WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2001
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Tuesday, June 19, 2001 at 7:00 P.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse.
PRESENT: Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
James Coffey, Vice-Chairman
Jack Lawrence, Sr., Commissioner
Sue Sweeting, Commissioner
Pat Wilkie, Commissioner
Jeff Hedrick, County Attorney
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Anita Fogle, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. welcoming those in attendance.
A moment of silence was observed.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the May 31, 2001 Special Meeting Minutes; the June 4, 2001 regular meeting minutes; and the June 12, 2001 special meeting minutes.
Commissioner Sweeting seconded by Vice-Chairman Coffey, moved to approve the May 31, 2001 special meeting minutes; the June 4, 2001 regular meeting minutes; and the June 12, 2001 special meeting minutes as presented.
APPROVAL OF JUNE 19, 2001 AGENDA
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the June 19, 2001 agenda.
County Manager Nelson requested that the Board add to the agenda a funding request from WataugaNet and an offer from the Board of Education to purchase surplus property.
Vice-Chairman Coffey seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to approve the June 19, 2001 agenda as amended.
PUBLIC HEARING – APPALCART’S RURAL OPERATING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Chairman Hodges declared the public hearing open at 7:02 P.M. to allow for comment on AppalCART’s Rural Operating Assistance Program.
Mr. Chris Turner, Director of AppalCART, reported on the Rural Operating Assistance Program grant request to the North Carolina Department of Transportation for FY 2002. Mr. Turner stated that $59,644 of grant funds were eligible for Watauga County with no local match required.
There being no public comment, Chairman Hodges declared the public hearing closed at 7:05 P.M.
Commissioner Sweeting seconded by Vice-Chairman Coffey, moved to endorse and approve of the request of AppalCART to apply for the Rural Operating Assistance Program Grant through the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
APPALCART ROOF REPLACEMENT GRANT REQUEST
Mr. Chris Turner, Director of AppalCART, discussed plans for recoating the metal roof for the AppalCART building. Mr. Turner anticipated this expenditure be covered primarily by a grant from the Department of Transportation which required a 10% local match. Mr. Turner recommended the proposal from Vance Roofing at a cost of $20,483 and a 10% match of $2,048.30.
Commissioner Wilkie seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to accept the recommended proposal from Vance Roofing and to approve the 10% local match of $2,048.30, which would be taken from the FY 2002 contingency fund, contingent upon receipt of grant funds and the County Attorney’s approval of the contract.
COUNTYWIDE WATER AND WASTEWATER ANALYSIS REPORT
Mr. Gary McCollum of Draper Aden Associates reviewed the Countywide Water and Wastewater (Sewer) Analysis Study completed for Watauga County.
Mr. McCollum gave the results of the analyses as follows: 1) Route NC 105 – Initiate community service for water and wastewater between Hound Ears and Seven Devils Road along road frontage in the near term. Develop water system and sewer system to serve part or all of outlined service area in the future. 2) Route US 221/321 – Initiate community service for water between Town of Boone and Town of Blowing Rock throughout the outlined service area in the future and continue using self service wastewater systems into the foreseeable future. 3) Route 221/421 – Initiate community service for water between Town of Boone and Deep Gap along road frontage in the near term, to develop a water system to serve part or all of outlined service area in the future, and to continue using self service wastewater systems into the foreseeable future.
Mr. McCollum agreed to a future work session with the Board to review the Study in more detail.
No Board action was taken.
MORATORIUM ON CERTAIN HIGH IMPACT LAND USES
Ms. Deborah Greene, representative of Watauga Voice – Citizens Opposed to Zoning, presented to the Board concerns regarding the need for and the legality of past Moratoriums and the recently enacted Moratorium on High Impact Land Uses in Watauga County. Ms. Greene requested that the Board lift the recently enacted Moratorium on High Impact Land Uses and develop a comprehensive plan.
No Board action was required and none was taken.
ADDITIONAL SERVICE FUNDING REQUEST
Mr. Craig Sullivan requested that the County supplementally fund an additional twelve (12) hour a day – seven (7) day a week crew to meet the increasing demand for EMT services in Watauga County. County Manager Nelson stated that the Watauga County EMS Advisory Board reviewed the statistics and recommended that Mr. Sullivan forward this request which is to fund the additional crew from July 1, 2001 thru December 2001 for an additional supplement cost to the County of $58,716 and be reviewed after six months, at which time it will be determined if the need warrants continuance of the additional service, and to examine the increased revenues of Watauga Medics, Inc. relevant to the recently Board approved raises in trip charges. At that time the contract subsidy amount could be re-negotiated.
Commissioner Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Wilkie, moved to approve supplemental funding, from the FY 2002 contingency fund, for an additional twelve (12) hour a day seven (7) day a week crew for Watauga Medics, Inc., from July 1, 2001 to December 2001, contingent upon the County Attorney’s approval of the contract.
SCHEDULE OF VALUES ADOPTION
Mr. Larry McLean, Tax Administrator, stated that a Public Hearing was held on June 4, 2001 for comment on the Schedule of Values and that the Schedule of Values has been available for public review in the Tax Administrator’s Office. Mr. McLean requested that the Board adopt the Schedule of Values for the revaluation that is currently on going to be effective January 1, 2002.
Vice-Chairman Coffey, seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to adopt the Schedule of Values as presented.
Finance Director, Doris Isaacs, presented the following budget amendments for Board approval:
Account # Description Debit Credit
145350-440900 Purchases-Adult Daycare 4,834
143531-323000 Admn. Cost Reimb. 4,834
To recognize additional federal funds for adult daycare program.
Account # Description Debit Credit
145890-469805 Landship House 2,010
145890-469806 Landship House-Co. Match 603
143583-333000 JCPC Grant 2,010
143991-399100 Fund Balance Approp. 603
To correct amount of JCPC grant award for Landship House program. Program agreements for the correct amounts were never completed by the agency, therefore they lost additional state funds. Ms. Isaacs confirmed these amounts with the district representative for the JCPC program.
Account # Description Debit Credit
243101-312000 Taxes Ad Valorem-00-01 5,000
24340-469905 Pay. To Fire Dist.-Boone Rural 5,000
283101-312001 Taxes Ad Valorem-00-01 7,000
284340-469901 Pay. To Fire Dist.-Foscoe 7,000
283101-312004 Taxes Ad Valorem-00-01 5,500
284340-469904 Pay. To Fire Dist.-B. Dam 5,500
283101-312005 Taxes Ad Valorem-00-01 1,300
284340-469905 Pay. To Fire Dist.-St. Simmons 1,300
283101-312006 Taxes Ad Valorem-00-01 3,200
284340-469906 Pay. To Fire Dist.-Zionville 3,200
283101-312007 Taxes Ad Valorem-00-01 2,000
284340-469907 Pay. To Fire Dist.-Cove Creek 2,000
283101-312008 Taxes Ad Valorem-00-01 1,700
284340-469908 Pay. To Fire Dist.-Shawneehaw 1,700
283101-312009 Taxes Ad Valorem-00-01 1,400
284340-469909 Pay. To Fire Dist.-Meat Camp 1,400
283101-312010 Taxes Ad Valorem-00-01 1,000
284340-469910 Pay. To Fire Dist.-Deep Gap 1,000
283101-312012 Taxes Ad Valorem-00-01 3,900
284340-469912 Pay. To Fire Dist.-B. Rock 3,900
To recognize additional fire tax district revenue and appropriations based on actual billing in excess of the tax administrator’s budget estimates for FY 2000-01.
233317-343109 Controlled Substance Tax 27,000
233831-349100 Int. Earned on Invest. 750
234310-423800 Undercover Drug Purchases 5,000
234310-449901 Misc. Exp. – Cont. Sub. Tax 22,750
To recognize substance abuse funds and appropriations for expenditure of same.
133593-359005 PSFF Bethel 4,159
135912-459005 Cap. Outlay-PSFF-Bethel 4,159
To recognize balance of PSFF for the Bethel project.
Vice-Chairman Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the budget amendments as presented.
ADOPTION OF THE FISCAL YEAR 2001/2002 BUDGET ORDINANCE
County Manager Nelson stated that the following changes were made to the proposed FY 2001/2002 Budget.
Increase County Manager salary & fringe $3,799
Decrease Finance advertising line ($1,360)
Decrease General Admn. Capital Outlay ($100,000)
Increase General Admn. Contingency $100,000
Decrease Animal Control Uniforms ($1,000)
Decrease Mental Health Allocation ($450)
Increase Rec. Athletics supplies – Mite Football $8,000
Net Changes $8,989
Vice-Chairman Coffey seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to adopt the Fiscal Year 2001/2002 Budget Ordinance as presented with changes.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
A. Courthouse Repair Proposals – Mr. Robert Marsh, Maintenance Supervisor, reported that the thirty-ton chiller that provided cooling for the Courthouse was inoperable due to compressor failure on June 7, 2001. A similar event occurred in April 1998 at which time a factory rebuilt compressor was installed at a cost of $10,590.90. Mr. Marsh recommended that, due to the age of the chiller system (35+ years) and the performance of the rebuilt compressor, a total replacement of the chiller system. Mr. Marsh presented the Board with the bids received for replacement of the chiller system.
Vice-Chairman Coffey, seconded by Commissioner Wilkie, made a motion to accept the bid from Mountaineer Sheet Metal Co., Inc., for replacement of the chiller system in the Courthouse as presented in the amount of $31,495, with the funds coming from the remainder of the FY 2001 Maintenance budget or the FY 2001 Contingency fund, and contingent upon the County Attorney drafting a contract addressing performance bond.
B. Utility Lines Request for Transfer of Ownership – Joe Furman, Director of Panning and Inspections, stated that the water and sewer line extensions to the Hannah Building and the Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Continuing Education Center were completed in June 2000. Mr. Furman stated it is now appropriate to turn over ownership and maintenance responsibility of the main lines (excluding building service laterals) to the Town of Boone at the end of the contractor’s year warranty period.
Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, made a motion to request the Boone Town Council to assume ownership and maintenance of the water and sewer line extensions as presented.
C. ASU Tower Lease Request – County Manager Nelson reviewed an annual lease agreement between Watauga County and Appalachian State University for ASU’s use of the County’s communication tower on Howard’s Knob. The County Manager stated that the contract did not change from the current year.
Vice-Chairman Coffey, seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to approve the lease agreement as presented.
D. Discussion of Architect Selection – Mr. Robert Marsh, Maintenance Supervisor, presented to the Board the process used for selecting an Architect for the renovations to the Government Center and also to the Ginn House. Mr. Marsh forwarded proposals to three local Architects, that the County has had experience with in the past. Two responded: Howell Associates and David R. Jones.
Commissioner Wilkie stated that she would like to see a firm within the County perform the work. After discussion, the Board requested that a new Request for Proposal, with more details on the timeline included, be sent to all Architect Firms in Watauga County and also be advertised in local newspapers.
No Board action was required and none was taken.
E. Landfill Monitoring Report – County Manager Nelson reviewed the most recently conducted groundwater and surface water assessment for the closed Landfill as conducted by Draper Aden, Associates. The County Manager stated that the size and the concentrations of the spill continues to diminish.
Vice-Chairman Coffey, seconded by Commissioner Wilkie, made a motion to forward the report to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources as presented.
F. Boards and Commissions – County Manager Nelson stated that Mr. Jim Atkinson, Social Services Director, provided a list of potential candidates for appointment to the Social Services Board. They are: 1) any current member of the Watauga County Board of Commissioners, 2) Terry B. Hill, and 3) Shirlee Gaines Edwards.
Commissioner Sweeting nominated Terry B. Hill and Commissioner Wilkie nominated Shirlee Gaines Edwards. The following votes were made:
Terry B. Hill – Sweeting
Shirlee Gaines Edwards – Hodges, Coffey, Lawrence, and Wilkie
Therefore, Ms. Shirlee Gaines Edwards was appointed to the Social Service Board.
County Manager Nelson stated that the Clerk to the Board has forwarded written requests for nominations for upcoming vacancies to the following Boards and Commissions: Cove Creek Fire Protection District Commission, Boone Board of Adjustments, CCC&TI Board of Trustees, Criminal Justice Partnership Board, Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, Region D Workforce Development Board.
G. WataugaNet Funding Request – County Manager Nelson stated that WataugaNet, a community based Website, has requested payment of $3,000 which was approved by the Board to be paid in FY 2001 but was inadvertently not budgeted.
After discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to Table discussion until such a time when Mr. Paul Combs, Director of Appalachian Regional Development Institute and overseer of the Website, is available to make a presentation to the Board regarding WataugaNet and, if necessary, to draw a contract.
H. First Right of Refusal Offer from Watauga County Board of Education – Ms. Carol Deal, Watauga County Associate Superintendent, stated that the Vocational House Project in Buckeye Estates was 90% completed and was declared surplus property by the Watauga County Board of Education on June 11, 2001. The property was offered to Watauga County at the appraised price of $182,000. Upon declination of the offer the property would be offered for sale by negotiated sale, advertisement, and upset bid.
Commissioner Wilkie, seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, made a motion to graciously decline the offer presented to the Board to purchase the vocational house located in Buckeye Estates.
C. Announcements –
1. County Manager Nelson stated that the 94th Annual North Carolina Association of County Commissioners Conference would be held in Fayetteville, August 9-12, 2001. County Manager Nelson requested that Board members contact the Clerk to the Board to make arrangements for this conference.
2. County Manager Nelson stated that an invitation has been extended from the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce to the Board to attend a luncheon in honor of Ray Russell upon his leave of absence.
Three (3) citizens came forward and spoke during the public comment period.
Mr. Bill Moretz requested that the general public be allowed to submit constructive input to the Study Committee on Zoning and he also recommended a mandatory review process as an alternative to zoning.
Ms. Jerry Hayes expressed concern as to the lack of validity of an internet “petition” that was conducted in favor of zoning and stated that over 800 signed letters were presented to the Board from those opposed to zoning. Ms. Hayes also expressed concern that there would be little input from the public to the Study Committee on Zoning.
Ms. Deborah Greene expressed concern over funds being distributed to the WataugaNet Website. Ms. Greene also expressed concern that public input would not be allowed during the Study Committee on Zoning meetings.
Chairman Hodges stated that he requested for members of the Study Committee on Zoning to fairly represent the county so that citizens may contact the members of the committee at times other than during the meetings to share their concerns regarding zoning. The Chairman stated that the individual members of the committee should listen to the public.
Commissioner Wilkie, seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to enter Closed Session, after a 10 minute break, at 9:08 P.M. to discuss: Land Acquisition, G.S. 143-318.11(a)(5)(i).
Commissioner Wilkie seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to resume the open meeting at 9:30 P.M.
Commissioner Wilkie, seconded by Commissioner Sweeting, moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 P.M.
Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board