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APRIL 20, 2009
AGENDA
Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Monday, April 20, 2009, 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 Regular Meeting and Closed Session of April 6, 2009.

5. Recognition of Special Guests.

6. Public Comment for Items Not on the Agenda.

7. Presentations:

a. National County Government Week Proclamation. Presented to Kelly Groves, Extension Agent, Cooperative Extension Service.

b. Drug Court Month Proclamation. Presented to Reva Cook, Drug Treatment Court Director.

8. Public Hearing:


Public Hearing regarding the Close-Out of the 2006 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Scattered Site Housing Grant. Presented by Jacky Eubanks, Director of Planning, Parks and Development.


9. Appointments.

10. Consent Agenda.

a. Appropriation of Funds Needed for Payment of Contracted Services.

b. Appropriation of Existing Fund Balance to Oxford Fire Department for the Purchase of a Custom Side Mount Pumper with Custom Spartan Chassis.

c. North Carolina Department of Transportation Right-of-Way Agreement.

11. Departmental Reports.

A. Sheriff’s Office.

Budget Transfer – Renovations and Repairs of the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility (BCDCF). Presented by Sheriff David Huffman and Purchasing Agent Debbie Anderson.


B. Emergency Services:

Approval of 6 Mile Fire Insurance District Maps and Re-Approval and Re-Formatting of the Remaining 5 Mile Insurance District Maps. Presented by David Weldon, Emergency Services Director.


12. Other Items of business.

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 May Board of Commissioners meetings will take place on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. and on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 7:00. Budget hearings with Departments will take place on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the Budget Public Hearing will take place on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.


PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2009, 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 the closing of a 2006 Scattered Site Housing Grant the County used to rehabilitate, clear or relocate, and provide emergency repairs to homes located across the county; and consider proposed new fire insurance district maps that are expected to save almost 700 home owners an average of $105 a year in insurance costs, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Monday April 20, 2009 at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton, NC.

The Board will also consider a transfer of funds remaining in the budget for the expansion of the County jail in Newton to fund Catawba County’s share of costs to make repairs at the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility in Morganton; the appropriation of existing fund balance of the Oxford Fire Department so the department can purchase a new pumper truck; appropriation of funds for payment of contract services to discover business personal property that has not been listed for taxes; and an agreement granting right-of-way along County-owned property on Rocky Ford Road to the North Carolina Department of Transportation as part of the approval process for an entrance into the County’s new Biodiesel Research Facility from Rocky Ford Road. The Board will also issue proclamations recognizing April as National Drug Court Month and May 3-9, 2009 as National County Government Week.

PRESENTATIONS
A. The Board will issue a proclamation recognizing May 3-9, 2009 as National County Government Week. The week commends counties for providing essential public services to 300 million Americans and, in keeping with the 2009 theme of County Government Week, “Greening Our Future”, commends Catawba County for its commitment to the protection of valuable and vulnerable environmental resources. You may learn more online about Catawba County’s green initiatives and by subscribing to the Catawba County Green Team Blog.

B. The Board will issue a proclamation declaring May as Drug Court Month in Catawba County, to recognize the 20th anniversary of the first Drug Court, the growth in the number of courts to 2301 operating Drug Courts and 3410 problem solving courts nationwide, and its success for the past twenty years in fighting against drug abuse and criminality.

PUBLIC HEARING
The Board will hold a public hearing on the close-out of a 2006 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Scattered Site Housing Grant. Catawba County was awarded a $400,000 Scattered Site Housing Grant in 2006 to rehabilitate seven homes, clear and relocate one new home, and rehabilitate eight homes located across the County through emergency repair funds. To date, six homes were rehabilitated, one home was cleared/relocated, and thirteen houses were rehabilitated through emergency repairs. All activities will be completed by April 30, 2009. CDBG funds financed 100% of the total project costs along with an additional $20,000 of Duke Energy Funds for two homes. The County was not required to match these funds.

CONSENT AGENDA
A. The Board will consider appropriating funds for contract services for the discovery of business personal property not listed on tax rolls. The County has a contract with Tax Management Associates, Inc. (TMA) to discover and list all business personal property not filed with the Tax Department. This has resulted in additional total tax revenue being collected that the County and its municipalities would not have been aware of, or received, without the services provided by TMA. The County remits to TMA 45% of the taxes collected in the year the discovery is made, once the discovered tax bills are collected. The County has received an invoice dated March 19, 2009, in the amount of $78,450, in accordance with a May 16, 2008 addendum to the County’s contract with TMA. The invoice reflects that the County and fire district portion due to TMA is $43,052. Funds are budgeted annually to pay TMA’s contracted costs, but TMA identified more unlisted business personal property than anticipated this year. There is $60,645 remaining in this line item, but further invoices in the amount of $46,773 are anticipated for completed auditing services, in addition to the current invoice of $78,450, resulting in a funding gap of $65,000. Staff requests that $65,000 of the revenues collected from the businesses identified by TMA be appropriated for payment of TMA’s fees. The municipalities involved will reimburse the County for $35,398 of these fees. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends this appropriation.

B. The Board will consider appropriating $82,769 of the existing fund balance of the Oxford Fire Department for the purchase of a new 1500 gallon per minute (g.p.m.) custom side mount pumper, with custom Spartan chassis, through C.W. Williams Company of Rocky Mount, NC. Each department has its own fund balance, created through tax revenue collections exceeding budget projections for a given year, which is carried from year to year unless the department makes a request to appropriate it. A fire department may utilize 90% of its existing fund balance to address major projects such as new buildings, building additions, truck replacement and other “large ticket” items. The purchase of this truck will enhance the Oxford Fire Department’s ability to provide fire protection to its citizens. It would replace a 1983 GMC 1000 g.p.m. pumper. The new 1500 g.p.m pumper has the ability to flow 50% greater volume of water than the 1983 pumper, allowing more water to be applied to the fire more quickly. The new pumper accommodates one additional firefighter and has additional compartment space needed to carry equipment required by current standards. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends this appropriation.

C. The Board will consider granting to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) a right-of-way agreement on Rocky Ford Road, contiguous to the Blackburn Landfill property, associated with a driveway permit for the County’s new Biodiesel Research Facility. On July 21, 2008, the Board awarded a design contract for the Biodiesel Research Facility to Camp, Dresser & McKee. The design is 98% complete, and the project is scheduled to be advertised for bids for construction in late April 2009. The design includes plans for a new entrance on Rocky Ford Road, and a driveway permit from NCDOT is required for this new access. NCDOT is requiring a 60 foot wide right-of-way along the road frontage of the County property on Rocky Ford Road prior to approving the driveway permit. The 60 foot wide right-of-way will be measured 30 feet on each side of the existing center of pavement. The agreement also requires that 10 foot by 70 foot site triangle easements be reserved on either side of the driveway connection to help insure safe ingress and egress. Granting this 60 foot right-of-way and the site triangle easements will not negatively impact any existing or future EcoComplex or Landfill activities. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends the granting of this right-of-way to NCDOT.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS

SHERIFF’S OFFICE
The Board will consider the transfer of funds remaining in the budget for the expansion of the County jail in Newton to fund Catawba County’s share of costs to renovate the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility (BCDCF). $539,353 would represent Catawba County’s 50% share for the renovation project, which was awarded by the Burke-Catawba Regional Jail Authority to Hickory Construction Company, the low bidder.

Faced with a growing need for jail space, County staff began in 1994 to evaluate options to alleviate overcrowding. After weighing a variety of options, Catawba County entered into an agreement with Burke County in March 1996 to operate a District Confinement Facility. The 176-bed facility, located in Morganton, was built by Burke County in 1992. The BCDCF allows the two counties to operate on an economy of scale, by equally splitting the cost of the facility and its operations and the revenues derived from renting unused beds to the State, Federal government and other counties. Even with the 2007 expansion of the Catawba County Detention Center in Newton, the County’s investment in the BCDCF continues to pay dividends, as Catawba County was able to add fewer beds in the expansion than otherwise would have to been needed.

As with most sixteen year old buildings, problems have developed at the BCDCF that require repair. On February 25, 2009, the Burke-Catawba Regional Jail Authority authorized the construction bid process for renovations, which would include repairs to address moisture in cell grilles, repair of padded cells, light fixtures and a security cover over the existing court yard, and kitchen upgrades. On March 26, 2009, five bids were received, with the lowest bid being from Hickory Construction Company. The Burke-Catawba Jail Authority voted on April 8, 2009, to award the bid to Hickory Construction Company in the amount of $1,013,706, and appropriate $50,000 contingency for any unforeseen conditions resulting in a change order and $15,000 for material testing. Total funds needed for the project are $1,078,706, with Catawba County’s share totaling $539,353. Funds are available from the previous jail expansion projects. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommended approval of this budget transfer.

EMERGENCY SERVICES
The Board will consider approval of 6 mile fire insurance district maps proposed for the Bandys, Catawba, Cooksville, Mountain View, Propst, and Sherrills Ford-Terrell Fire Departments and approval of 5 mile insurance district maps in a GIS-format for the Conover, Hickory, Long View, Maiden, Newton, Oxford, and St. Stephens Fire Departments. Almost 700 home owners are expected to save an average of $105 a year in insurance costs. No fire district boundaries will change, only insurance rating districts. The North Carolina Department of Insurance allows fire departments across the state to apply for a 6 mile insurance rating district. Departments in Catawba County have historically been rated based on a 5 mile insurance district with a rating scale from 1 to 9S, with 1 being the best possible rating. Any properties beyond the 5 mile district were considered to be unrated.

Departments that meet the State requirements for a 6 mile district will allow property owners who live more than 5 miles, but less than 6 miles, from a department to receive a 9E rating. The 9E rating will affect 672 home owners countywide, as follows: 213 in the Bandys district, 98 in the Catawba district, 32 in the Claremont district, 47 in the Cooksville district, 25 in the Mt. View district, 219 in the Propst district, and 38 in the Sherrills Ford-Terrell district. The 9E rating offers the possibility of a reduction in insurance costs of as much as 45%, according to the North Carolina Department of Insurance. A homeowner with a $100,000 house, with smoke detectors, would save an average of $105 annually. The rate will vary based on the insurance company. It is each fire department’s decision to apply for a 6 mile district and some departments in the county do not have unrated areas greater than 5 miles. The State requires that fire district maps be submitted to the Department of Insurance. Prior to GIS technology, districts were described using verbiage with references to landmarks. With the creation of GIS technology, maps can now be utilized for this same purpose without the confusion of written descriptions. With the submittal of the new 6 mile district maps, the Department of Insurance has requested that all district maps for Catawba County be submitted in the GIS format. The Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends approval of the 6 mile fire insurance district maps and the approval of 5 mile insurance district maps in the GIS format.

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

 

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