The Watauga County Board of Commissioners attended a special meeting on Monday, January 26, 2009, in the Helen Powers South Room at Broyhill Inn, ASU, 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 Joe Furman and Brent Graybeal with the Planning and Inspections Department. Others present were as follows:
  • Department of Transportation: Mike Pettyjohn, Trent Beaver, Michael Poe, Alena Cook, Sarah Smith, Drew Joyner, Cooper Sellers, and Division 12 Board Member Bob Collier
  • Seven Devils: Mayor Pro Tem Richard DeMott, and Council Member Kathy Copley
  • Blowing Rock: Town Manager Scott Hildebran; Mayor J. B. Lawrence; Council Members Tommy Klutz, Barbara Ball, and Phil Pickett; Town Clerk Sharon Greene; Public Works Director Johnny Lentz; and Planning Director Kevin Rothrock
  • Appalachian State University: Mr. Greg Lovins
  • Town of Boone: Mayor Loretta Clawson; Mayor Pro Tem Lynne Mason; Council Members Janet Pepin and Stephen Phillips; Town Manager Greg Young; Town Attorney Sam Furgiuele; Development Services Director John Spear; Public Works Director Blake Brown; Police Chief Bill Post; Fire Chief Reggie Hassler; and Deputy Town Clerk Kim Brown
  • High Country Council of Governments: Phil Trew, Planning Director
  • Others: Mike Hall with the Boone Chamber of Commerce; Chris Turner with AppalCART; and Anna Oakes with High Country Press
The joint meeting was called to order at 5:05 P.M.
            Mr. Phil Trew, High Country Council of Governments, welcomed everyone and called for introductions.
Daniel Boone Parkway, Pre-TIP Study
Ms. Alena Cook, PE, NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch, presented a summary on the Daniel Boone Parkway Pre-TIP study. Ms. Cook requested that the Town of Boone and Watauga County choose a proposed route to endorse for the project.
Watauga County Comprehensive Transportation Plan
            Mr. Cooper Sellers, with the NCDOT Transportation Planning Branch, presented the current standing on the Watauga County Comprehensive Transportation Plan which was a long-ranged multi-modal transportation plan. This type of plan was a concept for broad range improvements over a 25-30 year planning period which was not fiscally constrained. It was a vision plan with no funding attached that was developed cooperatively with DOT and local stakeholders. Mr. Sellers stated that the Town of Boone and Watauga County needed to formally choose an option for the Daniel Boone Parkway prior to the CTP moving forward.
NCDOT Project Development Process
            Mr. Drew Joyner, with the NCDOT Project Development and Environmental Analysis Branch, gave a presentation on the development process used for DOT projects. 
Current Projects in Watauga County
            Mr. Mike Pettyjohn, PE, NCDOT Division 11, gave a brief overview of current projects in Watauga County stating that all were on hold at the moment due to the economic downfall. Mr. Pettyjohn stated that the King Street project was a top priority and was in the right-of-way acquisition stage; however, due to the economy, DOT had stopped the right-of-way purchases at this time. Mr. Pettyjohn stated that the US 321 widening project was also in the right-of-way process; however, the project was on hold and DOT had not begun the purchase of those right-of-ways at this time. The 194 project had been split into two projects which were also on hold at this point.
            Mr. Trent Beaver, PE, Division Construction Engineer, gave more details on the following projects:
East King Street Widening, Boone
Mr. Beaver stated that right-of-way acquisitions were to total $24,000,000 for the 1.1 mile project with construction costs estimated at $14,500,000. The new road was to be a modified 4-6 lane road with sections containing as many as 8 lanes. Mr. Beaver stated that DOT had traffic control plans in place for the project with the completion of the south side first then shifting traffic to the south side to allow for construction of the north side. The plan contractor was to complete as much of the project as possible for the new high school opening in August 2010. Mr. Beaver then shared an animated visualization of the project.
US 321 Widening, Blowing Rock
            Mr. Beaver stated that, for the US 321 widening project in Blowing Rock, right-of-ways were to cost approximately $35,000,000 with construction expected to cost $53,160,000. Mr. Beaver stated that this project should be completed by August 2009.
            Mr. Phil Trew, with High Country Council of Governments, led a discussion as to holding future Intergovernmental Retreats.
            After discussions, it was agreed by consensus, to schedule future Retreats three times a year (late January, late May, & September).
            The meeting was adjourned at 7:03 P.M.
Jim Deal, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board