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AUGUST 6, 2007
AGENDA
Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Monday, August 6, 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, July 9, 2007.

5. Recognition of Special Guests.

6. Public Comment for items not on the agenda.

7. Public Hearings:

a. Community Development Block Grant Infrastructure Program. Presented by Barry B. Edwards, P.E., Director of Utilities and Engineering

b. Amendment to CDBG Scattered Site Housing Grant to Transfer Funds to Cover the Cost of a New House Under Construction. Presented by Jacky Eubanks, Director of Planning, Parks and Development.

8. Presentations:

Resolution Creating Regional Transit Authority. Presented by Lib Fetting, KFH Group.

9. Appointments.

10. Consent Agenda.

a. Waiver of Permit Fees for 2007 Greater Hickory Classic.
b. Waiver of Solid Waste Disposal Fees for Lake Hickory Association participation in Litter Sweep Weeks in October 2007.
c. Purchase of Real Property – Lot on Ashe Avenue, Newton.
d. Sale of Surplus Property – Upset Bid Procedure.


11. Departmental Reports.

Planning:

Reconsideration of abandonment of a portion of SR 1145 (Shuford Road). Presented by Jacky Eubanks, Director of Planning and Development.

12. Other Items of business.

13. Attorneys’ Report.

Easement between the County and the City of Hickory for NC Department of Transportation Road Project. Presented by Debra Bechtel, County Attorney and Anne Marie Pease, Deputy County Attorney.

14. Manager’s Report.

15. Adjournment.

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
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.

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 meetings will take place on Monday, August 20, 2007, at 7:00 p.m. September meetings will be Tuesday, September 4, 2007, at 9:30 a.m. (due to the Labor Day Holiday) and Monday, September 17, 2007, at 7:00 p.m.


PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
MONDAY, AUGUST 6, 2007, 9:30 A.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will hold two public hearings to 1) receive citizen input on the development of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) applications for the coming year, and may consider endorsing an application for a CDBG Infrastructure Hookup Program Grant after the public hearing, and 2) on the proposed transfer of funds from a previous CDBG to cover costs of a new house under construction under the terms of the grant; and consider a resolution in support of the creation of a proposed Western Piedmont Regional Transit Authority, when the Board meets at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, August 6, 2007 in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room of the 1924 Courthouse in Newton.

The Board will also consider the purchase of real property near the main branch of the Catawba County Library in Newton, which would be used to provide additional parking spaces for the library; reconsider a recommendation to the North Carolina Department of Transportation on the abandonment of maintenance of the last 0.26 mile portion of Shuford Road; the sale of surplus property owned by the County off Gross Road in Hickory by the upset bid process; an agreement between the County and the City of Hickory regarding an easement needed to create a secondary entrance road at Catawba Valley Medical Center; and the waiver of normally charged building inspections fees associated with the Greater Hickory Golf Classic, and solid waste disposal fees associated with the Lake Hickory Association’s cleanup of Lakes Hickory and Lookout during Litter Sweep Weeks.

PRESENTATIONS
The Board will get an update on a Regional Transit Implementation Plan from Ms. Lib Fetting of the KFH Group. The Board will be asked to consider a resolution creating a Regional Transit Authority. The Alexander County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution creating the Regional Transit Authority at its meeting on July 23. Six other local governments will consider the resolution in August. After these local governments take action, a formal request will be made to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for transitional funding assistance so the NC Board of Transportation can take action at its September meeting. A Regional Transit Study Committee that has been studying the proposed regional transit authority recommends the Board adopt a resolution creating that Authority.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
A. The Board will hold a public hearing to receive citizen input on the development of proposed Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) applications for the coming year, and may consider endorsing an application for a CDBG Infrastructure Hookup Program Grant after the public hearing. Catawba County has received notification from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Community Assistance that the division will receive applications for CDBG funds through August 31, 2007.

North Carolina receives approximately $50 million in CDBG funds each year. These funds may be used for many different activities that benefit low and moderate income persons with severe needs, including: installation of infrastructure for businesses that will create jobs for low and moderate income persons, neighborhood revitalization, and housing development and rehabilitation. Two public hearings must be held to receive public comment on any project. This would be the first public hearing for the upcoming year. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends the public hearing be held during this meeting.

B. The Board will hold a public hearing on a proposed amendment to transfer $1325 within the budget for a CDBG awarded to the County in 2006, to cover the cost of a new house under construction. Catawba County was awarded a $400,000 Scattered Site Housing Grant in 2006 to rehabilitate eight homes and construct one new home, for low to moderate income households in Catawba County. This amendment is necessary to finalize payments for the new house that is under construction. The lowest bid was $79,675 and only $80,000 was allotted for the relocation line item. A payment of $1650 was made from this line item to the homeowner for fixed moving expenses which are part of the relocation process. This results in a shortage of $1325 for this line item. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends approval of the transfer of $1325 from the clearance line item to the relocation line item within this CDBG budget.

CONSENT AGENDA
A. The Board will consider declaring real property owned by the County, located at 5206 Gross Road in Hickory, (with a tax value of $5000) as surplus, and authorizing the upset bid procedure for disposal. The County obtained this property in April 2001 for $740.12, which included $406.63 in taxes. The County does not have any use for this property and it has been advertised for sale for several years. Ms. Heather Reynolds has made an offer to purchase this property for $5333.49, which equates to the tax value plus the balance of the County’s costs when it obtained the land in 2001. Adjacent property owners will be contacted to give them an opportunity to make an upset bid.

North Carolina General Statue 160A-269 authorizes the sale of real property via a negotiated offer and upset bid process. The process begins when the County receives an offer to purchase the property. The offer is reported to the Board of Commissioners and, if the Board proposes to accept the offer, the upset bid procedure begins. The person offering to buy the property is required to submit a bid deposit in the amount of 5% of the bid. Once the Board has acted and the bid deposit has been received, a notice is published in a local newspaper. The State statute requires that upset bids must be received within ten days from the date when the notice is published. To qualify as an upset bid, a bidder must raise the original or current offer by an amount at least 10% of the first $1000 of that offer and 5% of the remainder. The minimum upset bid for this property would be $5650.17. When a bid has been successfully raised, the new bid becomes the current offer. The same process continues until a ten-day period passes without receipt of a qualifying upset bid. The Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends approval of the sale of this property by the upset bid method.

B. The Board will consider waiving normally charged building permit fees for the 2007 Greater Hickory Classic golf tournament. On July 10, 2007, the County received a request from Mr. Peter Fisch, Tournament Manager of the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn, to waive permit fees for the 2007 tournament. This event is scheduled to be held at the Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover from September 10-16, 2007. Building Permit fees have been waived for all previous Greater Hickory Classic events. The request to waive permit fees is applicable only to the Catawba County Fee Schedule, Building Permit Fees. Approval will not negate permit issuance and inspections in order to protect the safety, health and welfare of citizens and visitors to Catawba County. The waived permit fees are estimated to be $5000. The Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn has an estimated impact in excess of $15 million on the local economy. The Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends the waiver of permit fees for the 2007 Greater Hickory Classic, applicable to the Catawba County Fee Schedule, Building Permit Fees.

C. The Board will consider waiving normally charged solid waste tipping fees, for two 40 cubic yard waste containers, for the Lake Hickory Association’s participation in Litter Sweep Weeks in October. The Lake Hickory Association, as part of Catawba County’s Litter Sweep Program, will sponsor its annual waterway cleanup event on Lake Hickory and Lake Lookout on October 6, 2007. Mr. James (Jim) Carr of the Association has requested a waiver of solid waste disposal fees for two 40 cubic yard waste containers. Garbage Disposal Service/Republic Waste will donate the cost of the containers and hauling of the containers to the Blackburn Landfill. If the two containers are full, the tipping fees would amount to $420 (14 tons at $30 per ton). However, the last clean up by this group resulted in tipping fees of only $50.40. The Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends the waiver of the normally charged solid waste tipping fees, for two 40 cubic yard waste containers, for the Lake Hickory Association’s participation in Litter Sweep Weeks in October.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS

LIBRARY
The Board will consider authorizing the purchase of a 0.24 acre lot, located directly behind the main branch of the Catawba County Library in Newton across South Ashe Avenue, from Hardee’s Restaurant for $35,000. This would provide space for an additional 28 parking spaces for the library.

The Catawba County Library has identified a need for additional parking at the Main Library, due to increased library programs and attendance as well as increased use of the library auditorium for community meetings and voting. The Library System Master Plan recommends expansion of the parking lot at the rear of the Main Library by 30 to 40 spaces. Staff believes it would be advantageous for the County to own the entire block for future County needs and, as property on the same block has become available for sale, the County has tried to purchase it for future expansion. A 0.26 acre parcel adjacent to this lot was recently purchased to be utilized for parking.

Hardee’s Restaurant has closed and there is an opportunity to purchase the parking area behind the Main Library. The lot is already paved for use as a parking lot and in good condition. Staff has negotiated a sale price of $35,000. The estimate for closing costs is $1000, which covers document preparation, title exam, closing and recording. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends approval of the purchase of this lot for $35,000 and the appropriation of an additional $1000 for estimated closing costs, to be appropriated from General Fund Contingency, and that the Board’s Chair be authorized to sign paperwork related to completion of the sale.

PLANNING
The Board will reconsider a resolution recommending to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) the abandonment of maintenance of the last 0.26 miles of Shuford Road (State Road 1145). Under NC General Statute 136-63, the Board may, on its own motion or on petition of a group of citizens, request that the North Carolina Board of Transportation change or abandon any road in the secondary system when the best interest of the people of the county will be served. This request originally came to NCDOT from Mr. Wade Moose, registered agent for Mooseland, LLC. The section of road requested for closure serves as a private driveway which provides sole access to Mr. Moose’s property. NCDOT requires that a cul-de-sac be constructed at the property owner’s expense prior to NCDOT’s action on the abandonment request.

At its meeting on March 19, 2007, the Board voted to recommend against this closing after a citizen, Mr. George Lutz, came forward to say the abandonment would not be in the best interest of an individual who lived on and utilized the road. After this meeting, staff met on site with Mr. Moose and Mr. Lutz to review the road closing. It was shown that the road closing would not land lock any property and the matter was resolved between the property owners. Mr. Moose is again asking for the Board’s favorable recommendation to NCDOT for the road closing of the portion of Shuford Road which lies entirely on his property. Staff recommends adoption of a resolution requesting the closing of the last 0.26 miles of Shuford Road (State Road 1145), and that the Board forward its recommendation and resolution to the North Carolina Board of Transportation.

ATTORNEY’S REPORT
The Board will consider approving a sewer easement between Catawba County and the City of Hickory for a NCDOT road project which will provide a secondary entrance to Catawba Valley Medical Center. At the Board’s June 26, 2007 meeting, two easements were approved between the County and NCDOT which were necessary for the construction of the secondary road into Catawba Valley Medical Center. It was later discovered that a sewer easement would be required with the City of Hickory to complete construction of the secondary entrance, which is 700-800 feet west on Tate Boulevard from the intersection of Tate Blvd. and Fairgrove Church Road. Staff recommends approval of this sewer easement.

CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464

 

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