April 18, 2012. BLOWING ROCK — On Tuesday, April 17, the Blowing Rock Board of Commissioners reversed its prior 3-2 vote and accepted the proposal for a consolidated emergency dispatch center to serve all of Watauga County.
The special meeting was requested by commissioner Jim Steele upon finding out that Watauga County would be willing to modify the proposal as needed.
Steel motioned to accept the revised proposal and the motion passed with a vote of 3-2. Dan Phillips and Tommy Klutz cast the two “no” votes. Phillips expressed desire to postpone the decision until a public referendum could be held on the matter. As per North Carolina statutes, however, a public referendum can not be held regarding a consolidated emergency dispatch.
Currently, all emergency calls already go to a county dispatch service. However, non-emergency services are handled by local police dispatchers and not by the county.
Despite Blowing Rock’s reversal and decision to accept a consolidated emergency dispatch center, Boone has not committed to the consolidation at present.