new owners, John and Constance Daly, have not yet reviewed the lease.
Commissioner Curtis made a motion to approve this subject to the dates and the Daly’s approval. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Wellness Center Options

David Cotton, County Manager, stated that after receiving notice from Haywood Regional Medical Center, (HRMC), that they wanted to concentrate on their core mission, and did not include providing professional staffing for the County wellness center, the search for providers for the wellness center began almost immediately. Dr. Richard Bunio is willing to serve as the medical director 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 would like to provide the receptionist and the nurse. Mr. Cotton recognized Marty Stamey, Assistant County Manager, for his efforts regarding the wellness center. 

Recess

Chairman Ammons called for a brief recess.

Fire Department Update

Upon returning from recess David Cotton, County Manager, explained that at the October 20th, Board meeting, Dr. Dr. R.T. Alexander, Jr., expressed his concern for the Cruso Volunteer Fire Department’s purchasing procedures and lack of controls of the handling of money. Dr. Alexander requested a meeting be held with the Cruso Volunteer Fire Department to discuss these concerns. Mr. Cotton, along with Marty Stamey, Assistant County Manager, and the Fire Chief’s Council met. Mr. Cotton shared that the Fire Chief’s Council responded very positively to the meeting and requested a follow up meeting on January 15th, 2009. Julie Davis, Financial Director, will conduct that meeting. Mr. Cotton, Mr. Stamey and Dr. Alexander met independently with the Cruso Fire Department. Dr. Alexander has expressed his desire to seeing an advisory board to serve in a liaison role somewhere between the fire departments and the Board of County Commissioners.

Board Appointments

The Board voted by ballot for the Haywood Community College Board of Trustees. Interviews were conducted November 6th, 2008. David Cotton, County Manager, announced that there were four votes to reappoint Ellene Francis.

Chairman Ammons stated that the Hospital Board of Commissioners recommended two candidates. Interviews were conducted November 6th, 2008. The two applicants are Jean Burton, for the term that would end April 21st, 2009, and Frank Powers, for term that would end April 21st, 2010.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to accept Jean Burton to fill the term ending April 21st, 2009. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion appoint Frank Powers to fill Mr. Stevens’ term ending April 21st, 2010, to the Hospital Board of Authority. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS

Buyout Lease Renewal Recommendations


Claire Stewart, Recreation Director, presented recommendations from the Recreation Advisory Board for sixteen buyout property annual lease renewals and fees.  Ms. Stewart explained that the Recreation Advisory Board recommends renewing the leases used for business at $100 per acre, and renewing lease used for personal gardens, pleasure, or space at the same rate at $1 per lease. Ms. Claire presented an amendment to the lease, which was reviewed by County Attorney Killian. The amended lease addresses minor changes and will reflect the rate increase for five of the leases that are used for business. County Attorney Killian confirmed that the leases will all expire simultaneously on December 1st.

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion to approve the Haywood County buyout property 2008, 2009 lease recommendations as presented. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Countywide Farmland Protection Plan

Don Smart, Haywood County Farmland Protection Board Chairman, stated that the local Farmland Protection and Agricultural Advisory Board requests approval of the October 2008, Haywood County, North Carolina Farmland Protection Plan. This plan has been reviewed and approved by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Farmland Protection section in Raleigh.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to adopt the October 2008, Haywood County North Carolina Farmland Protection Plan. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Town of Canton Lake Logan Dredging Request

Al Matthews, Canton Interim Town Manager, and Joel Storrow, McGill and Associates Engineer, presented a request for $10,000 towards the required match to fund the study of the dredging of Lake Logan. This project will be funded through the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources Senate Bill 7 monies.
Chairman Ammons inquired as to the time frame required to complete the study. Mr. Storrow explained that the study will be completed in six months, in time to apply for funding to the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick asked who would contribute to the match. Mr. Matthews stated that Blue Ridge Paper, Inc., has agreed to contribute the match, up to $10,000, with a total match of $20,000. The Town of Canton will contribute the administration. Mr. Storrow explained that it is estimated that between 300,000 yards to 900,000 yards of material in Lake Logan will need to be removed. 

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to take $10,000 from contingency and contribute it to this study. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Junaluska Fire Department – Refurbish Fire Truck Request for Funds

Julie Davis, Finance Director, explained that the Junaluska Fire Department is requesting financing for the refurbishment of a fire truck and the refinancing of an existing loan with a balance of $227,285. Charles Wood, Junaluska Fire Department Representative, stated that the truck must be certified each year and needed repairs require refurbishing in order to pass inspection.

Commissioner Curtis made a motion to approve the request of Junaluska Fire Department. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Presentation of June 30th, 2008 Audited Financial Statements

Bryan Starnes, of Martin Starnes and Associates, CPAs, P.A. presented the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the year ended June 30, 2008. He also gave a Power Point presentation that included a comparison of the current year to the prior year for the county’s revenues and expenditures.  He mentioned that there was one finding at the Department of Social Services that had since been remedied.  Haywood County’s budgeted revenues in the General Fund were $67 million, with $66 million received. The expenditures were budgeted at $73 million, with $70 million expended. The county’s available fund balance as a percentage of expenditures was 9.29%. Chairman Ammons announced that a copy of the CAFR for the year ended June 30, 2008 would be placed in the bicentennial time capsule.

French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Adoption

David Cotton, County Manager, presented a MOU adopted by the Transportation Advisory Committee on September 18th, 2008, for a cooperative, comprehensive, and continuing transportation planning.
Chairman Ammons made a motion to adopt the Memorandum of Understanding for the French Broad River Metropolitan Organization. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

160A Service Authority Letter of Support

David Cotton, County Manager, presented a letter of intent to work in collaboration with partnering counties in Region A, towards the formation of an intergovernmental service authority for the provision of core mental health and substance abuse services in the seven county region.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion that Chairman Ammons be authorized to execute this letter on behalf of the Commission. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Solid Waste Update (White Oak Land Fill (WOLF) Cell III Expansion, Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Conversion and Other Items)

Dave Pasko, P.E. McGill and Associates, explained some solid waste projects for Haywood County. In March 2007, McGill and Associates, contracted with Haywood County to determine the available lifetime in the WOLF. Mr. Pasko announced that WOLF will reach capacity between August 2010, and January 2011. The County requested McGill and Associates proceed with the documents required for the development of next cell. The project schedule shows that approximately three years are required for the development of a landfill cell. Mr. Pasko presented a detail cost estimate for review. Mr. Pasko explained that a loose fill gives a higher rate of compaction versus the bail. The bails require 63% more air space than anticipated for the same amount of weight.

Jeff Bishop, P.E. stated that bails create gaps that must be filled in with soil rather than waste. There are no gaps with a loose fill operation.  Mr. Bishop explained that Haywood County has adequate property to continue operating the landfill until 2040. Many counties, in order to extend their waste footprint, must look for more property to acquire.

Commissioner Curtis encouraged more research for incineration of waste and producing methane. Commissioner Curtis suggested that a collaboration with neighboring counties is possible. Mr. Bishop explained that in the solid waste master plan there is discussion regarding incineration with a bio energy firm. One criteria needed to make it a cost effective option is to have approximately 1,200 tons per day of waste.

Closed Session

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

Return from Closed Session

The Board returned from closed session.
Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion to approve, but not release the closed session minuets of November 3rd, 2008. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

CLOSING COMMENTS

David Cotton, County Manager, announced that Dale Burris, Facilities Maintenance Director has expressed his interest in serving as Project Manager for the completion of the historic courthouse renovation.
Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick expressed his appreciation to Chairman Ammons and Commissioner Enloe. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick shared that Chairman Ammons’ guidance to the Board over the last two years has been outstanding. Commissioner Enloe has served as a devoted Chairman for the Bicentennial Celebration. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick stated that no one else could have celebrated the County’s bicentennial as well as Commissioner Enloe. Commissioner Curtis stated that he has enjoyed serving as Commissioner with Chairman Ammons and Commissioner Enloe. Commissioner Curtis expressed his appreciation for the guidance received from Chairman Ammons and Commissioner Enloe.

Commissioner Enloe stated that through the years many of the constituents have contacted her regarding their concerns. Commissioner Enloe encouraged citizens of Haywood County to continue sharing concerns with her. Commissioner Enloe expressed her appreciation to the staff of Haywood County. Commissioner Enloe thanked Rebecca Morgan, Administration Assistant, for all her work. Commissioner Enloe commended the Board of County Commissioners. Chairman Ammons thanked the staff for their diligent work. Chairman Ammons stated that it has been a pleasure to serve with his fellow Commissioners. To the citizens of Haywood County, Chairman Ammons expressed his honor to serve.

Mr. Cotton announced the Nance Dude performance will be held Friday, December 12th and Saturday, December 13th. At the performance on December 13th, a small token of appreciation will be presented to Commissioner Enloe for her service as Chairman of the Bicentennial Celebration and as Commissioner. Commissioner Enloe announced that on December 13th there will be a dedication program beforehand for the time capsule.

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to adjourn. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The time of adjournment was 9:05 pm. The DVD is attached by reference to the minutes.

             
David Cotton           Larry Ammons
CLERK                    CHAIRMAN