JEFFERSON — The Ashe County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, May 3 at 9 a.m. in the third floor courtroom of the Ashe County Courthouse.
All in attendance were Chair Todd McNeill, Vice Chair William Sands, Chuck Olive, Jonathan Jordan and Jerry Powers.
The meeting began with Bob Phipps and a public comment. He began with giving his condolences to the recent loss of Logan Fox and Chris Ward in a 13-hour standoff on April 28.
“In these three counties, I believe we have the best sheriff’s system in the whole state of North Carolina,” said Phipps. “I’d like for everybody to be praying for all of them.”
The meeting then moved to DSS Director Tracie Downer and John Kilby presenting a request for the approval of the Southmountain Children’s Advocacy Center Lease.
The lease will be $1 a year and it can be extended upon further agreement and discussion.
After the approval from the board, the effective date will be whenever Southmountain decides to move into the premises.
The Board moved to initiate the lease as presented starting on May 4.
Generations Ashe Executive Director Patricia Calloway and Finance Director Mary Owen then discussed the CARES Act Proposed Budget and proposed home and community care block grant planning committee membership.
The Board approved the budget and memberships.
High Country Association of Realtors President Patrick Morgan then presented a Real Estate Market update to the board and all in attendance.
“We sold more homes in 2020 than any year we’ve ever recorded,” said Morgan. “With that number, 3.253 listings were sold and thats worth over $1.1 billion.”
Land sales gave also been on the rise, with over 1,000 tracts sold in 2020.
541 homes were sold in Ashe County in 2020, worth more than $150 million.
“We’re also growing because the secret is out about the High Country,” said Morgan. “People are realizing remote working and learning is possible here and we have hit our lowest inventory.
“We want to work with Ashe County to discuss housing availability, housing affordability and access to broadband in ways that we can make our growth sustainable.”
The Board was impressed with the popularity and income of the Ashe County housing market and hopes it continues to grow.
Next, Cathy Barr, economic development director updated the board on the Ashe Industrial Park Development and asked the board to approve their Golden Leaf grant.
The board approved the grant of $500,000.
They then discussed the water and gas options for the Industrial Park and Barr agreed to provide a budget to the Commissioners.
County Manager Adam Stumb then presented the Community Development Block Grant Neighborhood Revitalization Program Policies.
The county was awarded $750,000 for housing needs including home replacements, repairs and wheelchair accessible ramps.
The Board moved to approve the grant.
To end the meeting, the board discussed county property addressing, also presented by Stumb. He hoped to move forward with naming the roads around Family Central and the Courthouse.
“Rather than naming it for someone specific, I say we keep it generic for now and revisit the possibility of a monument later on,” Stumb said.
The board voted to name the roads at Family Central “Family Central Drive” and “Ball Field Way.”