PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2006, 7 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider the lease/purchase of a Voice Over Internal Protocol (VoiP) phone system and consider setting Board goals for fiscal year 2007-2008 when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 20, 2006, in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room on the second floor of the 1924 Courthouse in Newton.
The Board will also consider awarding a bid for a new articulating dump truck needed to replace an aging truck at the Blackburn Landfill; the appropriation of up to $15,000 to the Lake Norman Marine Commission for the maintenance and expansion of the navigational system on Lake Norman; and a proclamation declaring November as Home and Hospice Care Month.
The Board will issue a proclamation declaring November as Home and Hospice Care Month in Catawba County, to recognize that in-home health, hospice, and community-based services provide for an individual’s health and social needs throughout life; compassionate care which serves expectant mothers, infants, children, adults, the disabled and elderly, and provides love, comfort, and support at the end of life. In-home health, hospice, and community based services enable North Carolina’s citizens to access a wide variety of quality health and social services, including preventive care, acute care, sustainable long-term care and palliative care. These services are provided by home health agencies, licensed home care agencies, hospice agencies, adult day care, adult day health care facilities, and home medical equipment companies.
A. The Board will consider awarding a bid for a 35-ton Articulating Dump Truck needed at the Blackburn Landfill, and authorize the trade-in of a 2000 John Deere 250 Articulating Dump Truck towards the purchase. The landfill needs a 35 ton off-road dump truck to move soil from borrow areas to the Sanitary and Construction and Demolition Landfills, to provide for daily cover of solid waste as required by State law. The landfill has a 2000 John Deere 250 Articulating Dump Truck with 2,146 hours to be traded-in towards this purchase. Formal bids were received on November 1, 2006. The bid specifications asked for a cost for a full coverage warranty for one full year and a power train warranty for five year or 5,000 hours. The bids received were as follows: 1) James River Equipment: John Deere 350D; base bid, $334,337; full coverage warranty; $2,790; power train warranty, $13,000 for a total of $350,127, less trade-in for the County’s existing truck of $85,000 for a net bid of $265,127; 2) Linder Industrial Machinery: Komatsu HM350-2; base bid, $350,350; full coverage warranty; $0.01; power train warranty; $14,120.01; for a total of $364,470.02, less trade-in for the County’s existing truck of $61,000, for a net bid of $303,470.02. 3) ASC Construction Equipment: Volvo A35D; base bid, $384,600; full coverage warranty included in base bid; power train warranty, $14,337; for a total bid of $398,937, less trade-in for the County’s existing truck of $95,000, for a net bid of $303,937; and 4) Carolina Tractor, CAT 735; base bid of $406,880; full coverage warranty included in the base bid; power train warranty, $1,540; for a total bid of $408,420, less trade-in for the County’s existing truck of $57,000 for a net bid of $351,420. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the Board award the bid to the low bidder, James River Equipment, for a net bid of $265,127.
B. The Board will consider a request from the Lake Norman Marine Commission for $15,000 for the maintenance and expansion of the navigational system on Lake Norman. Catawba County, along with Lincoln, Iredell and Mecklenburg Counties, formed the Lake Norman Marine Commission and the legislative authority requires that the Marine Commission be funded at the same level by all four counties. Iredell and Mecklenburg Counties have approved a $15,000 contribution. Lincoln County has also approved a $15,000 contribution with the stipulations that (1) the other three counties contribute and (2) the Marine Commission furnish a separate list of the navigational aids to be maintained and purchased in the Lincoln County portion of Lake Norman. The Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the Board agree to appropriate up to $15,000 for navigational aids on the Catawba County portion of Lake Norman and that the funds be granted under the following conditions: (1) the other three counties participate; (2) the funds are used for the purchase of only navigational aids on the Catawba County side; and (3) the County be invoiced for the aids on the Catawba County side at whatever pace the Marine Commission desires. The County also asks that the location of the navigational aids be shown on the County’s Geographical Information System.
REPORTS AND PRESENTATIONS
The Board will consider authorizing the sole source exemption, allowed under State law when an item that meets County specifications can only be obtained from a single source, for the purchase of a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system from BellSouth. Catawba County entered into an agreement with BellSouth for Centrex service in October 2000. The agreement was renewed for an additional three-year term in January 2005 after County staff researched the possibility of a VoIP system at that time and determined that costs were prohibitive.
VoIP refers to technology that enables routing of voice conversations over a Wide Area Network or any other internet provider network. VoIP enables communication devices to interoperate with Internet services such as e-mail, instant messaging, calendars, and other collaboration applications.
Staff recommends the County move to a VoIP system now, which would include consolidating phone systems among County agencies now served by a total of four systems. However, there are still 15 months left on the County’s current BellSouth contract. The amount to be paid to BellSouth over the remaining months is approximately $341,000. The County would like to leverage the remaining months of the higher priced Centrex contract to buy equipment and services to convert to a VoIP system, while still working with BellSouth. BellSouth and Cisco have partnered to make an offer to Catawba County to deploy VoIP. They are offering the technology available with a VoIP system and to upgrade the County’s local area network for close to the same monthly cost the County is currently paying BellSouth for Centrex service. The equipment being offered by Cisco is priced with substantial discounts below State contract pricing.
A Return on Investment Study was completed by County staff comparing the current amount being paid for phone services using Centrex with the monthly costs of VoIP plus equipment lease/purchase. The study showed a $2,156.04 savings per month for the County during the first year. This savings includes replacing all of the County’s phones, call centers and switches, including the core switches for the data network. There would be an additional cost per month, during years two through five, if full maintenance is used. In order to avoid this additional cost, County staff would work to develop expertise to assume maintenance internally for everything except the core and the call centers.
North Carolina General Statute 143-129 allows an exemption 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. This exemption requires governing board approval and a record must be maintained of purchases made under this exemption. County staff contacted the North Carolina Institute of Government to inquire if a VoIP project with BellSouth would qualify as a sole source exemption since the County still has 15 remaining months in the current Centrex agreement with BellSouth. Their response was that it did qualify. The Board of Commissioner’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the full Board authorize the sole source exemption to lease/purchase a VOIP phone system from BellSouth, for a total lease/purchase price of $1,001,822.88, and a total cost of $1,776,391.80 for current services plus lease/purchase, with full maintenance over five years.
OTHER ITEMS OF BUSINESS
The Board will consider setting goals for fiscal year 2007-2008, which will begin on July 1, 2007. The draft goals were created through the input of Board members and their ranking of prospective goals. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends the following goals to the full Board.
1. Continue economic development efforts for sustainable businesses and industry, which will provide employment for Catawba County citizens. Partner with the Economic Development Corporation, Chamber of Commerce, FORESIGHT, business community and municipalities to carry out this goal.
a. Support the concept of a multi-jurisdictional park involving interested municipalities, and be receptive to needed rezoning requests
b. Continue to develop public-private partnerships and funding for the Eco-Complex;
c. Support the Chamber of Commerce in its efforts to support small business.
2. Partner with the three school systems, Champions of Education, CVCC and the Hickory Metro Higher Education Center (HMHEC) to increase the educational attainment level in Catawba County.
a. Continue implementation of the FORESIGHT educational strategies;
b. Support the work of the Champions of Education;
c. Support legislation that will increase educational performance, such as encouraging students to remain in school and the ½ cent sales tax for school construction and operating needs;
d. Review the progress of students as the result of additional funds given for teacher supplements and other current expense--for example, graduation rates, dropouts, programs to increase student performance;
e. Support CVCC as it works regionally to align programs with area community colleges;
f. Support expansion of the offerings at the HMHEC and the development of the UNC Engineering Center;
g. Work to ensure that the efforts of all of the higher education institutions are coordinated.
3. Continue efforts to inform and engage citizens and ensure good customer service, using technology where appropriate.
a. Continue implementation of the public information strategy endorsed by the Board during its retreat held May 12 and 13, 2006, and research and implement additional appropriate strategies to engage the citizenry and provide public information in a variety of formats;
b. Hold board or community meetings in different parts of the county at least three times in the upcoming year.
4. Position the county to respond to anticipated growth.
a. Develop a long-range plan for service delivery, and at what level, so budgets can be modified to deal with the growth;
b. Develop a comprehensive, 8-year capital improvement plan for County services.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464