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MARCH 21, 2011
Catawba County Board of Commissioners
Monday, March 21, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
30 North College Ave
Newton, North Carolina
1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
4. Approval of the minutes from the Regular Meeting and Closed Session of February 21, 2011
5. Recognition of special guests
6. Public Comments for items not on the agenda
8. Consent Agenda:
9. Departmental Reports:
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. A telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD) is located in the Government Center and can be reached by dialing 465 8200. 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.
PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
MONDAY MARCH 21, 2011, 7:00 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider authorizing staff to apply for a Carolina Thread Trail grant that would be used to secure property around the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge, to give the County options in the future to better secure the bridge and make it more accessible for tourists and the public, and will receive information on a North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Facility Needs Survey, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 21, 2011, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.
The Board will also consider naming a group home campus in honor of Mrs. Ethel Lutz in recognition of her positive contributions for the children of Catawba County as a member of the Board of Social Services and in other capacities; consider the proposed renewal of several leases: 1) four leases with Catawba Valley Behavioral Healthcare for four houses, owned by the County around the main library in Newton, for residential services for $1 a year for four years, and; 2) a lease with YMCA of Catawba Valley, Inc. for a facility on 1.94 acres in Newton being used for operation of the Love-N-Care Child Development Center, for $1 a year for ten years; and will consider a tax refund request.
With the divestiture of Mental Health services by the State, CVBH began leasing from the County the former Mental Health main building and adjacent Lifeskills facility in January 2007. CVBH continues to lease the Lifeskills facility to provide some services. In addition, the County leased to CVBH four modest houses near the main County Library in Newton that were acquired through tax possession and purchase. These houses were leased to CVBH for $1 per year plus any agreed upon maintenance costs, which were charged at $25 per hour plus materials. These leases expired on December 31, 2010, and CVBH wishes to enter into new lease agreements for one term of four years and three months, expiring on June 30, 2015. The lease terms remain the same at $1 per year and maintenance costs at $25 per hour plus materials. A termination provision is included in these new agreements for either party giving a 120-day notice. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the renewal of these leases.
B. The Board will consider the renewal of a lease with the Young Men’s Christian Association of Catawba Valley, Inc. (YMCA) for the facility operated by the Love-N-Care Child Development Center for a ten-year period. On September 7, 1993, the County entered into a ten year lease agreement with the YMCA for operation of the Love-N-Care Child Development Center for low and moderate-income families. The agreement stipulates that the YMCA will provide ten vacancies for children of County employees and that the YMCA is responsible for all maintenance at the facility. The current lease was renewed in April of 2001 and will expire on April 2, 2011. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the renewal of this lease.
C. The Board will consider a request from the Social Services Board to name the Radio Station Road group home campus for former Social Services Board member Ethel Lutz. In fall 2010, a DSS group home on Section House Road was vacated and the five youth there were moved to the Radio Station Road campus to the former Lutz Emergency Shelter. The Lutz building was fully designed for residential services in 1995 and can house six youth. The home on Section House Road was named “Andrea’s Place” in 1997, in honor of Andrea Benfield, retired Child Welfare Program Administrator. Ms. Benfield continues to visit the group home and support it with donations. The former Lutz Shelter was named in 1998 for Ms. Lutz, a former Social Services Board member and tireless advocate for children. Other group homes are named in honor of Bobby Boyd and Villard “Chuck” Blevins, retired Social Services Directors, and in honor of Margaret Stanton, a former child welfare administrator.
Andrea’s Place needed to retain its license and respective name, as approved by the State, to continue continuity of service for the boys. DSS staff contacted the Lutz family to discuss the circumstances and the desire to assure ongoing respect for Ms. Lutz’s advocacy for children. As a result of those discussions, the Social Services Board requests that the Radio Station Road group home campus be named “the Lutz Campus” to recognize Mrs. Lutz and her family. The staff and youth would like to erect a plaque and tree on the grounds to signify this acknowledgement.
D. The Board will consider a tax refund request in the amount of $984.40. Records have been checked, and the refund verified, so the Tax Collector is asking for approval of the refund request. Under North Carolina General Statute 105-381, a taxpayer who has paid taxes may request a refund in writing for an amount paid through error.
A. FINANCE DEPARTMENT
The cost summary for each LEA survey is based on a statewide formula from DPI used by all LEAs in determining estimated costs for each project. Some projects in the survey are currently underway, including an Arndt Middle School project and Webb Murray Elementary School project, which had a ground-breaking last month. Both of these projects had an actual cost that was less than the estimated costs per the DPI formula, and the County’s typical local costs have been lower than the estimates based on DPI formulas. Also included in the report are the current Average Daily Membership (ADM) for each school in the county and the projected ADM for the 2015-16 school year.
Surveys for each of the LEAs in Catawba County, which have been certified by their respective school boards, were sent to commissioners last month. The five-year facility needs identified in each survey closely mirror the County’s understanding of the school facility needs over that same five-year time period.
B. PLANNING, PARKS AND DEVELOPMENT
Poor access to the site has been an obstacle for over a decade and the major barrier to providing security for the bridge. Planning staff and the Historical Association have explored various options and grant opportunities in order to achieve the goals of better access and security for the site. With the countywide adoption of the Carolina Thread Trail Master plan, the County is now in a position to apply for implementation funds to acquire land around the bridge as part of the CTT designated route and a trailhead access site. The adopted CTT Plan established priority segments to be implemented, including a 2.6- mile segment from Claremont’s City Hall to the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge. With the call for implementation grant applications from CTT, Planning staff contacted Claremont regarding its interest in applying for a portion of the trail segment which would connect the Claremont City Park to the I-40 rest area. This segment would coordinate with the County’s application, which would acquire land around the bridge site for a future trail and trailhead access. With State and Federal grant sources being severely cut back, the CTT grant provides one of the very few definitive grant opportunities in the near future to acquire land around the bridge site. The CTT grant application is due April 30, with a notification date in late summer 2010. The County’s CTT grant application would request up to $100,000 for a 21-acre tract, a portion of land owned by Bolick heirs. The parcel lies on the west side of Lyle Creek and is essentially landlocked. It is a key tract, in that it is adjacent to the bridge site and eligible for the CTT grant. The Bolick heirs’ property consists of over 250 acres, of which the County is interested in 21 acres lying west of Lyle Creek and adjacent to the bridge. The property contains a stand of pines for which the owners may be interested in receiving revenue from timbering. The value of the property based on $8,400 per acre would be $176,400. Staff is proposing an offer to purchase be made to the Bolick heirs for $100,000 with the heirs considering the remaining value of $76,400 as a “bargain sale” in exchange for the proceeds from the timbering of the pine. The CTT grant would cover the $100,000 purchase price for the Bolick heir property. No County money would be spent to acquire the 21 acres.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 828-465-8464
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