WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MONDAY, JULY 12, 1999
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, July 12, 1999 at 7:00 P.M. at the Deep Gap Volunteer Fire Department.
PRESENT: Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Sue Sweeting, Vice-Chairman
James Coffey, Commissioner
Art Kohles, Commissioner
Jack Lawrence, Sr., Commissioner
Jeff Hedrick, County Attorney
Barry J. Reed, County Manager
Libby Link, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 7:02 P.M. welcoming those in attendance. In addition, he thanked the Deep Gap Volunteer Fire Department for their generosity in allowing the Board to use their facility. Chairman Hodges stated the Board would conduct its regular business and then open the floor for public comment.
A moment of silence was observed.
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the June 22, 1999 regular meeting minutes.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to approve the June 22, 1999 regular meeting minutes as presented.
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the July 12, 1999 agenda.
Commissioner Lawrence stated he would like the Board to consider adopting a resolution honoring the County’s Library Manager, Rhea Hebert, who was leaving the area. It was the consensus of the Board to discuss this matter under Item 15 (Miscellaneous Administrative Matters) and to approve the agenda for the July 12, 1999 regular meeting with the amendment.
County Manager Reed stated that in completing the new Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute (CCC&TI) White Oak facility some drainage problems had occurred with neighboring property. The total cost to correct this problem was $14,367.99 which was over the amount allocated by the State. Mr. Reed noted that CCC&TI did not have the funds to cover this expense, and they requested the funds be deducted from CCC&TI’s capital reserve fund. He added there were sufficient funds available to cover this request.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve this request.
County Manager Reed stated the Board of Education was no longer using the cafeteria building at the old Cove Creek school, and the Cove Creek Preservation & Development, Inc. (CCP&D) requested the County amend their current lease to include the cafeteria building as part of the leased premises. This additional space would enable the CCP&D to consider establishing a business incubator in the old Cove Creek School.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to modify the Cove Creek Preservation & Development, Inc. lease to include the cafeteria building conditioned on written confirmation from the Board of Education that they no longer want the space.
County Manager Reed presented an Agreement for participation in the state-sponsored 401(k) program administered by BB&T. (The County currently contributed 2% of employees’ salaries towards deferred compensation, however, as part of the approved budget for the current Fiscal Year, the Board provided another 1% toward deferred compensation for employees.) Mr. Reed stated employees would have the choice of continuing in the National Association of Counties (NACO) deferred compensation program or participation in the 401(k) program administered by BB&T.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to approve this Agreement.
County Manager Reed stated that last year the Board approved an operational agreement between the County and the Watauga Soil & Water Conservation District (WS&WCD). He noted that the WS&WCD would like to amend that agreement to specify that the County insure all supervisors and staff (rather than just elected supervisors as currently specified). WS&WCD Supervisor, Milton Moretz, stated he understood that the State would require that counties insure WS&WCD supervisors in the same manner that counties provided insurance for their elected officials. He suggested the Board contact the WS&WCD office for further information if so desired.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to have County Manager Reed and County Attorney Hedrick to research this matter further to discuss at the Board’s regular meeting scheduled for August 17, 1999.
Monthly Collections Report – Tax Administrator, Larry McLean, presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of June, 1999.
Refunds and Releases – Tax Administrator McLean presented the following Refunds and Releases for June, 1999 for Board approval:
TO BE TYPED IN MINUTE BOOK
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report as presented.
Parks & Recreation Director, Deb Wynne, presented a Community Recreation Incentive Grants Program Guidelines and Application for Fiscal Year 1999-2000. Ms. Wynne stated this grant program would be advertised throughout the County to give interested community groups an equal chance to be eligible for matching grant monies for recreation and park facilities. In addition, Ms. Wynne had received a list of non-profit civic and community groups from the Boone Chamber of Commerce who might be interested in submitting an application. She noted $50,000 was available and recreational grants ranging from $500 to $10,000 would be awarded. All completed grant applications received by September 8, 1999 would be reviewed by a panel that consisted of a County Commissioner serving on the Recreation Commission, County Manager Reed, four Recreation Commission members and three Recreation Department employees. Ms. Wynne anticipated awarding the grants by the end of September, 1999.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to approve the Parks & Recreation Department Incentive Grants Program’s Guidelines and proposed Application for Fiscal Year 1999-2000 as presented.
Parks & Recreation Director, Deb Wynne, `requested approval to allow the Boone Skateboard Association (BSA) to lease a small area next to the tennis courts at the recreation complex for a trial period of three months. Ms. Wynne stated she had spoken with BSA members, Todd Henderson and Brian Edgar, who were willing to be totally responsible for the park. In addition, they would safely operate the park and provide supervision. Ms. Wynne noted there had been concerns about liability insurance and that the County would include a backup clause in the lease in case of any liability. She added that the Recreation Commission had approved this at their June 16, 1999 public meeting after lengthy discussion. Several Commissioners voiced their concerns regarding who would be responsible for the liability insurance and wished to have County Attorney Hedrick investigate further before approving this proposal.
Following brief discussion, Commissioner Coffey seconded by Chairman Hodges, moved to continue the study regarding this proposal but to table further discussion until the Board’s next regular meeting scheduled for August 2, 1999 to determine each parties’ responsibility for liability insurance.
VOTE: Aye-4 (Coffey, Hodges, Kohles, Lawrence)
SALARY INCREASE FOR IN-HOME AIDES
stated that during the budget process the Board had agreed to increase the salaries of In-Home Aides by $1.00 per hour. However, Mr. Reed had told the Board the wrong hourly figures for the current employees. Mr. Reed requested the new salary for this Fiscal Year at $8.50/hour for Non-Regular In-Home Aides and $7.75/hour for temporary In-Home Aides who were hired to care for family members. He added money had been budgeted to cover this request.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to amend the salaries as requested.
Prior to the vote, Project on Aging Director, Rocky Nelson, noted that the County had modified the Non-Regular In-Home Aide job description to prefer rather than require that the applicant possess a certified nursing assistant license. This change complied with current Division of Facility Services Licensure Standards and was made to try to recruit qualified but non-certified aides to meet existing demands for service. Mr. Nelson felt that the new job description and accompanying pay raise would facilitate more service in a more timely manner to the County’s eligible CAP clients. Vice-Chairman Sweeting requested further study be done on the current pay scale for In-Home Aides in light of the responsibilities and qualifications to see if it was more beneficial to pay higher salaries to those who were certified versus non-certified.
The following vote was then made on Commissioner Coffey’s motion.
VOTE: Aye-3 (Coffey, Hodges, Lawrence)
Nay-2 (Kohles, Sweeting)
REQUEST FOR TRAVEL
County Manager Reed stated a request had been received from Fire Marshal, Lisa Shoun, to attend a seminar on "Weapons of Mass Destruction Incident Command Operations Course". The course would be held on September 28-30, 1999 in Bechtel, Nevada. Although the course was paid for by the Department of Energy and the Department of Justice, due to County policy, any travel beyond 325 miles from the County required permission from the Board.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve this travel request.
DESIGNATION OF VOTING DELEGATE FOR THE NCACC ANNUAL CONFERENCE
County Manager Reed stated the Board needed to appoint a Commissioner as the County’s voting delegate for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ annual conference to be held on August 19-22, 1999.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to nominate Commissioner Coffey as the County’s voting delegate for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ 1999 Annual Conference.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM ADVISORY BOARD APPOINTMENTS
County Manager Reed stated the following members had resigned their positions on the Criminal Justice Partnership Program (CJPP) Advisory Board: Glenn Hodges, Margaret Johnston and Debbie Edwards. Mr. Reed added the CJPP Advisory Board had met in June, 1999 and submitted the following names for the Board’s consideration: Fred Rollins (Vocational Rehabilitation), David Gales (Magistrate) and David McKeithan (Program Graduate).
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to appoint Fred Rollins, David Gales and David McKeithan to the Criminal Justice Partnership Program Advisory Board.
VOTE: Aye-3 (Coffey, Hodges, Lawrence)
Nay-2 (Kohles, Sweeting)
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
County Manager Reed presented a resolution that Commissioner Lawrence had provided which recognized the work and services that County Library Manager, Rhea Hebert, had provided for the community.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve the resolution honoring Ms. Hebert as presented.
RESOLUTION BOOK #9, PAGE #64
In addition, County Manager Reed had distributed several miscellaneous administrative items for the Board’s information (minutes from the Recreation Commission, Social Services Board, Criminal Justice Advisory Board, Council on the Status of Women, and Region D Executive Board; monthly reports from the Register of Deeds, Planning & Inspections and Animal Control; and future appointments to several Boards and Commissions). None of these items required Board action.
Chairman Hodges asked if there was further business to discuss, and Commissioner Kohles stated that Watauga EMS Director, Tim Wilson, had provided the Board with June’s Monthly Call Data Summary. However, Commissioner Kohles voiced his concerns that this data did not include the accounts receivable which the County’s Ambulance Franchise Ordinance (AFO) indicated was to be provided. Commissioner Lawrence stated that at the Board’s June 22, 1999 meeting that he had made a motion that this issue be tabled until the study that the Board had requested from the State (at the Board’s April 12, 1999 meeting) was received. Commissioner Lawrence added that "tabling" meant it was not to be discussed. Chairman Hodges stated it was his opinion that although the motion had been made to table discussion on the ambulance service that the motion did not include receiving monthly reports. Chairman Hodges added that if the accounts receivable was information which was to be provided that the Board had the right to ask for this information on a monthly basis. County Attorney Hedrick stated it was his recollection that the accounts receivable was to be made available to the County’s representative. He added that this data should be provided in a user-friendly format for the individual retrieving the information.
Commissioner Kohles seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved for County Manager Reed to go to the Watauga Ambulance Service’s office to get the accounts receivable reports and to provide this information for the Board’s next regular meeting scheduled for August 2, 1999.
VOTE: Aye-3 (Hodges, Kohles, Sweeting)
Abstain-2 (Coffey, Lawrence)
This concluded the Board’s business, and Chairman Hodges declared a 5 minute recess at 7:58 P.M.
The meeting resumed at 8:07 P.M.
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
The following County Department Heads introduced themselves:
Bob Frye, Assistant County Manager/OSD
Jim Harmon, Veterans Service Officer/Safety Director
Rocky Nelson, Project on Aging Director
Joe Furman, Planning & Inspections Director
Jim Atkinson, Social Services Director
Deb Wynne, Parks & Recreation Director
Doris Isaacs, Finance Director
Jane Hodges, Board of Elections Director
Larry McLean, Tax Administrator
Glenda Duncan, Data Processing Director
Sheriff James C. "Red" Lyons
Robert Marsh, Maintenance Director
The following citizens addressed the Board:
Romy Harrison addressed the Board regarding drainage problems on his property. He attributed these problems to the Planning & Inspections Department approving an addition to Samaritans Purse (Phase 2) and a garage previously built which was adjacent to his property. Chairman Hodges informed Mr. Harrison that the Board would investigate to see what could be done.
Mr. Hodges assured Mr. Stroupe that the Board (last fall) had appointed citizens throughout the County to serve on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Growth Issues to consider solutions regarding the growth in the County and that a report would be made in the near future.
Ms. Stella Anderson asked if the County had a Sign Ordinance and, if so, was it being enforced. Planning & Inspections, Joe Furman, stated that in 1985 the County adopted a fairly standard Sign Ordinance which was being enforced. Ms. Karen Byerly also voiced her concerns regarding the current Sign Ordinance. In addition, Mr. Bruce Wallace discussed his concerns about the sight obstructions, due to the number of signs, making it difficult to enter the highway from his property.
There being no further comments, Chairman Hodges thanked everyone in attendance and stat
Elizabeth H. Link
Clerk to the Board
WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
SPECIAL MEETING, MONDAY, JULY 12, 1999
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting on Monday, July 12, 1999 at the Watauga County High School to discuss events planned for "Celebrate Watauga 1999". Those present were: Chairman Hodges, Commissioners Coffey, Kohles and Lawrence, Sr., County Manager Reed, Clerk to the Board, Libby Link, and members of the press. Vice-Chairman Sweeting was unable to attend the meeting due to a prior scheduled business meeting.
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 5:35 P.M.
Ms. Len Cone, Coordinator for the County’s Sesquicentennial, discussed the special activities and events scheduled all over the County beginning on August 1, 1999 continuing through August 8, 1999 to celebrate the County’s sesquicentennial week. Ms. Cone stated she had received tremendous support from citizens throughout the community in planning these events.
It was the consensus of the Board to declare a recess at 6:10 P.M. in order for the Commissioners to travel to the Deep Gap Volunteer Fire Department to conduct their regular meeting scheduled for 7:00 P.M.
Elizabeth H. Link
Clerk to the Board
SKATEBOARD PARK CONSIDERATION
COMMUNITY GRANT GUIDELINES AND APPLICATION
AMENDMENT TO THE OPERATIONAL AGREEMENT WITH WATAUGA SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
CONTRACT WITH BB&T
COVE CREEK PRESERVATION & DEVELOPMENT, INC. LEASE MODIFICATION
CALDWELL COMMUNITY COLLEGE & TECHNICAL INSTITUTE CAPITAL RESERVE FUNDS
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
APPROVAL OF MINUTES