WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MONDAY, MAY 7, 2001
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, May 7, 2001 at 9:00 A.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse.
PRESENT: Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
James Coffey, Vice-Chairman
Jack Lawrence, Sr., Commissioner
Sue Sweeting, Commissioner
Pat Wilkie, Commissioner
Jeff Hedrick, County Attorney
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Anita Fogle, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 9:00 A.M. welcoming those in attendance.
A moment of silence was observed.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the March 19, 2001 special meeting minutes, the April 2, 2001, regular meeting minutes, the April 9, 2001, public hearing minutes, and the April 17, 2001, regular meeting minutes.
Commissioner Lawrence noted in both the April 2, 2001, regular meeting minutes and the April 9, 2001, public hearing minutes he was referred to as Jack Lawrence, Jr., the correct name is Jack Lawrence, Sr. Commissioner Lawrence requested the minutes be corrected.
Commissioner Wilkie noted that her name was misspelled in the April 2, 2001, regular meeting minutes under Administrative Matters, Section B – Discussion of Preferred Provider Contracts (formerly EAP) paragraph 4. In the same section, paragraph 3, Commissioner Wilkie noted that she made the following comment not Commissioner Sweeting: Commissioner Sweeting voiced her concerns that three sessions were not adequate and that she would propose that Board increase the number of County paid visits to six.;and requested that the minutes be corrected.
Commissioner Sweeting noted in the April 9, 2001, public hearing minutes, that she had a different number of speakers at the public hearing and she requested the minutes be corrected. The manager stated that the Substitute Clerk to the Board would conduct a recount based on a review of the tape. The results of the recount were as follows: 69 speaking in opposition to the ordinance, 47 speaking for the ordinance, and 2 speakers who were neutral. Commissioner Sweeting noted that 31 letters in support of and 4 letters in opposition to the ordinance were received. Commissioner Coffey noted that a petition with over 1700 names of opponents to the Zoning Ordinance was received.
Commissioner Sweeting also noted two corrections in the motion made by Chairman Hodges in the April 17, 2001, regular meeting minutes regarding the zoning ordinance study committee. The motion should read (with changes underlined):
Commissioner Hodges, seconded by Commissioner Coffey, made a motion that the Board appoint a Committee consisting of 6 to 8 open-minded citizens (who fairly represent all areas of the county) and 1 Board member who were opposed to the Interim Ordinance and 6 to 8 open-minded citizens (who fairly represent all areas of the county) and one Board member who supported the Interim Ordinance, with Planning Director Furman and County Attorney Hedrick. The committee will meet and work for six months to review the ordinance and come up with a compromise. The committee will report to the Board of County Commissioners within 6 months to present a recommendation for consideration.
Vice-Chairman Coffey seconded by Commissioner Wilkie, moved to approve the April 2, 2001, regular meeting minutes, the April 9, 2001, public hearing minutes, and the April 17 regular meeting minutes with the corrections as discussed and the March 19, 2001, special meeting minutes as presented.
APPROVAL OF MAY 7, 2001 AGENDA
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the May 7, 2001, agenda.
Commissioner Wilkie seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to approve the May 7, 2001, agenda as presented.
PUBLIC HEARING – PERSONNEL ORDINANCE AMENDMENT
Chairman Hodges declared the public hearing open at 9:05 A.M. to allow for comment on proposed amendments to the County’s Personnel Ordinance.
Mr. Jim Atkinson, Director of Social Services, stated the amendments establish a policy for cellular phone and pager use and also for computer and data communications use by County employees. Two changes have been made to the originally introduced policies. Section 1 Paragraph 3 is changed to bold faced type. Section 3 Paragraph 3 was changed to read, the County understands that a minimal amount…. The original wording was limited amount.
There being no public comment, Chairman Hodges declared the public hearing closed at 9:09 A.M.
Commissioner Sweeting seconded by Vice-Chairman Coffey, moved to amend the County’s Personnel Ordinance as presented.
ORDINANCE BOOK # 11, PAGE # 1
ORDINANCE BOOK # 11, PAGE # 7
FY 2002 HOME AND COMMUNITY CARE BLOCK GRANT REQUEST
Ms. Barbara Barghothi, Director, Area Agency on Aging, presented the Home and Community Care Block Grant Advisory Board’s recommendation for funding for aging services for Fiscal Year 2002. Ms. Barghothi stated the recommendation included $10,961 in addition to the current fiscal year funds for the Project on Aging to provide congregate and home delivered meals, in-home aide services, transportation, health screenings, and a new service which will provide respite to family caregivers.
Commissioner Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the Home and Community Care Block Grant request as presented.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT BUILDING UPDATE
Mr. Randy Jones, David R. Jones Architecture, updated the Board on the progress of the new facility for the Watauga County Health Department. Mr. Jones and his staff are working on the contract documents and coordination with the project consultants. The structural engineers have their base plans and wall sections laid out and ready to finalize the details. The mechanical, plumbing and electrical engineers are working on drawings for their systems. The civil engineer is working on the soil/erosion control and grading plans. Architectural Presentations is working on a rendering, which should be completed by mid-May. The engineers working on the subsurface investigation (soil boring) have completed drilling and are about to complete the written report. Mr. Jones has met with Mr. Danny Staley, Director of the Appalachian District Health Department, and the dental consultant and will be furnished with a list of dental equipment that is used and what items will be new.
Mr. Jones mentioned that delays on this project were due to changes in the plans to add more square footage, bad weather, and delays in another project his firm is working on which resulted in it being pushed into the Health Department project’s schedule.
Mr. Jones plans to have available drawings for bid by the end of May in order to receive bids by the second to third week in June. Mr. Jones also reported that he has had several contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers contact him to express interest in this project.
Chairman Hodges thanked Mr. Jones for the update but expressed dissatisfaction in the delays on the project. This report was for the Board’s information and no action was taken.
A. Monthly Collections Report – Tax Administrator, Larry McLean, presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of April 2001.
B. Releases and Refunds – Tax Administrator McLean presented the following Refunds and Releases for April 2001 for Board approval:
TO BE TYPED IN MINUTE BOOK
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Wilkie, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report as presented.
C. Schedule of Values Introduction – Tax Administrator, Larry McLean, distributed the Schedule of Values for the Board’s information. Mr. McLean requested a public hearing be set to adopt the Schedule on June 4, 2001.
Vice-Chairman Coffey, seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to set a public hearing for June 4, 2001, prior to consideration of adoption of the Schedule of Values.
Mr. McLean noted that the Schedule of Values would be in the Tax Office for inspection by the general public.
Finance Director, Doris Isaacs, presented the following budget amendments for Board approval:
Account # Description Debit Credit
213612-389000 Town of Boone-Ann Marie Dr. 45,000
219930-461201 Recreation Projects - TOB 45,000
To recognize the first annual payment of $45,000 from the Town of Boone to be used for the development of recreational facilities within the Town of Boone. This payment is part of the Landfill lawsuit settlement agreement.
Account # Description Debit Credit
663200-327501 Scrap Tire Disposal Grant 16,100
667420-451000 Cap. Outlay Equipment 10,000
667420-469566 Contracted Services-Tire Removal 6,100
To recognize a Scrap Tire Removal Grant award and the appropriation of funds to cover cost for the disposal of scrap tires. Funds will be used to purchase two trailers to haul tires and to offset the fees charged by the third party who currently accepts our tires.
Account # Description Debit Credit
143531-323000 Admn. Cost Reimb. – State/Fed. 15,570
145480-438800 Crisis Intervention Prevention 15,570
To recognize additional funding authorizations from the Division of Social Services for the Crisis Intervention Program.
Account # Description Debit Credit
103586-332001 Medicaid Reimb. Fees 80,000
105550-412600 Salaries Part-Time 80,000
To recognize additional Medicaid Reimbursement Fee revenues to the Project on Aging.
Vice-Chairman Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the budget amendments as presented.
ZONING ORDINANCE STUDY COMMITTEE
Commissioner Wilkie requested a clarification of the number of persons to be appointed to the committee. After discussion, the Board consensus was to appoint 6 supporters and 6 opponents.
After lengthy discussion it was the consensus of the Board to table the appointment of members of the study committee until the next meeting.
DISCUSSION OF AN ORDINANCE (NEW) ESTABLISHING A MORATORIUM ON CERTAIN HIGH IMPACT INDUSTRIES
County Manager Nelson stated that per Commissioner request, staff drafted a new Ordinance Establishing a Moratorium on Certain High Impact Industries. Commissioner Sweeting explained that the new Moratorium would protect the County until a compromise can be reached regarding the Proposed Zoning Ordinance.
After discussion, County Attorney Hedrick noted that a public hearing with adequate advertising must be held prior to adopting an ordinance establishing a moratorium.
Commissioner Sweeting made a motion to reschedule the Tuesday, May 15, 2001, Commissioners’ meeting to Tuesday, May 22, 2001, and to set a public hearing for the May 22, 2001, meeting to consider an ordinance establishing a Moratorium on Certain High Impact Industries. Commissioner Wilkie seconded the motion.
VOTE: Aye-4 (Hodges, Lawrence, Wilkie, Sweeting)
Commissioner Sweeting requested the following changes be considered in the Ordinance: that the title be changed from High Impact Industries to High Impact Land Uses; that propane bulk storage and commercial and industrial land uses with aggregate building occupance area of 20,000 square feet or more be included in the Moratorium; and additional “whereas’s” which will be provided to staff.”
Commissioner Sweeting stated that the proposed ordinance should include bulk propane storage and commercial buildings over 20,000 square feet.
DISCUSSION OF EMS STAFFING
Mr. Craig Sullivan, Director of Watauga Medics, Inc., discussed the current level of EMS staffing as it relates to the increased call volume that Watauga Medics, Inc. is currently experiencing. Medicare has not yet instituted the new program for considering and allowing higher rates for ambulance services. Mr. Sullivan proposed a rate increase as it relates to increased revenues to partially fund an additional crew and vehicle.
County Manager Nelson stated that the current county subsidy did not reflect the increase costs of an additional crew and would need to be considered during the FY 2002 Budget Work Sessions.
After discussion, Commissioner Sweeting, seconded by Commissioner Wilkie, made a motion effective June 1, 2001, to approve the Watauga Medics, Inc., rate increase request (to $155 for BLS; to $175 for ALS; and to $195 for ALS II) along with a mileage increase to $5 per loaded mile in county and to $5.50 per loaded mile out of county and to approve the Watauga Medics, Inc., request to begin interviewing for a new crew.
PARKS AND RECREATION MATTERS
A. Grant Request – Ms. Deb Wynne, Director of Parks and Recreation, reviewed a grant request to be used to construct a connection to the Greenway Trail from the Parks and Recreations parking area. The grant, in the amount of $4,500, requires no local match.
Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, made a motion to accept the “Start With Your Heart Region III Cardiovascular Health $4,500 Program Grant” request to be used to construct a connection to the Greenway Trail from the Parks and Recreations parking area.
B. Athletic Complex Joint Use Agreement Amendment – Ms. Wynne also requested to amend the Watauga Athletic Complex Joint Use Agreement numbers 5, 6, 7, and 8 as shown below:
5. Both agencies shall equally share the cost, (in accordance with an agreement hereafter, to be agreed upon between the agencies), for the following: utility bills, janitorial supplies, gravel dust, grass seed, fertilizer, lime, light bulb installation and replacement, vandalism, major and minor facility repairs and maintenance to the Watauga Athletic Complex, See# 14.
6. The Full Time Person (See #1), shall drag, line, and prepare the athletic fields for safe play for all school athletic and recreational programs. Both agencies shall equally share the cost of and the joint use of the necessary athletic and recreational equipment for each agencies’ programs, See #14.
7. The Full Time Person, (See #1), shall perform year round weekly safety inspections and repair safety hazards and vandalism. The cost and work to eliminate safety hazards and vandalism shall be equally shared by both agencies.
8. The Watauga County Parks and Recreation Department shall winterize and close the public restroom facility, November 1 – March 1. The Full Time Person, (See #1), will clean and sanitize the public restroom every weekday morning and Watauga County Parks and Recreation personnel will clean and sanitize the public restroom on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS (with changes underlined)
5. Both agencies shall budget and spend $2,500 a year. The Recreation Department shall budget at least $1,500 for supplies and $1,000 for an ADA Port-A-John to be located at the softball field. Watauga County School shall then budget at least $2,500 a year for necessary supplies and utilities for the Complex.
6. The full time person, (See #1), shall drag, line, and prepare the athletic fields for safe play for all school athletic and recreational programs on weekdays. The Recreation Department shall prepare the athletic fields in weekends for recreation activities. Both agencies shall equally share the cost of and the joint use of the necessary athletic and recreational equipment for their own program.
7. The Full Time Person, (See #1), shall perform year round weekly safety inspections and repair safety hazards and vandalism. The cost and work to eliminate safety hazards and vandalism shall be included in the maintenance and repair budget of the Watauga County Schools.
8. The Watauga County Parks and Recreation Department shall winterize and close the public restroom facility, November 1 – March 1. The Full Time Person, (See #1), will clean and sanitize the public restroom every weekday morning and Watauga County Maintenance personnel will clean and sanitize the public restroom on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Ms. Wynne stated that the amendment would allow the agreement to be more easily administered and the funds Watauga County Parks and Recreation would spend, with these amendments, would be approximately the same as those spent in years past. Ms. Wynne stated that contracted services may need to be revised annually due to cost of living increases and in the event both agencies agreed to request a capital outlay item, half of that line item amount would have to be added.
Commissioner Sweeting, seconded by Commissioner Wilkie, made a motion to approve the Athletic Complex Joint Use Agreement Amendment as presented.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
A. Animal Control Adoption Fee – County Manager Nelson stated that Dave Simpkins, Chief Animal Control Officer, requested that the Animal Adoption Fee be raised from the current $40 fee to the new fee of $50. This would be to remain consistent with the Humane Society fee.
Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Vice-Chairman Coffey, made a motion to raise the Animal Control’s animal adoption fee to the amount of $50, effective June 1, 2001.
B. Request to Declare Vehicles Surplus – County Manager Nelson stated that Sheriff Lyons requested to declare the vehicles, as listed below, surplus property and to also seek Board approval for their sale.
1995 Ford Crown Victoria 2FALP71W0SX192776
1994 Ford Crown Victoria 2FALP71W4RX159614
1994 Ford Crown Victoria 2FALP71W4RX159421
1994 Ford Crown Victoria 2FALP71W9RX159382
1991 Ford Crown Victoria 2FALP72G2MX171647
1995 Ford Crown Victoria 2FALP71W9SX192775
1991 Chevy Blazer 4x4 1GNEV18K9MF118321
Vice-Chairman Coffey, seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, made a motion to declare the above listed vehicles as surplus property and to approve their sale.
Commissioner Sweeting asked to determine the feasibility of using the vehicles or funds to provide transportation for the Work First Program.
C. Change Order for Courthouse Roofing Project – County Manager Nelson stated that damage to the underlayment insulation on the Courthouse roof was discovered when the old roof was taken off. The change order, in the amount of $8,700, covered the cost of the new Styrofoam insulation that was required before the new roof would be installed. $55,000 was budgeted for the project and with the change order the new total would be $52,016.
Commissioner Sweeting, seconded by Commissioner Wilkie, made a motion to accept the change order as presented.
D. Boards and Commissions – County Manager Nelson stated that future appointments would need to be considered for the following Boards and Commissions:
Region D Development Corporation 4
Cove Creek Fire Protection District Commission 3
Animal Control Appeals Board 4
Boone Board of Adjustments 2
Boone Planning Board 1
Boone Planning Board - to fill un-expired term of Jan Lamm 1
Town of Boone ETJ Minimum Housing Authority 1
CCC&TI Board of Trustees 1
Council on the Status of Women 6
Criminal Justice Partnership Board 6
Economic Development Commission 3
Juvenile Crime Prevention Council 16
Jury Commission 3
Region D Workforce Development Board 1
Social Services Board 1
No Board action was required at this time.
E. DOT Public Hearing Request – County Manager Nelson stated that Mr. Martin Bolick with the Department of Transportation requested the Board to set a public hearing to consider the Secondary Road Program for FY 2002. Mr. Bolick requested the meeting date be May 31, 2001, at 1:00 pm.
Vice-Chairman Coffey, seconded by Commissioner Wilkie, made a motion to set a public hearing on May 31, 2001, at 1:00 P.M. to consider the Secondary Road Program for FY 2002.
F. Commissioners’ Community Meeting Schedule – County Manager Nelson stated that, in the past two years, Community Meetings of the Board have been in the areas of Blowing Rock, Foscoe, Cove Creek, Green Valley, Bethel, Valle Crucis, Mabel, Mattney, and Triplett and have begun in August and extended through November or December depending upon the year. County Manager Nelson requested Board direction in order to schedule Community Meetings as desired.
After discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to hold County Commissioner Meetings at the Courthouse and to advertise the time allowed on the monthly 7:00 P.M. meeting agenda for public comment.
Commissioner Sweeting requested a re-evaluation of the decision to discontinue community meetings in six (6) to twelve (12) months.
1. County Manager Nelson requested a public hearing for the Manager’s Recommended Budget be scheduled on June 4, 2001.
Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, made a motion to set a public hearing on June 4, 2001, to consider the Manager’s Recommended Budget for FY 2002.
2. County Manager Nelson announced that the Board of Equalization an Review Meetings that the Board of Commissioners conduct have been scheduled for Monday, May 7, 2001, at 1:00 pm; Monday, June 4, 2001, at 1:00 pm; Tuesday, June 12, 2001, at 6:00 pm; and tentatively Thursday, June 14, 2001, at 1:00 pm.
3. County Manager Nelson announced that the Commissioners have a joint meeting scheduled with the Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Board of Directors on May 17, 2001, at 6:00 pm at the instructional facility on the White Oak Campus.
4. County Manager Nelson announced that the upcoming FY 2002 Budget Work Sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, May 23, 2001, 6:00 P.M. –10:00 P.M.; Thursday, May 24, 2001, 1:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.; and Thursday, May 31, 2001, 1:30 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.
5. County Manager Nelson announced that in compliance with Commissioner Sweeting’s earlier approved motion the next meeting of the Board has been rescheduled for Tuesday, May 22, 2001, at 7:00 P.M. Commissioner Lawrence stated that he would not be in attendance due to being out of town on that date.
Commissioner Wilkie seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:05 A.M.
Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board