The Alleghany County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, December 18, 2006, at 3:30pm in the Conference Room of the County Office Building, 90 South Main Street, Sparta, North Carolina.

 

            Present:  Chair Ken Richardson, Vice-Chair Warren Taylor, Commissioner Doug Murphy, Commissioner Milly Richardson, County Attorney Donna Shumate, County Manager Don Adams and Clerk to the Board Karen Evans.  Commissioner Randy Miller was present but arrived late.

 

Chair Ken Richardson called the meeting to order, led the Pledge of Allegiance and opened the meeting with a prayer.

 

Chair Ken Richardson stated that closed session under legal and personnel need to be added to the agenda.

 

Commissioner Milly Richardson made a motion to approve the amended agenda for this December 18, 2006, meeting.  Commissioner Doug Murphy seconded the motion.   Vote 4:0.

 

AGENDA

Monday, December 18, 2006

3:30 PM

 

3:30                Meeting Called To Order, Pledge of Allegiance and Prayer

                        Motion on Agenda for December 18, 2006, meeting

Motion on Minutes for December 4, 2006, meeting

3:35                Paul Church

                        RE: Current Year Budget

3:45                Sandy Ashley/John Blevins

                        RE:  DSS Director

3:55                Linda Hash

                        RE:  Ecosystem Enhancement Program Budget Amendment

4:05                Kate Cosner/Jenny Billings

                        RE: Kids Vote Program Budget Amendment

4:15                Mary Walker

                        RE:  Tax Releases, Refunds and Reevaluation

                        County Business

1.      Reschedule Holiday Meetings and Change Meeting Location

2.      Joint Meeting Schedule

3.      EMS Budget Amendment

4.      Northwestern Regional Library Board Appointment

5.      Signatory Banking Cards

6.      CDBG Scattered Site Housing Grant

7.      Annual Reports

8.      Legislative Goals and Voting Delegate

9.      Planning Board Discussions

10. Other Business

11. Public Comments—30 minutes

12. Closed Session—NCGS 143-318.11 (a)(3)—legal               (added)

NCGS 143-318.11 (a)(6)—personnel        (added)

13.  Adjourn

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to approve the minutes for the December 4, 2006, meeting.  Commissioner Milly Richardson seconded the motion.  Vote 4:0.

 

Commissioner Randy Miller arrived at 3:34pm.

 

Paul Church talked about the ambulance service hiring attendants from Wilkes County.  He asked why Alleghany County people weren’t hired.  He stated this error needs to be corrected.  He talked about the condition of the Senior Citizens building and the problems associated with the building leaking for two years.  He further talked about the lack of management, number of County-owned buildings and not adequate supervision.  He asked for an explanation why the budget for Public Buildings is $290,000 and how it can go from $12,000,000 to $14,000,000 in one year; which is 17%. He further stated that it is mismanagement somewhere.  He talked about the natives won’t last much longer with this tax rate.

 

Chair Ken Richardson explained the budget process including the public hearing portion. He stated that they can’t do anything about this year’s budget.  He explained that the next budget year discussions will be held in June of 2007. He stated that he doesn’t disagree but there is an appropriate time to discuss the budget.  He explained that the County Manager starts the budget process in February by meetings with the department heads.  He reiterated that he doesn’t disagree about the big budget increase but he does disagree about mismanagement.

 

Paul Church and County Manager Don Adams talked about the number of vehicles the County owns, how many vehicles are driven home by employees and location of vehicles when they are not in use.  Mr. Church asked for a list of the county vehicles.  County Manager Don Adams told him to come into the office and see Clerk to the Board Karen Evans to get the list.   Mr. Church stated that the new board better lower the taxes or else people will clean house everywhere.

 

Chair Ken Richardson stated that there is no point in going back or trying to embarrass the new Commissioners.

 

Paul Church stated that this is the fifth or sixth meeting he has attended.

 

Chair Ken Richardson stated that he is welcome to attend meetings all of the time.  He thanked Paul Church for attending this meeting.

 

Sandy Ashley came before the Board to introduce John Blevins, who is the new Social Services Director.  She explained that he started on December 1 and has been training for the month of December in preparation for her retirement on December 31.

 

Chair Ken Richardson and Commissioner Warren Taylor stated that they look forward to working with Mr. Blevins.

 

John Blevins agreed about looking forward to working together. 

 

Linda Hash came before the Board to request a budget amendment for the Ecosystem Enhancement Program (EEP).  She explained EEP and the rollover line item.  She further explained that $27,516 has been received and the items that have been discussed to be purchased with these monies. 

 

Chair Ken Richardson stated that this action will increase the budget to $14,456,715.  He asked the County Manager to explain budget pass-through items.

 

County Manager Don Adams explained the rollover line item concept meaning that at the end of the budget year the remaining monies are placed in that line item to be expended the following year.  He further explained that the County gets reimbursed by the State to do this work.  He talked about negotiating with the Soil & Water Board during budget time in regards to how this money is spent.  He explained budget amendment General Fund #16 in the amount of $27,516.   He stated that they can only spend what is budgeted.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor stated that if the Board doesn’t approve the expenses then the County can’t accept the money.

 

Commissioner Milly Richardson made a motion to approve budget amendment General Fund #16 in the amount of $27,516.  Commissioner Warren Taylor seconded the motion.

 

Commissioner Doug Murphy and Linda Hash talked about some of these funds being used for educational purposes.

 

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

 

Kate Cosner, Elections Director, came before the Board to request a budget amendment for the Kids Vote program.  She explained the Kids Vote program.  She stated that it is a community-based project with contributions coming in.  She further stated that she is asking for a rollover line item in order to have the flexibility to spend the money in different budget years.  She reminded the Board that they will only spend the amount of money that is raised.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor and Kate Cosner talked about this program does not require any County money.

 

County Manager Don Adams and Kate Cosner talked about the amount of the budget amendment.  Kate Cosner stated that this action will allow them to spend the amount they have already collected, $350.

 

Commissioner Milly Richardson made a motion to approve budget amendment General Fund #17 in the amount of $350.  Commissioner Doug Murphy seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

County Manager Don Adams stated that the regular meetings in January fall on County holidays.  He asked the Board about rescheduling those meetings.

 

The Board of Commissioners talked about dates to hold the meetings.  They talked about January 3 at 6:30pm and January 18 at 3:30pm.  They further talked about holding a revaluation meeting on January 18.

 

County Manager Don Adams stated that the new building in near completion.  He asked the Board to officially move the Commissioners meeting location to 348 South Main Street.

 

Commissioner Milly Richardson made a motion to change the dates of the January meetings and change the meeting location.  Commissioner Warren Taylor seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

Mary Walker, Tax Administrator, explained that she presents the tax refunds and releases every month.  She gave examples of each.

 

Mary Walker presented the November 2006 real property requests in the amount of $2,258.76 for refunds and $252.97 for releases.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to approve the November 2006 real property requests in the amount of $2,258.76 for refunds and $252.97 for releases. Commissioner Milly Richardson seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            Mary Walker presented the November 2006 vehicle requests in the amount of $358.20 for refunds and $1,201.20 for releases.

 

            Commissioner Milly Richardson made a motion to approve the November 2006 vehicle requests in the amount of $358.20 for refunds and $1,201.20 for releases.  Commissioner Doug Murphy seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            Mary Walker talked about holding a revaluation meeting with Pearson Appraisals on January 18.  She stated that Bob Pearson and Donny Smith will attend the meeting.  She explained the role that the Tax Office had in this revaluation including doing all of the data entry and pulling comps. 

 

            County Manager Don Adams asked the Commissioners how they want the revaluation meeting to proceed.

 

            The Board of Commissioners talked about comments should be about appraisals in general not a particular situation, making appointments for single situations and the revaluation process.

 

            Mary Walker explained the process and stated that Alleghany County follows the same process as everyone else.  She continued talking about the process, traditional appeals and Pearson Appraisals will be here during the Board of Equalization and Review.

 

            The Board of Commissioners and Mary Walker talked about allowing the public to ask general questions at the meeting.

 

            Mary Walker updated the Board concerning two pieces of property that is in the process of being sold.  She wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

 

            County Manager Don Adams reminded everyone that Pearson Appraisal is here to serve Alleghany County.

 

            County Manager Don Adams presented the joint meeting schedule with the Sparta Town Council for 2007. 

 

            Commissioner Milly Richardson made a motion to approve the joint meeting schedule.  Commissioner Doug Murphy seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            County Manager Don Adams presented budget amendment General Fund #18 in the amount of $581 for EMS.  He explained that this is insurance proceeds where an ambulance hit a deer.

 

            Commissioner Milly Richardson made a motion to approve budget amendment General Fund #18 in the amount of $581.  Commissioner Warren Taylor seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            County Manager Don Adams presented a letter from John Hedrick with Northwestern Regional Library requesting that Sandy Herndon be appointed to fill Patrick Woodie’s vacant seat on their board.

 

Commissioner Milly Richardson made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Doug Murphy seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

County Manager Don Adams talked about signature cards for banking purposes traditionally have the Finance Office staff—Joy Hines, Theresa Gunter, Karen McGrady; the Chairman, Ken Richardson; and the County Manager, Don Adams on them.  He stated that the County has to do new signature cards because of the change in the chairman.

 

Commissioner Milly Richardson made a motion to approve the request for the signature cards.  Commissioner Doug Murphy seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

County Manager Don Adams explained the Scattered Site Housing Grant.  He further explained that he is asking for approval of the grant committee and permission to submit the certificate of interest for the $400,000 grant. 

 

Michelle Ball gave examples of houses that were repaired or replaced with the last grant.

 

County Manager Don Adams talked about holding public hearings in January and March regarding the grant.  He explained that High Country Council of Governments contracted with the County for $45,000 to administer the three-year program for the last grant.

 

Commissioner Doug Murphy and County Manager Don Adams talked about this will be the third time the County has received this grant and the previous time approximately 40 people applied.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor and County Manager Don Adams discussed that no County money is involved with this grant.  County Manager Don Adams explained that he needs permission to submit the certificate of interest and approval for the grant committee.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to approve submitting the certificate of interest and grant committee members.  Commissioner Milly Richardson seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

County Manager Don Adams stated that the County should hear soon about another housing grant that was applied for recently.  He explained that this grant would work through the ministerial group.

 

County Manager Don Adams asked the Board whether they would like to continue to have departments come to the meetings to present annual reports.

 

The Board of Commissioners agreed to continue with the annual reports.

 

County Manager Don Adams handed out packets with the most recent legislative goals from the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC).

 

Chair Ken Richardson explained the process for the legislative goals.

 

Chair Ken Richardson and Commissioner Warren Taylor stated that these are ways to get items considered by the General Assembly.

 

Chair Ken Richardson encouraged the Board to review these goals.  He stated that each county must select a voting delegate because each county has one vote at the conference in January. 

 

Commissioner Milly Richardson made a motion to appoint Ken Richardson as the voting delegate.  Commissioner Warren Taylor seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

County Manager Don Adams stated that he was asked to put the Planning Board discussions on the agenda.

 

Chair Ken Richardson asked everyone to come an hour early to the next Commissioners meeting to discuss the makeup of the Planning Board.

 

Commissioner Milly Richardson stated that a couple of the Commissioners requested information from the County Manager about forming a separate Planning Board.

 

Chair Ken Richardson talked about the process and items for discussions at the next meeting.

 

Commissioner Milly Richardson made a motion to form a Planning Board separate and apart from the Board of Commissioners.  Motion died due to lack of a second.

 

Commissioner Randy Miller mentioned that one Commissioner should be on the Board.

 

Commissioner Doug Murphy talked about voting tonight to create a separate Planning Board.

 

County Attorney Donna Shumate stated that she doesn’t think the Board can legally take that action tonight.  She further stated that they need to come back with the process to change the Planning Board ordinance.  She talked about looking at the composition of other planning boards.

 

The Board of Commissioners and County Manager Don Adams talked about changing the planning board composition and the process to follow.  They talked about having more discussions regarding the composition and structure of the Planning Board.

 

Planner Amy Pardue stated that planning board members are appointed by the Board of Commissioners, most of the time in other counties there is one representative from each township and the number of members varies from 5 to 13.  She talked about this will be a volunteer-based board without compensation nor be on the County’s insurance.

 

The Board agreed to discuss this topic at the next meeting.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor mentioned work done the ministerial group on David Smith’s house.  He talked about a lot of volunteer time and materials were donated including the building permit fees, and the house is almost complete.

 

Commissioner Milly Richardson stated that everyone involved should be commended for their work on this project.

 

Chair Ken Richardson asked for public comments.

 

County Manager Don Adams mentioned that Stacy Evans is here to talk about the process/plans for changing the High Impact/Polluting Industries Ordinance.

 

Chair Ken Richardson stated that the Planning Board has to start the process.

 

County Manager Don Adams explained the process with the Planning Board and the Board of Commissioners including public hearings.

 

Stacy Evans asked about Milly Richardson’s motion to remove concrete plants from the ordinance.

 

County Manager Don Adams explained the process about why the Board couldn’t legally vote on the issue.

 

Stacy Evans stated that the process needs to be started. 

 

County Manager Don Adams continued talking about the process and the Planning Board reviewing proposed changes.

 

Chair Ken Richardson closed the public comments section of the meeting.

 

Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to enter into closed session at 5:01pm under NCGS 143-318.11 (a) (3)—legal and (a) (6)—personnel.  Commissioner Doug Murphy seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            Commissioner Milly Richardson made a motion to adjourn the closed session at 5:50pm and reconvene the regular meeting.  Commissioner Randy Miller seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

            Chair Ken Richardson stated no actions were taken during closed session.

 

            Being no further business, Commissioner Warren Taylor made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:51pm.  Commissioner Randy Miller seconded the motion.  Vote 5:0.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

Karen Evans

Clerk to the Board

 

 

Attest:

 

 

 

Ken Richardson

Chairman