By Tim Gardner
By a 5-0 unanimously vote during their bi-monthly meeting Monday, October 21, the Avery County Commissioners approved a lease between the County and the Village of Sugar Mountain for a waste materials recovery site.
All Commissioners–Martha Hicks (Chairperson); Blake Vance (Vice-Chairman); Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr.; Tim Phillips; and Dennis Aldridge were present. Other leading county officials attending included: County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr.; Finance Officer Tim Greene; Assistant County Manager and Clerk to the Board Cindy Turbyfill; and County Attorney Michaelle Poore.
The Materials Recovery Site Lease reads as follows:
THIS LEASE is made and entered into this the 21 day of October 2019, by and between THE VILLAGE OF SUGAR, a North Carolina Municipal body, hereinafter referred to “Lessor” and AVERY COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, a Body Politic and Corporate, herein referred to as “Lessee”;
In Consideration of One Dollar ($1.00) and the mutual covenants contained herein, Lessor does hereby let and lease unto said Lessee, and Lessee does hereby accept as Lessee of Lessor, a certain parcel of land, lying and being in Banner Elk Township, Avery County, North Carolina, more particularly described in Exhibit A attached hereto and incorporated fully herein by reference, said execution having been duly authorized by the governing boards of each party:
This Lease Agreement shall be subject to the following terms and conditions:
- Term. This Lease shall be for a period of five (5) years beginning on the date of the execution of this lease, and shall automatically renew for consecutive one year terms unless written notice is given by either party of its intent to terminate this Agreement not less than one hundred twenty (120) days prior to the expiration of the term.
- Use of Premises. The premises covered by this Lease shall be used solely for a manned materials recovery site for the collection of residential garbage, recyclable materials and debris in refuse containers, trailers or compactors to be placed thereon by Lessee, the patrons of this site to be limited to residential customers;
- Condition of Premises. During the term of this Lease and at the expiration thereof, the Lessee shall keep the leased premises free of trash or litter and unsightly vegetation.
- Trash Control Fencing and Paving. The Lessee agrees to pave and stripe the Leased Premises, and to erect and maintain a fence and gate for trash control purposes along the line between the leased premises and other lands of the Lessors or third parties, and to install shrubs and trees to screen the fencing from view by the surrounding areas.
- Lessee Obligations. Lessee shall be responsible for maintenance on the site, including, but not limited to, placement of Porta-John facilities, placement of a site attendant office/building, exterior lighting, placement and/or upkeep of paved or concrete pads, hauling of all refuse, trash and/or debris, payment of utilities, and staffing of the site. Lessee shall provide all equipment to be used at the site, as well as appropriate landscaping. Lessee shall maintain hours of operation consistent with and at least equal to other collection sites operated by the County.
- Lessor Obligations. Lessor shall be responsible for all snow removal and/or scraping.
- Signage. The Lessee shall have the right to install signage indicating that the site is the “Avery County Convenience Center at Sugar Mountain”, or similar language in the discretion of the Lessee, consistent with the Sugar Mountain Zoning Ordinance.
- Rent Schedule. The Lessee shall pay to the Lessors on or before the first day of each year the sum of $1.00 as rent in advance for that year.
- Cancellation of Lease. Should annexation or condemnation by the State of North Carolina of the leased premises render impossible or obsolete the purpose for which the Lessee obtained this Lease, then the Lessors may cancel this Lease by giving written notice of such cancellation to the Lessors at least thirty (30) days prior to the date when the next yearly rental payment would be due. Further, Lessor and Lessee may cancel this lease agreement at any time by mutual consent.
- Notification Cancellation. If any provision of this Lease is breached and not fulfilled by either party after that party is requested in writing by the other to take corrective action, and said action is not taken within 30 days, the offended party has the right to cancel this lease within 60 days of giving notice of the original violation upon notifying the violation party in writing within 60 days of the breach.
Barrier, Jr. said the new lease agreement would save the County at least $13,800.00 per year and that the trash site will not take any trash from nearby Watauga County.
In other business:
* The Commissioners made an appointment to the High Country RPO’s Rural Transportation Advisory Committee, the RPO’s governing board. It is comprised of one commissioner from each county under the region it serves, one municipal elected official from each county, one elected official from each municipality with a population of 10,000 or more and one member representing the North Carolina Board of Transportation.
Commissioner Young, Jr. currently serves on the Rural Transportation Advisory Committee, with his current term ending December 31, 2019. He expressed his desire for reappointment to the Committee and was unanimously reappointed by his fellow-commissioners to serve another term on the Committee.
*Architect Joseph Pavelchak, Jr. was hired by another unanimous vote to perform repairs to the Avery County Court House roof at what Pavelchak, Jr. estimated would be in the price range of $2,500.00-$3,000.00 on an hourly rate of $135.00 per hour.
* Mayland Community College President Dr. John Boyd gave the Commissioners a presentation about the various fields of study and courses offered at the college, including those in such programs as: Applied Engineering Technology; Basic Law Enforcement Training; Cosmetology; Criminal Justice; Electronics Engineering Technology; Nursing; Welding and Machining Processes; Human Services Technology; Information Technology; Computer Programming; and many more.
* High Country Workforce Development Spokesperson Keith Deveraux gave the Commissioners a presentation about the High Country Workforce Development Board.
The High Country Workforce Development Board is a non-profit organization governed by a volunteer, business-led board of directors responsible for developing policy and overseeing the local workforce development initiatives, in partnership with local elected officials. There are 23 local WDBs in North Carolina with representatives from all 100 counties.
Deveraux said the purposes for the High Country Workforce Development Board includes:
- Serve as a point of contact for business, industry, and the public sector to communicate their workforce needs;
- Provide a forum where private and public sector leaders jointly consider workforce development needs of the region;
- Promote strategies to encourage life-long learning and improve workplace skills;
- Conduct planning, oversight, and evaluation of local workforce development programs, including the local One-Stop career Center system;
- Offer advice regarding workforce policy and programs to local elected officials, employers, education and employment agencies, and citizens;
- Coordinate with economic development efforts and activities to promote the region’s availability of qualified workers and promote cooperation and coordination among public agencies, education, and businesses;
- Review local agency plans and grant applications for workforce development programs to ensure that coordination of services and achievement of local goals can be attained.
Avery County is represented on the Board by Amy Crabbe of the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System and Ed Hinson of Skyline/SkyBest.
The Commissioners will next meet on November 4 and then again on December 2 in their regular monthly sessions. Both meetings will commence at 3:30 p.m. in their Board Room in the County Administration Building, located at 175 Linville Street in Newland.