The Watauga County Board of Commissioners attended a special meeting on Monday, April 28, 2008, 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 Pro Tem Richard DeMott, and Council Member Kathy Copley
  • Blowing Rock: Town Manager Scott Hildebran; Mayor J. B. Lawrence; Council Members Keith Tester, Tommy Klutz, Barbara Ball, Albert Yount and Phil Pickett; Town Clerk Sharon Greene; Police Chief Eric Brown; Town Engineer Doug Chapman; Human Resources Director Erica Cline; Emergency Services Director Kent Graham; Public Works Director Johnny K. Lentz; and Planning Director Kevin Rothrock
  • Appalachian State University: Dr. Lorin Baumhover
  • Town of Boone: Mayor Loretta Clawson; Mayor Pro Tem Lynne Mason; Council Members Janet Pepin, Rennie Brantz, Stephen Phillips and Liz Aycock; Town Manager Greg Young; Town Attorney Sam Furgiuele; Public Utilities Director Rick Miller; Police Chief Bill Post; Fire Chief Reggie Hassler; and Deputy Town Clerk Kim South
The joint meeting was called to order at 5:00 P.M.
            Town of Blowing Rock Mayor J. B. Lawrence welcomed everyone and introduced Mr. Tom Westall, the facilitator for the retreat.
            Mr. Westall asked for introductions and desired outcomes of the joint meeting.
Water Issues
            Mr. Westall introduced Ms. Debbie Hamrick, Special Corps Director with Farm Bureau, who gave a presentation on water issues in the State of North Carolina and encouraged the Boards and Councils present to advocate for their needs in Raleigh.
            Mr. Westall encouraged those present to update one another on local water interconnection activities.
            After each group had a chance to speak, short term goals were listed from which the following five committees were established:
1.      To determine combined capacity and understand the demands now and in the future
2.      To investigate water efficiency systems and conservation
3.      To begin talks with other counties for regional solutions
4.      To unify groups to go before legislature to speak as one voice (Communications Group)
5.      To establish criteria as defined by all parties (land use planning and regulations)
            Each group represented was directed to appoint a Board member and staff representative to each of the five committees and report them back to Mr. Scott Hildebran as soon as possible to allow the committees to begin meeting within 45 days.
E-911 Consolidated Dispatch
            County Manager Rocky Nelson stated that the Watauga County EMS Advisory Board had recommended consolidated dispatch to the Watauga County Board of Commissioners and requested feedback from the Towns within the County as to if it was agreeable. County Manager Nelson stated that currently there were three dispatch centers in the County and that the recommendation of the EMS Advisory Committee was founded on safety through less confusion if all calls originated in the same location.
            After discussion, the group agreed by consensus to direct each Town to report recommendations to the County Manager.
Ladder Fire Truck Acquisition
            Appalachian State University stated that the Town of Boone was filing for funding through legislation for a 100 foot ladder truck at a cost of approximately $850,000 - $900,000 and requested support of the funding from the County and other towns that could benefit from the truck.
            After discussion and by consensus, the group directed the Town of Boone to draft a resolution for adoption by the County and other towns in support of funding for the fire truck and directed the newly formed “Communications Group” to advocate on behalf of the funding as well.
Other Issues
            Discussion began on setting a meeting schedule for the group; however, due to the illness of an attendee, the meeting was ended prior to consensus.
            The meeting was adjourned at 8:26 P.M.
Jim Deal, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board