The Alleghany County Board of Commissioners met in special
session on Wednesday, May 31, 2006, at in the Conference Room of the CountyOfficeBuilding, 90 South Main Street, Sparta, NC.
Present:Chair Eldon Edwards, Vice-Chair Warren
Taylor, Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon, Commissioner Ken Richardson, CountyManagerDon Adams and Clerk to the Board Karen Evans.Commissioner Graylen Blevins was presented but arrived late.County Attorney Donna Shumate was absent.
Chair Eldon Edwards called the meeting to order at .
CountyManagerDon Adams explained the items in
the budget books; meeting schedule, budget message, requested and recommended
budget, budget to actual for the current year, budget worksheets.He reviewed the budget book layout.
CountyManagerDon Adams started reviewing his
budget message for FY 06/07.He
explained the revenues and expenditures of the General Fund in the amount of $13,808,510.He talked about how the sales ratio affects
property taxes collected from the utility companies.He
continued reading his budget message explaining the grants and reimbursements.
Commissioner Graylen Blevins arrived at .
CountyManagerDon Adams continued reviewing his
budget message.He talked about EMS is recommending to
increase mileage rates by $2 per mile.He stated that Linda Edwards will present the request
during the budget meetings.He explained
graphs showing the revenues and expenditures for the General Fund. He reviewed the expenditures of the General
Fund in the amount of $13,808,510.He explained
the 7¢ proposed property-tax increase.
Ralph Castillo with AlleghanyMemorialHospital gave the Board handouts
regarding the Hospital’s $500,000 budget request.He reviewed the handouts describing the Hospital’s
John Miller, Hospital Board Chairman, talked
about not letting the Hospital close.He
further talked about they have taken a lot of steps to improve their financial
situation.He explained the importance
of medical services.He stated that he
hopes the Hospital won’t have to ask for more financial assistance.
Dr. Denise Absher, Chief of Staff, stated that she
is representing the doctors in today’s presentation.She explained her experience with the
Hospital.She talked about the major impact
on employment that the Hospital has and the improvements made in the last five
years.She talked about physician
recruitment and obtaining critical access status.She explained that the community needs to
support AlleghanyMemorialHospital during this time.
Linda Smith stated that she is speaking on
behalf of the Hospital’s employees.She
further stated that she has been an employee for almost 40 years.She talked about employees’ benefits have
been cut because the employees want the Hospital to strive.She stated that they need financial help, and
it is hard to ask for the help.
Chair Eldon Edwards expressed his appreciation
for everyone coming to this meeting.
Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon stated that she
is overwhelmed by the support of the employees.
Linda Tucker explained her positive experiences
with the Hospital and the support of their staff.
Chair Eldon Edwards talked about his experiences
that show the dedication of the staff.
George White talked about the accreditation
rating and rating by patients.He stated
that as a trustee, he would like to thank the employees.
Chair Eldon Edwards called for a brief recess at
CountyManagerDon Adams explained the purpose
of Amy Pardue coming to this meeting.He talked about this will explain the line
items in the Recreation budget.
Amy Pardue, Recreation Director, explained
the revenues and expenses for each sport that the Recreation Department offers.
CountyManagerDon Adams stated that these are
only the costs that are associated with offering each sport, and it doesn’t
include any costs for Amy Pardue or Tabetha Williams.
Amy Pardue explained the revenues
and expenses for the sports according to location.She reviewed the amount of personnel needed
for the recreation program.She further
reviewed the fee schedule for recreation.
CountyManagerDon Adams explained that the fee
schedule will be presented with the other fee schedules in the future.
Commissioner Warren Taylor and Amy Pardue discussed the fee
schedule for area pools.
Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon and Amy Pardue discussed what the
business sponsorship fees cover and the tremendous support from the businesses.
CountyManagerDon Adams stated that they aren’t
recommending changing the fees especially since the seasons are already
starting.He further stated that would
be a discussion for the Fall.
Martha McKnight came before the Board to talk
about the WellnessCenter.She gave the Board health statistics for AlleghanyCounty.She discussed the importance of overall well
being.She informed the Board about the
Wellness Center’s activities, local agencies using the Wellness Center, hours
of operations, working on cutting expenses, 10% of population is served, daily
usage and membership fees.She asked the
Board to be aware of the services that they offer and look into joint ventures
with the WellnessCenter.She talked about the need to offer the most
services to the citizens with the least costs.She further talked about the economic value to having a wellness
center.She gave the Board information
packets regarding the presentation.She
thanked the Commissioners for their time.
Joe Potts briefly described the WellnessCenter’s financial
situation.He explained ways they have
reduced costs including reducing payroll by 45% and reducing hours of
operation.He talked about consultants
are looking at other ways to reduce costs.He further talked about they are ready and willing to partner with the County
and to be a part of the County’s recreation program.He stated that the WellnessCenter’s audits are available
for the Commissioners’ review at any time.
Wendell White explained his background, concern
and interest in the WellnessCenter.He talked about the facility being an asset
to people in AlleghanyCounty, the need for the facility
and hope the Commissioners can do something to help the WellnessCenter.He talked about the WellnessCenter being part of the
community and working with the County to think of ways to review the
partnership between the WellnessCenter and Recreation
Martha McKnight stated her appreciation to the
Commissioners for listening to their presentation.She talked about AlleghanyMemorialHospital is important and the WellnessCenter is too.She stated that she would like to see the
facility stay open.She invited the
Board to come to the WellnessCenter on Tuesday for a
personal tour of the facility.
Mary Walker, Tax Administrator, talked about the
collection rate for real property is 97.43% and vehicles is 80%.She explained how the vehicle collection rate
changes each month with the billing.She
thanked the Board for their time today.She stated that she is asking the Board to consider a personnel change
for the Tax Office.She explained that
in October 2004 the Commissioners agreed to hire a full-time temporary person
to help with revaluation, and that person was hired in December 2004.She stated that Mrs. Smith is a great
employee.She further stated that she is
asking the Board to make that position a permanent full-time position.She explained the changes that will be going
on in the Tax Office including new software, collecting the Town of Sparta’s taxes, additional new
construction and the new motor-vehicle law.She talked about revaluation is on an eight-year cycle currently.She further talked about discussions with the
Department of Revenue and the consideration of going to a four-year cycle.She stated that most counties have gone to a
four-year cycle, what is involved to go to a four-year cycle and doing
revaluation in-house.She talked about Rita Miller is working on her
certification as an assessor.She
reiterated that Missy Smith is a great asset to the Tax Office.
CountyManagerDon Adams and Mary Walker talked
about the costs for the position for the remainder of 2006/2007.Mary Walker explained that currently they
have to enter deeds into three separate computer software systems.
Chair Eldon Edwards stated that the Board will
consider Mrs. Walker’s request.
Mary Walker stated her appreciation for
everything the Board does for the County.
Chair Eldon Edwards recessed the meeting for
lunch at .
Chair Eldon Edwards reconvened the meeting at .
Stacy Henderson, Captain, came before the Board
to discuss the Rescue Squad’s request.He explained the number of current members, decline in membership, hours
required for fundraisers, upgrading equipment during the last two years and
State-mandated calibration tests.He
talked about the dive team and the need to upgrade the dive team.He asked the Board for a little more help
with their expenses.He talked about the
need to attract more members.
The Board of Commissioners and Stacy Henderson
discussed the Rescue Squad’s request and amount of shortfall projected.
CountyManagerDon Adams and Stacy Henderson
discussed the budget request being a difference of $5,900 plus $3,700 for the
calibration test for a total of $9,600.
Darlene Douglas and Becky Higgins with Alleghany
Group Homes gave a brief background of Alleghany Group Homes.Ms. Douglas explained the reason for needing
additional revenue is related to the mental health reform.She reviewed the projections for 2006/2007
and their budget request of $40,000.She
explained costs increases in the upcoming budget.She stated that they will greatly appreciate
anything the Board could provide to Alleghany Group Homes.
CountyManagerDon Adams continued reviewing the
budget message.He reviewed the revenues
and expenditures for the following; Transfer Facility Fund in the amount of $679,598,
E-911 Fund in the amount of $219,235 and Transportation Fund in the amount of
$388,107.He explained the
Transportation Fund is projected to lose $3,410 in 2005/2006.He talked about their grant sources.He talked about the Fairgrounds Fund, and the
Fairgrounds have requested that the additional parking be finished.
The Board of Commissioners and County Manager Don Adams talked about the
request and the Fairgrounds Fund.
Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon asked how many
events need additional parking.
CountyManagerDon Adams stated that he will
CountyManagerDon Adams reviewed the other
funds and topics for further discussions.
Chair Eldon Edwards and Commissioner Ken
Richardson thanked the CountyManager and staff for their
work on the budget.Commissioner
Richardson stated that this is a very good budget report and is convinced that
the 7¢ that the CountyManager is recommending is
needed.He stated that the Board needs
to decide on today’s issues.
The Board of Commissioners and County Manager Don Adams discussed how they
wanted to proceed with the budget information and meetings.
CountyManagerDon Adams explained a sheet
detailing additional monies needed for new or changes in personnel for Board of
Elections, Tax Office, Veterans Service and Social Services.
The Board of Commissioners discussed the
CountyManagerDon Adams talked about the Tax
Office looking at doing in-house revaluation and putting the pieces in place to
work towards that.He talked about if
the additional position is approved then the Board could have as a condition that
we will do in-house revaluation.
Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon stated that she
CountyManagerDon Adams talked about fee schedules
with Linda Edwards coming before the Board on Friday to
discuss a $2 per mile increase, Building Inspections Permit Fees having no
recommended changes and no changes this year for the Solid Waste Fee
Schedule.He explained that the costs
have been increasing at the Transfer Facility and the costs are close to
exceeding the revenues.He talked about
a fee increase may have to be considered in the next few years.
Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon asked how solid
waste fees are charged on mobile homes.
CountyManagerDon Adams stated that he would
have to check with Mary Walker.
Commissioner Sandy Carter Herndon, Commissioner
Warren Taylor and County Manager Don Adams discussed Building
Inspections fees, adjustments made over the last few years, inspections department
being revenue neutral, fees being in line with surrounding counties the last
time fees were increased, increases in septic tank fees and well inspections.
Chair Eldon Edwards recessed the meeting at until June 1, 2006 at at the CountyOfficeBuilding, Conference Room.