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January 20, 2015
AGENDA
Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 7 p.m.
Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room, 1924 Courthouse
30 North College Avenue, Newton, NC

1. Call to Order

2. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

3. Invocation

4. Approval of the minutes from the Regular Meeting and Closed Session of December 1, 2014

5. Recognition of Special Guests

6. Public Comment for Items Not on the Agenda

7. Presentations:

a. Distinguished Public Service Award to Retiring Planning Board Member Ray Von Caldwell


b. Recognition of Catawba County University Program Participants

8. Public Hearing:


Catawba County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) First Public Hearing. Presented by Utilities and Engineering Director Barry Edwards

9. Appointments

10. Consent Agenda:


a. Abandonment of State Maintenance for a Portion of GW Carson Road (SR 1219)


b. Urgent Repair Program Project Budget Amendment – Interest from Grant Funds


c. Map Review Officer Designation


d. Two Tax Refund Requests

11. Departmental Reports:


A. Public Health


Public Health Farmers Market Update. Presented by Amy McCauley, Community Outreach Manager

B. Social Services


1. Revisions to Fiscal Year 2014/15 Social Services Board Outcomes. Presented by Social Services Director John Eller


2. Social Services Update. Presented by Social Services Director John Eller

12. Other Items of Business

13. Attorneys’ Report

14. Manager’s Report

15. Adjournment

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES: Individuals needing assistance should contact the County Clerk at 828-465-8990 within a reasonable time prior to the meeting. Access to the 1924 Courthouse for individuals with disabilities is at the south side (“A” Street). The elevator is located at the north end of the building. Participation in public meetings is without regard to race, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, color, or disability.


INFOTALK/INTERNET:
The Catawba County Telephone Information System will allow you to use your touch tone telephone to obtain current information on Catawba County 24 hours a day. Information is updated on a regular basis. Dial 465-8468 and INFOTALK will direct your questions with easy to understand instructions. Reach Catawba County on the Internet at http://www.catawbacountync.gov.

CALENDAR: The February Board of Commissioners Meetings will take place on Monday, February 2, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. and on Monday, February 16, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room of the 1924 Courthouse, 30 North College Avenue, Newton.

PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
TUESDAY, JANUARY 20, 2015, 7 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing to receive citizen comments on the development of Community Development Block Grant Infrastructure and Economic Development applications for grant funds over a three year cycle that must benefit low and moderate-income persons and address critical public infrastructure needs, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

The Board will receive a general update on the programs of Catawba County Social Services and consider revising twelve budget outcomes agreed to by the Social Services Board due to circumstances beyond the department’s control, including State and Federal policy changes. The Board will receive an update on the Public Health Farmers Market, which completed a second successful year in the fall of 2014, bringing fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables to an increasing number of WIC clients.

The Board will consider a request made to the North Carolina Department of Transportation to remove 650 feet of GW Carson Road from the State road maintenance system, which would not adversely impact any adjacent property owners or deny any property owner access. The Board will consider an amendment to an Urgent Repair Project Budget to appropriate interest earned from grant funds. The Board will consider the designation of Map Review Officers for the County and its municipalities, to add new Map Review Officers for Catawba County and the City of Claremont and remove one Map Review Officer for the City of Newton who has left that position, and will consider two tax refund requests.

The Board will present a Distinguished Public Service Award to Ray Von Caldwell to recognize and thank him for 44 years of service on the Catawba County Planning Board as he retires from the Board. And it will recognize citizens who participated in “Catawba County University” in December 2014, a two night course during which the group learned about the work of the Board of Commissioners; the County’s organization and details about many County departments.

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE IN THE BOARD’S USUAL MEETING DATE BECAUSE THE THIRD MONDAY IN JANUARY IS MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY AND COUNTY OFFICES ARE CLOSED.

PRESENTATIONS
A. The Board will present a Distinguished Public Service Award to Mr. Ray Von Caldwell to recognize and thank him for his 44 years of service on the Catawba County Planning Board as he retires from the Board. The award recognizes Mr. Caldwell’s work in influencing the process of growth and change to ensure the County’s quality of life heritage is safeguarded for this and future generations.

B. The Board will recognize citizens who participated in “Catawba County University” in December 2014, a two night course during which the group learned about the work of the Board of Commissioners, the County’s organization and details about many County departments.

PUBLIC HEARING
The Board will conduct a first public hearing to receive citizen comments and consider the submission of a 2015 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Infrastructure application. All North Carolina counties, except for the HUD-designated urban counties of Cumberland, Mecklenburg, and Wake, are eligible to apply.

Infrastructure grants are designed to improve the quality of life in target residential areas or area wide jurisdictions by
installing or replacing public water and sewer systems. The maximum grant is $3 million over a three-year period. Priority is given to communities with critical water/wastewater system needs and very low income. The application deadlines anticipated are the first of March and September, 2015.

The primary statutory objective of the CDBG program is to develop viable communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunities, primarily for persons of low- and moderate-income (LMI). The State must ensure that at least 70% of CDBG funds are spent for activities benefitting LMI persons. Program design must meet one of three national objectives: 1) LMI benefit; 2) to prevent or eliminate slum and blight; or 3) to address an urgent need. Grants are expected to be awarded on a competitive basis. In 2014, the State received approximately $42.1 million. Approximately $26.1 million is available for infrastructure funding and $15.9 million is available for economic development funding. Similar amounts are expected for 2015. Under the current program, CDBGs could fund 100% of a project if awarded.

CONSENT AGENDA
A. The Board will consider adopting a resolution recommending to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) an abandonment of maintenance for a portion of GW Carson Road or State Road (SR) 1219. Pursuant to North Carolina General Statutes, the Board of Commissioners may, on its own motion or on petition of a group of citizens, request that the North Carolina Board of Transportation change or abandon any road in the secondary system when the best interest of the people of the county will be served. While the road portion is in the City of Hickory’s Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ), the statute gives the County authority to make the abandonment request and has the city’s support.

NCDOT is requesting a review and consideration from the Board of Commissioners relating to the abandonment of maintenance of a portion of this road. NCDOT recently realigned and paved GW Carson Road, which serves 15 properties, nine of which contain single-family dwellings. The request by property owners at 6611 GW Carson Road made to NCDOT to remove approximately 650 feet of GW Carson Road from the State maintenance system will not adversely impact any adjacent property owners or deny any property owner access. The realignment of GW Carson Road and its intersection with Hildebran-Shelby Road (SR 1206) will benefit motorists by increasing visibility at the intersection. Mr. Steven Lee Costner and Mr. Clifford Costner are the only property owners adjacent to the portion of GW Carson Road proposed to be abandoned. Both have signed a petition requesting that NCDOT abandon the 650 feet of road.

B. The Board will consider amending the 2013 Urgent Repair Project Budget Ordinance to appropriate $207 in interest earned to date. Catawba County received a $75,000 Urgent Repair Grant in June 2013 to rehabilitate 16 houses at $5,000 or less per house. The County is allowed to earn interest on these funds received from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency. During the last 18 months, a total of $207 in interest has been earned and these funds will need to be expended through the rehabilitation line item by January 31, 2015. Twenty-two homeowners scattered throughout Catawba County have benefited from this grant. Repairs have consisted of the installation of new roofs, plumbing repairs, installation of heating systems and floor repairs.

C. The Board will consider adopting a resolution amending the current list of Map Review Officers for the City of Newton, City of Claremont and Catawba County. On July 17, 1997, the North Carolina General Assembly ratified Senate Bill 875 - Maps and Plats Law. This law required all counties to appoint Review Officers who would review each plat or map before it is recorded and certify that it meets the statutory requirements for mapping. The law states that individuals have to be appointed by name, not by job title so that any time a change occurs in staffing, a new Review Officer has to be appointed and approved by resolution of the Board of Commissioners and subsequently recorded in the Register of Deeds’ Office.

It is requested that the County’s new planner, Ms. Lashana Marshburn be added to the list of approved Map Review Officers. It is also requested that Mary K. George be removed due to her retiring from her position. The City of Newton has requested that Mr. Maxton D. Sigler be removed due to his leaving his position. And the City of Claremont has requested that Ms. Shelley Stevens be added to their list of approved Map Review Officers. If the resolution incorporating the changes noted above is approved, the active list of Review Officers would be:

Catawba County: Jacky M. Eubanks, Susan Ballbach, Chris Timberlake and Lashana Marshburn
City of Hickory: Brian Frazier, Cal Overby, John Furmage, David Leonetti and Shamaury Myrick
City of Newton: Alex S. Fulbright
City of Conover: Q. Lance Hight, and Cara C. (Chris) Reed
City of Claremont: Laurie Locicero and Shelley Stevens
Town of Long View: David Epley, and Charles T. Mullis
Town of Maiden: Travis Ramsey
Town of Catawba: Shelley Stevens
Town of Brookford: Marshall Eckard

D. The Board will consider two tax refund requests totaling $3,491.91 made to the Tax Office. Records have been checked and these refunds verified and the Tax Collector is asking for approval of the refund requests. Under North Carolina General Statute 105-381, a taxpayer who has paid his or her taxes may request a refund (in writing) for the amount paid through error.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS

A. PUBLIC HEALTH
The Board will receive an update on the Public Health Farmers Market, which completed a second successful year in the fall of 2014, bringing fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables to an increasing number of WIC clients.

B. SOCIAL SERVICES
1. The Board will consider revising twelve budget outcomes agreed to by the Catawba County Board of Social Services. Social Services implemented a new outcome development process for Fiscal Year 2014/15. However, at the middle of the fiscal year local circumstances beyond the department’s control, along with State and Federal policy changes, have necessitated twelve outcome changes. Some recommended revisions are based on identifying specific populations targeted, corrections to multi-year outcomes based on sequence of events and significant core changes within specific programs. These changes also help the agency address some State and Federal policy adjustments. The following program areas are impacted: Child Welfare, Family NET and Economic Services.

At the local level, service delivery changes such as Corner House programs or court-related items such as continuances require outcome modifications. Implementation of a Continuous Quality Improvement program will better equip Social Services to meet both State and Federal requirements. This has led to better data collection and reporting for compliance, impacting several current outcomes. And the North Carolina Families Accessing Services through Technology (NC FAST) program does not allow Social Services to produce reports consistent with current outcomes, necessitating revisions.

A summary of the twelve outcome revisions is presented below, with changes in the outcome noted in bold and justification for each change following the indication of the outcome revision:

Child Welfare Outcomes


1) Current Board Outcome: To assist children in foster care with a plan of adoption to move toward permanency during FY 2014-15, 55% (28 of 51) of children will become adopted within two years of entering agency custody, as compared to the state rate of 36.54% and Catawba’s rate of 52.94%. Revision: 50% (25 of 51), due to judicial retirements and the recent election of new judges, as well as the transition to a new district attorney leading to continuances on a number of cases where a termination of parental rights petition is filed. A goal of 50% is still above the state's rate of 36.54%.

2) Current Board Outcome: To improve foster care placement stability and increase the well-being of children, 71% (57 of 80) of children in foster care for 12-24 months will experience two or fewer placements (excluding moves toward permanency) during FY 2014-2015, as compared to the current Federal standard of 59.9%, and the FY 12-13 state percentage of 69.1%, large counties' 72.45%, and Catawba County’s 65%. Revision: 68% (54 of 80), due to mental health authorizations needed to properly address the trauma incurred and stabilize many children for permanency. Also, due to mental health reform over the last several years, mental health leveled placement capacity has significantly diminished along with placement authorizations (duration), as Managed Care Organizations incorporate a managed care model.

3) Current Board Outcome: To improve foster care placement stability and increase the wellbeing of children, 90% of children in foster care less than 12 months will experience two or fewer placement changes (excluding moves toward permanency) during FY 2014-2015 as compared to the state's 88.44%, large counties 86.17%, and Catawba County's 88.72% in FY 2012-13. Revision: 89% (104 of 116), due to Family In Home (FIH) services changing drastically over the past two years. This was precipitated by a Federal ruling that North Carolina's FIH program, and the use of IV-E to fund it, was not proper. The result has been more children entering care due to lack of available preventative services.

4) Current Board Outcome (Multi-year, Year 1) 2014-2015: To develop relationships, strengthen parental engagement, identify supports and mutual understanding of expectations in an atmosphere of mutual respect that promotes the safety of children, 75% of all families with children involved in child welfare assessments or investigations, family in-home and foster care services during Fiscal year 2014-2015 will participate in a Child and Family Team (CFT) meeting with fidelity to the CFT model at required intervals (prior to petition for custody, within 30 days of case decision, within 30, 60, 150 days of foster care and every six months thereafter) as measured by ISSI data and information. Revision: families with children involved in Family In-Home services who participate in Child and Family Team meetings (by or within 30 days) will not have a repeat finding within six months of case closure during FY 2014-15, due to revised language to identify Child Welfare services where Child and Family Team meetings could impact the reduction in the number of children entering foster care. A revision in language also specifies the target group as those participating in the Child and Family Team process; therefore making this outcome stronger and more concise.

5) Current Board Outcome: In order to improve self-sufficiency and increase positive support systems available to families in times of crisis, 75% of families in need of child protective services and who identify two voluntary supports (such as family members, friends, faith community, coaches, teachers, or others) that are willing to take an active role as a participant in the family's safety plan, will not experience another need for services within six months of case closure during FY 2014-15. Revision: 65% of families who participate in a Child and Family Team meeting will identify two voluntary social supports (such as family members, friends, faith community, coaches, teachers, or others) that are willing to take an active role as a participant in the family's safety plan, resulting in no need for services within six months of case closure during FY 2014-15, due to revised language specifying a targeted population to help identify families who participate in the Child and Family Team intervention in order to adequately measure longitudinal impact and better align with State policy.

6) Current Board Outcome: In order to promote safety of children, 80% of parents/caregivers in need of child protective services will be able to demonstrate/explain and put into practice at least two behaviors that keep their children safe prior to closure of services as evidenced by CFT, a case closure summary, case plan and/or documentation in narrative during FY 2014-15. Revision: 70% of parents/caregivers involved with child protective services (Investigation/Assessment and Family In-Home) who participate in a CFT meeting will be able to demonstrate and explain at least two behaviors that keep their children safe prior to closure of services as evidenced by a CFT summary form during FY 2014-15, due to the language specifically identifying families involved with Investigation/Assessment and Family In-Home services who participate in the Child and Family Team intervention in order to measure impact.

7) Current Board Outcome: In order to be more fully equipped to provide trauma informed services to children and families served within the division, 95% of all child welfare staff will complete the Child Welfare Trauma Toolkit Training and will demonstrate improved or maintained understanding of the impact trauma has on children and the impact childhood trauma experienced by parents has on their ability to parent effectively, as measured by a 14% increase in trauma informed knowledge from pre to post test in FY 2014-15. Two additional correct responses on a 14 question post test would indicate a 14% increase. Revision: 95% of child welfare staff who complete the Child Welfare Trauma Training in FY 2014-15 will demonstrate an understanding of the impact childhood trauma has on behavior and the ability to parent effectively as measured by an increase in knowledge from pre to post test, due to clarification and removal of the measurement threshold for competency as it is not based on a standardized tool and there being no correlation that a 14% increase assures training competency, which was based on premature information staff had during the initial development of the outcome.

8) Current Board Outcome (Multi-year, Year 1) 2014-2015: To help facilitate parental engagement and remove barriers to reunification (or other permanency outcomes) for youth entering foster care during FY 2014-15, 75% (68 of 90) of parents/caregivers will receive a trauma-informed assessment within 45 days of child entering care to identify needs and gaps in services. Revision: To help remove barriers to reunification or other permanency outcomes for youth entering foster care, a parental /caregiver trauma-informed screening tool will be developed and piloted during FY 2014-15, due to addressing the need for a comprehensive screening tool and assessment.

9) Current Board Outcome: To provide more timely and clinically appropriate treatment to help children in foster care heal from trauma and improve their placement stability, 80% (47 of 59) of children ages 3-17 who have entered foster care and complete a mental health trauma informed assessment by Family Net within 30 days, and will receive recommended treatment during FY 2014-15 as compared to 50% in FY 2013-14. Revision: 80% (47 of 59) of children ages 3-17 who have entered foster care will engage in treatment as a result of a mental health trauma informed assessment by Family Net within 30 days during FY 2014-15 as compared to 50% in FY 2013-14, due to specifying the goal of engaging children into treatment and ensuring treatment regardless of limited mental health resources beyond the treatment scope of Family NET services.

10) Current Board Outcome: In order to promote wellbeing and improved behaviors for youth during FY2014-15, 87% (12 of 14) of youth receiving services in the Corner House Programs for at least six months will demonstrate improved behaviors on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) as measured at admission and planned discharge. Revision: Proposed Revised Board Outcome: In order to develop coping skills, build healthy relationships, and resiliency to trauma, DSS residential services will internally develop and implement a new service delivery model to meet the needs of children served by June 30, 2015, due to changes that have been made to the Corner House programs.

11) Current Board Outcome: In preparation for successful independent living, 90% (approximately 35 of 39) of youth aged 16-18 who actively participate in North Carolina’s Independent Living Program for Foster Children (LINKS) in FY 2014-15 will meet a benchmark of 80% achievement in State-identified outcomes (sufficient economic resources to meet daily needs, a safe and stable place to live, attainment of academic or vocational/educational goals, connections to a positive support system, avoidance of illegal or high risk behaviors, postponement of parenthood until financially and emotionally capable and access to physical, dental and mental health services). Revision: To prepare youth in foster care aged 16 -18 to navigate the transition to successful independent living, recognize and build upon their strengths, meet their economic, health, emotional, and daily living needs, youth will achieve 80% (31 of 39) of their Independent Living Program for Foster Children (LINKS) goals during FY2014-15, due to better aligning with State policy, youth participating in developing their own plans for the future are coached to tap into their strengths and desires as a way to set reachable goals towards positive and productive independent living. Also, this is a stronger outcome as 100% of children are being measured versus just those who are actively participating.

Economic Services Outcomes
12) Current Board Outcome: To support the Universal Eligibility Specialist concept, improve customer service and create efficiencies for staff, 95% of families receiving Food Assistance and Medicaid will have one case manager by June 30, 2015, as compared to the current caseload of 25%. Revision: To support the Universal Eligibility Specialist concept, improve customer service and create efficiencies for staff, 95% (22,375 of 23,553) of families applying for Food Assistance and/or Medicaid will be able to complete the process within the same interview by June 30, 2015, as compared to the current process of 25%, due to removal of case management function in original outcome as NCFAST does not support this as a universal set up as first believed by staff. The universal worker concept can only be supported during the intake process. The proposed revised outcome continues to support the objective of eliminating redundancy for customers and staff during the intake process.

2. Social Services Update: The Board will receive a general update on the programs of Catawba County Social Services.

CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464