CALDWELL COUNTY††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

Lenoir, North Carolina†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† October 11, 1999

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† 12:00 Noon

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Pre-Agenda Meeting


Present:††††††††††† ††††††††††† Dr. John W. Thuss, Jr., Chairman

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Alden E. Starnes, Vice Chairman

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Ronald R. Beane

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Larry W. Taylor


Absent: ††††††††††† Herbert H. Greene, Excused


Staff Present:††† ††††††††††† Bobby White, County Manager

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Kathy Myers, Clerk to the Board

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† David Lackey, County Attorney



Chairman Thuss called the meeting to order and welcomed all present.He introduced Angelika Eichhorn, Administrative Assistant to the Board of Commissioners in Altenburg, Germany, who was visiting with Caldwell County as part of the Sister Cities Association program.Chairman Thuss stated that Ms. Eichhornís job in Altenburg was similar to that of Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners.He presented Ms. Eichhorn with a plaque in honor of her visit.


The Planning Director, Barry Warren, led a discussion on recent work by the Caldwell County Planning Board to develop an amendment to the Countyís Zoning Ordinance related to cellular communication towers.He stated that the Planning Board did not want to restrict the height of towers, however, particular issues related to tower height could be addressed by special or conditional uses.


David Hill, the Human Resources Director, provided a PowerPoint presentation on the updated version of Caldwell Countyís Homepage and requested Commissioners to advise him of suggestions or comments for improvements or additions.


Bob Query, Executive Support Officer, reported on recent efforts regarding the development of a partnership between Caldwell County and Appalachian State University (ASU) for the Countyís grant program.He stated that he had met with Dr. Robert Johnson, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research at ASU, to discuss Caldwell Countyís use of ASUís resources to research information on available grants.Mr. Query also stated that Caldwell County could possibly contract with another entity for assistance in the technical area of the grant application process.


The Fire Marshal, Dale Coffey, informed the Commissioners that he would be working to develop a plan for Caldwell County citizens in case of water supply emergencies.


County Manager, Bobby White, reviewed various issues scheduled for discussion on the agenda for the Commissionersí October 18, 1999 meeting.


Tony Colvard, Economic Development Commission Director, presented a revision of the Economic Development Incentive (EDI) grant program for Commissionersí consideration.He stated that the EDC had voted unanimously to adopt the following revisions to the current agreement:


        Increase amount of incentive from 65% to 75%

        5% of new revenues created set aside for marketing Caldwell County and its municipalities in accordance with the EDCís mission statement

        Change number of years for incentives to 3 years for Level I; 4 years for Level II; and 5 years for Level III applications

        Change the Level I eligibility threshold to $500,000 for existing businesses and to $1,000,000 for new businesses

        Drop the word ďgrantĒ from the title of the agreement, thus, calling it the Economic Development Incentive Program


Following his presentation, Mr. Colvard, informed the Board of a company who recently wanted to locate in Caldwell County but instead located in South Carolina due, partly, to the lack of incentives offered to the company.


Dr. Ken Boham, President of Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute, reported on a recent Executive Order that would result in 1% of their budgeted monies to be reverted back to the State because of the disastrous situation related to Hurricane Floyd.Dr. Boham requested the Boardís consideration to allow interest earnings on education bonds to be used for roof repairs to both the campus buildings and the Civic Center as well as the purchase of a spray booth for the Career Center.


Sheriff Roger Hutchings provided information on an unalterable observation system designed to record and document required checks on inmates by detention officers.†† The Sheriff stated that detention officers check each cell every thirty minutes as required and using this system would enable an officer to record his inspection by waving a special baton across a magnetic detection device that documents the time of inspection.Sheriff Hutchings recommended purchase of the inmate observation system and stated that the total cost of $7,000.00 for the system could be financed from remaining construction funds.


Sammy Haithcock, DSS Director, informed the Commissioners of an available NC Department of Health and Human Services grant that could be used to help the department market services to Caldwell Countyís elderly citizens.Mr. Haithcock stated that the grant had no matching fund requirement and recommended the Boardís approval to submit an application for funding consideration.


Also, Mr. Haithcock recommended the Boardís approval to submit a State grant request for funding to be used for a new initiative in the Smart Start program designed to reward child daycare providers with quality pay from the Stateís allocated daycare assistance funds.He stated that the grant had no matching fund requirement and, if granted, the funds could be used to finance a position beginning November 1, 1999 through June 30, 2000 to help implement the project.The project is a rating system that awards daycare providers by a star system with one star being awarded for each specified achievement level. Therefore, daycare providers with the most stars would receive greater funding assistance from the State.He stated that after the initial implementation of the project, automation should allow continuance of the project without the need for the staff position.


Bobby White provided information regarding available grant funds that could be used by the Register of Deeds office in their efforts to prevent deterioration of old written records.He stated that the two-year project to preserve valuable records for archives included treatment of paper documents as well as rebinding the documents, etc. and would be a one-time expense.


The County Manager provided an overview of the Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $758,200.00 for the Abington/Greasy Creek/Cheraw Roads water project and recommended the Boardís approval of necessary documents required to implement the project.Mr. White stated that $75,000.00 from fund balance and $75,000.00 from the next yearís budget would be used to meet the local match requirement of $150,000.00.


Junie Bradshaw presented information regarding Caldwell County Board of Educationí plan to purchase a house and approximately 4.2 acres of land adjoining the Hudson Middle School property located on Pine Mountain Road in Hudson.Mr. Bradshaw stated the purchase would provide room to build in future years and would allow the school to own all frontage property to Pine Mountain Road.He stated the purchase price would be financed using capital outlay and ADM funds.††


Bobby White reported on recent negotiations by Caldwell County, the City of Hickory and Alexander County to develop a cooperative water purchase agreement.Mr. White stated that the City of Hickory was very appreciative of the Countyís cooperation and had approved the agreement at their Board meeting in October.He informed Commissioners that Alexander County will be presenting the agreement for approval at their October board meeting.


Mr. White reported on a written offer of $10,000.00 by Vernon Gragg to purchase two county-owned lots in Cedar Rock and recommended the Board decline the offer.


Mr. White reported on two (2) $10,000.00 grants: one (1) grant would be used in the Health Caldwellians program and would be flow-through funds; and the other grant would be used for a local initiative related to diabetes.Mr. White noted that each grant required no local matching funds and stated the Health Board unanimously approved and recommended both requests.


The County Manager presented a request from the Collettsville Fire Department to waive certain language in the Countyís rescue squad franchise agreement that would enable the department to submit a grant application for funding to be used for purchase of extrication equipment.Mr. White recommended the Board schedule a public hearing for 5:00 p.m. on October 26, 1999 in the Commissionersí Meeting Room in order to consider Collettsville Fire Departmentís request.Mr. White stated that County Attorney David Lackey was researching the possibility of a resolution of waiver of language in the rescue squad franchise agreement that might be sufficient for the purpose of Collettsville Fire Departmentís application for grant funding.He stated that Mr. Lackey would advise and that the public hearing might not be necessary.


Commissioner Beane made a motion to schedule a public hearing on October 26, 1999 at 5:00 p.m. in the Commissionersí Meeting Room for the purpose of considering Collettsville Fire Departmentís request to waive certain language in the rescue squad franchise agreement.The motion passed by unanimous vote.


Fred King, Tax Administrator, appeared before the Board to announce his retirement effective January 31, 2000.Mr. King expressed his appreciation to the Board of Commissioners and the County Manager for the opportunity to serve as Tax Administrator for Caldwell County.He also expressed appreciation to Tax Department staff for their help achieving numerous goals and accomplishments.


Mr. King commended Mack Chandler, Tax Appraiser, for his intelligence, professionalism and loyalty to the County and recommended Mr. Chandler be considered to fill his unexpired term through June 2003.Mr. King stated that Mr. Chandler, a 24-year employee of Caldwell County, had received all required educational training sponsored by the Institute of Government and would be most qualified to assume the position of Tax Administrator for Caldwell County.


Chairman Thuss explained that the Tax Administrator is one of three positions, along with the County Manager and Clerk to the Board that serves at the pleasure of the Board of Commissioners.


Chairman Thuss expressed his appreciation to Fred King for his dedicated service to the County and wished him well in his years of retirement.


There being no further business, Chairman Thuss declared the meeting adjourned at 1:40 p.m.




________________________††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ____________________________

Kathy T. Myers††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† Dr. John W. Thuss, Jr.

Clerk to the Board†††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Chairman