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MONDAY, December 5, 2016, 9:30 A.M.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners met at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, December 5, 2016, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

Re-elected County Commissioner Barbara Beatty took her Oath of Office from North Carolina State Representative Mitchell Setzer. Re-elected Commissioner Dan Hunsucker and Re-elected Register of Deeds Donna Spencer took their Oaths of Office from Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Nathaniel Poovey

The Board held its annual organizational meeting and selected Randy Isenhower as Chairperson and Barbara Beatty as Vice-Chairperson; appointed Debra Bechtel as County Attorney and David Hood as Counsel to the Board; appointed Commissioners Barbara Beatty and Dan Hunsucker to the Finance and Personnel Subcommittee and Commissioner Kitty Barnes and Sherry Butler to the Policy and Public Works Subcommittee; appointed Commissioner Hunsucker to the Public Health Board, Commissioner Butler to the Social Services Board, Commissioner Beatty to the Catawba Valley Medical Center Board of Trustees and Commissioner Isenhower to the Partners Behavioral Health Management Board, and appointed Commissioner Barnes as the Western Piedmont Council of Governments Policy Board Delegate and Commissioner Beatty as the alternate delegate.

The Board presented two awards involving Catawba County Libraries – the Library Director of the Year Award to Catawba County Library Director Suzanne White and the Best Program for Adults in Public Libraries of its Size for the Advanced Gardener Series to Library Director Suzanne White, Hickory Public Library Marketing Director Linda Campbell and Cooperative Extension Director George Place.

Upon the recommendation of Vice-Chair Beatty, the Board reappointed Douglas Howard for a second term and Reginald Williams for a third term on the Catawba Valley Medical Center Board of Trustees. These terms will expire December 31, 2020.

A.   a. The Board approved the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC) Risk and Needs Assessment Summary for Fiscal Year 2017/18. The Risk and Needs Assessment Summary was recommended by the Catawba JCPC after review of court data, with input from court services, juvenile court counselors, and funded programs. The Catawba JCPC is a locally appointed board, with members drawn from a list of statutorily recommended community representatives involved with youth. It exists to identify risks facing youth in the community, review court data, and identify needed programs to provide juvenile delinquency intervention and prevention services. Funding is provided by the State through the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS) to each county, and then to programs based on the annual JCPC process.

Annually, the JCPC is charged with developing a County Plan for review and approval by the Board of Commissioners. Steps in the annual process include development of a risk and needs assessment summary with funding priorities for the coming year, advertisement of “request for proposals” (RFP) for organizations to submit proposals to provide services that fall within the funding priorities, review of proposals and development of funding recommendations for services that address the risks and needs and submission of the County Plan to the Board of Commissioners for approval.

The Risks and Needs Assessment Summary serves as the foundation for the annual County Plan, as funding recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year are required to align with the priorities it establishes. For this reason, the JCPC submits the risk and needs assessment summary to the Board of Commissioners for approval prior to advertising the RFP. The JCPC reviews four years of County court data compared to statewide averages, with input from juvenile court counselors, to develop the risk and needs assessment summary, which includes elevated risk and needs observations, a review of existing community resources available to work with court-involved youth, including identification of any gaps and barriers to services, and a list of funding priorities by service type to address the risks, needs, and gaps in services available to court-involved youth.

Based on court data and gaps in community services, the JCPC recommended the following 17 services in ranked order be approved as funding priorities for Fiscal Year 2017/18. While the list is in priority order, not all priorities will be funded, and services ranked lower could potentially receive more funding than higher ranked priorities due to many factors (including the cost of each program, number of clients served, the prescribed treatment, and the nature of the work):

    1. Psychological services/comprehensive assessments
    2. Substance Abuse assessment and treatment
    3. Counseling
    4. Restitution/community Service
    5. Sexual Offender assessment and treatment
    6. Family Skill building
    7. Interpersonal Skill building
    8. Mediation
    9. Mentoring
    10. Group Home/Residential services
    11. Temporary Shelter
    12. Therapeutic Foster Care
    13. Experiential
    14. Vocational
    15. Tutoring
    16. Structured Day
    17. Teen Court

B. The Board approved a Grant of Easement to Piedmont Natural Gas for a total of 0.118 acres for the 297 Line Replacement Project that crosses County property located at 3521 Graystone Place SW in Conover. Catawba County owns the 5.6 acre tract of land across from the Catawba Valley Medical Center. Piedmont Natural Gas requested a permanent and temporary easement across the corner of this property for their 297 Line Replacement Project. This project by Piedmont Natural Gas will expand the gas lines from 4” to 8” to increase the natural gas capacity in the area. The easements are located along the northeastern edge of the property. The permanent easement is for 0.085 acres and the temporary easement is for 0.033 acres. Piedmont Natural Gas offered the sum of $7,000 for the easement, based on the current tax value of $76,475/acre. Catawba County and Catawba Valley Medical Center staff visited the site and raised no concerns with the location of the easement.

The Board received and accepted a report on the County’s independent audit for Fiscal Year 2015-2016, and on the County’s Comprehensive Annual Finance Report for FY2015-16. Paula Hodges, Partner at Martin, Starnes and Associates, reported that the County continued to deliver services in a sound fiscal manner.

Staff presented a discussion item on the County’s Strategic Planning process as it relates to internet connectivity.