WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
SPECIAL MEETINGS, FRIDAY, MARCH 1,2002 &
SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2002
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held special meetings on Friday, March 1, 2002 and Saturday, March 2,2002 in order to conduct a retreat to review goals and objectives for the County. The meetings were held in the Human Services Conference Room, Boone, NC.
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
Doris Isaacs, Finance Director
Deron Geouque, Assistant County Manager
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order on Friday, March 1, 2002 at 6:00 P.M. welcoming those in attendance.
REPORT/REVIEW LAST YEAR'S RETREAT GOALS
County Manager Nelson reviewed last year's goals and objectives and reported on the progress of these goals and objectives to the Board. Manager Nelson stated the County made tremendous strides in improving the overall operations of the County.
Ms. Doris Isaacs presented the proposed Fiscal Year 2003 budget schedule. The Board of Commissioners will have budget work sessions on May 29, 2002 (6-10 pm), May 30,2002 (1- 5 pm) and June 6,2002 (1-?).
Ms. Isaacs reported on the current year budget and reviewed the Capital Reserve Summary. The state budget crisis was discussed. Ms. Isaacs updated the Board on the status of the Bob Segal cost reduction program.
RECREATION TASK FORCE REPORT
Dr. Bill Horn and Brian Crutchfield gave an outline on recreation issues for the High Country area. Mr. Crutchfield gave a brief history of the High Country Task Force. Mr. Crutchfield said issues for consideration for future recreation needs are scaling down the previous proposed recreation complex plan, addressing pool size and whether or not to renovate or build a new pool, and conduct survey with assistance from ASU on the public's willingness to support a recreation complex.
DOT PRE-TIP PLANNING PROCESS & FUNDING MECHANISM
Ms. Alena Cook, with the North Carolina DOT, reviewed a new funding mechanism for Intrastate Projects such as Highway 421. Ms. Cook presented a draft resolution that would ensure eligibility for funding from the Trust Fund for US 421. Ms. Cook discussed the Pre-TIP planning process which is suppose to shorten the time a project is in the TIP from 8-10 to about 4-5 years.
Mr. Kelvin Byrd, Tax Administrator, discussed the scheduling process for the Board of Equalization and Review. Mr. Byrd also discussed the plans and costs for the County to move towards a four to five year revaluation cycle. Mr. Byrd reported on the Business Personal Property Audit.
DRAFT ORDINANCE REVIEW
Mr. Joe Furman and Mr. Jeff Hedrick presented draft Ordinances on Junk/Abandoned Vehicles and Solid Waste (Illegal Dumping). A work session will be planned to discuss in further detail these proposed ordinances.
DISCUSSION ON FUTURE PROJECTS
Mr. Jamey Fletcher, Watauga County Communications Committee, reported to the Board the Committee is recommending a plan that implements a VHF, linked, multi-site, multi-channel, digitally capable simulcast communications network at a cost of $1.3 to $2 million.
A recess was declared at 10:00 P.M.
The meeting reconvened on Saturday, March 2, 2002 at 8:30 A.M.
JOINT MEETING WITH SCHOOL BOARD
The following individuals were present from the Watauga County Board of Education: School Board Members Mr. Andy Reese, Mr. Lowell Younce, Mr. Steve Combs, Dr. Lee Warren, Mr. Joe Isaacs, Dr. Dick Jones, Superintendent, Ms. Leta Councill, Finance Officer, and Maintenance Director, David Triplett. The Boards reviewed the total number of students currently enrolled and noted there were 1546 currently enrolled at the high school. Both Boards noted it was important to work together to ensure the best quality of education for the County's students.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION REPORT
Mr. Mike Wagoner, President of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, and Mr. Grant Wainscott, Director of Economic Development, addressed the Board to discuss the annual EDC Report and plans for next year. Mr. Wainscott reviewed information contained in Economic Development's website.
HOUSING FORUM REPORT
Mr. Mike Hall gave a summary of the Housing Forum that was recently held. Mr. Furman was on hand to answer questions on what the County's involvement may be in affordable housing.
Mr. Robert Marsh, Stephan Poulos, John Forrest presented a report on the County's pool and options for future repairs, improvements and/or replacement.
County Manager Nelson reviewed the current capital improvement program/plan and discussed current projects as well as anticipated and requested projects. Discussion followed on the jail facility, AppalCart facility, transfer station, Revco renovation, Heilig-Meyers renovation, pool replacement and the new health department building.
Manager Nelson discussed non-regular employees with the County that do not have benefits.
Mr. Deron Geouque presented a motor pool analysis. Mr. Geouque said that based on the current information it would not be cost effective for the County to bring motor pool maintenance in-house.
Mr. Deron Geouque updated the Board on the progress of work force development and the customer survey/service.
Mr. Geouque presented the Board with a rough draft of the County's new Personnel Ordinance.
Mr. Geouque discussed the need to migrate the County from a String based environment to ARC GIS environment. The cost to do so would be $75,000.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to adjourn the meeting at 12:30 P .M.
Assistant County Manager