PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
DECEMBER 21, 2009, 7 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will receive a report on the County’s Fiscal Year 2008-09 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and an independent audit of the County’s financial records for FY 2008-09, which is expected to show the County continued to deliver services in a sound fiscal manner in spite of a severe economic recession, which led to $1 million in cuts by the County government; and consider proposed policies, procedures and plans for the use of a $400,000 Scattered Site Housing grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, including a project budget, and an agreement with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments for project administration, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 21, 2009, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.
The Board will also consider a request from the City of Newton Fire Department for appropriation of a portion of the Newton Rural Fire District fund balance to purchase firefighter alert pagers and personal protective equipment and consider accepting State and Federal grants that would be used to 1) create a regional resource database and typing of resources so that exact resources that are available can be quickly determined in times of emergency; 2) purchase transfer switches in eight regional counties, including Catawba, that would sustain electricity at critical sites around the county in the event of a man-made or natural disaster, even in a general power failure; and 3) fund a multi-agency, full-scale response exercise in November 2010 to test hazardous materials response capabilities at the county level; and a tax refund request.
A. The Board will consider appropriating the existing fund balance in the Newton Rural Fire District fund, in the amount of $17,038, for the City of Newton Fire Department. The funds will be used towards the purchase of new firefighter alert pagers and personal protective equipment. Historically, fund balance for a rural fire district is carried from year to year unless the department contracted by the Board of Commissioners to provide service for that district makes a request to appropriate it and the Board concurs. The fund balance is created through tax revenue collections exceeding projections established by the Budget Department prior to the fiscal year. The contracted Fire Department may utilize 90% of the existing fund balance to address non-operating budget purchases such as major building projects, equipment items, personal protective equipment and vehicles. The remaining 10% of each fire district’s fund balance is reserved in the fire district’s special fund for contingencies during the budget year. The purchase of the alert pagers will allow the department to replace outdated pagers. These pagers meet new standards established by the Federal Communications Commission to be compliant with the 12.5 narrow band split. The personal protective equipment will be utilized to provide the necessary protection to firefighters during the performance of their duties. These purchases meet the mandated requirements established by the County for use of Fire District fund balances by contracted fire departments, and are not considered on-going operational costs. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends this appropriation.
B. The Board will consider a supplemental appropriation of a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $39,000. These are pass through funds and no appropriation of County funds is required. Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5, Management of Domestic Incidents, directed the development and administration of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS provides a consistent nationwide template to enable Federal, State, tribal and local governments, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to work together to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity. The funds will be used for resource typing, which is the categorizing by capability, of the resources requested, deployed, and used in incidents. Measurable standards identifying resources and performance levels serve as the basis for categories. Resource users at all levels use these standards to identify and inventory resources, which may be divided into subcategories to define more precisely the capabilities needed to meet specific requirements. Resource typing is a continuous process designed to be as simple as possible; it facilitates frequent use and accuracy in obtaining needed resources. This grant application was submitted to the Department of Homeland Security for funding by the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. The project is a collaboration between North Carolina Emergency Management and the Charlotte (Metro) Urban Area Strategic Initiative. Upon completion, each county will have a response operations management tool, which contains information pertinent to resource decision-making. The total grant award was $39,000, to inventory, type and populate the resource database. The $39,000 is being passed through to Catawba County, which will serve as the host county. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends this supplemental appropriation.
C. The Board will consider a supplemental appropriation of a $200,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. These are pass through funds and no appropriation of County funds is required. This type of grant funding must be passed along to local jurisdictions, so the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety has requested that Catawba County host the grant. A Memorandum of Agreement pertaining to this request has been developed between Catawba County and the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management. The objective of this project is to ensure adequate preparedness for a response to an all-hazards event, to include terrorism, within the State of North Carolina by purchasing transfer switches to be used for emergency power generation at critical infrastructure sites during a natural or man-made disaster. This project addresses Disaster Preparedness Region (DPR) 7, which includes Cabarrus, Catawba, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg and Union Counties. Critical infrastructure weakness were identified in a 2008 Annual Capability Assessment Program (ACAP). The ACAP identified the need for shelters to be outfitted with back-up generators or at least be outfitted with transfer switches that would allow a portable or trailer generator to be hooked to the facility rapidly during a disaster. This project will allow those counties designated within the DPR to choose a critical infrastructure site that would receive an automatic transfer switch, which is capable of connecting to mobile generators strategically located throughout the region. Catawba County will subcontract with each county identified to receive a transfer switch. Each county would identify the site for the transfer switch and manage the purchase and installation of the switch. Catawba County will reimburse each participating county once the project is complete. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends this supplemental appropriation.
D. The Board will consider a supplemental appropriation of $35,000 from a 2008 Homeland Security Training and Exercise Grant. These are pass through funds and no appropriation of County funds is required. In November 2008, Catawba County Emergency Services applied for exercise grant funding from the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety’s State Homeland Security program. This grant will be used for a multi-agency, full-scale response exercise in November 2010 which will test hazardous materials response operations capability at the county level. During the last quarter of 2009 and 2010, the grant funds will be used to purchase training and exercise supplies, facilitate training, table top exercises and preparation for the full-scale exercise including materials, controller, evaluators and participant costs. By using this grant, staff will be able to test the County’s capabilities without the use of local tax dollars and can address any areas that need to be enhanced. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends this supplemental appropriation.
E. The Board will consider adopting proposed policies, procedures and plans, a budget ordinance, and a proposed agreement with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG ) for administration in connection with the 2009 CDBG Scattered Site Housing Project. Catawba County is allocated $400,000 every three years for a Scattered Site Housing Grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Catawba County received an allocation in 2003 and 2006. In order to be eligible for this round of funding in the amount of $400,000, a grant was written by the WPCOG in July 2009 which consisted of the following: rehabilitation of five homes; clearance/relocation of one home; and emergency repair funds for ten homes located throughout the county. Catawba County received approval of this funding on November 12. To administer these funds, the County has to adopt the three documents identified above. The Board’s Finance and Personnel Subcommittee recommends adoption of the specified 2009 CDBG Scattered Site Housing Project documents.
F. The Board will consider a tax refund request totaling $59,354.61. Records have been checked and this refund verified; therefore, the Tax Collector is asking for approval of the refund request. Under North Carolina General Statute 105-381, a taxpayer who has paid taxes may request a refund in writing for an amount that was paid through error.
A & B. The Board will receive a report on the County’s independent audit for fiscal year 2008-2009 and on the County’s Comprehensive Annual Finance Report for FY 2008-2009. Paula Hodges of Martin, Starnes and Associates is expected to report that the County continued to deliver services in a sound fiscal manner in spite of a severe economic recession, which led to $1 million in cuts by the County government. Catawba County Finance Director Rodney Miller will present the Board with an overview of the County’s Annual Financial Report.
CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER 828-465-8464