JEFFERSON — The Ashe County Board of Commissioners met in regular session at 9 a.m. on Nov. 16 in the commissioners meeting room at Ashe County Courthouse.
All board members were present and the meeting was open to the public, with no public comments made.
A video of the meeting in its entirety, as well as all previous meetings, can be accessed by visiting the county website at www.ashecountygov.com. To view the meeting, select the “Commissioners” tab and “Meetings Agendas, Minutes and Videos” from the drop-down menu.
To watch the meeting, click HERE
A special presentation took place during the meeting to honor County Clerk Ann Clark, who will soon be retiring. Clark has served in her current position since Oct. 11, 1999.
“Ann has been loyal and wonderful, and professional and classy and every other superlative and adjective that I can think of,” Chairman Todd McNeill said prior to presenting her with a plaque. “She has made me feel welcome in my almost three years here.”
McNeill added that he appreciates Clark more than she will ever know and that he considers her one of his “dearest friends.”
Commissioner Paula Perry wished Clark the very best and expressed her appreciation.
Commissioner William Sands said she will be greatly missed for her knowledge and expertise of government.
“God bless you and be with you, we appreciate you,” Sands said.
Vice Chairman Larry Rhodes has served on the BOC since Clark’s arrival, saying they have been there together and are leaving together. Rhodes will be retiring from his seat in December.
Rhodes said he appreciates all that Clark has done for the Board and he wishes her the best in retirement.
Commissioner Chuck Olive has only been in his position for a few months but expressed how he appreciated Clark assisting him through the transition.
“I don’t think I would have stepped up, if not for the team of folks here and you’re part of that,” said County Manager Adam Stumb. “We’re going to miss you.”
After hearing the comments from her colleagues, Clark took to the podium to speak.
“I never thought this day would come, where I’d be leaving this place that I love so much,” Clark said. “I’ve been here 21 years, I’ve never not, one day had I ever dreaded coming in here. This is the best job I’ve ever had, I’ve worked with some of the best people in the whole wide world.”
She thanked everybody for their support and for being there for her like she has been for them. Clark said all of the commissioners over the past 21 years have supported her and also allowed her to attend the School of Government to learn. She also spoke highly of the previous County Managers she worked with.
Clark said she has come to the age in her life where she needs to spend time with her family before she gets too old to enjoy certain activities with them. She added that she is not ready to quit just yet and still plans to work part-time and be involved with volunteer work.
“Having to leave here overshadows the happiness of retirement,” Clark said. “Right now I am sad, I am sentimental and the people I work with here at the county they’re the best. I really feel like the county offers great benefits as far as your retirement, your vacation days, but the best benefit here is the people.”
Stumb presented some CARES Relief Fund updates for the county. Remaining funds must be spent by the end of the year and Stumb plans to make two more presentations in the month of December.
The total allotment of CRF for Ashe County was $1,220,556 with $2,100 spent in the month of July, $326,215.13 in the month of September and $304,541.72 in October. The total expenses as of Nov. 16, totaled $632,856.85 with remaining balance of $587,669.15. According to Stumb, the county’s true balance is $201,243.98.
Stumb also presented an update about the cabin located on the grounds of the N.C. 163 Convenience Center.
According to Stumb there will be ads with information about the building and the bidding process in upcoming weeks in the Ashe Post & Times.
The proposed date and time for an Open House at the property is Dec. 1 at 9 a.m.
The plan is for bids to close on Friday, Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. The proposed starting bid point is $15,000, according to Stumb.
New River Conservancy Director George Santucci addressed the board to request approval of a property transfer for a public river access on N.C. 163.
“This is terrific for local folks,” McNeill said.
He added that it is an asset because many people in the community have kayaks and canoes and this would be a great spot for them to access The New River.
Santucci asked that Ashe County would at the appropriate time, accept the donation of the two parcels for the purpose of creating and maintaining a public river access.
Sands made the first motion for approval and the motion was unanimously approved.
The next meeting of the Ashe County BOC will be Monday, Dec. 7.