WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MONDAY, APRIL 5, 2004
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, April 5, 2004, at 9:00 A.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse.
PRESENT: James Coffey, Chairman
Jimmy Hodges, Vice-Chairman (arrived at 9:05 A.M.)
Keith Honeycutt, Commissioner
David Blust, Commissioner
Allen Trivette, Commissioner
Stacy C. Eggers, IV, County Attorney
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Coffey called the meeting to order at 9:02 A.M. welcoming those in attendance.
A moment of silence was observed.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Coffey called for additions or corrections to the March 1, 2004, regular meeting minutes and the March 1, 2004, closed session minutes.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Trivette, moved to approve the March 1, 2004, regular meeting minutes and the March 1, 2004, closed session minutes as presented.
VOTE: Aye-4(Coffey, Blust, Honeycutt, Trivette)
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairman Coffey called for additions and/or corrections to the April 5, 2004, agenda.
County Manager Nelson requested to speak on behalf of Sheriff Shook under agenda item 6(a) and for Assistant County Manager Geouque under agenda item 9. Both were unable to attend.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to approve the April 5, 2004, agenda as amended.
VOTE: Aye-4(Coffey, Blust, Honeycutt, Trivette)
PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER APPALCART’S RURAL OPERATING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM APPLICATION
Chairman Coffey declared a public hearing open at 9:04 A.M. to consider AppalCART’s Rural Operating Assistance Program Application.
AppalCART Director, Mr. Chris Turner, addressed the board explaining, that this application was submitted annually to provide Watauga County with state funding to expand AppalCART’s rural transportation services. Mr. Turner stated that this year the funding amount was $76,105 and no local match was required. The funding was allocated to improve access to transportation for clients of the Project on Aging, Watauga Opportunities, Carolina Friendship, the Department of Social Services and Work First.
There being no public comment, Chairman Coffey declared the public hearing closed at 9:08 P.M.
Commissioner Trivette, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to approve the submission of the application as presented.
SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION REQUEST
Mr. Bill Farthing, Southern Appalachian Historical Association Board Member, and Mr. Ceylon Barclay, General Manager of the Horn in the West, requested assistance for capital needs on Property owned by the Town of Boone that contained both the Horn in the West facilities and the Hickory Ridge Homestead structures. Mr. Farthing requested a commitment from the County in assisting with these capital repairs in the form of an immediate grant from the County in the amount of $75,000 and a dollar for dollar match on the first $100,000 raised through their capital campaign with a $25,000 sustaining grant to follow.
By consensus, the Board agreed to refer the request to the Watauga County Economic Development Commission for recommendation.
SURPLUS PROPERTY REQUESTS
A. Surplus Vehicles Request – County Manager Nelson stated that Sheriff Shook had requested that the following vehicles be declared surplus:
1963 Studebaker 2 ½ ton Truck VIN# M63735
1983 Chevrolet ¾ ton Pickup Truck VIN# 1GCGD34J8EF302311
1983 Chevrolet ¾ ton Blazer Truck VIN# 1G8ED18J4EF126664
1986 Chevrolet ¾ ton Pickup Truck VIN# 1GCGD34J2GF406005
The County Manager stated that the list included four military vehicles that were acquired from the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. Once designated as surplus vehicles, two of the vehicles were to be transferred to the NC State Highway Patrol. The other military vehicles were to either be returned to the State or sold through the County’s surplus auction.
Commissioner Honeycutt, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to declare the following vehicles surplus: 1963 Studebaker 2 ½ ton Truck (VIN# M63735), 1983 Chevrolet ¾ ton Pickup Truck (VIN# 1GCGD34J8EF302311), 1983 Chevrolet ¾ ton Blazer Truck (VIN# 1G8ED18J4EF126664), and 1986 Chevrolet ¾ ton Pickup Truck (VIN# 1GCGD34J2GF406005)
B. E-911 Phone Equipment Surplus Request – Mr. Joe Furman requested that three obsolete answering stations that were previously used in the E-911 emergency call/dispatch center be declared surplus.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Trivette, moved to declare the three E-911 answer stations surplus as requested by Mr. Furman.
SCHOOL BOND REFUNDING REQUEST
Ms. Doris Isaacs stated that the rates had dropped since the beginning of the refunding process and therefore requested direction on how to proceed.
Commissioner Trivette, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to proceed with the sale as long as the net present gain was at or above the rate of 3%.
Ms. Isaacs then reviewed the escrow deposit agreement with Branch Banking and Trust Company that was required in the “County of Watauga, North Carolina – Refunding Bonds, Series 2004” process. The County Finance Officer had been designated as the Bond Registrar and paying agent and Branch Banking and Trust Company had been designated as the escrow agent.
Vice-Chairman Hodges, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to approve the escrow deposit agreement with Branch Banking and Trust Company as presented by Ms. Isaacs.
A. Monthly Collections Report – Tax Administrator, Mr. Kelvin Byrd, presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of March 2004.
B. Releases and Refunds – Tax Administrator Byrd presented the following Refunds and Releases for March 2004 for Board approval:
TO BE TYPED IN MINUTE BOOK
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report for March 2004 as presented.
PROPOSED WATAUGACOUNTY COMMUNITY PRIDE WEEK RESOLUTION
County Manager Nelson discussed a proposed Resolution proclaiming the week of May 17-May 22, 2004 as “Community Pride Week” in Watauga County. The County Manager discussed planned activities for that week and then read the Resolution.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to adopt the Resolution for Watauga County Community Pride Week.
HOWARD’S KNOB PARK REPORT
Mr. Robert Marsh, Maintenance Director, presented a report on the maintenance schedule for Howard’s Knob Park. The report was presented for information only and therefore no action was requested.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
A. Town of Boone Lease Offer/Requested Appointment of a Committee to Negotiate Re: A Potential YMCA Site – County Manager Nelson stated that the Town of Boone had offered to negotiate a lease of 12.55 acres of the Anne-Marie/Elizabeth Drive park area to the County for future recreation purposes. This was the Town’s response to the County’s request to work jointly to determine if a YMCA can be sited on County owned property. The County Manager stated that the town intended to appoint a committee in April to negotiate terms of the proposed lease. The County Manager requested that two Board members, the Manager, and Stephen Poulos, Parks and Recreation Director, be appointed to a committee to work with the Town in securing a lease and a potential site for a YMCA. Direction from the Board is requested.
Commissioners Honeycutt and Blust volunteered to serve on the committee along with the County Manager and Mr. Poulos and, by consensus, the Board appointed the committee.
B. Forestry Service Lease Request – County Manager Nelson stated that, at the Annual Retreat, a request from the Forestry Service was discussed regarding the possible lease of a site adjacent to the County’s closed landfill for the location of an office and training space. The County Manager stated that the Forestry Service was to bear the expense of the location of a modular unit as well as the associated tap on and hook up fees for water and sewer.
By consensus, the Board directed the Manager to instruct the County Attorney to draft such a lease for a one-half to one acre site that had been previously identified by Mr. J. V. Potter, Operations Services Manager.
C. Requested Scheduling of Work Session for Planning Courthouse Addition – County Manager Nelson stated that staff, as well as representatives from the Court system, District Attorney’s Office, Clerk of Court, and Register of Deeds had met with Mr. Jack Hemphill in programming for the Courthouse addition. Mr. Hemphill had drafted several floor plans to address the various needs that have been voiced by the departments who were to be housed in the addition. The Manager requested that a work session be scheduled at the close of the April 20, 2004, board meeting to assist the staff and architect in planning and choosing the option that was to be most appropriate for Watauga County. The duration of the work session was to be approximately one hour.
By consensus, the Board agreed to hold a work session at the close of the April 20, 2004, Board meeting to discuss the planning of the Courthouse addition.
D. Boards and Commissions – County Manager Nelson gave a second reading of one ETJ position open on the Town of Boone Planning Commission. The Town of Boone recommended the appointment of Mr. Larry Bordeaux or Mr. Joel Thompson.
The Board agreed to postpone appointment until the next Board meeting.
The County Manager gave a second reading of two positions where Town appointments exist on the Watauga County Recreation Commission. The Town of Boone recommended that Mr. Joe Robinson and Dr. Bill Horn be appointed to the Watauga County Recreation Commission.
Commissioner Trivette, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to appoint Mr. Joe Robinson and Dr. Bill Horn to the Watauga County Recreation Commission.
E. Announcements – County Manager Nelson stated that the NCACC Legislative Update will be held in Raleigh on May 19, 2004.
The County Manager stated that the DOT Secondary Roads Improvement Program Public Hearing will be held at the May 18, 2004, regularly scheduled meeting.
The County Manager stated that Public Hearing on the recommended budget will be held at the May 18, 2004, regularly scheduled meeting.
The County Manager stated that the Annual Project on Aging Volunteer Luncheon was scheduled for Thursday, April 22, 2004.
The County Manager reviewed an update on sales tax collections for FY 2004. At the end of January, collections from the four local option sales tax sources were 58.81%. The seven months, ending January 31, 2004, represented 58.33% of the year so therefore collections were slightly ahead of the projections as prepared by staff. This report was presented for information only and therefore no action was necessary.
At 10:20 A.M., Vice-Chairman Hodges, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to enter Closed Session to discuss Attorney/Client Matters, per G. S. 143-318-11(a)(3) and Personnel Matters, per G. S. 143-318-11(a)(6).
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to resume the open meeting at 10:22 A.M.
Commissioner Honeycutt, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:22 A.M.
James Coffey, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board