WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2019
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting, as scheduled, on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, at 5:30 P.M. in the Commissioners' Board Room of the Watauga County Administration Building, Boone, North Carolina.
PRESENT: John Welch, Chairman
Billy Kennedy, Vice-Chairman
Charlie Wallin, Commissioner
Larry Turnbow, Commissioner
Perry Yates, Commissioner
Anthony di Santi, County Attorney
Deron Geouque, County Manager
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board
Commissioner Wallin opened with a prayer and Commissioner Turnbow led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Approval of Minutes
Vice-Chairman Kennedy called for additions and/or corrections to the February 5, 2019, regular meeting and closed session minutes.
Vice-Chairman Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Yates, moved to approve the February 5, 2019, regular meeting minutes as presented.
Commissioner Wallin, seconded by Commissioner Yates, moved to approve the February 19, 2019, closed session minutes as presented.
Approval of Agenda
Vice-Chairman Kennedy called for additions and/or corrections to the February 19, 2019, agenda.
County Manager Geouque requested to add consideration of a facilities assessment agreement and a proposed Community Pride Resolution.
Commissioner Wallin, seconded by Vice-Chairman Kennedy, moved to approve the February 19, 2019, agenda as amended.
Public Hearing to Allow Citizen Comment on An Ordinance to Provide for the Control of Soil and Erosion and Sedimentation
Chairman Welch stated that a public hearing had been scheduled to allow citizen comment on amendments to the Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Ordinance.
Mr. Joe Furman, Planning and Inspections Director, stated that the State Sedimentation Control Commission had notified the County that the model erosion control ordinance for local programs had been updated with changes made to the NC General Statutes – Sedimentation Pollution Control Act – over the past several years. As such, the County’s local ordinance needed to be updated to comply with the model. The County’s ordinance was last updated in 2003 with a marginal amendment in 2011. Mr. Furman presented the proposed updated ordinance.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Turnbow, moved to declare the public hearing open at 5:37 P.M.
There being no public comment, Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Turnbow, moved to declare the public hearing closed at 5:37 P.M.
Vice-Chairman Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Turnbow, moved to adopt the Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Ordinance as presented.
Proposed Non-Medical Transportation Contract with AppalCART
Mr. Craig Hughes, AppalCART Director, presented a revised contract for Rural General Public trips. The contracted rate would increase from $1.45 to $2.07 the purpose of the increase is to fully utilize the grant. No increase or service reduction will be experienced.
Vice-Chairman Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Yates, moved to approve the revised contract for Rural General Public trips which increases the per direct mile cost from $1.45 to $2.07.
Proposed Lease Renewal with Cove Creek Preservation and Development
Mr. David Tyner, Cove Creek Preservation and Development (CCP&D) Chairman, stated that the current lease between the County and CCP&D for the Old Cove Creek School Building is scheduled to expire in 2022. Mr. Tyner requested to extend the lease to protect the investment of renovations and financial outlay made by CCP&D.
County Attorney di Santi stated that, by Statute, a twenty-five year lease would have to be treated the same as an authorized for sale of real property. Property owned by the County may be leased or rented for such terms and upon such conditions as the Board may determine, for up to ten (10) years. The current lease could be extended to a total time up to ten years or the CCP&D could wait until 2022 and then request a new lease up to ten years.
Mr. Tyner asked if the Board could offer a commitment that a lease for up to ten years would be available to CCP&D in 2022. County Attorney di Santi stated that the current Board could not make such a promise for a future Board. County Manager Geouque stated that he felt confident that a future Board would be committed to lease the property to CCP&D due to the past loan and long-term history CCP&D has with County and the building.
Mr. Tyner planned to report back to and get direction from the CCP&D Board. Once direction was given, Mr. Tyner planned to contact the County Manager with how the CCP&D wished to proceed.
Funding Request from F.A.R.M. Café for the Full Circle Food Recovery Program
Ms. Renee Boughman, Executive Chef for F.A.R.M. Café, introduced Ms. Elena Dalton, Coordinator of F.A.R.M. Full Circle which is a food recovery program. Ms. Dalton shared the four components of the program as follows: 1) rescue foods in danger of going to waste, focusing on local sources whenever possible, 2) create value added products (frozen, dehydrated, minimally processed goods, etc.) which can be stored, 3) distribute to food outreach organizations, pantries, and individuals year-round, and 4) compost kitchen scraps to minimize waste. Ms. Dalton shared the 2018 program goals which included rescuing and redistributing one ton of usable food; providing 500 meals to receiving agencies; and creating a collaborative network of community volunteers and partner agencies. The impact made by the program exceeded the goals. From May to December 2018 the program diverted 10,565 pounds of food from landfills; distributed approximately 19,000 servings at no charge; provided 368.5 Volunteer Hours; and formed 20 community partnerships. The intended long-term community impacts are stronger community increased access to fruits and vegetables; increased health benefits related to improved diet; increased community knowledge of seasonal cooking and preservation methods; and decreased nutritional inequality.
Ms. Dalton requested a $20,000 donation from the Board. Funds would be used to advertise for local buy-in of the program which would hopefully become a model program for other communities.
Ms. Boughman stated that the Full Circle Program is outgrowing the F.A.R.M. Café space currently being utilized and stated that a community kitchen would be helpful. Ms. Boughman also stated that plans for a feasibility study and a mobile market were being considered.
No action was taken by the Board at this time.
Watauga County Library Presentation of Alphabet Ready by 5 - Year 2
Ms. Lisa Flanigan, with Youth Services at the Watauga County Library, gave a presentation on the Library’s Alphabet Ready by 5 Program. Ms. Flanigan stated that the Library began offering story times around the idea of emphasizing phonemic awareness and alphabetic knowledge which are two skills that serve as predictors of early reading success. Ms. Flanigan shared that while offering the story times at the library was well received, she felt we they were “preaching to the choir.”
At that time the Alphabet Ready grant proposal developed with the idea of partnering with schools as a literacy outreach program. ARLE Preschool Outreach (Appalachian Reading and Literacy for Early Learners) was formed with seed money from the Watauga County Friends of The Library. Through the ARLE program, trained volunteers took “Alphabet Ready” style story times into child care centers. The program also teamed with Kindergarten and Pre-K classes throughout Watauga and Ashe Counties reaching 605 children weekly. Twelve Library field trips also reached 400 children, half of which stated they had never been to the Library. The presentation was for information only and, therefore, no action was required.
Guy Ford Road River Access Project Request
Mr. Joe Furman, Planning and Inspections Director, presented a quote in the amount of $67,750 from Loven Ready Mix for the purchase of approximately 542 large blocks for the construction of a retaining wall at the Guy Ford Road river access parking area. Loven Ready Mix is the only local source of the block and has offered a reduced price. Additional blocks may be required and purchased; however, the purchase would not exceed the County’s $15,000 local purchase policy. The blocks will be purchased with existing grant funds.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Vice-Chairman Kennedy, moved to approve the purchase of 542 blocks from Loven Ready Mix in the amount of $67,750 with the understanding that additional blocks at a price of $125 per block may be required and purchased with the amount not to exceed $15,000 per the County’s local policy.
Project on Aging Matters
A. Proposed Appointment of Home and Community Care Block Grant (H&CCBG) Advisory Committee and Lead Agency
Ms. Angie Boitnotte stated that each year the Board is required to appoint a lead agency and advisory committee to make recommendations on how to best expend the County’s allocation from the Home and Community Care Block Grant (H&CCBG) funds. H&CCBG funds were established by the Older American’s Act and were administered by the North Carolina Division of Aging.
The following were recommended for appointment to the committee: Commissioner Yates, the Area Agency on Aging Director, Nicole Hiegl, Linda Bretz, Vanessa Brumfield, Jennifer Greene, Murray Hawkinson, Tom Hughes, Margie Mansure, Pat Coley, Kat Danner, Sherry Harmon, Gail Hawkinson, Bob Parker, Dr. Ed Rosenberg, and Betty Wyse. Commissioner Yates was appointed to this Committee at the December 3, 2018, Board of Commissioners meeting.
Vice-Chairman Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Turnbow, moved to waive the second reading and appoint the Area Agency on Aging Director, Nicole Hiegl, Linda Bretz, Vanessa Brumfield, Jennifer Greene, Murray Hawkinson, Tom Hughes, Margie Mansure, Pat Coley, Kat Danner, Sherry Harmon, Gail Hawkinson, Bob Parker, Dr. Ed Rosenberg, and Betty Wyse to the Home and Community Care Block Grant Advisory Committee.
Commissioner Turnbow, seconded by Vice-Chairman Kennedy, moved to appoint the Watauga County Project on Aging as the Lead Agency for Home and Community Care Block Grant funds.
B. Request for Acceptance of the FY 2019 SHIIP/MIPPA Grant/Contract
Ms. Angie Boitnotte, Project on Aging Director, requested acceptance of a Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) grant from the Seniors' Health Insurance Information Program (SHIPP). The grant is in the amount of $1,816 with no local match required. If accepted, MIPPA grant funds, in the amount of $1,816, will be used to expand low income subsidy outreach and to upgrade technology used for SHIIP counseling and activities.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Turnbow, moved to accept the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) grant in the amount of $1,816 as presented by Ms. Boitnotte.
C. North Carolina Senior Tar Heel Legislature (STHL) Appointment Requests
Ms. Angie Boitnotte presented recommendations for appointments to the North Carolina Senior Tar Heel Legislature (STHL). Each County in the State has a delegate and an alternate. Ms. Pat Coley, who serves as the Delegate, and Dr. Ed Rosenberg, who serves as the Alternate, are both willing to continue to serve.
Vice-Chairman Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Yates, moved to waive the second reading and reappoint Ms. Pat Coley as the Watauga County Delegate and Dr. Ed Rosenberg as the Watauga County Alternate on the North Carolina Senior Tar Heel Legislature.
A. Monthly Collections Report
Tax Administrator, Mr. Larry Warren, presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of January 2019. The report was presented for information only and, therefore, no action was required.
B. Refunds and Releases
Mr. Warren presented the Refunds and Releases Report for January 2019 for Board approval:
TO BE TYPED IN MINUTE BOOK
Vice-Chairman Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Turnbow, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report for January 2019 as presented.
C. Tax Lien Report
Mr. Warren presented the Tax Lien Report which lists delinquent tax bills that were liens on real property and requested authorization to advertise such liens between March 1 and June 30, 2019.
Vice-Chairman Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Turnbow, moved to order the Tax Administrator to advertise the liens as requested.
Proposed Reallocation of Rural Operating Assistance Program (ROAP) Funds
On behalf of Ms. Misty Watson, Finance Director, County Manager Geouque informed the Board of the reallocation of $4,000 recommended from the Rural Operating Assistance Program (ROAP) Committee. Funds were shifted from the Watauga County Department of Social Services Elderly and Disabled Transportation Assistance Program to Watauga Opportunities.
The report was given for information only and, therefore, no action was required.
Miscellaneous Administrative Matters
A. Proposed Watauga County Facilities Assessment Agreement
County Manager Geouque presented a proposed agreement with Clark Nexen to perform a facilities assessment for the County for a lump sum fee of $15,000. The assessment will include the review of spacing and parking requirements as well as recommendations for use of existing structures or possible new facilities. The assessment will conclude with a presentation to the Board or administrative staff.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Turnbow, moved to hire Clark Nexen to perform a County facilities assessment for the lump sum amount of $15,000 which is to be allocated from the Administrative Contingency Fund.
B. Proposed Community Pride Proclamation
County Manager Geouque presented a proposed proclamation which, if adopted, will allow residents to dispose of residential waste, appliances, automobile tires, scrap metal, broken concrete, asphalt, brush, unpainted brick, unpainted block, building and construction debris, and materials exceeding three feet in length at the Watauga County Transfer Station, Recycling Facility, and Land Clearing and Inert Debris Landfill each Saturday from July 1 to December 31, 2019 for no charge. This does not apply to commercial waste, commercial haulers or businesses. Residents will have to pay on weekdays to dispose of all trash that cannot be placed in the dumpsters at container sites including the items as listed above.
Commissioner Turnbow, seconded by Commissioner Yates, moved to approve adopt the Community Pride Proclamation as presented by the County Manager.
B. Community Recreation Center Change Order #2
County Manager Geouque stated that, at the September 18, 2018, meeting, the Board approved Change Order #1 for the preliminary Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for the Community Recreation Center. The County Manager presented Change Order # 2 which formalizes the final GMP based on receipt of final bids. This information was presented to the Board on January 15, 2019. Please note that the Change Order does not include the full amount discussed at the meeting. The additional funds will be allocated once the building pad is completed and steel erection has begun. This approach was taken to have a complete understanding of the costs associated with the soil remediation. The County Manager emphasized that Change Order #2 does not increase the budget.
Commissioner Turnbow, seconded by Vice-Chairman Kennedy, moved to approve Change Order # 2 for the Community Recreation Center as presented by the County Manager.
C. Boards and Commissions
County Manager Geouque shared that each Commissioner nominates a representative to the Boone Rural Fire Protection Service District Board whose terms run concurrent with the term of the appointing Commissioner. Boone Rural Fire Service District Board members must own property and reside within that Fire Service District. Commissioner Wallin stated that he is searching for a representative to serve as his appointee.
County Manager Geouque announced the following:
· The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting regarding proposed improvements on Ridge Road (S.R. 1523) and Bamboo Road (S.R. 1514). The Local Officials’ Informational Meeting will be on Thursday, February 21, 2019, from 2:00 P.M. until 3:00 P.M. at the Boone Moose Lodge located at 607 Deerfield Road, Boone, NC. An informal, drop-in style open house will follow at the same location from 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. The opportunity to submit written comments will be provided at the meeting or by mail or email no later than March 8.
· Watauga County Cooperative Extension’s Annual "Report to the People" will be held on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, from 11:45 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. at the Agricultural Conference Center. Lunch will be provided and staff will discuss programs, trends, and issues.
There was no public comment.
At 6:35 P.M., Commissioner Wallin, seconded by Commissioner Turnbow, moved to enter Closed Session to discuss Attorney/Client Matters, per G. S. 143-318.11(a)(3) and Land Acquisition, per G. S. 143-318.11(a)(5)(i).
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Turnbow, moved to resume the open meeting at 7:29 P.M.
Vice-Chairman Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Turnbow, moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:29 P.M.
John Welch, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board