Watauga County Commission Public Hearing on Financing Proposed $ 35 Million County Recreation Center in Boone

Friends:

Watauga County had a 13% property tax increase in 2017 primarily to finance the subject proposed facility.  Despite this large increase the county will have to borrow a substantial additional amount to build this facility.  Additionally a consultant hired by the county has estimated that the county will be spending at least an additional approx. $ 400,000 plus per year for operational expenses for the facility.  Of course, additional substantial amounts will be required for building maintenance. SUBSTANTIAL ADDITIONAL PROPERTY TAX INCREASES COULD BE REQUIRED FOR THIS FACILITY.  Sales tax increases to finance the subject facility have been defeated twice by county voters in the past ten years. While the current Watauga Co. 35.3 cents/$ 100 of property value rate may appear low, county property values are very high compared to other N.C. counties.  For example, officials at Appalachian State University are concerned because of the inability of faculty members to find affordable housing in the county.  At the same time Watauga is ranked as the third poorest county in the state with 31.3%  of the population living below the poverty income level. 25% of the Watauga residents receive assistance with food.  These numbers are huge and very alarming.  Please see local media articles available on the internet for more information on this proposed facility.

The subject PUBLIC HEARING will be held in the Watauga County Commission Boardroom at 814 W. King St. in Boone at 5:30 P.M. next Tuesday August 21, 2018.

We encourage you to attend this meeting and to speak on the issues impacting this important long term taxpayer commitment.

Best regards,

George

Week of November 12, 2017 – Blowing Rock Events

 

A VERY BUSY WEEK FOR BLOWING ROCK TOWN GOVERNMENT NOVEMBER 14, 2017

 

FRIENDS  – PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING TOWN GOVERNMENT MEETINGS THIS WEEK:

 

1.       AT 5:00 P.M. THIS AFTERNOON TUESDAY 11/14 TOWN COUNCIL MEMBER SUE SWEETING WILL HOLD AN OPEN QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION WITH ANY AND ALL CITIZENS IN THE MEETING ROOM OF THE COMMUNITY LIBRARY ON MAIN ST. IN DOWNTOWN BLOWING ROCK. SUE DESERVES ENORMOUS CREDIT FOR PROVIDING CITIZENS THEIR ONLY OPPORTUNITY FOR AN OPEN COMMUNITY SESSION WITH AN ELECTED OFFICIAL ABOUT TOWN ISSUES.

2.       THE MONTHLY TOWN COUNCIL MEETING STARTS TONIGHT AT 6:00 P.M. AT TOWN HALL . THE MAJOR ISSUES ON TONIGHT’S AGENDA ARE:

A. PRESENTATION OF A REPORT RECOMMENDING ELIMINATION OF A NUMBER OF THE LARGE TREES IN MEMORIAL PARK DUE TO PROBLEMS CAUSED BY A LACK OF PROFESSIONAL ATTENTION OVER RECENT YEARS THAT BROUGHT SUBSTANTIALLY GREATER YEAR AROUND FOOT TRAFFIC, STRUCTURES AND DECORATIVE LIGHTING TO THE PARK .

B. PRESENTATION OF A CITIZEN SURVEY ON A DECORATIVE PLAN FOR SUNSET DRIVE THAT WAS PROMPTED SEVERAL YEARS AGO BY APPALACHIAN STUDENTS WHO RECOMMENDED CREATING A “GATEWAY” TO DOWNTOWN UP SUNSET DR. MANY HOURS AND DOLLARS HAVE BEEN SPENT IN CONSIDERING THIS CONCEPT THE COST OF WHICH HAS BEEN ESTIMATED TO EXCEED               $ 1,000,000. COUNCIL MEMBER DOUG MATHESON WISELY SUGGESTED AT THE BRCA ROUNTABLE THAT WE WAIT TO SEE WHAT THE NCDOT DOES WITH LANDSCAPING AT THE INTERSECTION OF SUNSET AND VALLEY BLVD. BEFORE SPENDING TOWN MONEY ON ANY SUNSET DECORATIVE PROJECT. THERE IS UNANIMOUS AGREEMENT TO PROCEED WITH FUNDAMENTAL INFRASCTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS TO SUNSET THAT WILL BE MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE.

3.       AT 5:30 P.M. ON THURSDAY  NOVEMBER 16, 2017, A VERY IMPORTANT MEETING OF THE BLOWING ROCK PLANNING BOARD WILL BE HELD AT TOWN HALL. TWO SIGNIFICANT PROPOSED PROJECTS WILL BE PRESENTED TO THE BOARD:

A. THE INN ON CORNISH, A 21 ROOM HOTEL TO BE LOCATED BY BOONE DEVELOPERS JOHN AND JAN WINKLER ON WEST CORNISH ROAD AND MAIN ST. WILL BE PRESENTED.

B. A 12 UNIT RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT TO BE LOCATED ON PROPERTY BACK OF THE SPECKLED TROUT RESTURANT, BOUNDED BY MORNINGSIDE DR. AND HIGHWAY 221 IN DOWNTOWN WILL BE PRESENTED BY THE DEVELOPER OF THE FORMER “MOUNTAINLEAF” PROJECT. THE “MOUNTAINLEAF” PROJECT WAS TARGETED FOR THE SEVEN ACRE TRACT ON MAIN STREET AND HILL STREET ON THE TOWN SIDE OF CHETOLA. AFTER EXTENSIVE TOWN CONSIDERATION, COMMUNITY OPPOSITION AND A LAW SUIT THE DEVELOPER DROPPED THE PROJECT AND THE PROPERTY WAS SUBSEQUENTLY SOLD BY THE BANK THAT OWNED IT TO OTHERS.