WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MONDAY, JULY 3, 2000
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, July 3, 2000 at 9:00 A.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse.
PRESENT: Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Sue Sweeting, Vice-Chairman
James Coffey, Commissioner
Art Kohles, Commissioner
Jack Lawrence, Sr., Commissioner
Jeff Hedrick, County Attorney
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Libby Link, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 9:00 A.M. welcoming those in attendance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the June 20, 2000 regular and closed session meeting minutes.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to approve the June 20, 2000 regular and closed session meeting minutes presented.
APPROVAL OF JULY 3, 2000 AGENDA
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the agenda for the July 3, 2000 agenda as presented.
APPALCART FACILITY REVIEW
AppalCART Director, Chris Turner, discussed the results of a review on the current AppalCART facility which was conducted by KFH Group, Inc. The review indicated that AppalCART lacked sufficient space at its current location to meet current needs and/or for expansion (specifically problems with lack of parking space for business purposes as well as visitors and the wash bay area during the Winter). Mr. Turner stated that the N.C. Department of Transportation suggested AppalCART have an appraisal conducted on the property to obtain its value and to explore options in regards to possible renovations at the current facility and/or the location of a new site. Mr. Turner added that once the appraisal was completed, he would make a report to the Board. This item was for the Board’s information, and no action was taken.
A. Monthly Collections Report – Tax Administrator, Larry McLean, presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of June, 2000.
B. Refunds and Releases – Tax Administrator McLean presented the following Refunds and Releases for June, 2000 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.
C. Homestead Exemption Discussion – Tax Administrator McLean reviewed the State’s current homestead exemption for elderly and disabled homeowners which had been established in 1997. Mr. McLean briefly reviewed three bills that had currently been introduced in the legislature. He felt legislation might be passed to change the exemption amount and provided the Board with this information.
Maintenance Supervisor, Robert Marsh, and Parks & Recreation Director, Deb Wynne, addressed the Board regarding bids that were received to supply propane to the County’s Swim Complex, Green Valley Pool, Old Cove Creek Gym, Optimist Clubhouse and Optimist Maintenance Shop. The following companies submitted bids: Appalachian Energy, Suburban Propane and Blue Ridge Energies, LLC. The bids were for a per-gallon price based on the Apex plus shipping and the companies’ margin. Both Mr. Marsh and Ms. Wynne had reviewed all of the bids and agreed that Appalachian Energy was the lowest bidder. Ms. Wynne recommended the Board enter into a 3-year contract with Appalachian Energy contingent on County Attorney Hedrick’s review.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to approve this recommendation subject to County Attorney Hedrick’s review.
ASU/COUNTY ANTENNA LEASE AGREEMENT
Fire Marshal, Lisa Shoun Danner, addressed the Board stating the County’s current lease (effective July 1, 1999 through July 1, 2000) with Appalachian State University for rental of space on a tower located on Rich Mountain needed to be renewed for another year. Ms. Danner added the agreement was identical to last year’s with the exception of the rental amount. The new rental amount was $200 per month.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to renew the County’s lease agreement with Appalachian State University for an additional year.
REQUEST TO AMEND FIXED ASSET GUIDELINES
County Manager Nelson reviewed proposed changes to the County’s fixed assets policy. Mr. Nelson stated these changes had been recommended by the County’s auditor, Holder, Copeland and Associates and were in accordance with the Local Government Commission and GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). The following changes were recommended:
· To remove all items with a capitalization value of $999 or less from the fixed asset record with the exception of land, buildings, vehicles and some data processing equipment.
· To retain serialized equipment with a capitalization value of $999 or less on the fixed asset record for tracking and insurance purposes reducing the value from the capitalized value to $1. This would include equipment such as printers, fax machines, televisions, VCRs, digital cameras, typewriters and portable maintenance equipment.
· To remove non-serialized assets that fall below the capitalization threshold but were vital to a specific departmental function (i.e. voting machines and refuse containers) with the understanding that an accurate inventory be maintained by the department responsible for the property and that the inventory be monitored by the Finance Office.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the changes to the County’s fixed assets policy as recommended.
COMMUNITY RECREATION GRANT PROGRAM
Parks & Recreation Director, Deb Wynne, briefly reviewed the Watauga County Community Recreation Grant Program’s application and guidelines for Fiscal Year 2000/2001. Following discussion, Ms. Wynne stated that after the Grant Selection Committee had reviewed the applications received and made its recommendations, she would make a report of the recommendations to the Board prior to announcement.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to approve the Watauga County Community Recreation Grant Program Application and Guidelines for Fiscal Year 2000/2001 as presented.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
A. Boards and Commissions – County Manager Nelson stated there was a vacancy for a non-voting member on the Advanced Life Support Committee for EMS. Mr. Nelson noted the position was previously held by former County Manager, Barry Reed, and was to be filled by a member of the Board of Commissioners or its designee.
Following brief discussion, Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to appoint County Manager Nelson to the Advanced Life Support Committee for EMS.
County Manager Nelson stated the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council had submitted the following list of individuals to serve effective July 1, 2000:
Jim Thornton, Substance Abuse Professional
Steve LeaShomb, Faith Community Representative
Patricia Trathen, United Way Representative
Susan Crawford, Parks and Recreation Representative
Bricca Sweet, School Superintendent Designee
Sherrie Pitts, Chief of Police Designee
Charles Danner, Sheriff Designee
Charlie Boyd, District Attorney Designee
Stephen Horton, Chief Court Coordinator Designee
Gail Hawkinson, Director, New River Behavioral HealthCare
Caleb Jackson, Social Services Director Designee
Doris Isaacs, County Manager Designee
Art Kohles, Commissioner
Diane Griffin, Juvenile Defense Attorney
Alexander Lyerly, Chief District Judge
David Stone, Health Director Designee
Jan Rienerth, Community Representative
Melissa Johnson, Community Representative
Bill Fox, Community Representative
Mary Farthing, Community Representative
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the list of individuals for the 2-year and 1-year terms as recommended.
B. Future Appointments – It was noted that the following Boards and Commissions had positions, which expired in August, 2000: the Watauga Division of Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute Advisory Committee, the Watauga County Library Board and the Valle Crucis Historic Preservation Commission. This was for the Board’s information, and no action was taken.
C. Announcements – County Manager Nelson reminded the Board of the dinner/special meeting to be held at 6:00 P.M. on September 21, 2000 at the Daniel Boone Inn being sponsored by the Caldwell Community College Technical Institute Board of Trustees.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to enter Closed Session at 9:48 A.M. to discuss: Attorney/Client Matters – G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3) and Land Acquisition – G.S. 143-318.11(a)(5)(i).
Following a brief recess, the Board entered Closed Session at 9:52 A.M.
Commissioner Kohles seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to resume the regular meeting at 10:18 A.M.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:18 A.M.
Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Elizabeth H. Link, Clerk to the Board