WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2005
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Monday, December 5, 2005, at 9:00 A.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse.
PRESENT: Jim Deal, Chairman
William R. Winkler, III, Vice-Chairman
David Blust, Commissioner
Keith Honeycutt, Commissioner
Winston Kinsey, Commissioner
Tony di Santi, County Attorney
Robert E. Nelson, Jr., County Manager
Deron Geouque, Assistant County Manager
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Deal called the meeting to order at 9:06 A.M. welcoming those in attendance.
In lieu of a prayer, Chairman Deal, called for a moment of silence in memory of Dr. Bill Horn who passed away Saturday, December 3, 2005.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Deal called for additions and/or corrections to the November 9, 2005, special meeting and the November 15, 2005 regular and closed session minutes.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to approve the November 9, 2005, special meeting minutes as presented.
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to approve the November 15, 2005, regular meeting minutes as presented.
Commissioner Honeycutt presented a typographical error in the closed session minutes to the Clerk.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to approve the November 15, 2005, closed session minutes as amended.
BOARD ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS
The meeting was turned over to County Manager Nelson for the election of the Chairman of the Watauga County Board of Commissioners.
A. Election of Officers. County Manager Nelson called for nominations for Chairman of the Watauga County Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Kinsey nominated Commissioner Deal for Chairman. There being no other nominations, a vote was taken.
The meeting was then turned over to Chairman Deal.
Chairman Deal called for nominations for Vice-Chairman of the Watauga County Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Kinsey nominated Commissioner Winkler for Vice-Chairman. There being no other nominations, a vote was taken.
B. Staff Appointments. Commissioner Kinsey, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to re-appoint Robert E. Nelson, Jr. as Watauga County Manager.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to re-appoint Anita J. Fogle as Clerk to the Board.
Commissioner Kinsey, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to re-appoint René Barnes as Substitute Clerk to the Board.
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to appoint di Santi, Watson, and Capua as the Law Firm representing Watauga County with Anthony di Santi and Andrea Capua serving as legal counsel for Watauga County.
Commissioner Kinsey, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to appoint di Santi, Watson, and Capua as the Law Firm representing Watauga County Department of Social Services with Anthony di Santi and Andrea Capua serving as legal counsel for Watauga County.
C. Commissioner-Boards & Commissions Appointments. The following Commissioner Board appointments were made by Chairman Deal:
Appalachian District Health Department Kinsey
AppalCART Authority Winkler
Blue Ridge Resource Conservation & Development Area Blust
Caldwell Community College &Technical Institute
Watauga Advisory Board Kinsey
Children’s Council/Child Protection Team Blust
Committee of 100 Winkler
Community Based Affordable Housing Steering Committee Honeycutt
Community Council (2 appointees) Honeycutt
Criminal Justice Partnership Blust
Economic Development Commission Honeycutt
Educational Planning Committee Deal
EMS Advisory Committee Kinsey
Future Forward Kinsey
High Country Council of Governments-Exec. Bd. Winkler
Northwest Advisory Council of Advantage West
Rural Transportation Advisory Committee
Juvenile Crime Prevention Council Blust
Library Board Winkler
Motor Vehicle Valuation Review Committee Kinsey
New River Mental Health Winkler
POA Advisory Committee Honeycutt
(Home & Community Care Block Grant)
Volunteer Resource Center Honeycutt
Watauga County Cooperative Extension’s Advisory Leadership Board Honeycutt
Watauga County Energy Park Working Group Kinsey
Watauga County Fire Commission Kinsey
Watauga County Medical Center Board of Trustees Deal
Watauga County Personnel Advisory Committee Deal
Watauga County Recreation Commission Deal
Watauga County Department of Social Services (2 appointments) Honeycutt
Watauga Opportunities, Inc. Honeycutt
Western North Carolina Local Government Caucus Deal
Workforce Development Consortium Deal
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to confirm the above appointments to the various Boards and Commissions.
D. Fidelity Bonds. The following individual fidelity bonds were presented for approval:
Position Bond Amount Statutory Requirement
Finance Director $50,000 At least $10,000, no more
than $250,000 G.S. 159-29
Deputy Finance Director $50,000 Same as above
(Robert. E. Nelson, Jr.)
Tax Collector $50,000 Amount considered reasonable
by BCC G.S. 105-349-c
Register of Deeds $50,000 At least $10,000 but no more
than $50,000 G.S. 161-4
Sheriff $25,000 $25,000 maximum G.S. 162-8
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to approve the individual fidelity bonds as presented.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairman Deal called for additions and/or corrections to the December 5, 2005, agenda.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to approve the December 5, 2005, agenda as presented.
HUNGER COALITION HANNAH BUILDING PROPOSAL
Ms. Compton Fortuna, Director of the Hunger Coalition, presented an updated proposal for use of the Hannah Building.
After discussion, Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to enter into a lease with the Hunger Coalition contingent upon the County Attorney di Santi preparing the contract to include the following stipulations.
The County was to:
· Install windows
· Repair plumbing
· Provide the compressor for the HVAC system
· Pay insurance and security monitoring contract during the ten year lease
· Provide ten year lease @ $1.00 per year with options/terms to be agreed upon by both parties
· Provide cash supplement to Hunger Coalition in the amounts as listed below:
· $5,000 (now through June 30, 2006)
· $7,500 (second fiscal year July 1, 2006-June 30, 2007)
· $7,500 (third fiscal year July 1, 2007-June 30, 2007)
The Hunger Coalition was to:
- Rent to non-profit organizations only
- Be responsible for all operational expenses other than those provided by the County as listed
- Be responsible for all maintenance (building and grounds)
- Be responsible for all capital repairs (during renovation and long term as needed)
- Be responsible for all permitting and code requirements
“TOT LOT” RENOVATION PROJECT PROPOSAL
Ms. Marty-Jo Wilson presented a proposal to direct a major fundraising campaign to renovate the “Tot Lot” at the Watauga County Recreation Complex adjacent to the pool area. She proposed to raise between $80,000 and $100,000 from a variety of sources including raffles, donations, and or grants and requested naming rights to the park.
Commissioner Honeycutt, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to direct Mr. Stephen Poulos, Director of the Watauga County Parks and Recreation to work with Ms. Marty-Jo Wilson to pursue a fundraising campaign with funds to be used to renovate the “Tot Lot” at the Watauga County Recreation Complex with the funds collected being handled by the Boone Service League and with the fundraising campaign to have naming rights, subject to Board of Commissioner approval, for the new children’s park area.
HIGH COUNTRY SOCCER ASSOCIATION PARTNERSHIP PROPOSAL
Mr. Chip Williamson from the High Country Soccer Association presented a proposal for a joint County/High Country Soccer Association venture to establish a soccer complex on the recently purchased Brookshire Road property.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to approve the concept of a public-private partnership for the purpose of designing, building, maintaining, and financing a state-of-the-art multi-purpose soccer complex and directed members of the Parks and Recreation Department and County Manager to begin discussion with representatives of the High Country Soccer Association Board for this purpose.
GOVERNORS CRIME COMMISSIONER GRANT REQUESTS
Mr. Troy Cook with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Department requested permission to apply for two grants to cover overtime incurred and needed equipment in combating the drug problem. The County was eligible for $10,000 from the overtime resource grant with the local match of 25% to be $3,333 for a total of $13,333. The County was eligible for $9,000 from the equipment grant with the local match of 25% to be $3,000 for a total of $12,000. Both were to be effective July 1, 2006, and therefore, upon approval, the match money was required to be present in the Sheriff’s fiscal year 2006-2007 budget.
Commissioner Kinsey, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to approve the application for two Governors Crime Commission grants for a total amount of $25,333 including the local match.
Finance Director Doris Isaacs presented the following budget amendments for Board approval:
Account # Description Debit Credit
143583-333000 Juvenile Crime Prevention Council $3,121
143991-399101 Fund Balance Appropriated $3,121
The amendment decreased JCPC funding from the state due to cuts in state funding and the appropriation of fund balance to replace these funds. Approved at the November 1st Board of Commissioners meeting.
Account # Description Debit Credit
103586-332004 Senior Center State Funding $21,816
105550-426000 Office Supplies $1,200
105550-429200 Program Supplies $10,131
105550-431300 Travel-Client Transportation $600
105550-432100 Utilities-Telephone $400
105550-432500 Postage $150
105550-434100 Printing $450
105550-449100 Dues and Subscriptions $60
105550-469510 Cont. Ser.-Volunteer Recognition $1,125
105550-469511 Cont. Ser.-Health Screening $2,700
105550-469514 Cont. Ser.-Instructor $5,000
The amendment recognized additional state revenue to be used for aging services at the County’s two Senior Centers. Approved at the November 1st Board of Commissioners meeting.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to approve the budget amendments as presented by Ms. Isaacs.
A. Monthly Collections Report – Tax Administrator Kelvin Byrd presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of November 2005.
B. Releases and Refunds – Mr. Byrd presented the following Refunds and Releases for November 2005 for Board approval:
TO BE TYPED IN MINUTE BOOK
Commissioner Honeycutt, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report for November 2005 as presented.
SUBDIVISION PERFORMANCE GUARANTEE
Mr. Furman presented a subdivision performance guarantee for 2 plats for the Echota development which was an irrevocable letter of credit from Branch Banking and Trust Company for road construction and pursuant to section 92 of the Subdivision Regulations.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to approve the subdivision performance guarantee as presented by Mr. Furman.
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
A. Proposed Occupancy Tax Resolution – County Manager Nelson reviewed a draft resolution authorizing the establishment of an occupancy tax in the unincorporated areas of Watauga County. One of the requirements was to establish a Tourism Development Authority and to determine the number of members and their terms.
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Kinsey, moved to adopt the resolution authorizing the establishment of an occupancy tax in the unincorporated areas of Watauga County and establish a Watauga County District U Tourism Development Authority that will consist of 6 members whose initial terms of office shall be as follows: 2 members serving 1 year terms, 2 members serving 2 year terms, and 2 members serving 3 year terms. All subsequent terms of appointment will be for 3 years. At least one-third of the membership will be individuals who are affiliated with the businesses that collect the tax in the district and at least one-half of the membership will be individuals who are currently working in the promotion of travel and tourism in the district and the members and chair shall be appointed by the Commissioners.
B. Discussion of December and January Meeting Schedule – County Manager Nelson stated that historically, the second meeting in December has been cancelled due to the Christmas Holidays and the numerous demands on the Commissioners’ schedules and also, the first Monday in January falls on the 2nd which was the observed date of the New Year’s Holiday.
By consensus, the Board of Commissioners agreed to revise the upcoming meeting schedule as follows:
The Tuesday, December 20, 2005, meeting was cancelled.
The Monday, January 2, 2006, meeting was rescheduled for Tuesday, January 3, 2005 at 9:00 A.M.
The Tuesday, January 17, 2006, meeting was rescheduled for Tuesday, January 24, 2005, at 6:00 P.M.
C. Economic Development Joint Meeting Request (Watauga, Johnson, and Washington Counties) – County Manager stated that he had preliminary discussions with representatives from Washington County, Virginia, and Johnson County, Tennessee, regarding the possibility of a joint project to promote tourism within the three county corridor area. The Washington County Assistant Manager had scheduled a meeting for Thursday, December 14, 2005, at 12:00 noon, in Mountain City, TN, of which the Board of Commissioners and staff were invited to attend.
By consensus, the Board directed the Clerk to advertise the meeting as a quorum might be present.
D. Discussion of Department of Transportation Sign Placement – County Manager Nelson stated that per Commissioner request, time was reserved to allow for discussion of the placement of the DOT directional sign on the Blowing Rock Highway.
By consensus, the Board agreed to direct the County Manager to draft a resolution, requesting the removal of the sign due to its impact on the scenic beauty and economic development of the area, to be sent to Division 11 DOT Board Member, Arnold Lakey; Speaker of the House, James Black; President Pro Tempore, Marc Basnight; and the Secretary of Transportation, Lyndo Tippet with a draft of the resolution to be sent to the Chambers of Commerce of the Towns of Blowing Rock and Boone for their consideration of adoption.
E. Boards and Commissions – County Manager Nelson stated that there was a vacancy for an alternate for Watauga County on the North Carolina Senior Tar Heel Legislature/Advisory Committee on Aging for the High Country Council of Governments and that Ms. Pat Coley was interested in serving as the Watauga County alternate, if appointed.
As this was the first reading, no action was required at this time.
County Manager Nelson stated that the four-year at-large term of Watauga County Planning Board member (and Chairman) Ric Mattar was to expire in December 2005 and Mr. Mattar was willing to continue to serve if reappointed.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to reappoint Mr. Ric Mattar to the Watauga County Planning Board.
County Manager Nelson stated that the term of Watauga County Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee member Judith Wesson expired October 19, 2005, and Ms. Wesson was willing to continue to serve if reappointed.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Commissioner Honeycutt, moved to reappoint Ms. Wesson to the Watauga County Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee.
F. Announcements – County Manager Nelson announced that a joint meeting with Ashe County to discuss the possibility of joint water and sewer projects was scheduled for December 12, 2005, at 4:00 P.M. at the third floor meeting room of the Ashe County Courthouse.
County Manager Nelson announced that the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference was scheduled for March 4-8, in Washington, DC.
County Manager Nelson announced that the County Employees Christmas Luncheon was scheduled for the 13th of December at the Dan’l Boone Inn between the hours of 12:00 Noon and 2:00 P.M. with the Commissioners and County Attorneys invited to attend.
Commissioner Honeycutt stated that rumors regarding Commissioner Involvement in the Heavenly Mountain project with the Ginn Corporation were not true.
Vice-Chairman Winkler requested that all Board members read the information included in their information packets regarding changes to mental health services and consider writing letters individually to the appropriate parties.
By consensus, the Board agreed to direct the County Manager to send a letter stating the Board’s position that the State should provide Medicaid at no cost to the counties of North Carolina and send the letter to the committee listed in the e-mail alert from the NCACC on the subject and to Senator Tony Rand and Representative Beverly Earle.
A citizen asked how the 25% local match was calculated for the Governors Crime Commission grants.
At 10:58 A.M., Commissioner Honeycutt, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to enter Closed Session to discuss Personnel Matters, per G. S. 143-318.11(a)(6) and Attorney/Client Matters, per G. S. 143-318.11(a)(3).
Vice-Chairman Winkler, seconded by Commissioner Blust, moved to resume the open meeting at 11:46 A.M.
Commissioner Blust, seconded by Vice-Chairman Winkler, moved to increase the County Manager’s salary by 5%, effective January 1, 2006.
WORK SESSION TO REVIEW PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE WATAUGA COUNTYANIMAL CONTROL ORDINANCE
[Clerk’s Note: Vice-Chairman Winkler had to leave the meeting at 11:50 A.M. to return to work]
The Board reviewed the proposed animal control ordinance with Animal Control Officer, Mr. Dave Simpkins.
The Board tabled further discussion on the proposed ordinance and directed Mr. Simpkins to request any/all information useful from the School of Government regarding animal control and to gather information on kennel guidelines and return to the Board either the January 24th or February 6th Board meeting.
The meeting adjourned by consensus at 12:15 A.M.
Jim Deal, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board