WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 2015
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting, as scheduled, on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, at 8:30 A.M. in the Commissioners' Board Room of the Watauga County Administration Building, Boone, North Carolina.
PRESENT: Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
David Blust, Vice-Chairman
Billy Kennedy, Commissioner
John Welch, Commissioner
Perry Yates, Commissioner
Stacy C. “Four” Eggers, County Attorney
Deron Geouque, County Manager
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board
Commissioner Yates opened the meeting with a prayer and Commissioner Welch led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 8:31 A.M.
Approval of Minutes
Chairman Hodges called for additions and/or corrections to the May 19, 2015, regular meeting and closed session minutes.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Kennedy, moved to approve the May 19, 2015, regular meeting minutes as presented.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Kennedy, moved to approve the May 19, 2015, closed session minutes as presented.
Approval of Agenda
Chairman Hodges called for additions and/or corrections to the June 2, 2015, agenda.
Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Vice-Chairman Blust, moved to approve the June 2, 2015, agenda as presented.
Proposed Proclamation Declaring June 15, 2015 as Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Ms. Laura Jane Ward, High Country Area Agency on Aging-Ombudsman, presented a proposed proclamation declaring June 15, 2015, as Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Governor McCrory has proclaimed May 8th through June 22nd, 2015, as “Vulnerable and Elder Abuse Awareness Month” in North Carolina.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Welch, moved to adopt the proclamation as presented.
Green Valley Park Assistance Request
Mr. Eric Woolridge, working on behalf of High Country Pathways, requested County assistance in helping to reduce the construction cost of the paved walking loop at the Green Valley Park river access which is being funded through a grant. High Country Pathways is requesting the use of County forces to haul the gravel to the Green Valley Park.
County Manager Geouque stated that should the Board wish to assist High Country Pathways, staff would work the project into the existing schedule with the new ambulance base remaining the priority for County forces at this time.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Kennedy, moved to authorize County staff to haul gravel to Green Valley Park for the construction of the paved walking loop contingent upon the County Manager’s approval.
Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC) FY 2016 Certification, Membership, and County Plan
Ms. Pan Adams-McCaslin presented the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC) Certification and County Plan as well as the membership roster for FY 2016.
Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Vice-Chairman Blust, moved to approve certification, the County Plan and membership as presented by Ms. Adams-McCaslin.
Connect NC Bond Proposal Information
Ms. April Riddle, Western Regional Director for the Governor’s Office, presented a summary of the Connect NC Bond Proposal. The report was for information only and, therefore, no action was taken.
New River Advocates Presentation
Ms. Deborah Greene, Board Member of New River Advocates, Inc., shared a presentation regarding the Advocates issues with the Town of Boone’s proposed raw water intake project. The report was for information only and, therefore, no action was taken.
A. Monthly Collections Report
Tax Administrator Larry Warren presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of May 2015. This report was presented for information only and, therefore, no action was required.
B. Refunds and Releases
Mr. Warren presented the Refunds and Releases Report for May 2015 (which contained releases only for May, no refunds), as well as a report from the new motor vehicle billing system, North Carolina Vehicle Tax System (NCVTS), for Board approval:
TO BE TYPED IN MINUTE BOOK
Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Yates, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report and the North Carolina Vehicle Tax System Refunds and Releases Report for May 2015, as presented.
Adoption of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Ordinance
County Manager Geouque presented the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Ordinance for consideration. Below is a list of changes that were requested by the Board and which have been incorporated into the proposed budget:
? Remove 3% from BCC COLA $ (1,222)
? Increase Children’s Council $ 1,500
? Increase W.A.M.Y. Community Action $ 2,500
? Increase Miscellaneous Revenue $ 2,778 Net Change
? Remove Boone Rural Fire District tax $ (146,402)
rate increase from five cents to six cents
? Decrease Boone Current Year tax revenues $ (146,402) Net Change
Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Welch, moved to adopt the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget as presented.
Miscellaneous Administrative Matters
A. Watauga Medics Proposed Contract Revision – Second Ratifying Vote of Additional Revision
County Manager Geouque presented an additional correction to the amended Ambulance Franchise Agreement with Watauga Medics as follows:
31. For the period of this agreement, the County shall prepay to Franchisee an annual subsidy in monthly installments as follows:
Jan. 1, 2014 - Dec. 31, 2014: $958,518.12 + CPI waived Jan. 1, 2015 - Dec. 31, 2015: Previous Years amount+ CPI adjustment
July 1, 2015 - Dec. 31, 2015: $951,885.84
Jan. 1, 2016 - Dec. 31, 2016: Previous Years amount+ CPI adjustment
Jan. 1, 2017 - Dec. 31, 2017: Previous Years amount+ CPI adjustment
Jan. 1, 2018 - Dec. 31, 2018: Previous Years amount+ CPI adjustment
Jan. 1, 2019 - Dec. 31, 2019: Previous Years amount+ CPI adjustment
Jan. 1, 2020 - Dec. 31, 2020: Previous Years amount + CPI adjustment
North Carolina General Statute 153A-46 requires grants, renewals, extensions, or amendments of any franchise to be passed at two regular meetings of the Board of Commissioners before it may be officially adopted. Due to the additional change this will be considered a first reading.
Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Yates, moved to approve the proposed Ambulance Franchise Agreement with Watauga Medics contingent upon a second ratifying vote at the June 16, 2015, Board meeting.
B. Proposed Revision to the NC State Highway Patrol Lease
County Manager Geouque stated that at the April 7, 2015, Board meeting, approval was given to the lease renewal for office space at the Law Enforcement Center for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) which expired March 31, 2015. The requested renewal amount was $4,560 annually for a term of one year with two one year extensions. However, due to the amount of time that it required for approval of the lease, the State is requesting the effective date be amended to July 1, 2015, to coincide with the fiscal year. The months of April, May, and June were considered as month-to-month extensions.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Vice-Chairman Blust, approved the change of the effective date of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) lease from April 1, 2015 to July 1, 2015.
C. Discussion of Ethics Training Opportunity
County Manager Geouque stated that each newly elected Commissioner is required to have a minimum of two clock hours of ethics education within twelve months after their initial election. Staff can arrange for a webinar to meet this requirement, if you so choose. In the past, the County has paid for the webinar and allowed the elected officials of the municipalities to participate at no charge.
By consensus, the Board directed the County Manager to purchase the webinar and bring dates back for consideration.
D. Boards and Commissions
County Manager Geouque stated that three vacancies will result as terms expire in June on the Economic Development Commission. Paul Combs has served two consecutive three-year terms and is, therefore, ineligible for reappointment at this time. Lauren Waterworth would have done the same, but resigned as a member prior to her term expiring; her seat is currently vacant. Appointments for these two seats will be regular three-year terms. Scott McKinney is relocating and has resigned as well. His term expires in June, 2016; therefore, an appointment to fill his unexpired term (which expires June 2016) will be needed.
A volunteer application was received from Mr. Tim Hodges who expressed interest in serving on the Economic Development Commission.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Welch, moved to recuse Chairman Hodges from the vote.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Welch, moved to waive the second reading and appoint Mr. Tim Hodges to a regular three-year term which will expire in June 2018.
VOTE: Aye-4(Blust, Kennedy, Welch, Yates)
County Manager Geouque announced the following:
? The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country invites you to attend their kickoff celebration for the campaign to renovate and restore the Appalachian Theatre. The celebration will be held on Thursday, June 4, 2015, from 5:00 -7:00 P.M. at the Appalachian Theatre on King Street.
? The North Carolina Department of Transportation invites you to attend a Local Official's Informational Meeting to be held for TIP Project: R-2566- Proposed Improvements to N.C. 105 from Shulls Mill Road to N.C. 105 Bypass. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 16, 2015 from 2:30 - 3:30 P.M. at the Watauga Campus of Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute (Building W372, Room 111) on Community College Drive in Boone. The purpose of the meeting is to provide a status update regarding the project and to gather your comments. An informal, drop-in style Public Informational Meeting will follow the Local Official's Informational Meeting from 4:00 – 7:00 P.M.
? Public hearings will be held on Tuesday, June 16, 2015, to allow for citizen comment on proposed amendments to the following: Ordinance to Regulate High Impact Land Uses and An Ordinance to Regulate Loud Disturbing Noise and Activities.
? You are invited to a Retirement Reception honoring Ms. Jane Ann Hodges, Board of Elections Director. The Reception will be held on Saturday, June 27, 2015, from 2:00 – 4:00 P.M. in the Boone United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.
The following spoke during public comment:
Ms. Carolyn Pena, representing High Country Watch, shared concerns regarding a potential asphalt plant on Hwy 421 South and requested to be placed on the agenda for the June 16, 2015, meeting.
Ms. Ann Ward shared concerns regarding a potential asphalt plant on Hwy 421 South and requested the Board hold a public hearing.
Ms. Deborah Greene shared a handout regarding attorney/client privilege.
At 9:58 A.M., Commissioner Welch, seconded by Commissioner Kennedy, moved to enter Closed Session to discuss Attorney/Client Matters, per G. S. 143-318.11(a)(3).
Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Welch, moved to resume the open meeting at 10:21 A.M.
Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Vice-Chairman Blust, moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:21 A.M.
Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board