Watauga Board Of Commissioners (2016-12-21 13:56:04)

Watauga Board Of Commissioners met Tuesday afternoon with a short agenda.

Pamela Thomas, new Watauga County Recycling Coordinator, presented the Board with a request for a Keep America Beautiful Coca Cola Grant that would provide funds for recycling containers that would be made available for use at events in the county, to help encourage recycling at those events and keep recyclable materials out of the landfill. The board voted to accept the grant request.

Also, County Planning and Inspections Director Joe Furman presented the Board with a request to proceed with the Brookshire Wetlands mitigation project. The wetlands project was associated with the Greenway construction along the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex and Brookshire Park four years ago. Blue Ridge Development Group has proposed the county apply for a grant that would cover the cost of the project, with Blue Ridge Development Group providing labor.
According to information provided to the Board: “In 2012, the County contracted with Blue Ridge Development Group (BRDG), aka Blue Ridge Environmental Consultants (BREC), to construct a greenway which connects to the oval greenway at Brookshire Park and extends along the river the length of the County’s property, approximately 3,000 feet. Fifty percent of the cost of the construction was provided by NC Division of Water Resources; the remaining fifty percent was provided by BRDG. In return, the County agreed that BRDG could construct wetlands on the property that would serve as a wetlands mitigation bank controlled by BRDG under the program of the Army Corps of Engineers (COE). The County would also place the wetlands under a permanent conservation easement.  At present, the greenway has been in place for three (3) years, however, the wetland construction has not yet occurred. It now appears that the COE does not wish to use the proposed wetlands as a mitigation bank, therefore BRDG will not be able to recoup their investment through selling of wetlands credits as originally planned. However, there is an opportunity for BRDG to construct the wetlands using grant funds from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF), provided the County agrees to be the applicant. There would be no cost to the County; the match would be provided by BRDG. The application is due February 6th; amount to be requested is $460,000. The conservation easement would need to be recorded upon completion of the wetlands.”
The Commissioners voted to accept the application.

The Board then went into closed session for attorney/client matters and discussion of land acquisition.