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JUNE 4, 2007

Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting 
Monday, June 4, 2007, 9:30 a.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 of Monday, May 21, 2007.

5. Recognition of Special Guests.

6. Public Comment for items not on the agenda.

7. Presentation:

Distinguished Public Service Award presented to Millie Barbee

8. Appointments.

9. Consent Agenda:

a. Finance Department Budget Revision – Ambulance Billing Fees

b. Allocation of Insurance Money Received from Wrecked Vehicle

c. Waiver of Solid Waste Disposal Fees in the amount of $26.72 for Balls Creek Campground Arson Cleanup

10. Departmental Reports.

a. Hickory Public Schools Project Transfer. Presented by Jeanne Jarrett, Assistant Finance Director.

b. 2007 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Joint Application. Presented by Sheriff L. David Huffman

11. Other Items of business.

12. Attorneys’ Report.

13. Manager’s Report.

Request to reschedule the Monday, June 18, 2007, 7:00 p.m. Board of Commissioners Meeting to Tuesday, June 26, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.

14. 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 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.

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.

The Board of Commissioners will hold a retreat on Monday, June 11, 2007, immediately following Subcommittee meetings. Subcommittee meetings and the retreat will take place in the 2nd Floor Meeting Room of the Government Center.

MONDAY, JUNE 4, 2007, 9:30 A.M.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider a request from the Hickory Public Schools Board of Education to transfer funds already budgeted to the Hickory school system from a completed project to a gymnasium project at Northview Middle School, and a joint application with the City of Hickory for a 2007 federal Justice Assistance Grant which would be used to purchase digital in-car video systems, when the Board meets at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, June 4, 2007 in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room of the 1924 Courthouse in Newton.

The Board will also consider rescheduling its meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 18 until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26 because of scheduling conflicts; a revision to the budget for the County’s Finance Department for the current fiscal year to account for increased ambulance billing and collection; the allocation of funds received from an insurance settlement regarding a wrecked vehicle; and a request to waive normally charged landfill fees associated with the cleanup of debris resulting from the demolition and rebuilding of three tents at the Balls Creek Campground that were destroyed in an arson fire. The Board will also present a Distinguished Public Service Award to Ms. Millie Barbee, who is retiring from her duties as President and CEO of the Greater Hickory Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Note: The Board will participate in a ribbon cutting for the expanded portion of the Catawba County Jail, located at the Justice Center in Newton, at 11 a.m.

The Board will present a Distinguished Public Service Award to Millie Barbee, in recognition of her successful career as President and CEO of the Greater Hickory Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, as well as her contribution to historic preservation in Catawba County and across the state. A recipient of the 2007 North Carolina Travel Industry Association’s Bill Sharpe Award, Ms. Barbee’s outstanding contributions to the travel industry have influenced North Carolina residents and visitors throughout the state and earned her the title of “North Carolina Tourism Ambassador”. The proclamation further recognizes that her passion and commitment to the historic preservation of our state’s treasures is unsurpassed and has resulted in the safeguarding of numerous structures and sites.

A. The Board will consider a budget revision, to increase the current Finance Department budget by $35,000 to account for increased ambulance billing fees received during this fiscal year. Catawba County contracts with EMS Management Systems and Consultants, Inc. to provide routine billing, bill processing and fee collection services for ambulance charges, as well as account management. The County pays EMS Management Systems and Consultants a monthly fee equal to 8% of net ambulance collections. The County also pays fees to two collection agencies that collect delinquent accounts.

The initial budget for ambulance fees for this fiscal year was $250,000, which equals 8% of budgeted revenues of $2,950,000, plus $14,000 for delinquent accounts. Analyzing revenue collected to date, the County’s Finance staff now estimates ambulance revenues will exceed $3,370,000, or $420,000 more than budgeted revenues. Staff estimates expenses will be around $285,000, including EMS fees on current billings and fees paid for delinquent accounts. Staff recommends approval of this budget revision to increase the Finance Department budget and ambulance revenue by $35,000, to account for the increased ambulance collections.

B. The Board will consider approving an allocation of insurance funds received for a wrecked Building Services Inspection vehicle, to be used for the purchase of a replacement vehicle. A 2002 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck was totaled on May 2, 2007, when a driver ran a stoplight at the intersection of Robinson and Sandy Ford Roads and hit the County-owned vehicle. Insurance has subsequently paid a claim on this vehicle totaling $8,249, which was added to the County’s Self-Insurance Fund. Allocation of these funds would provide enough money, along with funds already in the Building Services Division budget, to purchase a replacement vehicle. Staff recommends approval of the allocation of insurance funds totaling $8,249 for the purchase of a replacement vehicle.

C. The Board will consider waiving the normally charged solid waste tipping fee ($26.72 in this instance) for cleanup of debris resulting from a fire at the Balls Creek Campground. An arson fire destroyed three tent structures at the campground on Buffalo Shoals Road on February 12, 2007.

On May 17, 2007, the Junior Athletic Boosters and AVID classes at Bandys High School sent a letter to the County requesting that the solid waste tipping fee for approximately two tandem loads of demolition debris be waived. These Bandys High School groups, in an effort to give back to the community, volunteered their services on Saturday, May 19 for the cleanup of debris from the fire. On May 23, Mr. Glenn Fulbright delivered debris from the Balls Creek Campground cleanup to the Blackburn Landfill. In the spirit of assisting with the cleanup of one of Catawba County’s historical sites, County staff authorized the Landfill to accept the material at no charge. Staff recommends approval of the waiver of the solid waste tipping fees of $26.72 resulting from the cleanup.


The Board will consider a request from the Hickory Public Schools for the transfer of funds budgeted for the completed Grandview Middle School project to the Northview Middle School Gymnasium Project. The gymnasium floor at Northview Middle School is in need of refinishing. This renovation project includes sanding, screening, repainting and three coats of sealing. The sanding will eliminate an unevenness in areas of the gym floor caused by past high humidity levels. The repairs to the gym floor are scheduled for completion this summer. Staff recommends approval of the budget transfer in the amount of $17,000, to refinish the gymnasium floor at Northview Middle School. There will be approximately $25,000 remaining in the Grandview Middle School project account after this transfer.

The Board will consider approval of a joint grant application with the City of Hickory for a 2007 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) and the allocation of $15,673, which represents Catawba County’s share of the grant funds, once the grant is actually awarded. Final applications for these grants are due by or before July 2, 2007. Catawba County and the City of Hickory are eligible to receive a combined allocation of $51,600 under the 2007 Justice Assistance Grant Program. The JAG Program is a formula-based grant through the Office of Justice Programs/Bureau of Justice Assistance that utilizes Uniform Crime Reporting statistics of all law enforcement agencies. Each city and county eligible for an award is given a direct award amount derived from these crime statistics. Cities and counties are required to submit joint applications for the available funding. The City of Hickory has agreed to serve as the lead agency in the grant application process.

JAG funds may be spent on purposes that benefit law enforcement. There is no match required. The City of Hickory plans to add Tasers and tint-meter equipment to their police force. The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office proposes to use its JAG funds to purchase Digital In-car Video Systems, a technology upgrade that will enhance officer safety and allow for better evidence collection. The system currently used by the Sheriff’s Office uses limited cameras with data recorded to VHS tapes. Digital systems have cameras with features such as light compensation and zoom control, which can function both automatically and by remote, activated by an officer. The technology upgrade will also improve audio recorded by the system through a 900 MHz body pack automatic activation receiver. Unlike the basic functions of VHS collection, a digital data system will have user-friendly software for playback, searching, annotating, file management and archiving. It will provide reports to aid supervisors, and security to insure data integrity and chain of custody. It can also allow GPS marking for use in circumstances such as when a weapon or contraband is thrown from a vehicle. County staff recommends approval of the grant application and allocation, in the County’s Fiscal Year 2007-08 budget, of the $15,673 the County will receive once the grant award is approved.

The Board will consider a recommendation from staff to reschedule its meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 18, 2007 until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26, 2007, because of scheduling conflicts.



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