WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MONDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2001
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, October 1, 2001 at 9:00 A.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse.
PRESENT: Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
James Coffey, Vice-Chairman
Jack Lawrence, Sr., Commissioner
Sue Sweeting, Commissioner
Pat Wilkie, Commissioner
Jeff Hedrick, County Attorney
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Anita Fogle, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 9:01 A.M. welcoming those in attendance.
A moment of silence was observed at which time Chairman Hodges asked that the terrorist attacks on the United States of America on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 be remembered.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the September 4, 2001 closed session minutes and the September 18, 2001 regular and closed session meeting minutes.
Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to approve the September 4, 2001 closed session meeting minutes and the September 18, 2001 regular and closed session meeting minutes as presented.
APPROVAL OF OCTOBER 1, 2001 AGENDA
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the October 1, 2001 agenda.
County Manager Nelson requested to amend the agenda to include, under Miscellaneous Administrative Matters, item E. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance Renewal Proposal and item F. Announcements.
Commissioner Wilkie, seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to approve the October 1, 2001 agenda as amended.
PUBLIC HEARING – GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND
Chairman Hodges declared the public hearing open at 9:03 A.M. to allow for comment on the General Obligation Bond.
At the September 18, 2001 Board meeting, Finance Director Isaacs introduced and reviewed a Resolution for a Bond Order Authorizing the Issuance of $11,800,000 General Obligation Refunding Bonds by the County of Watauga. Ms. Isaacs stated that the next step in refinancing the General Obligation Bonds is to adopt the proposed Bond Resolution and to publish the Resolution as a public notice.
There being no public comment, Chairman Hodges declared the public hearing closed at 9:04 A.M.
Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Vice-Chairman Coffey, moved to adopt the General Obligation Bond Resolution as presented by Ms. Isaacs.
DISCUSSION OF SOLID WASTE ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM
Mr. Hugh Jernigan, Waste Management Division, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), presented the Board with a general history of solid waste management in North Carolina and reviewed some of the successful programs in North Carolina. Mr. Jernigan then answered questions from the Board, County Attorney Hedrick, and County Manager Nelson. Mr. Jernigan stated that DENR would consider interrupting funding the County receives if the County does not begin a program to stop unpermitted dumping and other solid waste violations in the County and that an adequate County program will require an amended ordinance and a full-time enforcement officer’s position.
No Board action was taken as none was required.
A. Monthly Collections Report – Tax Administrator, Kelvin Byrd, presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of September 2001.
B. Releases and Refunds – Tax Administrator Byrd presented the following Refunds and Releases for September 2001 for Board approval:
TO BE TYPED IN MINUTE BOOK
Vice-Chairman Coffey, seconded by Commissioner Wilkie, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report as presented.
PROJECT ON AGING ANNUAL REPORT
Project on Aging Director, Angie Boitnotte, stated that the North Carolina Division of Facility Services required an annual report be complied and presented to the Board each year. Ms. Boitnotte reviewed the report and answered questions.
Vice-Chairman Coffey, seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, made a motion to accept the annual report as presented.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
A. Offer to Purchase Ginn House – County Manager Nelson reviewed an Offer to Purchase for the Ginn property from Mr. Michael Vetro. The offer was in the amount of $367,500 and expired October 12, 2001. County Attorney Hedrick stated that the offer could be accepted to start the upset bid process which would require a 10 day public notice between each bid, however, the expiration in Mr. Vetro’s offer would not allow proper procedure to be followed given the time restriction. The County Attorney stated that an ad can run until bids stop, and the Board does not have to ultimately accept any of the bids including Mr. Vetro’s. County Attorney Hedrick stated that he would convey to Mr. Vetro that the Board was interested in his offer if there were no contingencies (date restrictions).
By consensus, the Board, agreed to have County Attorney Hedrick contact Mr. Vetro and state that the Board was interested in the offer if it did not contain a date restriction.
B. Water/Sewer Study Committee Discussion – County Manager Nelson presented the Board with a recommended list of representatives for the Water/Sewer Study Committee. The Board, by consensus, directed the Manager to have the list published and to request nominations from each category on the list and also from the public.
C. Proposed Memorandum of Understanding for RPO – County Manager Nelson stated that at the April 2, 2001 meeting the Board approved for Watauga County to form an RPO (Rural Transportation Planning Organization) with the other six counties of the Region D Council of Governments area. The Board reviewed a Memorandum of Understanding between the counties and municipalities in the seven county area of Region D Council of Governments to cooperatively form a RPO. The County Manager stated that the adopted State Budget included funds for the formation of RPOs.
Vice-Chairman Coffey, seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, made a motion to adopt the Memorandum of Understanding as presented.
D. Discussion of Renaming James Trivette Road – County Manager Nelson stated that the discussion of renaming James Trivette Road was tabled at the September 18, 2001 Board meeting. Since that time another property owner on the road had come forward and signed the petition to change the road to Old Anderson Quarry Road. Five resident property owners and one non-resident property owner had signed the petition which meant that six of the eight property owners had petitioned for the road name to be changed.
Chairman Hodges asked for public comment at which time Mr. Robert Bentley spoke in favor of the name change and Mr. James Trivette spoke in opposition to the name change.
Commissioner Wilkie, seconded by Vice-Chairman Coffey, made a motion to adopt the name change of James Trivette Road to Old Anderson Quarry Road as presented.
After discussion, Commissioner Lawrence called for the question at which time Chairman Hodges asked to abstain from the vote as the road in question is in his Township.
E. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Renewal Proposal – Finance Director Isaacs presented the Board with a renewal proposal for medical insurance from Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Ms. Isaacs stated that the rates were very good at only a 7.2% increase over the current year. Ms. Isaacs recommended that the Board approve the renewal but stated that requests for proposals would be solicited for both the dental and life insurance coverage.
Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Vice-Chairman Coffey, made a motion to accept the renewal proposal from Blue Cross/Blue Shield for medical insurance as presented by Ms. Isaacs.
F. Announcements – County Manager Nelson announced that there was a public meeting and a release of the Draft of the Watauga River Basinwide Water Quality Plan on October 23, 2001 at 6:30 P.M. at the Watauga County Agricultural Conference Center.
County Manager Nelson announced a public forum on the new state plan for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services from 6:30 P.M. till 9:30 P.M. on October 9th at the Mountain AHEC in Asheville.
County Manager stated that Mr. Deron Geouque accepted the position of Assistant County Manager and would begin at the end of October.
Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Vice-Chairman Coffey, moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:22 A.M.
Anita J. Fogle
Clerk to the Board