The Catawba County Board of Commissioners met this morning in regular session during their day-long retreat at the Catawba Valley Community College Workforce Development Innovation Center.
The Board adopted a Resolution of Intent to Sell or Convey Catawba County Home Health, for the purpose of declaring its intent to sell or convey that entity. The County owns Catawba County Home Health. In order to consider selling Home Health, the Board of Commissioners must first adopt a resolution declaring its intent to sell. Approximately twenty potential purchasers were identified. Five have expressed interest. Once a buyer has been identified, the intent is to negotiate the terms of a sale. A public hearing on the Resolution of Intent to Sell or Convey Catawba County Home Health will be held at the board’s regular meeting on November 2.
The Board approved an Economic Development Agreement between the County and Axjo America, Inc., the adoption of a related resolution, and authorizing the Chair to execute these along with any other needed documents. Axjo America, Inc. plans to up-fit and/or equip an existing manufacturing facility at 221 S. McLin Creek Road in Conover. It plans to invest a minimum of $11.1 million, and create 14 new jobs and retain 15 existing jobs over five years. The average wage of all new jobs created will meet or exceed 100% of the county average wage of $36,770 annually or $17.68 per hour.
The Board approved the Fiscal Report and Settlement of 2014 taxes for Fiscal Year July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. As required by North Carolina General Statutes 105-352, and 105-373, the Tax Collector is required to make an annual settlement for all taxes in the hands of the Tax Collector for collection. The Tax Collector reported that 97.83% or $84,448,122, of the $86,324,453 Tax Year 2014 levy has been collected.
Electricity was knocked out in part of Hickory this morning when a power pole came down on 3rd Avenue NE just past the intersection with 7th Street NE. The mishap occurred on the one-way road that leads to the SALT Block. According to reports, a tractor-trailer hit a power line, ultimately pulling the pole down. The power outage affected traffic lights in the area and WHKY Radio was knocked off the air for close to an hour. Crews worked on getting power restored until late Monday morning.
The Town of Drexel had a discharge of untreated wastewater from its collection system holding tank located at the 524 Bryant Road pump station of an estimated 4,200 gallons. The discharge occurred Saturday (October 3) at 10:45 a.m. and continued for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The untreated wastewater entered Propst Creek of the Catawba River Basin. The discharge was caused by heavy rainfall amounts over the area. No additional details on the discharge were released. For more information contact Don Barker, Water Sewer Supervisor at 828-437-7421.
The City of Morganton Water Resources Department planned to shut off water service on NC 126 to repair a water leak on a four-inch water line. Water service will be shut off from Watermill Road to Frank Whisnant Road. About 70 homes will be affected. Workers expect to have the water back on by noon today, barring any unforeseen problems.
The Caldwell County Economic Development announced late last week that Automated Solutions, a diversified manufacturer of packaging products, plans to expand into a building in Lenoir that could allow the company to increase its full-time workforce by as many as 20 jobs, which represents 50 percent of the company’s current workforce, over the next two years.
In operation since 1998, Automated Solutions came to Caldwell County five years ago when it purchased a former Hammary Furniture site in Sawmills. Aided by a North Carolina Rural Center Building Re-use Grant and a Caldwell County Local Jobs Incentive, the company initially retained and created 25 jobs – a total that has since grown to 40 this year.
According to Automated Solutions President and CEO Steve Ellis, the company has acquired more than 90,000 square feet of space off Morganton Boulevard in order to take its packaging manufacturing to another level. Ellis said the company hopes to begin production at its new facility in December, adding that operations at the current Sawmills facility will continue.
The product is utilized by businesses for industrial packaging and comes in a roll format. The company already produces an array of packaging materials that are utilized by packaging distributors, furniture manufacturers, major big-box retailers, and a host of other businesses.
Known as Project Freeze Frame when it was presented to the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners by Caldwell County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Deborah Murray, Automated Solutions is eligible for a Local Jobs Incentive grant for new full-time jobs created and maintained for at least one year. According to the proposal approved by the commissioners, Automated Solutions could receive up to $40,000 if 20 full-time jobs meet the incentive program’s criteria.
25-year-old Arsenio Antoine Malone was arrested Saturday (October 3) by authorities in Burke County. He’s charged with felony assault by strangulation and felony trafficking heroin. Malone was placed in jail in Morganton under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance on the strangulation charge was scheduled for today (Monday, October 5). A Superior Court date for the heroin charge is set for November 2.
The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will consider a resolution of intent to sell or convey Catawba County Home Health, when it meets beginning at 9:30 a.m. today (Monday, October 5), at the Catawba Valley Community College Workforce Development Innovation Center at 2601 21st Street Drive SE in Hickory. The Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed sale at its meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, November 2, at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 N. College Avenue in Newton.
The Board will also consider a proposed Economic Development Agreement Monday between the County and Axjo America, Inc., which plans to up-fit and/or equip an existing manufacturing facility in Conover, invest a minimum of $11.1 million, and create 14 new jobs and retain 15 existing jobs over five years. And the Board will receive from the County Tax Collector the annual Fiscal Report and Settlement of 2014 taxes for Fiscal Year July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.
The 9:30 a.m. regular meeting will take place during the Board’s day long retreat at the Workforce Development Innovation Center that was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. with an update of progress Emergency Management has made in meeting a Board goal to, “review the County’s emergency management program for improvements designed to provide efficient and effective pre-hospital emergency services, reduce loss of life and human suffering, minimize property damage and protect areas from disasters”. After the regular meeting at 9:30 a.m., the Board will discuss setting a vision for the County; the Board’s goals for Fiscal Year 2016-2017; code enforcement; the Board’s regular meeting space; economic develpoment incentives; sharing among commissioners of information about the boards and committees on which they serve; and an update on preliminary plans and a schedule for a planned Mountain Creek Park.
67-year-old John Henry Taylor of Carl Freeman Avenue in Morganton was arrested Sunday (October 4) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with felony breaking and entering to an automobile, misdemeanor larceny, and misdemeanor possession of stolen goods or property. Taylor was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $15,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, October 5).
26-year-old Matthew Charles Minton of Blowing Rock Boulevard in Lenoir was arrested Friday (October 2) by Probation and Parole officers. He’s charged with felony counts of probation violation, attempted breaking and entering, and breaking and entering to a motor vehicle along with misdemeanor resist, delay, and obstructing an officer. Minton was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $135,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, October 5).
Unemployment rates dropped in all of the counties in the Greater Hickory Metro according to the latest report issued by the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division. Each county’s jobless rate decreased by the same amount, two-tenths of a percent.
According to the report, which reflects unemployment rates in the month of August, Catawba County’s jobless rate dropped to 6 percent even from 6.2 percent. Alexander County’s unemployment rate is now 5.4 percent, that’s down from 5.6 percent in July. Burke County’s unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent, down from 6.3 percent. In Caldwell County, unemployment is now 6.6 percent, down from 6.8 in July.
The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area or MSA saw it’s unemployment rate decrease from 6.3 percent in July to 6.1 percent in the most recent report. That’s the 8th highest unemployment rate out of 15 MSAs in the state.
Unemployment rates decreased in 86 out of North Carolina’s 100 counties, increased in four counties, and remained unchanged in 10 counties. The state’s highest unemployment rate is in Scotland County at 11.4 percent, the lowest is in Buncombe County at 4.6 percent. The state’s unemployment rate is 6.1 percent, just like the local counties and MSAs rate that’s a two-tenths of a percent decrease from 6.3 percent in July.