Commissioners to talk about legislative goals Tuesday

  • Posted: Sunday, September 2, 2012 12:01 a.m.
    UPDATED: Sunday, September 2, 2012 10:33 p.m.

SALISBURY - County commissioners are going to discuss their goals for the state legislature Tuesday.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners will meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday on the second floor of the J. Newton Cohen Sr. Rowan County Administration Building.
The board plans to decide which legislative goals to submit to the N.C. Association of County Commissioners for 2012-13. According to the association, commissioners from across the state will review goals that the counties submit and recommend some to the association. Members will then vote on goals to adopt and begin working to make them happen.
So far, Jim Sides has suggested four goals and Carl Ford has suggested one.
Ford's idea is to restructure metropolitan planning organizations, or MPOs, to give them more authority to decide where state transportation money should be spent.
Sides' first suggestion is for counties to have more direct control over how local funds are spent by school systems.
Next, he says all appointments on the county Board of Social Services should be made at the county level. Right now, two are appointed by the county Board of Commissioners, two by the state Social Services Commission and one by the four current board members.
Sides also wants the state to remove all municipalities' extraterritorial jurisdictions, or ETJs. He says they are no longer justified with recently enacted changes to the annexation laws.
Finally, he says North Carolina should make all city, county and state elections partisan.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, commissioners plan to:
? Accept the annual health department fee schedule recommendations, including an increase from $7 to $10 for the animal shelter's rabies vaccination fee for animal redemption.
About 33 percent of the dental health fees and 50 percent of the medical fees are set to increase, according to a memo to commissioners from Health Director Barbara Ellis. The new fee amounts are recommended by the state based on the cost per unit for services.
Ellis said the state used to aggregate this data from health departments across the state, but now each county and district health department is required to report costs individually. In the past, counties received an average amount of Medicaid settlement dollars based on a consistent distribution formula. Now, counties with higher costs now will be reimbursed more than departments with lower costs, so Rowan must increase fees in order to avoid losing that money.
? Approve a declaration of official intent to reimburse expenditures for the purchase of 20 vehicles.
The county plans to advance its own funds and pay itself back up to $720,000 to buy a truck for the telecommunications department, two trucks for the animal control division, 14 vehicles for the sheriff's office and two ambulances and a sports utility vehicle for the emergency services department.
? Approve a change order for the 911 center to re-instate a back-up generator and uninterruptible power supply system in the project for $232,000. These items were originally removed so the county could pay for 911 center construction with grant funds instead of borrowed funds. Holden Construction has agreed to include them with no increase in the overall project cost.
? Proclaim Sept. 11, 2012, as Patriot Day.
? Proclaim Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week in honor of the 225th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution.
? Consider changing the Sept. 17 meeting time from 6 p.m. to 3 p.m. because the county fair starts that evening.
? Consider budget amendments and board appointments.

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