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DECEMBER 3, 2012
THIS MEETING FOLLOWS THE ANNUAL BREAKFAST AT 8:00 A.M. WITH THE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
4. Approval of the minutes from the Regular Meeting of November 19, 2012
5. Oaths of Office:
7. Organizational Meeting of the Board of Commissioners:
9. Public Comment for Items Not on the Agenda
11. Consent Agenda:
12. Departmental Reports:
13. Other Items of Business
15. Manager’s Report
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 17, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. The Board will hold a Special Meeting in the form of a Board Retreat on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. in the Executive Board Room of the Catawba Valley Medical Center.
PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
DECEMBER 3, 2012, 9:30 A.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider awarding bids for construction of a new Animal Shelter, which will address overcrowding issues at the current shelter, designed to hold 78 animals, with a current capacity of 102, but which has housed over 150 animals per day over the last two fiscal years, and will enhance the health and safety of the animals in the shelter, the public and staff, when the Board meets at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, December 3, 2012, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Ave. in Newton. The Board will also consider awarding bids for construction of the final phase of the Highway 150 Sewer Project, to provide sewer service to the southeast part of the county in partnership with the City of Hickory, via replacement of the existing Hickory-Catawba wastewater treatment plant in the Town of Catawba.
The Board will receive a report on the County’s Fiscal Year 2011-12 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and an independent audit of the County’s financial records for FY 2011-12, which are expected to show the County continued to deliver services in a sound fiscal manner in spite of the continued weak economy. The Board will observe as re-elected County Commissioners Barbara Beatty and Dan Hunsucker take their Oaths of Office for four-year terms, and re-elected Register of Deeds Donna Spencer takes her oath. The Board 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.
The Board will consider a request to revise a Department of Social Services 2012-2013 Child Welfare Services budget outcome to reflect changes in program requirements from the State. It will consider using the sole source exemption from normal bidding procedures, allowed under State law when a needed product is available from only one source, for the purchase of three new LIFEPAK 15 Monitor/Defibrillators for Emergency Services. And the Board will present the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officer Association to members of 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 3, 2012, AT THE AGRICULTURAL RESOURCE CENTER OFF HIGHWAY 321 BUSINESS IN SOUTH NEWTON.
OATHS OF OFFICE
As a result of this shift, approximately 60% of Social Services open family in-home cases have been closed because they do not meet the imminent risk criteria, and more cases assessed or investigated on the front end have closed and have not been transferred to family in-home workers. Staff anticipates a continued drop in the number of cases assessed or investigated that transfer to family in-home workers. Child and Family Team meetings, therefore, will also be greatly reduced. Additionally, cases being investigated or assessed now require that social workers complete additional work, including development and signing of case plans. This will likely take beyond 30 days to complete.
The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends this outcome be changed as follows and notes that this change keeps the intent of the original outcome, but makes it reasonable in terms of achieving the percentage: “To strengthen parental engagement and to keep children safely with biological parents, 70% (70 of 100) of all families with children found to have been abused, neglected, and/or dependent during Fiscal Year 2012/13, will participate in a Child and Family Team meeting within 60 days of case decision and will demonstrate positive parental behaviors which assure safety of children in their homes, as measured by case closure within one year.”
B. The Board will consider authorizing the sole source exemption for purchase of three Physio-Control LIFEPAK® 15 Monitor/Defibrillators and accessories for Emergency Medical Services for $83,887.35, including a trade-in allowance of $15,000 for three surplus units. The N. C. Office of Emergency Medical Services requires that all EMT-Paramedic level ambulances have the capability to obtain and transmit 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECGs) to receiving hospitals. Both Frye Regional Medical Center and Catawba Valley Medical Center use LIFEPAK cardiac monitors and defibrillators and have the capability to receive transmissions from these devices. Their stations will not receive data from other manufacturers.
Catawba County currently owns approximately 40 Physio-Control cardiac monitors and/or defibrillators. This means that all the accessories are the same brand. If the County purchased another brand device, it would have to maintain two sets of accessories (batteries, battery charges, therapy cables, monitoring cables, defibrillator pads, paper, C02 probes, blood pressure tubes/cuffs, etc.). Catawba County EMS has used Physio-Control LIFEPAK® cardiac monitors and defibrillators for over 20 years and has experienced excellent service. Physio-Control, a division of Medtronic, Inc., is the only source to purchase LIFEPAK® monitor/defibrillators.
North Carolina General Statute 143-129 allows an exception from formal bidding for purchase contracts when performance or price competition 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. This exception requires governing body approval and a record must be maintained of purchases made.
For the past twelve years, Catawba County Emergency Medical Services has attempted to replace cardiac monitor/ defibrillators in conjunction with the replacement of ambulances, typically three per year. This has resulted in EMS’ stock of cardiac monitor/defibrillators being replaced approximately every ten years. The anticipated useful life of a cardiac monitor/defibrillator is five years, based on industry standards and guidance from accrediting bodies. Additionally, Physio-Control will only guarantee service and support for cardiac monitor/defibrillators for eight years from the manufacture date.
Catawba County EMS has three LIFEPAK 12 Monitor/Defibrillators that are surplus and would like to trade-in this equipment towards this purchase. The three surplus monitors were purchased 11 years ago, and therefore are overdue for replacement. The trade-in value is $15,000, for a net bid award of $83,887.35. These funds are available in the current County budget. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends approval of this sole source exception.
The current animal shelter was built in 1985 and had a capacity of 78 animals. In 2005, an additional (quarantine) building was constructed and, in 2011, a vehicle/storage garage was enclosed and portable cages added due to the number of animals being housed at the shelter. With these renovations, the total capacity of the shelter increased to 102 animals.
In addition to overcrowding, the shelter design is such that there is no effective method to isolate specific areas of the shelter, which can cause disease to spread quickly throughout the facility. There is no secure place for animal control officers to unload animals from their vehicles. This creates an opportunity for animals to escape as well as a safety hazard for staff, citizens and the animals. The single lobby in the shelter is the primary entrance and exit for the facility and there is no room in the shelter for the public to get acquainted with animals they wish to adopt. The shelter design does not lend itself to the safest handling of animals and makes cleaning difficult because animals must be moved to portable cages each time cleaning is conducted.
The shelter receives animals from both the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Catawba County. In fiscal year 2012, a total of 7,050 animals were received; of these, 55% were from the unincorporated areas while 45% were from the cities and towns in the county. The County will pay for construction of the new shelter; however, through contractual agreement each municipality will continue to pay a portion of the ongoing operating costs.
A 15,740 square foot facility and two add-alternates for additional kennels, for a total 17,005 square feet, was designed by Daggett & Grigg Architects. The new facility will provide a total capacity of 233 animals. In 2009, Daggett & Grigg conducted a study to determine the size of the facility needed by Catawba County. The space study was based on U.S. Census Bureau data and the American Veterinary Medical Association’s “U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook.” The results of the study were used as the basis for determining the shelter’s size.
Two add-alternates were included in the initial design presented by Daggett and Grigg. They were changed to add-alternates because construction estimates obtained in early 2011 indicated construction costs would exceed the available budget. Since the actual construction bid was less than construction estimates, it is recommended that the alternates be included since they were identified as necessary during the space study.
One alternate would add eight additional indoor/outdoor runs in a stray holding area. This will allow animals to be held longer when the adoption area is at capacity, increasing the number of animals that may be adopted. Another alternate adds ten indoor/outdoor runs in the quarantine area. The current shelter has 16 kennels in the quarantine area. The area is used to house bite animals, potentially dangerous animals, animals that have potentially been exposed to rabies, and animals that are evidence in court cases. In many cases these animals must be held for extended periods of time. For example, State law requires bite animals to be held for a minimum of ten days. In the current shelter, the quarantine area frequently exceeds capacity and these animals cannot be housed in other areas of the shelter.
The new shelter’s design includes separate adoption and relinquishment service areas which will help control disease by reducing cross contamination. The expanded space will alleviate overcrowding and increase the length of stay from three to seven days, creating better opportunities for adoption. The County is strongly committed to finding homes for all adoptable animals and an inviting lobby, feline adoption corridor, and acquaintance areas would enhance staff’s ability to place adoptable animals.
Despite overcrowding, design problems, and disease, staff was able to find homes for 3,347 animals through adoption, rescue groups, and foster homes between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2012. In addition, 972 animals were returned to their owners during this same period. The combination of a secure sally port for animal control vehicles and indoor/outdoor kennels will increase safety for both staff and animals.
On October 10, 2011, the Board approved a conceptual design and authorized the initiation of the bid process for a new shelter on the Government Center/Justice Center campus. Qualification statements were received from 18 general contractors and nine were deemed qualified to participate in the bid process. On November 7, 2012, eight bids were received. Edison Foard Construction, Inc. is the lowest, responsible, responsive bidder. They have been in business for 73 years and all references were good. They have constructed similar projects including several LEED buildings. Edison Foard will exceed the County’s minority participation goal of 5%.
When County Planning Department staff met with the City of Newton to discuss the Master Plan and the new animal shelter, the City of Newton requested the County include a parking area for its Heritage Trail since it is so close to the proposed shelter. The bid received from Edison Foard for a Heritage Trail parking area is $35,500. Staff does not recommend constructing this parking area at this time as the area will be needed for construction staging. As the project nears completion, this option could be considered if funding is available.
The three lowest bids received, including the alternates requested, are:
The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the bid for the construction of a new Animal Shelter be awarded to Edison Foard Construction, Inc. in the amount of $3,323,410.
UTILITIES AND ENGINEERING
Catawba County has always taken a broad and long-term approach to funding water and sewer infrastructure needs countywide. Over the last 31 years, the County has invested in utility infrastructure with each of its eight municipalities, in addition to providing needed service to schools. The County works closely with its municipalities to determine which of their priorities provide the highest level of need and the best utility investment in the unincorporated areas of the County. This proven and successful approach continues today to ensure adequate funds are available to respond to identified needs as well as emerging situations that may arise in the unincorporated areas of Catawba County.
Catawba County and the City of Hickory entered into an “Agreement for Operation, Maintenance and Management of the Water Distribution System,” dated August 21, 2000, and as amended thereafter, and an “Agreement for Sale of Wastewater Plant Capacity and Treatment Services,” dated June 16, 2003, and as amended thereafter. The City of Hickory currently owns, operates and maintains a 225,000 gallons per day (gpd) Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Facility, previously owned and operated by the Town of Catawba. The County currently owns 100,000 gpd of treatment capacity in this plant. Upon completion of a new plant, the County’s current 100,000 gpd of treatment capacity will be transferred to the City of Hickory’s Henry Fork Wastewater Treatment Facility. The existing Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Facility has inadequate treatment capacity to meet the long term treatment needs of the area served by the facility. Therefore, in accordance with the agreements noted above, the City and County determined that replacing the Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Facility is necessary to increase treatment capacity to adequately serve customers in the designated service area including the Town of Catawba and the commercial and industrial areas along Highway 150, as well as providing needed service provisions in the southeast Catawba County service area in anticipation of growth.
The City of Hickory will build, own and operate the new plant, with an initial treatment capacity of 1.5 million gpd. The County will own half of the capacity or 750,000 gpd. The Agreements provide that the County and City will enter into a separate agreement to determine the rights and responsibilities of each party if upgrade, replacement, and/or expansion of the Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Facility is required. The agreements further provide that Catawba County will pay the difference in revenues collected and operational cost incurred for the operation of the County’s portion of the Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Facility to the City of Hickory until such time as the treatment plant flow is sufficient to generate revenues to offset the plant operational expense, which is estimated to be 350,000 gpd. This cost is estimated to be $250,000 annually and will reduce over time as additional flow is realized at the treatment plant. This annual expense is accounted for in the County’s 8-year Capital Improvement Plan.
As a result of bids taken by the City of Hickory, the cost to replace the Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Plant including construction, 10% contingency, and administration services is $11,840,308. The County’s portion is $5,920,154. The City of Hickory is financing $9.9 million of the total cost over a 15 year period, and the County will pay the City its 50% share of the debt service annually. The remaining $1,940,308 of unfinanced cost will be split equally between the County and the City at $970,154 each. The County has funds available.
The Highway 150 Sewer Project was divided into five divisions for bidding:
On October 25, 2012, Catawba County received a total of nine bids for the Highway 150 Sewer Project. Based on the review of the bids and qualifications, McGill Associates recommends that Divisions 1, 4 and 5 be awarded to Neill Grading and Construction Co., Inc. of Hickory, NC, for a total of $2,975,354 and that Division 2 and 3 be awarded to Hickory Sand Company, Inc. of Hickory, NC, for a total of $3,711,763.
North Carolina General Statute 143-64.32 authorizes contracting for engineering services without issuing Requests for Qualification. The Statute requires the exemption to be in writing and state the reasons for the exemption. McGill Associates is the design engineer for the project, has the most knowledge of the project. and is the appropriate firm to provide construction inspection, observation services and re-design of the Old Highway 16 and Marina Pump Stations. The re-design of the Old 16 Pump Station is required to facilitate an agreement with the property owner. The Marina Pump Station relocation and redesign is necessary because the initial site is currently in an estate settlement. A tentative agreement has been reached with an adjacent property owner, B&K Real Estate, LLC. (Lake Norman Marina) for relocation of the pump station to a portion of their property. It is anticipated that this pump station site will be fully acquired within the next 30 days.
In Fiscal Year 2009-10, funding for the Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion was established with $4 million, and the Highway 150 Sewer project was established with $9.66 million. Thus, the County anticipated spending $13.66 million for the planned sewer infrastructure. The County’s portion of the construction cost for the Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion is $5,920,154. The cost of the Highway 150 Sewer project is $8 million, which is approximately $1.66 million below the budgeted amount of $9.66 million.
The requested budget revision is to reduce the amount for the Highway 150 Sewer to $8 million and increase the amount for the Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion to $5,920,154; thus, the County’s revised expense appropriation for the sewer infrastructure is $13,920,154 which includes $1,241,943 in contingency.
In Fiscal Year 2010-11, the Board appropriated $1,205,000 for the Highway 150 Sewer Phase II and III Project, which, at that time, was comprised of the sewer collection system serving Terrell and Highway 150 East to the county line. Due to Marshall Steam Station not wanting sewer service at this time, and minimal sewer needs east of the Marshall Steam Station, this project has been rearranged, making the previously appropriated $1,205,000 available to be applied to the $970,154 of unfinanced cost associated with the construction of the Hickory-Catawba Wastewater Treatment Plant. Funding for the Highway 150 Sewer Project is being acquired by an Installment Purchase Loan of $8 million. The Installment Purchase Loan includes $691,943 in Highway 150 Sewer Project contingency funds to address pump station relocations and unforeseeable complications that may arise in a project of this magnitude. Approval of the requests stated above is recommended by the Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464
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