The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held special meetings on Friday, March 11, 2005 and Saturday, March 12, 2005 in order to conduct a retreat to review goals and objectives for the County. The meetings were held in the Human Services Conference Room, Boone, NC.
PRESENT:          Jim Deal, Chairman
William R. Winkler, III, Vice-Chairman
David Blust, Commissioner
Keith Honeycutt, Commissioner
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Deron Geouque, Assistant County Manager
Doris Isaacs, Finance Director
            Chairman Deal called the meeting to order on Friday, March 11, 2005 at 9:00 A.M. welcoming those in attendance.
            Ms. Doris Isaacs reported on the current year budget and reviewed the Capital Reserve Summary. The retiree insurance actuarial study that was conducted for the County was discussed. In addition, the proposed Fiscal Year 2005 budget schedule was presented. The Board of Commissioners reviewed a tentative schedule for budget work sessions on May 5, 2005 (6-10 pm), and May 10, 2005 (3-7 pm). 
            The Board met with the School Board to discuss issues in the upcoming budget year. The following individuals were present from the Watauga County Board of Education: School Board Members Mr. Andy Reese, Mr. Lowell Younce, Mr. Steve Combs, Dr. Lee Warren, Dr. Bobbi Short, Superintendent, and Leta Councill. The School Board discussed issues pertaining to the High School and presented a Capital Improvement Plan for future school needs. 
            Mr. Bryce Holder, the County’s Auditor, reviewed in more detail specific areas of the County’s audit. Mr. Holder brought to the Board’s attention the possible need for a grants administrator/writer.
Mr. Craig Sullivan, Watauga Medics, presented the yearly report for Watauga Medics. Mr. Sullivan also discussed with the Board the possibility of adding an on-call crew for emergency out of County travel. It was estimated that the cost to the County would be $62,000 annually. The on-call crew would increase resources during non-peak times.
                Jim Thompson, Hospitality House, requested the Board provide a 120 day option to perform a feasibility study on the Hannah Building (Old Health Department). If the feasibility study indicated the building was suitable for their needs, the Hospitality House would request the Board to enter into a long-term lease for $1 per year for a minimum of 25 years. 
            County Manager Nelson discussed the Long Range Capital Plan. The plan covers Fiscal Year 2006 through Fiscal Year 2015. Topics covered included the administration building, transfer station, law enforcement center and voting equipment. Topics for future planning include: courthouse addition, parking lot, parking deck, animal control facility, Revco renovation, industrial park/business incubator, county services building, renovation of 2nd floor east annex and 3rd EMS base in western Watauga. 
            Joe Furman, Planning and Inspections Director, reviewed the County’s comprehensive plan and discussed future planning. Mr. Furman said a needs assessment and a professional study should be completed. 
            The Board met with the Economic Development Committee. Members present were Rob Holton, Sterling Carroll and Joseph Miller. The EDC Board updated the Commissioners on current projects and future needs.
            Mr. Furman provided the Board with the Water and Sewer Committee’s report. After discussion, the Board decided to designated funds for engineering to determine future options and formulate a plan.
            Mr. Scott Eggers reviewed the report from the Affordable Housing Task Force. 
            The County’s Junked Cars, Solid Waste, and Personnel Ordinances were reviewed.
            Mr. Kelvin Byrd, Tax Administrator, briefed the Board on the upcoming revaluation process and schedule of values.
            Sue Counts, Cooperative Extension Services Director, gave the Board a summary of the services and resources that her organization provides to the County and citizens.
            Mr. Derek Goddard, Soil and Water Technician, explained to the Board the services currently provided and discussed the opportunity to expand into new service areas.
A recess was declared at 6:00 P.M. The meeting reconvened on Saturday, March 12, 2005 at 9:00 A.M.
            Mr. Tom Foss, Center for Public Technology, reviewed the process in developing a strategic and disaster recovery plan with regards to the County’s technology and electronic data.
            Sheriff Shook came before the Board to discuss current needs. 
            The County Manager gave a summary of future goals and objectives for the County. The County Manager concluded the retreat by reviewing the issues that were addressed and sought direction from the Board for Fiscal Year 2006.
            Commissioner Blust seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to adjourn the meeting at 12:30 P.M.
VOTE:    Aye-4
               Absent-1 (Winston Kinsey)
Jim Deal, Chairman
Deron Geouque
Assistant County Manager