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Boone Town Council Meets Twice This Week: Sales Tax, ETJ Appointments, SAHA Matters and App Theatre

By Jesse Wood

March 18, 2014. The Boone Town Council meets on Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers on Blowing Rock Road. See entire agenda at bottom of post. 

C.J. Hayes
C.J. Hayes

Recognizing Joe Shannon and C.J. Hayes

The town will recognize C.J. Hayes and Joe Shannon on Tuesday. Hayes passed away at the age of 77. Hayes worked at the Appalachian Theatre for 55 years and retired as manager. Shannon, founder of Mountain Home Music, recently stepped down as executive director of the music series he founded 20 years ago as his health is declining rapidly after battling cancer for more than a year. Cultural Resources Director Pilar Fotta suggested recognizing Shannon and Hayes at a recent Cultural Resources Advisory Board meeting.

Resolution on Sales Tax Redistribution

Last year, Republican members of the Watauga County Board of Commissioners voted to redistribute the sales tax in such a way that would cause the Town of Boone to receive less revenue – $1.7 million less, in fact.  This change was linked to the old WHS property, which is owned by the county but is in the town limits. Developer Phil Templeton made the top offer to purchase the 75-acre property last year at $19 million but backed out, citing old and new regulations imposed by the town. 

At its annual retreat in early March 2014, the Boone Town Council expressed that it would like to draft and approve a resolution formally requesting that the commissioners revert the sales tax distribution method to a per capita basis – rather than an ad valorem basis. This topic is up for discussion on Tuesday. See much more on this issue here.

ETJ Appointments

According to emails between Town Attorney Sam Furgiuele and County Attorney Four Eggers, which are included in Tuesday night’s meeting packet, the two attorneys have come to an agreement on language in policies regarding the procedures for extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) appointments to Boone’s Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment.  

The council and commissioners seemed to have come to an agreement after a joint meeting in November, but the attorneys for the governmental bodies had some caveats before recommending the policies to their respective board or council. Neither the Boone Town Council nor the Watauga County Board of Commissioners have officially approved what the attorneys have so far agreed upon, but it looks like this matter may be resolved soon. Of course, that is what the public thought two years ago when prior boards met to discuss the same topic.

For more background, read a prior article on the matter or click to the meeting’s packet to read the email thread between Furgiuele and Eggers.

Daniel Boone Park Licenses and SAHA Repairs

Cultural Resources Director Pilar Fotta will meet to discuss a proposed outline regarding license agreements for Southern Appalachian Historical Associatio – which produces “Horn in the West” outdoor drama on town-owned property – the Watauga County Farmers’ Market and other usages for Daniel Boone Park.

The Boone Town Council will also likely approve demolitions and repairs to the “Horn in the West” property that town staff recommended. After SAHA itemized the repairs and financing of repairs, the Cultural Resources Advisory Board recommended to the Boone Town Council that it approve the repairs and demolitions so that the upcoming season of “Horn in the West” can go on. For background on this issue, click here.

theatre expansionExpanding Wing of App Theatre into Town-Owned Lot

On Thursday, the Boone Town Council will hear from Frank Mohler, a member of the committee designing the Appalachian Theatre, once again about expanding the stage left wing into the town hall lot which would eliminate three to four parking spaces. The theatre group is requesting that the town donate the land to the theatre. In a memo from John Cooper, chair of the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country Board of Trustees, to Mayor Andy Ball and council members, Cooper mentions that this lot is too small for a economically-viable parking deck that might be proposed in the future.

While a few other options are mentioned, Cooper writes that the “only feasible way of increasing the off stage area is to expand the stage left wings space into the Town Hall parking lot. We hope Boone Town Council will allow us to use this property for the expansion.”

The Standard of Boone Water Request

On Thursday, the Boone Town Council will also hear water requests from representatives of the Standard of Boone development proposed on several parcels of land that include the Red Carpet Inn, the condemned Scottish Inn and the vacant property adjacent to McDonald’s. For more on that project, click here.

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