The Ashe County Board of Commissioners unanimously agreed to give $8,000 to help fund the 2012 Project Graduation after hearing a request from Dianne Eldreth and Vickie Herman.
“We’re here again to ask your help one more time with project graduation,” said Eldreth. “We had an enormous rainstorm on Friday (the day of Project Graduation’s fundraiser), and we’re a little bit behind.”
Eldreth said her group managed to raise about $12,000 during their fundraiser over the April 19-20 weekend. Due, in part, to rainy weather that weekend, the fundraising group fell short of their $20,000 goal for the 2013 Project Graduation.
“Would you believe I actually took the money home and put it in the dryer?” said Eldreth jokingly.
“I would like to remind you in the last 20 years that Project Graduation has been around, we’ve not had anybody hurt, no one arrested, no one killed or even in the emergency room since we’ve been doing project graduation,” said Eldreth.
“This is one of the best programs I’ve ever seen on behalf of the kids,” said Commissioner Gerald Price.
“I’m going to make a motion that we go ahead today and award to project graduation the sum of $8,000,” said Price, “I beg the board for a second.”
After Commissioner Gary Roark offered a second, the board voted 5-0 to award $8,000 to Project Graduation.
Beginning in 1992 as a way to keep students safe after graduation, Project Graduation is an alcohol and drug-free event that begins directly after graduation and lasts through the night.
Students who visit Project Graduation are able to win prizes, play video games and enjoy food provided by local restaurants. Project Graduation’s staff is comprised of student’s parents, family and friends who volunteer their time after graduation.
“I appreciate the work you do,” said Poe to Eldreth and Herman.
The new N.C. DOT Division 11 representative was introduced to the board of commissioners during Monday’s meeting.
Jim Palermo took his seat on the N.C. Board of Transportation on April 4, 2013, as the new representative of Division 11, which includes Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Caldwell, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin counties
Palermo said N.C. Governor Pat McCrory has new focuses for the N.C. DOT throughout the state. The first focus is on customer service at Department of Motor Vehicles offices.
“I live in Boone, if I want to renew my license, it’s not a cumbersome process, it’s not a long process,” said Palermo, “but Governor McCrory went to renew his license in Charlotte, and stood in line for and hour and 45 minutes. He concluded quickly that isn’t the way you run a department, and that isn’t the way you take care of people with lives of their own.”
To combat this, McCrory extended hours and opened DMV offices on Saturday in the areas with the greatest need to relieve pressure on the DMV.
According to Palermo, the second focus for the N.C. DOT is a 25-year strategic plan for infrastructure problems that need to be addressed, and the third focus is on fixing the DOT’s financial model.
“I hope you will ask us for whatever it is you need that we can help you with,” said Palermo. “I am retired, I’m a husband, a father, and a grandfather, and beyond those responsibilities, I’m a Department of Transportation member, and I’m at your service.”
• The BOC approved the 2013 Home and Community Care Block Grant (HCCBG) Advisory Committee nominations in a 5-0 vote. The nominations were presented by Ashe Services for Aging Executive Director Patricia Calloway, and they include herself, Ashe County Manager Dr. Pat Mitchell, Anita Davie, Carolyn Shepherd Louise Ham, Dana Tugman, Clara Miller, Jeanette Paisley, Charles Caudill, Sue Thompson, Jennifer Richardson, Mary Fran Knight, and Terry Kimmer.
• In a 5-0 vote, the BOC approved a a revision in Juvenile Crime Prevention Council funding. The board didn’t grant new funding to the program, but allowed the council to rearrange how they use their $1,830. The change will allocate $1,000 to salary increases and $830 to summer camp scholarships.
• Elaine Hanks and Linda Marsh were reappointment to three more years of service in the Ashe County Advisory Committee in a 5-0 vote.
• Candy Gambill was reappointment to the Local Emergency Planning Committee in a 5-0 vote.
• The BOC supported the resolution supporting the current integrity and funding for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund in a 5-0 vote. According to information provided by Ashe County Planner Adam Stumb, Ashe County parks and recreations trust fund allocations has totaled $15.6 million between 1998-2009, with approximately $14.8 million coming from the state.