COMMISSIONERS: Board does not oppose YMCA

BAKERSVILLE – The Mitchell County Board of Commissioners has a full agenda this past week during its regular meeting.

The board received an update from Mitchell County Health Department Clinical Director Ciji Dellinger, approved a lease agreement for the building that formerly housed Cardinal Insurance in Bakersville and approved an easement allowing Southern Ridge Cafe to build a ramp in the front of the building and a deck in the back. 

Dellinger said the health department aims to update the commissioners every few months. She said the department has scheduled flu shots for the next school year and the department hopes to give more than 800 shots to local students. 

Dellinger added multiple high school students approached her this past school year and asked how to make appointments at the health department. She said anyone who needs an appointment could call the department or ask her. 

“If you need appointments or know anyone who needs them, let us know,” Dellinger said. 

The approved agreement allows the county to rent the old Cardinal Insurance building to use for the parks and recreation office. The county will pay $600 for the first month and $750 each month after. The lease includes an option to renew after one year. The county will pay for utilities and is responsible for any damages to the interior and must transfer liability insurance from the old parks and recreation office. 

The approved easement for Southern Ridge Café allows the owners of the old Bakersville Barber Shop building to construct a handicap ramp in the front of the building and a 12-by-15 deck behind the building. 

The back deck will provide additional seating for cafe patrons. The ramp and the deck will be constructed on county-owned land, which introduces the need for an easement. If the deck isn’t used as seating space for the cafe or construction isn’t completed within a year, the easement automatically cancels. 

Before adjourning, Board Chair Matthew “Vern” Grindstaff said he heard comments from concerned citizens about the board’s recent discussions about a dedicated recreation center. 

The board discussed building plans for a new recreation center with Leland Riddle during its regular July meeting. 

Grindstaff said such discussions are not intended to sabotage the progress of a potential expansion of the Williams YMCA of Avery County into Mitchell County. 

“We hope they’re successful and can bring a YMCA to Mitchell County,” Grindstaff said. “Whatever they choose will be supported by this board, but that doesn’t mean we’ll stop discussions of recreation plans for the county.”

The MItchell News

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