Mayor’s Meeting Summary of Last Night’s Town Council Meeting
We had a milestone Council meeting: it was our first meeting in the new Town Hall. Admittedly, it was not quite what any of us anticipated since it was just the Council and staff, with Montreaters joining in via Zoom. But, we look forward to the time we can all be together in the same room, and it will be quite a homecoming for all of us.
Because the meeting was closed to the public, participants logged in via Zoom. There was no Public Forum in advance of the meeting. Instead, community members sent in their comments/questions and those comments were read by Town Clerk Angie Murphy during the Public Comments portion of the agenda. Here’s a summary of the meeting:
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Welcome Montreat College Students
The Town is coming alive again with Montreat College students. Some students have already arrived, with new students arriving today and tomorrow. All other students will return Sunday and Monday, with classes beginning on August 18. Montreat joins five other WNC residential colleges this fall in providing on-campus education. The college has worked diligently through the summer on details and complicated logistics to ensure a pandemic-safe environment while still providing a high quality education experience. Welcome back our student population, but keep your social distance!
Public Works Building Completed
After years of planning and preparation, the new Town Public Works building is complete, having received its Certificate of Occupancy last week from Town Inspector Dan Cordell.
The much needed building will serve as protection for equipment and staff, a shop for building and repairing equipment and offices for the Public Works (PW) staff. The photo below shows the former storage/work/meeting area of the PW staff—three 10’x14’ sheds and an unprotected gravel work area! Public Works Director Barry Creasman joked about their years of stand up morning meetings leaning against truck fenders and lying on the ground repairing equipment. “One time the brakes went out on the dump truck,” Barry related. “It was winter and was snowing. Mike [Harrison] and I jacked up the truck on the gravel, hung a tarp to try to keep the snow off us, pulled the wheels off the truck and did the repairs right there on the ground. I thought Mike would freeze to death!”
The new building is 50’ x 80’ with three work bays in the shop area. Although not conditioned space, fans and portable heaters will be used. Additionally, there are several offices, rest room facilities, a shower and a meeting/break room. This space is heated and cooled. Above the office area is a 20’ x 50’ storage area. “This building will be a great addition to Public Works”, Barry said. “We will save money by protecting our equipment and doing repairs in house.”
Barry could not be more pleased with the results. “I’ve dreamed of this for a long time.” But, in addition to a warm and dry space to work and protection for the equipment, Barry is excited about having a space where the crew can come together, fellowship and become an even tighter team. “Having a crew that is gifted in so many ways is a blessing to me and the Town,” Barry offered. He expressed his gratitude to the Town Council and all of Montreat for blessing Public Works with the new facility.
Other Important Information
- The Planning & Zoning Commission will meet on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. virtually via Zoom in its continuing effort to review Town ordinances. Participation instructions and the agenda will be available next week on the Town website.
- A reminder that COVID-19 restrictions are still in effect here in Montreat. Staff and Town Council urge residents and guests to social distance and wear masks when social distancing is not possible.
- The Town Hall remains closed to the public. Staff are working in the building and may be reached by calling 828-669-8002. Green and blue Town trash bags are available by calling before picking up at the Town Hall. Water bills may be paid by dropping payment in the drive-by payment box adjacent to the new Town Hall driveway by the pocket park.
Do you have Town-related questions you would like answered? If so, please send them to Angela Murphy at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Stay well and have a great weekend.