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MAY 2, 2011


Catawba County Board of Commissioners
Monday, May 2, 2011, 9:30 a.m.
1924 Courthouse
30 North College Ave
Newton, North Carolina


1. Call to Order.

2. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

3. Invocation.

4. Approval of the minutes from the Regular Meeting of April 18, 2011.

5. Recognition of Special Guests.

6. Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda.

7. Presentations:

A. 2010 North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) Outstanding County Program Award to Public Health. Presented to Public Health Director Doug Urland, Assistant Public Health Director Kelly Isenhour and Community Outreach Manager Amy McCauley by David Nicholson, NCACC Outreach Associate.

B. Emergency Medical Services Week Proclamation. Presented to EMS Manager Sylvia Fisher.

C. Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. Presented to Budget Manager Jennifer Mace, Budget Analyst II Paul Murray and Budget Analyst I Katrina Crooks.

D. Public Service Week Proclamation.

E. Employees Recognized by their State Associations.

8. Appointments.

9. Consent Agenda:

A. Amendment to Catawba Valley Behavioral Healthcare (CVBH) Lease (Lifeskills).

B. Pyrotechnics Permit Application.

C. Waiver of Permit Fees for 2011 Greater Hickory Classic.

10. Departmental Reports:

A. Economic Development Corporation:

Turbocoating Corp. USA Incentive Agreement. Presented by Julie Pruett, Economic Development Corporation,

B. Social Services:

Catawba County Children’s Agenda Report. Presented by Champions of Education Director Lamar Mitchell and Program Manager Dawn Wilson.

C. Utilities and Engineering:

1. Bunker Hill/Oxford/River Bend Sewer Project. Presented by Utilities and Engineering Director Barry Edwards.

2. Jim Beard-Robinette-Mockingbird Water Project. Presented by Utilities and Engineering Director Barry Edwards.

3. EcoComplex Crop Processing Facility. Presented by Utilities and Engineering Director Barry Edwards.

11. Other Items of Business.

12. Attorneys’ Report.

13. Manager’s Report.

14. 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

The Board of Commissioners will hold its next regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, May 16, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. and Budget Hearings with Departments on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 from 8:00 to 5:00 p.m. The Budget Public Hearing and Wrap Up will take place on Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

MAY 2, 2011, 9:30 A.M.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider a proposed economic incentive agreement with Turbocoating Corp. USA, which has announced plans to open a new manufacturing facility in Hickory, creating at least 80 jobs over the next four years; and award a bid for construction of a crop processing facility at the Biodiesel Research Facility of the County EcoComplex, when the Board meets at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 2, 2011, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton. The Board will also receive a report on the Catawba County Children’s Agenda, the culmination of two years of work by a committee appointed by the Board to engage in a strategic planning process to establish a cohesive agenda of over-arching issues impacting children and families.

The Board will consider a lease agreement between Catawba County Social Services and Catawba Valley Behavioral Healthcare for a portion of CVBH’s LifeSkills building, which would be used by Social Services for supervised visitation of foster children. The Board will also consider amendments to a contract between the County and the City of Conover for revenue sharing on a proposed project to provide sewer service to Bunker Hill High School, River Bend Middle School and Oxford Elementary School, and a proposed agreement with the Town of Maiden for a water line project along Jim Beard Road, Robinette Road and Mockingbird Lane, where a community well has failed. It will consider a permit for a pyrotechnics demonstration scheduled for May 30 at Rock Barn Golf and Spa and the waiver of normally charged permit fees for permits and inspections to protect the safety, health and welfare of those attending the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn from June 6-12, 2011.

The Board will issue proclamations declaring May 1-7 as Public Service Week and May 15-21 as EMS Week in Catawba County and assist with the presentation of a North Carolina Association of County Commissioners Outstanding County Program Award to Public Health for a flu pandemic and vaccination public information campaign; recognize the awarding of a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to the County Budget Office, and recognize County employees who have been recognized by their peers for outstanding performance and/or have served as presidents of state associations in the past year.

NOTE: The Board will attend a reception at 8:30 a.m. in the Closed Session Room of the 1924 Courthouse for employees who have been recognized by their peers and/or serve as presidents of their state associations, and will hold a lunch and joint meeting with the Catawba Valley Community College Board of Trustees following this meeting, beginning at 11:15 a.m. in the CVCC Board Room, to receive an update on CVCC facilities.

A. Mr. David Nicholson, Outreach Associate for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, will present Catawba County Public Health with a 2010 Outstanding County Program Award for its flu pandemic and vaccination public information campaign, “Arm Yourself Against the Flu”.

B. The Board will issue a proclamation recognizing May 15-21, 2011, as Emergency Medical Services Week. The week commends Emergency Medical Services for providing lifesaving care for those in need, twenty-four hours per day, seven days a weeks, and spotlights the benefits Americans receive from these highly trained, knowledgeable individuals and the reduction in national health care costs resulting from these services.

C. The Board will present the County’s Budget staff with a 2010 Distinguished Budget Presentation Award given by the Government Finance Officers Association. The award is given to local governments that prepare and publish a budget document judged to be both informative and understandable. Catawba County has won the award for 22 consecutive years.

D. The Board will issue a proclamation declaring May 1-7 as Public Service Recognition Week to recognize that local, state and federal government employees are integral to the quality of life in Catawba County. Being closest to the people, local government leaves the strongest impression on its recipients, placing a great responsibility on County employees to provide exemplary customer service with compassion, empathy and understanding. The efficiency and effectiveness of government depends largely on these employees. Catawba County employees touch the lives of all residents by providing a wide range of services specified in the proclamation, which expresses the Board’s “deep appreciation for the innovation and daily contributions Catawba County employees make to the lives of county citizens”.

E. The Board will commend nine County employees who have been recognized by their colleagues for outstanding performance. Five are department heads who are presidents of their state associations: Rodney Miller, North Carolina Government Finance Officers Association; Debra Bechtel, North Carolina County Attorney’s Association; Karen Foss, North Carolina Public Library Directors Association; Mark Logan, Western Piedmont Tax Association; and Terry Bledsoe, North Carolina Local Government Information Systems Association, who was also recognized as one of the 2011 Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers in government technology by Government Technology Magazine. Four employees have been recognized by their state associations: Brian Drum, Supervisor of the Year, North Carolina Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association; Beatrice Abernathy, Billy D. Ray Purchaser of the Year Award, Carolinas Association of Government Purchasing; Dave Hardin, Chris Coulson Memorial Award, North Carolina City and County Communicators; and Lee Worsley, Outstanding Assistant Manager, North Carolina City and County Management Association.

A. The Board will consider amending the terms of an existing property lease between the County and Catawba Valley Behavioral Healthcare (CVBH) to provide space for Social Services for supervised visitation of foster children. CVBH is currently leasing the County’s Lifeskills facility (15,780 square feet) for $75,744 per year. CVBH continues to provide services to County citizens struggling with matters of mental illness and developmental disabilities.

Per court orders, Social Services provides supervised visitation for approximately 100 children in foster care every month. The majority of these visits occur at the agency between the hours of 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Judges increasingly order visits with biological parents and siblings several times a week and on weekends. A sibling group may have different fathers and/or stepparents who need separate visits. Social workers, social work assistants and foster parents provide transportation for children to visit with their parents. The main Social Services Building has two small visiting rooms for this purpose. However, the rooms cannot accommodate sibling groups and are inadequate for any interactive play. The lack of space also limits parents’ ability to prepare snacks or demonstrate more normal parenting behaviors. Social workers have resorted to using waiting rooms and conference rooms for visitation, which is not conducive to observation or family interaction.

The Lifeskills Program behind the Family Services Center has experienced a reduced census this year because of policy changes, and is basically empty after 2 p.m. Child Welfare staff believes the proximity and features of the Lifeskills space, with kitchen, eating areas, access for the disabled and fenced courtyard, would be ideal for family visitation and promote efficiencies for staff and foster parents during visitation. The Lifeskills building has security cameras in each room that would allow greater security for staff and children during parental visits. CVBH has agreed that this would maximize use of the County’s building—and has agreed for Social Services to use two rooms for visitation (approximately 1500 square feet), including the kitchen, eating areas and courtyard, from 2-6 p.m. daily.

The overall cost of this space will remain at $75,744. However, the cost will now be split between CVBH ($68,544) and Social Services ($7200). Approximately $1500 of this cost for Social Services will come from State and Federal reimbursements. The remainder will come from fund balance. The amended lease would be effective from the date of approval by the Commissioners through June 30, 2012 and then reviewed for renewal thereafter on an annual basis. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends amendment of this lease.

B. The Board will consider issuing a Pyrotechnics Permit to Rock Barn Golf & Spa. Rock Barn has submitted a Pyrotechnic Permit application for a fireworks display to be conducted on May 30, 2011, at 3763 Golf Drive in Conover, NC. The display, part of the Greater Hickory Classic, is scheduled to occur at 8:45 p.m. on May 30 and last approximately 30 minutes. Rock Barn Golf & Spa has contracted with Pyro Shows Inc, which has a valid “Outdoor Pyrotechnics Display Operators Permit” through the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Office of the State Fire Marshal. Based on the application, all statutory requirements have been or will be met. If, at any time, any requirement of the permit is not satisfied, the County Fire/Rescue Division will immediately revoke the permit. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends issuance of this permit.

C. The Board will consider waiving permit fees that are applicable to the Catawba County Fee Schedule, Building Permit Fees, for the 2011 Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn. The County received a request from Mr. Peter Fisch, Tournament Manager of the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn, to waive the permit fees for the 2011 tournament. The event is scheduled to be held at the Rock Barn Golf & Spa in Conover, June 6 – 12, 2011. The building permit fees have been waived for all previous Greater Hickory Classic events. The request to waive permit fees is applicable only to the Catawba County Fee Schedule, Building Permit Fees. This approval will not negate permit issuance or inspections in order to protect the safety, health, and welfare of the citizens of and visitors to Catawba County. The waived permit fees are estimated to be valued at less than $5000. The impact of last year’s event is estimated to be in excess of $15 million. The event attracts more than 65,000 spectators, volunteers, and vendors, and airs over 15 hours of live and replay coverage on the Golf Channel. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends waiving these permit fees.


The Board will consider entering into an incentive agreement with Turbocoating Corp., USA, which is leasing 60,000 square feet in Catawba Industrial Commons, the former Corning Cable Systems building, at 1926 Main Avenue SE in Hickory for 10 years, and plans to invest a minimum of $13 million in machinery and equipment over the next five years and create at least 80 jobs paying an average wage of over $50,000 per year over the next five years, with an additional year of incentive should the investment reach at least $15 million and 110 jobs be created.

Turbocoating is an Italian company that develops special processes and manufactures protective coatings for components used in industrial gas turbines and engines. It produces a wide range of thermal spray processes that provide higher performance and longer product life for gas turbine engines produced by Siemens, Alstom, GE and Rolls Royce. During its 35 years in the coatings industry, it has evolved into high process automation and practices lean manufacturing. Turbocoating began its search for existing buildings in a radius around Charlotte, including North and South Carolina and several counties within each state, before finalizing the search with the Catawba Industrial Commons in Hickory. This will be the company’s first U.S. location.

The proposed incentive is based on the condition of a minimum total new investment of $13 million and the creation of at least 80 new jobs. Should the investment reach at least $15 million with 110 jobs being created, an additional year incentive would be granted. All jobs will pay an average wage above Catawba County’s average wage determined by the N.C. Department of Commerce, with a requirement to not hire anyone 25 years of age or below who does not have a high school diploma. Adhering to all North Carolina General Statutes, a County incentive is proposed in the form of a performance-based grant, upon approval of a contract and the satisfaction of conditions of that contract, based on the minimum investment of $13 million and 80 new jobs, with a maximum payment of $52,163 per year for four years (for a total maximum incentive of $208,652). Should Turbocoating invest $15 million or more and create 110 jobs or more by Dec 31, 2016, the grant will be extended for one additional year, bringing the grant period to five years and a total maximum incentive of $260,815. This amount was derived by determining the guaranteed investment and subsequent income stream to the County over a four or five year period and multiplying that figure by 75%. This investment will net a positive payback to the County immediately, similar to paybacks used to determine grant involvement in other County projects. The agreement requires repayment of the incentives should the investment and job creation amounts not be met or sustained.

The Board will receive a report on the progress of the Catawba County Children’s Agenda. It is expected to summarize two years of work by a Children’s Agenda Committee, appointed by the Board in February 2009 to engage in a strategic planning process to establish a cohesive agenda of over-arching issues impacting children in Catawba County and their families. These identified issues will be used by community organizations, foundations, government and community leaders to inform planning efforts, address service gaps and identify legislative priorities.

The planning process brought together community leaders and representatives from child-serving agencies and county-wide initiatives. The process included developing a vision, mission and principles of work; gathering primary and secondary data on the status of children in Catawba County; reviewing the strategic planning documents from nine child-serving organizations; surveying of child-serving professionals and community residents to determine the priority needs of children and families in Catawba County; analysis of the information gathered, and development of the Children’s Agenda outlining the priority issues or goals for children and families, and suggested strategies for accomplishing those goals.

The Committee is now recommending the following steps: support of the Children’s Agenda goals by elected officials and community leaders to affirm this is a unified vision for children in Catawba County; annual updating of a Child Data Snapshot coordinated by the County; development of a Children’s Budget by the County to highlight spending on services impacting children; and discussion by the Children’s Agenda Committee to determine an entity or entities to help move the work of the agenda forward. The committee recognizes an ongoing need for: 1) a convener or coordinator for alignment of activities, 2) a central point or platform for aggregate data and information about resources and low-cost activities for families, and 3) coordinated messaging and communication campaigns around multiple child-wellbeing issues.

1. The Board will consider amending a contract between Catawba County and the City of Conover for revenue sharing on the Bunker Hill/Oxford/River Bend Sewer Project; entering into an agreement with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) for grant administration; approval of a capital project budget ordinance for this project, as required by the State for grant compliance; and authorizing of Jack Chandler, Assistant Utilities and Engineering Director, to conduct an open meeting in accordance with North Carolina General Statute 133-3 concerning preferred alternates for Fairbanks-Morse pumps, preferred by Conover, for the project. This sewer project was developed specifically for and is predominantly serving Bunker Hill High School, Oxford Elementary School, and River Bend Middle School.

The Bunker Hill/Oxford/River Bend Sewer Project will provide municipal sewer service to approximately twenty residences and Bunker Hill High School, Oxford Elementary School and River Bend Middle School. Bunker Hill and Oxford are expected to connect immediately in order to address issues associated with the aging on-site sewage disposal systems at these schools. The Bunker Hill and Oxford systems are experiencing increasing operating and maintenance costs as well as being malodorous at times. River Bend Middle School, built in 1998, has an adequate on-site sewage disposal system. However, the existing on-site system is very large, taking up valuable property that can be more fully utilized if/when the school is connected to municipal sewer. The Board of Commissioners previously appropriated $2.93 million for the project. The County was awarded grant funds in the amount of $1.6 million from the North Carolina Division of Environment and Natural Resources’ Public Water Supply Section, to be applied to this project. The payback period for this project is estimated to be 18 years, 9 months.

Staff, along with the City of Conover, has acquired forty easements and pump station property purchases needed before the project could be bid for construction. A bid award is anticipated on July 11, 2011, with an anticipated completion date of May 2012. The project will be bid in three divisions: 1) Oxford Gravity Sewer; 2) Bunker Hill Gravity Sewer; and 3) Bunker Hill Pump Station and Force Main. This will allow the bidders the flexibility of bidding on one division or multiple divisions, which County staff hopes will result in lower bid prices and provide the opportunity for concurrent work on different divisions, potentially reducing the overall construction time.

On May 15, 2006, the Board of Commissioners approved an agreement between Catawba County and the City of Conover for revenue sharing on the Bunker Hill sewer line. The revenue sharing agreement stipulates that the agreement will void if construction has not started within two years of its execution. The proposed Amendment, drafted by the City of Conover, revises the effective date of the contract from May 15, 2006 to April 5, 2011 and is scheduled to be on the Conover City Council agenda on May 2, 2011. The Western Piedmont Council of Governments will provide grant administration services in the amount of $30,000 to ensure grant compliance.

The City of Conover uses Fairbanks-Morse pumps for all of its pump stations. The City prefers using Fairbanks-Morse pumps in this project since it provides enhanced efficiency in operations and maintenance procedures for the city for all of its pump stations, reduces spare parts inventory and provides interchangeability within the system. Since any preferred alternate must be discussed at an open meeting, staff is requesting that authority to act as the official for the County be delegated to Assistant Utilities and Engineering Director, Jack Chandler, for the preferred alternate discussion that will occur at the advertised pre-bid meeting. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends amending the Revenue Sharing Contract, entering into the grant administration agreement with WPCOG, approval of the project budget ordinance and authorizing Jack Chandler to conduct meetings regarding preferred alternates for the project construction.

2. The Board will consider entering into an agreement between Catawba County and the Town of Maiden for revenue sharing on a Jim Beard Road-Robinette Road-Mockingbird Lane Water Project (also known as Cardinal Estates Subdivision Water Project); an agreement between the County and Mr. Wendall McCaslin for cost-sharing on portions of the cost of construction; and a budget revision to the Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund in the amount of $72,440, which includes construction and 10% contingency, engineering design, and construction administration and inspections.

Mr. Wendall McCaslin, owner and developer of a community well in this area, approached the Town of Maiden and Catawba County concerning the extension of municipal water to Robinette Road and Mockingbird Lane, off Jim Beard Road. The current water system is failing, in need of major repair, and the water source has high iron content. The existing community well users have been living with inadequate potable water for some time. Bruce Vaughan of the North Carolina Utilities Commission contacted the County about assistance in eliminating the problem for those citizens. There are twenty potential customers/properties that will be served by this project, of which eight will be served immediately through the proposed contract with Mr. McCaslin. The payback period is estimated to be approximately nine years.

The project will consist of approximately 1,700 linear feet of varying sizes of water lines, valves, hydrants, and related appurtenances, extending from an existing County/Town of Maiden water line on East Maiden Road, approximately 1.5 miles outside of the Maiden Town limits, along Jim Beard Road, then along Robinette Road and Mockingbird Lane.

The project is being developed in cooperation with the Town of Maiden under County Code Chapter 42, Revenue Sharing Program. Mr. McCaslin has agreed to pay the County 50% of the cost of construction of a 6-inch water line along the Jim Beard Road portion of the project and 50% of the cost of construction along Robinette Road and Mockingbird Lane to the end of NCDOT maintenance; 100% of the water capital fees for the eight existing community well customers in the subdivision, at a cost of $500 per connection, and 50% of any change orders needed for the completion of the project. The County is paying the cost to upsize this line to a 12-inch, in preparation for future waterline expansion along the length of Jim Beard Road. Mr. McCaslin will pay the County his portion of all fees and project costs, including applicable County Water Capital Fees, prior to the awarding of the construction contract. In addition, Mr. McCaslin desires that 475 linear feet of 2-inch waterline be installed beyond the end of the NCDOT maintained roadway to provide future water service to the undeveloped portions of Mockingbird Lane, and has agreed to pay 100% of the cost of construction. This portion is estimated to be $5640.

A budget revision is needed to approve the project and appropriate funding. The project cost is estimated at $72,440, which includes construction plus 10% contingency, engineering design costs, and construction administration and inspections. The engineering design firm of Davis and Floyd of Hickory will provide engineering services for this project. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends entering into the revenue sharing agreement with the Town of Maiden for the project, approval of the cost-sharing on portions of the construction with Mr. Wendall McCaslin, and approval of the budget revision in the amount of $72,440.

3. The Board will consider awarding a bid to Hamlett Associates, Inc. of Climax, North Carolina, in the amount of $775,786, for the construction of a Crop Processing Facility at the County’s Biodiesel Research Facility; approving a contract for administration and construction observation with McGill Associates, PA in the amount of $55,000, and approving a budget revision, using Solid Waste Post Closure Reserve funds, in the amount of $830,790.

The Catawba County EcoComplex is focused on making and using sustainable “green” energy and economic development in the county. It is the goal of the EcoComplex to develop a system that will recover all useable products and by-products from a close-knit group of private and public partners located in a defined area. The group of partners will work together to use each other’s waste products either as a source of energy (electricity, steam, or heat) or as a raw material in the production of their own product (pallets, lumber, compost).

The existing EcoComplex components/partners include a Biodiesel Research and Production Facility and will include a Crop Processing Facility, which will clean, dry, store and crush harvested seed crop. The County has a lease agreement with Appalachian State University for the Biodiesel Research and Production Facility, with a primary purpose of operating a Biodiesel Testing Lab that will assist Catawba County in producing biodiesel fuel from crops grown at the EcoComplex, assist emerging biodiesel producers in Western North Carolina in assessing the quality of their fuels derived from varying feedstock, and provide biodiesel fuel to the County’s Landfill operational fleet. The agreement with Appalachian State University provides the County with annual revenue of $127,994. The County’s annual expenses for the crop processing operations will be approximately $45,000, providing a net annual income of $82,994, which equates to a 20 year payback period to the landfill post closure reserve funds. Catawba County and Appalachian State University have received grant funds from the North Carolina Biofuels Center for processing equipment in the Crop Processing Facility in the amounts of $150,000 and $129,000, respectively.

Bids for the Crop Processing Facility were publicly opened on March 15, 2011. Three bids were received from 1) Hamlett Associates, Inc., $775,786; 2) Amber Contracting Co., Inc., $787,900; and 3) Eagle Wood, Inc., $873,435.23. McGill Associates has reviewed the bids for accuracy and completeness, and recommends Hamlett Associates, Inc. of Climax, North Carolina. Hamlett Associates submitted the lowest total bid in the amount of $775,786 and McGill Associates has verified that Hamlett Associates is properly licensed to perform the work.

Staff recommends the bid for construction of the Crop Processing Facility be awarded to Hamlett Associates, Inc. McGill Associates has agreed to provide construction administration and observation for the facility in the amount of $55,000, which is approximately 7% of the cost of construction. McGill Associates is the design engineer for the Crop Processing Facility and, therefore, is most familiar with the design and construction. A budget revision is required, using Solid Waste Post Closure Reserves in the amount of $830,790. All costs associated with the Biodiesel Research and Crop Processing Facility are funded from the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund, which contains no ad valorem tax proceeds. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee has recommended awarding the bid for construction to Hamlett Associates, Inc. in the amount of $775,786, approving a contract for administration and construction observation with McGill Associates, PA in the amount of $55,000, and approving a budget revision, using Solid Waste Post Closure Reserves in the amount of $830,790, for the construction of the Crop Processing Facility.