The Watauga County Board of Commissioners attended a special meeting on Thursday, May 24, 2007, in the Appalachian/Blue Ridge Room at Chetola Resort and Conference Center, Blowing Rock, NC. Those present were: Chairman Deal; Vice-Chairman Winkler, Commissioner Cooper, Commissioner Kinsey, Commissioner Moretz, County Manager Nelson, Assistant County Manager Geouque, Clerk to the Board Fogle, and Planning Director Furman. Others present were as follows: 
  • Seven Devils: Mayor Bob Dodson, Mayor Pro Tem Richard DeMott, and Council Member Kathy Copley
  • Beech Mountain: Town Manager Michael Boaz
  • Blowing Rock: Town Manager Scott Hildebran; Mayor Pro Tem Terry Lentz; Council Members Keith Tester, Tommy Klutz, Barbara Ball, and Rita Wiseman; and Town Clerk Sharon Greene
  • Appalachian State University: Chancellor Kenneth Peacock and Mr. Loren Baumhover
  • Town of Boone: Mayor Loretta Clawson; Mayor Pro Tem Lynne Mason; Council Members Janet Pepin, Bunk Spann, and Dempsey Wilcox; Town Manager Greg Young; Town Attorney Sam Furgiuele; Public Utilities Director Rick Miller; Police Captain Curtis Main; Development Services Director John Spear; Public Works Director Blake Brown; and Deputy Town Clerk Kim Tester
The joint meeting was called to order at 4:05 P.M.
            Town of Boone Council Member Lynne Mason stated that the Town had organized the Intergovernmental Retreat to ask that the bodies represented work together and develop a plan to work on common issues. Ms. Mason introduced Dr. Garry Cooper, the facilitator for the retreat.
            Dr. Cooper shared the following focus question: “What issues of common concern are opportunities for cooperation and collaboration in addressing ways to accommodate regional growth and change over the next 6-12 months and what should we do about these issues?”
            Dr. Cooper reviewed the meeting guidelines and asked for introductions and description of issues of concern. Dr. Cooper then encouraged “brainstorming” of the issues of concern as follows:
  • Zero Waste
  • Transportation (Public and Other) and Parking
  • Water/Sewer and Other Infrastructure
  • Greenway/Recreation Opportunities
  • Preserving Our Heritage: Maintaining Historical Linkages
  • Alternative Energy Opportunities
  • DOT Proposal/HWY 421
  • Environmental and Viewshed Protection
  • Housing
  • Public Safety and Emergency Response (Consolidation of Communication Centers and Fire Protection Services)
  • Economic Development and Tourism
  • SMART Growth
  • Boone Bypass
  • University Growth
  • Public Education
  • Regional Health Care (Clerk’s Note: This item was eventually removed from the list as the Blowing Rock Hospital was in the process of joining Appalachian Regional Health Care Systems.)
[Clerk’s Notes: Due to a prior commitment Commissioner Kinsey left the meeting at 6:52 P.M.]
            After comments and interpretation of the topics and prioritization as related to the region, Dr. Cooper suggested assigning small groups to each topic.
            After discussion and by consensus, the Boards and Councils represented agreed to schedule another meeting for Thursday, June 7, 2007, from 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. for the entire group to continue discussion on the topic of Public Education and the HWY 421 Project given their time sensitive nature and priority.
            Dr. Cooper reflected on the effectiveness of the retreat.
Watauga County Board of Commissioners and the Town Councils of Boone and Blowing Rock then held a closed session while other representatives adjourned.
            At 8:04 P.M., Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Cooper, moved to enter Closed Session to discuss Economic Development Matters, per G. S. 143-318.11(a)(4).
VOTE:   Aye-4(Deal, Winkler, Cooper, Moretz)
            Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Commissioner Moretz, moved to resume the open meeting at 8:51 P.M.
VOTE:   Aye-4(Deal, Winkler, Cooper, Moretz)
            The meeting was adjourned at 8:51 P.M.
Jim Deal, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board