Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting
Monday, December 6, 2010, 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.
4. Approval of the minutes from the Regular Meeting of November 15, 2010.
5. Bond Approvals. Presented by County Attorney Debra Bechtel.
6. Oaths of Office:
a. Board of Commissioners: Oaths to be administered by Superior Court Judge Nathaniel J. Poovey:
1. Katherine W. Barnes
2. Lynn M. Lail
3. Randy Isenhower
b. Sheriff: Coy Reid. Oath to be administered by District Court Judge Gregory R. Hayes.
c. Catawba County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor: Cliff Isaac. Oath to be administered by Superior Court Judge Nathaniel J. Poovey:
7. Organizational Meeting of the Board of Commissioners:
a. Election of Chair and Vice-Chair
b. Organizational Appointments:
1. County Attorney
2. Finance and Personnel Subcommittee
3. Policy and Public Works Subcommittee
4. WPCOG Policy Board Delegate
5. WPCOG Policy Board Alternate
6. Hospital Board of Trustees
7. Mental Health Partners Board
8. Public Health Board
9. Social Services Board and Community Service Block
Grant Advisory Board
10. Catawba County Criminal Partnership Advisory Board
11. Catawba County Partnership for Children Board
12. Child Advocacy Center Board
13. Juvenile Crime Prevention Council
8. Recognition of Special Guests.
9. Public Comment for Items Not on the Agenda.
11. Departmental Reports:
A. Catawba Valley Medical Center.
Resolution Authorizing and Approving the Issuance by the County of its Hospital Revenue Bonds (Catawba Valley Medical Center), Series 2010. Presented by J. Anthony Rose, President & CEO, Catawba Valley Medical Center.
B. Economic Development Corporation.
Pierre Foods Expansion. Presented by Nathan Huret, Existing Industry Coordinator, Catawba County Economic Development Corporation.
1. Update on the Architectural Plans for the Public Safety Center/Justice Center Expansion. Presented by Finance Director Rodney Miller.
2. 2009/10 Audit/Financial Report. Presented by Finance Director Rodney Miller and Bryan Starnes, Partner, Martin Starnes & Associates.
D. Planning, Parks and Development.
Resolution to Acquire the 589-acre Mountain Creek Tract on Lake Norman using a Clean Water management Trust Fund Grant and to Authorize the Chair to Execute Associated Closing Documents. Presented by Assistant Planning Director Mary George.
Tax Refund Request. Presented by Ona Scruggs, Tax Collector.
12. Other Items of Business.
Resolution in Support of North Carolina’s Current Public Alcoholic Beverage Control System.
13. Attorneys’ Report.
14. 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. A telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD) is located in the Government Center and can be reached by dialing 465 8200. 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.
The next Board of Commissioners Meeting will take place on Monday, December 20, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. The Board will also meet with its local Delegation to discuss legislative goals at a special meeting on Monday, December 20, 2010 at 3:00 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Meeting Room of the Government Center in Newton.
PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
DECEMBER 6, 2010, 9:30 A.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.
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 6, 2010, AT THE AGRICULTURAL RESOURCE CENTER OFF HIGHWAY 321 BUSINESS IN SOUTH NEWTON.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider a proposed economic incentive package for Pierre Foods, which has announced plans for a major expansion of its Claremont facility that will create 500 new jobs and protect 717 existing jobs; receive an update on basic architectural concepts for a proposed expansion of the Public Safety/Justice Center complex; and a resolution to acquire a 589 acre tract near Lake Norman, suitable for a third passive park, using a North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund Grant, when the Board meets at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, December 6, 2010, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.
The Board will present the badge and service weapon of retiring Sheriff L. David Huffman to Huffman in recognition of his retirement and observe as re-elected County Commissioners Kitty Barnes and Lynn Lail and newly elected Commissioner C. Randall Isenhower, Sheriff Coy Reid, and Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Cliff Isaac take their Oaths of Office for four-year terms. It 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 receive a report on the County’s Fiscal Year 2009-10 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and an independent audit of the County’s financial records for FY 2009-10, which are expected to show the County continued to deliver services in a sound fiscal manner in spite of the severe economic recession that has led to $6.5 million in cuts by the County, impacting 72 positions, over the last two fiscal years. The Board will also consider a resolution authorizing the issuance by the County of Series 2010 Hospital Revenue Bonds for Catawba Valley Medical Center, with all bond payments toward the retirement of the debt to be paid by Catawba Valley Medical Center; the approval of bonding required by State law for newly elected sheriffs, a resolution in support of continuing North Carolina’s current Alcoholic Beverage Control system; and a tax refund request.
The Board will be asked to approve bonding required by State law for newly elected sheriffs, and for the Register of Deeds, the County’s Finance Director and the County’s Tax Collector
OATHS OF OFFICE
County Commissioners Kitty Barnes and Lynn Lail and newly elected Commissioner C. Randall Isenhower will take their Oaths of Office from Superior Court Judge Nathaniel J. Poovey. Newly elected Sheriff Coy Reid will take his Oath of Office from District Court Judge Gregory R. Hayes and newly elected Catawba County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Cliff Isaac will take his Oath of Office from Judge Poovey.
The Board will honor Sheriff L. David Huffman, who will retire effective January 1, 2011 after serving as Sheriff of Catawba County for 28 years. Under North Carolina General Statute 20-187.2, the Board will consider declaring as surplus the service sidearm and badge of Sheriff Huffman, and present those items to him.
The Board will hold its annual organizational meeting to select a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for the next year, appoint a County Attorney, and appoint commissioners to serve on Board subcommittees, the Public Health, Social Services, Mental Health Partners and Catawba Valley Medical Center Boards, and on other community boards.
A. CATAWBA VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER
The Board will consider adopting a resolution authorizing the issuance by the County of Hospital Revenue Bonds (Catawba Valley Medical Center), Series 2010. In October, the Board reviewed plans for the next phase of Catawba Valley Medical Center’s construction program, which will consist of a new five level patient tower with an Outpatient Infusion Center, 16 inpatient oncology beds, a new Birthing Center and a 20 bed Special Care Nursery. While the licensed capacity of the hospital will remain at 258 beds, most patient rooms will be private following the construction.
The $33 million project will be funded with $11 million of hospital reserves and a $22 million revenue bond issue to be privately placed with BB&T. This bond issue will have a 20 year term with a fixed interest rate of 4.96 percent. The bond issue is being secured with hospital revenues. All bond payments (interest and principal) toward the retirement of this debt will be made by Catawba Valley Medical Center. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends adoption of the authorizing resolution and the issuance of the Revenue Bonds.
B. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
The Board will consider economic incentives to retain Pierre Foods’ current 717 employees and create 500 new jobs and $16.8 million in new investment in the county, and prominently position the Claremont facility for all future growth opportunities. After an evaluation of its existing manufacturing facilities in Ohio, South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina in early 2010, Pierre Foods selected its existing Claremont facility for a major expansion. If the Claremont facility had not been selected, there was potential for its closure and the loss of 717 jobs currently in Catawba County.
Since 1979, the Claremont facility has produced a broad line of fully cooked beef, pork, chicken and bakery products for the food service, school, military, warehouse club, vending and convenience store markets. During the past three decades, the Claremont facility has grown to its current 717 employees and is Pierre’s most efficient facility. The project will create 500 new jobs with a total average wage of $26,461. Sixteen of the 500 positions would pay more than $32,500, well above the County’s average wage. At 1217 employees, Pierre Foods would be one of the top five private employers in the County.
Pierre Foods will invest $6 million in real property investment. It will continue to occupy its existing 125,000 square foot facility (with a current real property valuation of $4 million) and add an additional 35,000 square feet in cold storage and 10,000 square feet in dry storage warehousing to the eastern edge of the current facility, for a total of 45,000 square feet. The project will further cause $10.8 million in new personal property investment, in addition to maintaining the Claremont facility’s existing personal property (valued at approximately $7.2 million).
In order to retain Pierre Foods’ current 717 employees and create 500 new jobs and $16.8 million in new investment in the county, a 5 year, 67% grant is proposed. New County tax receipts over five years ($16.8 million x $0.00535 x 5) would equal $449,400. The proposed grant amount (67% x actual receipts x 5 years) equals a maximum of $301,098. The investment will net a positive payback to the County immediately, similar to paybacks used to determine grants for other County projects. As with all County incentives, the incentives will be based on a contractual performance agreement which requires Pierre Foods to meet minimum thresholds of investment and job creation each year prior to incentive payment by the County. The agreement would require repayment should the investment and/or job creation amounts not be sustained.
1. The Board will consider a conceptual design for a Justice Center/Public Safety expansion project and authorizing staff to proceed with schematic design. Four action items have been reviewed and are recommended: combining the two buildings/projects into one instead of two separate buildings; approving a two-wing concept for expansion as opposed to a single structure on the front or side of the existing building; pursuing shell space for future growth and a parking deck to accommodate parking requirements; and submitting a master plan to the City of Newton for zoning approval.
The Justice Center was built more than 30 years ago. Since that time there have been only some minor interior renovations and one expansion to the building, the jail expansion of 2005. Courtroom space is no longer adequate to accommodate growing caseloads. A new 911 Communications Center is needed due to inadequate space for equipment, lack of electrical power and limited options to remodel. The existing Emergency Operations Center is inadequate when it is activated for emergency situations. In fact, the County was cited by FEMA in 2006 for inadequate space. Catawba County voters approved a ¼ cent sales tax increase in 2007, with a portion of these funds, approximately $2.7 million a year, dedicated to a Justice Center/Public Safety expansion project. It is estimated that funds in the amount of $14.3 million will be available at the end of fiscal year 2012 to be used for the project, which includes 911 funds set aside for a new communications center. Annual revenues of $2.7 million will retire approximately $28 million in debt over a 15-year period.
The Board approved an architectural services contract with Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, partnering with HOK and McGill Associates of Hickory, in May of this year. The contract included two phases, beginning with a concept development phase to determine the best option for the building design and the integration of all functions necessary on the site. The second phase would be a move into schematic design, including architectural drawings of the Justice Center Expansion/Public Safety Facility. It is anticipated that this process will take approximately 12 months. At that time, the Board of Commissioners will be asked to approve the final design before proceeding with construction bidding. The County intends to pre-qualify contractors to insure the necessary experience and capability are achieved.
In early 2011, staff will present an interim report to the Board on the progress of the project for their review. This will include responses to issues such as accessible parking for the disabled, Greenway Transportation bus routes and operating expenses associated with the project, and a detailed look at planned functions in the new building. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends the Board approve a conceptual design for the Justice Center/Public Safety expansion project and authorize staff to proceed with schematic design and the four action items listed above.
2. The Board will receive a report on the County’s independent audit for fiscal year 2009-2010 and on the County’s Comprehensive Annual Finance Report for FY 2009-2010. Bryan Starnes of Martin, Starnes and Associates is expected to report that the County continued to deliver services in a sound fiscal manner in spite of the severe economic recession that has led to $6.5 million in cuts by the County, impacting 72 positions, over the last two fiscal years. County Finance Director Rodney Miller will present the Board with an overview of the County’s Annual Financial Report.
D. PLANNING, PARKS AND DEVELOPMENT
The Board will consider adopting a resolution which acknowledges that the County will use a Clean Water Management Trust Fund grant to acquire a 589-acre “Mountain Creek” tract. During the Duke Energy relicensing process, Catawba County identified a 589-acre tract of land on the Mountain Creek arm of Lake Norman, owned by Carolina Centers/Crescent Resources, that would be suitable for the County’s third passive recreation park. As part of the relicensing agreement, Duke Energy agreed to provide financial assistance up to $1.14 million to acquire the tract. In order to secure the remaining funding necessary to acquire the tract, the County negotiated a development agreement with Crescent Resources as part of the rezoning of the Village Center at Highway 150 and Slanting Bridge Road. The development agreement requires Crescent Resources to act in good faith to secure funding through public sources, such as the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, to acquire the Mountain Creek tract. A Clean Water grant application for additional funds to acquire the tract was approved by the Trust Fund in November 2008. As part of a match requirement for the grant, the County committed $150,000 for the purchase of the land, which is allocated in the Planning Department’s current budget. Clean Water was unable to execute the grant agreement until April 2010 due to the State’s budget shortfall.
Upon receipt of the grant agreement, staff began working to complete the Mountain Creek transaction. To date, surveying, appraisals, environmental reports, baseline reports and draft conservation easements have been prepared and submitted to Clean Water for review. As part of the grant agreement, the Mountain Creek tract will be placed under two separate conservation easements. The buffer area along Lake Norman and the interior creeks, consisting of 282.274 acres, will be covered by a Clean Water conservation easement. The remaining 306.983 acres of upland area will be covered by a Catawba Lands Conservancy easement. Both easements allow the County to use the land for its passive recreational park with associated amenities, such as a park office, access roads, trails, swimming, passive camping, etc. These easements will be recorded with the closing documents and run in perpetuity. The County Attorney and the County’s closing attorney have reviewed the conservation easement documents and made some minor amendments which have been incorporated into the draft documents submitted to Clean Water. The financial commitments associated with the acquisition of the Mountain Creek tract require the property to be closed by December 31, 2010. As part of the closing documentation for Clean Water, a resolution must be adopted by the County indicating that it will use the grant funds to acquire the property. The resolution also authorizes the Chair of the Board of Commissioners to execute all documents relating to the closing, including the conservation easements to Clean Water and the Catawba Lands Conservancy. The Board’s Policy and Public Works Subcommittee recommends the adoption of this resolution.
The Board will consider a tax refund request, totaling $494.29. Records have been checked and these refunds verified, so the Tax Collector recommends approval. Under North Carolina General Statute 105-381, a taxpayer who has paid his or her taxes may request a refund in writing for an amount paid through error.
OTHER ITEMS OF BUSINESS
The Board will consider adopting a resolution in support of the continuance of the Alcoholic Beverage Control System and opposing any efforts to privatize the ABC system, diminish local control or diminish the local government revenue stream afforded from local ABC store profits.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 465-8464