Montreat Minute for December 20, 2019

Congratulations Angie Murphy

We are delighted to announce that our Town Clerk, Angela Murphy, has earned the designation of Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC), which is awarded by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC). The CMC designation is granted only to those municipal clerks who complete demanding education requirements and who have a record of significant contributions to their local government, their community and state. As the IIMC states, “In light of the speed and drastic nature of change these days, lifelong learning is not only desirable, it is necessary for all in local government to keep pace with growing demands and changing needs” of communities like Montreat. We can take pride in Angie’s educational accomplishments and achievement of this milestone. Congratulations Angie!

New Year’s Eve Watch Night Service

Will you be in town on New Year’s Eve? If so, plan on attending the annual Watch Night Service sponsored by the Montreat Cottagers Association. This year, Rev. George Logan, pastor of the New Day Christian Church in Morganton, will be officiating. The service will be held in Gaither Hall’s Graham Chapel on Tuesday, December 31st at 5:30pm.

Get to Know Tim Helms, Mayor of Montreat

Each month we feature a Montreat staff member or Board of Commission member. This month we’re featuring our Mayor, Tim Helms.

Tim has served as Montreat’s mayor since 2015. Prior to being Mayor, he was elected and served as a Commissioner from 2013 to 2015. He and his wife, Mimi, have been full time Montreat residents since 2010. But their experience with and deep love for Montreat go back decades. In fact, Mimi’s father built a house on Flat Creek in 1952 for Mimi’s grandmother and great aunt. Mimi spent summers with her grandmother enjoying the cool summer air compared to South Carolina summers! Mimi introduced Tim to Montreat when they were dating.

Tim and Mimi met at the University of South Carolina and got married even before Tim graduated. They moved to Gaston County where Tim worked in the textile industry for many years, including being the President of a textile company making carpet and hosiery (socks!) yarn. After the textile industry began to wane, he became President and CEO of the Gaston County Chamber of Commerce. His major responsibility was economic development, helping the county transition from being primarily textile based to diversified business and manufacturing. He and his team were successful in helping the county “reinvent” industry and development.

When asked what he enjoys about being Mayor, Tim said he likes listening to the people of Montreat and being able to do things that the people want done. He cites the new Town Hall, the Texas Road bridge and the recent speed reduction measures as examples of responding to townspeople’s needs. As for the future of Montreat, Tim sees growth—continued housing renovations and new construction as well as MRA and College growth. He sees younger families with more full-time residents working. As Tim said, “we need to maintain the good things at Montreat, but we also need to step into the future and respond to changing needs 5-10 years from now.”

When he’s not doing mayoral duties or working part-time at B.B. Barns, Tim and Mimi like to take day trips around the region, enjoying the wide array of activities and sites the area offers. But, ultimately one of their most favorite summer activities is “creek sitting.” When Mimi’s dad built the house backing up to Flat Creek, it wasn’t air conditioned (and still isn’t!). In an attempt to stay cool, he and the family began sitting in the creek with lawn chairs! That tradition continues nearly 60 years later–  creek sitting while sipping a cold beverage and talking about life in Montreat. And, no doubt there are a few “yarns” spun as well, since Tim is an ex-yarn manufacturer!

Thanks, Tim, for being a great and effective Montreat mayor.

Be Heard on Housing!

The Land of Sky Regional Council of Governments is conducting a survey about regional housing issues. The purpose of the survey is to better understand your housing concerns. Your input will inform local and regional housing and community development priorities, and be included in the Consolidated Strategic Housing and Community Development Plan (Consolidated Plan) update for 2020-2024.

Follow the link to participate:
Please provide your feedback by January 12th, 2020.

Several Important Announcements

  • Just a reminder that the Town offices will be closed next week on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 24 and 25, in celebration of Christmas. Sanitation service pickup is unaffected but brush pick up is rescheduled for Thursday.
  • The Greybeard Trail detour is active again, meaning vehicles are being rerouted via Louisiana Rd-Virginia Rd-West Virginia Terr. The traffic lights are now operational and require vehicles to wait approximately four minutes before proceeding on West Virginia Terrace. If you find operational issues with the lights, please contact the Town Office (828-669-8002 x301) or the Montreat Police (828-669-8002 x306). Thank you for your patience as we repair extensive damage done by Tropical Storm Alberto.
  • You may have seen in last week’s Mayor’s Meeting Summary that the Town Council took action to increase parking fines as part of the initiative to make Montreat easier and safer to navigate. Illegal parking was increased from $5 to $30; Handicap parking violation was increased from $25 to $75; and immobilization fees (aka the Boston Boot)) were increased from $20 to $50.

The Town Council and Staff wish you a very Merry Christmas!