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Blowing Rock Mayor Hopes to Bring Town and County Together Over Budget Concerns

By Nathan Ham

Blowing Rock Mayor Charlie Sellers spoke briefly at Tuesday night’s Watauga County Commissioner’s meeting and left with a bit of optimism for how his town, and other towns in Watauga County, can work together with the county on future budget requests.

“I stated going into it I thought they (the commissioners) were doing a good job, and it’s a tough job. I know everybody wants a piece of the pie and being the mayor of Blowing Rock, I understand,” Sellers said. “There was nothing negative said by them or myself. I think they expected me to come in loaded for bear but I lightened up.

Sellers added that he feels like the county commissioners will be more open to future requests made by towns for funding help.

“We’ve got a new town manager coming into Blowing Rock. I think we can all work together, Blowing Rock, Boone, Beech Mountain, Seven Devils, and the county, we can all work together as one with the common goal of improving our communities moving forward,” Sellers said. “I think if we continue a positive dialogue, and everybody has a positive dialogue, it will continue well.”

The mayor did request that a Watauga County Sheriff’s Deputy be able to serve as the Student Resource Officer at Blowing Rock School should the current SRO be out sick or out of town

“I know it is not in the budget this year but I hope in a year or two we can see some reimbursement for our SRO officer,” he added.

In addition to the SRO concerns, Mayor Sellers did get clarification that an EMS transport to be stationed in Blowing Rock was in the budget, alleviating a lot of worry from town officials and residents.

“I thanked them for that. Everybody is getting a little older in Blowing Rock and I’m one of them. We might need a ride to Boone in an emergency,” Sellers said.

The final request the mayor made was for the potential of some additional funding for the pool in Blowing Rock and the ball field to allow for maintenance of both properties.

“Many people from Watauga County use our parks and our ball field and our swimming pool. They are in continuous need of maintenance. It takes money to do that, but it’s important because that reflects on Blowing Rock and Watauga County as well,” the mayor said.

With the new recreation center being constructed in Boone, Sellers pointed out that Blowing Rock would have the only outdoor public pool in the county. The pools at the rec center will all be indoors.