PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
NOVEMBER 6, 2006, 9:30 A.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on a proposed application for a 2006-2007 Community Transportation Program Grant and consider a resolution setting the Board’s 2007 meeting schedule, when the Board meets at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, November 6, 2006, in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room in the 1924 Courthouse, at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.
The Board will also consider a change in a budget outcome agreed to for this fiscal year for the Department of Social Services; a request from the Catawba County Firefighter’s Association to waive a building inspection fee associated with a recent fundraising event; an amendment to the County’s Scattered Site Housing Grant budget to add program income and an amendment to the 2005 Urgent Repair Project budget; and the disposition of stock bequeathed to the Catawba County Department of Social Services, and designated to be used for the benefit of “persons who reside in Catawba County and who are blind and whose income falls below the poverty line”. The Board will issue proclamations designating Farm-City Week and Adoption Awareness Month and recognizing the 2006 Scouting For Food program; present the Catawba County Budget staff with a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association, and recognize thirteen County employees who volunteered to learn more about all of the County’s departments on their lunch hours, through the annual County Mini-Course program.
A. The Board will issue a proclamation supporting the Scouting For Food program, scheduled to be conducted by the Boy Scouts of America on November 11 and 18. It has been estimated that one of every five children is unable to maintain a minimally adequate diet. Requests for emergency food have increased nationally by almost 40% in a two-year period. The proclamation recognizes that hunger is a problem the community can do something about by working together and commends the Boy Scouts, which will coordinate with other groups to conduct a local Scouting for Food Good Turn food collection drive on November 11 and 18. It urges all citizens to contribute as best as they can to this worthwhile endeavor.
B. The Board will issue a proclamation declaring November as Adoption Awareness Month, to recognize the County’s efforts to create better public awareness of children seeking permanent homes through adoption, especially older children; those with emotional or medical problems; those who may be racially mixed or physically disabled; and groups of brothers and sisters who should be kept together. Caring adults can make a positive difference in the lives of young people, siblings, children of different ethnicities and youth who have been harmed by abuse. Last year, more than 1420 foster children in North Carolina were adopted. Sixty-five of those were children out of the Catawba County foster care system. But more than 700 foster children in North Carolina, with an average age of eight years old, are currently legally available for adoption. Fourteen of those children are in Catawba County and more will continually be added to the list.
C. The Board will issue a proclamation declaring the week of November 17-23 as Farm-City Week to foster cooperation and an exchange of information between two essential segments of our society: farmers and city dwellers. The week includes a banquet, to be held on November 21, during which these beneficial relationships are highlighted, and programs designed to introduce people from both “worlds” to the lives and work of each other.
D. The Board will formally present the County's Budget staff (Budget Manager Judy Ikerd, Budget Analyst I Katrina Hawkins and Budget Analyst II Jennifer Mace) with a 2006 Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association. The award is presented to local governments that prepare and publish a budget document judged to be informative and understandable. Catawba County has won the award for 18 consecutive years.
E. The Board will recognize thirteen graduates of the County's Employee Mini Course. Employees who voluntarily take the course attend sessions, on their lunch hour, to learn more about the services each County department provides. This year’s graduates include: Cari Burns, County Manager’s Office; Lori Dessert, Social Services; Amanda Driggers, Social Services; William Gardner, Jr., Public Health; Crystal Hildebran, Social Services; Diane Jennings, Library; Candice Justice, formerly with Public Health; Maricruz McCorkle, Social Services; Kathie Michaud, Social Services; Stephanie Pannell, Technology; Bob Rowe, Technology; Deirdre Sauberan, Social Services and Angie Triplett, Personnel.
The Board will hold a public hearing on a proposed application for a 2007-2008 Community Transportation Program Grant. This grant is available annually from the North Carolina Department of Transportation and provides funds for administration and capital expenses for counties that meet the requirements of coordination and consolidation of transportation services. The funding covers 85% of allowable administrative expenses and 90% of capital expenses. This will be the ninth year in which Catawba County has qualified for this grant. Staff projects a total grant for Catawba County for the next fiscal year of $156,926 in administrative expenses and $66,082 in capital expenses. The requested funding from NCDOT will be $133,387 for administrative expenses and $59,473 for capital expenses. The required match from Catawba County would be $23,539 for administrative expenses and $6,609 for capital, for a total local match of $30,148. The capital funding would be used for the purchase of two lift vans to replace vehicles that are currently used to provide transportation to nutrition and recreation centers, medical appointments and grocery shopping.
A. The Board will consider a change to one budget outcome agreed upon for this fiscal year for the Catawba County Department of Social Services. Operating under a performance-based system, the department establishes such budget outcomes, approved by the Board of Commissioners, annually. Outcomes are established by staff, administration, and boards from September through June in a given year, and are effective for the following fiscal year. From time to time, external changes necessitate reconsideration of the specifics of an outcome. Such is the case with the following outcome:
“Compared to national studies, which show that 75% of court-involved youth will have multiple arrests within a one-year period of time, 80% of court-involved youth (approximately 68 of 85) who receive outpatient services for at least three sessions beyond the initial evaluation will have no new juvenile legal charges while in the Family NET treatment program within FY 2006-07”.
The North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (DJJDP) has made a significant change to enhance its own goals. The DJJDP goal is to reduce the number of admissions they have to Youth Development Centers. To do this, they are required to keep more of their higher risk youth, based on the number and severity of legal charges, in the community and in outpatient mental health treatment. These higher risk youth tend to be more treatment-resistant and take a longer period of time in treatment in order to engage them in the process. Family NET expects to receive more DJJDP referrals that fall into a higher risk, treatment-resistant range of clients. Since the established outcome is an aggressive one that attempts to reduce recidivism by a rate that is 55 percentage points better than the national average for this difficult population and since the outcome was developed prior to learning about the change in State policy, there is a need to change the outcome regarding the number of sessions with the these youth. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends the Board approve the request to change this budget outcome to the following:
“Compared to national studies, which show that 75% of court-involved youth will have multiple arrests within a one-year period of time, 80% of court-involved youth (approximately 68 of 85) who receive outpatient services for at least five sessions beyond the initial evaluation will have no new juvenile legal charges while in the Family NET treatment program within FY 2006-07.”
B. The Board will consider waiving building permit fees for a recent Catawba County Firefighter’s Association fundraiser event. The Association is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization that promotes the interests of fire service in Catawba County. On October 12, 2006, County staff received a request from Mr. Kevin L. Yoder, President of the Association, requesting that the County waive the permit fee of $84 incurred for a safety inspection prior to an August 2006 fundraising event held at the Catawba Valley Community College Multi-Purpose Facility. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends the Board approve this request to waive the applicable permit fees of $84.
C. The Board will consider an amendment to the Community Development Block Grant Scattered Site Housing Grant budget for this fiscal year, needed to increase the C-1 rehabilitation line item in the budget to add program income of $11,478.67. The County was recently awarded a new cycle of funding for its $400,000 Scattered Site Housing Grant Program, for 2006-2009, to rehabilitate seven houses and clear and relocate one house in the county. A citizen assisted by the program in 2003 has passed away, so the family has sold the house. $11,478.67 still owed on the Deed of Trust was returned to the County. Staff recommends these funds be added to the program funds for current rehab projects.
D. The Board will consider an amendment to the 2005 Urgent Repair Project Budget Ordinance. The ordinance needs to be amended in order for the County to expend interest earned through the rehabilitation line item. Catawba County received a $50,000 Urgent Repair Grant in January 2005. The County is allowed to earn interest on funds that are received from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency. During the last nineteen months, interest has been earned on this project totaling $693. These funds will be expended by November 30, 2006, to help finish repairs needed for the last house obligated as the grant is completed. It is anticipated that fifteen homeowners across Catawba County will benefit from this grant. Staff recommends the Board approve the project budget ordinance amendment.
E. The Board will consider setting its meeting schedule for 2007. The first meeting in January would be scheduled for January 2, 2007, due to January 1, 2007 being a County holiday. The accompanying subcommittee meetings would be scheduled for December 26, 2006, a County holiday. Consequently, scheduling a first meeting in January would be difficult. The Board's first meeting date in March conflicts with the National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., which some board members will attend. The first meeting in July would be scheduled for July 2, 2007. County offices are closed on July 4 and, since many people vacation during that week, the Board’s custom for many years has been to cancel the first meeting in July. Also, NACo’s annual conference is scheduled for July 13-17, 2007 in Richmond, VA, which includes the third Monday in July, when the Board normally meets. Staff therefore recommends the following changes to the Board’s meeting schedule for 2007: 1) cancellation of the January 2, 2007 meeting and accompanying subcommittee session; 2) cancellation of the March 7, 2007 meeting and accompanying subcommittee session; 3) cancellation of the July 2, 2007 meeting and accompanying subcommittee session, with a regular meeting on Monday, July 9, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. and 5) the scheduling of the Board’s annual breakfast meeting with the staff of the Cooperative Extension Service for Monday, December 3, 2007, from 8-9:00 a.m. The Board’s calendar will also include a budget creation schedule, as follows: budget hearings with departments during the entire working day on Wednesday, May 30, 2007, a public hearing and wrap-up session beginning at 7 pm on Thursday, May 31, 2007, and budget adoption scheduled for the Board’s regular 9:30 a.m. meeting on Monday, June 4, 2007. The Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends the Board adopt a 2007 Meeting Schedule.
The Board will consider adopting a resolution authorizing Debra Bechtel, as attorney acting on behalf of the County, to sell inherited shares of stock and sign any necessary documents associated with that transaction. On November 5, 2004, Catawba County received a $250,000 check from the estate of Mr. Samuel J. Buie. Mr. Buie bequeathed this money to the Department of Social Services with the stipulation that it be used “for the utilization and benefit of persons who reside in Catawba County and who are blind and whose income falls below the poverty line”. Subsequently, the Catawba County Board of Social Services decided to invest the money in perpetuity and use any interest or proceeds to carry out the wishes expressed under Mr. Buie’s will. In July 2006, Catawba County was notified that Mr. Buie had designated Social Services as the recipient of his residual estate. All that remains in the residual estate is 267 shares of Del Monte Foods stock. Social Services wishes to sell the stock and add the proceeds to the original bequest. The stock was recently transferred into Catawba County’s name. The proposed resolution will authorize Ms. Bechtel to execute the appropriate paperwork to sell the stock and a check will be issued to the County and then put in the appropriate account of Social Services. Staff recommends the Board adopt the resolution authorizing Ms. Bechtel to sell the stock and sign any necessary documents associated with that transaction.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 828-465-8464