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The master plan for Appalachian Place at Chestnut Ridge includes a proposed skilled nursing facility along with a future independent living facility and estate homes.

Originally published: 2013-05-31 14:24:59
Last modified: 2013-05-31 14:31:07

County asked for $150,000 for hospital project

The Watauga County Board of Commissioners will consider a proposal Tuesday to provide $150,000 to the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System to assist with water and sewer infrastructure needs at the proposed elder care facility near Blowing Rock.

Appalachian Place at Chestnut Ridge is slated to be constructed on 68 acres near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Blowing Rock and will replace the existing Blowing Rock Hospital. The facility will provided skilled nursing care, post-acute rehabilitation, Alzheimer's disease and memory support care, palliative care and other services with a total of 112 beds.

"This financial support is critical to save current jobs and serve as a catalyst for new job creation in Watauga County," the hospital system wrote in an informational sheet provided to the county.

Construction on the $20 million project is expected to begin this summer and be completed by the end of 2015.

The Watauga County Economic Development Commission has recommended that the county provide $150,000 up front, with $75,000 to be tied to Phase II of the project.

If Phase II does not begin within five years, the $75,000 would have to be repaid to the county, according to the suggested proposal.

The proposal was originally placed on a county agenda in March but was removed before being considered. Economic Development Commission Director Joe Furman said at the time that hospital representatives needed more time to work on their request.

At Tuesday's meeting, the Board of Commissioners is also expected to:

-- Vote on the 2013-14 budget.

-- Receive a request to approve the donation of two sheriff's office service dogs from Mount Vernon Baptist Church. The German shepherd, "Elvis," and Belgian Malinois named "Moses" are trained for patrol and narcotics and came at a cost of $17,600.

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Watauga County Administration Building at 814 W. King St. in Boone. The full agenda is available online at