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July 11, 2005

AGENDA 

Catawba County Board of Commissioners Meeting 
Monday, July 11, 2005
Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room, 1924 Courthouse,
30 North College Avenue, Newton, NC

1.    Call to Order.

2.    Pledge of Allegiance

3.    Invocation.

4.    Approval of Minutes
from the Budget Hearings with Departments on June 13, 2005, Budget Public Hearing on June 14, 2005, Special Joint Meeting with Newton, Conover and Maiden Councils on June 20, 2005 and the Regular Meeting of June 20, 2005.

5.    Recognition of Special Guests.

6.    Public Comment for items not on the agenda.

7.    Presentations:
a. Proclamation recognizing the 10th Anniversary of the Catawba County Partnership for Children presented to Kim Lyke Salyards, Executive Director.
1.  Request to be designated “Eligible Local Council” and authorized fiscal agent to receive Early Learning Opportunities Act (ELOA) funding.  Presented by Kim Lyke Salyards, Executive Director, Catawba County Partnership for Children.
b.  Recognition of Jerry Boggs, Communication Center Administrator and Mark Wireman, Training Officer for their Advanced Certification by the NC Sheriff’s Standards Office.  Presented by Assistant County Manager Lee Worsley.
8.    Public Hearings:
a.    Closing of a Portion of Wilfong Road (SR-2020).  Presented by Barry B. Edwards, PE, Utilities and Engineering Director.

b.    Amendment to the Scattered Site Housing Grant to reallocate funds from home rehabilitation to the demolition of an old home and the building of a new home and the addition of funds to Program Income from the sale of a rehabilitated home.  Presented by Jacky Eubanks, Director of Planning.
9.    Appointments.

10.    Departmental Reports.
a.  Utilities and Engineering:

1.    Request for Piggyback Exception to Purchase CMI/Terex C390E Trashmaster. Presented by Debbie Anderson, Purchasing Agent and Barry Edwards, Utilities and Engineering Director.

2.    Request for Bid Award for Crawler Dozer – 42,000 lb. Class.  Presented by Debbie Anderson, Purchasing Agent and Barry Edwards, Utilities and Engineering Director.

b.    Emergency Services:

Request for Bid Award for 316 Motorola Radios.  Presented by Debbie Anderson, Puchasing Agent and David Weldon, Emergency Services Director.

c.    Purchasing:

Donation of Personal Property to Catawba County Schools. Presented by Debbie Anderson, Purchasing Agent.

d.    County Manager’s Office/Communications Center:

Lease Agreement with City of Hickory for Property/Tower.  Presented by Lee Worsley, Assistant County Manager and Jerry Boggs, Communications Center Administrator.
11.    Attorneys’ Report.

12.    Manager’s Report.

13.    Other items of business.

14.    Adjournment.

PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Individuals needing assistance should contact the County Clerk at 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.

CALENDAR
The next Board of Commissioners meeting will take place on Monday, August 1, 2005 at 9:30 a.m.  There will be a joint meeting of the Board of Commissioners and the Claremont and Catawba Councils at 4:30 on Monday, August 15, 2005 at Claremont Town Hall with the regular Board of Commissioners meeting to follow at 7:00 p.m. 

 
PREVIEW OF COUNTY COMMISSION AGENDA
JULY 11, 2005, 7 P.M.
ROBERT E. HIBBITTS MEETING ROOM
1924 COURTHOUSE, NEWTON, N.C.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will hold public hearings on 1) the proposed closing of a portion of Wilfong Road that runs entirely through the Blackburn Landfill, and 2) an amendment to a Scattered Site Housing Grant to reallocate funds from home rehabilitation to the demolition of an old home and the building of a new home and the addition of funds to program income from the sale of a rehabilitated home; and consider a proposed lease agreement with the City of Hickory to use space on and near one of Hickory's communications towers for equipment that will improve communication for emergency personnel across the county, when the Board meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 11, 2005, in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room on the second floor of the 1924 Courthouse in Newton. 

The Board will also consider awarding bids for a crawler dozer unit needed at the Blackburn Landfill and for radios needed by the County's Emergency Services Department; the use of the "piggyback exception", allowed under State law, to purchase a trash compactor needed at the Blackburn Landfill at the same price given by Road Machinery, Inc. of Statesville to the government of Wilkes County, North Carolina; and the donation of vehicles no longer of use to the County to the Catawba County School System.   The Board will also recognize Jerry Boggs, County Communications Center Administrator and Mark Wireman, Communications Center Training Officer, who recently received Advanced Certification from the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Standards Office, issue a proclamation recognizing the tenth anniversary of the Catawba County Partnership for Children and consider designating the Partnership for Children as an "eligible local council", so it will be eligible to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

PRESENTATIONS
A.  The Board will issue a proclamation honoring the Catawba County Partnership for Children on its tenth anniversary.  The Partnership was created in 1995 to focus on the needs of Catawba County’s young children and families, to insure that children are entering kindergarten healthy and prepared for success.  With the statewide Smart Start initiative, the Partnership has facilitated dramatic improvements in the community’s early childhood system by focusing on quality child care facilities, well-trained child care staff, parent education and child  health issues, and has developed new and effective infrastructures to support children and their families, such as the Children’s Resource Center, the Catawba County Parenting Network and the Early Childhood Support Team.  Prior to Smart Start, 384 Catawba County children were on the waiting list for child care subsidy.  Currently there are no children on a waiting list.  Further, prior to Smart Start, only 473 children attended high quality child care centers in the county.  Due to support services through the Early Childhood Support Team and grant funds through
the Partnership's Quality Enhancement Program, 2609 children are now enrolled in 4 and 5-star rated care.

1.   The Board will also consider designating the Partnership for Children as an "eligible local council" so the Partnership may apply for an Early Learning Opportunities Act (ELOA) Discretionary Grant through the US Department of Health & Human Services.  The Partnership has been invited to take part in a seventeen-month project to enhance early childhood literacy and help parents and caregivers expand their capacity to facilitate the development of their children’s cognitive, language, social-emotional, and other skills.  The Asset-Based Capacity Development Project, working with underserved child care providers, family child care homes holding lower-level licenses and parents whose children are most at-risk for school failure, will provide materials and technical assistance to enhance children’s learning readiness.  Close collaboration with the Early Childhood Support Team, Catawba County Parenting Network, Children’s Resource Center, Parents As Teacher program, both public library systems in the county, churches and other organizations will insure that the project reaches families and children most in need of support in preparing for success in life. 

B.  The Board will recognize Jerry Boggs, Communications Center Administrator and Mark Wireman, Communications Center Training Officer, who recently received Advanced Telecommunicator Certificates from the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Standards Office.  This office is responsible for the certification of all deputy sheriffs, telecommunicators and detention officers employed in sheriffs' offices and communications centers across the state.  The office established a Professional Certificate and Service Award Program to recognize the level of competence of these officers.  Eligibility for certificates applies only to full-time officers and telecommunicators.  The number of hours of training an officer has received in his/her area of expertise and his/her years of service in the field are computed to determine the level of certificate awarded.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
A.  The Board will hold a public hearing on the County's request that the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) abandon the maintenance of a portion of Wilfong Road (State Road 2020), running 5250 feet south from Wilfong Road's intersection with Rocky Ford Road.  This portion of Wilfong Road dissects the County's Blackburn Landfill property.  The County’s Solid Waste Master Plan recommends the closing of this portion of Wilfong Road because the entire portion of the road has been absorbed by landfill property.  Under North Carolina General Statute 136-63, the Board of Commissioners may request that the N.C. Board of Transportation change or abandon any road in the secondary system when the best interest of the people of the county will be served.  The Board voted at its June 6, 2005 meeting to request that NCDOT close this portion of the road and must hold a public hearing to receive citizen input and comment.  After the public hearing, the Board will consider adopting an order closing this portion of the road.  The County will assist NCDOT in the acquisition of any easements needed for improvements to the remaining open portion of Wilfong Road, and participate in the cost of the planned construction of a cul-de-sac and paving of the remaining open portion of the road.

B.  The Board will consider holding a public hearing on a proposed amendment to a Scattered Site Housing Grant awarded to the County by the North Carolina Department of Commerce in 2003, to reallocate funds from home rehabilitation to the demolition of an old home and the building of a new home and the addition of funds to program income from the sale of a rehabilitated home.  This $400,000 grant provides funds to assist with the rehabilitation of severely deteriorated homes owned and occupied by very low-income households. 

The original application stated that Catawba County would rehabilitate twelve units located across the county.  To date, eight units have been completed and three are under construction.  Priority was given to residents who are elderly or disabled or have income below 30% of area median income, and homes that could be rehabilitated for less than $25,000.  One of twelve houses selected for rehabilitation is owned by a low-income, elderly, disabled woman who is in a wheelchair and has issues with accessibility to her home.  After completing an inspection on the house and putting the repair work out to bid in the spring of 2004, the grant administrators (the Western Piedmont Council of Governments) determined it was not feasible to rehabilitate the house.  Since the house could not be rehabilitated due to costs, the grant administrator recommends the house be torn down and a new one be built.  Houses have been built in Alexander, Burke and Caldwell counties with funds from Scattered Site Housing grants.  In order to build the new house, the project budget ordinance must be amended to reflect two new line items that have been added.  A relocation line item of $100,000 has been added to cover the cost of building the new house, including a basement.  A clearance line item of $3,000 has been added to cover the demolition and removal of the old house. 

In May 2004, the grant rehabilitated a home in Newton owned by a man who has since passed away.  The house has been sold.  The grant states that, if a house is rehabilitated and then sold, the funds have to be paid back to the program during the life of the Deed of Trust.  On June 3, 2005, $19,590.94 was repaid to the grant administrators.  These funds will be placed back in the rehabilitation line item to be spent on another house.  Staff requests that the Board hold the public hearing and then consider approving these amendments.  The amendments would then be forwarded to the North Carolina Division of Community Assistance for their approval, after which clearance and construction can start.  The grant must be closed out by November 2005, so the County may receive the next allocation of $400,000 for the year 2006 cycle of this grant.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS

A.  UTILITIES AND ENGINEERING

1.  The Board will consider the use of the "piggyback exception" allowed under North Carolina General Statutes for the purchase of a trash compactor needed at the Blackburn Landfill.  Landfill staff recommends the replacement of a compactor that will soon have more than 10,000 hours of service.  The new compactor will be used at the landfill to compact waste on a daily basis.  Compactors are the most important piece of equipment used at the landfill and it is critical they be updated to meet the County's solid waste disposal needs.  Landfill staff extensively researched available compactors, visited several sites and asked manufacturers to demonstrate compactors at the landfill.  Staff recommends the Board "piggyback" on a bid awarded by Wilkes County, North Carolina in April 2005, in the amount of $533,137, to Road Machinery of Statesville, NC for a CMI/Terex C390E Trashmaster.  Road Machinery has agreed to give Catawba County the same pricing and terms given to Wilkes County.

Staff research has determined that the Terex C390E offers a bigger engine, better visibility from the cab and easy access to engine components, which makes it easier to service or repair.  It is designed to make full width compaction with every pass over garbage.  Other compactors only compact the area the wheels pass over, leaving the area between the wheels loose, resulting in the need for multiple passes to achieve compaction.  North Carolina General Statute 143-129(g) allows local governments to purchase, without a separate bidding procedure, from any contractor that has, within the past 12 months, contracted to furnish the item to (1) the federal government or any federal agency; (2) the State of North Carolina or any agency or political subdivision of that state, or (3) any other state or agency or political subdivision of that state, if the contractor is willing to extend the same or more favorable price and other terms to the local government.  Staff recommends the Board authorize "piggybacking" on the bid approved by Wilkes County to purchase a Terex C390E for $533,137.

2.  The Board will consider awarding a bid for a 42,000 pound class crawler dozer needed at the Blackburn Landfill. Landfill Staff recommends the replacement of a 1998 Caterpillar D5M Crawler Dozer that will soon have in excess of 10,000 hours in service.  Landfill staff depends on dozers to accomplish many tasks and it is critical they be updated.  The new crawler dozer will be used in the Blackburn Landfill to keep the dumping area clean for customers, feed trash compactors, place daily cover dirt over garbage, and build roads and side slopes. State regulations mandate that all waste must be covered with a minimum of six inches of dirt each day, and covered with one foot of dirt in areas that will be inactive for six months or more.  Specifications were prepared and notices were sent to ten vendors.  The specifications asked for a price for the dozer and a separate price for a 5 year or 7,500 hour power train factory warranty.  The anticipated cost of the dozer was $250,000 and $10,000 for the warranty.  This project was bid as a reverse auction (see item B, below, for more details).  Two bidders submitted specifications, both met the County's requirements, and both participated in the reverse auction held on June 28, 2005.  Final bids were as follows: 1) James River Equipment Carolina, LLC, Greensboro, NC, $239,450 for the crawler and $4000 for the warranty, for a total of $243,450 and 2) Carolina Tractor, Hickory, NC, $242,882 for the crawler dozer and $3575 for the warranty, for a total of $246,457.  Staff recommends the Board award the bid to the low bidder, James River Equipment Carolina of Greensboro, NC, for a John Deere 850J Loader Dozer, in the amount of $239,450 for the crawler dozer and $4000 for the warranty.
 
B.  EMERGENCY SERVICES
The Board will consider awarding bids for 316 radios, to be funded with Federal and State grant money, needed by Catawba County Emergency Services to replace radios that would not comply with a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) bandwidth for emergency communications or did not meet County standards.  The County's Emergency Services Planning Committee agreed to include a project in the County's 2004 Homeland Security Grant funding to address radio interoperability.  It identified $130,000 from 2004 grant funding and $24,062 from a 2003 grant to replace radios that would not comply with the FCC 12.5 mHz bandwidth change, were not programmable, or did not meet minimum standards adopted by the committee and the Communications Center for mobile or portable radios.

This project was bid as a reverse auction.  The concept of a reverse auction is that prices are driven down by competition during the auction.  Vendors submit an initial bid the day before the scheduled reverse auction and then, at a designated time, may lower their bid to improve their ranking (they do not see who the other bidders are or the dollar amount of the other bids).  The County prepared specifications asking that unit pricing remain in effect for three months, so additional quantities could be ordered. All vendors were pre-qualified before the reverse auction, to determine that each could provide radios meeting County specifications.

The reverse auction was held on June 9, 2005.  Prior to the decision to conduct a reverse auction for this purchase, staff received a quote from the State Contract for the same number of these Motorola radios in the amount of $198,027. Four vendors participated in the auction; with the final bids being as follows:  Two Way Radio of Carolina, Inc.: $146,352; Wireless Communications, Inc.: $146,663.89; South Sales Communications: $154,755; and High Country Communications, Inc.:$155,712.50.  Based on the unit pricing received in this bid, 18 additional units will be ordered at the same price.  Staff recommends the bid be awarded to the low bidder, Two-Way Radio of Carolina, Inc., in the amount of $146,352 for 316 Motorola radios.

This project was not designed to alleviate the need for response agencies across the county to budget for radios. It was designed to improve emergency communications across Catawba County.  Each agency will be reminded of the importance of upgrading radio technology through the budget process.   The Emergency Services Planning Committee recommended that a letter be sent to all response agencies in the county explaining how to request radios under these grants.  The letter was sent during the week of June 27th.  When all requests are in, the committee will evaluate each request and determine which agencies will receive radios and how many they will get.

C.  PURCHASING
The Board will consider the donation of  three vehicles to the Catawba County School System.  The vehicles are a 1991 Ford F-350 ambulance (approximate value: $2500), a 1998 Freightliner ambulance (approximate value: $9000) and a 1995 Dodge one ton van (approximate value: $2000).  These vehicles are of no further use to Catawba County.  The Catawba County School System has requested the 1995 Dodge van and the 1998 Freightliner for use on its summer clean-up crew.  The 1991 Ford F-350 will replace a 1984 truck in the school system's fleet.  North Carolina General Statute 160A-274 authorizes the sale, lease, exchange and joint use of government property.  Under this statute, a governmental unit may transfer personal property to another governmental unit with or without consideration.  Staff recommends the Board adopt a resolution donating this property to the Catawba County School System.

D.  COUNTY MANAGER'S OFFICE
The Board will consider approving a lease agreement with the City of Hickory for the use of space on the City’s communications tower and space adjacent to the tower, located at 1305 9th Av SE, in Hickory, for a communications cabinet.  In 2003 and 2004, the Board approved a total of $1,114,000 to upgrade the County’s radio system.  Following these appropriations, a Radio Frequency Committee was formed to create a plan to improve the radio system.  The committee voted to start the improvements by upgrading reception capabilities for field units, which would ultimately improve coverage at the County Communications Center. One site selected as a receiver site was a communications tower owned by the City of Hickory, located at Hickory Fire Station 2, which is the subject of the proposed agreement.  This site was identified because of the additional reception coverage it would provide for the upper Hickory area.  The County has asked to place one antenna at the 190-foot level on the City of Hickory’s tower, and requested the placement of a communications cabinet at a location approved by the City of Hickory adjacent to the tower.  This cabinet will house equipment for five of the County’s public safety radio frequencies.  As part of the proposed agreement, there will be no charges by the City of Hickory for the use of space on their tower.  The County will pay for any costs associated with the installation of the antenna and cabinet.  The County’s staff attorneys have worked with the City of Hickory’s attorney and both parties have approved the proposed agreement.  Staff recommends the Board authorize the Board Chairperson to execute the lease agreement.

CONTACT: DAVE HARDIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER    465-8464