WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2007
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Tuesday, November 20, 2007, at 6:00 P.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Administration Building.
PRESENT: Jim Deal, Chairman
William R. Winkler, III, Vice-Chairman
John Cooper, Commissioner
Winston Kinsey, Commissioner
Mary Moretz, Commissioner
Frank “Ham” Wilson, County Attorney
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Deron Geouque, Assistant County Manager
Anita Fogle, Clerk to the Board
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M.
Chairman Deal called for a moment of silence in memory of Retired Human Resource Coordinator, Rene’ Barnes, and the Clerk to the Board’s father, Bobby R. Jones, Sr., both of whom had passed away since the last meeting.
Commissioner Cooper opened the meeting with a prayer.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Deal called for additions or corrections to the November 5, 2007, regular meeting and closed session minutes.
Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Commissioner Moretz, moved to approve the November 5, 2007, regular meeting minutes as presented.
Commissioner Moretz, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to approve the November 5, 2007, closed session minutes as presented.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairman Deal called for additions and/or corrections to the November 20, 2007, agenda.
County Manager Nelson requested to add a discussion on Land Acquisition, per G. S. 143-318.11(a)(5)(i) under closed session.
Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to approve the November 20, 2007, agenda as amended.
PUBLIC HEARING TO ALLOW CITIZEN COMMENT ON AN AMENDMENT TO THE WATAUGA COUNTY PERSONNEL ORDINANCE
Chairman Deal declared the public hearing open at 6:04 P.M. to consider an amendment to the Watauga County Personnel Ordinance.
Assistant County Manager Geouque presented options for addressing the Sheriff’s concerns regarding holiday pay for his department. The Assistant County Manager stated that staff recommended Option # 2 modified as follows: “Pay employees who work on a holiday a maximum of 8 hours of additional pay (current policy) and employees not working or scheduled off would receive 8 hours of holiday leave to take within
three (3) four (4) months of accrual. Any holiday leave not used within the three four month time period would be lost. Also, should an employee terminate employment prior to using the banked holiday time, no compensation would be paid. No additional costs would be incurred; however, Article VII, Section 3 of the Watauga County Personnel Ordinance would require an amendment to reflect this option.”
The Assistant County Manager stated that, if adopted, staff recommended the change be effective December 1, 2007.
Sheriff Hagaman requested that, if adopted, the change be retroactive to include Veteran’s Day.
County Manager Nelson stated that holiday pay was not regulated by the Fair Standard Labor Act and therefore the County was not required to “pay-out” the time accrued when an employee left the County or when their four month time was up. The County Manager stated that this change was to apply to Sanitation Department workers who worked holidays as well.
There being no further public comment, Chairman Deal declared the public hearing closed at 6:09 P.M.
Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to approve the recommended Option # 2 as presented and adopt the amendment to the Personnel Ordinance to reflect such.
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to set the effective date of the amended Personnel Ordinance to November 20, 2007.
PUBLIC HEARING TO ALLOW PUBLIC COMMENT ON A PARKS AND RECREATION TRUST FUND (PART-F) GRANT APPLICATION
Chairman Deal declared the public hearing open at 6:11 P.M. to consider an application for a Parks and Recreation Trust fund (PART-F) grant application.
Mr. Stephen Poulos, Parks and Recreation Director, reviewed plans for improvements to the Brookshire Road Park that were to be submitted for a PART-F grant. Mr. Poulos presented an “Opinion of Probable Costs” in the amount of $1,613,647.
County Manager Nelson stated that if the Board approved the application, funding was required for those items on the list and PART-F would only cover half of the project up to $500,000 in grant funding.
There being no further public comment, Chairman Deal declared the public hearing closed at 6:19 P.M.
Commissioner Kinsey, seconded by Commissioner Moretz, moved to direct Mr. Poulos to remove the “Asphalt Parking Areas” in the amount of $650,000 from the projected plan and budget and replace them with graveled parking areas for a project total of $1,000,000 and approve the submission of the application as amended.
PLANNING AND INSPECTIONS MATTERS
A. Subdivision Performance Guarantee – Mr. Joe Furman presented a subdivision performance guarantee for the High Willhays section of the Yonahlossee Resort and Club subdivision that was an irrevocable letter of credit from AF Bank which was for road construction and pursuant to Section 92 of the Subdivision Regulations.
Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to approve the subdivision performance guarantee as presented by Mr. Furman.
B. Appalachian Enterprise Center Change Order Request – Mr. Furman presented a formal change order in the amount of $11,674 for the Appalachian Enterprise Center for work approved at a previous meeting. The change order included modifying ductwork for HVAC system; repairing floor elevation change; adding smoke detectors, electrical outlets, and sprinklers; replacing the electrical panel; and providing credit for flooring and insulation.
Commissioner Moretz, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, moved to approve the change order as presented.
A. County Manager Nelson presented the following budget amendments for Board approval:
Account # Description Debit Credit
105550-426000 Office Supplies $2,000
105550-429200 Program Supplies $4,611
105550-432100 Telephone $400
105550-432500 Postage $150
105550-434100 Printing $450
105550-449100 Dues and Subscriptions $60
105550-452000 Cap. Outlay-DP Equip. $1,575
105550-469510 Cont. Services-Vol. Recognition $1,125
105550-469511 Cont. Services-Health Screenings $3,500
105550-469514 Cont. Services-Instructor $8,000
103586-332004 Senior Center Funding $21,871
The amendment recognized additional State Senior Center funding to be utilized in the expenditure categories above as recommended by Project on Aging Director Angie Boitnotte. This was approved at the October 23, 2007, Board meeting.
Account # Description Debit Credit
663991-399101 Retained Earnings Approp. New $489,200
667420-458000 Cap. Outlay-Bldg. Improvements $489,200
The amendment appropriated funds from the Solidwaste Enterprise Fund retained earnings to provide additional funds needed for the scale house project and was approved at the October 1, 2007, Board meeting.
Account # Description Debit Credit
663910-391000 Proceeds of Leave Purchase $520,000
667420-454000 Capital Outlay-Vehicles $291,693
667120-455002 Capital Outlay-Equipment $228,307
The amendment recognized proceeds of lease purchase for the acquisition of vehicles and equipment for the Solidwaste Enterprise Fund as approved at the July 17, 2007, Board meeting.
Account # Description Debit Credit
667420-454000 Capital Outlay-Vehicles $66,310
667420-455002 Capital Outlay-Equipment $71,835
669100-475066 Principal-Vehicles & Equipment $124,537
669100-476066 Interest-Vehicles & Equipment $13,608
The amendment transferred funds budgeted for debt service for the acquisition of Solidwaste vehicles and equipment.
Account # Description Debit Credit
219930-461203 Recreation-TOB-Anne Marie Dr. $45,000
213991-399101 Fund Balance Approp.-New $120,881
219800-498010 Transfer to the General Fund $165,881
103980-398121 Transfer from Cap. Reserve Fund $165,881
104283-457001 Cap. Outlay-Land Improvements $165,881
The amendment transferred Recreation-TOB-Anne Marie Drive Capital Reserve Funds to the General Fund to be utilized for the development of the Anne Marie Drive softball fields and was approved at the October 1, 2007, Board meeting.
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to approve the budget amendments as presented.
B. Surplus Property Request for GovDeals – County Manager Nelson presented a list of items recommended for surplus and requested to have them declared as such and approve their advertisement for sale with GovDeals.com.
Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Commissioner Moretz, moved to declare the items presented as surplus and authorize their sale on GovDeals.com.
PROPOSED EMPLOYEE INSURANCE RENEWALS (MEDICAL, DENTAL, AND LIFE)
Assistant County Manager Geouque reviewed proposed renewal rates for employee insurance (medical, dental and life). The initial rate increase for health insurance was 11.9%. With only a minor modification to the RX Copay for mail orders, staff was able to negotiate the increase to 9.0%. The 2.9% decrease represented a cost savings of $31,729. For dental insurance, staff was able to negotiate a 9.77% reduction in the premium or $7,529 less per year. In the negotiations, staff was also able to obtain a two (2) year rate lock, which had the potential to save an additional 9 to 10 percent increase for the following year. There were no changes in coverage or deductibles. For life insurance, the County was in the last year of a three (3) year guaranteed rate. Eastern Life was low bidder with a 17% decrease in the premiums from the current year or a $3,377 reduction over the current rate with no change in benefits.
Assistant County Manager Geouque stated that after negotiations with current and prospective providers, staff recommended renewing with CIGNA through the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners due to the rate being less than the trend for health care increases as well as the multi pool discounts the County was to receive for Worker’s Comp, Property and Liability and Health Insurance. In addition, staff recommended Metlife for dental and Eastern Life for life insurance. The Assistant County Manager stated that adequate funds have been budgeted to cover the renewal rates.
Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to approve employee insurance renewals as recommended: CIGNA for medical; Metlife for Dental; and Eastern Life for life insurance.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
A. Watauga High School Project Update – County Manager Nelson updated the Board on progress to date on site preparation for the new high school. The project was approximately 5% or two weeks ahead of schedule; a deductive change order was expected as there was no asbestos in an underground waterline; the Sub-Committee had met with the Department of Transportation who was making every effort to insure that everything possible was being done to complete the widening of Hwy 421 from Hwy 105 Extension; and the Department of Transportation planned to begin working on right-of-ways for necessary turn lanes in spring of 2008.
This report was for information only and therefore no action was required.
B. Boards and Commissions – County Manager Nelson stated that the Watauga Medical Center Board of Trustees had nominated the following for four terms beginning January 1, 2008 and ending December 31, 2010: Mr. Sam Adams, Mr. Sterling Carroll, Mr. Dale Greene, Mrs. Mary Hall, Mr. Joe Miller, Mr. Larry Nance, Ms. Susan Roggenkamp, and Mr. Kenneth Wilcox.
Votes were taken by written ballot and forwarded to the Clerk.
Chairman Deal announced that the following were appointed to the Watauga Medical Center Board of Trustees: Mr. Sam Adams, Mr. Dale Greene, Ms. Susan Roggenkamp, and Mr. Kenneth Wilcox.
County Manager Nelson stated that Jane Nicholson and Janet Beck’s terms were to expire on the Watauga County Board of Adjustment and both were willing to serve again if so appointed.
Commissioner Moretz, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, moved to reappoint Jane Nicholson and Janet Beck to the Watauga County Board of Adjustment.
County Manager Nelson stated that Tom Eshelman and Maria Hyde’s terms were to expire on the Valle Crucis Historic Preservation Commission and both were willing to serve again if so appointed.
Commissioner Moretz, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, moved to reappoint Tom Eshelman and Maria Hyde to the Valle Crucis Historic Preservation Commission.
County Manager Nelson stated that a four-year at-large term on the Watauga County Planning Board was to expire in December 2007.
This appointment was tabled to a future meeting.
C. Announcements – County Manager Nelson announced that the second regular Board meeting in December had been rescheduled to December 20, 2007, at 4:00 P.M. and was to include a joint meeting with the Watauga County Board of Education.
County Manager Nelson invited the Board and County Attorney to the County Christmas Luncheon which was scheduled for December 11, 2007, from 12:00 P.M. to 2:00 P.M. at the Dan’l Boone Inn.
County Manager Nelson announced that Mr. Steve Owen and Mr. Matt Cooper had coordinated a visit to tour a wind farm on November 30, 2007, from 7:30 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. and the Board was invited to attend.
There was no public comment
At 6:45 P.M., Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Moretz, moved to enter Closed Session to discuss Attorney/Client Matters – G. S. 143-318.11(a)(3); Economic Development Matters – G. S. 143-318.11(a)(4); and Land Acquisition – G. S. 143-318.11(a)(5)(i).
Commissioner Kinsey, seconded by Commissioner Moretz, moved to resume the open meeting at 7:53 P.M.
Chairman Deal adjourned the meeting at 7:53 P.M.
Jim Deal, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board