WATAUGA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2016
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners held a regular meeting, as scheduled, on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, at 8:30 A.M. in the Commissioners' Board Room of the Watauga County Administration Building, Boone, North Carolina.
PRESENT: Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
David Blust, Vice-Chairman
Billy Kennedy, Commissioner
John Welch, Commissioner
Perry Yates, Commissioner
Stacy C. Eggers, IV, County Attorney
Deron Geouque, County Manager
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board
Chairman Hodges called the meeting to order at 8:30 A.M.
Vice-Chairman Blust opened the meeting with a prayer and Commissioner Kennedy led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Approval of Minutes
Chairman Hodges called for additions and/or corrections to the September 20, 2016, regular meeting minutes.
Commissioner Yates had requested the following correction be made in the minutes:
“Commissioner Yates, seconded by Vice-Chairman Blust, moved to appoint Charles Phillips to the Watauga County Board of Adjustments with his term to end November 2019.
53(Hodges, Blust, Yates)
Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Vice-Chairman Blust, moved to approve the September 20, 2016, regular meeting minutes as amended.
Approval of Agenda
Chairman Hodges called for additions and/or corrections to the October 4, 2016, agenda.
County Manager Geouque requested to add a grant application request for Rocky Knob Park from Mr. Kristian Jackson.
Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Vice-Chairman Blust, moved to approve the October 4, 2016, agenda as amended.
Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Funds Request for Instructional Technology Program
Dr. Scott Elliott, Watauga County Schools Superintendent, introduced Ms. Nancy Zeiss who was recently promoted to Director of Technology and Dr. June Atkinson, State Superintendent of Public Education. Dr. Atkinson attended a “walk to school” event in Blowing Rock earlier in the morning and planning to attend the State Board of Education Annual Fall Conference which would be held in the area over the next few days.
Dr. Elliot requested the release of the School System’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) funds for instructional technology. The estimated amount necessary for the program is $837,393 for both student devices and faculty and staff devices. The school system is requesting $290,250 be released from the County CIP Reserve. The remaining $547,143 will come from the schools current budget appropriation. Dr. Elliot stated that the School System planned to allocate funds over the next few years so that funds would be in place for the next upgrade to the system.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Welch, moved to release $290,250 from the County Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Reserve for instructional technology for Watauga County Schools as requested by Dr. Elliott.
Request for Support for Building New Student Services Center on the Watauga Campus of Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute (CCC&TI)
Dr. Mark Poarch, President of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute (CCC&TI), requested support of the construction of a new student services center on the Watauga campus. A proposed letter of support was presented. The construction requires the County to provide an overmatch which is currently insufficient for the proposed project. The recommendation is to transfer the overmatch credits from Caldwell County to Watauga. The overmatch will be determined once the bid has been awarded for the project. Future overmatch credits to Watauga will be assigned back to Caldwell until the transfer has been repaid.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Welch, moved to extend support for the new student services center on the Watauga campus of Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute (CCC&TI) and accept the necessary overmatch credits from Caldwell County with future Watauga County overmatch credits to be assigned back to Caldwell County until the transfer has been repaid.
Grant Application Request for Rocky Knob Park
Mr. Kristian Jackson submitted a grant application to the Clif Bar Foundation for a $10,000-$12,000 grant to create the “True Blue Trail.” The new trail would be one mile in length and modeled after an International Mountain Bike Association “Flow Trail.” If granted, the project would begin in March 2017 and would be completed by April 2017. Mr. Kristian stated there would be no costs to the County.
Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Vice-Chairman Blust, moved to approve the submission of the Clif Bar Foundation grant application as presented by Mr. Jackson.
Request to Apply for Keep America Beautiful/Coca~Cola Grant Funds for Recycling
Ms. Heather Bowen, Recycling Coordinator, requested authorization to apply for a grant from Keep America Beautiful/Coca~Cola. The grant would afford the County the ability to provide recycling containers for aluminum and plastic bottles at special events. Ms. Bowen stated that there is no required match for the grant; however, the process is highly competitive and applications receive favorable consideration with the purchase of bins in addition to the ones being requested. Each bin costs $56 plus shipping and staff is recommending purchasing three (3) bins and requesting ten (10) bins to be funded from the grant. Funds are available to purchase the three (3) bins to serve as a competitive match for the grant.
Vice-Chairman Blust, seconded by Commissioner Yates, moved to authorize the submittal of the Keep America Beautiful/Coca~Cola grant and add a replacement fee to the rental agreement in the event the bins are not returned.
Request to Accept Additional State Funds for Senior Centers in FY 2017
Ms. Angie Boitnotte stated that the Project on Aging was eligible to receive an additional $14,503, in Senior Center funding from the North Carolina General Assembly and the North Carolina Division of Aging. The L.E. Harrill Senior Center is eligible for $10,878 and the Western Watauga Community Center for $3,625 for a total of $14,503. The amount requires a 25% local match, $4,834 which is currently in the Agency’s existing budget.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Commissioner Welch, moved to accept the additional State funding as presented by Ms. Boitnotte.
Proposed Contracts for the Middle Fork Greenway and New River Access
Mr. Joe Furman, Planning and Inspections Director, presented two (2) proposed grant contracts as requested by Senator Ballard in the State budget. One was for the Middle Fork Greenway in the amount of $100,000. The other was for New River access in the amount of $50,000. Mr. Furman requested authorization to proceed forward in finalizing the contracts. One change being pursued is reallocating the $50,000 from the New River to the Guy Ford access on the Watauga River to which Senator Ballard has not objected.
Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Welch, moved to direct Mr. Furman to proceed in finalizing the two (2) grant contracts and to authorize the Chairman to sign the contracts once completed and reviewed by the County Attorney.
Proposed bid award for renovation of the sewer lift station at the law enforcement center
Mr. Robert Marsh, Maintenance Director, presented the following bids received for the renovation of the sewer lift station at the Law Enforcement Center:
Bidder Amount .
Iron Mountain Construction Co., Inc. $33,175.00
James E. Harris Construction Company, Inc. $84,069.00
Kemp Construction Inc. $44,995.00
Of the three bids received, Iron Mountain Construction Company, Inc. submitted the lowest responsive bid in the amount of $33,175. Iron Mountain Construction Company, Inc. has provided excellent services to the County on prior projects. $24,000 was budgeted however; the amount of pumping and hauling of the waste during the renovation caused the project budget to run over. If awarded, staff will utilize funds set aside for the water project scheduled for the Law Enforcement Center as this project has not been bid. Staff will recommend a funding plan for the water project once the bid process has been completed and a cost for the project is identified.
Commissioner Yates, seconded by Vice-Chairman Blust, moved to award the bid for renovation of the sewer lift station at the Law Enforcement Center to Iron Mountain Construction Company, Inc., in the amount of $33,175.
Public Hearing Request for Road Names
Mr. Jeff Virginia, Emergency Services Director, requested a public hearing be set for Tuesday, November 15, 2016, at 5:30 P.M. to allow citizen comment on proposed road names.
Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Vice-Chairman Blust, moved to schedule a public hearing on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, at 5:30 P.M. to allow for citizen comment on proposed road names.
A. Monthly Collections Report
Tax Administrator, Mr. Larry Warren, presented the Tax Collections Report for the month of September 2016. 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 September 2016 for Board approval:
TO BE TYPED IN MINUTE BOOK
Commissioner Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Welch, moved to approve the Refunds and Releases Report for September 2016 as presented.
Proposed Sale of Real Properties on GovDeals
A. Maggies Lane Off Pine Run Road, Deep Gap
B. Lot EE33, Section III, Mill Ridge, Banner Elk
C. Lot 15 Cascade Cove Homesites, Deep Gap
Ms. Margaret Pierce, Finance Director, stated that at the September 6, 2016, Board meeting, the Board adopted resolutions authorizing the sale of property to include Maggies Lane, Lot EE33 Mill Ridge, and Lot 15 Cascade Cove properties. The properties in question were foreclosed by the County due to failure to pay taxes. The Board declared the properties surplus and adopted the included resolutions to start the sale process. The minimum bid request for the properties was the current expenses owed to the County. The properties were listed on GovDeals with the following highest bids received:
Maggies Lane Off Pine Run Road, Deep Gap $7,620
Lot EE33, Section III, Mill Ridge, Banner Elk $5,000
Lot 15 Cascade Cove Homesites, Deep Gap $5,000
In addition, the highest bidder will be responsible to pay the 7.5% commission charged by GovDeals. Ms. Pierce stated that the funds had been received for the Maggies Lane and Lot EE33 properties and the funds for the Lot 15 property were expected later in the week.
Vice-Chairman Blust, seconded by Commissioner Yates, moved to accept the bid for the Maggies Lane property, in the amount of $7,620, finalize the sale process, and proceed to closing within sixty (60) days.
Vice-Chairman Blust, seconded by Commissioner Yates, moved to accept the bid for the Lot EE33, Section III, Mill Ridge property, in the amount of $5,000, finalize the sale process, and proceed to closing within sixty (60) days.
Commissioner Welch, seconded by Vice-Chairman Blust, moved to accept the bid for the Lot 15, Cascade Cove Homesites property, in the amount of $5,000, finalize the sale process, and proceed to closing within sixty (60) days contingent upon receiving funds by Thursday, October 6, 2016.
Miscellaneous Administrative Matters
A. Boards and Commissions
County Manager Geouque presented the following appointments:
Watauga County Board of Adjustment
David Hill’s term on the Board of Adjustment will expire in November. He is willing to be reappointed. There have been two readings.
Chairman Hodges, seconded by Commissioner Yates, moved to reappoint David Hill to the Watauga County Board of Adjustment.
VOTE: Aye-3(Hodges, Blust, Yates)
Economic Development Commission
There are two vacancies on the Economic Development Commission. One vacancy is an unfulfilled term expiring June, 2017, and the other is an unfulfilled term expiring June, 2018. Those seats were occupied by individuals who have moved from Watauga County. The EDC has fourteen members; nine are appointees, the other five serve by virtue of their organizations, including one Commissioner. All members vote. No applications have been received.
County Manager Geouque announced the following:
· A Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2016, from 8:00 A.M. until 12:00 P.M. at the newly installed, permanent HHW Building located at the Sanitation Department on Landfill Road.
· A public hearing is scheduled on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at 5:30 P.M. to allow citizen comment on the proposed transfer of property from the Beaver Dam Fire District to the Cove Creek Fire District.
· A public hearing is scheduled on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at 5:30 P.M. to allow citizen comment on proposed amendments to the Ordinance to Regulate Solicitation in Watauga County.
· Due to the Board of Elections requiring the use of the Board Room for one-stop voting the November 1, 2016, Board of Commissioners meeting has been cancelled.
· The Watauga County Clerk of Superior Court and the Watauga County Bar Association are hosting a community celebration for the 50th Anniversary of the NC District Courts on Sunday, October 9, 2016, from 2:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M. in Courtroom # 1 on the 2nd Floor of the Courthouse.
There was no public comment.
Vice-Chairman Blust, seconded by Commissioner Yates, moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:25 A.M.
Jimmy Hodges, Chairman
Anita J. Fogle, Clerk to the Board