Good morning. Good morning and welcome to the House Committee on Government. I want to start off with the introduction of the pages. Joseph Boes(?) from Catawba County sponsored by Representative Setzer. Caroline Glukus(?) from Wayne County sponsored by Representative Bell. Cora Evens from Wake County sponsored by Representative Bell. Hannah Simpson from Gates County sponsored by Representative Mobley. Introduction Sergeant at Arms, Young Bae. Where you at, Young? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Bob Rolson(?). There you go. Charles Goodwin. Patrick Mason. There you go, Patrick. Thank you so much. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to ask you to come on in and get settled down. We've got a large agenda today. We've got a lot of bills to go through and we're going to have some ground rules up front, so please take a seat and prepare. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We've got about seventeen bills on the agenda today, give or take. For the members in the audience, we have a huge sign-up list so I want to make sure you all get this. We're going to ask for each person speaking for or against to pick two or three on each side, not to exceed two minutes. Please remember not to be redundant because we have a lot of bills to go through today, so we'll ask for you to work with us as we try to push these bills through today or the Committee just makes their decision. All right, today first up House Bill 108. Representative Warren. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We'll make this quick because we do have a very large agenda. I don't want to hold you up long. This is a local bill requested by my county sheriff and what he asks us to do is to allow him to have an exemption where he could, with the county commissioners approval, utilize the county sheriff's vehicles for some off-duty use like parking in front of a school, or let officers drop their children off at school on the way. So as just we have a police presence at some of the schools. It's a very passive, security type thing and I'd appreciate your support on the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Burr. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just for a motion at the perfect time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Pittman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just had a question. Would the sheriff submit a list for the county commission to approve, or would this just be a case-by-case issue? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It'd be a case-by-case issue and it's a very cooperative effort between the county sheriff and the county commissioners. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions from the Committee? Any questions or comments from the general public on this bill? Representative Burr, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I move that we give House Bill 108 a favorable report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentlemen, we have a motion. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any opposed? The motion carries. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative Warren. Next up, House Bill 422. Representative Brawley. You have the floor, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I don't know what the record is for shortest bills, but this might be in contention. It's a one-liner. Basically, the town of Marshville ?? briefly explain. The town of Marshville, by resolution, has asked me to remove a section of their utility billing. Marshville is one of those communities that... we just had a bill this week by Representative Cleveland called "Water and Sewer Fiscal Health". If Marshville doesn't do this bill to help their fiscal health of their water and sewer department, they will be approached by the state to help out. Basically, what they're doing is they want to revise their utility billing procedures to match... and they will take as a guideline the section 163, A314 statute. Any questions? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Collins. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Make a motion to represent. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Do we have any other comments from the Committee? Representative Brawley(?). [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'd like to make a motion for favorable report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Excuse me. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Oh, excuse me. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Mobley, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. This bill, would it require the customers to be aware of and had they been made aware of the fact that this is going to happen? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, they generally wouldn't be aware that it's going to happen. They'd probably be aware that-
… did happen, if it does. What’s happening in Marshville is that they provide their own water and sewer services and they charge, the full budget is about $900,000. For the whole town, about $95,000 of it is delinquent or unpaid, and what they are trying to do is shorten the time by which they can turn off the water. Right now, it’s almost 70 days. They want to shorten it to the statutory limit which is just over 30, about 35. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions from the committee? Representative Collins, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’d like to make a motion for a favorable vote on House bill 427. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentlemen, we have a motion. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any opposed? [SPEAKER CHANGES] No. [SPEAKER CHANGES] One opposed. They ayes have it. Committee chair, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] House bill next is 442. Municipal incorporation changes. Representative Brown. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It appears we have a PCS. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have a PCS before us. Representative Presnell makes a motion to put the PCS before us. All those in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We’re going to have the PCS. Representative Brown you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair. Members of the committee, what this bill does is give a voice to property owners who aren’t necessarily registered voters. It gives them a voice at the front end of the process of establishing a municipal incorporation. I got some interest in this two years ago because of an issue that we were confronted with, and realized that this bill is not going to pertain to a large number of people in this state. But for those it will effect, for those who own property, who live elsewhere a majority part of the year, and who are registered to vote elsewhere, they still own this property and they still deserve to have a voice in weather or not a municipal incorporation goes forward. At present they have no voice whatsoever. So this bill, if you will look at section 1, the petition, signed by 15% of the registered voters, we have just matched that with a petition signed by 15% of the property owners with each property having one vote. It doesn’t matter if the property is owned by multiple owners, each owner will have to sign the petition, but there will be one vote per property. That is the most significant change in this bill. What we did not want to do was to effect the way that municipal incorporations, the basic way that they are established in this state, because my county has so many, they have incorporated so many areas, and we know that traditionally and historically this happened because of encroachment, of fear of encroachment by larger cities. So I in no way wanted to impair a community’s ability to incorporate for any reason that they saw fit. Except for this change, there are some technical changes throughout the bill. At the end, there is a closing. There has to be an end point to this process. Right now there is no endpoint. We have municipal incorporation petitions that were started back before 2000, and we know that those are not valid. People unfortunately died, they moved, they divorced. So we put an endpoint of three years for a community to get the petition done and to submit it to the subcommittee on municipal incorporation. I think that’s a very fair timeline to get that done, and it certainly provides for more valid petition process. If anyone has any questions, I’d be glad to take those, and we have staff here as well if I get stymied. Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Representative Brown. Any questions from the committee? Representative Ford. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For a motion at the proper time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you sir. Anyone else questions from the committee? Representative Ford, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Move favorable to house bill 442 to the PCS unfavorable to the original with a referral to finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentlemen, we have a motion before us. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any opposed? Committee chair the aye’s have it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Thank you very very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Next before us we have House bill 625, Zoning Healthcare Structure. Representative Moffitt. Sir you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair, member of the committee. For those of you returning from last session, this bill will look very familiar. This bill originally presented to the committee on government, did have some issues. Representative Robeson at that time recommended that it go to a subcommittee that was chaired by Representative Faircloth, with members including Representative Floyd and Goodman. Also during that subcommittee meeting we…
This with the league of municipalities in the city of Charlotte at the same time, but essentially what this bill does is it provides for a, the authority for the cities and counties to zone and regulate temporary healthcare structure. Temporary healthcare structure is really designed to provide for a structure to be placed on your property in an area that's zoned single family residential for the purposes of providing either a place to live for an incapacitated person either end of life care or somebody that's recovering from an injury or traumatic event or a place for the caregiver to reside with the primary patient, if you will, residing in their home or for providing those care services. Essentially, the city and county, if you go to the second page of your bill summary all the following apply to the temporary healthcare structure. The one that I want to recognize is that a permit is required prior to the installation of the facility. There is a fee required. The city or county can at reasonable times inspect the temporary healthcare structure. They also can require an annual renewal of the doctor's certification of the physical or mental impairment. That's the explanation, I'm prepared to take your questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative Moffitt. Questions from the committee. Representative Moore. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Representative Moffitt, hopefully we can encompass one, when you use the word temporary, give me your assessment of what that actually means. When you say temporary do you mean a structure that's going to be there for one or two years, six months, two to five years, and my second half of that is when does that particular, if it's over a certain time amount, when is it deemed as a permanent structure to the property if at all. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative Moore. I think for the sake of time, I'll let Miss Erica Churchill answer your question. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Representative Moore. This bill as drafted does not put any time limits on the structure itself because it could be there indefinitely, but it is temporary to the property because it is not permanently installed on the real property. The city or the county would have the ability to ask the property owner, who is the caregiver, or the individual needing assistance to annually prove to the county or city that that individual still needed assistance with a recommendation from the doctor for that individual. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Representative Goodman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just wanted to say that I was on a subcommittee like Representative Moffitt said. We studied this issue carefully. I think it's a good bill and I'd like to offer a motion at the appropriate time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Representative Wilkins. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Representative Moffitt what I'm reading I think tells me that rather than superseding the zoning this works hand in glove with zoning. Am I reading correctly? [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's correct. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Fisher. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a question that may really, it doesn't really have to do with government committee exactly, but I'm wondering about how a family, a caregiver, might apply for or if this goes into effect would it be eligible for Medicaid or Medicare cost. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Reimbursement? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Reimbursement? [SPEAKER CHANGES] May I answer the question? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative Fisher. That's actually a very intriguing question. What I will do is I'll try to get an answer for you between now and finance, and I know you're not on finance, but that is a good question to get an answer to. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hallie. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair, I have a quick question. In areas that have protected covenants about other structures which would have weight with this, would this be allowed in areas that have protected covenants about other structures that can be built on the property. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative Hallie. It is my understanding that if a covenant exists, the covenant would supersede this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions from the committee? Representative Warren.
Thank you. Representative Moffatt, would you consider an amendment to this, not at this time, that might set some type of recognition for a time limit or time for removal after its function has been performed. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative Warren. There’s actually a provision in the bill itself that once the intended use is no longer needed, we have to remove the temporary healthcare structure within sixty days. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would you consider that’s something that defines the time? I understand that in some cases, it might be two years, three years or whatever – some way to define what use has been fulfilled. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chair, if I could defer that question to staff because I feel that it’s adequately covered in the bill as it’s written now, but I could be wrong. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Staff? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. On page 2, line 34, is the language Representative Moffatt is referring to. When the temporary healthcare structure is no longer needed for the care of the medically or mentally impaired person, it must be removed within 60 days. The determination as to whether or not the mentally or physically impaired person is no longer receiving or in need of assistance is actually the determination of the doctor of that person, which is the county or city’s ability to ask for an annual renewal statement of that doctor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative Warren. You feel comfortable. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Absolutely and I apologize for not catching that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions for the committee? At this time, Representative Goodman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank, Mr. Chairman. Move for a favorable report with a referral to finances. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have a motion before us. All in favor say, “Aye”. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any opposed? Ayes have it. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Next up, House Bill 841. Representative Ramsey. The Chair apologizes. Next above us is House Bill 769. We do have a PCS before us. Representative Bell makes a motion to put the PCS before us. All in favor say, “Aye”. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Ramsey, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good morning. Thank you, Mr. Chair. Members of the committee, it’s my honor to present House Bill 769 to you. I appreciate the other primary sponsors on this bill for bringing this forward. The purpose of this bill is to allow single-family manufactured homes in counties for that to be a housing option. For folks, that is a very affordable housing option, oftentimes for individuals, especially with the economy the way it is. That is something that is oftentimes needed. I want to make it clear, though, this bill does not affect you if you live in an incorporated area. It does not affect you if the land has deed restrictions that would prohibit that. And currently, state law says that counties cannot exclude manufactured homes from their jurisdiction, but oftentimes they locate these homes in often undesirable areas of the community. But it does provide, and this is part of the reason for the PCS. This bill does provide that the counties can regulate design and aesthetics standards. It can regulate the picture roof, the type of shingles, the type of siding, providing porches and other things to make sure that these rooms fit in with the conformity of the community. Again, it’s only for single family homes. I would appreciate any questions that you might have about this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any questions for the committee? Representative Burr. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just for a motion at the appropriate time, Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Fisher. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was just interested to know how the bill changed from the original bill to the PCS. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative Fisher. I think the original intent of the bill was to give counties the ability to regulate aesthetics and design standards. I think the original bill though, in actuality, perhaps did not do that. The purpose of the PCS to make it very clear that the county should have the ability to regulate appearance and design standards for manufactured homes. Actually, this is somewhat similar to House Bill 150. We’re making it clear that county’s do still have that authority only with respect to manufactured homes to relay any…
?? that folks in the community may have. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Representative. Any questions from the committee. Representative Brody. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Ramsey, if you could, we had this discussion we had this discussion on 150 and I’m kind of a little fuzzy on it, but the restrictions allowable restrictions for a community limit square footage of the houses. I don’t know if that’s included in the design standards and aesthetic standards. Most of the subdivisions have square footage standards and of course, some of these manufactured homes are a little bit smaller. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir, Representative Brody. It’s my understanding, and maybe perhaps staff could clarify. The bill, there is a minimum square footage through the HUD code home. Unless there were private deed restriction that limit to 1000 square feet or a certain size of the home would not be regulated, but the design and aesthetics would be, so picture groups and things like that. If a staff member maybe can clarify that, but that’s my understanding. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Faircloth. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Question of the bill’s sponsor. Tell me how this would affect a municipality. [SPEAKER CHANGES] It would not affect a municipality at all. this does not apply to incorporated areas. This bill only applies to unincorporated areas, so that’s why it’s sites counties specifically. There were other zoning jurisdictions. This bill does not apply to those areas. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions for the committee. Representative Burr, you’re recognized for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I move that we give the proposed Committee Substitute to House Bill 769 a favorable report, unfavorable as to the original. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentlemen, we have a motion before us. All in favor say aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any opposed. The ayes have it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Next to have the floor is House Bill 778. Representative Torbitt. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. This bill is a simple bill. If you’ve had a chance to look at it. The point of origin of this bill is when I’ve had the pleasure to work under the tutelage of Master Gunnery Sergeant George Cleveland last session in ??. The state auditor brought forth to us and was telling some things she had worked on and found out and I asked her, what happened to her once she had concluded. She said, pretty much there was no official next step, so this provides that next step. As representatives of the people with their fiduciary responsibility at heart, this provides that next step and allows for the General Assembly to review the state auditors’ reports and decide where to do we go from there. Do we move on them, do we act on them? And it places that in the hands of the Appropriations. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Torbitt. Questions from the committee. Representative Cleveland. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. For a motion when appropriate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative. [SPEAKER CHANGES] This is probably a stupid question, but, he says each Senate Appropriations Committee and House Appropriations Subcommittee. Is there reason for the difference between committee and subcommittee? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, I have a stupid answer as well. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You are recognized. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Senate may or may not have subcommittees so they have a committee that oversees it whereas the House decides to have a full approps and then sub out. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Moore. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just a quick question for the bill’s sponsor. I dont’ have a problem with this bill. Has the state auditor given any opinion about the text of this bill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I believe someone in her department tweeted that they like it. I’ve heard no opposition. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions from the committee. Representative Holley. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, Thank you, Mr. Chair. I understand that this is going from the auditors to the committee to determine that there’s
Any legislation needed, but is the governmental entity involved in this process at all, like is it, if it comes from DOA, if that is the problem identified do they have any input input into it at any point or time? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Would you repeat that again? I was listening but I caught the middle of it, I think I lost a couple of important words. [SPEAKER CHANGES] No problem, okay you're taking it from an ?? into an governmental is coming over here for report and action. Is the department, the governmental entity or the department that is being audited by their participant in this process? In trying to you know, I know that there is a lot of problems that they can fix internally, and I see that you covered some of that, but are they part of the process as far as areas that they feel legislation is needed, are they a part of this at all? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I don't think it specifically listed being part of it but, most definitely they would be. And I'm actually reviewing a little clause I may add at the next step to just put that language in, but yeah, I would think as like I say again, of having a ?? ?? of the people at our heart, that we would look at both the report, the audit, and discuss it with whatever that audit was regarded to, and then this is pretty much just the action taking step. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions from the committee? As time representative Cleveland, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES]?? at first if I may ??. Any audit that pertains to a government agency, if it's being reviewed by an appropriations committee would include the agents and it would not be excluded it would be defending themselves, and the idea of them not being included is outlandish. My motion is favor a report on house bill 778. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentleman we have a motion for house bill 778 favorable, all in favor say "I". [SPEAKER CHANGES] "I" [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any oppose? ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you chairman and members of the committee. Next we have up, senate bill 75. Representative Shepard. Sorry, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. Basically what we have here is a local bill that ?? ?? board of commissioners. As for, it's senate bill 75, it will give them the ability to and allow for them to have construction for capitol improvements which both have public and private components. This is for a human services facility, it has been used before many times, recently in ?? County for the construction of a library, ?? capital improvement, jobs and so forth. Pass this now to the senate and so if you have any questions, i'm free to answer any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any questions for the committee representative Cleveland. [SPEAKER CHANGES] For motion on the ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Niel. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That was my intent also. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions for the committee? Now is your time. Representative Cleveland, you have the floor for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman, approval of senate bill 75, favorable report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have a motion of a favorable report, all in favor say "I" [SPEAKER CHANGES] "I" [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any opposed say no, I's have it. Next up house bill 788, representative ??. We have a PCS ??, representative ?? moved we put the PCS to force, all in favor say "I" [SPEAKER CHANGES] "I" [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative ?? you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Chairman, this bill is a bill that allows water and sewer authorities rate flexibility to protect water resources, so let me give you a little background on that. I'll talk about my district first, we get water from the river, and we get water from ground water. The river allocations are reduced, the new seven q10 are reducing allocations for almost everybody, and the new environmental base flow steady will probably reduce allocations even more, so it's important that we.
Five ways to protect our water resources locally, and presently, utility authorities do not have the rate flexibility necessary to do that. I’ll give you an example. If you wanted to store the water in an aquifer at ??? Beach during the wintertime, when you’ve got extra capacity, you would have to charge them the same rate that you charge everybody else, which would make it unaffordable to do the aquifer storage. This would give them that flexibility to negotiate that. Also, we’ve got a well filled that is dewatering ponds and wetlands, this would allow them to put water during the wintertime, when they have excess capacity, in these ponds for aquifer recharge and wetland recharge. So it’s a way to provide that flexibility, and water is going to be the future goal for North Carolina. If we don’t have adequate water supplies, nothing we do is going to entice business to come here or keep people here. So this is a way to maximize what we have during the low flow season, and store as much as possible to either protect or mitigate problems that have happened. This could also be used in all of the coastal utility authorities, and possibly could be used for above ground storage and some of the inland or piedmont utility authorities. So, I urge your support of this bill please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ladies and gentleman do we have any questions from the committee? Any comments? Representative Fisher. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Mr. Chairman. I guess I’d just like to hear a little more about how this will be implemented in your particular area. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well I served on the Water and Sewer, ?? Public Utility Authority as a Commissioner. And we talked to ?? Beach, for example, about storing water in the aquifer during the wintertime. But there was no rate flexibility and so it was unaffordable to do that. All this will do is give the opportunity to start negotiating, it won’t necessarily solve the problem. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follw-up Mr. Chairman? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Will this bill allow you to, allow your town to spread the rates equally across the members, the people who are using the water, or will it allow for some variation depending on the use/usage? [SPEAKER CHANGES] No, there is no variation for the users. This is only for protection of the water resource. That’s the only flexibility. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Cleveland. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I’m somewhat at a loss of exactly what we are doing here. Are you saying that we are going to pump water into an aquifer for storage? Or we’re going to not have people pump out of an aquifer at certain times of the year? I’m really kind of at a loss of exactly what we’re doing. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And I apologize, it is a complicated issue. All this does is if, ?? Beach wants to do aquifer storage, or Carolina Beach, or Curry Beach, or Figure Eight Island, they can negotiate with the utility authority for a rate that’s affordable. If they’re not successful in the negotiation it won’t happen. It doesn’t force anybody to do anything. It does not do anything to stop people from using wells. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Cleveland. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I guess you’ll have to define aquifer storage for me, because aquifer’s hold water and we pump it out and use it. So if you would define ‘aquifer storage.’ [SPEAKER CHANGES] You take treated water, and you put it into the ground, and in our case, it would actually cause a barrier to salt water intrusion, because once the aquifer’s become salty, they’re gone forever. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow-up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I believe in the state of North Carolina, this law is presently to prevent the pumping of water into the ground, if I’m not… [SPEAKER CHANGES] Maybe we can ask staff one question. Staff can you answer that quest for us? We’re asking the question if it’s currently against the law to pump -- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman? It is for waste water but not for treated water. And right now, aquifer storage occurs in New Hanover County, but not necessarily at the right places. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions? Representative Ramsey
Representative Katlin, does this bill, in any way, impact - you know, there's been a long going debate about water resources and the ability of private individuals to use ground water under their property. Is this impacted in anywa way by that? [SPEAKER CHANGERS]
The state and the city of Wilmington and so the ruling, the rule is currently that they would in order to redevelop those sites they had to be brought up to the current day standard. Well, as Representative Catlin has mentioned, lots of these properties are small and they are unable to meet those requirements. What was frustrating to me as a planner when these projects would come up was that there were ways to improve the stormwater runoff of these properties through redevelopment, but they were unable to meet that higher standard of redevelopment, so what this allows us to do is take those allocations, those stormwater numbers and where they would have to be brought into total compliance, the numbers could be shifted over to other areas of town where there are regional treatment areas and allow for the redevelopment of the site which ultimately serves to improve the stormwater runoff from that site. It may not be at 100% of the current requirement, but it would be a net improvement to what currently exists, and this is to those of you in more urban counties, when you're not in a downtown area, there's more peripheral areas that are still considered urban. This allows us to improve stormwater runoff water quality/water quantity issues. Although not bringing it up to the highest standard, it's still a net improvement. For example, in most central business districts across the state, we don't require any stormwater retention at all in those central business districts and historic districts, so this is just allowing more flexibility in defined redevelopment areas, and I think it's really one of the best bills that I've seen come through the general assembly in my time here. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Real quick. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah, real quick. This is also, you know, cities cannot annex anymore so the answer for municipalities is redevelopment of what they've got. This is a tool to help them improve. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any questions from the committee. Representative Wilkins. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Representative Catlin, if you had to hang a name on it, would it be mitigation or credits or a little bit of both or something different. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's a good question. It allows allocation flexibility of excess stormwater capacity for urban redevelopment. I don't know what one word would do that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I would have a motion when you deem it appropriate. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Representative Collins. Representative Faircloth. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Representative Catlin, if we have a suburban developer who needs capacity for runoff and, am I gathering here that that could be a possibility for a city to work with them and provide that runoff on an off site? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. I actually read it wrong. It authorizes counties and cities. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Does it have to be public land for the runoff or can it be a privately held piece of land. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I don't know that there's any restriction on that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Holly. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Is there a minimum standard? You know, you can go in some redevelopment areas and you can make an improvement, but still in 10 or 15 years you're going to have a problem again. Is there a minimum level of improvement that must be done in this? [SPEAKER CHANGES] This is strictly a flow calculation. If the stormwater pipes can handle the flow of that proposed project then they can allocate that capacity to that project. That project still has to meet the quality requirements, which might be sand filters or something like that, but that is going to meet that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Any other questions from the committee? Representative Wilkins, you're recognized for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. We are still dealing with the house bill, is that correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And there's no further referral. That being the case, my motion would be for a favorable report.