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MAY 19, 2008

Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting 
Monday, May 19, 2008, 7 p.m.
St. Stephens Elementary School

684 30th St. NE, Conover

NOTE: This regular board meeting will follow two special meetings: (1) A special joint meeting with Hickory City Council scheduled from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. wherein the Commissioners and Council members will receive information on the new State ethic laws; and (2) A Community Information Drop-In Session from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at this same location, focusing on higher education opportunities in Catawba County. No formal program is planned between 5 and 6:30 p.m. Citizens may drop in during those hours at their convenience to speak informally with county officials and members of the Board of Commissioners. Staff from the County’s Parks Division, which is presently working on plans to reopen the St. Stephens Park in late 2008, the St. Stephens Library, Register of Deeds Office and Department of Utilities and Engineering will also be present.

1. Call to Order.

2. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

3. Invocation.

4. Approval of the Minutes from the Regular Meeting of Monday, May 5, 2008.

5. Recognition of Special Guests.

6. Public Comment for items not on the agenda.

7. Public Hearing:

Closeout Public Hearing for Community Development Block Grant. Presented by Jack I. Chandler, Public Services Administrator, Utilities and Engineering.

8. Appointments.

9. Departmental Reports.

A. Hickory Public Schools.

Letter of Commitment for FY 2008/09 Funding. Presented by Judy Ikerd, Budget Manager and Ric Vandett, Superintendent, Hickory City Schools.

B. Tax Department

1. Settlement Report of Retiring Tax Collector, Jackie Spencer. Presented by Ona Scruggs, Tax Collector.

2. Tax Refund Request in the amount of $198.16. Presented by Ona Scruggs, Tax Collector.

10. Other Items of business.

11. Attorneys’ Report.

12. Manager’s Report.

13. Adjournment.

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 cafeteria at St. Stephens Elementary School is readily available. Participation in public meetings is without regard to race, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, color, or disability.

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.

Budget Hearings with departments will take place on Wednesday, May 28, 2008, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Budget Public Hearing and Wrap-Up will take place on Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. The Board of Commissioners’ June Meetings will take place on Monday, June 2, 2008 at 9:30 a.m.(this meeting will include Budget Adoption) and on Monday, June 16, 2008, at 7:00 p.m.

MONDAY, MAY 19, 2008, 7 P.M.

This meeting follows a community information drop-in session, focusing on the County’s higher education opportunities, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at this same location. No formal program is planned between 5 and 6:30 p.m. Citizens may drop in during those hours at their convenience to speak informally with staff from Catawba Valley Community College, the Hickory Metro Higher Education Center and the NC Center for Engineering Technologies. Staff from the County’s Parks Division, St. Stephens Library, Mental Health Services, Public Health, Register of Deeds Office, Sheriff’s Office and Department of Utilities and Engineering will also have displays and information available for those who drop in at their convenience between 5 and 6:30, and citizens will have an opportunity to sign up for the County’s e-mail newsletter.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the close out of a Community Development Block Grant which provided funding for the construction of water lines and a sewer pump station serving the Catawba County EcoComplex partner businesses, and receive the tax settlement report of retiring Tax Collector Jackie Spencer, as required by State law, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 19, 2008, at St. Stephens Elementary School, at 684 30th St. NE, Conover.

The Board will also consider issuing a letter of commitment that funding will be placed in the County’s 2008-2009 budget for several projects in the Hickory Public School system, including asbestos abatement, new mobile classrooms and replacement of a gym floor; and consider a tax refund request. To reach St. Stephens Elementary School, take McDonald Parkway south from Springs Road or north from I-40 and turn at the sign leading to St. Stephens Elementary. Then turn right at a second sign for the school, onto 28th Street Place NE, and follow the road to the school from that point.

The Board will hold a close-out public hearing to receive citizen comments regarding a Community Development Block Grant, in the amount of $481,907, which provided funding for the construction of 1,800 linear feet of 12-inch water line, 18,000 linear feet of 4-inch force main sewer line, and a sewer pump station serving the Catawba County EcoComplex. Grant guidelines required that the project create new jobs. These water and sewer lines serve Gregory Wood Products, which currently has 125 employees and has exceeded a goal for creating jobs for low to moderate income persons. This entire project provided water and sewer service to the Blackburn Landfill, Gregory Wood Products and Pallet One, and will serve other components of the EcoComplex and Resource Recovery Facility, the Target Distribution Center and other future development.


The Board will consider issuing a letter of commitment to the Hickory Public Schools stating that funding will be placed in the County’s fiscal year 2008-09 budget to complete asbestos abatement at Hickory High School during the summer, insure new mobile classrooms are in place at the start of the new school year, and replace the gym floor at Viewmont Elementary School. A letter of commitment is necessary for the school system to retain a contractor for asbestos abatement and replacement of the gym floor, and sign a contract for the mobile classrooms. $400,000 is needed for asbestos abatement at Hickory High, $90,000 would fund purchase of three mobile classrooms for Jenkins, Oakwood and Viewmont Elementary Schools, and $63,165 would fund replacement of the gym floor at Viewmont Elementary. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends issuing the letter of commitment.

1. In accordance with North Carolina General Statutes, the Board will receive the settlement report of retiring tax collector Jackie Spencer concerning the tax levy for Catawba County for fiscal year 2007-2008. The report is expected to reflect that $72,917,767 (97.26%) of real estate and personal property tax, and $4,774,024 in motor vehicle tax has been collected as of April 30, 2008, with $1,555,451 in real estate and personal property tax outstanding for 1999 through 2006 and $1,704,889 in vehicle tax outstanding for the same period.

2. The Board will consider a tax refund request in the amount of $198.16. Records have been checked and this refund verified as due to Bramsa Associates LLC for taxes paid from 2005 through 2007. The North Carolina Secretary of State had incorrectly listed this corporation as a restaurant, rather than as a consultant of textiles and clothing which had no assets during the period in question.




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