The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting on Friday, January 27, 2012, at 8:00 A.M. in the Commissioners' Board Room of the Watauga County Administration Building, Boone, North Carolina.


                        PRESENT:      Nathan A. Miller, Chairman

                                                David Blust, Commissioner

                                                Jim Deal, Commissioner

                                                Austin Eggers, County Attorney

                                                Deron Geouque, County Manager

                                                Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board


Chairman Miller called the meeting to order at 8:05 A.M.


[Clerk’s Note:  Vice-Chairman Gable and Commissioner Futrelle were not in attendance due to prior commitments.]


Commissioner Deal opened the meeting with a prayer and Commissioner Blust led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Tourism Development Authority Recreation Trails Program Grant Application Endorsement Request

Chairman Miller stated that the purpose of the special meeting was to consider endorsement of a Watauga County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) grant application which was originally presented to the Board of Commissioners at the January 17, 2012, regular meeting.  Consideration was tabled at that time to allow for a public hearing scheduled by the Tourism Development Authority on Thursday, January 26, 2012, at 5:30 P.M.


Mr. Eric Woolridge with the TDA gave an overview of the information provided at the public hearing regarding the Recreation Trails Program grant application in the amount of $75,000 with an $18,750 match proposed to be funded by the TDA.  The grant, if received, was to fund a project that included the construction of two (2) river paddle accesses:  one at Green Valley Community Park and the other off of Pine Run Road along the New River.  The grant application was due January 31, 2012, with awards to be announced in the spring.  If awarded, contracts for construction would be considered in the fall of 2012.  Mr. Woolridge stated that the TDA planned to continue to work with affected property owners during the current engineering phase of the project.


Mr. Rob Holton, TDA Chairman, stated that a permitting process for commercial outfitters using the paddle access areas may be considered to allow oversight of parking and to avoid potential issues such as responsibility for trash pick-up.


Mr. Wright Tilley, TDA Executive Director, stated that out of the approximate 50 attendees, 21 citizens spoke at the public hearing, 4 of which were property owners.  The 4 property owners each had concerns; however, none indicated that they were totally against the project.  Several agencies also showed representation at the public hearing, including Watauga County Pathways, Green Valley Community Park, Boone TDA, commercial outfitters, and the Towns of Boone and Blowing Rock.  Mr. Tilley stated that overall support was expressed for the project.


Commissioner Deal, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to endorse the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority’s Recreation Trails Program grant application in the amount of $75,000 with an $18,750 match to be funded by the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) including the projects proposed to be funded by the grant.


VOTE:  Aye-3(Miller, Blust, Deal)


             Absent-2(Gable, Futrelle)


Commissioner Deal also shared support for the Tourism Development Authority’s continued work with property owners located near the project.


Chairman Miller, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:19 A.M.




Nathan A. Miller, Chairman



Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board