Present: Faye R. Higgins, Chairman
Herbert H. Greene
Timothy E. Sanders
Dr. John W. Thuss
Absent: Alden E. Starnes, Excused
Staff Present: Kathy T. Myers, Clerk to the Board
Diane Philyaw, Deputy Clerk
Chairman Higgins called the
meeting to order, welcomed everyone, and asked for announcements. The Clerk noted that
Chairman Higgins requested that appointments to the County’s Subdivision Review Board be added as an item for decision, #H5, and asked if there were any other additions or amendments to the December 19, 2005 agenda. Commissioner Thuss requested a closed session be added prior to the public comment period to discuss personnel matters pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(6) and Commissioner Greene requested a closed session be added to discuss economic development matters pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(4). Commissioner Greene moved to approve the agenda as presented and amended. Commissioner Thuss seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
The Board of Commissioners
recognized the following individuals for their respective service to
· Denise Bare 22+ years
· Janet Withers 7 years
· Rachel Estes 14+ years
· George Marley 12+ years
Development Incentive to
Mr. Alan Wood, EDC Marketing
Director, appeared before Commissioners to formally present the request from
Colson Park Entertainment, LLC for an economic development incentive. Colson Park Entertainment’s project is
estimated at $8 million with a new taxable investment of approximately $6
million. The entertainment center will
contain 16 bowling lanes, 8 boutique bowling lanes, an arcade, and a 150-seat
restaurant. Mr. Wood said this request
was actually the EDC’s 46th project since 1997 when the Economic Development
Incentive Program was initiated. This
program since its start created approximately 1500 jobs and added $150,000+
million in taxable investment for the County. Colson Park Entertainment’s project will
create a total of 150 jobs (55-60 permanent full-time jobs and the remaining
part-time jobs). Based on a $6 million
eligible investment, the company is entitled to a Level I incentive amounting
to $72,888 over a three-year period ($24,296 per year). The EDC would receive a total of $4,860 for
the same three-year period ($1,620 per year) for continued marketing efforts of
Beth Crigler with Colson Park
Entertainment said the company is very excited about the project which they
began researching about two years ago.
She provided details about the entertainment, food, design, etc. and explained
that boutique bowling is more fun and hip than traditional bowling. The restaurant, Everyday Café, will contain everyday
food—everything from meat and three-vegetable plates to sandwiches, salads,
appetizers, etc. The restaurant has a
talented chef and she said the food will be good. The entertainment center would be fun for any
age individuals. It is a traditional family center magnified. She said a lot of time was spent on the
design and COI in
Commissioner Sanders moved to open the public hearing, Commissioner Greene seconded, and the vote was unanimous. There was no public participation. Commissioner Sanders moved to close the public hearing, Commissioner Greene seconded the motion, and the vote was unanimous.
Public Hearing—Special Use Request from Ginger Kapetanis
Randy Feirebend, Planning Director, presented Commissioners a request
from Ginger Kapetanis to amend the special use on her property located on
1. parking in the front of the business rather than in the rear as stipulated; and
2. a 19 sq. ft. sign rather than be limited to a 12 sq. ft. sign.
Mr. Feierabend showed a site location map of the property, NCPIN 2746154607, pictures of the site (before and after), and an aerial photo. During improvements to the property, it was discovered that the septic system had to be located behind the structure. Therefore, the Kapetanis’ put the parking lot in front of the structure not knowing that they needed approval before changing the plan.
Mr. Feierabend said that, following review of the request by the Planning Board, members recommended the amendment to allow parking in the front of the structure; however, not to allow a 19 sq. ft. sign (that it should be limited to 12 square feet).
Commissioner Greene moved to open the public hearing, Commissioner Thuss seconded, and the vote was unanimous. There was no public participation. Commissioner Greene moved to close the public hearing, Commissioner Thuss seconded, and the vote was unanimous.
Commissioner Thuss moved to approve amending the special use for Ginger Kapetanis’ property, NCPIN 2746154607, to allow parking in the front of the business and a 19 sq. ft. sign. His motion failed for lack of a second. Commissioner Sanders questioned the maximum sign size allowed and how far the business was located from the road. Mr. Feierabend answered the questions and discussion followed about the sign.
Commissioner Thuss clarified the
reason for the parking in front of the structure because of the septic tank in
the rear of the property and noted the interior portion of the sign was 12 sq.
ft. as approved. He again moved to
approve amending the special use for Ginger Kapetanis’ property, NCPIN
2746154607, located on
Public Hearing—Rezoning Request from RA-20 to PUD by Landstar Development, LLC
Mr. Feierabend presented Commissioners the request from Landstar
Development, LLC seeking a rezoning of 516 acres located on
Commissioner Thuss moved to open the public hearing, Commissioner Greene seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously. The following individuals made comments regarding the rezoning request from Landstar Development, LLC:
There being no other public participation, Commissioner Greene moved to close the public hearing. Commissioner Sanders seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. Following discussion, Commissioner Thuss moved to approve the rezoning request of property, NCPIN 1890873512, to PUD subject to conditions as determined by discussion during the meeting, listed below. Commissioner Greene seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Public Hearing—Rezoning Request from RA-20 to PUD by Landstar Development, LLC
Mr. Feierabend also presented a requested from the same developer,
Landstar Development, LLC for a rezoning of 519 acres located on
Commissioner Thuss moved to open the public hearing, Commissioner Greene
seconded the motion, and the vote was unanimous. There was only one individual that provided
comment regarding the rezoning request.
Linda Bradshaw West, resident of 2501 Mulberry Creek Road, talked about
the Mulberry Creek community and said many comments made earlier in the evening
about the Johns River area was also true about her community. She listed the roads that feed into
Public Hearing—Rezoning Request from RA-20 to NB by Bernard Gosnell
Mr. Feierabend presented the request from Bernard Gosnell to rezone of 2.5 acres located on Dudley Shoals Road, NCPIN 2787916682, to NB-Neighborhood Business. It is an old non-confirming use and the building was built before the County’s zoning was established. It is located in a (unstudied) floodplain of a small creek. Mr. Gosnell’s property is currently zoned RA-20 and his request for rezoning is so that he may sell his commercial building. He showed a site location map, photos of the site, and provided information about the property being asked to be rezoned. He said that, during the meeting of the Planning Board, Mr. Gosnell agreed to amend his request to rezone the property to NB—Neighborhood Business and the Planning Board unanimously approved the rezoning request. Mr. Feierabend listed the conditions outlined in the Neighborhood Business zone. He explained the major differences between the General Business and Neighborhood Business zones.
Commissioner Sanders moved to open the public hearing, Commissioner Greene seconded, and the motion carried unanimously. Gary Woods, resident of 1303 Dudley Shoals Road, said his property adjoins Mr. Gosnell’s property and, over the last 30 years, there have been several businesses located in the building on that property—some good and some bad. He said he was opposed to rezoning the property from residential to commercial. He said when he contacted the Planning Board, they said that if it was rezoned to commercial, the person who bought the property could open any type business allowed in the zone. Mr. Woods said he was concerned about what type business that may locate there and that the community could not be involved in the decision (at that point). There being no other public participation, Commissioner Sanders moved to close the public hearing. Commissioner Greene seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Mr. Feierabend read the definition of a neighborhood business zone and listed the following permitted uses: convenience stores and other small retail service-oriented businesses less than 2500 sq. ft.; government-owned facilities; and utility facilities. He also listed the following businesses not allowed in a neighborhood business zone: drive-in (or through) restaurants; outdoor storage buildings of any type; and sexually-oriented businesses. However, conditional uses may be applied for the property only through the Planning Board with final approval by the Board of Commissioners to consider convenience stores and small retail establishments greater than 2500 sq. ft.; private utility companies; service (gas) stations; and wireless communication towers.
Following clarification from Mr. Feierabend, Commissioner Sanders moved to deny the rezoning request to Neighborhood Business from Mr. Gosnell; however, would waive the fee for a special use application submitted by the current owner only. Commissioner Thuss seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous.
Commissioner Greene reported that it is believed that the County is not creating the number of jobs equal to the numbers lost. He said a group of people including the county and municipal managers, commissioners, and the Economic Development Commission had been working on a revision to the current EDI program since June. The group decided to change the verbage from Economic Development Incentive Program to Economic Development Grant Program for legalistic reasons. He moved to adopt the revised verbage, to rescind the old program, and to adopt the new Economic Development Grant Program.
He then addressed the second part of the program, tied to job creation, and explained the matrix developed for job creation incentives. He said the proposal had been submitted to the Commissioners and other municipalities for review. Commissioner Greene moved to adopt the matrix as a job creation incentive to be added to the existing incentive package that is tied to capital investment and to add a category for 5 – 9 jobs at $8/hour to $10/hour and adjust the chart accordingly; and to instruct the County Manager to take the applications, moving forward with them, and for Caldwell County to monitor the (part of the matrix) average of 5 – 9 people at the rate stated for one year to determine the outcome. He gave an overview of how the job matrix formula would be applied. Commissioner Sanders seconded the motion and said he agreed with the job matrix; however, he expressed concern about beginning the hourly rate at $8. He said there was $63,000 in funding identified for this fiscal year that could be committed; however, the funds would not be paid out until next fiscal year. The vote was unanimous.
Mr. Roger Bowman with Bowman,
Pegg & Starr formally presented Commissioners the FY2004-05 audit for
Following the report, Commissioner Greene moved to formally receive the FY2004-05 audit report as presented. Commissioner Sanders seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Proposed Energy Conservation
Commissioner Thuss, member of the
Unifour Air Quality Committee, presented Commissioners a proposed energy
conservation plan for their approval consideration. He said the policy addresses energy conservation
measures in the construction of new buildings as well as renovations of old
buildings and the operation of existing buildings. He said
Commissioner Greene moved to adopt the energy conservation policy and resolution which are hereby incorporated by reference and made a part of these minutes (Exhibits B,C) and Commissioner Sanders seconded the motion. Following clarification of Commissioner Sanders question about Item 5 in the policy, the motion carried unanimously.
Establish Alternative Fuel Task Force
Chairman Higgins briefed Commissioners about the general presentation by Ray Hoffman of Republic Services during the Board’s meeting on December 5th regarding a potential grant for a project associated with alternative fuels. She referred Commissioners to Mr. Hoffman’s detailed proposal submitted for their review and consideration. It was noted that the deadline to submit the grant to the State for consideration of NC Alternative Fuels Grant funding was December 31st.
The $400,000 grant application
outlines a pilot program of up to 1,000 gallons per day production of bio
diesel product. Matching funds for the
project would be funding sources already committed by the County associated
with the test methane wells at the
Chairman Higgins said, in conjunction with the grant and project development, it was decided to establish an Alternative Fuel Task Force for the purpose of serving as a focal point for ongoing discussions and designs associated with the bio diesel, methane recovery, and ethanol. She reported the following individuals interested in serving on the task force. It was noted that there was no limit on the number of members on the task force.
Commissioner Greene recommended the task force subdivide into the four following identified groups:
Commissioner Sanders moved to
create the Alternative Task Force and appoint the individuals previously listed
with the stipulation that anyone else wishing to serve on the task force could
submit an application for consideration.
Commissioner Thuss seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. Commissioner Thuss moved to authorize the
filing of a grant application to the State of
Subdivision Review Board
Chairman Higgins moved to appoint Tim Sanders as the Chairman’s designee on the County’s Subdivision Review Board. Commissioner Sanders seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
1. Approval of Minutes
2. Budget Amendments
Ms. Myers recommended the Board of Commissioners approve the following budget amendments and to authorize staff to execute appropriate documents associated with the amendments.
a. Yadkin Reservoir Property Acquisition Escrow Account; $1,440,312.00
The State Local Government Commission (LGC) approved the financing for the purchase of the reservoir property and RBC Centura loan documents have now been received by the County. Plans are underway for a December 20th loan closing for the approximate 396 acres of property. The loan funds along with Clean Water Management grant resources will be used to pay for the acquisition. This action is in line with the approved budget and will not require any new local funding. The following detailed budget amendment is needed to establish the necessary revenues to undertake the acquisition and other associated costs.
Increase 61.7149.390000.60100 Lease/Purchase Obligations $755,312.00
Increase 61.7149.443000.60100 Deposit on Land $755,312.00
Increase 61.7149.330000.60100 Other Grants $685,000.00
Increase 61.7149.443000.60100 Deposit on Land $685,000.00
b. DSS (Crisis Intervention—Emergency Assistance Program Grant); $36,665.00
Much discussion has taken place
concerning crisis intervention and prevention funds on statewide and national
levels. The County received official
notice of an additional federal award flowed through the State of
Increase 10.5692.331600 Temporary Federal $36,665.00
Increase 10.5692.438800 Emergency Assistance $36,665.00
c. Groundwater Monitor Fund; $5,309.00
Part of the audit comments reflected a budget question dealing with the CSI related groundwater monitoring program. The FY2004-05 budget had indicated an expenditure and revenue budget of $410,000.00. During that fiscal year, staff had planned a reconciliation of revenues that would include pro rata designation of interest earnings from the groundwater monitor fund. The following detailed budget amendment, in accordance with the audit suggestion, reflects the designation of these interest earnings to the groundwater monitor fund. The following detailed budget amendment is needed in order to reconcile this non-general fund project budget:
Increase 14.4725.361100 Interest on Investments $5,309.00
Decrease 14.4725.397000 Fund Balance Appropriated $5,309.00
Decrease 10.4330.426000 Supplies $330.00
e. Robert Segal; $1,071.93
In accordance with the ongoing
agreement with Robert S. Segal, Finance Department staff submitted the following
information reflecting additional revenues amounting to $4,573 as a result of the
work for the County. The 35% contractual
fee associated with this work amounts to $1,600.65 for Mr. Segal.
Increase 10.3000.313001 County 1% Sales Tax $1,071.93
Increase 10.4130.444600 C. Segal $1,071.93
Public Comment Period
Mr. Don Barrier contacted the Clerk to the Board and requested to speak to the Board of Commissioners during the public comment period. He read the following statement.
Position paper on New Location of Caldwell County Department of Social Services and Health Department Facilities Presented to the Caldwell County Commissioner Meeting on Monday, December 19, 2005
Madam Chairman, Commissioners, thank you
for all you do for
I represent a growing number if involved citizens to present a position on the future location of the Caldwell County DSS and Health Department facilities.
We believe the following:
There is a location for the above
facilities that is more beneficial and fiscally responsible to the citizens of
According to the listing Realtor, the Lenoir Mall has over 222,000 square feet under roof and 23 acres available for sale for a listed price of $3.9M.
The Mall has nearly double the stated capacity needs of 125,000 sq. ft. which provides ample room for future expansion.
It needs some renovation (new roof, HVAC refurbishment, etc.) which can be done for far less than the proposed new construction cost.
The Mall Complex is 26 years old and with proper renovations it can serve as well as new construction for a lesser cost.
The total price tag for even more square footage at the Mall would be below the cost of new construction of lesser space. The cost of new construction for a 125,000 sq ft facility is estimated at over $15M.
The Mall Complex is readily available and is a predominantly vacant and under-utilized facility in a county that has too many such properties.
The Mall is parking and traffic ready.
The Mall location is a central and established location that offers convenience to employees and clients and easy access to medical facilities, the courthouse, and other county offices.
The Mall location is removed from the high
volume of school related traffic present near the Sheriff’s office. (Gamewell Elementary & Middle and West
Any concerns regarding the Mall’s location in a flood plane can be easily addressed.
The use of the Mall for this purpose could encourage future economic development of the highway 18 corridor and the county seat.
Our group is growing and we are leading a petition drive to support our position.
Given the uncertain condition of the local economy and tax base, use of the Mall location is a much more affordable option than new construction.
It is fiscally irresponsible to spend or borrow more money for future generations to pay back than is absolutely necessary.
If you are going to borrow on the citizens’ behalf and invest in our future, then we urge you to borrow and invest in things that will build prosperity and economic development such as educational, industrial, and commercial infrastructure. Invest in things that will help reduce the ranks of those who need the services of the DSS and CCHD.
Thank you for your time and again thank you for your work.
At 8:00 p.m. Commissioner Thuss moved to go into closed session to discuss personnel matters pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(4) and Commissioner Greene moved to discuss economic development issues during the closed session pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(6). Chairman Higgins seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous.
A motion was moved by Commissioner Thuss, seconded by Commissioner Greene, and carried unanimously to come out of closed session to regular session.
There being no further business to conduct, Commissioner Greene moved to adjourn and, by unanimous vote, Chairman Higgins declared the meeting adjourned at 8:43 p.m.