PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
MONDAY, MAY 18, 2009, 7 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider a proposed contract with Daggett & Grigg Architects of Charlottesville, Virginia, partnering with Mackie Johnson Architect of Conover, for the architectural design of a proposed expansion and renovation of the Catawba County Animal Shelter, to provide space to house more animals and further the County’s goal of increased animal adoption, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 18, 2009 in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room of the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton, NC. The Board will also hold a public hearing on the proposed issue of up to $4 million in Industrial Revenue Bonds for an expansion project of the von Drehle Corporation. Industrial Revenue Bonds are sold to private investors on national capital markets. There would be no financial obligation for Catawba County.
The Board will also receive a report on the approval of a request for Federal “stimulus funds” for a proposed Blackburn-Plateau water supply loop, which would provide improved drinking water and fire protection in southwest Catawba County; consider a request from the Town of Brookford that Catawba County provide inspection services in Brookford which, if approved, would mean Catawba County Government would provide inspection services across the entire county; set a schedule for the Board’s budget hearings, a public hearing and final adoption of the County’s 2010-2011 budget; and issue a proclamation noting the centennial of the 4-H program in North Carolina.
NOTE: The Board will hold a work session on the proposed expansion of the Catawba County Justice Center and creation of a Public Safety Center, beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, May 18 in the Second Floor Meeting Room of the Government Center at 100-A Southwest Boulevard (Highway 321 Business) in Newton.
The Board will issue a proclamation recognizing the centennial of the North Carolina 4-H program and commending its 100 years of service to the state by reaching more than one million boys and girls with educational and developmental programs that have contributed significantly to the quality of life for these young people and their families.
The Board will hold a public hearing on a request by von Drehle Corporation for the issue of $4 million in Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs). As with all IRB projects, there is no financial obligation to Catawba County or the State of North Carolina. Bonds are sold on national capital markets to insurance companies, and bond and mutual funds. von Drehle’s proposed expansion includes the purchase of a new high-speed, single wrap tissue line, adding to the corporation’s capabilities to convert tissue products and serve industrial, commercial, medical and government markets. This new equipment would nearly double the production capacity of the corporation’s Maiden facility. The corporation would add 15 new jobs, increasing employment at its Maiden facility from 67 to 82 over the next three years. The average wage would be $14 an hour. This expansion would generate approximately $21,505 in annual combined tax revenue for the Town of Maiden and Catawba County.
A. EMERGENCY SERVICES
The Board will consider awarding a contract for architectural design of the expansion/renovation of the Catawba County Animal Shelter to Daggett & Grigg Architects of Charlottesville, Virginia, partnering with Mackie Johnson Architect of Conover; and a budget transfer of $21,000 for the architectural and surveying services to be performed in the current fiscal year.
The current Animal Services facility is over 20 years old and designed to safely house 78 animals. Its current daily average census is 200 animals. Animal shelters are highly specialized buildings designed to support sheltered animals in the healthiest possible environment. Modern shelters are designed and built with more sanitation in mind than in shelters of the past. The focus of Animal Services is to assure the placement of every adoptable animal. To accomplish this objective, staff must have the ability to control disease and treat animals as needed, to assure they are healthy and suitable for adoption or returned to their owners. The current shelter was not designed to accommodate those needs. Sufficient space to hold animals also increases adoption rates. The time recommended nationally to hold an animal to assure maximum potential for adoption is 8 to 10 days. The County’s current space allows the holding of adoptable animals for an average of 3 to 5 days. Space for staff, supplies and equipment is also inadequate. Because of overcrowding at the shelter, the State could possibly require an expansion.
At its meeting on April 6, 2009, the Board tabled a request for a feasibility study to determine whether to build a new shelter at another location or expand and renovate the existing shelter. The Board directed staff to determine if Daggett & Grigg would be willing to partner with a local architectural firm and reduce travel expenses as much as possible, but still benefit from Daggett & Grigg’s expertise in shelter design. The Board directed that a feasibility study not be conducted, and asked staff to move forward with expansion and renovation of the existing facility. Daggett & Grigg will partner with Mackie Johnson Architect of Conover at no additional cost. Mackie Johnson, Architect was established in 1997 and is the architect for a current 1924 Courthouse roof replacement and for the recent St. Stephens Park renovations and an Education Building at Riverbend Park.
The County’s Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 includes funding for new animal shelter space. Before shelter design can begin, research will be necessary to conduct a study to determine the size of shelter facility the County will need. The study will include evaluating census data for Catawba County, for citizens and animals, from two different sources: the US Census Bureau and the American Veterinary Medical Association’s “U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook.” Daggett & Grigg/Mackie Johnson will also conduct a survey with Animal Shelter staff. They will compare the County’s data with projections based on census and national averages of “animal relinquishment” to determine the optimum size of the shelter for the present and future. This matrix will predict the shelter size needs and a cost range based on size. It is recommended that the County build for at least ten years; preferably twenty years. The cost for this study will not exceed $2500 and is included in the $21,000 budget amendment requested.
The fee for design, specifications, bid recommendation and construction administration will be 6%. Reimbursable expenses for the project are estimated to be $5,400. To save travel and printing costs, Daggett & Grigg will provide the County with access to a website that will enable County staff to take a schematic design 3D model from the website and converse with architects by phone while viewing the 3D model of the proposed building. Daggett & Grigg believes the County could achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for this project. Toni Norton, Water Resources Engineer with the County’s Utilities & Engineering Department, recently obtained LEED A.P. accreditation and will be involved in the project to gain working experience in LEED and help reduce some of the costs. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends a contract for architectural design of the expansion/renovation of the Catawba County Animal Shelter be awarded to Daggett & Grigg Architects of Charlottesville, Virginia, partnering with Mackie Johnson Architect of Conover.
B. UTILITIES AND ENGINEERING
1. The Board will consider a proposed agreement between Catawba County and the Town of Brookford to provide inspection services within the boundaries of Brookford. The Brookford Town Council approved this agreement on April 27, 2009. The Town of Brookford managed its own inspection services until the retirement of its code enforcement official several months ago. The Town Administrator, Marshall Eckard, contacted the County to request inspection services. The Town is required by North Carolina General Statutes to provide its citizens with inspection services and is allowed to contract inspection service with another jurisdiction. The County has been providing inspection services for the other municipalities in the county since July 1, 2003.
The County would provide building code administration, including review of plans, accepting applications, issuing permits and making all necessary inspections in accordance with applicable North Carolina laws and regulations. Any other services including, but not limited to, zoning enforcement and Town ordinances shall be enforced by the Town. If this agreement is approved, Catawba County will then be providing inspection services throughout the county, including all municipalities. The County’s inspection service fee schedule would apply county-wide. This collaborative effort is another example of the cooperation shown historically between Catawba County and its municipalities. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends approval of the agreement between the County and the Town of Brookford detailed above.
2. The Board will receive a report regarding American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) grant funds that have been awarded to the County for the Blackburn-Plateau Water Loop. On February 16, 2009, the Board approved resolutions for ten water and sewer projects in preparation for potential submission to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources for funding under ARRA. Funding applications were eventually submitted for five projects: the Blackburn-Plateau Water Loop; Southeastern Catawba County Water Supply Loop Phase III Pump Station and Storage Tank; Leeland Terrace Subdivision Water Service; Highway 150 Sewer Service and the Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade and Expansion. Staff and its municipal partners and consultants felt these projects had the best chance to receive approval based on ARRA funding criteria and restraints.
This project consists of approximately 57,400 linear feet of water lines on Plateau Road, Grace Church Road, Hickory-Lincolnton Highway, Blackburn Bridge Road, Startown Road, Elbow Road, and West Maiden Road. It will provide municipal water to the new Propst Crossroads Fire Station, enhanced fire protection in the Propst fire district, municipal water and fire protection to proposed economic development projects and a proposed multi-jurisdictional business park, and a secondary water supply loop to the Town of Maiden and the Southeast Catawba County Water Supply system.
Staff was notified on May 7, 2009, that the County was the recipient of a $3 million award for the Blackburn-Plateau Water Loop, with $1.5 million in the form of a principal forgiveness loan that does not have to be repaid, and $1.5 million in the form of a zero percent interest loan with a 20-year term and payments estimated at $75,000 annually. There is a one-time processing fee of 2% of the loan amount, which equates to $60,000 to be appropriated from the fund balance of the Water and Sewer Construction Fund. Staff is working with the appropriate State offices to secure final confirmation of the funding. The estimated cost for the Blackburn-Plateau Water Loop project is $3,642,580. Staff anticipates that appropriations and grant acceptance will be made by the Board at the time of a bid award for the construction of the project, unless ARRA guidelines dictate otherwise. Staff is prepared to bid this project immediately.
COUNTY MANAGER’S REPORT
The Board will consider rescheduling the County’s budget hearings and adoption, since many questions remains unanswered regarding the State budget. The current schedule of budget hearings does not allow staff time to incorporate necessary adjustments to the County budget based on the State budget which will not be finalized, or near finalized, by these dates. Staff recommends the rescheduling of budget hearings with departments to Monday, June 15, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with the budget public hearing and wrap-up to be held at the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting of June 15, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. and budget adoption on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 or Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 9:00 a.m., at a specially called Board of Commissioners meeting. The budget hearings with departments and the budget adoption would take place in the Second Floor Meeting Room of the Government Center since the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room of the 1924 Courthouse will be occupied at those times.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 828-465-8464