BOONE — The Watauga County Commissioners voted on Nov. 6 to link the county sanitation tipping fee waiver to its Community Pride days as well as approved rates for a new collection service for businesses.
In the past, the county hosted Community Pride Week once a year, which allowed residents to bring their solid waste to the transfer station without counting toward the 2,000-pound yearly limit. Earlier this year the county switched to having Community Pride days every Saturday all year.
Sanitation Operations Services Director Rex Buck explained that the new stipulation limits citizens to only being able to use the residential tipping fee waiver on Saturdays. Up until now, residents were able to use the waiver during the week for the disposal of residential solid waste. Now, the 2,000 pound residential tipping fee waiver does not apply Monday through Friday and citizens will have to pay. This will start Jan. 1, 2020.
Additionally, the county is now providing commercial and industrial collection services to businesses in the 28607 zip code. The county has not historically provided collection services except for the container sites, Buck said. The county is providing the services in the Boone service zone as a pilot program to determine cost and feasibility, according to the county.
The approved fees would be $150 for industrial pickup, $34.65 for commercial and $27.70 for recycling.
The commissioners also were scheduled to revisit the discussion of amendments to the Valle Crucis Historic District ordinance to address public schools. The board hosted a public hearing on the matter on Oct. 15 and voted then to table the discussion.
Watauga Planning and Inspections Director Joe Furman addressed the commissioners at the Nov. 6 meeting about the issue. Furman explained the board could approve the amendment as proposed, approve it with changes, deny the amendments or table the item to evaluate it further.
Commissioner Larry Turnbow motioned to re-table the discussion again to the board’s Nov. 19 meeting. Commissioner Perry Yates agreed with the motion, saying some things had come to light in the last few weeks and that the commissioners should know where the school will be and what the impacts will be before making a decision.
“Based upon some extenuating circumstances, we need to wait before we do any changes and make sure they’re needed,” Yates said.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, the commissioners heard from six men — most who have spoken before the board or the Watauga County Board of Education — in opposition to the proposed property for a new Valle Crucis School. Those who spoke were Bill Pressly, Allen Culley, J.D. Dooley, Larry Ingle, Henri Deschamps and Lyle Shoenfeldt.
The commissioners also heard updates on the Appalachian Regional Library by Director Jane Blackburn as well as the receipt of a grant to battle the opioid crisis by Health Director and CEO at AppHealthCare Jennifer Greene, Mediation and Restorative Justice Center Executive Director Marisa Cornell and Watauga Detention Center Corrections Treatment Specialist Mollie Mellishrencken.