Dear Friends of Blowing Rock,
Quarantine Vote & CARES Funding
The County Commission meets tonight at 5:30 to vote on lifting the County’s additional quarantine and short-term rental restrictions in order to follow the Governor’s data-driven plan for re-opening the state. The Town of Blowing Rock has scheduled a special meeting on May 22nd to consider the County’s decision.
We recommended that the County and the Town follow the Governor’s plan and lift the quarantine when the Governor lifts the Stay-at-Home order.
Larry Turnbow is our County Commissioner representing Blowing Rock. You can contact him at Larry.Turnbow@watgov.org.
The County was awarded $1.2M from the Federal CARES Act, but unfortunately the County chose to allocate only $21K to Blowing Rock and the other small towns while allocating $200K to the hospital and $600K to the County Health Department.
I bring this to your attention as another example of the small amount of funding returned to Blowing Rock taxpayers who pay about $4.1M annually in property taxes to the County. The big county expenditures that benefit Blowing Rock are for our school and EMS services.
The County’s proposed budget includes only $12K for Davant Field, no money for our SRO officer that the Town funds, and no expansion of EMS services that are badly needed in Blowing Rock to protect the health of our residents.
Fortunately, we have a local EMS team who can be on site quickly until the County ambulance and team can arrive from Boone. The fairness and lack of motivation to address this risk is embedded in a private contract for EMS services for the County. The logic is flawed but the economics of the contract prevail to the detriment of our residents and taxpayers. Our local EMS team is highly qualified and covers the Caldwell County portion our of Town, but they cannot provide the Town of Blowing Rock full services due to the County’s contract with a private provider.
The Town requested additional EMS coverage based on a clearly documented needs-based case study and a more favorable formula for our sales tax allocation. Neither have been addressed.
Staying safe depends on each of us learning to manage our personal risks.