BOCC Minutes 12/17/07 Print
Board of Commissioners - Minutes

HAYWOOD COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
REGULAR MEETING
December 17th, 2007

Click Here for a PDF version that includes all signed documents.


CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Larry R. Ammons 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 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 Coordinator David Teague, and Administrative Assistant Rebecca Morgan. 

Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman Ammons led the Pledge of Allegiance. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick offered the invocation.   

Public Hearing

West Canton Water and Sewer Authority – Transfer of Assets and Dissolution of the West Canton Sewer Authority Board

Chairman Ammons opened the public hearing for West Canton Water and Sewer. Chairman Ammons announced that the topics open for discussion are the transfer of assets and the dissolution of the West Canton Water and Sewer Authority Board. Chairman Ammons asked if anyone would like to be heard regarding these issues. Chairman Ammons further stated that the intention of the Board of County Commissioners was to turn over the assets of the West Canton Water and Sewer Authority Board to the Town of Canton. Commissioner Enloe announced that the transfer of assets was agreed upon in the beginning. Chairman Ammons inquired if the Board of County Commissioners would like to make comment. No one spoke in regards to the public hearing. Chairman Ammons closed the public hearing. County Attorney Killian stated that he will bring a proposed resolution for consideration and an agreement with the Town of Canton to the next regularly scheduled Board meeting, January 7th, 2008, but the transfer will not occur until the end of next fiscal year.

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.

Ms. Mib Medford shared her concern for the maple trees on the historic courthouse lawn. Ms. Medford presented photos of the early courthouse and explained the need to keep the trees on the lawn. Ms. Medford asked the Board to seek a certified arborist to evaluate the trees so that the Board can make an educated decision regarding the trees.  Commissioner Curtis addressed the issue by stating that no decision has been made regarding the trees. The Public Grounds and Maintenance Department requested designs drawings for the landscaping efforts.

Some drawings will include the landscaping with the trees, and other drawings will show the landscaping without the trees. Commissioner Curtis stated that he is looking forward to receiving the drawings so that the Board members can make an educated decision regarding the landscaping.

Ms. Lynn Jeffreys approached the Board regarding the proposed development in Jonathan Valley. Ms. Jeffreys requested that the Board sincerely consider the climate that we currently have here in Haywood County because the proposed development of Cataloochee Wilderness Resort would change that climate. Ms. Jeffreys read a quote from "The Mountaineer" from December 17th, 2007; "You just have to have the experience to know when to stop". Ms. Jeffreys asked the County to stop before they begin with any such development in Jonathan Creek. Ms. Jeffreys expressed her desire to have the issue regarding the development to be held during the evening meetings to allow for the citizens who work, an opportunity to attend.

Ms. Susan Sachs approached the Board to urge them to consider the cumulative negative impacts of unrelated development projects on the natural resources and cultural character of this area. Ms. Sachs shared that developments bring jobs, but also brings negative impacts such as stream degradation from storm water runoff, sedimentation and loss of trees buffering the streams.

Ms. Bernadette Ray approached the Board to urge them not to allow the development of the Cataloochee Wilderness Resort. Ms. Ray shared that the additional jobs created from this development would be low wage service positions such as hotel cleaning services, grounds keepers, and ticket takers. Ms. Ray stated that other problems from this development included clear cutting the land which would be necessary for this development, pollution, traffic, and displaced wildlife. Those visiting this self contained resort would have no need to leave the complex, which will impact the small businesses such as Main Street in Waynesville and Hazelwood.

Ms. Michele Strubeck shared information of the Telluride Resort. Ms. Strubeck explained that Telluride began as a mining town. As development continued in Telluride, only those with high income could enjoy the Telluride Resort area. Ms. Strubeck compared the proposed Cataloochee Wilderness Resort to the Telluride Resort stating that the local citizens in Haywood County could not afford to shop at such a resort. Ms. Strubeck commended Mr. George Ivey who is actively helping the farmers. Ms. Strubeck suggested promoting farming and not selling the farmland for a resort.

Ms. Phyllis Artabasy shared that her family have been visiting the Smokey Mountains for many years. Ms. Artabasy explained that it is her understanding that the County has authority to implement an environmental study ordinance that would cover development possibilities. Ms. Artabasy requested the Board consider such an ordinance.

Mr. Dan Massey shared a letter that he had written to "The Mountaineer", regarding the development of the Cataloochee Wilderness Resort. Mr. Massey shared that the development of the resort would allow local farmers to sell their property for a large profit. Mr. Massey requested the leaders of Haywood County to be strong in making decisions regarding the proposed development. Being no other public comment, Chairman Ammons closed the public comment session.

Constituent Concerns

Commissioner Enloe announced that the Haywood County Bicentennial celebration will kick off January 7th, 2008 at 9:00 o'clock, during the regularly scheduled Board meeting. The Honorable Heath Shuler and our four Legislative Delegates will be attending. A proclamation and a resolution will be presented.

Discussion / Adjustment / Approval of Consent Agenda

Chairman Ammons inquired if the Commissioners had any adjustments to the agenda. Chairman Ammons announced that under New Business, the Cataloochee Wilderness Resort project will be introduced by Mr. Frank McGovern.

Consent Agenda

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion to approve the Consent agenda as presented. Commissioner Upton seconded and the motion carried unanimously. 

  • Minutes of December 3rd, 2007 Regular Meeting
  • Well Inspection Program Contract – Carmine Rocco, Health Director presented for approval the contract from the State for $60,000 as an incentive project for the Haywood County Health Department to begin a well program. This contract covers December 1st, 2007 through June 2008. The money is primarily earmarked for salary and fringe benefits of two environmental specialists who will be conducting the program once they have been identified and offered the position. Commissioner Upton made a motion to authorize the contract by the appropriate authorities of the Health Department. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
  •  Approval of November, 2007 Refunds, Releases, Discoveries and Amendments as presented by Judy Ballard, Tax Assessor.
  • Budget Amendments as presented by Julie Davis, Finance Director.
  • Health Department – Family Planning – $5,543 – Additional funds from the State for the purchase of contraceptives, pap tests, and multivitamins.
  • Health Department – Emergency Preparedness for Pandemic Influenza $17,500 – Additional funds from the State for the pandemic influenza preparedness.
  • Health Department Grant – Healthy Carolinians – $12,048 – Funds received to be used for Healthy Haywood to maintain and enhance infrastructure to reduce rates of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, obesity, and infant mortality.
  • Health Department - Rebudget Carry-Over Funding – $20,821 – To budget for the amount of the grant not spent in prior years. This is carried over from FY07.
  • CJPP – Reduction – $4,668 - To decrease county budget to match the awarded amount from the CJPP grant for FY 2008 
 Administrative / Agency Reports 

Haywood Regional Medical Center Update – Dr. Nancy Freeman

Dr. Nancy Freeman, Chairperson of the Hospital Board expressed appreciation to the Haywood Board of County Commissioners for allowing her to present the Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) HealthGrades report. Dr. Freeman explained that ten years ago HRMC had a small improvements committee.  Evidence based, clinical practice guidelines were being published and hospitals everywhere were looking to incorporate these guidelines further to improve patient care.  Quality and how it was being defined in the provision of medical and surgical care was undergoing increased scrutiny by Medicare and the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation. Data collection for analysis on core measures and  patient safety measures became mandatory. Physicians, not used to having to justify their care, did not always like or agree with the changes. Utilization review was born during the time of the performance improvement committee and many doctors resented administration's efforts to get them in compliance. Dr. Love, at that time, was an active member of the medical staff in the Department of Family Medicine and was also a physician advisor to utilization review. Dr. Love understood the changes including data collection and analysis, benchmarking against national standards and how important improvement in systems of care are, and how they impact health outcome. Dr. Love left private practice to join HRMC Administration. Dr. Love, along with David Rice, HRMC Chief Executive Officer could not effect positive change across the organization alone. A change in culture of providing care was necessary. The formation and dedication of the "Quality Oversight" committee, as it is now called, along with the medical staff's nursing and administration commitment have resulted in HRMC achieving these outstanding HealthGrade quality excellence awards in multiple areas.

Dr. David Love, Medical Director at HRMC approached the Board. A PowerPoint presentation was shown. Dr. Love explained what the HealthGrades System is, and presented the ratings received by HRMC. Dr. Love provided some details of the methodology overview. HealthGrades is an independent company founded in 1999 and located in Colorado. Its sole job is to help set an estimated value to health care in hospitals across the nation. HealthGrades is not a governmental regulatory agency. Part of the methodology is to obtain the med par data base. Every time HRMC files a bill with any insurance, information about the patient is compiled. Thousands of hospitals submit bills to Medicare. Medicare combines all the data. They redact personal information for privacy reasons, and this med par data base is produced. This data base only applies to those hospitals that file Medicare. HealthGrades takes this data base and manipulates it statistically. They then, define the patient routes within each outcome of data they are reviewing, either mortality or complications and compare the statistical value of ratings. Once this is completed, an assignment of star ratings is posted. A five star rating shows that the hospital is performing better than expected. A three star rating shows the hospital is performing as expected, and a one star rating shows that the hospital is performing under expectation. HRMC is the recipient of the HealthGrades Gastrointestinal Care of Excellence Award and the GI Surgery of Excellence Award. HRMC ranked best in North Carolina for their GI Services and for overall Critical Care.

Dr. Freeman presented an update on the emergency services department at HRMC. In an effort to reduce turnover time, a new Medical Admissions Unit has been used for patients needing admission.  An overall twist to reduce turnover time now exists in taking care of mental health patients brought to the emergency department. Because many facilities across the state that provided care to this group of patients are now turning patients away, these patients often come to an emergency department. It may take several days to have these patients taken to a facility that can provide the proper level of psychiatric care required, meanwhile, tying up emergency department rooms, nursing staff, and a physician. To further complicate the situation, Sheriff Tom Alexander has made a decision to pull his deputies from the emergency department after they have been there one hour, reducing security and safety for the staff and visitors to the emergency department and also complicating the issue of turnover time. HRMC has partnered with the Smoky Mountain Center and the State and will be looking to open sixteen beds as a pilot project in-patient with psychiatric services for appropriate patients in order to help this issue next year. Commissioner Enloe thanked Dr. Freeman for what is going to be done for the mentally ill and impaired of our area.

Commissioner Enloe stated that she has sat, and continues to sit on Smoky Mountain's Board and is aware of the situation. Commissioner Enloe thanked Dr. Freeman for the excellent work HRMC is doing especially for the most vulnerable of our citizens. Commissioner Enloe shared her very positive experience of a recent emergency room visit at HRMC.

Commissioner Upton shared that in 1996, he experienced a heart attack while in the emergency room. Commissioner Upton stated that the quick action he received from the HRMC emergency department cut down on damage to his heart and saved his life.

Martin Starnes and Associates Fiscal Year 2007 Audit Report

Mr. Bryan Starnes, Audit Partner with Martin Starnes and Associates, the County's audit firm, presented a report using a PowerPoint presentation.  Mr. Starnes explained that they also audit the County's administering of federal and state funds, primarily at the Health Department and Department of Social Services. There were no material weaknesses or significant deficiencies found. The PowerPoint presentation provided audit highlights including the fact that an Unqualified Opinion was issued. An Unqualified Opinion is the highest level of opinion offered and means that the financial statements are presented fairly in all material respects. Mr. Starnes explained that fund balance is the amount that would be left over if all the assets were collected due the County in the past twelve months, and the County paid all the bills due over the past twelve months, not including long term debt. Fund balance is ready reserves, which is the reason the number is restrictive to what can be budgeted when approving the 2007-2008 budget. Fund balance has three categories; 1) reservations on fund balance, 2) designated fund balance, 3) available fund balance. Commissioner Enloe expressed her appreciation for this clarification since she had argued this minimum was not a requirement for ten years. Mr. Starnes stated that the minimum of 8% is a one month supply of reserves. Mr. Starnes shared that Chairman Ammons will most likely receive a letter from the Local Government Commission. Any time there is a decline in fund balance percentage or the fund balance is below 12%, the office of the Local Government Commission inquires as to what the plans of the County are and an explanation for the decline.

Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick, Commissioner Upton and Commissioner Enloe commended Mr. Starnes for the excellent presentation. Mr. Starnes recognized Julie Davis, Financial Director for her patience during the audit and for her efficiency. Chairman Ammons inquired if Mr. Starnes had seen any concerns of sub-prime investments in the North Carolina Capital Management Trust. Mr. Starnes answered that at this time their audit firm has not received any information regarding this issue. Chairman Ammons asked County Manager David Cotton as to the County increasing some expenses at the end of year, which most likely impacted the fund balance percentage. Mr. Cotton confirmed this increase was due to the County accelerating some expenditures prior to June 30th, in order to keep the tax rates from increasing in the 2008 budget year. Commissioner Curtis inquired of the revenues. Chairman Ammons explained that the revenue is not a component of available fund balance, but it is the reserves and expenditures that calculate the percentage. Chairman Ammons credited Commissioner Upton and Commissioner Curtis for their decisions made on the Board this year. Chairman Ammons shared that the year before, the fund balance decreased approximately $670,000. This year it increased approximately $926,000.  

Community Development Block Grant Scattered Site Rehab Grant #05-C-1364 Final Report

Mr. Paul Norman Tapp, Housing Development Director, Mountain Projects, Inc. presented a report regarding the components of the fair housing grant. Ten homes were completed and brought up to safe, sanitary and energy efficient standards. All fair housing activities were carried out for each quarter of the grant. Nine homes were refurbished, and one home was a modular replacement. Seven of the homes have been reviewed by the State. Three are scheduled to be reviewed in January 2008. After the remaining three homes are reviewed, a public hearing will be required to close out the grant.

Haywood Community College and Mountain Projects, Inc. Easement Agreement

David Cotton, County Manager presented an easement agreement between Mountain Projects, Inc. (MPI) and Haywood Community College (HCC). Mr. Cotton shared that property had been deeded to MPI. Both parties, MPI and HCC are amenable to the easement terms and the easement will be recorded. Chairman Ammons stated that during a previous Board meeting, it was decided that once the easement was reviewed and agreed upon by MPI and HCC, he, Chairman Ammons, would be authorized to sign the lease.

Smoky Mountain Center Financial Quarterly Report for September 2007 – Julie Davis

Julie Davis presented a quarterly financial report from the Smoky Mountain Center. The total operating budget is $29,186,152 and their revenues and expenditures are $2,782,546 for the quarter ending September 30th, 2007. Commissioner Enloe stated that Shelly Lackey, Community Relations Coordinator for the Smoky Mountain Center was scheduled to make a presentation during the last Board meeting, but due to some confusion of communication, Ms. Lackey thought the meeting was at a different time and did not attend.  Commissioner Enloe requested that Ms. Lackey and David Cotton correlate another time for Ms. Lackey to come and speak to the Board of County Commissioners.

Old Business 

Recognition of Sheriff Tom Alexander

Commissioner Enloe and Commissioner Upton presented plans to recognize Sheriff Tom Alexander. Commissioner Enloe explained that she was serving on the Board when the decision was made to build the jail. At that time the Board decided to have the names of all the former Sheriffs of Haywood County listed on a plaque and placed in the Law Enforcement Center. Most of the names have been found and some date back as early as 1808. The Board knew that something special should be done in honor of Sheriff Alexander for his many years of service to Haywood County and his involvement in the design and actual construction of the jail. Commissioner Enloe explained that she and Commissioner Upton met as a committee to decide what would be appropriate as a tribute to Sheriff Alexander. Commissioner Enloe stated that she is proud of the jail. Commissioner Upton shared that their recommendation was to commission a bronze bust of Sheriff Alexander. Vadim Bora, from Asheville, will sculpt the bust. The cost will be $5,000.  

A budget amendment was presented by Julie Davis to appropriate funding for the recognition of Sheriff Alexander, taking $5,000 from contingency and transferring it into capital outlay for art object in the governing body’s budget.  Commissioner Upton made a motion to approve the development and creation of the bronze bust, and a ceremony appropriate when it occurs and a budget amendment for $5,000 taken from contingency and transferred into capital outlay for art object. Commissioner Enloe seconded and the motion carried unanimously. David Cotton, County Manager explained that the date for completion of the bronze bust will be April 2008. Commissioner Enloe shared that the unveiling ceremony will be part of the bicentennial celebration. Haywood County will honor Sheriff Alexander as well as all law enforcement officers during the ceremony.

Recommendation for the Newly Reorganized Tourism Development Authority (TDA) Board Meeting Schedule

Ms. Scotty Medford Ellis, Tourism Development Authority (TDA) Director presented for approval a recommendation for the meeting schedule for the TDA Board. The first meeting will be held January 10th, at 10:00 am, in the board room, across from the County Manager’s office at the Administrative Offices, (formerly known as the MARC Building). The first meeting will not be televised, but news media will be in attendance. Commissioner Enloe shared that sandwiches will be served. Future TDA Board meetings are scheduled to be televised. Ms. Ellis explained that during the initial meeting in January, the first order of business will be to elect officers. Notebooks will be prepared as part of an orientation for the newly elected TDA Board members.

Commissioner Enloe made a motion to approve the new TDA Board’s first meeting scheduled January 10th, at 10:00 am, in the board room, across from the County Manager’s office at the Administrative Offices, (formerly known as the MARC Building). Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Ammons requested Ms. Ellis to return to the Board of County Commissioners with a report after the TDA Board members meet and definitive decisions are made regarding how the additional 1% occupancy tax will be spent and the formation of the zip code committees. Once the details of the zip code committees have been determined, the Board of County Commissioners will discuss the possibility for revising the resolution. Commissioner Enloe shared that as liaison with the TDA Board she will be attending the TDA Board meetings.

Commissioner Curtis inquired how the TDA Board will include Lake Junaluska since it is not a municipality. Ms. Ellis shared that Lake Junaluska will most likely be included as the Assembly. Ms. Ellis announced that the additional 1% occupancy tax will begin being collected on January 1st, 2008. Ms. Ellis shared that she will attend the regular Board of County Commissioners meeting, Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008. Commissioner Curtis inquired as to the cost for televising the TDA Board meetings. Ms. Ellis shared that the charges are approximately $157 per hour. For a TDA meeting lasting approximately two hours with a PowerPoint presentation the cost would be approximately $1,000. Commissioner Enloe inquired if televising the meetings were positive. Ms. Ellis stated that televising the TDA Board meetings has been very positive and has been excellent for local public relations. Chairman Ammons extended the assistance of the Board of County Commissioner to the TDA Board.

Request Approval / Renewal of Convalescent Ambulance Transportation Contract   

Mr. Nathan Murray, Haywood County Rescue Squad Transport Services Administrator   presented for approval a contract for the convalescent ambulance service. Mr. Murray explained that County Attorney Killian had reviewed the contract. Some minor changes were made to the verbiage.  Commissioner Enloe made a motion to authorize the County Manager to execute the contract on behalf of the County. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Recess

Chairman Ammons called for a brief recess. 

New Business

Compressed Natural Gas Fueling Station Grant

Upon returning from recess, Mr. Tony Sexton, Hurricane Recovery Director presented a grant application for a compressed natural gas fueling station to North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) Division of Air Quality. NCDENR contacted Haywood County and advised that there is a compressed natural gas fueling station which is no longer being used in Raleigh. It will cost approximately $160,000 to purchase the component parts. NCDENR is making this available to communities that may want to use this fueling station.  Mr. Sexton explained that along with the application for the components of the station, there is a grant application for the cost of transporting the station from Raleigh to Haywood County, installation of the station and making it functional. The grant is for 80% of the funds necessary with a 20% match by Haywood County. Approximately one acre of land is needed for this fueling station. Mr. Sexton explained that the cost of the land could possibly meet the 20% match from the County.  Mr. Sexton shared some of the benefits of compressed natural gas; it is domestically produced, environmentally clean fuel that produces few hydrocarbons compared to other gasoline products, it is efficient, and there is a fifty-cent per gallon tax rebate made to the entity providing the gas. One requirement is that it be a station open twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. The station itself could be expanded to provide biodiesel fuels. An engineering firm from Charlotte completed a turnkey operation for Asheville, and has given a preliminary cost estimate of approximately $480,000, with an additional cost of $30,000 for site preparation. The grant provides for the conversion of two county vehicles to use the compressed gas. The grant must be submitted by December 31st, 2007. The funds would not be available until August 2008. Chairman Ammons inquired if there were stipulations regarding the location of the land and if it were permissible to be in the flood plain. Mr. Sexton stated that he was unaware of any restrictions regarding flood plains. Commissioner Curtis inquired of the consumption of compressed gas in Haywood County. Mr. Sexton shared that Stephen King, Solid Waste Director, is interested in using this type of gas with the vehicles used for the solid waste department. Mr. Sexton explained that in the future, school buses will be using bio-fuel. Chairman Ammons requested that Mr. Sexton discuss this issue with the transportation department for the Haywood County Schools.  

Town of Maggie Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion Request

Mr. Tim Barth, Maggie Valley Town Manager explained that the Town of Maggie Valley will soon begin an upgrade and expansion to the wastewater treatment plant. There will be an estimated 220 truckloads of dirt removed from this site. Mr. Barth inquired if the County would accept this dirt. The dirt could be stockpiled onto the property recently purchased by Haywood County, commonly referred to as the Lucius Jones property. Chairman Ammons explained that the Board of County Commissioners gave Mr. Ross permission to sow wheat or oats on the property. David Cotton, County Manager explained that Claire Stewart, Recreation Director, with the assistance of the Recreation and Parks Board, has identified a place suitable for stockpiles. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick explained that the Recreation Board had designated an area for this dirt. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick stated that he spoke to Mr. Ross in reference to the property. Chairman Ammons inquired of the Board members if they felt comfortable to authorize the Town of Maggie Valley to place the clean fill on the land for future use. Commissioner Enloe stated her approval as long as Mr. Ross was notified. Chairman Ammons advised that Mr. Ross was notified in the beginning of the stockpiling of dirt. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick explained that he had spoken personally with Mr. Ross. Mr. Ross definitely planted wheat on the property understanding that this stockpiling would occur. Chairman Ammons recognized Roger McElroy, Mayor of the Town of Maggie Valley and Troy Mann, recently elected alderman from the Town of Canton.  

 

Request Waiver of Tipping Fees for Disposal of Tomatoes from Johnson Packing House

Mr. Skipper Russell, a farmer from Bethel, presented a letter of request to waive tipping fees.  Mr. Russell explained that there are some problems associated with disposing of cull produce such as pepper, tomatoes, and cucumbers from the Johnson Packing house. Tipping fees are required for disposal of produce at the landfill. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick inquired as to the amount of cull produce to be disposed of. Mr. Russell answered that the amount varies, depending on the market conditions and the weather conditions. During this past year there were approximately 200 loads of cull produce, over a four month period. A private land owner allowed the dumping of these vegetables, but some of the neighbors complained about the regulations and the odor. Chairman Ammons inquired if there were a farmer’s cooperative. Mr. Russell explained that there is not a unified group such as a farmer’s cooperative group at this time. Mr. Russell stated that Mark Clasby, Executive Director Economic Development Commission, Dr. Bill Skelton, Extension Service Director, and Bill Yarborough had offered their assistance to resolve this problem. Commissioner Curtis inquired as to the cost of tipping fees for these vegetables. David Cotton stated that the cost of tipping fees for 200 loads of vegetables would be approximately $75,000. Stephen King, Solid Waste Director approached the Board. Mr. King explained that these vegetables would not likely cause any serious problems at the landfill. Using these vegetables as compost on the outside of the landfill would be ideal. Mr. Cotton shared that as of January 2008, restaurants will be required to separate out food products and other waste streams. There has been a discussion to approach the Board of County Commissioners to consider a request to file an application for a county composting site. The composting site would be available at the landfill. This application would require approval from the State. The landfill could accept food products for composting. After the composting has been completed, the County could offer the compost to county residents. Mr. Cotton shared one direct benefit is that materials which could be composted would not go into the landfill space that has a finite life, but composting could continue indefinitely.

Chairman Ammons inquired of County Attorney Killian, as to Johnson Packing Company, being a commercial, private company, could Haywood County waive the tipping fees so that the tomato producers could all participate. County Attorney Killian answered that the issue may be one of interstate commerce. County Attorney Killian offered to research this topic and report back to the Commissioners. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick made a motion to waive the tipping fees for Johnson’s as long as Jonson’s works for other viable ways to compost those culled tomatoes and primarily does that with the County in the event that we develop some type of composting situation ourselves out at the landfill. Commissioner Enloe seconded. County Attorney Killian stated that should he discover a legal issue in regards to the vegetables, he would report back to the Board. Chairman Ammons confirmed that the Board could discuss the findings and make any necessary amendments to the decision. The motion carried unanimously. Mr. Russell shared that the farmers are struggling with the markets. The farmers are working to promote the locally grown produce. Some of the stores are unwilling to help the local farmers. Mr. Russell requested help from the Board to promote buying from local farmers and encouraging stores to doing so. Commissioner Enloe shared that an executive chef of a four star restaurant in Asheville would like to talk with Mr. Russell about his vegetables. Commissioner Enloe shared that Mr. Russell’s photograph appears on the billboard for “Buy Haywood”. Commissioner Enloe also shared that as a bicentennial event Mr. Russell’s corn maize will have a bicentennial theme. Commissioner Curtis suggested that Mr. Russell discuss more possibilities for “Buy Haywood” with Mark Clasby.

Proposed Cataloochee Wilderness Resort Introduction

Mr. Frank McGovern, with Urban Design Group (URG) Corporation explained that he and Mr. Don Buenger are the consultants for the proposed Cataloochee Wilderness Resort project. Mr. Buenger shared that early in the project one of the primary goals was to communicate with the community plans for the proposed resort. Mr. Buenger introduced Mr. Frank Singleton, spokesman for the project.  Mr. Singleton shared that there would be ample opportunity to engage the community and answer questions regarding the proposed development of the Cataloochee Wilderness Resort. Mr. Frank Wood, President of Cataloochee Companies approached the Board. Mr. Wood shared that a session will be scheduled for questions and answers. Commissioner Enloe inquired as to the amount of property that the company owns in order to begin development. Mr. Wood replied that no contracts have been closed at this time. Commissioner Curtis requested that URG make their plans for development available to citizens. Mr. Wood explained that URG will need approval at various stages during the development and plans will be made available to the public.

Bicentennial Celebration

As part of the bicentennial celebration t-shirts will be available through Haywood Community Connections. David Cotton, County Manager presented the design for the t-shirts. Mr. Cotton requested t-shirts for all county employees. A budget amendment was presented for $10,000. Commissioner Upton made a motion to purchase the t-shirts when they are ready and to have this money allocated from contingency by this budget amendment. Commissioner Curtis seconded. Commissioner Enloe shared that Haywood Community Connections worked with the graphic designer Ricki Tikki Tees located in Haywood County. Commissioner Enloe explained that there were two stipulations placed on Haywood Community Connections for the design; the design was to include the county seal and the t-shirts were to be developed by a Haywood County entrepreneur. The motion carried unanimously.

Firefighter’s Relief Fund

Julie Davis, Finance Director and Nolan Palmer, Fire Marshal presented a request for approval of appointees to the Firemen’s Relief Fund as recommended by the Fire Departments. Ms. Davis explained that the Firemen’s Relief Fund must have someone appointed by the Insurance Commissioner for the State, and there are two appointees from the Commissioners. Chairman Ammons read the list of names presented for approval.   Commissioner Enloe made a motion to adopt the recommendation of these fire departments and appoint these people to these positions. Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously.  

                 

Closed Session

Commissioner Upton made a motion to enter closed session for the purpose of litigation under N.C.G.S. § 143-318.11(a)(3). Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick seconded and the motion carried unanimously. Upon returning to open session Chairman Ammons announced that there was no action to be taken from the closed session.  Commissioner Upton wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and asked that everyone get into the spirit by helping someone less fortunate. Commissioner Enloe wished everyone a Merry Christmas. Chairman Ammons wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and encouraged everyone to help with the fuel fund. Commissioner Curtis wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Vice-Chairman Kirkpatrick wished everyone and his family, Wanda, Kirkland, Weaver, and Foster a Merry Christmas.  

ADJOURNMENT

Commissioner Upton made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Commissioner Curtis seconded and the motion carried unanimously. The time of adjournment was 7:20 pm. The DVD is attached by reference to the minutes.

Chairman Ammons announced that the next regular Board meeting will be held Monday, January 7th, 2008. Commissioner Enloe announced that the bicentennial kickoff will be held at that time.                                                                                       

CLERK                                                                 CHAIRMAN