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AUGUST 18, 2014
Newton, NC 28658
1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
4. Approval of the minutes from the Board’s Regular and Closed Session Meetings of August 4, 2014
6. Public Comment for Items Not on the Agenda
8. Public Hearing:
10. Departmental Reports:
11. Other Items of Business
13. 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.
CALENDAR: There will be only one Board of Commissioners Meeting in September. This meeting will take place on Monday, September 8, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room in the 1924 Courthouse in Newton.
PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on a proposed application for a 2015 Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities Grant application to be submitted to the Greater Hickory Metropolitan Planning Organization, regarding funding to meet the transportation needs of the elderly and disabled for whom mass transportation services are not available, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, August 18, 2014, in the Second Floor Meeting Room of the Catawba County Government Center at 100-A Southwest Boulevard in Newton. Please note the change in the Board’s normal meeting location because of Soldiers Reunion activities at the 1924 Courthouse on the evening of August 18.
The Board will consider an amendment to the County’s Water and Sewer Capital Fee Schedule that would reduce those fees, after a periodic review of regional fees determined the County’s current water and sewer connection fees are not as competitive as they need to be to stimulate economic development. The Board will also consider a request by Catawba Valley Medical Center (CVMC) to purchase property located at 1985 Startown Road, which is currently occupied by Fairbrook Medical Clinic, P.A., a medical practice operated by Dr. John Kessell and a related pharmacy operation, for the benefit of CVMC.
The Board will also present a National Association of Counties Achievement Award to Catawba County Social Services for its Children and Youth Investment Team (CAY-IT) program, which seeks to streamline the process for finding permanent placements for children in foster care, resulting in less trauma for the child and faster decisions.
The Section 5310 program now requires two grant applications, one for trips originating in urban areas and one for trips originating in rural areas. The request for urban funds will be submitted to the Greater Hickory Metropolitan Planning Organization and is due no later than August 27, 2014. The grant application for trips originating in rural areas will be available in the fall of 2014.
Catawba County will continue to contract with the Western Piedmont Regional Transit Authority to provide transportation funded by Section 5310. The funds will allow seniors and individuals with disabilities to attend the congregate nutrition program, have access to essential shopping, medical appointments, pharmacy, banking and other essential services. Additionally, transportation will be provided for individuals to access education and employment opportunities, volunteer activities, senior centers and Adult Day Care/Day Health programs when no other
Approximately 100-180 individuals will receive transportation for the period of the grant (July 2015-June 30, 2016). Many of the seniors will utilize transportation for multiple purposes and a large percentage of the target population will utilize transportation daily. Providing transportation will allow older adults the opportunity and the choice to remain active and involved in the community.
This facility includes 12,096 square feet of physician office space and approximately 3,000 square feet of retail pharmacy space. Dr. Kessel is leaving his practice and the pharmacy, and has offered CVMC the opportunity to purchase them. CVMC has agreed in principal to purchase the property pursuant to the terms and conditions of an offer to purchase and contract. CVMC anticipates operating a primary care clinic on the property through the Catawba Valley Medical Group, Inc., an affiliated entity which operates most of CVMC’s medical clinics. CVMC also contemplates leasing a portion of the property to third parties for use as a pharmacy.
Because of certain timing issues, the CVMC Board of Trustees and the Seller hope to close this transaction by the end of August, and as a result are bringing it to the Board of Commissioners for approval now. There may not, however, be time to complete the standard real estate due diligence prior to the August 18th meeting. As such, the real estate contract signed by CVMC is not only subject to the Board of Commissioners approval but also includes deadlines for termination on September 30, 2014, and closing on October 10, 2014. The CVMC Board of Trustees is requesting that the Board of Commissioners approve the purchase, subject to the discretion of CVMC’s officers to terminate the purchase within those time frames so that, if any issues arise as diligence is completed, CVMC may either delay closing or terminate the transaction entirely without returning to the Board of Commissioners for action. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends approval of this property purchase.
UTILITIES AND ENGINEERING
County Water and Sewer Capital Fees are reviewed annually and the water and sewer connection fees in the unincorporated areas of the County are a combination of Catawba County Capital Fees and municipal connection fees. The combined fees, when compared to those of other jurisdictions in the region, are not competitive, particularly with regard to Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Iredell County and Lincoln County.
Ensuring that water and sewer fees are competitive when compared to other jurisdictions in the region has been discussed at length by staff, including the need to re-energize development across all of Catawba County. These staff discussions have produced the following proposed revisions to the County’s existing fee schedule:
• Capital fees for existing and new property improvements (i.e. domicile, business, industry, etc.) after the construction of County water and sewer utility (construction time period includes 12 month warranty period) are:
• To entice the connection of existing buildings that exist at the onset of construction of County-funded water and sewer utilities to municipal services, capital fees for existing property improvements shall be reduced by 50% during the utility construction period. Existing property improvements include, for example: residences, businesses, industries, etc., that rely on existing non-municipal water and sewer provisions and are adjacent to the utility under construction.
• Each connection has a $1,250 minimum capital fee for water and $1,500 minimum capital fee for sewer. For every ¼” increment increase in connection size above 1”, $250 is added to the water capital fee and $500 is added to the sewer capital fee. Sewer infrastructure is more expensive to construct versus water infrastructure.
During major water and sewer line project development and installation, Catawba County staff will provide public meetings to inform those property owners affected by the project about what to expect during construction and how to connect to infrastructure. For example, within the area serviced by the Southeastern Catawba County Water and Sewer System, staff held an initial public meeting at Sherrills Ford Elementary School on Thursday, August 4, 2011. Currently, staff and consultants are contacting businesses along the sewer route individually to ascertain their needs and desire to connect. Once the County’s capital fees are adjusted, County staff will hold an additional public meeting for residents and businesses along the project route to receive the updated fee schedule and discuss connection steps. In addition, the Utilities and Engineering Department will dedicate staff to respond to follow-up questions from the aforementioned public meetings, as well as calls resulting from media outreach identified below.
Staff will also use the following methods for informing the community about public meetings, updated fee schedule, and steps for water and sewer hookup:
Staff envisions the aforementioned opportunities will create significant interest within communities. In addition, in the southeastern part of the County, staff plans to ask to be placed on the agendas of the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Chamber of Commerce and Sherrills Ford Rotary Club to talk about expanded water and sewer services. Staff will also follow up on leads referred by the Board of Commissioners. In other areas of the County, similar tactics will be used, drawing upon civic organizations, etc. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends approval of these fee amendments.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464
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