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NOVEMBER 5, 2012
Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Monday, November 5, 2012, 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 Board’s Regular Meeting of October 15, 2012.

5. Recognition of Special Guests.

6. Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda.

7. Presentations:

a. Presentation of Service Weapon and Badge (after declared surplus by the Board of Commissioners) to Retired Deputy Joe Sigmon by Sheriff Coy Reid.

b. Hospice and Palliative Care Month Proclamation. Presented to Mac Herring, Director of Professional Relations, Palliative CareCenter & Hospice of Catawba Valley.

c. Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Proclamation. Presented to Jennie Connor, Executive Director of Catawba County United Way and Teena Willis, Housing Coordinator, Partners Behavioral Health Management.

d. Farm City Week Proclamation. Presented to Kelly Groves, Horticulture, Environmental and Natural Resources Agent, NC Cooperative Extension.

e. Recognition of Graduates of the Catawba County Mini-Course on County Government. Presented by Human Resources Director Cynthia Eades.

8. Appointments.

9. Consent Agenda:

a. Newton-Conover City Schools – Conversion of Old Middle School to Elementary School – Budget Transfer.

b. State Criminal Alien Assistance Program Grant.

c. Travel Policy for Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

d. Tax Refund Request.

10. Departmental Report.

Planning, Parks and Development.

Bunker Hill Covered Bridge – Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Project Authorization Amendment. Presented by Assistant Planning Director Mary George.

11. Other Items of Business.

Proposed Board of Commissioners’ Goals for Fiscal Year 2013-14.

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 828-465-8468 and INFOTALK will direct your questions with easy to understand instructions. Reach Catawba County on the Internet at

The next Board of Commissioners Meeting will take place on Monday, November 19, 2012 at 7:00 p.m

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2012, 9:30 A.M.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider requests from the Newton-Conover City Schools to transfer $166,755.50 from completed and future projects to convert the former Newton-Conover Middle School to an elementary school, and a set of goals for the Board for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013-2014, when the Board meets at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, November 5, 2012, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

The Board will consider a reduction in the County’s FY 2012-13 Capital Improvement Plan authorization to match the amount received from a Carolina Thread Trail Implementation Grant, which will be used to acquire 12 acres of a 21 acre tract adjoining the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge. It will consider appropriating a $21,452 grant to the Sheriff’s Office from the U.S. Department of Justice, which will be used to help meet medical costs at the County jail facilities. It will also consider a proposed travel policy for the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which is closely based on the County’s Travel Policy, and a tax refund request.

The Board will present the service weapon and badge of retiring Sheriff's Deputy Joe Sigmon to Deputy Sigmon in recognition of his service. It will recognize County employees who took part in the County’s Mini Course during lunch hours over ten months to learn about all of the County’s departments. And the Board will issue proclamations for Hospice and Palliative Care Month, Farm-City Week and Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.


A. The Board will honor Sheriff's Deputy Joe Sigmon, who retired effective October 31, 2012 after 23 years with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Under North Carolina General Statute 20-187.2, the Board will consider declaring as surplus the service sidearm and badge of Deputy Sigmon and then present those items to him.

B. The Board will issue a proclamation declaring November as Hospice and Palliative Care Month to recognize that hospice and palliative care provides patients and families with the highest quality of care during life-limiting illness and at the end of life, through pain management and symptom control. This care allows patients to live fully, up until their final moments, surrounded and supported by loved ones, friends and committed caregivers.

C. The Board will issue a proclamation declaring November 11-17 as National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week to recognize that hunger and homelessness continues to be a serious problem for many individuals and families in Catawba County and encourage support for homeless assistance service providers as well as community service opportunities for students and school service organizations.

D. The Board will issue a proclamation declaring the week of November 16-22 as Farm-City Week to foster cooperation and an exchange of information between two essential segments of our society: farmers and city dwellers. The proclamation will urge citizens to participate in activities and events that have been designed to introduce people from both “worlds” to the lives and work of each other.

E. The Board will recognize seventeen graduates of the County’s Mini Course. Employees voluntarily attend sessions during lunch hours to learn more about the services each County department provides. This year’s graduates include: Susan Abernethy, Margaret Allen, Judy Barringer, Ashley Clack, Kathy Dagenhart, Andrea Deitz, Marleen Kalbfeld, Cho Lor, Sylvia McKinney, Tracey O’Neal, Olga Orosco, Beth Rogers, Anna Setzer, Jennifer Sigmon, Susana Silvestri, Der Xiong and Kimle Yang.

A. The Board will consider a request from the Newton-Conover City Schools to transfer $166,755.50 from completed and future projects to a Middle School Conversion to Elementary Project. Funds totaling $1,826,806 were allocated over a three year period to convert the old Newton-Conover Middle School to an elementary school. Bids for the project have been received at $1,953,386. Newton-Conover City Schools has requested the transfer of a total of $166,755.50 from existing capital projects to cover the gap and provide a contingency of $40,175. Four projects may now be closed and the remaining funds allocated to them transferred. Paving, roofing, and gas pack replacement projects are complete and repairs to the brick veneer of the old middle school gym were included in the conversion project. Finally, the system requests that $25,000 be transferred from a general roof replacement project. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the transfer of these funds.

B. The Board will consider acceptance of a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), in the amount of $21,452 along with required certifications and assurances. There are no matching funds required for this award; it is 100% Federally funded. The SCAAP is a formula-based grant that provides agencies with reimbursement for some of the costs associated with incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens who have committed serious crimes in the U.S. The goal of this program is to enhance public safety in communities throughout the nation. Catawba County was one of only 890 (out of 3,140) eligible local entities across the U.S. that successfully applied for these dollars. These grant funds are based on individuals held in the Newton Detention Center and those held for Catawba County at the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility during fiscal year 2010-2011. Funds under this program may be used for correctional purposes only. Staff has determined the best application would be medical services in the jail. This expense is unpredictable during the year, as it is dependant on the inmates’ presented medical conditions. The needs fluctuate as the population changes. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends acceptance of this grant.

C. The Board will consider a proposed Travel Policy for the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. The Catawba County Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board has requested that the Board approve an ABC Travel Policy that has been approved by the Catawba County ABC Board. The North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission requires that the Catawba County ABC Board provide proof that its appointing authority has approved its travel policy on an annual basis. The proposed policy very closely mirrors the County’s travel policy. The Board of Commissioners’ Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends approval of this travel policy.

D. The Board will consider a tax refund request in the amount of $43,728.39. Records have been checked and the refund verified; therefore, the Tax Collector is asking for approval of the refund request. Under North Carolina General Statute 105-381, a taxpayer who has paid taxes may request a refund in writing for an amount paid through error. A further review of the records indicates this taxpayer owes $32,807.17 in current taxes and delinquent audit bills. The refunded amount, if approved, would be applied to these bills before any money is sent to the taxpayer.


The Board will consider a $17,825 reduction in the FY 2012-13 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) authorization for the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge project. This reduction is based on a grant amount awarded by the Carolina Thread Trail (CTT) to acquire twelve acres of a 21-acre tract of land owned by the Bolick heirs, located west of the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge. On August 6, 2012, the Board authorized staff to apply for a CTT Implementation Grant to acquire the twelve acres adjoining the Bridge. The County’s CTT grant application requested $66,175 with a $10,000 local match to help pay for closing costs. When the current year CIP was approved, it was anticipated that an $84,000 grant could be secured from CTT; however, CTT staff indicated it would not support that amount.

The County was notified on September 21, 2012, that it was awarded the CTT grant in the amount of $66,175, subject to funds being acquired from the North Carolina Natural Heritage Trust Fund (NCNHTF) for the purchase of the remaining nine acres. A grant application for acquiring the remaining nine acres was submitted to the NCNHTF in late September. The Trust Fund Board will make its decision about grant awards in January 2013. With approval of the CTT grant, the FY 12-13 budget must be reduced by $17,825 for the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge project authorization. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends this budget reduction.

The Board will consider setting goals for Fiscal Year 2013-14. The setting of goals is a prelude to the start in December of the County’s annual budget process and culminates with the adoption of an annual budget in June. Board members individually submitted ideas for goals and were then asked to rank proposed goals for FY 2013-14.

The Board’s proposed goals for FY 2013-14 are:

1. Prepare a Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget which provides needed County services within available revenues, including no property tax increase, ensuring that the County addresses its short term needs while planning for long term growth, and maintaining the Board of Commissioners’ policy of two months of operating expenses.

2. In partnership with the private sector, support a coordinated effort to create jobs and property tax base by investing in infrastructure, the development of the County’s quality of place and educational opportunities.

Strategies include:

a. Develop and market the multi-jurisdictional park and other future development opportunities.
b. Advocate for the widening and completion of Highway 16;
c. Continuously monitor County regulations to ensure they support orderly growth and business development;
d. Continue support of public education, the Economic Development Corporation, the Catawba Valley Community College, Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce.
e. Partner with the private sector and municipalities to focus on a framework to increase small and/or entrepreneurial businesses.
f. Partner with the private and public sectors to implement recommendations from the Southern Growth Policy Board study.

3. Review recommendations of the Food and Farm Sustainability Committee and work to implement strategies consistent with the County’s area of responsibilities.