The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting on Friday, November 19, 1999 at 7:00 A.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse.

PRESENT: Jimmy Hodges, Chairman

Sue Sweeting, Vice-Chairman

James Coffey, Commissioner

Art Kohles, Commissioner

Jeff Hedrick, County Attorney

Libby Link, Clerk to the Board

Commissioner Lawrence, Sr. was unable to attend the meeting due to a prior commitment.


Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 7:06 A.M. stating the purpose of this meeting was to finalize the Ambulance Franchise Agreement with Watauga County and Watauga Medics, Inc. He then turned the meeting over to County Attorney Hedrick.


County Attorney Hedrick updated the Board on the status of the items he had discussed with the Board at its November 16, 1999 regular meeting. Mr. Hedrick stated that on November 17, 1999 he had received the Ambulance Franchise Agreement (with Watauga Medics, Inc.) and its revisions. He added the language in the Agreement fully incorporated what was included in the County’s Ambulance Franchise Ordinance. In addition, Mr. Hedrick had been communicating with Watauga Medics, Inc.’s attorney, Mr. John Kilby, to finalize the Agreement no later than December 3, 1999.


Mr. Hedrick stated he had spoken with Mr. Bob Washburn, High Country Bank’s Senior Vice President, and was informed that a Standby Irrevocable Letter of Credit would be issued (as the guarantee required by the franchise agreement) which would be in place prior to December 3, 1999.


It was noted the Watauga Medics, Inc. Board of Officers were: President, Mr. Lee Estep; Vice- President & Treasurer, Mr. Craig Sullivan; and Corporate Secretary, Ms. Pamela S. Willis. In addition, Mr. Hedrick informed the Board that Mr. Estep was unable to attend the meeting due to a health care conference held in Western Tennessee, however, he had received an affidavit signed by Mr. Estep which indicated the Officers as previously indicated. Mr. Sullivan presented his signed affidavit to the Clerk to the Board at the Board’s meeting.


Mr. Hedrick had also spoken with Mr. Jerry Ashley, a State Official, regarding the provider license, and Mr. Ashley indicated the necessary licenses would be in place by December 3, 1999. Mr. Hedrick added that all the remaining items (discussed at the Board’s November 16, 1999 meeting) were being finalized and that he anticipated everything would be in place by December 3, 1999.


There was no Board discussion based on Mr. Hedrick’s report.


Vice-Chairman Sweeting stated she had received a letter from Blowing Rock Town Manager, Don Holycross, that requested the County do a comprehensive study of the emergency medical needs and services within the County.


Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to amend the agenda for the purpose of discussing this request.


VOTE: Aye-4

Absent-1 (Lawrence)


Vice-Chairman Sweeting stated the Town of Blowing Rock wanted to evaluate the needs for the number of ambulance units/substations that should be provided in the County and the optimal location of those units and substations. The Board agreed that, although this study had been requested by the Town of Blowing Rock, this study should be relevant to the emergency service needs and resources for all areas within the County.


Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to send a written request for a study as indicated above to Gary Johnson, Supervisor, Western Regional Office of Emergency Management.


VOTE: Aye-4

Absent-1 (Lawrence)


Upon being asked, Mr. Sullivan told County Attorney Hedrick that he had reviewed the Ambulance Franchise Agreement with his attorney, Mr. Kilby. The Agreement was then signed and attested to by: Vice-President, Craig Sullivan, Corporate Secretary, Pamela S. Willis, Chairman, Jimmy Hodges, and Clerk to the Board, Libby Link.


Mr. Sullivan addressed the Board and stated all remaining items (as discussed) would be finalized prior to December 3, 1999.


Commissioner Kohles seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:32 A.M.


VOTE: Aye-4

Absent-1 (Lawrence)






Jimmy Hodges








Elizabeth H. Link

Clerk to the Board