County Commissioners Minutes 01-05-09 Print
Board of Commissioners - Minutes

REGULAR MEETING – January 5, 2009



Chairman J.W. “Kirk” Kirkpatrick 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 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, Finance Director Julie Davis, and Administrative Assistant Rebecca Morgan.

Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman Kirkpatrick led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Kirkpatrick offered the invocation.

Call to Public Hearing

Community Transportation Program Grant Application

Susan Anderson, Haywood County Transit Director, explained that the Haywood Public Transit will be preparing the Community Public Transportation Grant application for fiscal year 2010. Ms. Anderson requested a public hearing on January 20th, regarding the grant funds for the administration of Haywood Public Transit. At this time the application due date is unknown. After discussion, the Board agreed to schedule a public hearing on Tuesday, January 20th, 2009, at 5:00 pm.

Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) Update

Mike Poore, Chief Executive Officer of HRMC, approached the Board. Mr. Poore stated that HRMC has set goals for growth, quality, and customer service. HRMC is recruiting eight new physicians. Part of the growth is the affiliation process. A Request for Proposal was sent to Novant, Carolina Health System and Mission Hospitals.

Cliff Stovall has been elected as the Vice-Chair for the Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners.
Commissioner Swanger inquired as to the status of the emergency room.  Mr. Poore explained that the contract for the emergency department physician’s group, Phoenix Healthcare, will expire April 1st, 2009. HRMC is in the process of negotiation for a new emergency department physicians group.

Commissioner Ensley inquired as to the eight positions that are being recruited by HRMC. Mr. Poore explained that HRMC is recruiting primary care physicians, pediatricians, pulmonologists, and an urologist.
Mr. Poore explained that in November 2008, the hospital lost $233,000, but the projection was to lose $280,000. HRMC has the capacity for 170 beds. In December 2008 the patient census was around eighty patients a day.

Commissioner Curtis inquired as to the reserves of the hospital. Mr. Poore replied that recently there was an increase in the reserves. There was an influx of $2.8 million which was owed to HRMC by Medicare. The money was received in November 2008.

Commissioner Swanger inquired if traveling nurses were being utilized at HRMC. Mr. Poore stated that there are no traveling nurses at HRMC. Traveling nurses cost HRMC $150,000 to $190,000 per month in October 2008.

Mr. Poore stated that with the changes in healthcare, it is difficult for a hospital to stand on its own. A larger system offers more resources and more access to capital. Mr. Poore stated that as Haywood grows as a community the hospital will need more capital. The affiliation process is important in order to access capital and expertise. There is more leverage for the economy of scale to bring down cost to offer the best quality healthcare. Mr. Poore stated that because the bonded indebtedness was paid off during the summer of 2008, the facility is in an enviable position. Presently HRMC is debt-free.

Mr. Poore explained that as part of the growth plan, the Hospice and the HRMC Foundation have raised $1.2 million to build a six bed inpatient Hospice unit in Haywood County. The aging population in Haywood County is almost double the state’s population. There are currently no inpatient Hospice beds in Haywood County or the six counties to the west of Haywood. With a positive finding from the Certificate of Need process, it is expected that the facility will be completed by the summer of 2010. The Board agreed to have David Cotton, County Manager, to prepare a letter of support for the Hospice unit.

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.

Curtis Cooper approached the Board. Mr. Cooper explained that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in cooperation with Civic, County and City Government, other faiths, private businesses and nonprofit organizations in Haywood County, are planning a “Day of Service”, April 25th, 2009. Examples of some of the tasks, which could be a part of the activity are removal of debris from neighborhoods or residences, cleaning and repainting equipment in neighborhood parks, refurbishing play areas in neighborhood parks, blood drives with the Red Cross, assisting nursing homes in preparation of formal evacuation plans, and assisting fire departments in the distribution, placement and battery replacements in smoke detectors. Mr. Cooper requested approval by the Board of County Commissioners.
Being no other comment, Chairman Kirkpatrick closed the public comment section.

Constituent Concerns

Chairman Kirkpatrick inquired if the Board had any constituent concerns. Commissioner Curtis explained that Haywood County has decreased its budget by one percent. With an average case load of 874 cases per case worker, Haywood County is the second highest in the state. The state is adding additional workers to perform audits throughout counties. If the case worker makes a mistake, the state can recoup money.

The Social Workers at the Department of Social Services have thirty days to process claims.
Vice-Chairman Upton stated that a citizen approached him to express the need for a location for skateboarding. Vice-Chairman Upton suggested that consideration be given for a location for skateboarding and that the county review liability concerns.

Discussion / Adjustment / Approval of Consent Agenda

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

Consent Agenda

Commissioner Curtis made a motion to adopt the consent agenda with the changes that were indicated in the minutes. Commissioner Ensley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

  • Approve Minutes of December 15th, 2008, Regular Meeting. Commissioner Swanger requested adding under the discussion of “Haywood Community College”, the statement that local professionals would be utilized during construction of the facility.
  • Values to Settle a Property Tax Commission Appeal as presented by David Francis, Tax Administrator.

    Request for consideration approval to settle a 2008 Property Tax Commission appeal for White Diamond Estates. This appeal consists of eight parcels.
  • 2009 Board of Equalization and Review Members as presented by David Francis.

    Invitation to the Board of County Commissioners to serve as the 2009 Board of Equalization and Review. After discussion, the Board agreed to serve as members of the 2009 Board of Equalization and Review.
  • Resolution to Execute All Appropriate Documents for the Haywood County Certificates of Participation Accounts with First Citizens Bank Trust Services as presented by Julie Davis, Finance Director.
  • Presentation for consideration a resolution concerning the authorized representatives for the bond issue where First Citizens Bank acts as Trustee.
  • Budget Amendments as presented by Julie Davis, Finance Director

    Community Development Block Grant (CDBG program) - $400,000 grant – federal pass-through housing preservation funding - To allocate the new CDBG grant to improve the housing conditions of very low income households in the county per the attached grant award.

    Facilities and Maintenance - $16,620 – fire alarm and sprinkler certification costs to cover the cost of the certification for the fire alarm system and the sprinkler systems per attached quotes.

    Revised BUA – C / P fund 42 – relocation costs from contingency in General Fund – 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.

    Emergency Medical Services - $200,000 staffing additional ambulance for 6
    months from ambulance fees - To allocate the amounts for staffing the sixth EMS truck per instruction at the December 15, 2008, BOCC meeting. This is necessary to meet the increased call volume as well as increased out of county travel. Amounts to be covered by increased ambulance billing.

    General Fund – departmental 1% reduction in expense - To reduce the general fund budget to reflect reduced revenues in the building and Real Estate transfer areas.

Old Business

Division of Water Resources (DWR) – Request for Additional Funds

George Ivey, Bethel Rural Preservation Project Coordinator, explained that a grant from DWR to Haywood County to support flood plain and protection planning in the upper Pigeon River watershed for $120,000. Phase I included a plan to identify which lands were most flood friendly. Phase II will help protect those lands. Mr. Ivey requested $34,300 in additional funds for the DWR Phase II grant for floodplain protection in the Upper Pigeon River Valley. This would total $144,300 for Phase II.

Commissioner Swanger made a motion to approve the request for additional funds from Division of Water Resources for the easements. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Board Members

David Cotton, County Manager, explained that there are three vacancies on the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) Board. There is one vacancy for a representative of twenty units or less, three applications were received. There are two vacancies for representatives of more than twenty units, three applications were received. After the Board voted by ballot, Mr. Cotton collected and counted the ballots.

Chairman Kirkpatrick stated that interviews were conducted on Monday, December 29th, 2008.

Chairman Kirkpatrick explained that there are three vacancies on the Health Board, two vacancies for the public member at large position and one vacancy for the engineer position. These vacancies were advertised, but no applications were received. After re-advertising, three applications were received for the public member at large position and one application was received for the engineer position.

Vice-Chairman Upton motioned to approve Robert Knoedler for the engineering position on the Health Board. Commissioner Ensley seconded and the motion carried unanimously. 

After discussion, interviews were scheduled for the Health Board’s public member at large position for Tuesday, January 20th, beginning at 4:00 pm.

Mr. Cotton announced that for the twenty units or less on the TDA Board, Betsy Boyd, received four votes and Mindy Cole Wood, received one vote. For the position of more than twenty units, Samuel Carver received five votes, Andy Taylor received three votes, and Jay Parmar received two votes.


Personnel Policy Manual Update and Changes

Susan Layton, Human Resources Director, presented the updated personnel policy manual for Haywood County in an effort to institute an up-to-date personnel policy that will outline policies that define the expectations of both the employee and the County. The Personnel Policies Manual for any organization should be updated periodically to ensure current legal compliance and practical application. While limited updates on individual policies have been approved by the Board of Commissioners for the County’s Manual over the past few years to reflect some of these changes, a complete review and update has not been done in many years. Some portions are completely new to the manual.

The revised Personnel Policy Manual consists of a complete rewrite of the former manual. The general goal of the rewrite was to provide a proactive, more user-friendly manual (more concise in some cases, more detailed in other cases, with easy-to-understand language). Since certain aspects of the policy tend to be subject to more frequent legal updates, individual sections were begun on a new page with an effective date and a place for a revision date. In this way, as legal requirements change, the Board can easily modify only that Section and not have to make revisions to the entire pagination of the Manual. The new Manual also focuses more on policy and less on procedure, unless procedure is critical to the employee’s understanding of their rights or responsibilities or the procedure is required legally. Finally, the new Manual includes added language to help ensure a work environment, which is safety and security conscious and customer service oriented.

The process of the Manual rewrite was extensive and was designed to include managers, supervisors and staff input. Specifically, the draft was first read and discussed by the Haywood Committee for Citizen Centered Government (which consisted of staff members including supervisory and non-supervisory from various departments), then by the management team, then read and discussed by the Agency / Department / Office Directors. Following final input from all consulting parties, the Management Team then discussed and made decisions on preferences expressed by staff.

The staff input, via the Committee, provided several very valuable benefits. First, if the initial read was difficult to understand, then the goal of user friendly was not achieved. Second, if staff, including supervisors, found that the policy language did not provide enough detail or account for situations they have had to deal with, then the language was modified. Finally, the use of the Committee was an educational opportunity in which staff could better understand why certain language exists, including the legal and practical aspects.

The final draft of the Manual was then sent out to all Agency / Department / Office Directors, with a recap of the substantive changes and an opportunity to ask questions or comment. This document was presented to the Board of Commissioners for consideration and approval.

Ms. Layton confirmed that County Attorney Killian had reviewed the revised policy. The Board agreed to review the policy as presented. At the next regular Board meeting, January 20th, 2009, the Board will consider approving the revised personnel policy manual.


Chairman Kirkpatrick called for a brief recess.

Jonathan Creek Property

Upon returning from recess, Claire Stewart, Recreation Director, presented an amended lease agreement for Dan and Rhonda Ross. The original lease, which expired on November 30th, 2008, allowed Mr. Ross to grow wheat and corn. In September 2008, Mr. Ross requested that the lease be extended. Ms. Stewart explained that with the Board’s approval, the lease could be extended for six months. In October 2008, the Board directed David Cotton, County Manager, to advertise for bidding of the lease for the property. At this time, Mr. Ross had already planted his winter crop. Ms. Stewart requested an extension of the lease at $40 per acre, to allow Mr. Ross to harvest his crop and allow the County to bid the property for a new lease.

Commissioner Swanger suggested adding to future leases a statement allowing the County the ability to terminate the lease in the event that federal funds become available for development of the leased property. Commissioner Swanger noted that sometimes the deadline for use of federal funds could conflict with the end of the lease. Chairman Kirkpatrick requested that Mr. Cotton confirm with County Attorney Killian that the language would be added to future leases for that property.

Vice-Chairman Upton made a motion to approve the amendment to the lease with Dan and Rhonda Ross for the J-Creek property at a price of $40 an acre with a termination date set to coincide with the harvesting of the winter wheat, with the date to be added by Ms. Stewart. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Waiver of Building Fees

Byron Davis, Lake Junaluska Athletic Association, requested a waiver of the building permit and tipping fees associated with the proposed building project. The Lake Junaluska Athletic Association is raising monies for building a new restroom at the football field located at the Central High School.

Commissioner Swanger made a motion to waive the building fees, permit fees as well as the tipping fees for that project located behind the Clyde gym, owned by the Haywood County School System for the Lake Junaluska Athletic Association. Commissioner Ensley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Criminal Justice Partnership Program (CJPP) budget amendment  request - $4,354 – to cover treatment expense not allocated by the state from contingency

Julie Davis, Finance Director, presented a budget amendment to allocate the amount of a treatment bill for the CJP program. Anita Pruett, Haywood Criminal Justice Partnership Program Director, explained that this money is to be paid to the substance abuse treatment provider. David Cotton, County Manager, noted that the state program has denied the request for reimbursement. This is for services provided September through November 2008, by the local  provider, Life Counseling Center. Ms. Pruett explained that the state denied the reimbursement because of budget decreases. Commissioner Swanger serves on the CJPP Board. Commissioner Swanger stated that the Life Counseling Center performed the work in good faith.
Commissioner Swanger made a motion to approve the budget amendment request for $4,354 for the payment of this treatment provider. Vice-Chairman Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Fuel card recommendation to switch from Fleetcore (Fuelman) to  state contract

Julie Davis, Finance Director, presented a summary of three companies in the area that offer fleet fuel cards. Unlike a credit card, a fuel card allows for specific information regarding spending practices such as the type and the amount of fuel purchased. Ms. Davis recommended Wright Express, through the state contract, to provide the service for the fuel card.

Vice-Chairman Upton made a motion to approve that the County switch from Fuelman to Wright Express for the choice of fuel card provider. Commissioner Ensley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Tourism Development Authority (TDA) Board – Confirmation

Prior to recess, the Board selected the TDA Board members. David Cotton, County Manager, requested a confirmation by the Board. Betsy Boyd was selected to serve as a representative for owner or operator of twenty units or less. Samuel Carver and Andy Taylor were selected to serve as representatives of more than twenty units.

Commissioner Swanger made a motion to approve the designees as the appointments to the Tourism Development Authority Board. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) Legislative Liaison Appointment for the 2009 – 2010 Legislative Biennium

David Cotton, County Manager,  explained that the NCACC requests that the Board of County Commissioners appoint a Legislative Liaison for the 2009 – 2010 legislative biennium. The NCACC will facilitate a meeting for Legislative Liaisons during the 2009 Legislative  Goals Conference, January 15th – 16th, at the Sheraton Raleigh in Wake County, to review the role of Liaisons and gather feedback on ways the NCACC can help Liaisons spread the word about NCACC and individual county legislative agendas with legislators, other commissioners and community leaders. Mr. Cotton noted that this conference conflicts with the Board’s work session scheduled for January 16th. Commissioner Curtis volunteered to represent the Haywood Board of County Commissioners as the Legislative Liaison. After discussion the Board agreed to have the work session televised. The work session was rescheduled for January 23rd, at 9:00 am, in the County Commissioners’ Meeting Room at the Haywood County Justice Center.

Commissioner Ensley made a motion to appoint Skeeter Curtis as our Liaison and to authorize him to vote for the Haywood County Board of Commissioners on any matters that occur at the 2009 Legislative meeting of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners. Vice-Chairman Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Change Order #10
Chad Roberson, PBC + L Architect, presented change order #10, for work originally issued and approved during the completing contractor’s duration. The change order includes tying the information technology devices in the historic courtroom into the generator in the annex building, changing a handrail and two window locations on level one for safety purposes, some electrical and mechanical changes to the elevator machine rooms, repairing holes located in the floor underneath the wood framing in the balcony, door hardware changes, thresholds repairs, the work on the slope and a change directive, modifications to the framing of the fourth floor level, and imported fill.

Vice-Chairman Upton made a motion to approve change order number ten. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Julie Davis, Finance Director, presented a budget amendment to appropriate the change order.
Commissioner Swanger made a motion to approve the budget amendment taking the $35,775 from investment earnings to fund change order number ten. Commissioner Ensley seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

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 Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Return from Closed Session

The Board returned from closed session.

Commissioner Swanger made a motion to approve, but not release the closed session minutes of December 15th, 2008. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


Commissioner Ensley made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The time of adjournment was 11:54 am. The DVD is attached by reference to the minutes.

David Cotton        J.W. Kirkpatrick, III    
CLERK                 CHAIRMAN