Commissioners approve entrepreneurial program
by James Howell
The Ashe County Board of Commissioners met for their bi-monthly meeting at 3:30 Monday to approve a resolution to help grow Ashe County’s economy and to hear an update from the Appalachian District Health Department.
The first item on the agenda was a resolution to make Ashe County a “certified entrepreneurial community,” which the commissioners approved with a 5-0 vote.
According to the resolution, Ashe County will participate in the Certified Entrepreneurial Community Program in partnership with the Advantage West Economic Development Group.
While speaking on behalf of the Certified Entrepreneurial Community Program, Chris Robinson, dean of Wilkes Community College’s Ashe and Alleghany campuses, said Advantage West will launch a “community assessment.”
“This assessment will look at the county’s weaknesses and also attempt to build on the county’s strengths,” said Robinson.
Robinson also said this program encourages economic development to pay attention to the entire region, not just Ashe County.
“We are a regional economy,” said Robinson, “and this program will help each county create jobs for one another.”
The board of commissioners were also presented with an annual update from the Appalachian district Health Department.
According to Beth Lovette, health director of the Appalachian District, High Country Health Care will close in 30-60 days after Nov. 29.
Lovette said High Country Health Care has been purchased by a company based in Sparta and no jobs will be lost. According to Lovette, the company that purchased High Country Health Care wasn’t the highest bidder, but had an “good record.”
Lovette also presented the commissioners with information about permitting and inspection activities from Ashe, Alleghany and Watauga counties, the three counties served by the Appalachian district Health Department.
Food and lodging has been busy over the past year preparing for the implementation of the FDA Food Code which took effect on Sept. 1, 2012. According to a document released by the Appalachian district Health Department, “this is the most intensive change to the food service regulations in N.C. since 1976.”
One change for food service operations include “no bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods,” said the document.
Also, “the Food & Lodging Section of the Appalachian district Health Department will continue to offer food safety training in each of the three counties in the district,” said the document.
Also during the meeting, the board of commissioners appointed Jennifer L. Miller and Kevin Nichols to the Ashe County Parks & Recreations Advisory Board, adopted the 2013 Holiday Schedule, and approved the 2012 County Register of Deeds Records Retention & Disposition Schedule.
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