Minutes of the May 18, 2021 County Commission Special Session

NORTH CAROLINA
MITCHELL COUNTY

The Mitchell County Board of Commissioners met in Special Session on May 18, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. in the EDC Conference Room, Administration Building, and Bakersville, NC.  Those present for the meeting were:  Matthew “Vern” Grindstaff, Chairman; Steve Pitman, Vice Chairman; Harley Masters, Member; Brandon Pittman, Member; Tim Greene, County Manager; Christy Young, Clerk to the Board, Mavis Parsley; Finance Director; Glenda Shuffler, Human Resource Director; and Lloyd Hise, County Attorney Member Jeff Harding were unable to attend.

  1. CALL TO ORDER
    Chairman Grindstaff called the meeting to order at 5:34 p.m.
  2. INVOCATION
    County Manager Greene gave the invocation.
  3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
    Member Steve Pitman led the Pledge of Allegiance.
  4. ETHICS AWARNESS AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST REMINDER:
    In accordance with the State Government Ethics Act, it is the duty of every Board member to avoid both conflicts of interest and appearance of conflict. Does any board member have any known conflicts of interest or appearances of conflict with respect to any matters coming before the Board?  If so, please identify the conflict or appearance of conflict and refrain from any undue participation in the particular matter involved.
  5. ADDITIONS OR CHANGES TO THE AGENDA
    none.
  6. ADOPTION OF AGENDA – Member Brandon Pittman made a motion to adopt the agenda.  Member Masters seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
  7. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION
  8. Discuss Pinebridge Inn:  Chairman Grindstaff introduced Dr. John Boyd to answer any questions concerning Pinebridge Inn.  Dr. Boyd explained that he and Attorney Hise had discussed the ability for Pinebridge Inn to pay taxes.  Attorney Hise stated that Pinebridge Inn (Blue Ridge Boutique) upon an approved resolution will belong to Mayland Community College Enterprise Corporation.  Mayland Community College Enterprise Corporation is a non-profit entity.  By definition this organization is exempt from paying taxes.  Attorney Hise suggested that the Board and the Enterprise Corporation enter into an agreement stating that the corporation would make a contribution to the County.  Attorney Hise advised the Board that they could draft a reasonable agreement for a contribution on an annual basis.  Assessor Hyder suggested looking into the agreement that Duke University has with Durham County.  The Board asked Dr. Boyd if the agreement would be valid upon his retirement.  He explained that the corporation leadership will be signing the agreement.  Attorney Hise also explained that House Bill 420 disallows the collection of occupancy tax for a non-profit organization; therefore the Blue Ridge Boutique would not be able to convey occupancy tax unless an amendment was made on this bill.  County Manager Greene and Dr. Boyd agreed that they would reach out to our representatives concerning this matter.

    Member Masters asked Dr. Boyd if he had been able to line up disposal of the construction material at the landfill.  Dr. Boyd said that he would be getting a crusher up at the landfill.  He would be using the crushed material as a filler for roads on the ongoing projects.  Member Masters wanted to know what the projected budget is to run the hotel.  He said they estimate revenues at approximately $440,000. Payroll will run approximately $180,000.  They project a net profit of $30,000 for the first year.  Masters inquired about the manager’s position listed in the Mitchell News Journal.  He stated that the manager would be working 40 hours per week with a salary of approximately $42,000.  He will be staffing some of the positions with students (approximately 8 students) from Mayland Community College.  Dr. Boyd conveyed to the Board that this was a great opportunity for students to learn soft skills.  They will contract maintenance from the college.  Other needed services will be contracted out as well.  Dr. Boyd stated that he would be supervising the manager position.  Dr. Boyd is a member of the Board; he stated that the Enterprises Corporation has its own Board.

    Dr. Boyd stated that the college ranked 23rd in the nation and 1st on work first credentials.  They have lost 26% of enrollment due to the lack of enrollment from the prisons.

  9. BOARD COMMENTS – Brandon Pittman stated that he appreciated the opportunity for the students to learn soft skills while working for the hotel.
  10. ADJOURNMENT
    Member Steve Pitman made a motion to adjourn at 6:23 p.m.