) STOKES COUNTY GOVERNMENT
COUNTY OF STOKES ) DANBURY, NORTH CAROLINA
) MARCH 12, 2009
The Board of Commissioners of the County of Stokes, State of North Carolina, met
for a recessed Goals Planning Session (recessed from the March 5, 2009 session) in the Conference
Room of the Ronald Wilson Reagan Memorial Building (Administration Building) located in
Danbury, North Carolina on Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 1:00 pm with the following members
Chairman J. Leon Inman
Vice-Chairman Jimmy Walker
Commissioner Ron Carroll
Commissioner Ernest Lankford
Commissioner Stanley Smith
County Personnel in Attendance:
County Manager K. Bryan Steen
Clerk to the Board Darlene Bullins
Chairman J. Leon Inman called the meeting to order and delivered the invocation.
Chairman Inman opened the meeting by inviting the citizens in attendance to join the
Board with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Budget Work Session – Continuation
The Board discussed the challenges facing the County with the current economic climate
and the need for a Strategic Plan for Stokes County.
The Board discussed the following:
· State’s current funding shortfall and its effects on Stokes County
· Lottery and ADM Funding possibly being withheld
· Unemployment rate continuing to rise
· County staff continuing to monitor expenditures and revenues
· Some revenues could fall short this fiscal year
· Possible increases for the upcoming fiscal year 2009-10 such as Health and Dental premiums, fuel cost, supplies, etc.
· Upcoming fiscal year 2009-10 proposed budget
Chairman Inman suggested the County Manager submit two proposed budgets for the Board’s
consideration: one including the Hold Harmless Funding and one not including the Hold Harmless
Commissioner Carroll noted the possibility of the County not receiving the Medicaid Relief
Funding due to the State’s financial shortfall.
Chairman Inman advised the Board that the County’s Financial Advisor Doug Carter stated
if the County does not receive any of the anticipated $800,000 lottery proceeds this year, it
changes the County’s ability to do school construction without a tax increase.
County Manager Bryan Steen noted that the county will need to anticipate other
changes/reductions in sales tax revenues due to changes in Article #42 and Article #44, uncertainty of
ADM and Lottery Funding, and not knowing exactly how much additional revenue the Revaluation
will bring in.
Commissioner Carroll noted his number one goal is to survive.
Commissioner Carroll noted his three goals were as follows:
2. Use the time to plan for better times
3. What is the County going to see through and what is the County going to postpone regarding projects
County Manager Bryan Steen noted that the County had received proceeds from a financial
institution for paving, but have not used the funds yet.
Commissioner Smith suggested looking at patching some of the bad places and transferring
the remaining of the funds designated for paving to other needed items such as the new EMS
The Board discussed areas that needed to be considered for patching: Danbury
Library Parking Lot, Walnut Cove EMS Station, Community Services Parking Lot, and other
small areas in the Government Center Parking Lot.
Manager Steen noted that the County would have to obtain permission from Local
Government Commission (LGC) and the financial institute to use the proceeds for things other
Chairman Inman, with full consent of the Board, directed Manager Steen to contact
LGC and the financial institute for specific details regarding using the funding for other
things instead of paving and to acquire bids for patching the areas suggested by the Board.
Vice Chairman Walker noted the Manager’s responsibility to present a proposed
budget with different scenarios for the Board’s consideration.
Chairman Inman feels that the County should not tap into the Fund Balance unless
there is an extreme emergency. Board members agreed not to use fund balance unless extreme
circumstances occur. Commissioner Smith stated at this time, his personal opinion is to create
a budget to provide for the needs of the county which would be a safety net for the most vulnerable
citizens in the County as noted by Commissioner Carroll.
Vice Chairman Walker noted the County might have to reduce services if funding is not
available, some counties are already laying off employees.
Commissioner Lankford feels that there has got to be strong leadership in the decision making
for the upcoming budget.
The Board further discussed the goals and strategies listed at the March 5th planning
The Board discussed the current salary plan/benefits and identified the following possible
options if funding is not available for the upcoming fiscal year:
· First, eliminate bonuses and evaluate funding needed for those who will receive longevity increases for the upcoming fiscal year
· Second, freeze current salary plan eliminating bonuses and longevity increases
· Third, reduce hours of employment – employee furloughs
· Other option - Reduce 1% 401(k) county match for general employees
The Board discussed Revaluation, Revenue Neutral, Hold Harmless Funding, and maintaining
and increasing the County’s funding balance.
The Board discussed the following school projects:
· New elementary school in Yadkin Township – land already purchased
· PODS needed to relocate students from Nancy Reynolds Elementary School
· Cost of installation of PODS at Pinnacle Elementary School
· Need for new walk-in freezer at Pinnacle due to the increase number of students
· Land needed for renovation project at Nancy Reynolds Elementary School
Commissioner Carroll noted that the requested freezer could be taken from Food Services,
which is an Enterprise Fund.
Vice Chairman Walker suggested putting a timeframe on the goals (anticipated target date).
Commissioner Lankford suggested waiting until around August to place a timeframe
on the goals when more information would be available regarding funding.
Chairman Inman noted that the timeframe will be a suggested “target date” and can be
revisited at any time to change or modify.
Manager Steen noted the following regarding the Meadows site:
· Contacted DEHNR regarding the Meadows site today
· Contaminated site continues to grow (covers at least 4 acres of the 9 acre site)
· More samples were taken on February 25th and 26th
· Results from samples should be back in about 4 weeks
· DEHNR can’t provide a timeframe
· DEHNR suggest not building on the site until the site is completely clear of contamination
· Need to look closely at water and sewer issues at the site
The Board discussed issues with using the Meadows site for the location of a community
college, the need for a feasibility study of the site, using existing buildings or building all new
facilities at the site, possible cost of contamination cleanup, need for additional adjoining land, and
an alternate location if the Meadows site can’t be used for the location of a community college.
Chairman Inman noted that Representative Bryan Holloway and Senator Don East
have both introduced a bill requesting a legislative appropriation of $500,000 for planning of a
community college in Stokes County.
Chairman Inman suggested contacting Golden Leaf Foundation to discuss plans for a
community college in Stokes. Manager Steen noted that Economic Development Director Alan
Wood has already contacted representatives from Golden Leaf Foundation.
The Board discussed the following four primary areas that the EDC will be including in their
upcoming Strategic Plan:
· Business Retention and Expansion
· Recruitment of New Businesses and Industries
· Travel and Tourism
The Board discussed the unavailability of high speed internet services in several areas of the
County. Manager Steen noted that the County is already assessing the areas in need of high
speed internet services.
Vice Chairman Walker discussed the need for the County to take an active role regarding
utilities in the County such as pursuing water intake from the Dan River instead of leaving it all
up to the Water and Sewer Authority.
County Manager Steen noted that Public Works Director Delehant is working on water intake
from the Dan River.
The Board discussed Early College High School and the facility needed for Early College
High School. Manager Steen noted other facilities in the County have been evaluated with no
facility that meets the criteria.
The Board recessed the planning session to allow the Clerk to organize the following Goals
and Strategies discussed during today’s work session.
Goals and Strategies:
Given the current financial situation, a Strategic Plan for Stokes County. (Timeframe – immediately)
(Quality Cost Effective services)
· Continue expenditures and revenues review
· Minimize mileage on county vehicles (place mileage sheet in all county vehicles)
· Assess county vehicles being driven home by county employees
· Employee sharing in all departments, especially those departments associated with the current economic status
· Meet with Department Heads for suggestions for cutting cost
· Hiring freeze/selective hiring (any hiring must be approved by the BOCC)
· Control Comp. Time in all departments
· Look into imaging process to make departments more efficient
· Focus on eliminating any unnecessary spending, spending will be the key this year and next year just as the County has done during the past two years
· No funding being borrowed for recurring expenses, just capital needs
· Identify salary options
§ First, look at eliminating only the bonus with salary schedule still in tact
§ Second, eliminate longevity increases
§ Third, impose a salary freeze
§ Fourth, reduce work hours
v Strategic Plan for Economic Development (working with the Economic Development Commission and the new Economic Development Director) (Timeframe – ongoing)
· Business Retention and Expansion
· Recruitment of New Businesses and Industries
· Travel and Tourism
· Obtain 3 new businesses/industries that will create 75 new jobs; add $2 million dollars of value for County taxes
v Schools (school construction) (Timeframe – as soon as feasibly possible)
· Nancy Reynolds Project - Possible decision after information is received (around first of May) from the Board of Education
· Other school projects as soon as feasible
v Community College in Stokes County (Tangible results for a community college)
· Feasibility study of the Meadows property
· Developing a specific plan for a community college
· Alternatives for water and sewer
· Workable information by 12/2009
v Strategic Plan for the Meadows Site (Timeframe - 12/2009)
o Property contamination Clean up and cost
o Infrastructure needs
o Specific plan for a community college
v More planning for health care and health care facilities – (Timeframe – ongoing)
v Update all County policies - (Timeframe - as soon as possible)
v Strive to continue to maintain and increase the fund balance, not decrease the fund balance – (Timeframe - on going)
v Technology – Promote the need for providers to make available better technology such as faster internet service, better cost effective telephone services, and other communications
(Timeframe – ongoing)
v Possibly join forces with school system on making available more wide band satellite systems for county use (Timeframe - on going)
v Pursue water intake from the Dan River (Timeframe – 12/2009)
v Investigate Stimulus funding for upcoming fiscal year (Timeframe- immediately)
v Complete Danbury Water System Project in 2009 with no additional funding
The Board reviewed the Goals and Strategies presented by the Clerk.
· The Board unanimously agreed to change the “Identify salary options” as follows:
§ First option - make no changes to the current salary plan
§ Second option - eliminate only the bonus with longevity increases still in tact
§ Third option - eliminate longevity increases along with bonuses
§ Fourth option - reduce work hours
The Board unanimously agreed on the submitted Goals and Strategies as amended with the
option to review and amend at anytime.
Chairman Inman expressed his appreciation to the Board for their commitment and
cooperation in developing the Goals and Strategies for Stokes County.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Chairman Inman entertained a
motion to adjourn the planning session.
Commissioner Smith moved to adjourn the planning session. Commissioner Lankford
seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Darlene M. Bullins J. Leon Inman
Clerk to the Board Chairman