By Jesse Wood
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners will meet on Tuesday morning. The main agenda item is the approval of the 2017-18 fiscal-year budget. Other topics include the Watauga County Veterans Memorial, local schools and recreation infrastructure and a resolution of support for independent redistricting.
Last month, the commissioners held a public hearing on the proposed budget, which calls for a 4-cent property tax increase to help fund a community rec center and public school infrastructure. Coverage of that public hearing is here.
Staff will also consider the selection of an architect for the proposed community rec center at the meeting, according to Board Clerk Anita Fogle, who announced the agenda addition in an email on Friday.
The High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America will appear before the board to request the distribution of $25,000 that the county agreed to fund last September for the proposed Watauga County Veterans Memorial.
Last month, project officials announced the three finalists in the memorial design contest. The three finalists will show their maquettes, small-scale models of the sculpture designs, to the community at the upcoming Fourth of July celebration at the Jones House. Check out the latest on the Watauga County Veterans Memorial project here.
Watauga County Schools Supt. Dr. Scott Elliott will request the commissioners redirect $228,688 set aside for cost-of-living increases to the school’s Capital Improvement Plan reserve. According to memo from Elliott and WCS Finance Officer Ly Marze, this move is made possible through cost savings from “maximizing positions transferred from local funds to state and federal allotments, increasing savings in our technology purchasing program, and continued general operational savings realized across the district.”
Following that request, the school is also asking for the release of $50,000 from the CIP reserve for the completion of Dicus Batting Facility project. This facility has been in the works for several years now as supporters raised money for the project. A bit dated, this prior story from 2015 provides details on the project and the late Will Dicus.
The commissioners will also consider a resolution in support of independent redistricting reform. N.C. Rep. Jonathan Jordan is the sponsor of the bill. According to a memo from the County Manager Deron Geouque, this item was per commissioner request and calls for “independent redistricting process that includes diversity, along with partisan balance and geography in all future districts.”
See resolution here:
See the entire agenda below and peruse the entire meeting packet here.