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AUGUST 5, 2013

AGENDA
Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Monday, August 5, 2013, 9:30 a.m.
Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room, 1924 Courthouse
30 North College Ave, Newton

NOTICE: FOLLOWING THIS BOARD MEETING, AT 11:30 A.M.,

THE BOARD WILL PARTICIPATE IN A GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR THE

NEW SHERRILLS FORD-TERRELL BRANCH LIBRARY, AT 9154 SHERRILLS FORD ROAD.

1. Call to Order.

2. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

3. Invocation.

4. Approval of the minutes from the Board’s Regular Session of July 15, 2013.

5. Recognition of Special Guests.

6. Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda.

7. Presentations:


a. Top Digital Counties Survey Award by the Center for Digital Government. Presented by Jeff Honeyman from Dell Software to Chief Information Officer Terry Bledsoe and Web Team Members Marcia Hardy, Dave Hardin, Lee Yount, Steve Lackey, Ralph Dell, Denise Simmons, Valerie Jones and Michelle Deese.


b. Centennial Anniversary of the Extension & Community Association Proclamation. Presented to Extension & Community Association President Gail Welch.

8. Appointments.

9. Consent Agenda:


a. North Carolina Housing Finance Agency 2013 Urgent Repair Program.


b. Appropriate $20,000 in Existing Fund Balance to Catawba Volunteer Fire Department.


c. Proposed Amendments to Chapter 14, Emergency Management and Services, Catawba County Code of Ordinances.

10. Departmental Reports.


a. Economic Development Corporation.


Amendment to the Turbotec Incentive Agreement. Presented by Director of Business Recruitment Julie Pruett, Economic Development Corporation.

b. Catawba County Schools.


Transfer of Funds to Remove Field Lighting at Maiden Middle School. Presented by Catawba County Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Brigman and Budget Manager Jennifer Mace.

11. Other Items of Business.


Update on Flooding of July 27, 2013. Presented by Emergency Services Director Bryan Blanton

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 http://www.catawbacountync.gov.

CALENDAR: The next Board of Commissioners Meeting take place on Monday, August 19, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the 1924 Courthouse in Newton.


PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
MONDAY, AUGUST 5, 2013, 9:30 A.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.

NOTE: THE BOARD WILL PARTICPIATE IN A GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR THE NEW SHERRILLS FORD-TERRELL BRANCH LIBRARY, AT 9154 SHERRILLS FORD ROAD, AT 11:30 A.M. ON AUGUST 5.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will receive an update on the response to and recovery from the July 27, 2013, flooding in the county when the Board meets at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, August 5, 2013, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton. It will also consider actions associated with a $75,000 Urgent Repair Program Grant, which would be used to make urgent repairs to sixteen low and moderate income homes.

The Board will consider amending Chapter 14 of the County Code, Emergency Management and Services, to make that section of the Code fully consistent with new North Carolina statutes found under General Statute 166A-19. It will consider amending an economic incentive agreement with Turbotec Products Inc. to shift the three year investment period forward by one year, with the yearly maximum payments remaining exactly as outlined in the original contract, because product testing is taking longer than anticipated. This would not change the amount of payments approved by the Board or any other parts of the agreement. The Board will consider a request from the Catawba County Schools to transfer funds from another project to remove and dispose of concrete light poles and visitor bleachers at Maiden Middle School, which were built at the time the school opened and have been found to have structural integrity issues. The Board will consider a request to appropriate $20,000 from the existing fund balance of the Catawba Volunteer Fire Department, which includes funds from two State grants that the department plans to use to replace two automated external defibrillators, self contained breathing apparatus and four chainsaws, and purchase a thermal imaging camera and personnel accountability system.

The Board will issue a proclamation recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Catawba County Extension and Community Association and recognize the County’s winning the Top Digital Counties Survey Award from the Center for Digital Government, ranking number one in the United States among counties with a population between 150,000 and 249,999 people in an evaluation of the County’s ability to demonstrate successful outcomes through the strategic use of technology.

PRESENTATIONS
A. The Board will recognize Web Team members involved in the County’s winning the Top Digital Counties Survey Award from the Center for Digital Government, which ranked Catawba County number one in the United States among counties with a population between 150,000 and 249,999 people in an evaluation of the County’s ability to demonstrate successful outcomes through the strategic use of technology.

B. The Board will issue a proclamation recognizing the 100th anniversary of the Catawba County Extension and Community Association, which contributes thousands of volunteer hours to Catawba County and its citizens to promote educational advancement, social connectivity and community awareness.

CONSENT AGENDA
A. The Board will consider taking actions associated with the Catawba County 2013 Urgent Repair Program Grant, which include entering into an agreement between the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) and Catawba County for the provision of Grant Management Assistance, adopting a project budget ordinance in the amount of $75,000 for rehabilitation and administration, and adopting the 2013 NCHFA Urgent Repair Grant Assistance Policy and Procurement/Disbursement Policy for Catawba County’s Urgent Repair Program.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency awarded Catawba County a 2013 Urgent Repair Program Grant in the amount of $75,000 in May 2013. The Program will assist approximately sixteen low-income households at $5,000 or less per house by providing energy efficiency improvements and minor structural repairs. NCHFA allows up to $600 a house for administration, work write-ups and inspections. The WPCOG contract is for $9,600 which averages out to about $600 a house. The remaining $65,400 will be used for rehabilitation for urgent needs such as leaking roofs, non-functional heating units, etc. The WPCOG will provide day-to-day management of the program with administration oversight provided by the Planning Department. The proposed actions are recommended by the Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee.

B. The Board will consider appropriating existing fund balance in the amount of $20,000 for the Catawba Volunteer Fire Department. The department applied for and received two grants that require it to provide a percentage of matching funds. The first grant is a North Carolina Department of Insurance 2013 Volunteer Fire Department grant for a total amount of $15,485. This grant requires the department to provide 50% in matching funds in the amount of $7,742.50. It will be utilized to replace two automated external defibrillators and two chainsaws, and purchase a thermal imaging camera. The second grant is a 2012 FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant in the amount of $219,926. It requires the department to provide 5% in matching funds in the amount of $10,996.30 and will be utilized to replace the department’s self contained breathing apparatus and purchase a personnel accountability system. Total matching funds needed for both grants are $18,738.80. The remaining $1,261.20 will be used to cover the cost of shipping and any other miscellaneous charges.

Historically, each fire department has its own fund balance, carried from year to year unless the department makes a request to appropriate it. The fund balance is created through tax revenue collections exceeding the projections established by the County’s Budget Department prior to the fiscal year. Fire departments may utilize ninety percent of the existing fund balance to address major projects such as buildings, building additions, truck replacement and other non-recurring needs such as equipment items. Ten percent of each department’s fund balance is held for unforeseen expenditures during the budget year. Catawba Volunteer Fire Department’s fund balance prior to this withdrawal is $264,202. This appropriation is recommended by the Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee.

C. The Board will consider amendments to Chapter 14, Emergency Management and Services, Catawba County Code of Ordinances. The North Carolina General Assembly enacted significant legislation during the 2012 Session which consolidated, reorganized, and updated the state’s emergency management statutes. House Bill 843 was known as the “Modernization of the Emergency Management Act” and included the most comprehensive changes to North Carolina’s statutes for emergency management in more than 30 years.

The new legislation amended state and local government emergency management authorities by consolidating several separate statutes into one statute, clarifying and making terminology uniform throughout the emergency management statutes, adopting legislation that incorporates current emergency management practices and clears up points of confusion under current law, and placing legislative limits on the restrictions and prohibitions that counties and municipalities may impose during a locally declared state of emergency. Since this legislation went into effect on October 1, 2012, Emergency Services and the County’s legal staff have thoroughly reviewed and revised Chapter 14 to make the County ordinance consistent with the new statutes in NCGS Chapter 166A-19. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends the proposed revisions to make the County ordinance consistent with State statutes.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS

A. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
The Board will consider a request by Turbotec to amend its existing incentive agreement with the County to shift the three year investment period forward by one year, with the yearly maximum payments remaining exactly as outlined in the original contract. The County will not exceed the yearly or total amounts agreed upon in the original contract. Turbotec has invested $5,007,725 and created 74 new jobs paying above the county average wage, exceeding their commitment by $1,507,725 and 1 new job. Turbotec did not request incentives until it met the full job creation and investment amounts, as it felt it inappropriate to request any benefits until the company demonstrated that it had fulfilled its commitment for new job creation and made the required capital investments in the plant and equipment.

Turbotec, as a result of several issues out of its control, missed the incremental time requirements and the overall timeline for incentives by two months for job creation and by less than a year for investment. Turbotec was required by its major customers to perform extensive product qualifications that were not anticipated and the testing protocols were not given to Turbotec until October 2011 by one major customer and December 2011 by the other. The testing requirements were far more extensive than originally approved and extended through 2012 and into 2013. Turbotec could not move all of the production lines to Hickory until the qualification testing was complete. Currently it has completed all the qualification testing except for some remaining large capacity coils. As promised, the company currently produces 80% of its product volume in Hickory and plans to move all production to Hickory once the final qualification process is complete. Turbotec was also required by its major customers to install a custom dehumidification system in the production area of the building. This was an additional requirement that had to occur prior to a portion of the production being relocated from Connecticut. Turbotec chose a local company to design and install the $500,000 system, which was completed during 2012.

As a result of these issues and the fact that Turbotec has exceeded all other contractual requirements, Turbotec is requesting that the three year investment period be shifted forward by one year. The County has encumbered, but has not paid, the yearly incentive payments to date. The yearly maximum payments would remain exactly as outlined in the original contract, $8,027 in year one, $14,044 in year two and $14,044 in year three. The County will not exceed the yearly or total amounts agreed upon in the original contract. Such a change to the contract is at the discretion of the Board and permitted in the contract. Hickory City Council has approved an identical amendment to its contract with Turbotec. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the amendment to this incentive contract.

B. CATAWBA COUNTY SCHOOLS
The Board will consider a request from Catawba County Schools to transfer funds from existing projects totaling $60,000 to remove and dispose of concrete light poles and visitor bleachers at Maiden Middle School. Catawba County Schools is in the process of replacing bleachers at Bandys, Bunker Hill, Fred T. Foard, and St. Stephens High Schools. During this process, a structural defect was discovered in the light poles at Bandys High School that prompted the System to hire a structural engineer to inspect all concrete football field light poles. The old Maiden High School is now Maiden Middle School and its football field is still used heavily by the school and the community. The engineer recommended removal of three of the four concrete light poles at Maiden Middle School for structural integrity reasons. While the field is still used, the lights are not. The System plans to remove the lights and visitor side bleachers (necessary to get to the light poles). The project is estimated at $55,750 plus $4,250 contingency allowance for a total cost of $60,000. Nine projects with balances totaling $57,379.71 can be closed, with the remaining $2,620.29 coming from a reduction in the Webb Murray Computer Technology project, to fund the removal of the lights and bleachers. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends approval of this funds transfer.

OTHER ITEMS OF BUSINESS
Emergency Services Director Bryan Blanton will update the Board on the response to and recovery from the July 27, 2013, flooding in the county.

CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464