WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
TUESDAY, MARCH 16, 1999
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting on Tuesday, March 16, 1999 at 7:00 P.M. in the Board Room of the Watauga County Courthouse.
PRESENT: Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Sue Sweeting, Vice-Chairman
James Coffey, Commissioner
Art Kohles, Commissioner
Jack Lawrence, Sr., Commissioner
Jeff Hedrick, County Attorney
Barry J. Reed, County Manager
Libby Link, 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.
Chairman Hodges called for additions or corrections to the March 1, 1999 regular meeting minutes.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to approve the March 1, 1999 regular meeting minutes as presented.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to approve the agenda for the March 16, 1999 regular meeting as presented.
Mr. Bill Neal, Board Chair, Criminal Justice Partnership (CJP), addressed the Board regarding the CJP Application for Continuation of Implementation Funding for July 1, 1999 through June 30, 2000. Watauga County received $61,294 from the State toward community corrections which did not require County funding. The CJP Advisory Board had met to make their recommendations and requested the Board of Commissioners approve the application and submit to the Department of Corrections.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to apply for the grant as proposed.
Planning & Inspections Director, Joe Furman, noted that the Board had previously approved two performance guarantees (certificates of deposit and contracts) for road construction at Heavenly Mountain. The contracts were soon to expire with work not completed. The delay in completion of road construction was largely due to delays in underground utility installation. Mr. Furman requested combining the two contracts into one new one and one CD which would provide Heavenly Mountain more time to complete the work.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve the contract for one year as requested.
Planning & Inspections Director, Joe Furman, presented a proposed agreement with Metrosite, Inc. for consulting, marketing and management of wireless communication tower sites. It was Mr. Furman’s opinion that entering into such an agreement would be beneficial to the County in administering the County’s wireless tower ordinance and would be profitable as well. The N.C. Association of County Commissioners had endorsed and recommended Metrosite, Inc. for this purpose. The County’s tower lease ordinance limited where towers could be located and also specified that towers could not exceed 100 feet in height. Mr. Furman stated that Metrosite, Inc. would comply with the County’s ordinance noting they would assess the ordinance and make possible recommendations.
After discussion, it was the consensus of the Board for Mr. Furman to research this issue further and to make a report at the Board’s next regular meeting tentatively scheduled for April 5, 1999.
Planning & Inspections Director, Joe Furman, presented a request for the addition of Ralph Wilson Road - .5 mile, located off U.S. Highway 421 North in Vilas, to the State Maintained Secondary Road System.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to approve the above request be forwarded to the N.C. DOT for consideration.
RESOLUTION BOOK #9, PAGE #55
Planning & Inspections Director, Joe Furman, requested a public hearing be scheduled for the Board’s next regular meeting (tentatively scheduled for April 5, 1999) to amend the County’s CDBG program for the rehabilitation of one additional house.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to schedule this public hearing for the Board’s next regular meeting tentatively scheduled for April 5, 1999.
County Manager Reed discussed establishing a nuisance abatement ordinance in order to "clean up" yards. It was noted that municipalities had the power to pass and enforce nuisance abatement ordinances but counties did not. Mr. Reed noted that following research, it had been determined that the County had no statutory authority to regulate such problems without countywide zoning. In addition, no county in N.C. had established a nuisance abatement ordinance. One solution to this issue would be to send a bill to the State giving the County the right to establish such an ordinance.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting stated she had received three phone calls from concerned citizens regarding the same piece of property requesting the County address this issue. County Attorney Hedrick stated that to label property as a nuisance it had to be labeled a safety and health hazard. Some Board members voiced concerns about this issue stating it oftentimes involved neighborhood disputes.
After discussion, Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Kohles, moved to contact the local legislation to give the County authority to consider establishing a Nuisance Abatement Ordinance.
Assistant County Manager/OSD, Bob Frye, noted the following bids had been received for a skid steer loader for the Sanitation Department:
Bestracs R.S. Braswell Tarheel FNH
Equipment Bid John Deere 240 Bobcat 763 New Holland LX565
Bid Price $19,276.65 $19,711.00 $18,500.00
Each Company’s equipment met the County’s bid specifications, and Mr. Frye recommended the Board accept the Tarheel FNH tractor and equipment’s bid of $18,500.00. Mr. Frye stated the funding for this tractor would be covered from the County’s share from the Department of Revenue to cover the costs associated with the collection and disposal of white goods. The County currently had approximately $101,000 available for use. In addition to purchasing the tractor for $18,500, Mr. Frye proposed using the remaining funds to purchase a used late model road tractor to replace the Sanitation Department’s current road tractor which was 12 years old and to pave the white goods area located behind the landfill’s baling facility.
Commissioner Kohles seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve the Tarheel FNH bid of $18,500 and to authorize Bob Frye to use the remaining funds as indicated.
County Manager Reed presented a resolution that was received from Region D Council of Governments that would allow the Region D Job Training Consortium to oversee the new Workforce Investment Act.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to approve the resolution to revise the Region D Job Training Consortium Agreement.
RESOLUTION BOOK #9, PAGE #56
County Manager Reed stated the Watauga-Avery-Mitchell-Yancey (W.A.M.Y.) Community Action, Inc. requested the Board approve its Community Services Block Grant program and budget for Fiscal Year 1999/2000. Mr. Reed provided a copy of the application for the Board’s review and recommended approval.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to approve the W.A.M.Y. Community Action, Inc. Community Services Block Grant Application for Fiscal Year 1999/2000 as presented.
County Manager Reed noted that Patricia "Pat" Taylor had agreed to continue to serve on the Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee for an additional three-year term.
Commissioner Lawrence seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to re-appoint Patricia Taylor to the Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee for a three-year term.
Mrs. Louise Denton and Mrs. Sarah Spann had agreed to continue to serve on the Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee for additional three-year terms.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Vice-Chairman Sweeting, moved to re-appoint Louise Denton and Sarah Spann to the Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee for three-year terms.
County Manager Reed stated that at the Board’s last regular meeting (March 1, 1999), the Board appointed 11 "slotted" positions to the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC). Since a new law required that the JCPC have 25 members, the following positions remained for Board approval:
Substance Abuse Professional Jim Thornton
Faith Community Member Steve Leashomb
Person Under Age 21 Lindley Sharpe
United Way/Other Nonprofit Representative Patricia Trathen
At-Large (7) Suzi Woodard
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to appoint the individuals listed above to the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.
County Manager Reed stated that due to the Easter Holiday and several conflicts with Board members, the Board of E&R’s schedule needed to be changed. In addition, the Board might want to change the regular meeting scheduled for April 5, 1999 (Easter Monday). After discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to change the regular meeting scheduled for April 5, 1999 to April 12, 1999 at 9:00 A.M. and to cancel the Board’s 2nd regular meeting scheduled for April 20, 1999. Following is the revised schedule for the Board of E&R:
April 12, 1999 – 1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
April 14, 1999 – 6:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.
April 15, 1999 – 7:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.
County Manager Reed had distributed several miscellaneous items for the Board’s information. In addition, Finance Director, Doris Isaacs, addressed the Board regarding a letter that had been received from the Local Government Commission concerning the County’s audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1998.
Vice-Chairman Sweeting seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to enter closed session at 8:22 P.M. to discuss: Attorney/Client Matters, Landfill Litigation – G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3). Following brief discussion, the Board entered closed session at 8:30 P.M.
Commissioner Kohles seconded by Commissioner Coffey, moved to resume the regular meeting at 9:15 P.M.
Commissioner Coffey seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:15 P.M.
Elizabeth H. Link
Clerk to the Board
MISCELLANEOUS ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
CONSIDERATION OF RE-SCHEDULING THE BOARD OF E&R
CONSIDERATION OF APPOINTMENTS
PROPOSED COMMUNITY SERVICES BLOCK GRANT REQUEST FROM W.A.M.Y.
REGION D JOB TRAINING CONSORTIUM TO OVERSEE THE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT
SKID STEER LOADER BIDS & WHITE GOODS FUNDS
LOCAL LEGISLATION TO ALLOW A NUISANCE ABATEMENT ORDINANCE
PUBLIC HEARING TO EXPAND THE CDBG PROGRAM
PETITION TO ADD A ROAD TO THE STATE SYSTEM
CONTRACT FOR WIRELESS TOWER MANAGEMENT
PERFORMANCE GUARANTEE APPROVAL
CRIMINAL JUSTICE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM FUNDING APPLICATION
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
APPROVAL OF MINUTES