The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a specially called joint meeting with the Avery County Commissioners on Thursday, September 4, 2003 at 6:00 p.m. in the offices of the Avery County Board of Commissioners, Administrative Complex, Newland, NC. Those present were: Chairman Coffey, Vice-Chairman Hodges, Commissioner Blust, Commissioner Honeycutt, Commissioner Trivette, County Manager Nelson, Assistant County Manager Geouque, Watauga EMS Director Sullivan, Avery County Chairman Poteat, Vice-Chairman Strickland, Commissioner Beuttell, Commissioner Forbes, Commissioner Owens, County Manager Wiseman, County Attorney Hall, and EMS Director Cook. 
            Chairman Poteat called the Avery County Commissioners to order at 6:04 p.m. The Watauga County Board was also called to order at this time by Chairman Coffey. Chairman Poteat welcomed the Watauga County Board Members and officials. Members of both boards introduced themselves at this time. Chairman Poteat gave the invocation.
            Chairman Poteat asked Avery County Manager Wiseman to give the boards some background on what has occurred up to this point in regard to EMS services for Watauga and Avery Counties. Discussion followed on the offers that had been previously made and declined by both counties. Avery County’s first offer was for Watauga County to pay $150,000 per year for Avery to continue servicing the Watauga County portion of Beech Mountain and to begin servicing the Avery portion of Seven Devils and the backside of Beech Mountain in the Flat Springs area. Watauga County countered offering to continue the cooperative arrangement as in the past and to pay Avery County a $500 per transport subsidy for the number of transports they provide that are greater than the number of transports provided by Watauga County. (In the last full year of measurable data, Avery County provided approximately 100 transports to Watauga County and Watauga provided approximately 40 to Avery. Using this data as an example Watauga would have paid for an annual total of $30,000.)
Avery County Vice-Chairman Strickland made a motion seconded by Commissioner Owens for Watauga County to pay $100,000 for the first year and a $50,000 per year assessment for the following four years to continue the EMS service in Watauga County and Avery County would reciprocate accordingly for services provided to the Beech Creek and Flat Springs areas. Avery County would cover the portion of Seven Devils in Avery. The offer was contingent upon a response from Watauga County on or before October 6, 2003. The motion was unanimously approved by the Avery County Board of Commissioners.
Vice-Chairman Strickland, seconded by Commissioner Beuttell, moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:13 P.M.
                                                                                    James Coffey
Deron Geouque
Assistant County Manager