Watauga County brings civil penalties on The Cottages of Boone

Jake Markland, Reporter

Watauga County issued civil penalties to The Cottages of Boone in the maximum amount for non-compliance following solid waste issues and several instances of spilling wastewater, according to a Nov. 16 press release. 

The Cottages, a student-housing complex located immediately outside of Boone town limits, has reported spilling nearly 100,000 gallons of untreated wastewater since it was built. 

Although the press release did not specify the monetary amount of The Cottages’ penalty, the planning and development ordinance for Watauga County states the maximum amount per violation is $5,000.

“We are eager to see the ongoing concerns about solid waste management and untreated wastewater release concerns be addressed by the Cottages of Boone,” said Deron Geouque, Watauga County manager, in the release. “We understand the concerns raised by citizens and are committed to ongoing efforts to encourage compliance with expected Watauga County standards.”

The Watauga County government and AppHealthCare are partnering together to address these problems, according to the release. 

The North Carolina Division of Environmental Quality has an “ongoing effort to work with The Cottages of Boone” and assure it is complying with agency permits, according to the  release. AppHealthCare and Watauga County have requested follow-up information from the N.C. Division of Environmental Quality by mid-December. 

“We understand the concerns brought forward from the public and we remain committed to follow up with the appropriate jurisdictional agencies to resolve the current concerns regarding solid waste, wastewater management, and addressing prevention of future releases of untreated wastewater,” said Jennifer Greene, AppHealthCare’s health director.

The Cottages could not be reached in time for publication.