The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting on Friday, December 12, 2008, in the Commissioners’ Board Room at the Watauga County Administration Building, Boone, NC. Those present were: Chairman Deal, Vice-Chairman Winkler, Commissioner Cooper, Commissioner Futrelle, Commissioner Kinsey, County Manager Nelson, Deputy County Manager Geouque, Clerk to the Board Fogle, and County Attorney Anthony di Santi. Others present were as follows:
  • Watauga County Board of Education: Lowell Younce, Lee Warren, Deborah Miller, Marsha Walpole, Attorney Paul Miller, Superintendent Hemrick, and Clerk Jennifer Combs.
  • Town of Boone Greenway Representatives: Lynne Mason, Stephen Phillips, Bunk Spann, Eric Gustavson, and Blake Brown.
  • Appalachian District Health Department: Danny Staley, Director and Jennifer Greene, Health Education and Promotion Supervisor
Chairman Deal called the meeting to order at 3:07 P.M.
            Mr. Blake Brown and Mr. Eric Gustavson presented the Greenway Committee’s proposed Greenway Trail location which included a connection at the end of Daniel Boone Drive by the retention pond then following the sewer outfall across the culvert following the hill to the existing Greenway with a connection 200 – 300 feet downstream from the third bridge.
            Mr. Brown stated that access from Morningside Drive was not feasible in that it required Army Corps of Engineering approval; involved the construction of a long bridge; and entailed access via a shear cliff at the rear of the property.
            Ms. Jennifer Greene with the Appalachian District Health Department stated that she had applied for and received a grant in the amount of $95,000 the requirements for which stated that walking and bicycling trails had to be included and that the project must be completed by May 31, 2008.
            Ms. Lynne Mason stated that the Town of Boone had contributed $100,000 to the project as well and, therefore, there was no funding needed from Watauga County.
            Several shared their opinions regarding the placement of the connector trail. The School Board mentioned concerns regarding the safety of the students at the high school and the availability of an area where students could take “field trips” for class work that would not pose safety issues with potential users of the trail. Others mentioned the opportunities that would exist for the cross country team to use the trail for training and for students and staff to be able to walk or ride bicycles to the high school.
            After lengthy discussion, and by consensus, the group agreed to schedule another joint meeting for Friday, January 9, 2009, at 3:00 P.M. to continue discussion and to review the rendition that was to be prepared by Architect Bill Dixon.
                [Clerk’s Note: The joint meeting had to potentially be rescheduled and was to be discussed at the January 5, 2009, Board of Commissioners meeting.]
The joint meeting adjourned at 5:16 P.M. and, after a short recess, the Board of Commissioners continued with their meeting.
Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to amend the agenda to include Announcements and a closed session for Attorney/Client Matters per G. S. 143-318.11(a)(3).
            County Manager Nelson announced that the next Intergovernmental Retreat was tentatively scheduled for Monday, January 26, 2009, and was to be hosted by the High Country Council of Governments.
            County Manager Nelson announced that he had sent a letter to Senator Goss, Representative Tarleton, and the Department of Transportation regarding the importance of the DOT completing project # U-2040 in conjunction with the new high school’s completion.
            At 5:24 P.M., Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Commissioner Futrelle, moved to enter closed session to discuss Attorney/Client Matters, per G. S. 143-318.11(a)(3).
VOTE:   Aye-5
            Commissioner Cooper, seconded by Commissioner Futrelle, moved to resume the open meeting at 5:40 P.M.
VOTE:   Aye-5
            The meeting was adjourned at 5:40 P.M.
Jim Deal, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board