Panoramic Gate Image Photo Credit Jim White
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Join us on Thursday August 9th at 7:00 p.m. for the August Town Council Meeting. The meeting will be held in the Walkup Building. The Public Forum begins at 6:30 p.m. and the unveiling of the new Town Website and Logo will begin at 6:15 p.m. Come join us!! The packet can be found here

 

Thursday, August 2

Countdown to a New Look- 7 Days and Counting

 

Any ideas as to what the logo looks like yet? Don’t forget to come on Thursday, August 9 at 6:15pm in the Walkup Building to submit your entry and to see the real version as well as the website. Here’s the fourth piece:

                                   

 

 

Wednesday, August 1

 

Countdown to a New Look- 8 Days and Counting  

We’re revealing the new logo for the Town and the website on Thursday, August 9. We’ve “de-constructed” the new logo and have challenged everyone to put the pieces together in what you think the new logo looks like. Here’s the third piece:

                                 

 

 

The August 9th Town Council Meeting will be held on Thursday, August 9th at 7:00 p.m. The Public Forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. with the unveiling of the website/logo at 6:15 p.m. So come on out!!! The Agenda Packet can be found here.

Tuesday, July 31

Countdown to a New Look- 9 Days and Counting  

Day 2 of the countdown brings piece number two of the new logo. Save them until the final day and figure out what the new logo looks like. You’ll expect this piece of the logo…

 

Monday, July 30

Countdown to a New Look- 10 Days and Counting  

On August 9, we’ll unveil the new Town of Montreat logo and website. It’s been a work in progress, and we’re excited to share it with you. Come to the unveiling reception at 6:15pm in the Walkup Building just prior to the Public Forum and Council Meeting.

In the meantime, we’re going to have a contest. Each day of the countdown, we’re going to give you a “piece” of the new logo. We’ll even give you the colors of the new logo. Collect all the pieces then arrange them how you think the actual logo looks and how you think the colors are used. Bring your version of the logo to the reception and the first three people whose completed logos look most like the actual logo will win a prize!

Here’s the first piece:

                                               

Check for tomorrow’s Countdown to a New Look!

 

Landcare Launches New Kids’ Programs

In partnership with the North Carolina Arboretum, the Parkway Foundation and Montreat College, the Montreat Landcare Committee has launched three new outdoor activity programs for children of all ages right in Montreat. Eco-Explore, Track Trail and Nature Backpacks were initiated earlier this month to bring fun and educational opportunities for children. Check out the Track Trail kiosk outside the first level of the Moore Center and go to Landcare’s website (http://www.montreatlandcare.org/montreat-children-outdoors-projects-launched-by-landcare/) to learn more and to involve your kids, grandkids and visiting kids!

Trash Pick-Up Update

As another service, the Town of Montreat provides both curbside and Pay-As-You-Throw trash services. The traditional curbside service provides trash pickup on Mondays and Fridays during the summer months, and on Fridays from September through May. Simply put out your trash at your curb during normal pick up times.

The Pay-As-You-Throw program was started several years ago largely because the former program of the open dumpster system was heavily abused by people outside Montreat. So, the Town went to a pre-printed bag program for both trash and recyclables. Bags can be purchased (5 for $5) at the Town Services Building, where they can be deposited as well.

The Town’s New Look!

We’ve been talking about it for several months, and we’re ready to unveil the new graphic identification for the Town and the new website. Come to the August 9 Town Council meeting to help celebrate this important step. We’ll have a special “unveiling” at 6:15pm prior to the Public Forum. Stay tuned for more information between now and then.

Wanted: Owner’s Representative/Project Manager

What with the imminent start of the Town Hall, the Town of Montreat is seeking an individual to serve as Montreat’s Owner’s Representative. This position will serve as an advisor to Town leadership in the design and construction of the new Town Hall and will represent the Town and its interests in all interactions with other parties. The position is critical to the successful completion of the Montreat Town Hall.

For more information, a position description and the opportunity to submit an application, please CLICK HERE.

Brush and Leaf Pick up

As a Town service, leaf and brush are picked up curbside every other Wednesday by town staff. Homeowners should place leaves in brown biodegradable paper bags. Limbs should not exceed six foot lengths and six inches in diameter. Please limit brush piles to approximately three cubic yards (about the size of a small pick up truck load). Also, please ensure no metal or pipes are mixed into the brush. Town staff use a wood chipper for the brush, and the use of metal is not only dangerous to staff but also ruins equipment.

Please note: the Town will not collect brush or leaves deposited by private contractors, landscapers or tree removal specialists, even if they are contracted by the homeowner. Leaf and brush pick up is a service provided by the Town for residents. Private firms are responsible for removing their own materials.

Wanted: Owner’s Representative/Project Manager

What with the imminent start of the Town Hall, the Town of Montreat is seeking an individual to serve as Montreat’s Owner’s Representative. This position will serve as an advisor to Town leadership in the design and construction of the new Town Hall and will represent the Town and its interests in all interactions with other parties. The position is critical to the successful completion of the Montreat Town Hall.

For more information, a position description and the opportunity to submit an application, please CLICK HERE.

 

Update From July 12, 2018 Town Council Meeting

Mayor’s Summary of the July 12 Town Council Meeting

Greetings fellow Montreaters,

Despite heavy rain and a somewhat unexciting agenda (lots of budget amendments), there was quite a turnout for the meeting. We’re grateful for the community support.

Here are the highlights of the meeting:

  • Public Forum questions/comments included:
    • The Montreat “address” issue: no resolution yet but discussions have been happening with the Post Office, Board of Elections, and even inquiries with Google. It is slow work and won’t be easily resolved. We’ll keep you informed of progress
    • Inquiry about financial support from MRA and the College; MRA makes annual gifts to the Town. The College has not been able to do so. However, both organizations provide significant contributions beyond financial through the value of their activities, amenities and programs and are indispensable in bringing vitality to Montreat. We’re grateful for the partnership between us.
    • Concern about dead tree removal: The Town is responsible for all trees on public land. If you see a dead or dying tree anywhere, call the Town office (669-8002) and staff will come to investigate and take appropriate action.
  • Town Administrator Alex Carmichael gave an update on the impact from Hurricane Alberto flooding. Estimated damage is currently $184,000, but we expect to be fully reimbursed by FEMA and the State. Please be patient as staff and contractors continue to repair damage. It will take a while.
  • Alex also reminded everyone that the physical size of Montreat increased several weeks ago when the Town Hall property was officially transferred from Black Mountain to Montreat!
  • I offered appreciation to the Cottagers for their successful meeting last week and the generous check they gave to the Town for the Code Red program. They make the Code Red program possible.
  • And, appreciation certainly goes to the Town Staff for all their work during and after the Alberto flooding. They went above and beyond. Please thank them when you see them.
  • The Tree Board presented the Montreat Tree Management Plan, which is a very impressive body of work outlining everything imaginable about trees in Montreat, including a history overview, tree inventory, planting guide, and information about what to do about fallen trees. Many thanks to Ann Vinson and the Tree Board for their hard work.
  • Town Hall updates include:
    • The Request for Qualifications for a design/build firm was revised and redistributed. We expect more and varied bidders as a result of the revision. Thanks to Montreater Jim Williamson for his invaluable help in the revision.
    • The projected time line is as follows:
July 27 Proposals from Design/Build firms are due
July 30 Council will open the proposals and begin studying them for finalists
Aug 10 “Short list” of 3 candidate firms will be decided upon and invited to present
Aug 27 Presentations will be complete and Council will select the best firm to design and build the Town Hall
September Final public input session (actual date to be announced) led by Design/Builder architect
Fall Construction begins
Aug 31 2019 Town Hall is completed!
    • Posting of the Owner’s Representative position to oversee the Town’s interests in the construction process is happening next week
  • The Texas Road Bridge Aesthetics Committee continues to meet in its planning for the pedestrian bridge renovation. Please check the Town website for meeting dates and, of course, meetings are open to the public.
  • Other highlights include:
    • Speaking of Texas Road, the Texas Road repaving will begin after the conference season ends, starting with new waterlines laid
    • Montreat College student parking plans have been worked out between the College, MRA and the Town. Expect a better situation.
    • Please thank our local state delegation for their help in the de-annexation/annexation issue with the state legislature.
    • What's going on in Montreat? Do you know? Sign up for the Sunshine List to get periodic emails about the Town of Montreat's happenings. Email here to be added to the list!

Please let me know if you have any questions or topics you’d like to discuss. Write me at thelms@townofmontreat.org or call me at 828/669-3852. I’d love to hear from you. Have a safe summer.

Thanks for your trust in us,

Mayor Tim Helms on behalf of the Town Council

Here is a listing of the formal actions taken by the Commission at the meeting:

 

 

Don’t Trash It, Recycle It!

Did you know Montreat makes it easy to recycle, helping our environment and reducing waste? Recyclables are collected at curbside on the same schedule as your regular trash. Simply purchase blue or clear bags from area stores and use them for your recyclables. No need to sort, just include it all together. Help us help the earth. Recycle!

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July 12, 2018 Town Council Meeting

Please join your Town of Montreat Board of Commissioners on Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 7:00 p.m in the Walkup Building for the July Town Council Meeting. The Public Forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. The REVISED agenda packet can be found here with all the Budget Amendments.

RFQ: Town Hall Design-Build Project, Project Number 2018-004

There are an updated Addenda to the Town of Montreat's RFQ: TOWN HALL DESIGN-BUILD PROJECT, PROJECT NUMBER 2018-004. Material changes are made in Addedum #2, and bidder questions are answere in Addendum #3. The original RFQ, issued on 6/6/208, has been revised in this current version. The purpose of the revisions in Addendum #2 is to simplify the SOQ process for Submitters and make several material changes to the original RFQ. Submitters may use either RFQ format. However, if using the original version, Submitters are asked to address the following material changes as established in this version:

2.2 Revised Project Schedule
3.2 Narrative understanding of project goals
3.3.2 Design Portfolio
3.4.1 Key Personnel - addition of architect on team
3.6 References

Addendum #1 is no longer in effect.

The RFQ, Addenda and supplementary information can be found on the Bid Opportunities page of this website.

Montreat Minute

Montreat Has Grown!!

The size of the Town grew last week, it really did! The property that we bought from MRA for the new Town Hall was not within Town limits, but in Black Mountain instead. Earlier this year the Town, along with Black Mountain, began the process of de-annexing the property from Black Mountain and annexing it to the Town of Montreat.

But, it takes a state law to de-annex property. Working with our local delegation in Raleigh, we had a bill introduced in the legislature to take care of the transfer. The bill passed in the Senate first and passed in the House last week. It became official last Thursday. Take a look at the map of the new, expanded Montreat by clicking HERE. What you see in light green is the Town Hall property, which now represents the new expanded Town boundaries. Many thanks to the Town of Black Mountain for their willingness to de-annex the property to us. We’re also thankful for our local delegation and their bi-partisan support of this effort in the legislature. Senator Edwards and Representative Ager led the efforts in their respective chambers, but Senator Van Duyn and Representatives Fisher and Turner were strong backers and supporters of the bill. We are most grateful for their work in making this happen.

Other Town Hall News

We thought you might be interested in seeing some “key dates” for the construction of the new Town Hall. Of course, everything is subject to change, but the Council is determined to stay on schedule.

July 27      Proposals from Design/Build firms are due

July 30     Council will open the proposals and begin studying them for finalists

Aug 10  “Short list” of 3 candidate firms will be decided upon and invited to    present

Aug 27           Presentations will be complete and Council will select the best firm  to design and build the Town Hall

September    Final public input session (actual date to be announced) led by                              Design/Builder architect to seek ideas

Fall                  Construction begins

Aug 31 2019  Town Hall is completed!

Stay tuned for the date of public input. And, send your ideas/comments via email to amurphy@townofmontreat.org or any of the Commissioners.

Reminder: Bulk Pick Up July 10

Don’t forget to place bulk items at the curb on July 10 for the twice-per-year bulk pick up. White goods like appliances may also be disposed of. There will be a $5 per item fee for mattresses and box springs, but everything else is free removal. For more info, call the Town Offices at 828/669-8002.

 

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PUBLIC NOTICE

The Agenda can be found here. Supplemental documentation will follow.

SPECIAL MEETING

 

Thursday, June 28, 2018– 7:00 p.m.

The Board of Commissioners of the Town of Montreat will hold a Special Meeting on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Services Office, 96 Rainbow Terrace, Black Mountain, NC.  The purpose of this meeting will be as follows:

  • To discuss possible changes for Request for Qualifications for Project Number 2018-004-Town Hall

The Town of Montreat will comply with the American Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.  Anyone needing special accommodations when attending this meeting and/or if this information is needed in alternative format because of a disability, please contact Town Clerk Angie Murphy at (828) 669-8002 or amurphy@townofmontreat.org, or the North Carolina Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Asheville Regional Office at (800) 681-7998 or TTY (800)-681-8035.

 

This meeting is open to the public.

 

 

 

Communications Advisory Committee

The Communications Advisory Committee will meet on Wednesday, June 27th at 4:00 p.m. at the home of Tom Widmer on 218 Tennessee Road. The Public is always welcome to attend.

 

Mayor’s Summary of the June 12 Council Meeting

Greetings friends,

The June Council meeting combined social time with business. Here are the highlights of the meeting:

  • The Town Council hosted a “Welcome to Summer” reception prior to the Public Forum. Tasty food was served as Montreaters, both permanent and seasonal, took time to catch up with one another and greet those arriving for the summer. It was a fun time being with everyone. We promise more opportunities like this.
  • Public Forum questions/comments included lots of suggestions on Town Hall design, appreciation for Town staff during the recent flooding (they did a super job!), a question about road repair after the flood (see below), thanks to the Black Mountain Fire Department for their great work on the burning of the house on the new Town Hall property, and more. We really appreciate people’s questions and comments and encourage everyone to attend the Public Forums at 6:30 preceding the Council meeting.
  • Town Administrator Alex Carmichael gave an overview of the impact from Hurricane Alberto flooding. Primary damage was to roads and drainage culverts. Town staff is working on fixing the damage, but it will take some time due to the amount and extent. FEMA and State disaster response personnel have surveyed the damage. It appears that we will be completely reimbursed for the cost of repairs. Fortunately, no one was injured during the flooding.
  • Alex also displayed a flood evacuation route map in the event of a severe enough situation calling for evacuation. CLICK HERE for a copy of the map.
  • The Town Hall continued to cause a lot of discussion at the meeting. Several highlights:
    • The Request for Qualifications for a design/build firm was publicly distributed earlier this month. It will remain open until July 11, when we’ll review the submissions and, hopefully, begin the formal selection process.
    • We will also be hiring a part-time project manager to oversee the project and our interests.
    • As you may know, the new Town Hall property is not in the boundaries of Montreat. We have been working with Black Mountain and our state legislators to de-annex the property from Black Mountain and annex it to Montreat. We’ve made excellent progress and we’re hoping it will be resolved and made a part of Montreat before the legislature recesses for the year.
  • The Texas Road Bridge Aesthetics Committee continues to meet in its planning for the pedestrian bridge renovation. Please check the Town website for meeting dates and, of course, meetings are open to the public.
  • The major topic of discussion was the Montreat 2018-2019 Town budget, which begins on July 1. I’m happy to tell you that tax rates and water rates will not increase, for the eighth year in a row. Revenues/Expenses for the General Fund are nearly $1.9 million and, of course, we have a balanced budget.
  • Several other points of interest:
    • Richard Dubose, President of MRA, reported on the damage to Robert Lake Park, which may run as high as $100,000. He is optimistic that one portion of the playground will be open by the end of the month.
    • Bulk items/White goods pick up is scheduled for Tuesday, July 10
    • Stay tuned for news about a new Montreat Town website.
  • What's going on in Montreat? Do you know? Sign up for the Sunshine List to get periodic emails about the Town of Montreat's happenings. Email here to be added to the list!

Please let me know if you have any questions or topics you’d like to discuss. Write me at thelms@townofmontreat.org or call me at 828/669-3852. I’d love to hear from you. Have a safe and fun 4th of July.

Thanks for your trust in us,

Mayor Tim Helms on behalf of the Town Council

Here is a listing of the formal actions taken by the Commission at the meeting:

 

June Town Council Meeting

Join your Town of Montreat Board of Commissioners for the June 14th Town Council Meeting. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Walkup Building. The Public Forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. The "Welcome Back to Montreat" Reception will start at 6:00 p.m. The meeting packet can be found here.

 

 

REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS: TOWN HALL DESIGN–BUILD PROJECT, PROJECT NUMBER 2018-004

The Town of Montreat is requesting Statements of Qualifications from entities interested in submitting proposals for the Town Hall Design-Build Project. The Project will be funded with local dollars thereby requiring that the Submitters adhere to all pertinent federal, state and local requirements, including compliance with E-Verify and the Iran Divestment Act.

The project site is a .841 acre tract located at 1210 Montreat Rd., Black Mountain, NC 28711. The project scope is to design and construct an approximately 3,500 square foot Town Hall. The project scope also includes parking and sidewalk adjacent the Town Hall, and connection to adjacent roads. Additional major responsibilities of the successful team will be quality, safety, and public relations, among other things. Special consideration will be needed for a design compatible with the Town of Montreat’s historical character, natural setting, and predominant architecture. The project site presents environmental and geographical challenges.

This Request for Qualifications is issued to solicit information, in the form of SOQs that Town of Montreat will evaluate to determine which Submitters are the most highly qualified to successfully deliver the Project. The Town of Montreat shall rank the three most highly qualified Submitters that submit SOQs. Town of Montreat will award a design-build contract for the Project, if any, to the Proposer that is the most highly qualified, as determined by Town of Montreat, pursuant to Article 3D of Chapter 143 of the North Carolina General Statutes. To allow receipt of any addenda or other information regarding this RFQ, each Submitter is solely responsible for ensuring that Town of Montreat’s Project Manager has its contact person name and e-mail address. If an entity intends to submit a proposal as part of a team, the entire team is required to submit a single SOQ as a single Submitter.

For the full RFQ and information on how to bid on this opportunity, visit our bids page.

 

 

Open Space Conservation Committee Location Change

Due to flooding in the Town Services Building, tomorrow's meeting of the Open Space Conservation Committee will be relocated to Freeland Hall, Conference Room A.

 

Budget Workshop

The Montreat Board of Commissioners will have a Workshop to review the annual budget and provide direction to staff before the budget is presented for adoption. The Workshop will be an open meeting held on June 7th, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Walkup Building. The full agenda packet can be found here.

 

Montreat Declares State of Emergency

Montreat Mayor Tim Helms declared a State of Emergency for the Town of Montreat. Click here to see the official declaration.

 

Montreat 06/01 Update

The Town of Montreat is diligently working to maintain passable roadways after the past few days of heavy rains.  Please use caution in low-lying areas and avoid Flat Creek when possible. 

 As of Wednesday 5/30 Providence Terrace and Calvin Trail are closed to vehicular traffic.  The following roads remain open but we advise caution when traveling upon them:

  • Assembly Drive (gravel in roadway)
  • Texas Road
  • Tennessee Road
  • Kentucky Road
  • Wyck Road
  • South Carolina Terrace
  • West Virginia Terrace
  • Appalachian Way
  • Greybeard Trail (4 wheel drive)
  • Assembly Drive and Elizabeth's Path

The Town is monitoring the situation and coordinating with area agencies.   More information will be posted to the Town Website as it becomes available. 

 

Schedule Change for Memorial Day Holiday

The Town Services Office will be closed on Monday, May 28th and will reopen Tuesday, May 29th. Curbside Trash Pickup will take place on Tuesday, May 29th. Happy Memorial Day!

 

Proposed 2018-2019 Fiscal Year Budget

The proposed 2018-2019 Fiscal Year Budget which will be discussed tonight (May 24th) can be found here

After the Burn

The house on the new Town Hall property was burned last Monday thanks to the skill and experience of the Black Mountain Fire Department and other surrounding fire departments. They used it as a training exercise as they lit many small fires initially, then let it burn in a major conflagration of flames around 9:30pm. Many Montreaters and others came to the field across the street to watch the event from lawn chairs and blankets. Town Commissioners served hot dogs and S'mores while Fire Department drones flew overhead providing unique perspectives of the activities. We even had some valuable educational commentary from fire officials about the training and fire control processes.

We owe many thanks to a variety of people:

- The Black Mountain Fire Department and other companies for their hard work, which helped the Town of Montreat save more than $11,000 in expenses of demolishing the house via more traditional techniques

- Town Administrator Alex Carmichael for working with Black Mountain, county and state officials to safely and effectively plan the event

- Our own Town staff and Police Department for handling logistics and safety issues

We're also grateful that the house served as a home for many families. In recent years, it was home to employees of the Conference Center. And now, we move forward in yet another chapter of Montreat life as we prepare to build the new Town Hall on the site.

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Annual Budget Presentation and Public Hearing

Please join us for the presentation of the annual budget and Public Hearing on May 24th, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Walkup Building. The full agenda packet can be found here.

Approved 2018-2023 Capital Improvement Plan

The Board of Commissioners adopted the 2018-2023 Capital Improvements Plan on May 10, 2018. View the full document here..

 

Mayor's Summary of the May 10th Town Council Meeting

Greetings friends,

We had a full agenda for the May Town Council meeting. Let me share the highlights with you:

  • Our Public Forum was honored with a report from Bill Seaman from the Landcare Committee as he presented the new “Montreat Outdoors” brochure. It is a guide to some “special places” in Montreat and will provide hours of outdoor fun for everyone. It includes descriptions of things to do and a map marking each of the 24 Montreat opportunities. Find the brochure at different Montreat locations, or email the Landcare Committee for a copy at info@montreatlandcare.orgThank you, Landcare, for the great work you are doing.
  • Town Administrator Alex Carmichael presented a safety update on the subject of bears. Alex commented that the Town has received a higher than normal number of calls about bears, and suggested we be aware of some key tips about “bear management”:
    • Don’t, under any circumstances, feed them
    • Don’t place your trash cans and recycling at the curb the night before, but wait until the morning of trash pick up days
    • Be mindful of the smell of your garbage. Bears have highly developed senses of smell. Freeze your food scraps before you put them out.
    • Don’t feed the birds, as bears love birdseed
    • Be mindful of your pets and their whereabouts when outside
    • Clean and store barbeque grills inside if possible
  • Alex also announced there will be a public hearing on the 2018-2019 Montreat budget on May 24th at 7:00pm in the Walkup building. Everyone is welcome.
  • The Town Hall garnered a lot of discussion at the meeting. Here are two key highlights:
    • The burning of the house on the town hall property will occur on Monday, May 14 beginning at 6:00pm. Come down to be a part of this first step, and have a hot dog or S’more. You will also have the opportunity to sketch out your own ideas on what the new town hall should look like. As a reminder, we are saving more than $11,000 by having the Black Mountain Fire Department “demolish” the dwelling instead of tearing it down.
    • The Council voted to release a Request for Qualifications for a design/build concept for the town hall. This is the way government begins the process of selecting someone to design and construct the new building. We’re excited about this positive move forward.
  • The Texas Road Bridge project is moving forward. The Bridge Aesthetics Committee has had their first meeting and has scheduled five more meetings in the next few months. Please check the Town website for meeting dates and, of course, meetings are open to the public.
  • Speaking of Texas Road, Alex commented that water line replacement and paving of Texas Road are in the budget for 2018-2019. If approved, we expect to begin that work in late August or early September after conference season.
  • I had the honor of administering the oath of office to Montreat’s newest police officer, Josh Kiser.  Josh works nights, so it may be hard to meet him. But please try. He joins an impressive Montreat police force, for which we are grateful. See the photo of Josh (L) and Police Chief David Arrant.

  • Several other points of interest:
    • People (private citizens and town staff) are still working on the address issue. Progress is quite slow.
    • Landcare warns us to be “Fire Wise” as we come into the summer and hot weather season
    • Montreat College graduates 100 seniors on Saturday and is looking at another record incoming class in the fall
    • We’re looking for a part-time bookkeeper at the town offices. Please contact Alex if you’re interested or have referrals.
    • Congrats and thanks again to Amy and Mason Blake and the Native Plant Sale Committee for a highly successful event.
  • What's going on in Montreat? Do you know? Sign up for the Sunshine List to get periodic emails about the Town of Montreat's happenings. Email here to be added to the list!

Please let me know if you have any questions or topics you’d like to discuss. Write me at thelms@townofmontreat.org or call me at 828/669-3852. I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for your trust in us,

Mayor Tim Helms on behalf of the Town Council

 

 

 

The Burn, Take Two

As you may know or have noticed, the Burn did not take place on the 28th due to excessive winds in the afternoon. In the interest of safety, the Black Mountain Fire Department postponed the event. It has been rescheduled for Monday, May 14th, at 6:00pm. So, bring your chairs and come observe. Just as originally planned, there will be hot dogs and S’more ingredients. And, you’ll have an opportunity to sketch out your thoughts of what the new town hall should look like! Click Here for more information. Hope to see you there.

Town Council Meeting on Thursday

Just a reminder that the monthly Town Council Meeting will be at 7:00pm on Thursday, May 10, in the Walkup Building. There will be a Public Forum preceding the meeting at 6:30pm. For a copy of the agenda packet, Click Here.

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May Town Council Meeting

Please join the Town of Montreat Board of Commissioners at the May Town Council Meeting on Thursday, May 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the Walkup Building. The Public Forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. The meeting packet can be found here.

Many Thanks

Many thanks to Amy and Mason Blake and their committee for a most successful Native Plant Sale. The weather worked out great, the food was delicious, there was an incredible variety of native plants, bushes and trees available, and it was great fun to be with neighbors and friends. Thank you Amy, Mason, and Committee for all your hard work.

 

New Website Under Construction

We’re excited to let you know that we are in the process of developing a new website. It promises to be updated, graphically pleasing, easy to navigate and find information, and full of relevant information. Stay tuned for the reveal!

 

A Reminder

Just a reminder that there will be no more agenda meetings on the first Thursday of the month. Regular Town Council meetings haven’t changed. They remain at 7:00pm on the second Thursday at the Walk Up building. The Public Forum precedes the Council meeting at 6:30. The next Council meeting is Thursday, May 10. The Agenda Packet will be available the preceding Thursday on the Town website, www.townofmontreat.org.

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CLICK HERE to enroll in the Sunshine List so you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

 

 

"The Burn" Postponed

Due to expected high winds the demolition of 1210 Montreat Road is postponed. “The Burn” will not take place on Saturday, 4/28 as scheduled. Rescheduling and other information will follow.

 

Don’t Forget to Come to the Burn!

The house on the property where the new Town Hall will be built is disappearing on Saturday! By doing so, we’re saving demolition costs ($11,400+!), helping train firemen, and having a fun community event. The Black Mountain Fire Department and other nearby fire departments will burn the house on Saturday, April 28 at 2:00pm. We will have a tent and refreshments available on the field across Montreat Road from the house to watch the burn. Park by the gate. Sketch paper and markers will be available to sketch your ideas of what you think the new town hall should look like. CLICK HERE for more information.

 

Board of Adjustment to hear Variance Request

The Board of Adjustments will meet Thursday, April 26th at 7:00 p.m. in the Walkup Building to hear a Variance Request. The meeting packet can be found on the Board of Adjustment page under Boards & Committees. This meeting is open to the public.

Organizational Meeting of Bridge Aesthetics Committee

The Bridge Aesthetics Committee will meet Thursday, April 26th at 2:00 p.m. in Conference Room A of Freeland Hall. This meeting is open to the public.

 

Tree Inventory Postponed Due to the Weather

The Tree Inventory that was scheduled for today (4/23) has been postponed due to the weather.

 

New Town Hall News

The new Town Hall will be built on the property purchased from MRA on Montreat Road adjacent to Creekside Road. The house currently on the property must be demolished to make way for construction. Instead of being torn down, the Black Mountain Fire Department and other nearby fire departments will burn the house on Saturday, April 28 at 2:00pm. We expect many people will want to see it happen. Therefore, the Town will have a tent and refreshments available on the field across Montreat Road to watch the burn. Sketch paper and markers will be available to sketch your ideas of what you think the new town hall should look like. CLICK HERE for more information.

Why burn it instead of tear it down? Two reasons: First, the Black Mountain Fire Department can use it as a practice exercise to train their personnel and improve their firefighting skills. But even more importantly, it will save considerable taxpayer dollars. The Town received demolition bids, which included removing asbestos that was throughout the house. This had to be done regardless of demolition technique. Based on the bids we received for demolition, we saved more than $11,400 by burning the house instead of paying someone to tear it down. It’s a win-win for the Town, taxpayers and the BM Fire Department. Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 28 at 2:00 pm for The Burn.

Get Town Information Fast and Direct

Would you like to receive Town of Montreat news and updates directly into your inbox? You’ll get timely, up to date information easily without having to go to the Town website.

CLICK HERE to enroll in the Sunshine List so you don’t miss a thing!

 

Mayor’s Summary of the April 12 Council Meeting

Greetings friends.

The April Town Council meeting concluded earlier this evening and, as usual, much is happening in our little valley. Here are the highlights:

  • Much of the Public Forum preceding the Council meeting was spent discussing the address situation—the confusion of Montreat addresses being interpreted as Black Mountain addresses by package delivery firms, directional apps like WAZE and Google, and even the Buncombe County Board of Elections. People have been working on the problem off and on for about eight years, yet still no resolution. But we’re getting closer and hope that the current headway proves to be the final solution. Stay tuned for updates.
  • Our Town Administrator, Alex Carmichael, gave an overview of Montreat’s Code Red system for alerting residents of any emergency situation—storms, floods, high winds, etc. It is a valuable service, but you have to sign up for it. Go to the website and on the right side of the screen, you’ll see a sign up button for Code Red. Don’t delay- sign up today.
  • The Texas Road Bridge project is still on course for being turned into a pedestrian bridge. We had to go through a great deal of red tape with government agencies to get permission for it to become a walking bridge. But, permissions have been received and the newly formed Bridge Aesthetics Committee, chaired by Mason Blake, will be working on beautification plans. I’ll keep you informed.
  • The Town Hall project is proceeding as well. As I mentioned last month, the new building will be built on the property on Montreat Road adjacent to Creekside Road. First order of business is to demolish the house on the property to clear the way for construction. Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 28 at 2:00 pm for The Burn. The Black Mountain Fire Department and other fire departments will burn down the house as a practice exercise and to save teardown expense for the Town. We’ll have a tent and refreshments available on the field across Montreat Road to watch the burn. We’ll even have sketch paper and pens for you to give us your ideas of what you think the new town hall should look like. Click here for more information.
  • On that same day, April 28 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm do not miss the annual Native Plant Sale. In addition to great nurseries selling native plants, there will be food trucks serving breakfast and lunch, programs and presentations, exhibitors, kids’ activities and so much more. Don’t miss it- and bring friends and family. Click here for more information.
  • We had a sinkhole appear on Assembly Drive just inside the gate earlier this week. Our Public Works staff conducted a temporary fix on it. But, we’ll have to do some significant work on it in a few weeks, causing some traffic issues on Assembly. Please be aware.
  • We put the two Florida Terrace properties up for sale through sealed bids recently. But the bids were low and we rejected them. They will be marketed again. If you are interested, please contact Alex Carmichael at the town offices (828/669-8002) for more information on the process.
  • What's going on in Montreat? Do you know? Sign up for the Sunshine List to get periodic emails about the Town of Montreat's happenings. Email here to be added to the list!
  • Finally, I thought you might be interested in some Town facts. Here’s one: Town staff read 674 water meters last month. I’ll share more in months to come, but if you’d like to see this and other town statistics, take a look at the April Agenda packet online and go to the administrative reports. Click Here for the Agenda Packet.

Thanks for your time and let me know if you have any questions. Write me at thelms@townofmontreat.org or call me at 828/669-3852. I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for your trust in us,

Mayor Tim Helms on behalf of the Town Council

 

Call for Volunteers

The Tree Board of the Town of Montreat is seeking up to 20 volunteers to help survey trees in the right-of-way along Assembly Drive. Montreat is partnering with the North Carolina Forest Service Urban Forestry Program to identify at-risk trees in an effort to develop a management plan for public trees in our community.

Volunteers are needed for four hour shifts between April 23rd and May 3rd, weather permitting. Volunteers will receive training on identifying trees and assessing risk factors from Forest Service on Monday, April 16th at 9:30 AM If you are interested in assisting with this program please contact Ann Vinson at 669-2975 or momevinson@bellsouth.net

 

Reminder: No Agenda Meeting April 5

At the March Town Commission meeting, the Commission voted to suspend separate agenda meetings in advance of the regular Town Commission meetings. Agendas will be published one week in advance of Town Commission meetings so the public and Commissioners will have time to study and seek information about specific items on the agenda. Such a move will save time and money, yet still provide ample time for agenda review prior to Commission meetings. Therefore, there will be no Agenda Meeting on April 5 or subsequent months.

 

Informational Meeting of the Communications Advisory Committee

There will be an Informational Meeting of the Communications Advisory Committee on Wednesday, March 28th at 4:00 p.m. at the home of Commissioner Tom Widmer (218 Tennessee Road). The meeting is open to the public.

 

Letter from the Mayor

Greetings friends.

I was reflecting on Thursday evening’s Town Council meeting where the agenda was full and many good things were discussed and acted upon. I thought it might be good to begin a new practice with you since you’re an integral part of the Montreat community. After each meeting, I’ll summarize some of the key discussion and action points to keep everyone informed about what’s happening. So, here’s my first installment…

  • We had the honor of presenting Billy and Ruth Graham’s daughter, Virginia “Gigi” Graham with a resolution honoring her father for his many accomplishments and being a beloved member of the Montreat community. To see the resolution, CLICK HERE
  • Town Administrator, Alex Carmichael, shared that Dr. Graham’s passing had an impact on Town staff in terms of traffic control, fielding questions, interacting with the media and participating in traffic control for the motorcade from the Cove to Charlotte. We’re grateful to the staff for their dedication.
  • Alex also shared that all the legal steps for the Texas Road bridge conversion to a pedestrian bridge have nearly been completed. This means we will be able to begin planning and renovating the bridge for our walking pleasure. In fact, a Bridge Aesthetics Committee was formed to plan the renovations. We appreciate residents who volunteered to form the committee, including Jane Alexander, Walter Somerville, Robin Melvin, Mason Blake, Shannon Ingersoll, Randi Collie and Bob Wynne. Kent Otto will be the Town Commissioner representative to the committee. We have no time line yet for the improvements, but we’ll keep you informed.
  • Alex provided several other important updates including:
    • The Florida Terrace properties are “officially” on the market through a bidding process. Bids will be opened April 4
    • The public works building project is moving forward.  We will be preparing construction bid documents soon for the metal building that will be located behind the MRA maintenance building near the current Town Hall
  • Speaking of Alex, he celebrated his first anniversary as Town Administrator last month. The Council had an opportunity to sit down with him recently to discuss his first year. We’re very pleased and thankful for his contributions and grateful he is head of our Town staff. Stop by the Town offices to meet him if you haven’t already.
  • The new Town Hall project is proceeding well. Here are several highlights:
    • Montreat and Black Mountain jointly submitted a request to the State Legislature to de-annex the property from Black Mountain and annex it to Montreat so it will be within town boundaries. We have state senators and representatives that have agreed to sponsor the bills, which will likely be taken up during the May session. This situation does not affect our ability to begin the project.
    • The building on the property will be demolished by the Black Mountain Fire Department. They will use the opportunity for a fire training exercise through a series of controlled “burns”. We don’t have a date yet, but we’ll let you know so you can come and celebrate this “first step”.
  • The Council voted to eliminate the Agenda meeting that used to occur on the first Thursday of the month. In discussing it, the Council felt it wasn’t the best use of time and money since staff attends the Agenda meetings and we have to rent the room from MRA. The new procedure will be that the proposed agenda for the Council meeting will be published and available a week prior to the Council meeting (which will remain on the second Thursday of the month), giving residents and Commissioners adequate time to review and ask questions about the agenda prior to the meeting.
  •  The Council also voted to form a Communications Advisory Committee for the Town. The purpose of the committee is to advise Town Council on effectively communicating with Town residents, seasonal residents, students, guests and others. This will be an opportunity to improve communications and help build unity within our special community.  In fact, as part of the improved communications effort, we voted to begin giving our website a significant “face lift”. Commissioner Tom Widmer will be the representative to this committee.
  • Our Town is highly dependent upon citizen involvement—at meetings and especially on committees and boards. We’re fortunate to have such willing people volunteering. Besides the Bridge Aesthetics Committee, other residents appointed include Katie Widmer (Landcare), Mason Blake (Planning & Zoning), Mark Spence (Board of Adjustment) and Bill Scheu (Open Space Conservation). We’re most grateful for their time and talents.
  • Finally, interested in buying a 1983 Ford Bronco, a dump truck or other surplus items? Occasionally the Town has old unused equipment that it wants to dispose of and we have a few pieces now that we are selling through an electronic bid process. If interested, visit www.govdeals.com and search by zip code.

Thanks for your time and let me know how you like this new communication tool.  Write me at thelms@townofmontreat.org or call me at 828/669-3852. I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for your trust in us,

Mayor Tim Helms on behalf of the Town Council

 

Gigi Grahm Receives Resolution Honoring Billy Graham

Gigi Graham was in attendance on March 8h to receive a resolution written in honor of her father and Monthreat neighbor, Billy Graham. Also in attendance were Maury Scobee and Kerri Bruce of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The signed resolution can be found here.

March 8th Town Council Meeting

Please join your Montreat Board of Commissioners on Thursday, March 8th at 7:00 p.m. in the Walkup Building for the March Town Council Meeting. The Public Forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. The agenda packet can be found here.

Property for Sale

Two parcels of Town-owned property on Florida Terrace and Arkansas Trail are up for sale. Check the "Bid Opportunities" page for more information.

 

Montreat Bids Farewell to a Special Resident and Friend

The people of the Town of Montreat are saddened at the passing of Montreat’s most notable resident, Rev. Billy Graham.  The end of a legacy is at hand.  He has been a quiet but special resident of Montreat since his marriage to Ruth Bell Graham in 1943. 

The Town is honored to have been actively involved and included in many of the details pertaining to his death. Mayor Tim Helms and wife, Mimi, were invited by the Graham family to represent the Town of Montreat as the casket bearing the body of Billy Graham was moved from the Cove to the waiting hearse on Saturday. The Helms, along with the Mayor of Black Mountain, Don Collins, and his wife and the Buncombe County Sheriff, Van Duncan, and his wife were positioned next to the hearse. The pallbearers carrying the casket were surrounded by the Graham family and longtime staff members. Mayor Helms reported that Franklin Graham, Billy’s son, greeted them and thanked them for attending.

Additionally, Mayor and Mrs. Helms were invited to represent the Town of Montreat at the funeral on Friday, March 2, at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC. Invitations were extended to 2,300 people, including the current and past U.S. Presidents.

In tribute to the Town, the Montreat Police Department was asked to join with other law enforcement agencies in offering a security detail for the motorcade that traveled through Black Mountain on Saturday.  Five Montreat officers served the motorcade, which left the Cove Saturday and traveled on Highway 70 through Swannanoa and Black Mountain.  The streets were lined with thousands of mourners, many from the local area as well as from afar. 

Individuals have come to Montreat to provide expressions of gratitude and condolence, placing them on the hill next to the Montreat Gate.  The flowers in the small but colorful display reflect the sentiments of many Montreaters.

 

 

Call for Volunteers: Walking Bridge Aesthetics Committee

Please complete an application and submit it to the Town Clerk by Tuesday, March 6th. Applications can be found in the post office, at the Town Services Building and here.

 

March Agenda Meeting on Thursday, March 1st at 7:00 p.m.

Please join the Montreat Board of Commissioners on Thursday, March 1st at 7:00 p.m. in the Walkup Building. The agenda packet can be found here.

 

Have Questions About Capital Projects in Montreat? Join Town Staff for a discussion on the Capital Improvement Plan

Join town staff Tuesday, February 27th for an opportunity to ask questions, get answers, and provide your input on the Town's Capital Improvement Plan (C.I.P.). The doors to the Walkup Building will open at 5:00 pm.

 

A Message From Franklin Graham

Please read the attached letter from Mr. Franklin Graham with regards to his father. The letter can be found here.

A Message From Mayor Helms and the Montreat Board of Commissioners:

As you are no doubt aware, the beloved evangelist and fellow Montreat resident, Rev. Dr. William Franklin "Billy" Graham Jr., passed away early this morning. It is with great sympathy that our community mourns the passing of Dr.Graham. Dr. Graham has been a beloved member of the Montreat community since his marriage to Ruth Bell Graham in 1943. The Rev. Graham was a supportive figure in Montreat where he located the offices of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. His presence will be missed by many in our Cove. Our condolences go out to his family during this difficult time.

We want to alert you that we anticipate Dr. Graham’s passing will result in increased activity here at Montreat. We anticipate mourners, curiosity seekers and media to converge upon this area, including Montreat property, in the coming hours and days. We are prepared for such activity. The Montreat Police Department, led by Chief David Arrant, has called in off-duty officers, and has others on standby, to manage crowd control. Montreat Police will remain at full strength until they are no longer needed. Other area agencies, including Black Mountain, Buncombe County, and the City ofAsheville, will be working together with Montreat to bring dignity, respect and safety to all those involved.

The hill by the Montreat gate has been designated as a memorial location for mourners to place flowers and other expressions of sympathy. Officers will be on hand to manage crowds and provide safety to all. Please be careful as you enter and exit, as there is likely to be congestion in that area.

Details of the arrangements are still forth coming, but we know that Dr. Graham’s memorial service will be in Charlotte, not Montreat.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Montreat Town Services Building at 828/669-3002. Please continue to lift the Graham family in your thoughts and prayers.

 

Town of Montreat Update

Town of Montreat Update

Much work has been accomplished by the Town Council and staff since the last report.  Here are some of the more notable actions:

  • The Town recently closed on a lot purchased from MRA just outside the Montreat Gate for the site of the new Town Hall.  With the unanimous support of the Black Mountain Town Council, the request to de-annex the property that is currently within their boundary so that we can annex it into Montreat is moving to the NC Legislature for approval. Once asbestos abatement is completed the house that currently sits on the property can be removed. Watch the Montreat Town website for dates of forums for community input for the design of our new facility.

  • The property on Florida Terrace had been re-zoned as Residential and divided into two buildable lots. These lots are ready to go on the market. Both lots will have frontage on Florida Terrace and Arkansas. Pass the word to potential buyers.

  • The bridge at Texas Road has been designated a pedestrian bridge. Hopefully, the orange cones will be replaced with something more attractive soon. Again, pass along any ideas for the bridge.  Remember what we do must fit within the State’s guidelines on pedestrian bridges and stay within our budget.

  • The much-needed Public Works Building will become a reality as a small piece of property behind the MRA’s Public Works facility has been rezoned and is being prepared for a metal structure where our staff and equipment can find shelter and protection.

  • In November, three Commissioners were elected to the Town Council. Kent Otto was appointed two years ago to fill the seat of Tim Helms when Tim was elected Mayor. Alice Lentz and Tom Widmer, along with Kent, were elected to four-year terms. Kent was also appointed as Mayor Pro Tem. These three join Kitty Fouche and Bill Gilliland on the Council.

  • There were a number of long planned retirements and staff changes during the past year:
  • Jack Staggs retired as Police Chief to his full-time granddaddy duties. Jack, Ed Teters, and Mac McClintock still fill in when needed so give them a shout out when you see them.
  • David Arrant was promoted from within to Police Chief.
  • Stephan Stackhouse retired as Finance Officer and Erin Marie Wheeler joined us part-time in that role.
  • When David Currie resigned, the Council took advantage of the opportunity to restructure his position. Adrienne Isenhower was hired for two days in Montreat as Zoning Administrator. Inspections are being contracted through connections in Black Mountain.
  • Steve Freeman retired as Public Works Director and Barry Creasman was promoted to fill his position.
  • Jarod McIntosh, formerly with the Town of Black Mountain, is our new Senior Water Operator.
  • Alex Carmichael has completed his first year as Town Administrator and Angie Murphy, Town Clerk, keeps everyone and everything in order.

  • The Council Members along with our Mayor, Tim Helms, will attend the UNC School of Government Essentials of Municipal Government training and updates in Asheville this month. At our recent Board retreat, Commissioners were appointed to the following areas of responsibility:

Kitty Fouche – Environment and Public Buildings

Bill Gilliland – Sanitation and Public Works

Alice Lentz – Finance

Kent Otto – Planning/Zoning and Public Safety

Tom Widmer – Communications and Public Buildings

  • Are you getting monthly email updates on Town Council actions, meeting schedules, and project information? If not, consider adding your email address to the Town’s Sunshine List. Go to www.townofmontreat.org and click the Sunshine List icon on the right side of the homepage. You can also send your request to Angie at info@townofmontreat.org. By visiting the Town’s homepage, you can also pay your water bill, fees, etc. with a credit/debit card, sign up for Code Red so that you can receive a mobile text in case of emergency, download forms, view the budget, etc. Stay connected and let us hear from you.

 

What's going on in Montreat?? Do you know?

Sign up for the Sunshine List to get periodic emails about the Town of Montreat's happenings. Email here to be added to the list!

 

Free Compost Available

Photo by Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash

Getting ready for Spring Plantings? The Town of Montreat has the leaf litter compost for you for FREE. Stop by the Town of Montreat Town Services Building from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. to pick up as much as you can haul off.

 

New Bid Opportunities

Check the "Bid Opportunites" page for for contracts with the Town. New projects will be posted there.

 

February Town Council Meeting

Please join us on Thursday, February 8th for the February Town Council Meeting which will begin at 7:00 p.m. The Meeting Packet can be found here. The Public Forum will begin at 6:30 p.m.

 

December Town Council Meeting

It was a great night in Montreat as we thanked our numerous volunteers for serving our Town. We also swore in new Commissioners Alice Lentz and Tom Widmer and swore in Kent Otto as Mayor Pro Tem.

Letter from the Mayor

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I want to update you on a number of matters pertaining to the Town Council.

Reception:

Thursday, December 14, 5:30-6:30PM to thank Mary Standaert and Ann Vinson for their service to the Town and to welcome Alice Lentz, Kent Otto, and Tom Widmer who will be sworn into office at the Town Council Meeting at 7:00PM. The regular Open Forum will still take place at 6:30PM that evening. I hope you will join us at the Walkup Building.

Florida Terrace Property:

The property has been rezoned to residential, and the three non-conforming lots will be reconfigured into two buildable lots that will be put on the real estate market in the near future.

Texas Road Bridge:

The Town Council is awaiting final action by the NC Department of Transportation that will allow the bridge to be converted to a walking bridge.

Taxes:

Even though Buncombe County completed a property reevaluation, Montreat held the line on our tax rate.

Parking:

Parking is often a challenge since Montreat College has increased enrollment and the Montreat Conference Center has increased year-around participation in group events. We are grateful for the success of both institutions, and the Town is working toward meaningful solutions for the parking situation.

De-annexation/Annexation of the new Town Hall site:

The Town of Montreat Administration is working with the Town of Black Mountain to annex the property just outside the Gate that will become the site of the new Town Hall. Purchase of the property from MRA is in the final stages. The Town Council will be working on a plan for a new Town Hall that will reflect the size and architecture of our community.

Ordinances and Regulations:

Many of you have provided input that suggests that some of Montreat’s ordinances and regulations may be too restrictive. The Town Council will review current ordinances and regulations to determine what changes can be made to make building and remodeling an easier process.

Open Forum:

The community is welcome to interact with commissioners from 6:30PM to 7:00PM immediately before each regular Town Council meeting. This Public Forum has been a productive time that has enhanced communication.

Post Office Bulletin Board:

The bulletin board has been an effective communication tool that provides updated information about Town Council activities, thanks to Angie Murphy, our Town Clerk.

Public Works Building:

Plans are underway to build a facility that will allow the Public Works Department to protect its heavy equipment from the weather and also to provide a place for people fighting fires, removing snow, etc. to stay overnight as needed. The building will be located behind the current MRA maintenance facility.

Personnel:

Following the retirements of Jack Staggs (Police Chief), Steve Freeman (Public Works Director), Stefan Stackhouse (Finance Officer), and the resignation of David Currie (Building Inspector/Code Administrator), the Council took advantage of the opportunity to reevaluate personnel appointments for efficiency and possible savings of taxpayer dollars.

David Arrant was promoted to Police Chief after serving Montreat for 12 years. Barry Creasman was promoted to Public Works Director after 19 years in that department. Jared McIntosh has been hired for the vacated position of Senior Water Operator. CPA Erin Marie Wheeler is now our part-time Finance Officer. Presently, building inspections are being done on a contract basis. We are now sharing a Zoning Official, Adrienne Isenhower, with Biltmore Forest and Land of Sky Regional Council to cover our zoning and code enforcement responsibilities. Alex Carmichael is completing his first year as Town Administrator. He has kept a steady hand and level head through an eventful first year. Angie Murphy is our Town Clerk, and we recognize her as Clerk Extraordinaire.

Congratulations:

The Town of Montreat has been named a Tree City USA and again been awarded the title of Community Wildlife Habitat for the 12th year. The Tree Board has been selected as a recipient of a $4,994 grant from the North Carolina Forest Service. The “Save Our Hemlocks” campaign by Montreat Landcare was a big success, thanks to your generosity.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Tim Helms, Mayor

Town of Montreat

 

 

Montreat Designated as a Community Wildlife Habitat for the 12th Year

Montreat Landcare Chair Martha Campbell presented Mayor Tim Helms and Environmental Commissioner Ann Vinson with the Community Wildlife Habitat Certificate. This is the 12th year that Montreat has received this designation from the National Wildlife Federation. The Town of Montreat was one of the first municipalities in the State to receive this honor.

 

What to Do in an Emergency?

Recently several people have asked about planning for an emergency. If we ever have to evacuate, what is the best way to get out of Montreat? The answer to that question really depends on the nature of the emergency. If there is a forest fire for example, the location of the fire will dictate the best avenue for evacuation. The best response to other types of emergencies may be to shelter in place. There is no one evacuation route or response for all scenarios.

So what can you do to get emergency-specific information?

  1. SIGN UP FOR CODE RED. Two links on the right of this page will allow you to register either your home or your mobile phone. In an emergency, the Town will use Code Red to disseminate information quickly.
  2. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE POLICE, FIRE, OR OTHER EMERGENCY RESPONDERS ON THE GROUND. In an emergency plans, traffic patterns, and even the physical environment can change. Look to those personnel, rather than a map, for real time directions.

The Montreat Police department, in consultation with other Town staff and input from the Black Mountain Fire Department, has developed a map for primary and secondary evacuation routes. This is a baseline for emergency response - not a rule book. Remember, these roads may not be the best way out of Town in every emergency. But if you are interested, you may view the likely routes identified by staff at the map linked here.

If you have questions, please contact me at the office anytime. 669-8002.

Cordially,

Alex Carmichael, your Town Administrator

 

Montreat Tree Board Receives Grant

The Town of Montreat Tree Board has been selected as a recipient under the North Carolina Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) Grant Program. The project, entitled “Town of Montreat Public At-Risk Tree Inventory and Short-Term Plan”, was selected among 10 other proposals this year and will receive a grant award of $4,994.

 

Town Hires "New" Police Chief

Congratulations to David Arrant who has been appointed as Chief of Police. David will be sworn in at the July 13th Town Council Meeting.

Town Council Regular Meeting

The July Town Council Regular Meeting will be held on Thursday, July 13th at 7:00 p.m. in the Walkup Building. The Public Forum will be held at 6:30 p.m.. The agenda packet can be found here.

 

2017-2018 Sanitation Calendar

The 2017-2018 Sanitation Calendar is now available and will be mailed out later this week. There are some copies in the Town Services Office and a copy can be found at the following link.

 

Special Meeting of Board of Commissioners

The Montreat Board of Commissioners will hold a Special Meeting on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. in the Town Services Office, 96 Rainbow Terrace, Black Mountain, NC.  The purpose of this meeting is as follows:

To enter into Closed Session in accordance with North Carolina General Statute §143-318.11(6) to interview candidates for the Police Chief Position.

The meeting will be convened and adjourned in open session.

 

Volunteers Needed for Tree Board & Board of Adjustments

The Town of Montreat needs 2 volunteers: one for the Tree Board and one for the Board of Adjustments. Please call Angie at 828.669.8002 ext 301 for more information. This is a great way to give back with minimal time commitments.

 

Notice of Special Meeting - Adoption of Final 2017-2018 Budget

The Montreat Board of Commissioners will hold a Special Meeting on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the Walkup Building, 300 Community Center Circle, Montreat, NC. The purpose of the meeting is as follows:

-Adoption of final 2017-2018 Budget

-To enter into Closed Session in accordance with North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(5) to instruct the Town's staff concerning the position to be taken on behalf of the Town in negotiating the price and other material terms of a contract for acquisition of an interest in real property.

 

New Day for Public Forum

Beginning July 13th, the Public Forum will occur on the 2nd Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. just prior to the Regular Town Council Meeting at 7:00 p.m. Please come out and join us!

It's here!! Town of Montreat's New Sanitation Truck

Coming soon to a house near you!!! The Town of Montreat's new Sanitation Truck will be hitting the streets this week. It will hold more sanitation, can be used to plow snow and it's quieter than the old truck. Be sure and wave at Bill when you see him coming!!

 

Bi-Weekly Sanitation Begins the Week of May 29th!

Bi-Weekly Sanitation Pickup begins this week with pickups on Tuesday (due to the holiday) and Friday. Beginning next week, June 5th pickups will be on the regular Monday and Friday schedule.

 

Government Finance Officers Association News Release

The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to the Town of Montreat by Government Finance Officers Association of the United State and Candad (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a signigicant accomplishment by a governement and its management.

An Award of Financial Reporting Acheivement has been awarded to the individual(s) or deparment designated by the government as primarily responsible for preparing the award-winning CAFR.

Congratulations to everyone who made this award possible!

 

Letter to Montreaters from the Mayor

Dear Montreat Community,

I want to continue to communicate with you about matters pertaining to the Town of Montreat.

New Town Hall: The Montreat Town Council voted earlier not to build the new town hall on the Florida Terrace property, and it has now voted to start the rezoning process on the Florida Terrace property to residential from resedential/institutional. The process will take several months. The Town is in negotiation with the Mountain Retreat Association about the purchase of the site just outside the Gate for the new town hall.

Chief Jack Staggs Retires: Jack Staggs has been a popular presence around Montreat for years, and he will be missed. His retirement party brought out hundreds of people to bid him farewell after his many years of service to the Montreat and Black Mountain communities. Montreat Captain Dave Arrant is serving as the Interim Police Chief.

Communication Board: Check out the Town of Montreat Communication Board in the Post Office to see the way Town Clerk Angie Murphy is effectively reaching out to the community. Great job, Angie!

Sincerely,

Tim Helms, Mayor
Town of Montreat

 

Addition to the Mayors Most Recent Letter to Montreaters

I want to clarify information stated in my last communication to you.  To ensure any actions taken by the Town Council regarding the Texas Road Bridge are taken in proper sequence, the earlier decision by the Town Council for there to be no vehicular bridge at Texas Road was rescinded.  I will keep you informed of future decisions on this matter.

Sincerely,

Tim Helms, Mayor

Town of Montreat

Letter from Mayor Helms

The Montreat Town Council and I want to keep you informed about matters pertaining to the Town of Montreat. Since my last letter to you in early July, there is additional information that I want to share with you.

I recently appointed a Citizen Town Hall Committee, chaired by Brinkley Melvin, to study details pertaining to a new Town Hall. The Town Council voted not to build on Florida Terrace, so a decision needs to be made on another location. The committee will seek information and make recommendations to the Town Council on the location and size of the new building. This Town Hall Committee will meet on Thursday, September 15th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Walkup Building. You are encouraged to attend to give your input and to listen to the information pertaining to this important decision.

The Town Council voted that the present bridge on Texas Road, which has been closed for about 8 years, will not be used as a vehicular bridge. The Council is considering other possible actions regarding a bridge, and the recommendations from the Bridge Committee will be considered.

The new Interim Town Administrator is Al Richardson replacing Ron Nalley who resigned to accept a job at Lake Lure. Al was the Town Administrator in Black Mountain earlier and also served as an Interim Town Administrator for Montreat before Ron Nalley's arrival.

Please feel free to give us your input using the emails below for me and for our commissioners. To improve communication, remember that the public is invited to a Conversation with Commissioners on the first Thursday of each month from 6:30-7:00 p.m., prior to the monthly Agenda Meeting. Any topic can be discussed, and there can be dialogue with us. The next meeting is Thursday, September 1.

Sincerely,

Tim Helms, Mayor
Town of Montreat
thelms@townofmontreat.org

Mayor Pro Tem Fouche kfouche@townofmontreat.org
Commissioner Kent Otto kotto@townofmontreat.org
Commissioner Ann Vinson avinson@townofmontreat.org
Commissioner Bill Gilliland bgilliland@townofmontreat.org
Commissioner Mary Standaert mstandaert@townofmontreat.org

 

Mayor's Message to the People of Montreat

The following letter was read by Mayor Helms at the Cottagers Meeting on July 2nd, 2016:

 

This is the first message from me as Mayor to you, the taxpayers of Montreat.  The Town Council, staff and I value all of you in this wonderful community that we are privileged to be a part of, whether you live here all the time or divide your time in different places.

First, let me say that I am happy to report that there will be no tax increase in the coming year!  As you are aware, your new Town Council and I inherited a heavy agenda involving a new town hall on Florida Terrace and a large bridge on Texas Road.  We have addressed these major challenges from day one, and here is what has been done so far:

We have placed the Texas Road Bridge on hold.  I appointed a Citizen Bridge Committee to work with members of the community and State and Federal Government officials to find a solution which serves Montreat best, now and in the future.  The Bridge Committee held public meetings and made recommendations to the Town Council on June 2.  See the committee’s list of recommendations which is attached.  I would like to congratulate and thank the Chairperson, Alice Lentz, for her pleasant and efficient leadership, as well as the members of the community who served so diligently on the committee with her.  The Town Council will address their recommendations in the near future.

The Town Hall on Florida Terrace was estimated to cost more than $2.25 million.  In December, 2014, a lawsuit brought by five Montreat taxpayers resulted in the court ordering the Town not to proceed with the project until the lawsuit had been decided.  In December 2015, the Plaintiffs (Montreat taxpayers who brought the suit) offered to settle the lawsuit.  The new Town Council rejected the Plaintiffs’ initial offer and deliberated on how to (1) save taxpayer money by settling the lawsuit that could result in significant additional costs from months of depositions and trial, (2) expedite finding an appropriate location for a much-needed new Town Hall, and (3) obtain a clear title to the Florida Terrace property to allow for the sale of the property.

The Town Council found it necessary to put aside a natural objection to paying some portion of the requested Plaintiffs’ legal fees.  The Town Council attorney advised us that if the Town Council did not settle and the case went to trial that it was possible that the Town could be ordered to pay all of the present legal costs plus the additional fees accumulated during the trial and possible appeal.  To stop the accumulation of legal fees and to allow the Town to move forward with the acquisition of a site for a new Town Hall, the Town Council agreed (in a 3-2 vote) to settle the lawsuit, agreeing to pay $50,000 of the $66,000 legal fees incurred to date by the Plaintiffs. It is my understanding that this money will be distributed on a pro rata basis to the Plaintiffs and the 110 Montreat contributors who supported the lawsuit.  I agreed with the Town Council’s decision to settle following the Town Attorney’s opinion that the Town could be made to pay all the costs if they went to trial.  The risk of losing more money was too great.  Most civil lawsuits are settled (reportedly 80 to 97%), so the Town’s decision (3-2 vote) to settle was not unusual in order to end the spending.  The Town Council also voted to pay the additional related legal fees incurred during the litigation process.  With this settlement comes a clear title to the Florida Terrace property allowing it to be sold.  I believe the Town Council will support my strong view that we should spend significantly less that the proposed $2.25 million Florida Terrace Town Hall for our small town.

At the request of a concerned Montreat citizen, the Town established a Reconciliation Fund for those who would like to help defray the cost of resolving the lawsuit filed in opposition to the Florida Terrace town hall.  Those who contributed to the lawsuit will be receiving money back and they may choose to donate all or part of that money to the Town Fund to help pay the legal fees.  There may be others who may not have supported the lawsuit but who want to help the Town resolve this divisive issue.

With the approval of the Town Council, I will appoint a Town Hall Committee of taxpayers along with one or more commissioners to ascertain the will of the community regarding the size, style, location and costs of a new Town Hall.  I will ask for their recommendations to be presented to the Town Council by September 2016.

The Town Council approved a trial solution to the garbage service which was initiated on May 30 and entails the use of preprinted, colored bags when garbage is brought to the Town Services Office, Monday-Friday.  Please see the attachment for details.  Commissioner Kent Otto graciously agreed to provide a trailer for garbage at the Gate on Saturday mornings, 7:00-11:00 a.m., as a volunteer service to those leaving on Saturday mornings.  We realize that the disposal of garbage is important, and procedures will be reviewed and adjustments made to meet your needs.

Once these high priority matters are underway, I will work with the Town Council and our committees to review our regulations along with the structure and costs of our Town government.  We will keep you informed of progress on the bridge and the new Town Hall and new developments as they arise.  The Town Council and I welcome your suggestions and questions.  The public is now invited to speak and interact with the Town Council on the first Thursday of each month, 6:30-7:00 p.m., before the start of the Agenda Meeting.  Also, please check the Town of Montreat board at the Post Office and the Town of Montreat website (www.townofmontreat.org) for information.  If you are not on the Town’s Sunshine List for Town Communications, please add your email to that important list by logging into the Town website.  We are dedicated to serving you and to communicating with you as we work for the Montreat we all want.

Town Administrator Ron Nalley has accepted a position at Lake Lure starting August 1 and has submitted his resignation.  Along with the community, I wish him well with his new expanded duties in a larger town, and we thank him for all he has done for Montreat.  I encourage you to come to the Walkup Building at 6:30 p.m. on July 14th, prior to the regular Town Council meeting, to offer your thanks and good wishes to Ron before he leaves.

Sincerely,

Tim Helms, Mayor

thelms@townofmontreat.org

 

Expanded Program for Disposal of Trash and Recyclables

The Board has approved the following changes to the Town of Montreat's Sanitation Services:

On May 30th, the Town of Montreat will begin a new, expanded program for disposing of trash and recyclables. Because the trash compactor site located behind the Town Services Building will be closing to the public, the Town will be accepting the specially printed green trash bags and the specially printed blue recycling bags. For your convenience, Town Staff will be distributing one of each bag to each household, free of charge beginning the week of June 6th. Additional trash bags and recycling bags can be purchased at the Town Services Building. A box of five bags is $5.00.

The new program is quite simple. Should you, or someone staying at your home, need to dispose of small amounts of kitchen or household trash or recyclables outside of the regular pickup schedule, the filled pre-printed bags can be dropped off at the Town Services Building between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. ONLY the special pre-printed bags will be accepted by the Town for disposal at the Town Services Building. A special collection area has been built to accommodate the bags. Just ask any Town employee for instructions on where to place the bags. Out of courtesy, please do not leave the bags in the parking lot, outside the building or along the fence. NC General Statute 14-399 regulating littering and illegal dumping will be enforced.

The weekly curbside pickup schedule WILL NOT change, and you WILL NOT need to purchase the special bags if you use our curbside or backdoor service.

We hope that you find this new program a safer and more effective method of disposing of extra kitchen garbage and recyclables that often accumulate during the week. The new system will help to reduce the illegal dumping and to resolve safety issues and concerns at the compactor site.

Should you have questions or require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us at (828)669-8002.

 

 

Montreat Receives Tree City USA Designation

Congratulations to the Town of Montreat for becoming a Tree City USA! In
2015, the Montreat Landcare Committee submitted an application for Tree City, USA status. To achieve this recognition, the town met the following criteria: (1) celebration of Arbor Day; (2) spent at least $2.00 per capita on tree-related efforts, such as plantings and curbside brush and Christmas tree removal, (3) established a tree ordinance setting out policies for care of trees on our public lands and rights-of-way; and (4) established a citizens' "tree board" to address issues regarding the care and maintenance of trees on public lands.

Shane Baker, NC Forest Service, was on hand to present the plaque to Mayor Tim Helms and Commissioner Ann Vinson (Chair of the Tree Board) at April's Town Council Meeting. Special Thanks to Bill Seaman for his hard work preparing for the Awards Ceremony, for Joe Standaert and his wonderful photography skills and for Montreat Landcare for their year round efforts in preserving our Tree Canopy!!

 

 

 

First Release of the "Lari" Beetle

The Town of Montreat is pleased to report that the first successful release of 125 Laricobius nigrinus "Lari" beetles was made on September 25th at the Post Office in Montreat. The beetles arrived by FedEx overnight shipment from Tacoma, Washington and were released by John Johnson and Rusty Frank. A couple thousand beetles are expected to be released over the next year to help stop the spread of the hemlock woolly adelgid within Montreat. The release of the beetles are part of a "Save Our Hemlocks" campaign sponsored and administered through Montreat Landcare. Funding for the project was made possible by generous donations from Montreat residents and institutions. Support and partial funding was provided through the Hemlock Restoration Initiative, sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For more information on the Program, visit www.savehemlocksnc.org.

 

Compactor Site Changes

Beginning June 9, 2015, the Town will alter the operation of the Compactor Site located behind the Town Services Building in order to help accommodate the sanitation disposal needs of our residents and visitors as well as to ease unauthorized use and illegal dumping at the site. On that day, the compactor site will be open for a fee, with revised hours of operation and staffed by an attendant. The site attendant will collect your bags, manage the fee payment and lock box, and place the bags inside the compactor for you. Revised hours of operation and the new fee schedule can be found here. No changes are being made to the existing curbside or backdoor garbage collection schedule.

Proposed 2015-2016 Fiscal Year Budget

The proposed 2015-2016 Fiscal Year Budget was presented to the Board and public on May 21. There will be a public hearing to receive comments on the budget document on June 11 at 7 p.m. or as soon thereafter as possible in the Walkup Building. Print copies are available in the Town Services Office upon request.

2015-2020 Capital Improvements Plan Adopted

The Board of Commissioners adopted the 2015-2020 Capital Improvements Plan on April 9, 2015. View the full document here, or on the Administration Department webpage.

 

Online Credit/Debit Card Payment Now Available

Credit or debit card payments for a number of Town-related bills and fees can now be made online here, or in person at the Town Services Office.

Numbers to Know - Police and Fire Department Dispatch

If you see a suspicious person or vehicle, burning of leaves or brush, a possible water leak or something that needs attention quickly but is not life-threatening, please call the 24-hour non-emergency police and fire dispatch numbers listed below. This service covers both the Town of Black Mountain and Montreat, so don't hang up thinking you've gotten the wrong number. Refrigerator magnets with these numbers are available in the Town Services Office. Your calls are welcomed and are important.

Police Department Dispatch: (828) 419-9320
Fire Department Dispatch: (828) 419-9350

 

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P. O. Box 423 | Montreat, NC 28757 | P: 828.669.8002 | F: 828.669.3810