The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a Public Hearing on Thursday, May 31, 2001, in the Commissioner’s Meeting Room, Watauga County Courthouse.
                        PRESENT:       James Coffey, Vice-Chairman
                                                Jack Lawrence, Sr., Commissioner
                                                Sue Sweeting, Commissioner
                                                Pat Wilkie, Commissioner
                                                Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
                                                Anita Fogle, Clerk to the Board
            Chairman Hodges was unable to attend the meeting due to serious illness in the family.
            Vice-Chairman Coffey declared a public hearing open at 1:03 P.M. to hear the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) proposed Secondary Road Improvement Program for Fiscal Year 2001/2002. He then turned the meeting over to Sam Erby, Board of Transportation Member for Division 11. Mr. Erby welcomed those in attendance and then introduced the following NCDOT staff who were present: Carl McCann, Division Engineer; Mike Pettyjohn, Division Maintenance Engineer; Kip Turner, Division Design; Patrick Norman, Division Staff; Martin Bolick, District Engineer; Kevin Whittington, Assistant District Engineer; Brandon Greer, District ROW Agent; Johnny Brown, County Maintenance Engineer; and Jim Mixon, Road Maintenance Supervisor. Mr. Erby turned the meeting over to Mike Pettyjohn.
            Mr. Pettyjohn explained the formula for the paving of unpaved secondary roads and improvements on unpaved roads. Watauga County was estimated to receive a total allocation of $5,118,339 for Fiscal Year 2001/2002. Mr. Pettyjohn turned the meeting over to Martin Bolick.
            Mr. Bolick reviewed the proposed program for Watauga County. Of the $5,118,339 allocated, $4,230,000 would be used for paving unpaved roads, $300,000 for paved road improvements, $428,570 for unpaved road improvements and $159,769 in reserve for road additions, surveys, right of way signatures, overdrafts, and entrances to fire departments and rescue squads. Mr. Bolick turned the meeting over to Carl McCann.
            Mr. McCann answered questions from concerned citizens who requested to know the position of Peoria Road on the priority list. Mr. McCann stated that Peoria #1 was number eleven (11) on the priority list. Edith Greer voiced her concerns regarding a 1.5 mile stretch of Hopewell Church Road (she felt the road desperately needed work as there are areas that are to narrow for two cars at the same time) she stated that the road was number ninety-three (93) on the list six (6) years ago. Mr. McCann stated that the road was now number thirty-three (33) on the list. Another concerned citizen stated that a curve on Hwy 321 at the Watauga/Avery County line has no markings to show how sharp it is. Mr. McCann stated that NCDOT recently received a letter regarding said curve and have begun an investigation.
            There being no further public comment, Vice-Chairman Coffey declared the public hearing closed at 1:27 P.M.
            Mr. McCann requested the Board take one of the following actions:
            1) concur with the secondary roads plan as presented
            2) take no action
            3) recommend changes (as long as they did not deal with paving or paving priorities)
            Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to concur with the N.C. Department of Transportation Secondary Roads Improvement Plan for Fiscal Year 2001/2002.
                                                                                   VOTE: Aye-4
                                                                                            Absent-1 (Hodges)
            The meeting reformed and reconvened in the County Manager’s Conference Room at 1:30 P.M. to discuss the proposed FY 2002 Budget.
            Presentations by Danny Staley, Director of Appalachian District Health Department, detailed the septic permitting and inspection process.
            Andy Reece, Chairman of Watauga County Board of Education; Lowell Younce, Board Member; and staff members Dr. Dick Jones, Leta Council, and David Triplett reviewed the School Board’s budget request.
            No action was taken. The meeting adjourned at 4:50 P.M.
                                                                                    James Coffey
Anita J. Fogle
Clerk to the Board