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JANUARY 21, 2014
Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 7:00 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
4. Approval of the minutes from the Board’s Regular Meeting and Closed Session of December 16, 2013
5. Recognition of special guests
6. Public comment for items not on the agenda.
7. Public hearing:
9. Departmental Reports:
10. Other Items of Business
12. Manager’s Report
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.
CALENDAR: The February 2014 Board meetings will take place on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. and on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room, 1924 Courthouse, 30 North College Avenue, Newton, NC.
PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
TUESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2014, 7 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to an installment financing agreement, a deed of trust and related documents in connection with the construction of an expansion of the County’s Justice Center, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton. The Board will also consider a recommended economic development agreement, in partnership with the Cities of Hickory and Conover, with HSM (formerly Hickory Springs Manufacturing) regarding the expansion of several HSM facilities located in the county that will create up to 162 new jobs and a target investment of $3.3 million in new facilities and equipment.
The Board will consider the proposed transfer of property in the Denver Lakes Professional Park, owned by the County and used by a medical facility owned by Catawba Valley Medical Center, so that the property may be correctly reconfigured to encompass the footprint of the building. It will consider the proposed sale of County-owned property in Taylorsville, which includes an old, closed medical office building, to the Town of Taylorsville for the sum of $50,000. It will consider a resolution in support of the filling of vacant North Carolina Cooperative Extension positions in Catawba County. And the Board will receive an annual presentation from the Community Child Protection/Fatality Prevention Team.
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.
In 2013, the Board approved construction bids for the Justice Center Expansion Project, which will consist of an expanded facility of approximately 140,000 square feet, a parking deck to accommodate the additional traffic, multiple utility/maintenance items and renovations to the existing facility. The contract was awarded to Hickory Construction Company and the total cost of the project is anticipated to be $40 million, leaving a balance of $20 million that will be financed by the County and repaid with the proceeds from the 1/4 cent sales tax.
All local governments in North Carolina that borrow funds greater than $500,000, or for longer than five years to maturity, must receive approval from the Local Government Commission (LGC), a division of the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer. If approved by the Board of Commissioners, the LGC will consider this financing at its February 4, 2014, meeting in Raleigh. The County plans to sell Limited Obligation Bonds (similar to the Certificates of Participation issued for the County Jail expansion in 2005) on February 12, 2014. A notice of public hearing has been advertised more than ten days in advance of this January 21 meeting of the Board, per state law.
CVMC has no use for this property and its dilapidated condition makes it difficult to sell. The tax value of this parcel is $186,419, but CVMC caries the property on its books at $48,266. The hospital has not had a formal appraisal done, but the offer is within the range of the estimates of values that Paul Gadd, its real estate agent, has provided to the hospital from time to time. CVMC management has considered demolition of the structure, but believes that selling the property for $50,000 is a better result.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
This project represents the total transformation of HSM from a basic supplier of furniture parts into an integrated and global manufacturer and seller of complete product lines, including seats for mass transportation, end-user products such as outdoor and beach seating and many other products. Hickory Springs has changed its name to HSM to reflect this total transformation. HSM is placing a heavy reliance on innovation, research and design, creative product design and marketing as shown by this multi-part project. The project components include creation and investment in two Conover locations (Innovations Center on Debra Herman Road, with a $500,000 investment and 19 jobs, and the Foam Tech Center on Farrington Street, with a $1.55 million investment and three jobs) as well as two Hickory locations, which are manufacturing facility investments in a State-recognized Urban Progress Zone. The State has committed to over $278,000 participation, requiring a local match. Conover has approved its participation and the Hickory City Council will consider approval of Hickory’s participation at a January 21 public hearing.
The County’s usual incentive grants process of granting a percentage of future receipts based on investment alone is not sufficient in this case to provide the required local match. The EDC is recommending a grant from each local governing unit of $500 for each job created and a 3-year, 50% grant based on the realized income from these investments. Under this proposal, HSM would receive a one-time grant of $1000 for each job ($500 from the municipality for the job created within their jurisdiction and $500 from the County, one time in the year following certification of the creation of that job) in addition to a 50% grant on the income received from the investment in their jurisdiction for each of three years following the investment (if the qualified investment were made in year three, the incentive would pay in the three years following the receipt of the payment of taxes on that investment). The total maximum payout of incentives for each jurisdiction under this proposal is as follows: Catawba County, $110,839; Hickory, $82,690; Conover, $23,300.
Other considerations include that The Main Avenue, Hickory project is in a State-certified Urban Progress Zone, qualifying it for special treatment for North Carolina-based incentives; that this is an existing Catawba County corporate headquarters with a long standing track record of investment and jobs; that the entire transformation of the company is based on extensive investment in R&D and innovation and the type of jobs that investment requires; that HSM has contractually agreed to exceed Catawba County’s average wage by $6000 for all hires, and that the financial impact modeling for the project, using IMplan Analysis, totals $69,887,015 for the years 2013-2015.
The Catawba County Child Protection Team was established in 1992 as the result of an executive order by Governor James Martin. North Carolina later mandated a Child Fatality Review Team and Catawba County elected to combine the two into a single team as allowed under State guidelines, which first met in 1995. The combined teams have met quarterly since inception, except for specially called meetings.
This report addresses the work of the Community Child Protection and Fatality Prevention Team. The Child Protection Team has the legal responsibilities for reviewing cases of child fatalities when the family is known to Social Services, and identification of areas in Protective Services needing improvement in order to maximize the safety of the community’s children. The Child Fatality Team’s purpose is to provide a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary approach to study cases of childhood death in Catawba County in order to attempt to reduce child fatalities. The local directors of Social Services and Public Health have specific responsibilities for each team. Efforts continue to be made for the group to review additional individual Child Protective Services issues and satisfy the State’s agreement with the federal government to use Child Protection Teams as a review mechanism in the Child Protective Services arena.
The Community Child Protection and Child Fatality Prevention Team has worked diligently in 2013 on fatality reviews; promoting Signs of Safety Training for case planning and engagement with families that have histories of maltreatment; supporting the Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center’s effort to reach 6000 citizens by 2016 regarding sexual abuse prevention; awareness regarding the dangers of distracted driving among teens; promoting a “Neglect with Injury” protocol with law enforcement and Social Services; implementing an Infant Safe Sleeping Campaign to educate about the dangers of unsafe sleeping among parents with young children; and supporting the Project Lazarus initiative to curb drug overdose with prescribed drugs.
OTHER ITEMS OF BUSINESS
In recent years, Catawba County’s local Extension Office has been plagued by vacancies in a number of key positions. Most recently, vacancies in the Cooperative Extension Director, Family & Consumer Sciences and Livestock/Agriculture program areas have gone unaddressed. In the interest of maintaining program continuity and continuing to deliver these critical services to the public, the County has consistently pledged to contribute its share of the salaries associated with filling these positions and has requested through administrative channels – on numerous occasions – that NCSU commit to do the same. To date, these efforts have not yielded the desired results, as the vacancies remain unfilled. This situation is not unique to Catawba County. Recently, Perquimans County passed a resolution affirming the value of Cooperative Extension Services to the local community and supporting the filling of existing vacancies within Perquimans County’s local office as well as in neighboring counties.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464
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