Hello Fellow Montreaters,
I hope your new year has started well. For the Town, we’ve started the year at a fast pace. Our January Town Council meeting had a very important agenda item to act on– the new Town Hall. More than 50 showed up to observe the meeting. Here are the highlights:
- Public Forum questions/comments included:
- The issue of parking on Lookout Road was discussed. Given the volume of cars parking on both sides, making the road very narrow, it has been a challenge to pass safely. Town Administrator, Alex Carmichael, recognized that it is a problem and commented that he has been in contact with officials at the college. He stated he will work with the Montreat Police to initiate an increased enforcement of parking regulations.
- Resident Don Reid spoke about the Comprehensive Plan created in 2008, focusing on the section entitled “Montreat Tomorrow”, which stated there were many opportunities to ensure Montreat’s growth into the future. Don commented that few if any of the recommendations have been implemented. Commissioner Otto suggested the Commission address it, and I asked Alex to add it to the Commission’s planning agenda for next month.
- A question was asked about the status of the Texas Road bridge project. Alex responded that there were no responses to the request for qualifications (RFQ) for engineering firms to study the physical status of the bridge. Alex said the next step is to reissue the RFQ.
- In the Town Administrator’s Communications, Alex informed us that he and Public Works Director, Barry Creasman, have been meeting with state officials regarding reimbursement for damages from Tropical Storm Alberto last May. Fortunately, we will be receiving greater reimbursement than originally thought. The repair work is continuing.
- The major topic of conversation was the Town Hall. A presentation was made by the Town Hall work team (Alex Carmichael, Commissioners Fouche and Widmer and Owner’s Representative, and resident, Rick Giles) along with the Architect (Maury Hurt), Contractor (Brian Sineath) and Landscape Architect (Joel Osgood). The report covered background on the project, an overview of the design plans and landscape plans, a summary of the construction process, a Financial Plan to pay for the proposed town hall, and a summary statement. Please CLICK HERE for a copy of the slide presentation. Overall, the proposal calls for an investment of $1.4 million for the 3997 square foot facility. With an initial payment from funds restricted for the new Town Hall, the balance of $1.22 million would be financed through a 15 year loan. After a period of questions and answers from residents, and discussion by the Commission, the commission voted unanimously to proceed with the project as presented. It’s projected the new Town Hall will be completed by July 2020. Please contact any of us if you have questions or would like to learn more.
- During the Public Comment period:
- Resident Don Reid offered an update on the condition of Rt. 9 (Montreat Road). Don has learned that the rough condition of the road will be taken care of with complete repaving in the spring. He also added that it will be a challenge to widen the road due to right-of-way and utility issues.
- Resident Mary Standaert requested that the Commission reconsider its vote to move to even year elections as the information about Weaverville moving to even year elections was incorrect.
- Resident and MRA President, Richard DuBose commended the Council on the plans for the new Town Hall.
As you can tell, it was an exciting and energetic meeting. Please let me know if you have any questions on what was discussed or anything else for that matter. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 828/669-3852.
Thank you for your trust in us,
Mayor Tim Helms on behalf of the Town Council
In addition to the formal Town Hall action indicated above, the Council:
- Approved minutes of the December 13, 2018 Public Forum and Regular Meeting
- Re-appointed Matt Ashley to the Metropolitan Sewerage District Board for two additional years, for a term expiring January 31, 2022
- Approved the purchase of a 2019 Ford F350 truck in the amount of $48,609 to replace a truck that caught fire last year. This item was included in the 2018-2019 budget in the amount of $56,000, resulting in a savings of $7,391