WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2000
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Tuesday, September 19, 2000 at 7:00 P.M. at the Stewart Simmons Volunteer Fire Department.
PRESENT: Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Sue Sweeting, Vice-Chairman
James Coffey, Commissioner
Jack Lawrence, Sr., Commissioner
Jeff Hedrick, County Attorney
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Libby Link, Clerk to the Board
Commissioner Kohles was out of town and unable to attend the meeting.
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 7:02 P.M. welcoming those in attendance. This was the first meeting the Board had conducted in the Triplett community, and Chairman Hodges thanked the Stewart Simmons Volunteer Fire Department for hosting the meeting.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the September 5, 2000 regular and closed session meeting minutes.
Chairman Hodges referred to Sheriff Lyon’s travel request for Captain Paula Townsend to be on paid leave while attending the National Academy training course in Quantico, Virginia. The minutes reflected that Captain Townsend had agreed to a three-year commitment to remain with the Sheriff’s Department, and Mr. Hodges requested that the minutes be corrected to reflect that Sheriff Lyons had stated that Captain Townsend had agreed to a three-year commitment to remain in law enforcement within the State for a three-year period.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve the September 5, 2000 regular meeting minutes with the correction and the September 5, 2000 closed session meeting minutes as presented.
APPROVAL OF SEPTEMBER 19, 2000 AGENDA
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the September 19, 2000 agenda.
County Manager Nelson requested an additional topic (Miscellaneous Administrative Matters) to consider the following: 1) Clarification of the agreement between the County and Robert S. Segal, CPA PA that was discussed at the Board’s September 5, 2000 meeting; 2) Solid Waste Issues; and 3) To schedule a public hearing for consideration of the Proposed Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program Ordinance.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve the September 19, 2000 agenda with the amendments as requested.
The following department heads and staff introduced themselves:
J. V. Potter, Operation Services Director
Robert Marsh, Maintenance Supervisor
Joe Furman, Planning & Inspections Director
Angie Boitnotte, Project on Aging Director
Deb Wynne, Parks & Recreation Director
Jane Hodges, Board of Elections Director
Larry McLean, Tax Administrator
Jim Harmon, Veterans Service Officer/Safety Director
Doris Isaacs, Finance Director
A. PUBLIC HEARING – COUNTY GOVERNMENT
Chairman Hodges declared a public hearing open at 7:12 P.M. to consider the adoption of new road names for Watauga County.
Planning & Inspections Director, Joe Furman, stated a public hearing was required by general statute (NCGS 153A-239.1) and presented the following road names for approval:
Bald Mountain Township Blowing Rock Township
Daisy Drive Forbes Way
High Rock Drive Hog Lot Road
Little Timberock Road
Beaver Dam Township Old Stillhouse Road
Ash Branch Road Pond View Lane
Mill Farm Road Timberock Road
Trivette Heights Turk’s Cap Lane
Change Alpine Ridge Road to
Blue Ridge Township Meat Camp Township
Hearthstone Lane Banjo Hollow
Peregrine Place Cove Creek Lane
Skyler Lane David Sides Road
Falls Echo Road
Brushy Fork Township
Community College Drive New River Township
Tilley Road Bamboo Heights
Wilderness Trail Shalom Mountain Lane
Sleepy Valley Drive
Cove Creek Township
Bugtussle Lane Seven Devils Township
Sunnie Lane Meadowview Court
Twin Hollows Lane
Will & JC Pardue Road Shawneehaw Township
Elk Township Spring Ridge Lane
Crystal Spring Road
East Crystal Spring Stony Fork Township
Infinity Way Florence Lane
Nature’s Song Drive Frog Hollar
Rising Sun Road Tugman Farm Road
Wildcat Estates Drive
Laurel Creek Township
Mountain Home Road Watauga Township
Salmon Smacker Lane Artence Lane
Seminole Trail Crystal Dew
Willadee Way Holly Lane
There being no public comment regarding the above new road names, Chairman Hodges declared the public hearing closed at 7:14 P.M.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to approve the new road name list as presented.
B. Subdivision Performance Guarantee – Planning & Inspections Director, Joe Furman, presented a contract between the County and Heavenly Mountain Resort, Inc. for road construction at Heavenly Mountain. The Board had previously approved two performance guarantees (certificates of deposit and contracts), however, the contracts were about to expire, and the road construction had not been completed. This new contract combined the previously approved two contracts, extended the time to complete the work, and Mr. Furman requested the Board’s approval.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the new contract and performance guarantee.
C. Request for Addition to Secondary Road System – Planning & Inspections Director, Joe Furman, presented a request for the addition of Hodges Valley Road 0.2 mile, located off NCSR 1107 to the State Maintained Secondary Road System.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to approve the above request be forwarded to the N.C. DOT for consideration.
RESOLUTION BOOK #10, PAGE #38
A. CCC&TI Property Transfer Request – Finance Director, Doris Isaacs, stated she had received a request from Dr. Ken Boham, President of Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute, (CCC&TI) for the County to transfer property (the 4.92 Bolick tract) that adjoined the CCC&TI Watauga Campus. The County purchased the Bolick property in 1996 for approximately $105,000, and the final payment was made in May, 2000. During the Board’s September 5, 2000 meeting, Dr. Sandra Anderson, Executive Director of the CCC&TI-Watauga Campus addressed the Board regarding a $3.1 billion bond package that the General Assembly had approved subject to voter approval on the November 7, 2000 ballot. If approved, this bond referendum would require a local match of approximately $2.3 million. Ms. Isaacs explained that in order for the County to use this property as local match, the County would need to get two appraisals to determine the current market value and adopt a resolution to transfer the property to CCC&TI.
Following brief discussion, it was the consensus of the Board for Ms. Isaacs to proceed with obtaining the appraisals.
B. Budget Amendment – Finance Director, Doris Isaacs, presented the following budget amendment for Board approval:
Account # Description Debit Credit
103586-332004 State Senior Center Grant 12,194
105550-429200 Program Supplies 1,273
105550-455000 Capital Outlay-Other Equip. 6,561
105550-452000 Capital Outlay-DP Equip. 972
Account # Description Debit Credit
105550-451000 Capital Outlay-Equip. 2,286
105550-469514 Contracted Services-Instructor 1,102
This budget amendment recognized State Senior Center Funding that was approved at the Board’s September 5, 2000 regular meeting.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve the budget amendment as presented.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
A. Clarification of the Robert S. Segal, CPA PA (SEGAL) Agreement – County Manager Nelson provided the Board with a Letter of Agreement with Mr. Segal for the N.C. Sales/Use Tax Reallocation. Mr. Nelson explained that Mr. Segal had addressed the Board at its September 5, 2000 meeting with a proposal to assist the County in expense reduction and revenue enhancement. He briefly discussed the proposal which had been approved contingent on County Attorney Hedrick’s approval. County Attorney Hedrick had reviewed the proposal and felt that it did not address the revenue enhancement. County Manager Nelson reviewed the revenues that SEGAL would examine. Also, Mr. Nelson and Finance Director Isaacs had met with Mr. Segal regarding the N.C. Sales and Use Tax Reallocation that SEGAL had proposed for the County. Mr. Nelson briefly reviewed the terms of The Letter of Agreement noting SEGAL’s fee would be 40% of the additional sales tax received. The Town of Boone received approximately 25% of the additional sales tax. Therefore, SEGAL proposed that the Town of Boone’s fee would be 40% of their additional sales tax share. County Manager Nelson recommended the Board approve the Letter of Agreement contingent on the Town of Boone’s participation and approval.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to approve the Letter of Agreement with Robert S. Segal, CPA, PA contingent on the Town of Boone’s approval.
B. Solid Waste Issues - County Manager Nelson briefly reviewed follow-up discussion regarding privatization options at the Landfill as discussed at the Board’s September 14, 2000 special meeting.
Following Mr. Nelson’s discussion of Landfill options, Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved for County Manager Nelson to negotiate with Waste Management of Carolinas, Inc. the County’s current contractor, to determine if a more cost effective contract was available.
C. Proposed Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program Ordinance Public Hearing – County Manager Nelson presented the Proposed Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program Ordinance and noted it had been approved by the Planning Board at its September 18, 2000 meeting. In addition, the Planning Board requested the Board of Commissioners schedule a public hearing for consideration.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to schedule a public hearing to consider the Proposed Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program Ordinance for the Board’s October 2, 2000 regular meeting.
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
Ms. Joan Margolies, Ms. Carol Raley and Ms. Georgia Ayscue all voiced their concerns regarding the County’s Animal Control Department. Their primary concerns dealt with the poor living conditions for the impounded animals of the shelter (i.e. lack of sunlight and poor air circulation). Ms. Margolies encouraged the Board to hire a part-time administrative employee in order to keep the facility open 40 hours per week and Saturday mornings to handle adoptions. They all commended the work that Chief Animal Control Officer, Dave Simpkins, and Animal Control Officer, Anita Gomez, were doing for the County. Vice-Chairman Sweeting asked Mr. Simpkins to prioritize these issues. Mr. Simpkins stated that priority #1 was the building, and he was presently getting estimates for repairs/renovations. It was noted that during the current year’s budget preparation that $30,000 had been allocated for sewer line extension for the Animal Control facility and $25,000 had been budgeted to upgrade the facility itself.
Mr. Walt Lemke asked if the County had a hot line that was monitored over weekends for environmental/pollution control concerns. He briefly discussed a situation that he had experienced over the Labor Day weekend when a creek on his property had become “cloudy” in appearance. Chairman Hodges asked Planning & Inspections Director, Joe Furman, to address Mr. Lemke’s concern. Mr. Furman stated the Sheriff’s Department should be contacted on weekends, adding dispatchers would assess the situation and contact Emergency Management personnel if needed.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to enter Closed Session at 7:55 P.M. to discuss: Personnel Matters – G.S. 143-318.11(a)(6). Following a brief recess, the Board entered Closed Session at 8:07 P.M.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to resume the regular meeting at 8:18 P.M.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:19 P.M.
Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Elizabeth H. Link, Clerk to the Board