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Mitchell County Commissioners
Minutes, Regular Session
December 12, 2011

NORTH CAROLINA
MITCHELL COUNTY

The Mitchell County Board of Commissioners met in Regular Session on December 12, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioner’s Conference Room, Administration Building, Bakersville, NC. Those present for the meeting were: Bill Slagle, Chairman; Lee Roy Ledford; Vice-Chairman, Ken Hollifield, Keith Holtsclaw, Member; Joe Street, Member; Charles Vines, County Manager and Kathy Young, Clerk to the Board. Also present were: Hal Harrison County Attorney; and Andy Ashurst, Editor of the Mitchell-News Journal.

  1. CALL TO ORDER – County Manager Vines called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

  2. INVOCATION – Commissioner Hollifield gave the invocation.

  3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Commissioner Ledford lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

  4. ADDITTIONS OR CHANGES TO THE AGENDA – None.

  5. ADOPTION OF AGENDA – Commissioner Hollifield moved to adopt the agenda. Commissioner Street seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

  6. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Commissioner Ledford moved to approve the Minutes for Regular Session November 7, 2011. Commissioner Street seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

  7. BOARD ORGANIZATIONS & APPOINTMENTS

    1. Election of Chairman & Vice-Chairman – Commissioner Hollifield nominated Bill Slagle as Chairman. Commissioner Street seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

      Commissioner Ledford nominated Joe Street as Vice-Chairman. Commissioner Holtsclaw seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

    2. Organizational Appointments

      1. County Manager

      2. Clerk to the Board

      3. Finance Officer

      4. County Attorney

        Commissioner Hollifield moved to appoint Charles Vines as County Manager, Kathy Young as Clerk to the Board, Mavis Parsley as Finance Officer and Hal Harrison as County Attorney. Commissioner Street seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

  8. PUBLIC COMMENTS – Dan Wilson stated he was disappointed in the fact none of the Commissioners were present for the Veterans Day Memorial. Chairman Slagle asked Mr. Wilson to contact him next year and verify the time of the Memorial.

  9. REPORTS/PRESENTATIONS

    1. Presentation of the Audit for Fiscal Year 2010-2011– Sharon Gillespie and Nancy Griffin from Young, Miller & Gillespie presented the Audit for Fiscal Year 2010-2011.

      Financial Highlights

      · The assets of Mitchell County exceeded its liabilities at the close of the fiscal year by $19,619,445.

      · The government’s total net assets increased by $1,768,380 primarily due to tax revenues generated by the revaluation of real property in the County.

      · As of the close of the current fiscal year, Mitchell County’s governmental funds reported combined ending fund balances of $8,144,047 an increase of $310,437 in comparison with the prior year. Approximately 70 percent of this total amount, or $5,665,212 is available for spending at the government’s discretion. Part of this amount has been reserved to balance the 2011-12 budget.

      · At the end of the current fiscal year, unreserved fund balance for the General Fund was $4,976,674 or 30 percent of total general fund expenditures and transfers to other funds for the fiscal year. $706,946 of the General Fund Balance has been appropriated for use in the 2011-12 budget year.

      · Mitchell County’s tax collection rate increased from an overall average of 92.96% in the prior year to 94.09% in the current fiscal year. This increase is due in part to the revaluation of real property within the county.

      Capital Assets

      Mitchell County’s capital assets for its governmental activities as of June 30, 2011, total $12,043,334 (net of accumulated depreciation). These assets include buildings, land, machinery and equipment, park facilities and vehicles.

      Major capital asset transactions during the year include:

      · Waterline extension to Mitchell High School

      · Purchase and upgrade of Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system for Communications

      · Purchase and installation of GIS mapping system

      These major capital asset purchases were funded by proceeds from various restricted grant monies received by the County during the fiscal year as well as from local monies.

      Commissioner Street moved to approve the Financial Statement for FY 2010- 2011 (a copy of the financial statement is hereby attached and becomes a part of the minutes). Commissioner Hollifield seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

    2. Toe River Agricultural Training & Aggregation Center – Jeff Vance provided the Board with the following update on the Toe River Agricultural Training & Aggregation Center. During the fall of 2010 the Mitchell County Agriculture Advisory Board began talks bout what would be the most benefit to the farmers in Mitchell County. We had been talking about farmland preservation, but each member knew that the best way to preserve farmland was to keep farms profitable. Many of the county farmers were looking at growing vegetables as an alternative crop to tobacco. One of the tools that would be needed by them was a facility to wash, grade and package their product. The Advisory Group applied for grant funds from Z. Smith Reynolds to do a feasibility study to look and see if there was enough market and farmer interest to start a farmer owned distribution network that would bring Mitchell County farm products to local institutions and eventually, retail markets. $14,500 was received and used to contract with David Harper, President of Land-In-Common, to do the study.

      The feasibility finding identified needs for diversifying the county’s agricultural economy, increasing the viability of the individual farms, and the meeting institutional food service requirements, must be addressed with strategies that are efficient with time, resources, and are financially sound. The initial assessment has not identified sufficient demand for a stand-alone facility or project to serve as an intermediary to sell to institutions. Mitchell growers and Extension personnel should forge a close collaboration with efforts to distribute along with Yancey growers and to a lesser extent Madison growers. Our recommendation to Yancey is that they establish a Yancey-Mitchell aggregation center and focus ton distribution to local Ingles, Asheville Whole Foods and supplies to the school systems on a limited basis. Mitchell may need to develop its own mobile infrastructure (mobile wash line, cooler trucks) to participate fully in this center. At that time, a business plan for this Yancey-Mitchell Center will be developed to identify specific markets, products, systems, infrastructure and budget projections.

      Following the recommendations from the feasibility study a partnership was forged with Yancey County to establish the Toe River Regional Agricultural Training and Aggregation Center. This center will serve farm-based producers to increase economic success in production agriculture for local markets in the Southern Appalachian region. The Center will train and educate new and existing farmers on best production methods to increase local sales of farm based outputs including fresh vegetables, meats, value-added foods and other products with consumer demand in the region. The center will increase economic opportunity for farm-based producers through aggregating assets including post-harvest handling facilities, unified grading and packaging services and coordinated marketing to retail establishments, wholesalers and consumers. The Center strives to return maximum economic value to farm-based producers while generating sufficient program income for long-term sustainability.

    3. Update from Youth Voice – Kellyn Slotnick – Kellyn Slotnick provided the following update to the Board.

      4-H Improvements

      Improved communication between 4-H and county leaders to increase involvement.

      Facilities for our clubs to be held.
      An annual county Youth Summit.

      I feel that we should have more communication between 4-H, County Commissioners and the Board of Education because we actually have quite a few clubs some that are overflowing. It’s to the point where we need volunteers to help take over the clubs so we can accept more youth.

      Facilities are definitely needed, the other day the ALIVE program and the sewing clubs were holding meetings in our extension office at the same time. It was way too crowded. Clubs: Sewing Club; Two Horse Clubs, Shooting Sports, Robotics, Alive Program and a Livestock Club.

      Then there’s the Youth Summit, 8th – 12th graders would be allowed to voice their needs and how to meet those needs, it would be a one day event each year. They would establish a 4-H Council with 8 youth electives that would be in charge of organizing Achievement night, which is a night were 4-H recognize volunteers and members for their involvement in our county’s 4-H Club, organize our Talent and Fashion Show and the Youth Summits that would be held each year.

      Youth Summit

      1st 2 hours – Commissioners do 4 workshops that are 30 minutes each.

      1. County Services (what service are available to public)

      2. Voter education (wise voting decisions)

      3. Testimonials from Commissioners

      4. Requirements for a County Commissioner

      3rd hr – Come together and address youth issues

      4th hr – Come up with possible solutions for issues

      Chairman Slagle asked Kellyn to plan and organize a youth summit. She is to prepare a budget, time, location and marketing for this event and present it to the Board in February.

  10. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION

    1. Appointment of Lavina Mack and Michael Davis to the Mitchell County Transportation Advisory Board – Commissioner Holtsclaw moved to approve the appointment of Lavina Mack and Michael Davis to the Mitchell County Transportation Advisory Board. Commissioner Ledford seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

    2. Revised Transportation Advisory Board By-Laws – Commissioner Ledford moved to approve the Revised Transportation Advisory Board By-Laws with the correction on page 3 Article IV Section 2 Quorum to read as follows: The persons present must be at least 51% of the members to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business for any meeting of the Board (a copy of the revised By-Laws are hereby attached and becomes a part of the minutes). Commissioner Street seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

    3. Consideration of Penalty Assessed on Discovery – The Board took no action on this item.

    4. Appointment to the Mitchell County Library Board/Appointment to the Local and Regional Library Board – Commissioner Ledford moved to appoint Marvin Miller to the Mitchell County Library Board and Earnest Jhankie to the Local and Regional Library Board. Commissioner Street seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

  11. CONSENT AGENDA

    1. Appointment of Mike Thomas to the High Country Workforce Development Board

    2. Home & Community Care Block Funding Budget Revision

    3. JCPC 2011-2012 Budget Revision

    4. Western Highlands Area Authority’s First Quarter Fiscal Monitoring Report for FY 2012

    5. Reauthorization of the Older American’s Act Resolution

    6. Boards and Committees for 2012

    7. Releases/Refunds/Discoveries for November

      Commissioner Holtsclaw moved to approve the Consent Agenda (a copy of the Consent Agenda Items are hereby attached and become a part of the minutes). Commissioner Ledford seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

  12. COUNTY MANAGER’S REPORT – County Manager Vines reminded the Board of the following dates:

    12-14-11 Christmas Dinner

    01-03-12 January Board Meeting

    01-05-12 Retreat

  13. BOARD COMMENTS - None

  14. ADJOURNMENT – Commissioner Hollfield moved to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Ledford seconded the meeting and it carried unanimously.

    The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

MITCHELL COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

Bill Slagle, Chairman

Joe Street, Vice-Chairman

Ken Hollifield, Member

Keith Holtsclaw, Member

Lee Roy Ledford, Member

ATTEST:

Kathy Young, NCCCC Clerk to the Board