Winner of an essay contest on the importance of trees were recognized Tuesday night by the Banks County Board of Commissioners.

Ashton Whitehead was recognized as the first place winner of the contest sponsored by Keep Our Mountains Beautiful contest. Colton Decker was recognized as the second place winner.

In other business at the meeting Tuesday night, the BOC:

•approved a conditional use permit application from Country Boys Enterprises to operate a satellite sales and firearm sales business on five acres at 785 Caudell Road.

•approved a request to sell three pieces of surplus equipment to Yancey/CAT Equipment for a total of $42,900

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•approved a request from public utilities director Steve Reece to lift the hiring freeze in order to fill a vacant utility repairman position. The salary will be $12.70 per hour.

•approved the low bid from A Better Gas Company for the 2012 LP gas bids.

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