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    Minutes of 11-01-04 Board of Commissioners' meeting (adopted)
WAKE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MINUTES
November 1, 2004

The Wake County Board of Commissioners met in regular session Monday, November 1, 2004, at 2:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, 7th Floor, Wake County Courthouse, Raleigh, North Carolina. Members present were Commissioners Joe Bryan, Herbert H. Council, Tony Gurley, Phil Jeffreys, Betty Lou Ward, Harold H. Webb and Chairman Kenneth M. Gardner.

Also attending were the County Manager, Mr. David C. Cooke; the County Attorney Mr. Michael R. Ferrell; and the Clerk to the Board, Ms. Gwendolyn I. Reynolds.

Chairman Gardner called the meeting to order.
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PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

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INVOCATION

Chairman Gardner offered the invocation.
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APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Upon motion of Commissioner Ward, seconded by Commissioner Webb, the Board unanimously approved the agenda as printed.
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APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Upon motion of Commissioner Council, seconded by Commissioner Webb, the Board unanimously approved the minutes of October 12, 14, 18 and 20, 2004.
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BOARD OF ELECTIONS’ PRESENTATION

Chairman Gardner recognized Ms. Cherie Poucher, Director of the Board of Elections, to present information on the process of completing the ballot in the upcoming election. She presented a sample ballot and commented briefly on the optical scan voting equipment used in Wake County. She indicated that there were three recognized parties on the ballot—Democratic, Republican and Libertarian—and that since 1968 the vote for President and Vice President was separate from other items.

Ms. Poucher reported that there are approximately 482,000 registered voters in Wake County and that 90,078 of those voters had voted at one-stop sites. She commented on the length of the ballot and urged voters to take time when casting their vote and to follow instructions. Voting instructions have been printed on the ballot and placed in every voting booth.

The Commissioners received the information as presented.
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FOSTER PARENT RECOGNITION

Ms. Anita Robinson-Christmas, through her work with the Wake County Foster Parent Program, has worked with nine foster children and has adopted two girls. She has also volunteered to teach with Wake County staff the “Partnership in Parenting” class to new foster and adoptive applicants, has participated in public speaking on behalf of the children and their families, and this year won the “Extended Family Award” from Strengthening the Black Family.

On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, Chairman Gardner presented a plaque of recognition and appreciation to Ms. Robinson-Christmas for her work in support of foster and adopted children and Wake County Human Services.
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AWARD OF CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT
NEW COURTROOMS - 5TH FLOOR OF THE COURTHOUSE

In 1999, the Wake County Board of Commissioners approved the Justice Facility Master Plan. Decisions relative to annual funding and implementation of capital improvement projects for court and detention facilities are guided by this Plan. The Master Plan recommended renovating the 5th floor to create courtrooms and support spaces to meet future space needs of the 10th Judicial District. The renovated area of this floor will provide court “swing space” to be used as other floors are sequentially vacated over the next several years to remove asbestos, install fire sprinkler systems, replace mechanical/electrical systems and refurbish worn building finishes.

On October 16, 2004, bids were received from contractors for this phase of the project in accordance with NC Statutes. Staff recommends that a construction contract be awarded to the lowest responsive bidder. Funding for this project is included the Judicial Facilities element of the Capital Improvement Program for FY 2004-05.

Upon motion of Commissioner Webb, seconded by Commissioner Jeffreys, the Board unanimously approved award of construction contract for new courtrooms for the 5th floor of the Wake County Courthouse, to the Centurion Construction Co., Inc. of Raleigh, NC, in the amount of $2,291,104.
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THE ONE NORTH CAROLINA FUND GRANT AWARD
FOR SYNTHON PHARMACEUTICALS, LTD.

The One North Carolina Fund grant program, administered by the NC Department of Commerce, was established by the General Assembly to stimulate expansion of existing companies in the state. By legislation, the funding for this grant must be applied for and passed through a local government entity to the company.

Wake County applied for a $200,000 grant for Synthon Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. In this grant application the company agreed to retain existing operations at its facilities in Wake County, including 33 existing jobs, and to create up to 157 new jobs within three years from the grant award date of June 3, 2004. The company will also make a privately funded investment of at least $10.3 million within three years of the grant award date. The Department of Commerce will issue four equal payments of the grant funds to Wake County and checks will be issued by Wake County to the Company. All required reporting to the Department of Commerce will be the responsibility of Synthon Pharmaceuticals.

One North Carolina Fund grants also require a local match. The Research Triangle Foundation will provide this match through road improvements and infrastructure enhancements at the Synthon Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. Site.

Upon motion of Commissioner Gurley, seconded by Commissioner Webb, the Board unanimously approved the acceptance and appropriation of a $200,000 grant award from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, One North Carolina Fund for the Synthon Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. Project.
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APPROVAL OF TAX REPORT

Upon motion of Commissioner Bryan, seconded by Commissioner Council, the Board accepted and unanimously approved the tax reports as follows:

1. Report of Collections – Wake County Only – September 2004

2. Wake County In-Rem Foreclosure Progress Report – Wake County Only

3. Value Adjustments and Special Situations: (Wake County Only), (Wake County and Town of Cary), Wake County and Town of Fuquay-Varina), (Wake County and Town of Knightdale), (Wake County and Town of Wendell)

4. Consideration of Requests for Adjustments, Rebates and/or Refunds of Penalties: (Wake County Only), (Wake County and Town of Cary), (Wake County and City of Raleigh), (Wake County and Town of Wendell)

5. Consideration of Requests for Exemptions-Late Filed Applications: (Wake County Only) 6. Request for Tax Relief Late-Filed Applications: (Wake County Only), (Wake County and Town of Cary), (Wake County and Town of Garner), (Wake County and Town of Morrisville), (Wake County and City of Raleigh), (Wake County and Town of Wake Forest), (Wake County and Town of Zebulon)

7. Consideration of Refund for Taxes, Interest, and Penalties: (Wake County Only), (Wake County and Town of Apex), (Wake County and Town of Cary), (Wake County and Town of Fuquay-Varina), (Wake County and Town of Garner), (Wake County and Town of Morrisville), (Wake County and City of Raleigh)

8. Consideration for Release of Penalties and Interest for Wake County Prepared Food and Beverages Taxes: (Wake County Only)

9. Rebate Details: (Wake County and Town of Apex), (Wake County and Town of Cary), (Wake County and Town of Fuquay-Varina), (Wake County and Town of Garner), (Wake County and Town of Holly Springs), (Wake County and Town of Knightdale), (Wake County and Town of Morrisville), (Wake County and Town of Rolesville), (Wake County and Town of Wake Forest), (Wake County and Town of Wendell), (Wake County and Town of Zebulon)
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ACCEPTANCE OF FY2004 STATE HOMELAND SECURITY
“INTEROPERABLE COMMUNICATIONS” GRANT

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security created the State Homeland Security Grant Program. The program is designed to improve domestic terrorism preparedness at the state and local level.

Through the Triangle J Council of Governments, Wake collaborated with Orange and Durham counties in development of a joint application for $7.3 million for inter-operable communications projects, including two 800 MHz broadcast sites in Orange County, two 800 MHz broadcast sites and related expansions in Durham County and expansion of the Wake 800 MHz system to accommodate transition of Raleigh-Durham Airport and Cary from old 800 MHz systems to the Wake system.

On August 30, 2004, the chairs of the Durham, Orange and Wake Boards of Commissioners were advised of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety’s decision. The grant offered to Durham and Wake counties totals $2,541,540 for the following: Addition of one of the two requested 800 MHz broadcast sites in Durham County ($500,000)

Contingent funding to support 800 MHz radio system infrastructure expansion costs if Raleigh and/or Cary join the Wake 800 MHz system (if neither municipality commits to joining the Wake 800 MHz system, the funding reverts back to Crime Control and Public System ($1,177,540).

This grant award requires no matching funds from Wake County, and grant funds awarded under this program may not be used to pay for equipment procured prior to the award start date of the grant or for items otherwise budgeted with state or local funds.

Upon motion of Commissioner Webb, seconded by Commissioner Gurley, the Board unanimously approved the acceptance of a fiscal year 2004 State Homeland Security “Interoperable Communications” grant of $2,541,540 and authorized the Wake County Manager to execute the grant memorandum of agreement and Annex B to the memorandum of agreement.
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LAND ACQUISITION FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
TOWN OF ROLESVILLE

Pursuant to Section 115C-426 of the North Carolina General Statutes, the Wake County Board of Commissioners is responsible for approving the purchase of property by the Wake County Public School System. The Board of Education, at its October 5, 2004 meeting, approved a resolution to use $576,000 to purchase Approximately 16.0 acres of land on the new Rogers-Young bypass road in Rolesville.

The purchase price of $36,000 per acre includes the addition of infrastructure requirements at no additional cost. These infrastructure requirements include a three-lane roadway bordering the property, with two curb cuts, acceleration and deceleration lanes, all necessary striping, and public water and sewer access. The performance of this requirement is to be guaranteed by delivery of a security instrument to the Town of Rolesville. The School staff has estimated that the improvements will total $325,000 or $20,312 per acre.

Mr. Clint Jobe, Director of Real Estate Services, Wake County Public School System, was recognized for comment. He stated that a new Plan 2004 elementary school is scheduled to be opened at this site in Fall 2007. The property is bordered by a thirty-acre tract owned by the Town of Rolesville and slated to be developed into a park. Nearby a new municipal building will be built by the Town. It is proposed that the County, School System and the Town of Rolesville will partner in creating a master plan for the site.

The Board of Commissioners received the information from the Board of Education. The approval of the land acquisition (from funds already appropriated) will be placed on the November 15, 2004 consent agenda.
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LAND ACQUISITION FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - TOWN OF WENDELL

The Wake County Board of Commissioners is responsible for approving the purchase of property by the Wake County Public School System, according to Section 115C-426 of the North Carolina General Statutes. At the October 5, 2004 meeting of the Wake County Board of Education, a resolution was approved to use $850,010 to purchase approximately 27.2 acres of land in Wake County’s jurisdiction. This land would be initially considered as a site for a modular elementary school to open in August 2005. The permanent facility to be constructed thereupon would either be a new middle school (M5) or elementary school (E15). A new pre-Kindergarten facility may also be located on the same site.

The design and construction funds for these schools are to be funded from Plan 2004. The master schedule for Plan 2004 has the bids scheduled for February 2006 for E15 Elementary and September 2007 for Wendell Middle (M5). A modular elementary school, if approved by the Board of Education for this site could open as early as Fall 2005.

The pre-Kindergarten facility is scheduled for the design phase to begin January 31, 2005. The construction bid date is set for June 25, 2006, and the facility would open in June of 2007.

Mr. Clint Jobe, Director of Real Estate Services, Wake County Public School System, was recognized for comments. He stated that the funding request had been reduced from $850,010 to $754,303 due to the receipt of the preliminary plat survey with 24.4 acres (not the 27.52 as originally disclosed.

The Commissioners received the information from the Board of Education. The Chairman announced that the item would be placed on the November 15, 2004 consent agenda.
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REPORT ON THE REQUEST FROM WAKE COUNTY
BOARD OF EDUCATION TO APPROPRIATE PLAN 2004 FUNDS

On October 7, 2003, Wake County voters approved a bond referendum for $450 million in general obligation bonds for school construction. In addition, the Wake County Board of Education approved a $550 million Plan 2004 School Building Program designed to meet facility needs for the school system through fiscal year 2008.

At the November 17, 2003 meeting of the Board of Commissioners, the Board approved a resolution appropriating the Plan of Record on the books of the County in the amount of $479.9 million. Approximately $48.7 million of the Plan 2004 is unfunded at this time. It is anticipated that savings in school capital plans Phase IIIB and Plan 2000 may occur to close a portion of the funding gap.

The Board of Education is requesting $140,578,870 which includes $137,125,214 for construction and $3,453,656 of systemwides and permits. This quarterly appropriation will cover projects from December through early March. The next appropriation request is anticipated for February to cover projects from late March through early July.

Mr. Mike Burriss, Associate Superintendent for Facilities, Wake County Public Schools, came forward to comment on the request. At this time there was much discussion about the importance of accurate information being provided to the Commissioners. Commissioner Gurley questioned whether Mr. Burriss should be sworn before speaking to the Commissioners. The County Attorney advised that State law did not prohibit speakers from being sworn and the Board could require it, if it chose to do so. Following more discussion, no action was taken by the Board.

The Commissioners requested the following information: 1) Confirm and identify the use of the $19 million for East Wake High School; 2) further discussion be given to the movement of dollars, and that County staff work with School staff to review the allocation of the $140 million looking at health and safety and equity issues; 3) date of first work order for roof at East Wake High School, whether it was deferred, and cost estimate to repair then and now; 4) separate list of major health and safety needs in all schools in Wake County with some estimate of the cost of repair in order to assess relative to funding.

Commissioner Bryan also raised concerns regarding the percentage of free and reduced lunch students assigned to Knightdale High School—41 percent compared to the average of 18.6 percent—and the impact on the ability of the educators assigned to that school to bring about excellence. He asked that Mr. Burriss share his concerns with the Board of Education and staff.

The Commissioners received the request from the Board of Education to appropriate Plan 2004 funds, and the Chairman announced that the request will be placed on the November 15, 2004 consent agenda.
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PUBLIC COMMENT

The Board of Commissioners desires to hear from the public about the operations and services of Wake County Government. It is for that purpose a time has been set aside for public comment.

Chairman Gardner recognized the following persons:

There were no other persons requesting to be heard. Chairman Gardner declared the public comment portion of the meeting closed
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The Chairman called for a five-minute recess at this time.
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REPORT ON THE REQUEST FROM WAKE COUNTY
BOARD OF EDUCATION TO RE-ALLOCATE PLAN 2000 FUNDS

The Wake County Board of Education is requesting, through an adopted resolution, that the Board of Commissioners approve the reallocation of $356,250 within the Plan 2000 Building program. Plan 2000 included $250,000 of start-up funds for Bugg Elementary and $250,000 for East Millbrook Middle. Bugg Elementary did not make the priority list for Plan 2004 projects, and the project has an unspent balance of $215,340 which is available for use in Plan 2004. Since East Millbrook Middle is number 43 on the priority list, it will not be funded unless $34 million more in savings can be identified. It has a project balance of $150,797 of which $140,910 is expected to be available for reallocation.

In order to provide funding for the mobile/modular solution planned by the School System, the $356,250 of available funds in these two projects will need to be reallocated.

The Commissioners received the information from the Board of Education as presented, and the Chairman announced that the request to reallocate Plan 2000 funds would be placed on the November 15, 2004 consent agenda.
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CARLTON PLACE AFFORDABLE APARTMENTS

Wake County staff is requesting that the Board of Commissioners approve a $250,000 loan to Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation, Inc. (DHIC), a non-profit affordable housing developer, to build Carlton Place Apartments, near downtown Raleigh. The development will contain 80 units, 64 subsidized and 16 market rate units as well as retail space and will increase the number of units available for very low-income families.

On June 7, 2004 the Board of Commissioners approved a $250,000 loan of County capital improvement plan funds to DHIC as part of the 2004 Action Plan. The County’s loan would be secured with a deed of trust in third lien position, behind loans from a private bank and the City of Raleigh.

Upon motion of Commissioner Bryan, seconded by Commissioner Webb, the Board unanimously approved a loan of $250,000 to Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation for the development of Carlton Place Apartments.
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HIGHLAND VILLAGE AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

Wake County staff is requesting the Board of Commissioners’ approval of a $250,000 loan to Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation, Inc., a non-profit affordable housing developer, for Highland Village Apartments in the town of Cary. The development will contain 50 apartment units for families earning below sixty percent of the area median family income, which is less than $42,800 per year for a family of four.

The County’s loan of $250,000 in Federal HOME grant funds will ensure that 15 of the units at Highland Village Apartments are affordable to families earning below 40 percent of the median family income of $28,500 per year for a family of our; five of the 15 units will be available to families living on Social Security Income. Rents on the County subsidized units will range from $90 to $595 per month. The proposed loan terms are two percent interest, amortized over a 20-year period.

Upon motion of Commissioner Ward, seconded by Commissioner Webb, the Board unanimously approved a $250,000 loan to Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation for the development of Highland Village Apartments.
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HOLLENDEN PLACE AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

The Wake County Board of Commissioners is being requested to approve a grant in the amount of $657,766 to Passage Home, Inc., a non-profit community development corporation, to purchase Hollenden Place Apartments in Raleigh. The building contains 24 units, 22 of which will be for families who are formerly homeless and recovering from substance abuse. One unit will be reserved for on-site services and one unit will be for an on-site resident manger. The rent will be $440 per month. Because of the population to be housed, the building will be an alcohol and drug free zone.

Three agencies will split the total development cost equally, with the County’s cost totaling $657,766. The County’s funding would be a grant, with a repayment provision if the property is sold or the units are not rented to the population intended. All three funders, the County, City and North Carolina Housing Finance Agency would share first lien position with a three-way participation agreement.

Upon motion of Commissioner Ward, seconded by Commissioner Bryan, the Board unanimously approved a grant of $657,766 to Passage Home for Hollenden Place Apartments.
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2004 HOUSING ACTION PLAN INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

On June 7, 2004, the Board of Commissioners approved the 2004 Housing Action Plan with the exception of two infrastructure projects: sidewalk installation in Wendell and road pavement in Garner. The Board requested information on why the towns were not using Power Bill funds for these projects before voting on them.

Ms. Annmarie Maiorano, County Housing Manager, reported that both Wendell and Garner receive Powell Bill funds, and these funds can be used for sidewalk installation and road pavement. However, the cost of installing a sidewalk on East Third Street in Wendell exceeds the annual Powell Bill allocation for the entire town. Garner applies a Street Improvement Policy for the pavement of roads, which involves an assessment to properties benefiting from the improvements. The residents of Holman drive are low-income and cannot afford an assessment and the Town uses it Powell Bill allocation to maintain existing streets rather than pave new ones.

The Housing Committee of the Human Services Board recommends that since the Towns are trying to access resources for their low-income residents and working within the framework of an already established procedure, that the Towns receive the funds for their infrastructure projects. However, the Committee will develop criteria for funding infrastructure for future projects in that Community Development Block Grant funds should be used to fund infrastructure projects only when local resources are insufficient, not to supplant existing resources.

Upon motion of Commissioner Bryan, seconded by Commissioner Council, the Board unanimously approved the infrastructure component of the 2004 Housing Action Plan.
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NEW WAKE COUNTY WORK FIRST PLAN
FOR FEDERAL FISCAL YEARS 2005-2007

Each North Carolina county develops a Work First Block Grant Plan, as described in NCGS 108-27. Wake County developed its first biennial Work First County Block Grant plan in 1997. The current Work First plan was written to coincide with Federal Fiscal Years 2003 and 2004, and was approved by the Wake County Board of Commissioners.

Wake County has developed its local Work First Plan for 2005-2007. The Plan outlines steps toward economic self-sufficiency for Work First families, specifically identifying actions to achieve statewide Work First Goals and Work First Goals specific to Wake County. Included in the Plan are identified barriers to employment and strategies for overcoming these barriers.

As part of the planning process, the Wake County Board of Commissioners elected to remain a Work First Standard County. Specific to the planning process is the involvement of the County Commissioners, Human Services Board, Work First Steering Committee, Wake Area Business Advisory Council and focus groups involving Work First recipients. This process also includes public review and comment through a variety of forums.

The Work First Plan has been reviewed and approved by the Wake County Board of Human Services.

Upon motion of Commissioner Council, seconded by Commissioner Webb, the Board unanimously approved the Wake
County Work First Biennial Plan for Federal Fiscal Years 2005-2007.
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APPROVAL TO ESTABLISH TEN POSITIONS
CHILD CARE SUBSIDY PROGRAM

Wake County Human Services is the sole administering entity of public subsidy child care funds in the County, receiving $29,426,099 in federal and state funds this fiscal year from the Office of Child Development and Wake County Smart Start for subsidy and administrative costs.

Wake County Human Services contracted with Family Services Network to administer part of the subsidy program. On July 15, 2004, Family Services Network closed its doors and ceased to operate. The County has used the allocated administrative funds from Smart Start to hire temporary personnel to administer the program since July 16, 2004. Use of temporary positions will be discontinued upon recruitment of regular staff.

The staff needed to administer the program include: (1 FTE) receptionist to receive customers and refer them appropriately, (4 FTE) case managers to determine eligibility and educate parents regarding choosing and using quality child care, (2 FTE) senior case managers to determine eligibility and educate parents regarding choosing and using quality child care, train new staff, monitor cases of case managers, and provide intake of internet requests, (1 FTE) accounting technician to make payments to child care providers, (1 FTE) supervisor for staff, and (1 FTE) Computer System Administrator to support the automated system. The funding for these positions is included in the fiscal year 2004-2005 budget with 100 percent Smart Start funds.

Upon motion of Commissioner Council, seconded by Commissioner Ward, the Board unanimously approved the establishment of ten FTE’s to administer the Child Care Subsidy Program.
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APPOINTMENTS

Following nominations and upon motion of Commissioner Council, seconded by Commissioner Ward, the Board unanimously approved the appointments as listed below, including the suspension of the rules of the Board of Commissioners’ Appointments Policy regarding terms limits as it applies to the Wake County Council on Fitness and Health (Ms. Donna Gregory, Mr. Artie Kamiya and Ms. Kathy Olevsky):
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COMMITTEE REPORTS

The Chairman announced that there were no committee reports.
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OTHER BUSINESS

Commissioner Bryan reported on the October 27, 2004, ribbon cutting of “Club Horizon” for the mentally ill. He indicated that the much needed facility was opened with the assistance of a $100,000 grant through Wake County Human Services.
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Commissioner Council announced the County’s plan for the distribution of the flu vaccine by Human Services. In order to avoid long lines, the vaccine will be given by appointment and persons may call starting Monday, November 8, 2004, between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to schedule an appointment.
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Commissioner Webb suggested that in the near future, the Board of Commissioners revisit, with the Board of Human Services, the long-range plan for patients who will no longer be served by Dorothea Dix.
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The Commissioners extended best wishes to Barry Britt, Emergency Medical Services Director, who has accepted a teaching position at Sandhills Community College. The County Manager indicated that the EMS Director was a key position and the recruitment process will begin to fill that position.
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CLOSED SESSION

Commissioner Webb moved to go into closed session to instruct staff regarding the terms and conditions of contracts to purchase real property for a library, a site of approximately five acres; and for the Little River Reservoir Project, approximately 22 acres of a parcel owned by Rice and Elizabeth Deloatche. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Jeffreys and was unanimously approved.

Following the business in closed session, Chairman Gardner called the meeting back into regular session.
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ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY
LITTLE RIVER RESERVOIR PROJECT

Upon motion of Commissioner Ward, seconded by Commissioner Council, the Board unanimously authorized staff to proceed with the following acquisition to support the development of the Little River Reservoir Project, and authorized the County Manager to execute contracts on behalf of Wake County for the purchase of said property:

22.117 acres owned by Rice and Elizabeth Deloatche at a purchase price of $187,994
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There being no further business to come before the Board at this time, Chairman Gardner adjourned the meeting at 5:00 p.m., upon the motion of Commissioner Council, seconded by Commissioner Jeffreys and the unanimous vote of the Board.
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Respectfully submitted:

Gwen Reynolds
Clerk to the Board
Wake County Commissioners