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JANUARY 22, 2013

AGENDA
Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Tuesday, January 22, 2012, 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

3. Invocation

4. Approval of the minutes from the Board’s Regular Meeting of December 17, 2012

5. Recognition of Special Guests

6. Public Comment for Items Not on the Agenda

7. Appointments

8. Consent Agenda:

a. Charter Communications Lease

b. Juvenile Crime Prevention Priorities for FY 2014

9. Departmental Reports:


A. Social Services:


2012 Community Child Protection & Fatality Prevention Team Annual Report. Presented by Social Services Director John Eller and Public Health Services Manager Jennifer McCracken

B. Utilities and Engineering:

Renewal of Solid Waste Management Franchise Agreement. Presented by Director of Utilities and Engineering Barry Edwards

10. Other Items of Business

Proposed 2013 State and Federal Legislative Agendas. Presented by Assistant County Manager Dewey Harris.

11. Attorneys’ Report

12. Manager’s Report

13. 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 2013 Board meetings will take place on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. and on Monday, February 18, 2013 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 22, 2013, 7 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider the awarding of an exclusive solid waste management franchise to Republic Services of NC, LLC, (formerly known as GDS) for solid waste management and disposal services in Catawba County that would substantially increase the number of items collected for recycling across Catawba County, with further expansion of items collected as needed over time; begin “single stream” collection of recyclable commodities so recycled materials would no longer have to be separated at curbside; increase Republic Services’ investment in Catawba County by $13 million; and protect more than 150 local jobs, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at the 1924 Courthouse, at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

The Board will also consider adopting a legislative agenda, which will highlight the issues on which the Board hopes to work with the County’s delegations to the North Carolina General Assembly and United States Congress. It will consider a set of risk and needs priorities recommended by the Catawba County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council for the Council’s program of work for Fiscal Year 2014, and a proposed renewal of a lease agreement with Charter Communications for 0.22 acres of County-owned property used by Charter to provide television and high-speed Internet access to approximately 10,000 customers in the Newton-Conover area. And the Board will receive the annual report for 2012 of the Community Child Protection and 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.

CONSENT AGENDA
A. The Board will consider renewal of a five-year lease with Charter Communications, LLC for 0.22 acres of land owned by the County and a resolution authorizing execution of the lease. In 2003, Charter Communications constructed a 12 by 28 foot building between the County’s Maintenance Facility and Hildebrand Creek off Radio Station Road and entered into a ten-year lease with the County for $1,176 annually. From this site, Charter Communications supplies cable television and high-speed Internet access to approximately 10,000 customers in the Newton-Conover area. The current lease agreement will expire on February 28, 2013. Charter has requested renewal of the lease for an additional five-year period ending on February 28, 2018. The new lease includes a 10% increase to $1,294 per year. Charter Communications will maintain general liability insurance, hold the County harmless from any liability associated with the property, and agrees not to sublease the property. The County has determined that this property will not be needed for County use for the term of this lease. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends the execution of this lease.

B. The Board will consider approval of risk and needs priorities for the Catawba County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC), as recommended by the Council after review of court data, with input from juvenile court counselors and funded programs.

The JCPC is an organization established by the State of North Carolina’s Department of Public Safety. Membership is determined mostly by the North Carolina Statute establishing the JCPC. Representatives are those involved with youth. The JCPC is advisory to the Board of Commissioners, and exists to identify risks of youth in the community, prevent crime among at- risk youth, review court data and identify needed programs to provide intervention and prevention. Funding is allocated by the State, then distributed to the County and then to programs.

The JCPC must follow a process each year that begins with prioritizing risks and needs, with the final step being approval of a funding plan. The risks and needs priorities are determined in the fall/early winter, and the approval of the funding plan occurs in the spring. JCPC identifies risk factors, based on court data; develops a list of priorities to address the risk factors; and reviews and approves the priorities. Once priorities are developed, JCPC advertises to invite programs to submit proposals to address risk factors, reviews proposals and recommends a funding plan to the JCPC. In the spring, and once proposals are received, JCPC develops an annual plan and submits the plan to the Board of Commissioners.

Based on the review and input and consideration of JCPC discussions over the past year, the recommended list of priorities for funding for the next fiscal year are: 1) Psychological services; 2) Substance abuse; 3) Crisis beds/emergency shelter; 4) Sexual offender; 5) Counseling; 6) Home based family services; 7) Restitution/community service; 8) Parenting; 9) Mediation; 10) Interpersonal skills; 11) Mentoring; 12) Residential group homes; 13) Teen court and 14) Structured day. Approval of these priorities is recommended by the Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS

SOCIAL SERVICES
The Board will receive, and consider approving, the annual report of the work of the Community Child Protection & Fatality Prevention Team. This annual report is to update and keep the Board informed on activities to date. Upon the Board’s approval, the Annual Plan will be submitted to the State.

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 2012 on fatality reviews; a Child Sexual Abuse Protection and Community Protocol; awareness and referrals from physicians; awareness regarding the dangers of distracted driving among teens; Signs of Safety Training; development of a “Neglect with Injury” protocol with law enforcement and Social Services; planning for an Infant Safe Sleeping Campaign in 2013, a community wide plan to address the needs of children and families and work across agencies and systems to develop a collective strategy to deal with the priorities identified; a Child Data Snapshot with system wide information about the status of children; and support of community initiatives such as Darkness to Light: Stewards of Children, Children’s Vigils, Pinwheels for Prevention, Period of Purple Crying and the Yellow Dino campaign at Hickory Crawdads Stadium.

UTLITIES AND ENGINEERING
The Board will consider the granting of a new exclusive solid waste management franchise to Republic Services of NC, LLC, (formerly known as GDS) for solid waste management and disposal services in Catawba County, for a period of ten years, with an option for a four year extension by mutual agreement of both the County and Republic Services.

The proposed new franchise agreement would substantially increase the number of items collected for recycling across Catawba County, with further expansion of items collected as needed over time; begin “single stream” collection of recyclable commodities so recycled materials would no longer have to be separated at curbside; enhance the collection of yard waste; increase Republic Services’ investment in Catawba County by $13 million; and protect over 150 local jobs.

In 2003, the Board granted an exclusive solid waste management franchise to Republic Services for a ten year period beginning July 1, 2004, which will expire on June 30, 2014. The proposed new franchise would take effect on July 1, 2013, and end on June 30, 2024, with an opportunity for a four year extension by mutual agreement of both the County and Republic Services.

Benefits to Catawba County citizens from the proposed franchise agreement would include:

• Republic Services would convert to a single stream recyclable commodities collection for residences by January 1, 2014, which is one year earlier than expected under the current franchise. Use of a single stream will mean citizens will no longer be expected to separate different kinds of recyclable materials.

• The single stream collection will expand the types of materials that can be recycled at the curbside beginning October 1, 2013, and include a large roll-out cart for recyclables for every household customer. Republic Services would add the collection of aluminum foil, paper, mixed paper, computer paper, office ledger, copier paper, memos, envelopes (with or without windows), adding machine tape, NCR paper (carbonless), colored paper, empty plastic bottles and containers (numbers 1-7), cardboard, pizza boxes, waxed cardboard, all types of glass, shrink wrap, grocery bags, upholstery cloth and other non-hazardous recyclable containers.

Curbside collection is currently limited to aluminum and steel cans, glass bottles and jars, newspapers with inserts, magazines and phone books, and plastic bottles with a neck smaller than the base of the bottle.

• Seventy percent of existing Republic Services customers, who currently rent roll-out carts, would see a $1 per month reduction in their bill. The remaining 30%, who do not currently rent any cart, would pay an additional $1.50 per month for the standard carts. Standard 96 gallon carts will become mandatory for both recycling and regular household waste because special trucks will be needed to provide single stream and automated collection. Sixty-five gallon carts, which are more easily handled by the elderly and disabled, will be available.

• Republic Services would provide a yard waste collection service to include small woody waste (wood and other yard waste such as leaves, vines, etc.) on an on-call basis for a fee of $2 per 32-gallon bag collected. A minimum of $20, or ten bags, would be required per service call. The current fee is $1.50 per bag, but small woody wastes are currently excluded.

• In order to move to single stream recycling, Republic Services would upgrade its existing Material Recycling Facility (MRF) located in Conover, resulting in an increased local investment by Republic of $12 million. The existing MRF will be converted to a single stream recycling facility over a one year period, becoming fully operational by July 1, 2014.

• Republic Services would agree to provide organic waste collection services in the future if desired or required by law, which may include but would not be limited to restaurant, fast-food, and cafeteria food waste, grocery store produce waste, and agricultural waste. This future collection service is included in the agreement because such services will be needed to manage probable future Federal and State Government landfill bans of organics from the waste stream. If required, Republic Services will provide service for all non-municipal residential, commercial, businesses, public schools, community college, hospitals, etc. in the County.

• Republic Services now provides only operators and container service at the County’s five convenience centers. Under the new agreement, Republic Services would provide full management of the five Convenience Centers, including waste and recyclable collection, County landfill disposal fees, site maintenance and upkeep, and Center operations and management.

• Christmas tree recycling service would be provided for four weeks following December 25th.

• Republic Services would provide containers and collection services for up to six County-selected events at no charge. (Currently there are three County-selected events at which this service is provided: the Murray's Mill Harvest Folk Festival; the Catawba Valley Storytelling Festival at Historic Murray's Mill; and the Lake Norman Folk Art Festival. The County retains the right to stop, replace, or add events within the agreed upon limits).

• Republic Services would provide reasonable collection of solid waste debris caused by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-declared emergencies, if requested by the County.

• The proposed new franchise agreement would retain Republic Services’ current investment of approximately $160 million, which equates to local taxes paid of $85,370 in real, personal property, and vehicle taxes, and protect 157 local jobs.


If the proposed franchise agreement is approved, Republic Services would pay an annual franchise fee of $50,000 each year for years 1 through 5 of the agreement, $75,000 each year for the next six years and $100,000 each year for the next four years, if the proposed option is extended. The current franchise fee is $25,000 per year.

The Board of Commissioners will consider the proposed agreement at its January 22, 2013, meeting, at 7 p.m. and its February 4, 2013 meeting, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Both meetings will be held at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton. North Carolina law requires that this ordinance be adopted at two separate meetings.

OTHER ITEMS OF BUSINESS
The Board will consider adoption of 2013 State and Federal Legislative Agendas. Each year, the Board adopts State and Federal Legislative Agendas to highlight legislative issues of local importance. The “long session” of the North Carolina General Assembly begins on January 30, 2013.

The recommended State and Federal Legislative Agendas reflect direction provided from the Board at its December 7, 2012 retreat. There are a total of ten legislative items, including nine state items and one federal item. Opportunities for providing input in the formation of the legislative agenda were provided, early on in the agenda development process, to County department heads, the Catawba County School System, Hickory City Schools, Newton-Conover City Schools, Catawba Valley Community College, Catawba County Chamber of Commerce, Catawba County Economic Development Corporation, Western Piedmont Council of Governments, municipalities, and legislative advocacy staff of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners. Consistent with previous years, the Board’s adopted State and Federal legislative agenda will be shared with each of these entities.

The nine proposed State agenda items are: 1) abolish the existing guidelines specific to economic distress tiering for North Carolina incentives, grants, and assistance programming, which ranks the state’s 100 counties based on economic well-being and assigns each a tier designation. Staff has determined that Catawba County, with a higher unemployment rate (about 10%) than the State (about 9%), is not sufficiently supported as a result of the tiering structure’s eligibility factors. 2) Retain present-use value classification criteria and appraisal at present-use value for agricultural, horticultural, and forestland with deferred taxes upon disqualification, to allow farm families to hold on to their property. Market value of land versus present-use value of land for property taxation purposes creates a financial burden on small business and farmers, who typically have large land holdings, to produce a crop or farm related product. 3) Oppose an overall decrease in funding and services for vulnerable adults as mandated by State statute. 4) Oppose an overall decrease in “electing county” social services dollars and retain flexibility for financial incentives. 5) Oppose an overall decrease in funding for child protective services. 6) Oppose an overall decrease in mental health funding for children. 7) Oppose an overall decrease in funding for direct childcare subsidy funding, require applicants to cooperate with Child Support Enforcement, and provide associated administrative dollars to operate the program. 8) Oppose a centralized “brokered system” for Medicaid transportation. Current services connect citizens with the resources they need through transportation so they can continue living independently, thus requiring less financial resources from state and local governments. 31,368 trips were provided to citizens needing this service in the last fiscal year. A centralized system would likely yield service reductions to citizens in need. And 9) oppose an overall decrease in funding for accredited Child Advocacy Centers across the state.

The one proposed Federal agenda item is to support efforts to permanently establish estate taxes at the current level of exemptions and rates. Although preliminary “fiscal cliff” negotiations have provided relief in this area, this will be an ongoing priority for the Board.

These proposed agendas are recommended by the Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee.

CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464