WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 1999
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Tuesday, September 7, 1999 at 7:00 P.M. in the Foscoe Christian Church Fellowship Hall.
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
Reverend Ken Caswell stated the congregation of Foscoe Christian Church was pleased to make their facility available for the Board’s meeting. In addition, Reverend Caswell delivered an opening prayer.
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 7:02 P.M. welcoming those in attendance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the August 17, 1999 regular meeting minutes as well as the August 23, 1999 special meeting and closed session minutes.
No changes were made to the August 23, 1999 closed session minutes, however, Vice-Chairman Sweeting suggested a change in the August 17, 1999 regular meeting minutes and a change in the August 23, 1999 special meeting minutes.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to approve the August 17, 1999 regular meeting minutes as well as the August 23, 1999 special meeting minutes with the amendments as discussed by Vice-Chairman Sweeting. The August 23, 1999 closed session minutes were approved as presented.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the September 7, 1999 agenda.
County Manager Reed requested Item 14 be deleted (Consideration of Acceptance of Northwestern Regional Housing Authority Public Hearing Report) to be discussed at a later meeting. However, Mr. Reed stated that Northwestern Regional Housing Authority (NRHA) Executive Director, Ned Fowler, would address the Board regarding the Board’s future appointment to the NRHA Board of Trustees. In addition, Mr. Reed requested a closed session following the Board’s regular meeting to discuss: Attorney/Client Matters, Ambulance Service – G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3).
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the agenda for the September 7, 1999 regular meeting with the amendments.
PUBLIC HEARING – MAP AMENDMENT TO THE FOSCOE-GRANDFATHER ZONING ORDINANCE
Chairman Hodges declared a public hearing open at 7:10 P.M. to consider map amendments to the Foscoe-Grandfather Zoning Ordinance.
Mr. Brent Graybeal, Planner II with Planning & Inspections, addressed the Board stating that Mr. Darwin Shaffer, Mr. and Mrs. Gunvatpuri Gosai, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gamble, Sr., Ruth Taylor Marketing, Inc. and Mr. and Mrs. Stanford Douglas had made application to amend the Foscoe-Grandfather Official Zoning Map to change the zoning classification of their properties from the Rural District to the Highway District. There properties were located on Highway 105 near Watauga River Overlook and were across the highway from the former Warren Coleman property which was rezoned to the Highway District in 1996.
The Foscoe-Grandfather Community Council recommended approval of the request (5-1) as was submitted with the exception of lot 2 of Watauga River Overlook owned by the Gambles (this lot would be served by the subdivision road and not Highway 105). The Planning Board recommended approval of the request (5-2). The recommendation included all of the petitioners’ properties and also properties in close proximity owned by Warren Coleman, Verlee Teague and Bradley Teague. Before the petition submittal, staff requested the petitioners discuss the proposal with all property owners located between the Shaffer and Douglas properties. Both Mr. Coleman and Mr. Teague were asked to join the petition but were noncommittal. The Planning Board’s decision to include these properties was based on the staff’s recommendation that the Coleman and Teague properties be included in the petition due to the close proximity to the petitioners’ properties, the adjoining Highway District across Highway 105, the properties were located on the major thoroughfare as described in Article V, Section 3 of the ordinance and the inclusion of the Coleman and Teague properties produced a consistent, logical zoning district boundary.
Mr. Graybeal stated that the Board of Commissioners had three options to consider: 1) approval of the application, 2) approval of a modified version of the application or 3) denial of the application.
Chairman Hodges stated that he had spoken with Mr. Teague who would rather not have his property rezoned. The Teagues had two pieces of property and did not plan to use them as commercial property. Chairman Hodges asked Tax Administrator, Larry McLean, if the properties were rezoned how would that impact the properties’ tax value. Mr. McLean felt there would not be a significant tax increase until the revaluation scheduled for 2002.
Mr. William R. Townsend, an adjacent property owner, addressed the Board stating he had no objections to rezoning down to the Taylor property, however, he was concerned about the amount of traffic in the area. In addition, Mr. Darwin Shaffer and Mr. Tom Gamble spoke in favor of the petition.
There being no further public comment, Chairman Hodges declared the public hearing closed at 7:27 P.M.
Following discussion, Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to study this request further for discussion at the Board’s next regular meeting scheduled for October 4, 1999.
PUBLIC HEARING – DISTRIBUTION OF RURAL OPERATING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Chairman Hodges declared a public hearing open at 7:28 P.M. to consider allocating the Rural Operating Assistance Program funds for Fiscal Year 1999/2000.
AppalCART Director, Chris Turner, reviewed the available funds and the proposed allocations for the three programs:
Elderly and Disabled Transportation Assistance Program
Project on Aging $11,250
Watauga Opportunities $11,000
Carolina Friendship House $ 3,350
AppalCART $ 8,000
Social Services $ 8,172
Work First/Employment Transportation Program
AppalCART $ 3,723
Rural General Public Transportation Program
Mr. Turner stated these were the allocations he proposed and requested the Board’s approval.
There being no public comment, Chairman Hodges declared the public hearing closed at 7:33 P.M.
Following brief discussion, Commissioner Kohles seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to approve the allocations for the Rural Operating Assistance Program funds as presented.
CONTAINER SITE DEMONSTRATION PROJECT AT POTTERTOWN
County Manager Reed stated that during the budget process the Board discussed providing a container site at Pottertown. Although staff did not feel Pottertown’s population warranted a container site, Mr. Reed suggested placing a roll-off container (with an attendant) in the area each Saturday morning. He had spoken with Assistant County Manager/OSD, Bob Frye, and Mr. Frye estimated a total annual cost of approximately $6,000 to provide this service. In addition, Mr. Reed recommended area residents help the County locate a free site in order for the County to implement this project.
Following discussion, Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to proceed with this project and for County staff to work with area residents to locate a site for this project.
MANUFACTURED HOME APPEARANCE STANDARDS AND MANUFACTURED HOME PARK ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS
Planning & Inspections Director, Joe Furman, addressed the Board regarding proposed amendments to the existing Manufactured Home Parks Ordinance. Mr. Furman stated the Planning Board had worked on this issue for some time, and these amendments were necessary to enact a new ordinance "Manufactured Home Appearance Standards". He discussed the recommended changes with the Board. In addition, although the general statutes did not require a public hearing for this action, Mr. Furman recommended the Board schedule a public hearing for the Board’s regular meeting scheduled for October 19, 1999.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to schedule a public hearing for the Board’s regular meeting scheduled for October 19, 1999.
County Manager Reed presented the following vehicle bids for the Board’s consideration:
- Larry Shronce Ford, Taylorsville, NC
- Bobby Jones Ford, GA
- Willowby Ford, Thompson, GA
- B. Miller Ford, Boone, NC
- Hall Chrysler Isuzu, Boone, NC
2000 Crown Victoria $19,918.10 each
1999 Taurus $14,974
2000 Taurus $15,076.50
Expedition (year not specified) $26,778
2000 Crown Victoria $19,386.80 each
1999 Taurus $14,959
2000 Taurus $14,315.50
1999 Expedition $27,700
NO BID BOND (Non-Responsive Bid)
2000 Crown Victoria $19,572 + $59.50
2000 Taurus $14,269 + $59.50
2000 Explorer $25,523 + $59.50
2000 Expedition $26,973 + $59.50
2000 Dodge Intrepid front wheel drive, not high performance $18,898
2000 Dodge Durango Sport $26,197
2000 Dodge Intrepid ES front wheel drive, not high performance $19,897
Mr. Reed stated the Sheriff requested the Board approve the second lowest bidder, B. Miller Ford (a local dealer) on the 2000 Expedition 4-wheel drive vehicle and the two 2000 Crown Victorias. B. Miller Ford placed the lowest bid on the 2000 Taurus vehicle at $14,328.50.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the Sheriff’s request to accept the B. Miller Ford bids as indicated.
Planning & Inspections Department
County Manager Reed stated the following bids were received for a new pickup truck for the Planning & Inspections Department:
B. Miller Ford – F150: $18,192
Hall Chrysler – Dodge Ram: $18,815
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the B. Miller Ford bid of $18,192.
County Manager Reed stated the following bids were received for a new pickup truck for the Maintenance Department.
B. Miller Ford - $23,436
Hall Chrysler - $22,376
Commissioner Kohles seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve the Hall Chrysler bid of $22,376.
FIXED ASSET INVENTORY
County Manager Reed requested the following items be declared surplus property and sold by the County at a public auction scheduled for October 16, 1999.
Department Asset Description Acquired Cost
Animal 08602 Hotpoint refrigerator apt size 05/02/91 143.85
Control 01259 Olivette typewriter 12/01/77 542.00
03202 Xerox copier 03/25/84 359.00
Coop. Ext. 08913-08918
and 9009 Unix computer system with
(6) H.P. terminals 08/21/92 10,116.66
04240 answering machine 12/10/85 69.88
Department Asset Description Acquired Cost
Data 07802 Fujitsu DX 2200 printer 08/10/97 695.00
Processing 04129 Printronix 600 lpm printer 02/10/86 9,295.00
07843 Printronix 600 lpm printer 09/16/96 6,534.40
08370 Prism VII terminal 12/11/89 495.06
08371 Prism VII terminal 12/11/89 495.06
08372 Prism VII terminal 12/11/89 495.06
08373 Prism VII terminal 12/11/89 495.06
08374 Prism VII terminal 12/11/89 495.06
08375 Prism VII terminal 12/11/89 495.07
08379 Prism VII terminal 06/25/90 477.77
08380 Prism VII terminal 06/25/90 477.77
08644 Prism VII terminal 01/25/91 437.42
08645 Prism VII terminal 01/25/91 437.42
08646 Prism VII terminal 01/25/91 437.42
08647 Prism VII terminal 01/25/91 437.40
08820 AU1500 Acupower Gold 05/26/92 2,488.00
04987 Swingline decollator 06/30/85 949.00
02197 Excellance refrigerator apt 07/01/79 300.00
08365 Donnay computer stand 03/26/90 75.96
08366 Donnay computer stand 03/26/90 75.96
02687 Vinyl side chair-green 09/29/87 unknown
08377-G Accura 144 + fax-modem 01/05/96 104.95
08739 ADDS 4000 terminal 10/25/91 432.00
08737 ADDS 4000 terminal 10/25/91 432.00
08736 ADDS 4000 terminal 10/25/91 432.00
09092 WYSE 50 terminal 11/10/93 426.81
08841 WYSE 50 terminal 04/10/92 399.00
08825 WYSE 50 terminal 04/10/92 399.00
08850 WYSE 50 terminal 04/10/92 399.00
D.S.S. 05030 48 in. round formica table 01/01/78 unknown
05085 United office chair brown 11/13/87 unknown
02033 United office chair brown 11/13/87 unknown
05144 I.B.M. Selectric Typewriter 07/01/68 unknown
03895 Pitney Bowes mailing machine 05/01/81 142.00
03870 Pitney Bowes postage machine 02/01/81 1,887.60
Register 04135 Tape storage unit 05/10/86 221.04
Of Deeds 04054 Casio calculator 05/31/82 219.00
04644 Metal file box 10/07/87 unknown
04645 Metal file box 10/07/87 unknown
Board of 03929 Casio calculator 08/31/81 179.00
Elections 05015 United chair-green 12/12/87 unknown
Department Asset Description Acquired Cost
05014 United chair-green 10/12/87 unknown
01377 United chair-green 10/12/87 unknown
Gen. Adm. 09322 New World Pentium PC 08/01/95 2,369.98
Library 04114 Minolta reader printer 07/26/85 5,433.96
Maintenance 04942 Tanake TBC 215 Weedeater 05/28/85 199.95
08079 Hako 280 4gal Dry Vac 01/25/89 142.55
08862 Taber mobile waxer 06/25/92 635.18
Project On 05172 Octagon shape wooden table 07/01/88 unknown
Aging 05196 Octagon shape wooden table 07/01/88 unknown
05203 Small wooden table 07/01/88 unknown
03001 GE electric range 05/01/78 513.00
03003 Hobart meat slicer 01/01/78 968.75
05157 Health-O-Meter Scales 07/01/88 unknown
05144 Selectric typewriter 07/01/68 unknown
09143 Highback blue chair w/arms 04/08/94 90.00
09145 Highback blue chair w/arms 04/08/94 90.00
09147 Highback blue chair w/arms 04/08/94 90.00
02955 Television cart 02/01/80 430.20
Parks & 02401 Tad 311 answering machine 03/01/80 79.98
Recreation 03075 Toro weedeater 06/01/83 314.26
03945 Sears weedeater 09/01/81 246.29
03946 Snapper mower 11/01/81 250.00
04256 Echo weedeater 07/16/85 315.00
04272 Homelite chain saw 06/18/86 100.00
08791 Wheelhorse riding mower 10/29/91 1,300.00
05253 1977 Chevy van 08/24/85 2,550.00
03162 1975 Chevy 2 ½ ton dump tk 02/08/84 9,100.00
S.E.N.D. 08112 Smith Corona typewriter 11/25/88 179.97
Solid Waste 03195 1984 Chevy pickup truck 04/05/84 8,926.74
09374 Deskjet 560 printer 08/10/95 516.85
Tax 04676 United secretarial chair 09/29/87 unknown
02665 United secretarial chair 09/29/87 unknown
08319 Mitsubishi 20" color monitor 06/11/90 2,349.00
08318 Adds 20-25 terminal 06/11/90 465.00
09030 486 DX 33 computer 03/10/93 2,584.68
Department Asset Description Acquired Cost
08211 Brown drafting chair 07/20/89 190.32
Western 08719 Sharp VC1106 VCR 11/14/90 225.00
Watauga 03188 7-drawer desk 05/04/84 218.00
Comm. Ctr. 05206 Folding table 72x30 07/01/88 unknown
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve this request.
Monthly Collections Report – Tax Administrator, Larry McLean, presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of August, 1999.
Refunds and Releases – Tax Administrator McLean presented the following Refunds and Releases for August, 1999 for Board approval:
TO BE TYPED IN MINUTE BOOK
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report as presented.
COVE CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH DAY PROCLAMATION
County Manager Reed stated a request had been received from Cove Creek Baptist Church to proclaim September 13, 1999 as Cove Creek Baptist Church Day in Watauga County to celebrate the Church’s 200th birthday.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to proclaim September 13, 1999 as Cove Creek Baptist Church Day in Watauga County.
HUNTING AND FISHING DAY PROCLAMATION
County Manager Reed presented an annual proclamation honoring September 25, 1999 as Hunting and Fishing Day in Watauga County for the Board’s approval.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to proclaim September 25, 1999 as Hunting and Fishing Day in Watauga County.
County Manager Reed stated there were two vacancies on the Watauga County Council on the Status of Women: Rachel Hartley (term expired June, 2000) and Mary Dunlap (term expired June, 2002). Mr. Reed noted that two nominees had been submitted from the Council for the Board’s consideration: Gillian Baker and Dr. Stella Anderson.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to appoint Dr. Stella Anderson for the 3-year term and Gillian Baker for the 1-year term to the Watauga County Council on the Status of Women.
NORTHWESTERN REGIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY
Northwestern Regional Housing Authority (NRHA) Executive Director, Ned Fowler, briefly reviewed the NRHA 1998-99 Annual Report with the Board. He stated the NRHA was a non-profit organization and served residents in seven counties. Mr. Fowler also reviewed the list of current NRHA Board of Trustees whose terms all expired in December, 1999. He stated that Watauga County’s NRHA Board of Trustee member, James D. Wilcox’s, term expired December 12, 1999. Mr. Fowler stated Mr. Wilcox had represented Watauga County very well and had missed only one meeting over the past five years due to an illness in his family. Mr. Fowler added the Board could make the appointment at a future meeting but the appointment needed to be made effective December 12, 1999. Mr. James Wilcox addressed the Board stating he appreciated serving on the NRHA Board of Trustees and that he felt Ned Fowler had done a good job as NRHA Executive Director. No action was taken.
AMBULANCE FRANCHISE ORDINANCE AMENDMENT AND RFP
County Manager Reed reviewed the Ambulance Franchise Ordinance amendments with the Board. These were the amendments that had been discussed at the Board’s August 23, 1999 special meeting. The Board reviewed the Ordinance from the beginning and made some further amendments. Vice-Chairman Sweeting stated she felt it was important to require the franchisee to have a certified independent audit which would indicate how the County’s subsidy was spent. Commissioner Lawrence voiced his concern that if the Board required an independent audit in this case, the Board would have to require audits from all of the County’s contractors. Vice-Chairman Sweeting reiterated the importance of requiring an audit.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to amend the Ambulance Franchise Ordinance requiring the franchisee to submit to the County a certified independent audit.
Prior to the vote, Chairman Hodges made a motion to include in the Requests for Proposals a request for the franchisee to submit an independent certified audit as requested by the County.
Prior to the vote on Chairman Hodges’ motion, County Manager Reed discussed the problems that could arise if an audit was requested rather than required and suggested the Board specify in the Ordinance whether or not an audit would be required. Chairman Hodges then withdrew his motion.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to amend the Ambulance Franchise Ordinance under Section XII. (Records) to reflect that within ninety (90) days of the end of the franchisee’s fiscal year, the County would require the franchisee to furnish the County with an independent certified audit.
VOTE: Aye-4 (Coffey, Hodges, Kohles, Sweeting)
County Manager Reed reviewed a draft of the Request for Proposal (RFP) with the Board. Mr. Reed stated that most of the RFP was referenced in the Ambulance Franchise Ordinance.
Following brief discussion, Commissioner Coffey seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to approve the County’s Request for Proposals for Ambulance Services as discussed.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
County Manager Reed had distributed several miscellaneous administrative items for the Board’s information (several Board/Committee meeting minutes, the Register of Deeds Monthly Report for August, 1999, a letter from the N.C. Department of Commerce approving the extension period for the Lynnhaven Health Care Facility Project, and one future appointment to be considered at a later meeting). None of these items required Board action.
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
The following County Department Heads introduced themselves:
Joe Furman, Planning & Inspections Director
Rocky Nelson, Project on Aging Director
Doris Isaacs, Finance Director
Bob Frye, Assistant County Manager/OSD
Robert Marsh, Maintenance Supervisor
Deb Wynne, Parks & Recreation Director
Glenda Duncan, Data Processing Director
Larry McLean, Tax Administrator
Jim Atkinson, Social Services Director
Jane Ann Hodges, Supervisor of Elections
Jim Harmon, Veterans Service Officer/Safety Director
Mr. Steve Hayes voiced his concerns that the County’s landfill and container sites were not open on Sundays. Mr. Hayes explained that he is a part-time resident from Wake County and had problems disposing of his garbage when he returned to Wake County on Sundays. Assistant County Manager/OSD, Bob Frye, understood Mr. Hayes’ concern, however, if the County was to open the container sites on Sunday, it would require additional funding. Mr. Frye added the County provided service for the majority of County residents and that the hours of operation were posted at each container site.
Mr. Cecil Aldridge thanked the Board for conducting their meeting in the Foscoe community. In addition, he presented a petition on behalf of the Mill Ridge Property Owners’ Association to add a turning lane on Highway 105 south at the entrance to the Mill Ridge community. Mr. Aldridge asked the Board to forward this petition to the N.C. Department of Transportation for consideration.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to forward this petition to the N.C. Department of Transportation as requested.
Mr. Nick Friedman, Mr. Sil Main, Mr. Earl Scott, Mr. Steve Raynor, Mr. Joshua Parrish, Mr. Lee Estep, Mr. Bill Wilson, Mr. Tim Wilson (Watauga EMS Director), Ms. Shirley Scott, and Mr. James Wilcox all spoke in support of the County’s current ambulance service. In addition, they encouraged the Board to consider the quality of service provided for residents rather than focus on the costs of operation. Chairman Hodges thanked those in attendance for their comments which would be taken into consideration. He added the Board would do what was best for the County.
Commissioner Kohles seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to enter closed session at 9:45 P.M. to discuss: Attorney/Client Matters, Ambulance Service – G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3).
Following a brief recess, the Board entered closed session at 10:01 P.M.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to resume the regular meeting at 11:10 P.M.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:11 P.M.
Elizabeth H. Link
Clerk to the Board
WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
SPECIAL MEETING, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 1999
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting on Tuesday, September 7, 1999 at 5:30 P.M. at the Office of Watauga Ambulance Service to review the County’s current ambulance service operation. Those present were: Chairman Hodges, Vice-Chairman Sweeting, Commissioners Coffey, Kohles, Lawrence, Sr., County Manager Reed, Clerk to the Board, Libby Link, and members of the press.
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 5:35 P.M.
Mr. Tim Wilson, Watauga EMS Director, discussed the types of service currently provided for County residents. In addition, he introduced several staff members: Mark Cline, Craig Sullivan, Gary Harmon, Josh Parrish and Brandon Hampton and encouraged the Board to ask questions. Following discussion, the Board looked at the ambulances and equipment used by Watauga Ambulance Service.
It was the consensus of the Board to declare a recess at 6:22 P.M. in order for the Commissioners to travel to the Foscoe Christian Church Fellowship Hall to conduct their regular meeting scheduled for 7:00 P.M.
Elizabeth H. Link
Clerk to the Board