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APRIL 18, 2011
Catawba County Board of Commissioners
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 of April 4, 2011
5. Recognition of Special Guests
6. Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda
9. Departmental Report:
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.
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
APRIL 18, 2011, 7 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider a request from the Catawba County Schools for final approval of kitchen/cafeteria renovations at St. Stephens High School and a request to appropriate funds remaining from completed projects and lottery proceeds for this project, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 18, 2011, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton. The project would be funded from the issue of $6.3 million in Qualified School Construction Bonds at a 0% interest rate for fifteen years, which will save the County more than $2.4 million in interest costs compared to traditional financing. The Board will also issue a proclamation declaring April 16-30, 2011 as Spring Litter Sweep in Catawba County.
FINANCE/CATAWBA COUNTY SCHOOLS
In late 2009 and early 2010, Catawba County applied for an allocation of Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCBs), made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The County received a total allocation of $21,508,553 that has been used to fund a new Newton-Conover Middle School ($16,508,553) and additions to the existing Arndt Middle School ($5.2 million). Staff was able to issue the 2009 and 2010 QSCBs at a 0% rate for 15 years, and financed the balance of the Newton-Conover Middle School project with traditional means, at a rate of 3.185% over 15 years. By issuing the QSCBs at 0%, the County realized approximately $7.5 million in interest savings over the financing term.
In late 2010, Catawba County was notified by the State that additional QSCB dollars were available, so an application was submitted to request those funds. The County was awarded an additional $6.3 million to be used for a classroom expansion project at Murray Elementary School, which was planned for the next four-year construction cycle beginning in Fiscal Year 2011-12. Catawba County agreed to advance funds from the next four-year cycle and move forward with bidding the project to take advantage of the QSCB funding and a favorable construction climate. Bids were received in December 2010 for a total project cost of $5,776,800 for an addition of 18 classrooms, a new entrance to the school, expansion of the media center and renovation of existing classrooms. This was $523,200 less than the QSCB allocation of $6.3 million, which was the expected budget for the project.
On January 17, 2011, the Board approved the transfer of $523,200 in QSCB funds remaining from the Murray Elementary project to the St. Stephens High project and agreed to proceed with bidding. The St. Stephens High kitchen/cafeteria has had no renovation or expansion since the early 1960s when the original building was built and is severely overcrowded as the school population has increased. Currently, serving lines enter into the kitchen as students pick up their food because all available space in the cafeteria is being used for seating. The project includes the construction of a new kitchen with four serving lines and the renovation of the existing kitchen into dining area space. In addition, a new dining area is proposed with new cafeteria seating, for a total capacity of 528. Finally, new kitchen and HVAC equipment would be purchased and some site improvements that are needed with the expansion of the building would be completed.
Construction bids were received on February 25, 2011, in the amount of $1,747,992. To complete the funding of the project, funds would be transferred from completed Catawba County Schools’ projects in the amount of $380,000 and lottery funds in the amount of $806,792 would be appropriated, totaling $1,186,792. Lottery funds are currently dedicated for school debt, but the amount received in the last fiscal year was higher than expected due to a change in the State’s distribution formula, to allocate funds to school systems on an Average Daily Membership (ADM) basis instead of based on county tax rates. This increase, applicable to Catawba County Schools, will be used to complete the County’s funding of the project. The County plans to issue the entire $6.3 million in QSCBs over the next few weeks as interest rates stabilize, which should afford the County with another 0% rate over fifteen years, saving an additional $2.4 million in interest costs that would have been incurred without the QSCB funding.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464
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