PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2009, 9:30 A.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, NC
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider awarding a bid for construction of the planned Blackburn-Plateau Water Loop, which will provide water service to the new Apple Inc. data center and other businesses in that area and a backup water supply for the Town of Maiden and the Southeast Catawba County Water System; and will also consider the purchase of fifteen additional cardiac monitor and defibrillator units to allow Emergency Services to better treat cardiac patients, when the Board meets at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 8, 2009, in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room of the 1924 Courthouse at 30 N. College Avenue in Newton. Please note the change in the Board’s normal meeting schedule, as the first Monday in September is Labor Day.
The Board will also consider entering into Revenue Sharing Agreements with the City of Conover regarding the running of water lines on Remington Drive that will provide municipal quality water to residents who have dry wells and significant difficulty in digging new wells, and for water lines on Leeland Terrace, where multiple wells have gone dry; the acceptance of a grant from the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission that will allow the Sheriff’s Office to add an additional deputy to its Domestic Violence Unit, and a tax refund request.
A. The Board will consider accepting a two-year grant for $106,885.76 from the Governor’s Crime Commission to fund an additional investigator for the Sheriff’s Office’s Domestic Violence Unit. Grant funds totaling $52,202 will need to be appropriated for this position for the current fiscal year. Staff also requests appropriation of $21,872 in County funds to purchase a vehicle for the investigator, which will serve as a required first year match for this grant.
The grant is funded through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, allocated to the State of North Carolina and awarded by the Governor’s Crime Commission. The two-year grant, which begins on October 1, 2009, represents 75% of total expenses. The Domestic Violence Unit was created in July 2008 through a two-year grant. The existing unit has one deputy and one investigator. Before the creation of this specialized unit, road patrol deputies served as Domestic Violence Officers along with their other duties, and there was no investigator dedicated to domestic violence cases. The County’s domestic violence problem is larger than anticipated. The current investigator’s case load has been over 150 open cases per month. A manageable case load is 21 per month, per investigator. 586 cases were investigated during the first year of operations for the Domestic Violence Unit and comprehensive services were provided to victims. Prior to July 2008, there was no investigation or service for these victims. Arrests for domestic violence violations have doubled, which may have prevented further life threatening violence. The addition of a Deputy Sheriff Investigator would provide more comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and allow for better evidence-based prosecution, victim services and collaboration with community providers. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the appropriation of these grant funds as outlined above.
B. The Board will consider authorizing the sole source exemption for purchase of four LIFEPAK® 15 Monitor/Defibrillators and accessories for Emergency Medical Services, for $122,942.61. Funds were included for this purpose in the 2009-2010 County budget. The North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services requires that all EMT-Paramedic level ambulances have the capability to transmit 12-lead ECGs to receiving hospitals. Both Frye Regional Medical Center and Catawba Valley Medical Center use Physio-Control LIFEPAK cardiac monitors and defibrillators and have the capability to receive transmissions from these devices. Their receiving stations will not receive data from other defibrillator/monitor manufacturers. The County currently owns 43 Physio-Control cardiac monitors and/or defibrillators. All accessories used by the County, such as batteries, battery charges, cables, defibrillator pads, paper CO2 probes, blood pressure tubes and cuffs, are the same brand. If another brand’s device was purchased, it would require two sets of accessories. Catawba County EMS has used Physio-Control LIFEPAK®
cardiac monitors and defibrillators for over fifteen years and has experienced excellent service.
North Carolina General Statute 143-129 allows an exception from formal bidding for purchase contracts when performance or price competition for a product is not available; when a needed product is available from only one source of supply; or when standardization or compatibility is the overriding consideration. Physio-Control is the only source for purchase of LIFEPAK monitor/defibrillators. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends use of the sole source exception for purchase of four LIFEPAK® 15 Monitor/Defibrillators and accessories for Emergency Medical Services, for $122,942.61.
C. The Board will consider a tax refund request totaling $417.25. Records have been checked and this refund verified, so the Tax Collector recommends approval of the request. Under North Carolina General Statute 105-381, a taxpayer who has paid his or her taxes may request a refund in writing for an amount that was paid through error.
UTILITIES AND ENGINEERING
1. The Board will consider a proposed contract between the County and the City of Conover for a water line extension on Remington Drive, under the Revenue Sharing Agreement Program, and a resulting budget revision for project development in the amount of $30,000. This project was brought to the County’s attention by several citizens who live on Remington Drive. Fourteen residents on Remington Drive are currently using private wells. Three have dry wells and limited resources to install new wells. Due to the imminent public health need caused by the loss of potable water, County staff is prepared to move forward to develop a water line along Remington Drive. It is anticipated that design and permitting will be completed, and construction will be started, within 30 days. A contract for construction will be awarded through the informal bid process since the project amount is less than $50,000. This project was included in the County’s Utility Priority Ranking Tool and ranked higher than any previous project due to the imminent public health need. Staff is working with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) to apply for Community Development Block Grant Infrastructure Hookup funds to connect low and moderate income persons to municipal water. If the County is awarded this grant, the property owners along Remington Drive will be contacted by the WPCOG to determine their eligibility for inclusion in the grant program. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends approval of the contract noted above and the resulting budget revision for project development in the amount of $30,000.
2. The Board will consider a proposed contract between the County and the City of Conover for a water line extension in the Leeland Terrace Subdivision, under the Revenue Sharing Agreement Program, and a resulting budget revision for project development in the amount of $213,226. Residents from the Leeland Terrace Subdivision attended the Board’s July 21, 2008 meeting. Mr. Rodney Broome spoke on their behalf requesting that the County extend water service into the subdivision because multiple water wells were going dry due to a drop in the water table in that area. County staff was instructed to secure a design engineer and proceed with developing the project. The County initially received a petition from the residents of Leeland Terrace in August of 2002, but funds were not available for the project at that time. The petition indicated that 23 residents agreed to connect to the waterline. Funds are now available from proceeds of a ¼ cent sales tax approved by voters in 2007. The project consists of approximately 3,477 linear feet of 6-inch and 2-inch water lines and related equipment, and will provide municipal water service to 25 existing residences in the Leeland Terrace Subdivision. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends approval of the contract noted above and the resulting budget revision for project development in the amount of $213,226.
3. The Board will consider awarding a contract for construction of the Blackburn-Plateau Water Loop Project to Neill Grading & Drainage, Inc. of Hickory, NC in the amount of $2,736,715.90, and approval of McGill Associates, PA to perform funding documentation and construction inspection and observation services for $194,500. The Blackburn–Plateau Water Supply Loop Project consists of approximately 57,400 linear feet of 8-inch, 12-inch, and 16-inch diameter water lines. The water line will extend along a portion of Plateau Road to the proposed Propst Crossroads Fire Station, then along Grace Church Road to Hickory-Lincolnton Highway, then south on Hickory-Lincolnton Highway to Blackburn Bridge Road, then along Blackburn Bridge Road to Startown Road, north along Startown Road to Elbow Road, west on Elbow Road, north under US Highway 321 to West Maiden Road, then along West Maiden Road to Startown Road. The project will provide municipal water to the proposed Propst Crossroads Fire Station; provide municipal water and enhanced fire protection to portions of the Propst and Maiden Fire Districts; provide municipal water and enhanced fire protection to a proposed expansion of the Catawba Valley Mills manufacturing facility; provide municipal water along the western and southern boundaries of the Blackburn Landfill; provide a secondary water supply loop to the Town of Maiden and the Southeast Catawba County Water Supply system, in the event of a problem with the City of Hickory’s 36-inch water supply main on Startown Road, and provide municipal water and fire protection to the site of the planned Apple, Inc. Data Center.
On February 16, 2009, the Board approved a resolution to seek funding under the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), for this project. On May 15, 2009, staff was notified that the County had received a $3 million loan from ARRA funds for the project, with $1.5 million in the form of a principal forgiveness loan (a grant) and $1.5 million in the form of a zero percent interest loan, with a 20-year term with payments estimated at $75,000 annually.
The ARRA requires that the bid be awarded by resolution. On August 17, 2009, the Board approved a contract between Catawba County and the City of Hickory for a waterline extension under the Revenue Sharing Agreement Program for the Blackburn-Plateau Water Supply Loop. On August 19, 2009, the County received bids for construction of the loop from the following contractors: Buckeye Construction Company, $3,242,370; Cooper Construction Company, Inc., $2,998,476; Hall Contracting Corporation, $2,714,891; Hickory Sand Company, Inc., $2,947,892.50; Neill Grading & Drainage, Inc., $2,736,715.90; Ramey, Inc., $3,423,095; Ronny Turner Construction Company, Inc., $3,035,051 and Triangle Grading & Paving, Inc. $3,319,130.
Based on a review of the bids and qualifications, McGill Associates recommends the bid be awarded to Neill Grading & Drainage, Inc. of Hickory, in the amount of $2,736,715.90. The County set minimum requirements for contractors.
All must have experience with four major projects similar in scope to the Blackburn-Plateau Water Project and there were ARRA minority and small business outreach requirements for both the owner and contractors. The apparent low bidder, Hall Contracting Corporation of Charlotte, did not meet the minority and small business outreach efforts required by the County and the ARRA. Since Hall Contracting Corporation did not meet these requirements, their bid is nonresponsive. Neill Grading & Drainage, Inc., the next low bidder, is not using any subcontractors in its bid and was therefore not required to perform any minority or small business outreach efforts. ARRA funding requires extensive additional information, tracking and reporting not typically required for utility projects, and that tracking and reporting is included in the Funding Documentation Services proposed by McGill Associates. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends a contract for construction of the Blackburn-Plateau Water Loop Project be awarded to Neill Grading & Drainage, Inc. of Hickory, NC in the amount of $2,736,715.90, and the approval of McGill Associates, PA to perform funding documentation and construction inspection and observation services for $194,500.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 828-465-8464