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JUNE 18, 2012
Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Monday, June 18, 2012, 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
4. Approval of the minutes from the Budget Hearings with Departments and Outside Agencies of May 29, 2012, the Budget Public Hearing and Wrap-Up of May 31, 2012 and the Board’s Regular Meeting of June 4, 2012
5. Recognition of Special Guests
6. Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda
9. Departmental Reports:
10. Other Items of Business
12. Manager’s Report
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 http://www.catawbacountync.gov.
PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
JUNE 18, 2012 7:00 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider a proposed fee waiver program, under which the County would waive for one year certain landfill fees and erosion control permit fees to encourage development of pre-graded sites, demolition and removal of dilapidated buildings, and rehabilitation of historic buildings in order to promote economic development, when the Board meets at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 18, 2012, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton. The Board will also receive a report and public comments on a three-year update to the County’s ten-year Solid Waste Management Plan, as required by the State of North Carolina.
The Board will consider accepting $8250 from the Duke Home Energy Loan Pool, which would be used to complete rehabilitation on the last house in a set of low-income houses rehabilitated through a 2009 Scattered Site Housing Grant. It will also consider accepting a grant for $30,000 from the State of North Carolina to assist the County in funding an expansion to the Blackburn Resource Recovery Facility to create a new shingle recycling program. The Board will hear a report on Catawba County being named a “StormReady Community” by the National Weather Service, which recognizes communities that meet specific requirements in preparedness for severe weather and flooding. And the Board will note the County’s Parks System having recently received the Catawba Valley Community College Community Partnership Award.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
The program’s purpose is to eradicate dilapidated and vacant industrial buildings to clear property for redevelopment, encourage the development of recognized historic structures for adaptive reuse, and begin the creation of pre-graded industrial sites. Coordinated with and marketed by the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the program is designed to promote economic development in Catawba County by providing incentives to attract business development. Fees will be waived for solid waste disposal, including all State-permitted waste streams accepted at the Blackburn Landfill such as land clearing debris and municipal solid waste and construction and demolition debris, and for erosion control and demolition permits, oversight, and inspections. This waiver program is subject to cancellation at any time and will expire no later than June 30, 2013.
The program will be monitored on a monthly basis, with a report to the Board of Commissioners no less than quarterly. To qualify for the waiver program, projects must be situated in a location reasonably suited for future industrial development, as determined by the EDC. Plans for individual buildings must be submitted to the EDC a minimum of 30 days in advance and approved by the EDC Board of Directors on a monthly basis. Projects must meet all requirements to be listed on the North Carolina Department of Commerce site/building database which include: a minimum size of two acres, which may be combined with adjacent properties if all properties meet Department of Commerce site data sheet requirements; and have either a specific sales or lease price. Should the owner be redeveloping the site, the sales/lease price requirement would be waived with a committed investment of $1 million in new construction. In addition, pre-graded sites must be a minimum of 5 acres, although less acreage may be considered with a committed investment of $1 million in new construction.
The County’s Code Compliance staff will monitor the activities for each site associated with waiving fees and report details, history and findings. A County Building Inspector will complete a final inspection if a demolition permit is applicable. The County cannot waive a $2 per ton State disposal tax when applicable. The State tax will be the responsibility of the waste hauler. The waiver of fees would not be an exemption from applicable local or state regulations, such as plan review, permit issuance and inspections, handling of waste and debris or other stipulations. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends approval of the proposed Fee Waiver Program.
PLANNING, PARKS AND DEVELOPMENT
HELP funds must be used with funding from other resources such as Community Development Block Grant (Scattered Site Housing) or Single Family Rehabilitation. Nonprofit organizations, local governments and regional councils of government serving Duke Energy customers are eligible to apply for HELP membership. Applicants must have a comprehensive housing rehabilitation project which would provide matching funds for HELP, and show that they have the capacity to adequately manage HELP-related activities. HELP-eligible owners/occupants must have an income of 80% or less of the area median income, and be approved to receive assistance under the comprehensive housing rehabilitation project with which HELP assistance is to be paired. HELP assistance is provided to the homeowner in the form of an interest-free loan which is secured by a Deed of Trust.
The County is completing a 2009 Scattered Site Housing Grant. Due to unforeseen problems with the next to last house under rehabilitation, the HELP funds will be paired with the Scattered Site Housing grant to complete the last house under contract, which is for a Duke Energy customer who is eligible for these funds. The Scattered Site Housing Grant Administrator has budgeted $8,250 of Duke HELP funds to be used toward the completion of the project. This unit will need to be completed by the time of the close-out public hearing to be held at the July 9, 2012, Board of Commissioners meeting. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the adoption of this Budget Ordinance.
UTILITIES AND ENGINEERING
The purpose of the 3-year update is to meet local solid waste disposal and waste reduction needs as well as to protect the public health and environment. The Comprehensive 10-Year Plan update presents a look at recent and current solid waste disposal and waste reduction practices in the County and provides for the future management and reduction of solid waste.
The fundamental goal of the Solid Waste Department and the County’s EcoComplex is to utilize landfills as resource recovery facilities to best serve the future solid waste needs of the citizens of Catawba County. Converting waste streams into commodities and creating green energy through a virtually closed system will reduce the amount of solid waste being buried in the landfills. Several of the EcoComplex components have already been established, including the landfill, a landfill gas to energy facility, a pallet manufacturer, a dimensional lumber company, a Biodiesel Production and Research Facility, and Crop Processing Facility. Industrial development within the EcoComplex has created 144 new jobs to date. One of the initial benefits was the diversion of wood by-products from a pallet manufacturer and lumber company, which assists Catawba County in achieving waste reduction and recycling goals set by the State.
The Solid Waste Department is a self-supporting program. Municipal solid waste landfill tipping fees have remained stable since 1995 (initially $30 per ton) with the only increase occurring on July 1, 2008, to cover the cost of the State’s implementation of a $2 solid waste tax and recurring State solid waste permit fees. Tipping fees are currently $33 per ton.
Catawba County established a Commercial Recycling and Waste Reduction Partnership program to encourage waste reduction, reuse and recycling, and the purchasing of recycled products in the workplace. County solid waste staff works with program participants to identify potential recyclables existing within their waste streams and assists with connecting them to recycling companies and markets. Several companies have found alternate uses for their waste products and are therefore no longer disposing of the waste in the County’s landfill facilities, saving landfill space. There are currently 22 businesses signed up as partners.
The County owns and operates a Landfill Methane Gas-to-Energy Facility which currently operates three engine/generator sets that have the capacity to generate 3 megawatts of renewable electricity per hour. Since 1999, the facility has produced 193,444.5 megawatts of power and has received $6,567,875 in revenue. This revnue has helped reduce the overall cost of solid waste management.
The development and implementation of a successful solid waste program, along with an aggressive recycling and waste reduction program, has extended the life expectancy of the County’s municipal landfill to 75 years. In Fiscal Year 2010/11, Catawba County recycled 729 pounds per person and is currently ranked number one in the state for recycling. This successful program can be attributed to partnerships between the County and its EcoComplex partners, municipalities, businesses, schools and the community.
As advertised on June 8, 2012, the County is required to allow for a public comment period at a regularly advertised public meeting. The Plan is available for public review online at www.catawbacountync.gov/ue and in printed form during normal operating hours at the Catawba County Library located at 115 West C Street, Newton, and the Catawba County Utilities & Engineering Department at the Government Center located at 100-A Southwest Blvd, Newton, through June 18, 2012. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends adoption of this 3-Year Update.
2. The Board will consider a 2012 Community Waste Reduction and Recycling Grant contract for an expansion of the Blackburn Resource Recovery Facility, featuring a new shingle recycling program to begin on July 1, 2012, and the appropriation of funds through a budget revision to the County Fiscal Year 2012/13 budget totaling $50,422, including the grant award of $30,000 and a required match of $20,422 funded by Solid Waste fund balance.
Catawba County has been awarded a grant from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the Blackburn Resource Recovery Facility Recycling Expansion Project. The grant will fund the construction of an expansion to the existing treatment and processing area at the Blackburn Facility that can be used for a new shingle recycling program and the existing scrap tire management program.
The Blackburn Facility has experienced a steady increase in the amount of shingle debris over the past three years, averaging 22.5 tons per day. The asphalt shingle recycling program will help conserve airspace in the landfill by diverting this otherwise buried waste from landfill disposal. The project will consist of site preparation, grading and a new concrete tipping pad with retaining wall. The grant is effective on July 1, 2012, for Fiscal Year 2012/13. In July 2012, the County will solicit contractors through an informal bidding process for the construction of a retaining wall and pad, site preparation and grading. The completion date for the project is anticipated to be January 31, 2013, but the Grant does not end until June 30, 2013.
The waste generator will weigh in at the scale house as is customary, then dump clean asphalt shingles onto a concrete pad and weigh out when exiting the Blackburn Facility. The waste generator will pay the current tipping fee of $21 per ton, the rate of disposal at the Construction and Demolition (C&D) Landfill, which would exclude the State Solid Waste Disposal Tax of $2 per ton that is required to be charged on buried waste since the shingles are not being buried in the landfill. The C&D Landfill tipping fees for shingles will remain unchanged at this time. County staff will transfer scrap shingles over the retaining wall into a container. Staff plans to contract with an asphalt vendor to handle the shingles after they have been deposited in the new area. When the container is full, the asphalt vendor will be contacted to request a pick-up of the shingles. The asphalt vendor will haul, stockpile, test and process the shingles. County staff will educate waste generators and the community on ways to provide a clean asphalt shingle product to avoid costly testing processes.
The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources requires that a grant contract be executed on approval by the Board prior to the July 1, 2012 effective date. Funds are required to be allocated through a budget revision to the Fiscal Year 2012/13 budget totaling $50,422 which includes the grant award of $30,000 plus the required match of $20,422 funded by Solid Waste fund balance. The cost savings realized through the saved airspace will offset the $20,422 County contribution. All costs associated with the expansion project would be funded from the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund which contains no ad valorem tax proceeds. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the contract and budget revision for the Shingle Recycling Program.
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