At the July 12 Avery County Commissioners meeting, Avery County Sheriff’s Office Deputy John Hicks was recognized for his work with the DARE program in area schools.

The Avery Journal reports Hicks revitalized the DARE program, with this year's class the first to graduate with the DARE program in 20 years.

During the meeting, Commissioners approved subdivisions for Eagles Nest Holdings, LLC, but the discussion over land development in Avery continues.

Commissioner Blake Vance said while he's been approached by citizens concerned about Eagles Next, he said it's not the role of the commissioners to stand in the place of business, or individuals choosing to sell their property, and that it is the role of the county commissioners to enforce codes and regulations and ensure all development is occurring according to law.

Commissioner Tim Phillips said he appreciates Eagles Nest and the tax base they have made in the county and the employment opportunities provided in the area.

Commissioner Dennis Aldridge agreed, but said that the commissioners are responsible to “think 20 to 30 years down the road and understand” the impacts of development.