WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
TUESDAY, AUGUST 18, 1998
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Tuesday, August 18, 1998 at 7:00 P.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse.
PRESENT: James Coffey, Chairman
Jack D. Lawrence, Sr., Vice-Chairman
Linda S. Craig, Commissioner
Jimmy Hodges, Commissioner
Jack Wellborn, Commissioner
Stacy C. Eggers, Jr., County Attorney
James S. Ratchford, County Manager
Libby Link, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Coffey called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. welcoming those in attendance.
A moment of silence was observed.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Coffey called for additions or corrections to the August 3, 1998 regular minutes; there being none, they were approved as presented.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairman Coffey called for additions or corrections to the August 18, 1998 agenda.
County Manager Ratchford requested adding Register of Deeds computer system bids to the agenda.
Vice-Chairman Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Craig, moved to approve the agenda for the August 18, 1998 regular meeting with the amendment.
PUBLIC HEARING – COUNTY GOVERNMENT
POND CREEK WATERSHED ORDINANCE
Chairman Coffey declared a public hearing open at 7:01 P.M. regarding the Pond Creek Watershed Protection Ordinance in the Beech Mountain area of the County.
Planning & Inspections Director Joe Furman presented the current and proposed provisions of the County’s ordinance. He stated the State had reclassified the East Pond Creek Watershed from WS-II to WS-III water supply watershed classifications effective August 1, 1998. This public hearing was needed to make the County’s ordinance consistent with the State’s watershed designation changes. The Planning Board recommended the Board of Commissioners approve the proposal.
Mr. Bill Elder addressed the Board in support of the WS-III reclassification.
There being no further comments, Chairman Coffey declared the public hearing closed at 7:05 P.M.
Commissioner Hodges seconded by Commissioner Wellborn, moved to amend the County’s ordinance to conform to the WS-III water supply watershed classification.
ORDINANCE BOOK #9, PAGE #93
CHILD PROTECTION TEAM REPORT
Ms. Gail Hawkinson, Chair of the Community Child Protection Team (CCPT) and the Child Fatality Prevention Team (CFPT) addressed the Board to review the purpose and activities of these two teams. In addition, she presented the current membership list for both teams and requested the Board approve the new members for the coming year. All members had agreed to continue to serve except for three individuals. Mark Shook had been appointed by the Sheriff’s Department to represent Sheriff Red Lyons. Tracy Combs had become a member as CFPT Review Coordinator. Dr. Richard Jones or his designee would replace former School Superintendent Greene. Ms. Hawkinson requested an additional member to the CCPT, Reverend Tim Smith, who would represent the religious community.
Commissioner Hodges seconded by Vice-Chairman Lawrence, moved to appoint Mark Shook, Tracy Combs, Dr. Richard Jones and Reverend Tim Smith to the Community Child Protection Team and the Child Fatality Prevention Team.
NEW RIVER NATIONAL HERITAGE RIVER DESIGNATION
Mr. Dave Ragsdale, Watauga County Democratic Party Chairman, addressed the Board stating that on July 30, 1998, the President and Vice-President along with Governor Hunt visited the high country to formally designate the New River as a National Heritage River. He added that in his speech, President Clinton stated this designation would help local groups to enhance the river, make it an attractive and commercially vibrant river, and preserve its environmental characteristics. Mr. Ragsdale noted this was a federally funded project and required no County funding. He stated Ashe County had recently adopted a resolution to support the designation of the New River as an American Heritage, and he requested the Board recognize and endorse this designation.
Commissioner Hodges seconded by Commissioner Wellborn, moved to write a letter to Governor Hunt to support the designation of the New River as a National Heritage River.
MLK I HAVE A DREAM WEEK PLANS
Ms. Cindy Pacileo addressed the Board and reviewed proposed ideas to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. In addition, she presented a proclamation declaring January 15-24, 1999 as I-Have-A-Dream Week in Watauga County and asked for the Board’s support.
Vice-Chairman Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Hodges, moved to proclaim January 15-24, 1999 as I-Have-A-Dream Week in Watauga County.
A. State Road Addition – Planning & Inspections (P&I) Director Joe Furman presented a request for the addition of Park Road (.19 mile located off N.C. Highway 105 South) to the State Maintained Secondary Road System.
Commissioner Wellborn seconded by Commissioner Hodges, moved to approve the above request be forwarded to the N.C. DOT for consideration.
RESOLUTION BOOK #9, PAGE #36
B. Road Abandonment – P&I Director Furman stated the Rutherwood Baptist Church had requested the Board’s support to abandon a portion of State Road 1509 (Don Hayes Road) and introduced Mr. Edsel Hodges to the Board. Mr. Hodges, Rutherwood Baptist Church Trustee, stated the Church requested closing the existing entrance to Don Hayes Road to build a new and safer entrance to the Church. He voiced concern about the heavy traffic on Highway 421 and felt a new entrance would be much safer for Church members. Mr. Hodges added he was not aware of any opposition from individuals residing on Don Hayes Road to this request.
Commissioner Wellborn seconded by Commissioner Craig, moved to approve the above request be forwarded to the N.C. DOT for consideration.
RESOLUTION BOOK #9, PAGE #37
C. Growth Study Commission Nominations – Chairman Coffey stated the Board needed more time to review the names that had been submitted and felt it would be best to delay making appointments at this time. It was agreed to discuss this matter at the next regular meeting scheduled for September 1, 1998.
Assistant County Manager/OSD Bob Frye presented the following bids for placing an eight foot fence at the new Foscoe container site as well as fence repair work to be done at the County’s other container sites.
Foscoe Site Site Repairs Total
Allison Fence Company $11,949 $3,219 $15,168
Wilson Fence Company $14,485 $8,335 $22,820
Mr. Frye recommended the Board approve the low bidder, Allison Fence Company.
Vice-Chairman Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Wellborn, moved to approve the Allison Fence Company bid of $15,168.
SESQUICENTENNIAL ACTIVITIES REPORT
Ms. Len Cone, Coordinator for the County’s Sesquicentennial in 1999, updated the Board on proposed activities noting hundreds of volunteers were working on these projects. In addition, Ms. Cone stated local artist, Richard Tumbleston, was very excited about this celebration and would like to do a print to commemorate this event. Therefore, she requested the Board recognize Mr. Tumbleston, as the County’s official artist for the County’s Sesquicentennial event. It was the consensus of the Board to endorse Richard Tumbleston as the County’s official artist. In addition, the Board hoped that other local artists would share their talents and participate in the celebration as well.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
Project Financing Public Hearing Date – Finance Director Doris Isaacs stated the costs for the construction of the east annex building improvements and the Health Department building improvements were to be financed. She noted there were standard procedures that needed to be followed and requested a public hearing be scheduled for the Board’s September 1, 1998 meeting.
Commissioner Wellborn seconded by Vice-Chairman Lawrence, moved to schedule this public hearing for the September 1, 1998 meeting.
Boards & Commissions – Chairman Coffey noted that Maria Hyde and Boyd Whitley had agreed to continue to serve on the Valle Crucis Historic Preservation Commission.
Vice-Chairman Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Craig, moved to reappoint Maria Hyde and Boyd Whitley to the Valle Crucis Historic Preservation Commission for three year terms.
Computer System Bids – County Manager Ratchford stated the Register of Deeds had requested bids for a new computer hardware and software indexing/imaging system to help with growth and records that utilized so much space. The following bids had been received:
Foresight Computer $167,922
Eagle Computer Systems $229,720
New Vision Computer $342,226
However, Register of Deeds, Wanda Scott, had made the determination that rather than install a completely new indexing/imaging system, the County had the option to maintain its current indexing system and interface an imaging system with it. Mr. Ratchford stated that Ms. Scott had requested the Board reject all of the original bids for the full system so that the bid deposits could be returned to the bidders.
Commissioner Craig seconded by Commissioner Hodges, moved to reject these bids and return the bid deposits.
Announcements – County Manager Ratchford requested the regularly scheduled Board meeting for September 7, 1998 be changed to Tuesday, September 1, 1998 due to the Labor Day Holiday. It was the consensus of the Board to comply.
Mr. Ratchford reminded the Board of the ground-breaking ceremony for the new U.S. Highway 421 to be held at the Deep Gap Fire Department on August 20, 1998 at 10:00 A.M.
Mr. Ratchford informed the Board that Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute’s (CCC&TI) Board of Trustees meeting was scheduled for September 17, 1998, and the Commissioners had been invited to attend the meeting to be held at the Daniel Boone Inn at 6:30 P.M.
Vice-Chairman Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Craig, moved to enter closed session at 8:00 P.M. to discuss: Attorney/Client Matters – G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3), Landfill Contamination Litigation, and Personnel Matters – G.S. 143-318.11(a)(6).
Vice-Chairman Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Wellborn, moved to resume the regular meeting at 8:55 P.M.
Vice-Chairman Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Wellborn, moved to retain the current County Manager Jim Ratchford as a consultant for the new County Manager for five months (beginning January 1, 1999) at $1,000/month and change his travel allowance over to regular salary and issue a merit increase retroactive to July 1, 1998.
Vice-Chairman Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Wellborn, moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:56 P.M.
Elizabeth H. Link
Clerk to the Board