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BREDL, Local Chapter To Hold Press Conference Before Commissioners Tuesday Public Hearing on ETJ

By Jesse Wood

Aug. 19, 2014. Before the Watauga County Board of Commissioners meet on Tuesday to hear from citizens concerning the elimination of Boone’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) and its chapter, Watauga Citizens for Local Control, will hold a press conference in downtown Boone.

“The topic of the press conference will be to detail the groups’ opposition to the legislature’s decision to strip the power of extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) from the City of Boone,” a release from BREDL reads. “Spokespersons from the existing ETJs will be on hand to explain why they want to restore the local power granted to and still enjoyed by over 200 other municipal governments in North Carolina.”

The commissioners meet in the Watauga County Administration Building, located at 814 West King St. at 5:30 p.m. The public hearing starts at 6 p.m.

The BREDL press conference takes place in the same building at 5 p.m.

Earlier this year, Sen. Dan Soucek sponsored a bill to eliminate Boone’s ETJ. It quickly moved through the N.C. House and Senate, passing both houses in June. The legislation goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

Following the passage of the bill, Chair Nathan Miller of the Watauga County Board of Commissioners noted that the public hearing would be to “to hear from the citizens and real property owners of the former Town of Boone ETJ about ideas concerning some, if any, restrictions the citizens and real property owners wish imposed upon them by their elected officials.”

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