The Alleghany County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, February, 7, 2005, at 6:30pm in the Conference Room of the County Office Building, 90 South Main Street, Sparta, North Carolina.

 

            Present:  Chair Eldon Edwards, Vice-Chair Warren Taylor, Commissioner Graylen Blevins, Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon, Commissioner Ken Richardson, County Manager Don Adams, and Clerk to the Board Karen Evans.  County Attorney Ed Woltz was absent. 

 

Chair Eldon Edwards called the meeting to order.

 

Commissioner Graylen Blevins opened the meeting with a prayer.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to approve the agenda for this February 7, 2005, meeting.  Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

AGENDA

Monday, February 7, 2005

6:30 PM

 

6:30                Meeting Called To Order

                        Motion on Agenda for February 7, 2005 meeting

Motion on Minutes for January 19, 2005 meeting

6:35                Mary Walker

                        RE:  Annual Tax Report

6:45                Amy Pardue

                        RE:  Master Recreational Plan/Budget Amendment

7:00                Public Hearing

                        RE:  Tri-State Components

7:15                Duane Davis

                        RE:  Property Discussions

County Business

1.      Budget Amendment—Emergency Management

2.      Budget Amendment—Sheriff’s Department

3.      Budget Amendment—911 Fund

4.      Budget Amendment—Soil & Water

5.      Ferguson Group Proposal

6.      Fuel Oil Bids

7.      Transfer Facility Bids

8.      Long Term Care Advisory Board Appointment

9.      Joint Water Authority

10. Administration Building Resolution, Project Ordinance, Contract

11. Courthouse Renovation Timeline

12. Other Business

13. Public Comments—30 minutes

14. Closed Session—NCGS 143-318.11 (a) (6)—personnel

15. Adjourn

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon made a motion to approve the minutes for the January 19, 2005 meeting.  Commissioner Graylen Blevins seconded the motion. Vote 5:0.

 

            Mary Walker, Tax Administrator, presented the annual tax report including the outstanding balance of $555,796.32 for 2004-2005 for a collection rate of 91.31%.  She explained how the collection rate compares to last year.  She talked about how the Board must give the Tax Administrator an order to advertise tax liens.  She further talked about how she is planning to advertise the liens in the newspaper in May.

 

            The Board of Commissioners agreed to advertise the tax liens in May.

 

            Mary Walker informed the Board that they are preparing to foreclosure on three tracts around June because the taxes haven’t been paid. 

 

            Commissioner Warren Taylor and Mary Walker discussed how the excess monies from the sales go into the State escheat fund.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson and Mary Walker talked about the total amount of taxes due is $675,305.93 for the last 10 years and with adding other things like household solid waste fee, commercial solid waste fee, penalties, interest makes the total amount due $870,336.80.

 

            Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon and Mary Walker talked about the foreclosures are from 1996 and the statute of limitations is 10 years to collect taxes and most counties start to sell property after the taxes are three years late.

 

            Amy Pardue, Planner/Recreation Director, came before the Board to discuss the Recreation Master Plan.  She explained the progress made on the Plan and conversations about needing a survey completed for the Plan. 

 

            Amy Pardue stated that three companies submitted bids to complete the survey; Michael Warren from Laurel Springs, ARDI from Boone and KPC from Charlotte.  She gave highlights of each company including how the survey would be completed. 

 

            Amy Pardue explained that KPC will conduct an eight-minute telephone survey with a goal of 400 completed interviews.  She talked about how the survey results will be broken down regionally throughout the County.  She explained the reasons to have the eight-minute survey including the need to gather as much data as possible since this is a new program.  She informed the Board that KPC’s costs will be $7,630 with an optional PowerPoint presentation for $1,000.  She explained that she had checked KPC’s references and received wonderful reviews.  She further explained that if the Board approves the survey, the first step would be selecting a survey review committee.  She reviewed the timeline for the project.

 

            Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon, Commissioner Warren Taylor, County Manager Don Adams and Amy Pardue discussed the survey review committee creating the questions for the survey and the purpose of the survey is to get a general, broader view from the citizens in Alleghany County concerning recreation.  County Manager Don Adams explained the survey process and that this expense has not been budgeted.

 

            Commissioner Graylen Blevins asked how is the recreation program’s budget compared the original budget.

 

            County Manager Don Adams stated that the budget has changed and all of the changes have been bringing in enough revenues to off-set the expenses.

 

            Amy Pardue explained that currently all of the sports are recouping their expenses.  She further explained that team sports can support themselves, but she is concerned about the extra expenses for the Little League program that is beginning.

 

            Commissioner Graylen Blevins asked about the prices of the bids for the survey.

 

            Amy Pardue explained the prices are $4,800 for the written survey performed by Mike Warren, $6,000 for ARDI and $7,630 for KPC.

 

            Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon and Amy Pardue talked about the disadvantages with a written survey.

 

            County Manager Don Adams talked about this survey is to get a broader range of information instead of talking to people involved in current recreation activities.  He stated that the County can perform a written survey but the results wouldn’t represent the entire County.

 

            Chair Eldon Edwards and County Manager Don Adams discussed getting a true analytical analysis with KPC.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson stated that this survey should give the County direction for five years and serve as a guidepost to where Alleghany County should go with recreation.

 

            Amy Pardue stated that having an approved Plan helps the chance of approval when applying for recreation grants.

 

            County Manager Don Adams talked about how important the survey review committee will be and trying to get several different types of groups represented on that committee.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson stated that if the Board approves to conduct a survey, he would volunteer to serve on this committee.

 

            Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon made a motion to approve the contract with KPC for the survey in the amount of $7,630.  Commissioner Warren Taylor seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            County Manager Don Adams asked if that includes the additional $1,000 presentation.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards stated that includes the amendment.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson made a motion to approve budget amendment General Fund #25 in the amount of $1,875 for Recreation.

 

            Chair Eldon Edwards stated that was clarified to be included in the last motion.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson withdrew his motion.

 

            Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon clarified her motion to include the KPC contract for $7,630 and the additional $1,000 presentation and budget amendment General Fund #25 in the amount of $1,875.

 

            The Board of Commissioners agreed.

 

            Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon made a motion to appoint Commissioner Ken Richardson to be the Commissioner representative on the survey review committee.  Commissioner Warren Taylor seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            Chair Eldon Edwards recessed the regular meeting at 7:02pm and opened the public hearing in regards to the Tri-State Components expansion project.

 

            County Manager Don Adams gave the Board and the general public a PowerPoint presentation showing the proposed expansion project including $750,000 in new investment and hiring 15 people.  He explained that AdvantageWest will provide $12,000 that requires a $12,000 match for engineering, legal and environmental costs.  He further explained that the $24,000 will be on a reimbursement basis.  He thanked John Miller with Tri-State Components, and he requested $12,000 from the Economic Development account to match the AdvantageWest grant.

 

            John Miller stated his appreciation for the Board considering this request.  He talked about how the Buffalo Barns concept is growing.  He further stated that these funds are greatly needed and appreciated.  He talked about adding 15-16 employees over the next two years.

 

            Chair Eldon Edwards asked for public comments.  None were received.

 

            Chair Eldon Edwards closed the public hearing at 7:15pm and reconvened the regular meeting.

 

            Commissioner Warren Taylor stated his appreciation to John Miller for staying in Alleghany County and how local businesses deserve the same consideration as outside companies.

 

            Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to approve the $12,000 match.  Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon seconded the motion.

 

            Commissioner Graylen Blevins stated his appreciation for John Miller’s efforts.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson stated that he is very much in support of this action.

 

            The Board voted on the motion on the floor.  Vote 5:0.

 

            Duane Davis came before the Board to discuss purchasing an option on property adjacent to Sparta Elementary School.  He explained that Sparta Elementary School is in need of improvements, and they are in the process of looking at improvements and what they have now.  He talked about the property that the Board of Education owns around Sparta Elementary School and having a piece of property that can’t be accessed.  He explained issues that they are having where people must exit from a school building onto a Town street.  He stated that he is asking for approval of purchasing this property to help with making the first step towards improvements.

 

            Charles Joines talked about the property is a house and a lot.  He explained the overcrowding problems at Sparta Elementary School, the architect working on these problems and should have information about 30 days from now.  He stated that the usage of the plot is unclear right now.  He further stated that he urges the Commissioners to give serious consideration about this property because without it, expansion at Sparta Elementary School is in serious jeopardy.

 

            Commissioner Warren Taylor asked if the selling price was recently negotiated.

 

            Duane Davis talked about the appraised price of the property being very reasonable and higher than the selling price.  He stated that he believes the selling price is a good bargain because property will only continue to increase in price.

 

            Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon stated that the property was appraised at $68,100 recently by comparing five other comparable sales.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson asked what the Board of Education needs the Commissioners to do.

 

            Duane Davis stated that an amendment is needed to allow the Board of Education to spend money for the option on the land.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson asked if the Commissioners are considering the option or the contract to purchase.

 

            Chair Eldon Edwards stated that the Commissioners are considering providing the funding for the option.

 

            Commissioner Graylen Blevins and Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon discussed the purchase and the meaning of the option.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson stated that he didn’t have any problems as long as the Commissioners are only approving the option.

 

            Duane Davis stated that the option is needed before doing any additional planning with the architect.

 

            Chair Eldon Edwards stated that the option gives 90 days to get the planning information.

 

            Commissioner Graylen Blevins asked if the Board of Education is comfortable that the architect will fill their obligations in that time frame.

 

            Duane Davis stated that this option gives 90 days with an optional additional 90 days to get the planning information without doing anything at Sparta Elementary School.  He further stated that the option opens up the possibility to have a more valuable plan.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson talked about how these plans do nothing to help with the overcrowding now but it might help in 10 years.

 

            Clarence Crouse stated that they need this piece of property to work on the Sparta Elementary School improvements.

 

            Commissioner Warren Taylor talked about the 90-day extension.

 

            Duane Davis stated that they are committed to following through with the plan.

 

            County Manager Don Adams explained that tying up this property with the option will allow both boards to have another open discussion on the property.

 

            Commissioner Warren Taylor mentioned that by getting this property in question, the Board of Education would gain another 5 - 5 ½ acres useable space that hasn’t been accessible.  He stated that he is in favor of the option because it does complete a better picture.

 

            Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon explained that the option protects the Schools with the price and the option money will be credited towards the purchase price.

 

            Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to approve the $3,250 for the option and reimburse the Schools for this expense.  Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            County Manager Don Adams talked about rescheduling the joint meeting between the Commissioners and Board of Education.

 

            Duane Davis said that the tentative time frame from the architect is the end of March, and he would be hesitate to set a date without talking to the architect.

 

            County Manager Don Adams stated that the option is good through March 28.

 

            Chair Eldon Edwards stated that both boards need to sit down to discuss these issues.

 

            Duane Davis talked about the architect wouldn’t have anything until the end of March.

 

            Commissioner Graylen Blevins said that both boards and the public should have a “round table” discussion about these issues.

 

            Duane Davis talked about getting together to discuss things relating to education.

 

            Chair Eldon Edwards stated that the Commissioners need something to look at regarding the plans.  He explained that it doesn’t have to be anything final but just something to start getting ideas for both boards to discuss.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson said that it was a mistake to cancel the January 24th meeting.  He stated that he is hearing public comments that the Commissioners are the obstacle trying to stop the Board of Education from going through with their plans.

 

            Chair Eldon Edwards talked about not having any information for the meeting on the 24th.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson stated that he has half-a-dozen items from the public that needs clarifying.

 

            Charles Joines talked about the architect is looking at all of the schools with the focus on Sparta Elementary School.

 

            County Manager Don Adams explained what information is needed to talk about the concepts and the need to have general discussions to get both boards on the same page.

 

            Charles Joines stated that the architect will have suggestions.

 

            County Manager Don Adams talked about the options coming from the architect and the meeting be held without having exact numbers from the architect.     

             

            County Manager Don Adams presented budget amendment General Fund #24 in the amount of $1,616.  He explained that this is the remainder of last year’s homeland security funds.

 

            Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to approve budget amendment General Fund #24 in the amount of $1,616.  Chair Eldon Edwards seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            County Manager Don Adams presented budget amendment General Fund #26 in the amount of $308 for an automobile accident in the Sheriff’s Department.

 

            Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to approve budget amendment General Fund #26 in the amount of $308.  Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            County Manager Don Adams presented budget amendment E911 Fund #1 in the amount of $39,479 for the aerial photographs approved at the last meeting.

 

            Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon made a motion to approve budget amendment E911 Fund #1 in the amount of $39,479.  Commissioner Warren Taylor seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            County Manager Don Adams presented budget amendment General Fund #27 in the amount of $6,251 with $3,704 coming from contingency for the Soil and Water department moving the part-time position to full-time.

 

            Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to approve budget amendment General Fund #27 in the amount of $6,251.  Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            County Manager Don Adams talked about The Ferguson Group proposal.  He stated that if the Board wants to be a part of the lobby effort with The Ferguson Group, the County’s portion would be $25,000 payable to ACEDC.  He talked about the other groups participating in this lobby effort.

 

            Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon and Commissioner Warren Taylor talked about accomplishing more by joining efforts and bills being introduced at the appropriate time to make sure we get a chance for appropriations.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson asked if one of the other groups don’t participate in this effort what are the fees payable to The Ferguson Group.

 

            County Manager Don Adams stated that he is asking the Board about $25,000 and if the amount changes, it must come back before the Board.  He asked the Board what they consider success in regards to this lobbying effort.  He used the example of spending $25,000 on behalf of Alleghany County and Alleghany County doesn’t receive any money from the lobby efforts but Alleghany Memorial Hospital does receive money, is that considered a success.

 

            The Board answered that is considered a success.

 

            Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon made a motion to approve The Ferguson Group proposal and Alleghany County’s portion of $25,000.  Commissioner Graylen Blevins seconded the motion.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson asked if the money would come from the economic development fund.

 

            County Manager Don Adams stated that the monies would come from the economic development fund.

 

            The Board voted on the motion on the floor.  Vote 5:0.

 

            County Manager Don Adams reminded the Board that they asked him to bid out fuel oil.  He stated that one bid had been received.  He reviewed G&B Energy’s bid showing prices the same as last year and the proposed contract.  He explained the only difference in the contract is if the posted price is less than the formula-created price in the contract, the County pays the lesser amount.

 

            Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon made a motion to approve the contract with G&B Energy.  Commissioner Warren Taylor seconded the motion.

 

            County Manager Don Adams asked about the term of the contract.

 

            Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon and Commissioner Graylen Blevins stated one year.

           

            The Board voted on the motion on the floor.  Vote 5:0. 

 

            County Manager Don Adams talked about the current Transfer Facility disposal contract is with BFI and HILCO provides the transportation through BFI.  He stated that the contract expires April 11.  He further stated that the current price is $39.05 which is still less than the amount the County was paying six years ago.  He informed the Board that BFI is willing to extend the contract another year with a CPI increase.  He explained that GDS-Republic Services is interested in submitting a bid for disposal.  He further explained that they are located in Lenoir and road conditions would make the transportation time about equal to BFI.  He stated that he is asking for direction from the Board.

 

            Commissioner Ken Richardson asked about BFI’s service.

 

            Chair Eldon Edwards and County Manager Don Adams stated that they have provided good service.

 

            County Manager Don Adams reviewed how the disposal contract could be bid out.

 

            Chair Eldon Edwards talked about staying with BFI.

 

            Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to extend the contract with BFI for another year.  Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            County Manager Don Adams presented a nominating form for Gil Thadani to be appointed to Alleghany County’s Long Term Advisory Committee.

 

            Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to approve the appointment of Gil Thadani to serve on the Alleghany County’s Long Term Advisory Committee.  Commissioner Graylen Blevins seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            County Manager Don Adams explained the proposed formation agreement for the joint water authority between Alleghany County, Town of Sparta, Grayson County and Town of Independence.  He talked about working on the formation of the authority.  He further talked about how one Board member and himself would serve on Authority and will continue to work out an initial agreement.  He stated that he will bring this back at the next meeting.

 

            County Manager Don Adams presented a revised resolution for the filing of the Local Government Commission application for the Administration Building.  He stated that the correct tax increase should have read $0.0146 instead of $1.46.  Also, he presented the Administration Building Project Ordinance in the amount of $1,450,000.  He explained that this will set the budget for the Administrative Building.  He further presented the contract with Donald Neal Construction Company for the construction of the Administration Building.  He reviewed the contract detailing the highlights.

 

            Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to approve the Local Government Commission revised resolution, project ordinance and the construction contract for the Administration Building.  Chair Eldon Edwards seconded the motion.  Vote 4:1. (Ken Richardson)

 

County Manager Don Adams presented the Courthouse Renovation Timeline.  He explained that this is the second phase of renovations.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor stated that with the school projects and Courthouse at one time, the County needs to work out a financing package that is affordable.

 

County Manager Don Adams reiterated how the Administration Building and Courthouse renovations impact the budget.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor and County Manager Don Adams talked about the unknown number for the school’s needs and pushing the timeline back puts construction starting in the middle of winter.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor stated that he worried about the financial end of everything.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards talked about the ample opportunity that the Schools have had to bring information to the Board, and the Board is still waiting for the information.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon stated that everything she has seen from the Schools is a long-term solution but nothing to help with next year’s overcrowding problems.

 

Commissioner Ken Richardson informed the Commissioners that he attended a 3-day session about mental health issues.  He stated that he wanted to let the Board know that these issues are being worked on.  He talked about establishing goals and what each county can do.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards stated his appreciation for Commissioner Ken Richardson and welcomes any ideas.

 

Commissioner Ken Richardson stated that he will share information as it becomes available.  He further stated that New River Behavioral Healthcare is recognized as an outstanding mental health program in the State.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon stated that she attended a cultural tourism workshop sponsored by AdvantageWest and the purpose was to look at the impact that cultural tourism has on counties.  She further stated that she suggested mini-workshops so the Commissioners can be more involved since this has an economic impact.  She talked about how we need to work together as a region to promote the region instead of a single area.  She said that Alleghany County had good representation at the workshop in Boone.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards stated his appreciation for Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon attending this workshop.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor talked about information that he had received on an upcoming Yadkin Valley Education Summit, and he is planning on attending on behalf of Alleghany County.

 

Chair Eldon Edwards asked for public comments.   No comments were received.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon made a motion to enter into closed session under NCGS 143-318.11 (a) (6)—personnel at 8:38pm.  Commissioner Warren Taylor  seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon made a motion to adjourn closed session and reconvene the regular meeting at 9:05pm.  Commissioner Graylen Blevins seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0. 

 

Chair Eldon Edwards stated that no action was taken during closed session.

 

Being no further business, Chair Eldon Edwards made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:06pm.  Commissioner Warren Taylor seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

Respectfully submitted,                   

 

 

 

Karen Evans                         

Clerk to the Board                

 

Attest:

 

 

 

Eldon Edwards

Chairman

 

ALLEGHANY COUNTY

 

NORTH CAROLINA

 

 

RESOLUTION AMENDING THE RESOLUTION

AUTHORIZING THE FILING OF AN

APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL OF A

FINANCING AGREEMENT AUTHORIZED

 BY NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL STATUTE 160A-20

 

 

        WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners Alleghany County, North Carolina passed a resolution named Resolution Authorizing the Filing of an Application for Approval of a Financing Agreement Authorized by North Carolina General Statute 160A-20 on January 3, 2005; and

 

 

        WHEREAS, the following finding of fact should read as follows on said approved resolution:

6.      The increase in taxes necessary to meet the sums to fall due under the proposed contract will be $0.0146 per $100 valuation and is not deemed to be excessive.

 

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of Alleghany County, North Carolina, that this resolution be forwarded to the North Carolina Local Government Commission for the Administration Building project.

 

            Adopted this the 7th day of February, 2005.

 

ALLEGHANY COUNTY PROJECT ORDINANCE

 

ADMINISTRATION BUILDING

 

 

 

            BE IT ORDAINED by the Board of Commissioners of Alleghany County, North Carolina, meeting this the 7th day of February 2005 that:

 

            Section I.   The following amounts are hereby appropriated to be expended in the Administration Building Capital Project Fund for the life of the Project:

 

                        Construction                                                      $  1,239,100

                        Architect Fees                                                              101,000

                        Contingency                                                                  109,900

                                                                                                            $  1,450,000

 

            Section II.   It is estimated that the following revenues will be available in the Administration Building Capital Project Fund for the life of the Project:

 

                        Loan Proceeds                                                  $  1,450,000

                       

 

            Adopted this the 7th day of February, 2005