WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MONDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2008
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, October 6, 2008, at 9:00 A.M. in the Commissioners’ Board Room of the Watauga County Administration Building.
PRESENT: Jim Deal, Chairman
William R. Winkler, III, Vice-Chairman
John Cooper, Commissioner
Winston Kinsey, Commissioner
Mary Moretz, Commissioner
Anthony di Santi, County Attorney
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Deron Geouque, Deputy County Manager
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Deal called the meeting to order at 9:01 A.M., welcoming those in attendance.
Commissioner Cooper opened the meeting with a prayer.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Deal called for additions or corrections to the September 16, 2008, regular meeting and closed session minutes; and the September 22, 2008, special meeting minutes.
Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to approve the September 16, 2008, regular meeting minutes as presented.
[Clerk’s Note: Chairman Deal requested to discuss a change to the closed session minutes in closed session, prior to action after closed session.]
Commissioner Kinsey, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, moved to approve the September 22, 2008, special meeting minutes as presented.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairman Deal called for additions and/or corrections to the October 6, 2008, agenda.
Chairman Deal stated that an addition to Tax Matters was needed as item “C.” for a request for Tax Software and an additional discussion on the second meeting date for October was needed under announcements
Commissioner Moretz, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, moved to approve the October 6, 2008, agenda as amended.
PROJECT ON AGING MATTERS
A. Annual Report – Ms. Angie Boitnotte, Director of the Project on Aging, presented the Agency’s Annual Report as required by the NC Division of Health and Human Services. Ms. Boitnotte stated that the Agency had a 99.7% Medicaid collection rate.
Commissioner Moretz, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to accept the Project on Aging Annual Report as presented by Ms. Boitnotte.
B. North Carolina Senior Tar Heel Legislature (STHL) Appointment Requests – Ms. Boitnotte presented recommendations for appointments to the NC STHL. Each County in the State had a delegate and an alternate. Watauga County’s Delegate, Dr. Bunk Spann, and Alternate, Ms. Pat Coley, were available to continue to serve if so appointed.
Commissioner Kinsey, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, moved to waive a second reading and re-appoint Dr. Bunk Spann as Delegate and Ms. Pat Coley as Alternate to the NC STHL.
PARKS AND RECREATION MATTERS
A. Proposed Fee Increases – Mr. Stephen Poulos stated that the Town of Boone cut $44,800 in funding to the Watauga County Parks and Recreation Department for FY 2009. In that this amount had historically been awarded by the Town for the past several years, the money was assumed to be forthcoming during the budget preparation by the Parks and Recreation Department. As notice of this cut was not foreseen nor included in the budget, Parks and Recreation staff took measures to help offset the cuts. Some programs were cut and the Recreation Commission recommended an approximate 10% fee increase in youth programs and a 5% increase in adult programs to offset the Town of Boone funding cuts.
Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to approve the Parks and Recreation Fee Increases as presented and to be effective immediately.
B. Skate Park Update – Mr. Poulos presented a report on the Skate Park. The Recreation Commission and Parks and Recreation Department recommended continued supervision of the operation of the facility. Mr. Poulos stated that the Skate Park continued to be opened for extended hours awaiting further direction from the Board.
Mr. Buzz Berry, Chairman of the Watauga Skate Park Council, and Mr. Mason Jones and Mr. Brian Mueller, attendees of the Skate Park, voiced their opinions and concerns regarding the Skate Park. Mr. Jones offered to volunteer services as a park attendant to enforce rules and regulations by all attendees.
By consensus, the Board agreed to hire a park attendant for a one-month trial to see if rules and regulations were met by attendees of the park.
A. Monthly Collections Report – Tax Administrator Kelvin Byrd presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of September 2008.
B. Releases and Refunds – Mr. Byrd presented the following Refunds and Releases for September 2008 for Board approval:
TO BE TYPED IN MINUTE BOOK
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report for September 2008, as presented.
C. Tax Software Request – Mr. Byrd stated that additional funds were needed for the new tax software which was approved at the June 23, 2008, Board meeting. Approximately $21,000 was needed for two servers, server software, and licenses and approximately $4,000 was needed for printers, supplies, and software to better equip the PCs to function with a more modern system. Also, an estimated $3,281 was needed for an Oracle Software license. Mr. Byrd requested $30,000 for the items requested.
Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Commissioner Moretz, moved to approve an additional $30,000 for the necessary equipment for the new tax software as requested by Mr. Byrd.
PLANNING AND INSPECTIONS MATTERS
A. Out-of-State Travel Request – Mr. Furman requested out-of-state travel for Mr. Ronnie Greene, Building Inspector, to attend the International Code Council in Tucker, Georgia. Mr. Greene represented the NC Plumbing Inspectors Association (NCPIA) at the Council and, therefore, the NCPIA had indicated that they would cover all of Mr. Greene’s expenses.
Commissioner Kinsey, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to approve the out-of-state travel requested, contingent upon the NCPIA paying expenses.
B. Brookshire Road Soccer Fields Parking Expansion Request – Mr. Furman presented three options for providing additional parking to the Brookshire Road Soccer Complex. Option 1 was to use lots 3 and 4 to provide two 60 foot wide bays of parking for approximately 250 vehicles while providing a pad for a future building site at a cost of approximately $379,200. Option 2 was to provide approximately 250 spaces in the floodplain and floodway of the New River which would allow lots 3 and 4 to be marketed as originally designed at a cost of approximately $717,900. Option 3 was to provide 220 spaces of parking on the east and west side using the area that was already graded at an approximate cost of $276,200. Discussion was also needed between the County, the Soccer Association, and the University as to which entity was to bear the costs of the parking expansion.
By consensus, the Board tabled further discussion until a future meeting to allow time for the Board members who wished to visit the site prior to taking action.
A. Budget Amendments – County Manager Nelson presented the following budget amendments for Board approval:
Account # Description Debit Credit
143585-323000 Title XX & FSA Funds $28,660
143585-323002 Smart Start State Funds $34,347
145850-440900 Subsidized Child Care $28,660
145850-440901 Smart Start Child Care $34,347
The amendment recognized the award of additional state child care funds.
Account # Description Debit Credit
103300-343311 SMAT Grant $8,026
104330-449911 Misc.-SMAT Grant $8,026
The funds were budgeted in FY 07-08 but grant requirements were not completed prior to June 30th. The funds needed to be re-budgeted in FY 08-09 to complete the grant requirements.
Account # Description Debit Credit
663991-399101 Retained Earnings Approp. - New $32,926
667420-454000 Capital Outlay-Vehicles $32,926
The amendment recognized additional funds for the acquisition of a road tractor for the Sanitation Department.
Commissioner Moretz, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to approve the budget amendments as presented.
B. Surplus Property Request – County Manager Nelson presented a list of property and requested it be surplused and subsequently sold through GovDeals or recycled.
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to surplus the property as presented and to authorize the property either for recycling or for sale on GovDeals.com.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
A. Proposed Amendments to the Watauga Medical Center Bylaws – County Manager Nelson presented two amendments to the Watauga Medical Center Bylaws. The Medical Center formally requested changes to their Bylaws, which were discussed at a previous meeting. The first change allowed the Board of Trustees to submit one name rather than two for each vacant position. The second change would reduce the number of appointed Trustees from twelve to nine over the next three years.
Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to approve the amendments to the Watauga Medical Center Bylaws as presented.
B. Boards and Commissions – County Manager Nelson stated that Mr. Steve Loflin resigned as the Valle Crusis representative on the Recreation Commission.
County Manager Nelson stated that Ms. Judith Wesson resigned as a member of the Watauga County Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee.
County Manager Nelson stated that recommendations had not been received yet for these positions.
County Manager Nelson stated that Mr. Johnny Moretz’s and Mr. Ricky Critcher’s terms were to expire on the Farmland Preservation Advisory Board in November 2008. The Farmland Preservation Advisory Board requested that both Mr. Moretz and Mr. Critcher be reappointed for three-year terms.
Commissioner Kinsey, seconded by Commissioner Moretz, moved to re-appoint Johnny Moretz and Ricky Critcher to the Farmland Preservation Advisory Board each for a three-year term.
County Manager Nelson stated that the Boone Town Council nominated two persons (Mr. Thomas Brown and Mr. Don Dotson) to serve as the ETJ member on the Boone Area Planning Commission.
County Manager Nelson stated that the Boone Town Council nominated Mr. Lee Ball, Jr. to serve as the ETJ alternate member on the Boone Board of Adjustment.
County Manager Nelson stated that the above were first readings and, therefore, no action was required.
C. Announcements – County Manager Nelson announced that the two softball fields at Anne-Marie Park, constructed by the Watauga County Maintenance and Sanitation Departments, were opened for play on September 29, 2008. The County Manager commended staff on the construction of the two state-of-the-art fields.
County Manager Nelson shared schedules for the Town of Boone’s and ASU’s Planning and Design Charrette which was to update their Master Plan.
By consensus, the Board agreed to move their second meeting in October to Wednesday, October 22, 2008, at 6:00 P.M. so that members who wished could attend the Charrette Dinner scheduled for the 21st.
County Manager Nelson announced that the North Carolina Flood Plain Mapping Program invited the Board to attend a meeting in Watauga County from 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. on Thursday, October 9, 2008, to review updated flood insurance rate maps for Watauga County. The County Manager stated that, after the meeting, the State also requested that each County conduct a public information meeting for citizens to obtain information about the mapping programs.
County Manager Nelson announced that the Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute invited the Board to a joint meeting with their Board of Trustees on October 15, 2008, at 6:00 P.M. at their White Oak Road location in Boone, NC.
County Manager Nelson announced that the Annual Farm City Awards Banquet was scheduled for November 6, 2008, at 6:00 P.M. at the Boone United Methodist Church, Boone, NC.
Mr. Buzz Berry requested a hydration and check-in area for the Skate Park.
Chairman Deal asked County Manager Nelson to discuss with staff and report back to the Board.
Commissioner Kinsey gave a brief report on the recent Rural Center Conference that he had attended.
At 10:59 A.M., Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, moved to enter Closed Session to discuss Attorney/Client Matters, per G. S. 143-318.11(a)(3); and Economic Development Matters, per G. S. 143-318.11(a)(4).
Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to resume the regular meeting at 12:23 P.M.
ACTION AFTER CLOSED SESSION
Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Commissioner Moretz, moved to authorize the Tourism Development Authority, as an agent of the County, or the County itself to seek a grant from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund for Planning the Greenway.
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, moved to approve the September 16, 2008, closed session minutes as amended in closed session.
The Chairman adjourned the meeting at 12:24 P.M.
Jim Deal, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board