The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, November 2, 1998 at 9:00 A.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse.


PRESENT: James Coffey, Chairman

Jack D. Lawrence, Sr., Vice-Chairman

Linda S. Craig, Commissioner

Jimmy Hodges, Commissioner

Jack Wellborn, Commissioner

Stacy C. Eggers, Jr., County Attorney

James S. Ratchford, County Manager

Libby Link, Clerk to the Board


Chairman Coffey called the meeting to order at 9:00 A.M. welcoming those in attendance.


A moment of silence was observed.




Chairman Coffey called for additions or corrections to the October 20, 1998 regular minutes; there being none, they were approved as presented.




Chairman Coffey called for additions or corrections to the November 2, 1998 agenda.


County Manager Ratchford stated a suggestion was made to delay making appointments to the Watauga Medical Center Board of Trustees until the next regular meeting scheduled for November 17, 1998.


Commissioner Craig requested representatives from Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute be added to the agenda.


Commissioner Wellborn seconded by Commissioner Craig, moved to approve the agenda for the November 2, 1998 regular meeting with the amendments.


VOTE: Aye-5



Dr. Kenneth A. Boham, President, Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute, presented County Manager Ratchford with a plaque in appreciation for his work on the CCC&TI Watauga Campus building program. He added that this year’s enrollment at the Watauga Campus had increased by 9.5% and that the Board of Commissioners was responsible for enabling CCC&TI to serve more students. CCC&TI Director of Watauga Campus, Dr. Sandra Anderson, and CCC&TI Board of Trustees Member, Bill Miller, also acknowledged Mr. Ratchford’s assistance with the CCC&TI Watauga campus.




A. Monthly Collections Report – Tax Administrator, Larry McLean, presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of October, 1998.


B. Refunds and Releases – Tax Administrator McLean presented the following Refunds and Releases for October, 1998 for Board approval:




Vice-Chairman Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Hodges, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report as presented.


VOTE: Aye-5





Social Services Director, Jim Atkinson, presented the standard monthly report for that Department. In addition, he provided the Board with information regarding the State’s new Children’s Health Insurance Program. Mr. Atkinson notified the Board that two children that were in Social Services’ custody had been illegally taken out of the State and were located in Ohio. The transportation cost to retrieve the children was $347 for each child and $694 for the social worker accompanying them. Although it was the County’s responsibility to retrieve the children, Mr. Atkinson stated efforts would be made to recoup these funds from the Courts.




Register of Deeds Wanda Scott addressed the Board stating the following bids had been received for a document imaging system.


Image Software, Inc. $ 84,110 Non-Compliant

Englewood, CO (Incomplete Bid)


ImageMax $108,721 Non-Compliant

Charlotte, NC (No Bid Bond)



Landata Foresight, Inc. $135,266 Non-Compliant

Tampa, FL (Incomplete Bid)


Mackin Imaging Systems $164,633 Low Bidder

Bristol, PA


COTT $246,076 Complete Bid Response

Columbus, OH


Ms. Scott stated a document imaging system would help with growth and records that utilized so much space and more efficiently serve many people in the community as well as office staff. After careful consideration, Ms. Scott recommended the Board approve the Mackin Imaging Systems bid of $164,633. She added the only other additional costs to be covered by the County included the wiring estimated at $1800 and an estimated $3000 for a hub to link the system to the server and the mainframe. Ms. Scott anticipated this new system would be in operation no later than late Spring.


Commissioner Hodges seconded by Commissioner Craig, moved to approve the Mackin Imaging Systems Bid of $164,633.


VOTE: Aye-5





Ms. Pam Beam, an Appalachian State University (ASU) student, addressed the Board regarding a fund raising proposal. She stated some ASU students were working with the Red Cross in producing "comfort kits" and in raising money for the Jeremy Dale Fisher Fund. Mr. Fisher was an ASU student who had been killed in a fire three years ago. The "comfort kits" would consist of personal care items for families that had been displaced by a natural disaster such as a flood or fire. She stated stores in the area had been asked to donate items for the kits or to make a one-time donation and requested the Board commit funds that would then be matched from donations in the community for this purpose. The Board noted that the County appropriated funds to the Red Cross each year and commended the students for this effort.





Certificate of Incumbency – County Manager Ratchford presented a document which was required as part of the financing for the construction work on the Rock building and the Health Department building. This was a signature form authorizing County Manager Ratchford, Finance Director Doris W. Issacs and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth H. Link to sign documents for this purpose.


Vice-Chairman Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Craig, moved to approve this Certificate of Incumbency.



VOTE: Aye-5




Surplus Vehicles – County Manager Ratchford stated the Sheriff had made a mistake in the VIN number for one of the vehicles declared surplus by the Board at their October 5, 1998 regular meeting. The vehicle that should have been declared surplus and offered for sale was a 1990 Ford Crown Victoria, VIN 2FCP7267LX140361 rather than the 1991 Ford Crown Victoria, VIN 2FACP72G2MX171647.


Commissioner Craig seconded by Vice-Chairman Lawrence, moved to declare the 1990 Ford Crown Victoria as surplus property authorizing the County to sell at public auction and to rescind action previously taken on the 1991 Ford Crown Victoria.


VOTE: Aye-5




Announcements – County Manager Ratchford reminded the Board that the Annual Farm-City Banquet was scheduled for Thursday, November 5, 1998 at 6:00 p.m. at Greenway Baptist Church’s Family Life Center.




Commissioner Wellborn seconded by Vice-Chairman Lawrence, moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:37 A.M.


VOTE: Aye-5






James Coffey








Elizabeth H. Link

Clerk to the Board