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DECEMBER 2, 2013

AGENDA
Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Monday, December 2, 2013, 9:30 a.m.
Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room, 1924 Courthouse
30 North College Avenue, Newton, NC

THIS MEETING FOLLOWS THE ANNUAL BREAKFAST AT 8:00 A.M. WITH THE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE AT THE AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES CENTER IN NEWTON

1. Call to Order.

2. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

3. Invocation.

4. Approval of the minutes from the Regular Meeting and Special Meeting of November 18, 2013.

5. Organizational Meeting of the Board of Commissioners:


a. Election of Chair and Vice-Chair
b. Organizational Appointments:

1. County Attorney
2. Counsel to the Board
3. Finance and Personnel Subcommittee
4. Policy and Public Works Subcommittee
5. WPCOG Policy Board Delegate
6. WPCOG Policy Board Alternate
7. Hospital Board of Trustees
8. Partners Behavioral Health Management Board
9. Public Health Board
10. Social Services Board and Community Service Block Grant Advisory Board
11. Catawba County Partnership for Children Board
12. Child Advocacy Center Board

6. Recognition of Special Guests.

7. Public Comment for Items Not on the Agenda.

8. Presentation:

Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. Presented to Budget Manager Jennifer Mace and Budget Analysts Paul Murray and Barron Monroe.

9. Appointments.

10. Consent Agenda:


a. Sole Source Exception – Purchase of Upgrade for the E911 Telephone System.
b. Donation of Emergency Management Services Vehicle to Bandys Fire Department.
c. Preferred Alternate for HVAC Controls in Existing Justice Center.
d. Tax Refund Request


11. Departmental Reports:


A. Planning, Parks and Development.


Adoption of Amended Unifour Rural Planning Organization Memorandum of Understanding to Officially Add Northern Portions of Iredell County to the Planning Boundaries. Planning, Parks and Development Director Jacky Eubanks.

B. Finance.

2012/13 Audit/Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Presented by Finance Director Rodney Miller and Paula Hodges, Partner, Martin, Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A.

C. Economic Development Corporation:

Shell Building Proposal. Presented by Economic Development Corporation President Scott Millar.

12. Other Items of Business.

Board of Commissioners Goals for Fiscal year 2014-15.


13. Attorneys’ Report.

14. Manager’s Report.

15. 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 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: The next regular Board of Commissioners Meeting will take place on Monday, December 16, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room of the 1924 Courthouse in Newton.


PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
DECEMBER 2, 2013, 9:30 A.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider a partnership with the City of Claremont and the EDC Committee of 100 to encourage the private development of a shell manufacturing building to facilitate the creation of new jobs and future tax base, when the Board meets at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, December 2, 2013, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton. The Board will also receive a report on the County’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2012-13 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and an independent audit of the County’s financial records for FY 2012-13, which are expected to show the County continued to deliver services in a sound fiscal manner.

The Board will also consider using the sole source exception, allowed when a needed product is available from only one source, for the purchase of an upgrade to the County’s E911 telephone system; approval of the use of a preferred alternate for controls for a new heating, ventilating and air conditioning system at the existing Justice Center to address heating and cooling issues in the building, which is expected to result in an annual savings of approximately $65,000, and a recommendation to declare a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria as surplus and donate it to the Bandys Fire Department.

The Board will also consider a set of Board goals for FY 2014-15; a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Unifour Rural Planning Organization that would officially add northern portions of Iredell County to the organization’s planning boundaries and a tax refund request; will hold its annual organizational meeting to select a chairperson and vice-chairperson for the coming year and appoint commissioners to serve on Board subcommittees; and will present the 2013 Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association to the County’s Budget staff.

NOTE: THE BOARD WILL HOLD ITS ANNUAL BREAKFAST MEETING WITH STAFF OF THE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE-CATAWBA CENTER AT 8 A.M. ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2013, AT THE AGRICULTURAL RESOURCE CENTER OFF HIGHWAY 321 BUSINESS IN SOUTH NEWTON.

ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING
The Board will hold its annual organizational meeting to select a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for the next year, appoint a County Attorney and counsel to the Board, and appoint commissioners to serve on Board subcommittees, the Public Health, Social Services, Partners Behavioral Health Management and Catawba Valley Medical Center Boards, and other community boards.

PRESENTATION
The Board will present the 2013 Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association to Budget Manager Jennifer Mace and Budget Analysts Paul Murray and Barron Monroe. The award is given to local governments that prepare and publish a budget document judged to be both informative and understandable. Catawba County has won this award for 25 consecutive years.

CONSENT AGENDA
A. The Board will consider authorizing the sole source exception for the purchase of upgrades for the existing E911 Telephone System. A Sentinel Patriot VoIP E9-1-1 System will be purchased from Wireless Communications in the amount of $163,452.45. This purchase will be funded entirely by State 911 funds. The current Sentinel Patriot System is operating on Windows XP, which Microsoft will no longer support beginning in April 2014. The operating system must be upgraded to Windows 7 to meet the minimal specifications of the Vesta/Sentinel 4.2 upgrade. North Carolina General Statute 143-129 allows an exception from formal bidding for purchase contracts when performance or price completion for a product are not available; when a needed product is available from only one source of supply; or when standardization or compatibility is the overriding consideration. Wireless Communications is, at the present time, the only company in North Carolina that has participated in implementing these systems and demonstrated technical proficiency in implementation and support. This exception requires governing body approval and a record must be maintained of purchases made under this exception. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends authorizing this sole source exception.

B. The Board will consider approval of the donation of a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria to the Bandys Fire Department as requested by the Department. The vehicle would be used as a Quick Response Vehicle (QRV) for medical calls. Using this vehicle will reduce costs for response to medical calls because the fire department will no longer need to send a fire engine to medical calls. The cost of fuel and wear and tear on the QRV will be significantly less than that of a fire engine. The fire department will start a rotation for the officers of the department that will allow an assigned officer to take the QRV home during the evening and respond directly to medical calls. By allowing the officer to respond directly to the medical calls rather than going to the station to pick up a vehicle, response times should be positively impacted. Currently, firefighters who attend fire department classes throughout the County and region are driving privately-owned vehicles. This vehicle will be used to allow firefighters to use a department vehicle to attend a fire department class.

The vehicle to be donated to the Bandys Fire Department is a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria with 138,277 miles. North Carolina General Statute 160A-279 authorizes the County to convey personal property to a nonprofit organization without monetary consideration as long as the property will be used for a public purpose. The process begins with the governing board adopting a resolution authorizing the conveyance of the property and a ten-day public notice. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the donation of this vehicle.

C. The Board will consider approval of a preferred alternate for Trane and Trane Tracer Summit controls for the existing Justice Center. In April 2013, the County engaged Sud Associates to conduct an energy audit of multiple County buildings. The first building selected was the Justice Center, which has experienced numerous heating and cooling issues and complaints from building occupants over the years. The major recommendation from the report was to install an HVAC control system to add a new controller and actuator to each air handling unit and allow staff to remotely adjust temperature settings. The system will allow for time of day scheduling for heating and cooling so occupied and non-occupied temperature settings can be maintained separately. Estimated energy savings are more than 850,000 kilowatt hours per year, resulting in a savings of more than $65,000 per year with a return on investment of 7.2 years.

In June 2013, the City of Newton issued a Request for Proposals for energy efficiency grants offered through ElectriCities from its customers that have a peak annual billing demand of at least 250 kilowatts. As a major utility user, the County submitted a proposal and was awarded an $85,500 grant from the City to install the HVAC control system in the existing Justice Center. The County will receive $50,000 as a credit to its electric bill once installation begins and the additional $35,000 as a credit to its electric bill in February 2014. The project must be completed by June 2014. Trane and Trane Tracer Summit are the prominent equipment and building automation systems used in County buildings. Currently, HVAC control systems are being used in the Government Center, Public Health and Social Services buildings, with the Justice Center being the largest County building without one. County Maintenance staff works closely with Trane factory representatives on all installations and for training on all equipment and controls. Staff also uses Trane software to maintain and regulate the county HVAC systems, reducing time and expenses required to diagnose particular maintenance problems.

North Carolina General Statute 133-3 provides for free and open competition on public contracts. It states that specifications shall contain a performance specification or name at least three brands of equal and equivalent design characteristics. If the owner prefers a particular brand, product or material then such brand shall be bid as an alternate to the three items or equivalent design in the base bid, one of which may be the preferred brand. The specifications for the preferred brand must also identify the performance standards that support the preference. The owner shall publish a notice announcing an open meeting for the presentation of the performance standards. The open meeting may be held separately or in conjunction with the project pre-bid meeting. A designated official of the owner will conduct the meeting and the justification must either indicate a cost savings or maintain or improve the function of any process or system affected by the preferred product or both.

McKnight – Smith – Ward – Griffin Engineers Incorporated is preparing the plans and specifications for the project, which should be ready for bid in December. The estimated cost of the project is $450,000, with the grant funds offsetting approximately 20% of the cost. Funding for the project will come from General Capital project fund balance, which was planned in the current budget in the event the grant request was approved. When bids are received on the project, a grant request and budget revision will be submitted, along with the bid tabulation, for the Board’s consideration. The Trane and Trane Tracer Summit control system will be included in the bid notice and discussed at a pre-bid meeting for the project. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends this preferred alternate.

D. The Board will consider a tax refund request totaling $1,006.50 made to the Tax Office. Records have been checked and this refund verified, and the Tax Collector is asking for approval of the refund request. Under North Carolina General Statute 105-381, a taxpayer who has paid his/her taxes may request a refund (in writing) for the amount paid through error.


DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS

PLANNING, PARKS AND DEVELOPMENT
The Board will consider approving an amended Unifour Rural Planning Organization (RPO) Memorandum of Understanding which will include the RPO officially adding the northern portion of Iredell County to its planning boundaries. The RPO provides to rural areas the opportunity to work in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Transportation toward development of sound short and long-range transportation planning for rural areas.

FINANCE
The Board will receive a report on the County’s independent audit for Fiscal Year 2012-2013, and the County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for FY 2012-2013. Paula Hodges, Partner at Martin, Starnes and Associates, is expected to report that the County continued to deliver services in a sound fiscal manner.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
The Board will consider entering into a partnership with the City of Claremont and the EDC Committee of 100 to encourage the private development of a shell manufacturing building to facilitate the creation of new jobs and future tax base. This is a priority of the Innovate Catawba program. A recent competitiveness analysis performed by the Southern Growth Policy Board highlighted the lack of modern, high-ceiling manufacturing buildings in Catawba County as an impediment for new industry recruitment. Competitor counties inside the region and across the Southeast have located new jobs and increased tax base due to a focus on encouraging and developing shell buildings suitable for new and expanding industry location, with many of them having success as a result. Innovate Catawba, the County-wide effort to transform Catawba County’s economic competitiveness, has a focused initiative to develop competitively priced sites and buildings in order to facilitate such opportunities, and this project is not only trying to result in that singular building but to serve as a model for other potential public and private partnerships that may result in the availability of one or more shell buildings at any given time in Catawba County, and the potential for more jobs and tax base generation.

BG&A Properties, LLC, owns an approximate 10 acre graded site in Claremont International Business Park which has been independently appraised at $295,000, and has proposed the construction of an expandable, 51,200 square foot shell manufacturing facility with ceiling height of 30 feet. The agreed upon construction cost of this facility is $1,442,000. The facility would be of an attractive, insulated, pre-cast concrete construction according to agreed upon specifications. BG&A would be responsible for financing and constructing the facility within a given timeframe and for the cost and risk associated with the facility should it not sell during the timeframe considered under this proposal.

Pursuant to North Carolina General Statutes, the County, the City of Claremont, and the EDC’s Committee of 100 would all be participants in the agreement to share initial costs and carrying costs to encourage BG&A to take on the substantial risk associated with this speculative building.

Initial Building and Permitting Fees: The City and County would agree to waive any soil and erosion permit fees and construction permitting fees under their control, as well as any impact fees or utility connection and tap fees that may be associated with the project.

Grants: The City of Claremont would agree to grant back an amount equal to any property taxes received on the building for the initial construction period and a period of up to 48 months from issuance of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy or until the sale of the shell facility, whichever comes first. Catawba County would agree to grant back an amount equal to any property taxes received on the building for the initial construction period and a period of up to 36 months from issuance of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy or until the sale of the shell facility, whichever comes first.

Carrying Cost Assistance by the EDC, Claremont, and Catawba County: “Carrying Cost Assistance” consists of Facility interest costs, insurance, and electricity costs for the Facility as described in the contract. The Catawba County Economic Development Corporation’s Committee of 100 would agree to provide $10,000 in assistance for the project to defray facility costs for interest, electricity and insurance up to three times in months 1, 13, and 25 following issuance of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy or until the sale of the shell facility, whichever comes first. The City of Claremont would agree to provide $36,000 per year for a maximum of three years in assistance for the project to defray facility costs for interest, electricity and insurance following issuance of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy or until the sale of the shell facility, whichever comes first. Catawba County would agree to provide $36,000 per year for a maximum of three years in assistance for the project to defray facility costs for interest, electricity, and insurance following issuance of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy or until the sale of the shell facility, whichever comes first.

If the building is sold during the first 36 months from the issuance of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, the proceeds from the sale will be distributed in the following order: 1) payment for the land in the amount of $295,000; 2) payment for the shell facility in the amount of $1,442,000; 3) any remaining proceeds will be distributed to the County, City of Claremont and the EDC proportionately to the percentage of Carrying Cost Assistance to date up to 100%; and 4) any remaining funds will be distributed to BG&A.

If the building is sold during months 37-42 as a result of marketing activities by the EDC, City, or County during the initial 36 months from the issuance of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, the proceeds from the sale will be distributed in the following order: 1) payment for the land in the amount of $295,000; 2) payment for the shell facility in the amount of $1,442,000; 3) any remaining proceeds will be distributed to the County, City of Claremont, EDC, and any costs BG&A has incurred during months 37-42 on interest, insurance, electricity and property taxes will be distributed proportionately to the percentage of Carrying Cost Assistance to date up to 100% of those expenses, and 4) any remaining funds will be distributed to BG&A.

Except under the special circumstance of a buyer in months 37-42, no Carry Cost Assistance reimbursement will be made after 36 months from the issuance of the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy to the City, County or EDC should the facility not be sold in that period of time.

OTHER ITEMS OF BUSINESS
The Board will consider setting goals for Fiscal Year 2014-15. 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 2014-15.

The Board’s proposed Goals for FY 2014-15 are:

1. 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.
Specific strategies include:
a. Facilitate spec building space in order to enhance the EDC’s recruitment efforts for jobs and increased tax base.
b. Continuously monitor County regulations to ensure they support orderly growth and business development.
c. Partner with the private sector and municipalities to focus on a framework to increase small and/or entrepreneurial businesses.
d. Partner with the private and public sectors to implement Innovate Catawba.

2. Increase citizens’ awareness of County programs and services and promote healthy activities throughout the County by strengthening communications and outreach to citizens.

3. To ensure transportation connectivity of Catawba County to the rest of the region, continue to advocate for completion of the widening of Highway 16.

4. Support the three school systems and Catawba Valley Community College as they work to increase the educational attainment level in Catawba County.

CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464