Happy New Year, friends.
We appreciated the 20 people who came out for the first Town Council meeting of this new decade. There were some lively discussions, and here’s a summary. As you know, a full overview will be in the official meeting minutes in February’s agenda packet.
- Public Forum questions/comments included:
- Tom Frist stated that he was looking at Google Maps and noted the wrong street and city address for his home. He found a link to alert Google of address errors. He did so and, delightfully, checked Google Maps shortly afterward and found that his correction had been made. He encouraged other Montreaters to do the same.
- Mary Standaert questioned if I was the appropriate party to represent the town in the October mediation about the Texas Road property dispute. After she stated her reasons for questioning my role, I responded with facts to her individual points. I also commented that I spoke to our attorney about my role before the mediation, and he concurred that it was appropriate and I was the best choice to represent the Town.
- Wade Burns commented that he is grateful for the Public Forum and how anyone can ask questions and comment on any and all subjects.
- After the Council Meeting was called to order, the first item of business was a report from our auditor, Martin Starnes & Associates, on the status of our 2019 audit. Matt Braswell, who worked on the audit, went through key data and indicators. His bottom line is that the town is in very good financial shape and feels the staff has made much progress and is doing an excellent job. If you are interested in further information, Matt’s slide presentation is included in the meeting agenda, which you can access by clicking here and starting on page 5. If you would like a full copy of the audit report, contact Town Clerk Angie Murphy at [email protected]. I’m grateful to Alex and our Town Finance Officer, Darlene Carrasquillo, for their excellent work this past year on the Town’s finances.
- Under Mayor’s Communications, I asked Alex to give a summary of the Town Hall expenses. He indicated that the total project was budgeted last summer at $1.99 million, which includes the $1.64 million construction cost approved by Council last summer plus architect, insurance, change orders, owners’ representative, design services and some debt service. I asked Alex if we were still on budget, and he said we are on budget and on schedule, perhaps slightly under budget and ahead of schedule. There has been no increase since the $1.99 million budget was approved last summer.
- Alex reported on the Greybeard Trail detour. He said the engineer is constantly working on the stoplight timer to make it effective. He asked everyone to please be patient and not proceed on a red light. It WILL turn green! Commissioner Otto asked if it would be better to simply make both sets of lights blinking yellow caution lights. Alex responded that doing so would create a safety risk and a potential liability for the Town. Alex commented that the 90 day projected time frame for the detour is still valid with the progress of the erosion control and road reconstruction. Commissioner Widmer thanked the staff for continuing to improve the process, including covering the “One Way” and “Dead End” signs at Nisbet Lane, adding reflectors on the edge of road drop offs, adding anticipated wait time signs and other improvements. He also told everyone those ideas came from residents, so please continue to let us or Alex know if you have ideas for improvement.
- Barry Creasman, Dir. of Public Works, indicated site work is currently being completed for the new Public Works building and he expects the footings will be poured next week and the slab shortly afterward.
- During the Public Comment period:
- Clare Frist asked if there was a fire in a house on North Carolina Terrace east of the West Virginia intersection. Wade Burns commented that it is actually a partial demolition for a renovation and no fire has occurred.
- Under New Business, the Commission discussed and acted on the following:
- Approved a motion to move Margaret Waterstradt, at her approval, from a regular member of the Board of Adjustment to Alternate.
- Approved a motion to appoint Bill Solomon as a Regular member of the Board of Adjustment.
I reviewed the upcoming meeting schedule then we adjourned into Closed Session to take care of additional business.
The entire Council thanks you for your support and encouragement. Please write me at [email protected] or call me at 919/801-8618 if you have any questions or comments regarding this summary or anything happening in the Town.
Have a great weekend,
Mayor Tim Helms on behalf of the Town Council