§ 158‑8.1. Creation of Western North Carolina Regional Economic Development Commission.
(a) There is created the Western North Carolina Regional Economic Development Commission to serve Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, and Yancey Counties, and any other county assigned to the Commission by the Department of Commerce as authorized by law. The Commission shall be located administratively in the Department of Commerce but shall exercise its statutory powers and duties independently of the Department of Commerce. Funds appropriated for the Commission by the General Assembly shall be disbursed directly to the Commission at the beginning of each fiscal year.
(b) The Commission shall consist of 19 members appointed as follows:
(1) Three members shall be appointed by the Governor;
(2) Two members shall be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor;
(3) Seven members shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in accordance with G.S. 120‑121; and
(4) Seven members shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate in accordance with G.S. 120‑121.
(b1) The members of the State Board of Education appointed to represent the seventh and eighth education districts shall serve as nonvoting ex officio members of the Commission.
(c) The appointing authority shall designate two of the initial appointees pursuant to subdivision (b)(1), one of the initial appointees pursuant to subdivision (b)(2), two of the initial appointees pursuant to subdivision (b)(3), and two of the initial appointees pursuant to subdivision (b)(4) to serve for terms ending June 30, 1995; the remainder of the initial appointees shall serve for terms ending June 30, 1997. Their successors shall serve for four‑year terms ending on June 30 quadrennially thereafter. The appointing authority shall designate the additional appointees under subsections (b3) and (b4) that were added to the Commission membership pursuant to an act of the 1995 General Assembly to serve for terms ending June 30, 1999.
Any appointment to fill a vacancy on the Commission shall be for the balance of the unexpired term. Vacancies in appointments made by the General Assembly shall be in accordance with G.S. 120‑122.
(c1) The initial meeting shall be called by the Secretary of the Department of Commerce.
(d) Members of the Commission who are State employees shall receive travel expenses as provided in G.S. 138‑6. Other Commission members shall receive per diem of one hundred dollars ($100.00) a day for each day of service when the Commission meets and shall be reimbursed for travel and subsistence as provided in G.S. 138‑5. The Commission may adopt policies authorizing additional per diem of one hundred dollars ($100.00) a day for non‑State employee members' additional days of service including Commission subcommittee meetings or other Commission activities, plus reimbursement for related travel and subsistence as provided in G.S. 138‑5.
(e) In addition to the powers and duties granted to economic development commissions in this Article, the Western North Carolina Regional Economic Development Commission shall:
(1) Survey Western North Carolina and determine the assets, liabilities, and resources that the region contributes to the economic development process.
(2) Develop and evaluate alternatives for Western North Carolina economic development.
(3) Develop a preferred economic development plan for the region and establish strategies for implementing the plan.
(4) Coordinate activities with and enter into contracts with any nonprofit corporation created to assist the Commission in carrying out its powers and duties.
(5) Repealed by Session Laws 1999‑237, s. 16.5(a), effective July 1, 1999. (1993, c. 321, s. 309(a); c. 561, s. 17(a); 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 769, ss. 28.7(j), 28.8(a), 28.8(b); 1995, c. 488, s. 49(a), (b); c. 507, s. 25.5(a); c. 509, ss. 103‑105; 1999‑237, s. 16.5(a); 2010‑184, s. 1.)