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County To Renovate Old AppalCART Facility To Make Way for Tag Office, Maintenance

Watauga County’s maintenance department and the tag office will operate here after renovations starting July 1, 2017. Photo by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

Last month the Watauga County Board of Commissioners awarded bid contracts to renovate the old AppalCART building on Winklers Creek Road and pave the facility’s parking lot.

AppalCART operated off of Winklers Creek Road before moving on the N.C. 105 Bypass in the summer of 2013.

The county has since acquired the 1.53-acre property at 274 Winklers Creek Road from the state and plans to move its maintenance department and the tag office there on July 1, 2017, according to County Manager Deron Geouque.

“The new roof is the first step in the process of occupying the facility. Once the roof is completed staff will work on remodeling the interior to accommodate the Tag Office and Maintenance personnel. The paving will be completed once the roof is finished,” Geouque wrote in an email.

The commissioners approved a $158,777 contract for a new metal roof, added insulation and some minor demolition work to LaFave’s Construction Company and a $25,591 contract to Tri-County Paving for asphalt paving services and materials.

Currently, the Maintenance Department operates at 969 West King Street, beside the Watauga Medics base and the Watauga County Cooperative Extension Service center, while the tag office is in the same building as Watauga County’s Planning and Inspections in between King and Queen streets.

According to records with the Watauga County Register of Deeds, the main building is nearly 11,000 square feet in size and the property features a 1,032 auto service facility that was used to work on and wash AppalCART vehicles.

Geouque said that the Maintenance Department will continue its use of the facility at 969 West King Street after the move, while “no official use has been determined for the tag office space at this time.”

“The facility will allow for an improved experience for those individuals needing vehicle tag and registration services,” Geouque said of the pending move to Winklers Creek.