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APRIL 7, 2008

AGENDA
CATAWBA VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING/CATAWBA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
CVCC BOARD ROOM
Monday, April 7, 2008, 7:30 A.M.

A. ROLL CALL

Co-Chairs: Stephen B. Neuville, Chair of the Trustees
Kitty Barnes, Chair of the Commissioners

Members: Glenn E. Barger (Commissioner also)              Roxy Poovey
Brenard Brown                                                        Charles R. Preston
John D. Clark                                                          Charles M. Snipes
Forrest A. Ferrell                                                     Ernest E. Stone
Josephine A. Foster                                                 John Watts
Ann H. Gaither                                                        Rosemary Bass Young
D. Joe Long

                                                                           Garrett D. Hinshaw, CVCC President
                                                                           Sherry Williams (Board Secretary)

Catawba County:    Barbara Beatty                            Tom Lundy, Catawba County Manager
                           Dan Hunsucker                             Lee Worsley, Assistant County Manager
                           Lynn Lail                                     Barbara Morris (Clerk to the Commissioners)

This is a joint meeting of the Catawba Valley Community College Trustees and the Catawba County Commissioners to share information and discuss some items of interest to both groups. Ms. Barnes and Mr. Neuville will share some opening remarks before we move to the agenda items listed below.

1. CVCC’s Strategic Plan – Moving the Institution Forward
2. County Budget
3. Facilities (Challenger ECHS use/funding)

AGENDA
Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Monday, April 7, 2008, 9:30 a.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 of Monday, March 17, 2008.

5. Recognition of Special Guests.

6. Public Comment for items not on the agenda.

7. Presentations:

a. Presentation of Service Side Arm and Badge to Retiring Sheriff’s Deputy
E.C. “Moon” Mullen.


b. Child Abuse Prevention Month Proclamation presented to Deborah Johnson, Director, Children’s Advocacy Center and Pam Brooks, Child Protective Service Social Work Supervisor.


c. National Public Safety Telecommunications Week Proclamation presented to Jerry Boggs, Administrator, Catawba County E-911 Center.


d. Spring Litter Sweep in Catawba County Proclamation presented to Amanda Kain, Waste Reduction Coordinator.


e. Public Health Month Proclamation presented to Doug Urland, Public Health Director.

8. Public Hearings:


a. Public Hearing on Installment Purchase Financing for School Construction and Additions, Improvements to CVCC and Extending Sewer Lines in the County. Presented by Rodney Miller, Finance Director.


b. Public Hearing on Installment Purchase Financing for Construction and Renovation on Hickory High School Campus. Presented by Rodney Miller, Finance Director.

9. Appointments.

10. Consent Agenda:

a. Proposed 2008-2009 Funding Plan for Catawba County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.
b. Increase to Special Contingency Revenue and Expense Accounts – Public Health.
c. Bid Award and Budget Transfer for Landfill Compactor.
d. Supplemental Appropriation for Community Emergency Response Team to fund Citizen Corps Program.
e. Requested Increase in EMS Fee Schedule due to Inflationary Increase in Medicare Fee Schedule.
f. Supplemental Appropriation to Purchase 800 MHz Radios, Replace Expiring Medications and Purchase Chemical Suits for Emergency Services Department.
g. Supplemental Appropriation for Emergency Management Program Grant for Assisting in Cost of Maintaining a Comprehensive Emergency Management Program in Catawba County.


11. Departmental Reports.

a. Finance/Catawba Valley Community College:

CVCC Building Repairs. Presented by Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, President, CVCC and Wes Bunch, Finance Officer, CVCC and Rodney Miller, Catawba County Finance Director.

b. Emergency Services:

Supplemental Appropriation for Patient Tracking, Triage and Transportation which has received Department of Homeland Security Grant funding. Presented by David Weldon, Emergency Services Director.

12. Other Items of business.


2008 State and Federal Legislative Agenda. Presented by Lee Worsley, Assistant County Manager.


13. Attorneys’ Report.

14. Manager’s Report.

15. Adjournment.

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Individuals needing assistance should contact the County Clerk at 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.

CALENDAR
The next Board of Commissioners meeting will take place on Monday, April 21 at 7:00 p.m. This meeting will take place at Jacobs Fork Middle School, 3431 Plateau Road. This meeting will follow a Community Information Drop-In Session from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at this same location.

 

PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
MONDAY, APRIL 7, 2008, 9:30 A.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, NC

NOTICE: THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS WILL ALSO HAVE A JOINT MEETING WITH THE CATAWBA VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES AT 7:30 A.M. ON MONDAY, APRIL 7, 2008 IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE BOARD ROOM AT CVCC, TO DISCUSS BUDGET ISSUES.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will hold public hearings on 1) a proposed installment financing agreement, not to exceed $38.4 million, to finance construction of a proposed new Snow Creek Elementary School in the Catawba County School System, renovations and additions at Bandys High School and Bunker Hill High School; roofing and paving improvements at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) and expansion of sewer lines from Sherrills Ford Elementary School north to the Town of Catawba’s Wastewater Treatment Plant; and 2) a proposed installment financing agreement, not to exceed $700,000, to meet the costs of acquiring, constructing, renovating and equipping a 15,000 square foot fitness and wellness center on the Hickory High School campus; and consider a proposed 2008 State and Federal Legislative Agenda which highlights issues the Board will ask to have addressed during the upcoming Short Session of the North Carolina General Assembly and current session of the US Congress, when the Board meets at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, April 7, 2008, in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room of the 1924 Courthouse, at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

The Board will also consider an increase in the County’s EMS fee schedule to correspond with an increase in the allowable reimbursement from Medicare for certain services; a request from CVCC to appropriate $1,046,665 to repair exterior walls on the three oldest buildings on the campus; accepting and appropriating funds from federal grants awarded to Catawba County Emergency Services, which will fund activities of a Citizen Corps Program working with the Community Emergency Response Team; assist in the costs of maintaining a comprehensive emergency management program in the county; purchase radios, medications and chemical suits used by the County’s State Medical Assistance Team; and assist in building a statewide Patient Tracking and Triage System to be used during a disaster; a proposed 2008-2009 funding plan for the County’s Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, and an increase in Special Contingency funds that allow Catawba County Public Health to accept and expend funds that come in during the year, without Board action. The Board will also issue proclamations declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month and Public Health Month; April 13-19 as National Public Safety Telecommunications Week and April 19-May 3 as Spring Litter Sweep Weeks; and consider declaring the service sidearm and badge of retired Sheriff’s Deputy E.C. “Moon” Mullen as surplus and presenting these items to him.

PRESENTATIONS
A. The Board will honor Sheriff’s Deputy E.C. “Moon” Mullen, who retired on March 1, 2008 after fourteen years of service with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Under North Carolina General Statute 20-187.2, the Board will consider declaring as surplus the service sidearm and badge of Deputy Mullen, and present those items to him.

B. The Board will issue a proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, to recognize that the majority of child abuse cases stem from stressful situations and conditions that are preventable in an engaged, supportive community and to urge citizens, community agencies, faith groups, medical facilities and business to provide this support for families.

C. The Board will issue a proclamation declaring the week of April 13-19 as National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, to recognize the men and women who are engaged in the operation of emergency response systems in Catawba County, and help to save the lives and property of our citizens.

D. The Board will issue a proclamation declaring April 19-May 3 as Spring Litter Sweep Weeks in Catawba County to encourage local governments and communities, civic and professional groups, businesses, churches, schools, families and individuals to participate in the cleanup of roadsides and common areas such as parks and lake shores.

E. The Board will issue a proclamation declaring April as Public Health Month, to recognize public health services which have controlled and eliminated infectious diseases, improved environmental sanitation and promoted healthy lifestyle practices, resulting in improved health status and increased life expectancy for Catawba County citizens.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
A. The Board will hold a public hearing to receive public comment regarding installment purchase financing for the construction of a new elementary school, additions to three high schools, improvements at Catawba Valley Community College and the extension of sewer lines in the county. The Board will consider adopting a resolution accepting the proposal of the financial institution that submits the best bid for this installment purchase financing, making certain findings and determinations regarding the financing, and seeking approval from the Local Government Commission and authorizing the execution of documents associated with the financing. In the County’s fiscal year 2003-04 budget, the Board began dedicating two cents of the property tax rate annually to be used with retiring school debt, as an investment in education for Catawba County. With the funds generated, a construction schedule over a four-year revaluation cycle was created. In the County’s fiscal year 2007-08 budget, the Board continued an investment in education by dedicating two additional cents of the property tax rate towards a new four-year construction cycle. The first phase of this cycle will use these funds to retire debt on a new Snow Creek Elementary School, which will replace the aging Sweetwater Elementary School in the County system. Classroom additions and improvements will be made at Bunker Hill, Bandys and Newton-Conover High Schools, and funds will be used for various roofing and paving needs at Catawba Valley Community College. Total costs for these projects are estimated at $25.9 million.

The County has also determined a need to install sewer lines to serve unincorporated areas in the southeastern part of the county. This is part of the Development Agreement commitment made last year between the County, Crescent Resources, LLC, and MAG Land Development, LLC regarding the proposed Village Center and other MAG Land properties. This proposed installment financing would fund the extension of 65,000 linear feet of sewer lines from Sherrills Ford Elementary School north to the Town of Catawba’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, in addition to three pump stations and a utility bridge to handle up to 750,000 gallons of sewer each day. Total costs for this project are estimated at $12.5 million. While this project will be included in the financing, repayment of the debt will come from fees generated from the MAG Land/Crescent Resources development.

Financing of these projects will be in accordance with North Carolina General Statute 160A-20. Until recently, installment purchase financing, which is a direct bank loan, was limited to a maximum term of fifteen years. Over the last six months, banks have extended this term to twenty years, which the County is proposing for this project. This financing would result in a less expensive method, by reducing financing costs associated with underwriters, financial advisors, rating agencies and extensive legal work with bond attorneys. Since Catawba County does not own the land and the schools upon which the improvements will be made, the property must be conveyed to the County in order for the County to borrow the funds. County staff proposes to use the new Snow Creek Elementary and Bandys High as collateral for the loan, which will consolidate the collateral within one school system. In addition, the County will lease the two schools and land back to the Catawba County Board of Education for its unlimited use and, at the end of the financing term, transfer all rights to the property back to the school system. This collateral will also secure the loan for the construction of the sewer lines, eliminating the need to include easements and rights of way into the collateral package. All local governments in North Carolina that borrow funds greater than $500,000, and for terms longer than five years to maturity, must receive approval by the Local Government Commission (LGC), a division of the NC Department of State Treasurer. The LGC will consider this project on May 6, 2008. Staff recommends the Board hold a public hearing to receive public comment regarding this proposed installment purchase financing and adopt a resolution accepting the proposal of the financial institution that submits the best bid for this installment purchase financing, making certain findings and determinations regarding the financing, and seeking approval from the Local Government Commission and authorizing the execution of documents associated with the financing.

B. The Board will hold a public hearing to receive public comment regarding proposed installment purchase financing for the construction and renovation of a 15,000 square foot fitness and wellness center on the Hickory High School campus, and consider adopting a resolution accepting the proposal of the financial institution that submits the best bid for this installment purchase financing, making certain findings and determinations regarding the financing, and seeking approval from the Local Government Commission and authorizing the execution of documents associated with the financing. The Hickory Public Schools has applied for, and received approval for, 2007 Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs) in the amount of $700,000 through the State of North Carolina.

In 1997, Congress made funds available for state or local governments to issue QZABs due to concerns from educators and employers about the ability of high poverty schools to address the vital issue of how they prepare students for a more competitive global economy. QZABs may be used to support schools (or programs within a school) that enter into partnerships with local businesses to enhance the academic curriculum, increase graduation and employment rates, and better prepare students for the rigors of college and the workforce under a plan approved by the local school system. Hickory Public Schools, with assistance from County funds, constructed the fitness and wellness center on the former American Legion property in July 2007. The proposed financing will apply the $700,000 in QZAB proceeds towards the completed project and replace previously dedicated County funds, which will be transferred to other needed school projects in the system, with approval by the Board. The term of the loan will be fourteen years and funds to repay the debt will come from Hickory Public Schools in the amount of $50,000 per year.

Since the County does not own the land and building, the property must be conveyed to the County in order for the County to borrow the funds. In addition, the County will lease the building and land back to Hickory Public Schools for its unlimited use, and at the end of the financing term, transfer all rights to the property back to the school system. All local governments in North Carolina that borrow funds greater than $500,000, and for terms longer than five years to maturity, must receive approval by the Local Government Commission (LGC), a division of the NC Department of State Treasurer. The LGC will consider this project on May 6, 2008. Staff recommends the Board hold a public hearing to receive public comment regarding the proposed installment purchase financing and consider adopting a resolution accepting the proposal of the financial institution that submits the best bid for this installment purchase financing, making certain findings and determinations regarding the financing, and seeking approval from the Local Government Commission and authorizing the execution of documents associated with the financing.

CONSENT AGENDA
A. The Board will consider a proposed 2008-09 funding plan, in the amount of $337,716, for the Catawba County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC). The Council is charged with assessing the needs of youth, ages 6-16, who are at risk of get into troubling situations with, or already involved in, the judicial system, and to provide diversion from detention through programs that provide appropriate services. The Council holds three planning sessions each year to determine which services are needed. The State of North Carolina allocates $337,716 to fund these services, funds which generated an additional $618,285 in local, state and federal matching dollars last year for Catawba County youth. The Council has recommended the following uses for the funding, based on availability of State dollars for juvenile crime prevention councils in the next fiscal year: $50,750 for Project Challenge (which involves restitution); $18,914 for the Conflict Resolution Center; $64,285 for FamilyNET for substance and sexual abuse assessment/treatment and diagnostic/psychological assessments; $169,550 for Corner House I and II; $19,217 for the Catawba Parenting Network and $15,000 for JCPC Administration. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends approval of this funding plan.

B. The Board will consider an increase of $135,000 to the Public Health Special Contingency revenue and expense accounts, which will increase these accounts from $200,000 to $335,000 for fiscal year 2007-08. Several years ago, an expense and revenue account totaling $150,000, entitled Special Contingency, was added by the County’s Budget Office. The Special Contingency line allows an agency to add a revenue and expense line for accounting purposes, in order to accept and expend funds that come in during the year, without the need for action by the Board of Commissioners. Funds that would be placed in the Public Health budget through the use of Special Contingency would normally be funds received for currently established programs, such as Women’s Preventive Health, WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), School Nurse programs, Aid to County funds, etc. During the last few weeks, Catawba County Public Health has been notified of several additional allocations, totaling approximately $115,000 ($15,000 in State funds for the Smart Start program; $60,000 from the State for women’s health program; $15,000 in State “Aid-To-County” funds and a $25,000 private donation designated to breast cancer related programs). The current balance in Special Contingency is $21,000, therefore Public Health is requesting an increase to the Special Contingency line item by $135,000. The Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends approval of this increase to the Public Health Special Contingency accounts.

C. The Board will consider awarding a bid for a new 100,000 lb. class compactor needed at the Blackburn Landfill to Al-Jon, Inc. via a budget transfer of $602,640 from the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund, which is derived from solid waste tipping fees containing no ad valorem tax proceeds. The Landfill has a 1998 Al-Jon compactor with 14,300 hours of operation that is in need of a major engine overhaul. The estimated useful life of compactors is 12,000 operating hours. This compactor was already scheduled to be replaced during fiscal year 2008-09. It is now imperative that the compactor be replaced with a new machine as soon as possible. If the 1998 Al-Jon were to become completely disabled, the cost to rent a compactor would be $17,000 per month. Bids were received on March 11, 2008 for a new 100,000 lb. class landfill compactor. The 2008 Al-Jon Advantage 525J4 compactor meets the County’s specifications. A 2008 Al-Jon compactor burns much cleaner than the 1998 Al-Jon compactor it would replace. Its fuel economy is similar to the 1998 compactor, which met a lower Environmental Protection Agency threshold, even though the 2008 compactor is 15,000 pounds heavier. The Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends awarding of the bid for the Landfill compactor to Al-Jon, Inc.

ITEMS D THROUGH G. The Board will consider accepting a series of federal grants awarded to Catawba County Emergency Services which are addressed here collectively for space considerations. The first is a $12,000 grant from the US Department of Homeland Security that will fund the Citizen Corps Program in Catawba County, to assure the continued training of volunteers in emergency preparedness and basic disaster techniques. After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the President created the Citizen Corps, which is comprised of multiple agencies under the direction of the Director of Catawba County United Way. $6000 from this grant will be used to purchase equipment and training materials for Certified Emergency Rescue Training for Citizens Corps agencies, while the other $6000 will be allocated to the Citizens Corps Council to conduct a regional training and exercise program designed to show community partners the value of the Citizen Corps and educate citizens on how to prepare in case of an emergency. The second grant is from the US Department of Health and Human Services in the amount of $21,213.48. The funds would be used to support three separate projects submitted by Catawba County EMS. $15,810.01 was awarded for the purchase of 800 MHz radios which will assist EMS personnel in communicating with other agencies in the county, while $2,681.98 was awarded for replacement of expiring medications utilized by the County’s State Medical Assistance Team Type III and $2,721.50 was awarded for the purchase of Level C Chemical Suits also utilized by the State Medical Assistance Team Type III. The third grant, from the US Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency in the amount of $8,229.30, would assist in the cost of maintaining a comprehensive emergency management program in Catawba County. $3000 of those funds would be directed towards the continued use of part-time staff. Currently, the County has a part-time employee who has committed time to learning use of the Community Alert System (CAS). Thirteen different agencies are utilizing the CAS and this part-time staff is significant in educating and training those agencies, as well as future partners, about this system. The remaining $5,229.30 will be used to offset monies used to fund the County’s new voice over internet phone system. The funds will also be used to offset the cost of additional air cards needed for wireless connectivity.

H. The Board will consider an increase in five areas of the current EMS Fee Schedule, to correspond with an inflationary increase in the Medicare Fee Schedule. The new Medicare Fee Schedule will increase to reflect a 2.7% Ambulance Inflation Factor for dates of service starting on January 1, 2008. Based on this information, County staff has identified a need to increase the EMS fee schedule to keep County rates above the Medicare allowable limit. With the Medicare fee increase, two of the categories in the County’s current fee schedule will be below the Medicare allowable rate and three additional categories are nearing the Medicare rate. Research by the County’s EMS Manager has determined that the industry standard for percentage above the Medicare Fee Schedule is 25 to 30% nationwide. The proposed new rates for Catawba County would keep rates at just over 10% above the Medicare Fee Schedule in five areas, which will keep rates manageable for Catawba County citizens, while still maximizing the County’s collections under the Medicare system. The fee for Specialty Care Transport would increase from $597.37 per incident to $613.95. The fee for transport when mileage is greater than 50 miles would increase from $7.55 per mile to $8.03 per mile. The fee for Emergency Basic Life Support would increase from $294.09 to $302.25, while the fee for Emergency Advanced Life Support would increase from $349.23 to $358.92 and the fee for Advanced Life Support, Level Two would increase from $505.46 to $519.50. These fees range from 10.27% to 10.83% above the Medicare Fee Schedule. The Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the Board approve the increase in five areas of the current EMS Fee Schedule, as outlined above.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS

A. FINANCE/CATAWBA VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE (CVCC)
The Board will consider appropriating funds in the amount of $1,046,665 to repair exterior walls to several buildings on the Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) campus. The County was notified a few months ago about significant structural damage at several buildings on the CVCC campus. In the spring of 2005, CVCC officials asked CBSA Architects to review concerns college officials had regarding condition of the existing exterior wall on the Student Services building, which was constructed in 1980. Given the scope and initial cost of the project, the college submitted a funding proposal in February 2006 to the County as part of its fiscal year 2006-07 capital budget request.  The Board of Commissioners appropriated the $100,000 request for the Student Services building repairs into the County’s FY 2006-2007 budget.

As CBSA was finalizing work on the Dunbar Building project in the spring of 2007, CVCC staff asked ADW Architects to review the concerns of school officials regarding the Student Services building. ADW contacted Sutton-Kennerly & Associates engineers to aid in this review of existing wall conditions. Sutton-Kennerly provided CVCC with an “exterior visual condition survey” of the Student Services building, which involved a visual inspection of the existing building and the opening of five inspection ports into the existing walls at selected locations to further review existing conditions. Sutton-Kennerly stated in its report that some of the existing conditions represented “a potential hazard to patrons of the building”. They recommended repairs to correct the existing deterioration and damage to the exterior walls of this facility. As a result of these findings, Sutton-Kennerly, ADW, and CVCC staff worked together to create a short term and long-term solution to these concerns. Sutton-Kennerly provided CVCC with details for short-term repairs that would last a period of approximately two years, while a more permanent solution was agreed upon. These short-term repairs were implemented during the summer of 2007. For reasons that include safety of building patrons, the college’s goal is to have the long-term solution implemented as soon as possible. After the initial exterior visual survey, the college conducted an inspection of all of its facilities, which resulted in the finding of similar problems with the Life Sciences Building (constructed in 1979) and the East-West Building (constructed in 1976). Construction documents for these repairs are being completed, with a projected construction start date of April 2008. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the appropriation of $1,046,665 for repairs to the exterior walls of the facilities at CVCC, as noted above.

B. EMERGENCY SERVICES
The Board will consider a supplemental appropriation in the amount of $450,000, to be funded by the US Department of Homeland Security, for a Patient Tracking, Triage, and Transportation system. The project is a collaboration between North Carolina Emergency Management and the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services. It is designed to build a statewide Patient Tracking and Triage System. Patients who are moved during a disaster will be accounted for by the system, even if they are transported out of the county. System equipment will be divided between the 100 county EMS systems in the state, based on the number of permitted vehicles each system owns. Each system must purchase one “SMART MCI” triage kit and 10 triage packs per permitted vehicle, and may select other items from an approved list of triage supplies, up to the funds allotted to the system. The total award from the Department of Homeland Security was $500,000, with $50,000 dedicated to training and allocated to another county. The $450,000 for equipment is being passed through to Catawba County, which will serve as the host county for the grant. $13,420 of those funds will be spent for project coordination, with the remaining $436,580 will be used for the purchase of equipment. The Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends acceptance of this grant and appropriation of funds as noted above.

OTHER ITEMS OF BUSINESS
The Board will consider adopting a proposed 2008 State and Federal Legislative Agenda, which highlights issues the Board will ask to have addressed during the upcoming Short Session of the North Carolina General Assembly and the current session of the US Congress. The “short session” of the General Assembly begins on May 13, 2008. Highlights of the State agenda include support of an increase in the Homestead Exclusion Income Limit to $35,000, which is expected to provide tax relief for additional senior citizens; flexible local revenue options to avoid future property tax increases; the repeal of a $2 per ton Solid Waste Disposal Tax; an exemption of State sales tax on purchases made by local school systems; a fairer distribution in the School Capital Fund Formula for lottery proceeds; additional child care subsidies funding; additional strengthening of interbasin transfer (IBT) rules; and other issues that Assistant County Manager Lee Worsley will discuss with the Board at this meeting. The proposed State agenda opposes the unfunded mandate that counties pay for the implementation of Administrative Office of the Courts phone systems in courthouses; attempts to reduce the property tax base and place more burden on property tax payers; and attempts to eliminate the prohibition on collective bargaining for public employees.

The proposed Federal agenda includes support of implementation of streamlined sales tax; increased local funding, incentives, and community-based surveillance and communication systems regarding disease spread related to a pandemic flu threat; increases in Homeland Security grant funds for capital projects such as Emergency Operations Centers, and others issues Mr. Worsley is expected to detail. It opposes efforts to require collective bargaining for public employees; and U.S. House Resolution 811, which could force the County to replace some or all of its voting machines. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends the approval of these legislative agenda.

CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 828-465-8464

 

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