Montreat Minute 02/05/20

COVID-19 Update

Earlier this week, Buncombe County launched a new COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard. The dashboard shows a variety of information, including vaccines given, waitlist status, and more. They also offer the opportunity to sign up for the waitlist. To access the new dashboard, CLICK HERE.

Police Dispatch Services Changes

Beginning February 22nd, Montreat will no longer be receiving dispatch service support from Black Mountain. Instead, our dispatch services, including both emergency and non-emergency services, will be provided by Buncombe County. The change was brought upon due to a decision by Black Mountain to cease providing their own services, which Montreat contracted for, but instead contract with Buncombe County.

For all practical purposes, it will be a “seamless” change for Montreaters, except for one factor: the non-emergency telephone number. Continue to dial 911 for emergency services. But non-emergency calls should be directed to 828/250-6670 instead of 828-419-9350. Please make this change in your own personal records. Note that the old number is printed on the annual calendar, the Cottager Directory and even some refrigerator magnets that were previously distributed. Again, please make this change in your records. Backup police services, which have been provided by the Town of Black Mountain, will continue- as will our backup for Black Mountain. Although Montreat did not ask for the change, we will benefit with annual financial savings of more than $10,000 per year.

Town Council Meeting Next Thursday, February 11

The Montreat Town Council will meet Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 7:00pm. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, it will be a virtual meeting only. However, as is now the custom, the meeting will be live streamed.  For streaming instructions, CLICK HERE. A video recording of the meeting will be available afterward. The agenda packet is available by CLICKING HERE.

There will be no Public Forum preceding the meeting. However, public comments and questions will be accepted by email ([email protected]) until noon on Thursday. All questions and comments will be read during the Public Comments portion of the meeting.

Meet Alice Boggs Lentz, Town Commissioner

Each month we feature a Montreat Town staff member or Town Council member. This month we are featuring Town Commissioner Alice Lentz.

From New York City to Montreat- how did that happen? Thanks to a family legacy at Montreat, Alice ventured up and down the East coast, and finally settled in Montreat. Here’s how it happened…

Born and raised in Spartanburg, Alice ventured to Nashville to attend college at Vanderbilt. From there, on to International Studies graduate school in Columbia, SC. After graduate school, she moved to New York City to work for an international economic development foundation. Several years into her life in New York, she married Tom Lentz, whom she had known since high school. Tom, too, worked in New York, so it was an easy transition from being single to married life. What did she think of New York? “It’s the greatest city on earth, in my view,” Alice stated. “It is so vibrant, so much going on, so many ‘arenas of activity’. I love its energy.” But after living in New York for 10 years, she and Tom moved to Darien, Connecticut, and commuted into the City each weekday. Part of the reason for the move was to start a family. Her daughter, Maggie, was born in Connecticut shortly after.

A job opportunity for Tom dragged them away from their beloved New York to Nashville. But shortly after their move there, an even better opportunity in Hickory was offered to Tom, so they picked up and moved to Blowing Rock, where son Marc was born. Alice decided her main responsibility at this point in life was to raise her two children, so she stayed out of the work world for a number of years. But not one to stop improving her mind, Alice worked on and received her MBA during that time. As the kids grew older, Alice began working for a small foundation raising funds for a consortium of Latin American universities. Again, never without a project, Alice also wrote two children’s books, Tweetsie Adventure and Mountain Magic. Asked why she wrote children’s books, Alice said she was always reading to her children and realized she had some stories of her own that should be shared. Mountain Magic reflects upon family and friends “magic” experiences here at Montreat over generations at Alice’s great grandmother’s home on West Virginia Terrace.

The family moved to Hickory to be closer to Tom’s job, and Alice began working at a community college nearby. During that time, she pursued a Doctor of Education degree (EdD) to aid her in her leadership role at the college.

Alice’s connection with Montreat dates back five generations! Her great grandfather first rented a house on Assembly in 1916. Then her great grandmother built a house on West Virginia Terrace in 1924, where Alice spent many summers along with aunts, uncles and lots of cousins. Asked if she attended Clubs, Alice quipped, “Yes one summer, but with all my cousins, we had our own ‘Club’ every summer!”. In 1986, her parents built a house on Eastminster. In fact, it was the first house to be built on Rainbow Mountain. Shenandoah and Eastminster roads were simply two dirt pathways for a car to pass at that time. Alice and Tom took over the house and began thinking about relocating from Hickory to Montreat full time. Sadly, Tom unexpectedly passed away in 2015. Alice sold the Hickory home and moved to Montreat the same year, a perfect place to begin her healing process.

It didn’t take Alice long to become integrated as a full time resident. She ran for and won as Town Commissioner in 2017. When asked why she ran, Alice stated, “After the 2015 election, I liked the direction that the Town Council was taking. I felt like the Council could use some support, especially related to some of the special projects in which it was becoming involved.” Three plus years into it, Alice says she really enjoys being on the Council. “I love working with the other Commissioners and Mayor, and it is a wonderful way to meet people. I also appreciate the community’s appreciation of the Board. I love seeing the progress, such as the new Town Hall, the Public Works building, and the rain garden.” She also understands the challenge to residents when Commissioners don’t have the answers people want or are not able to answer certain questions. “It is not fun when we can’t get things resolved”, Alice commented.

Alice loves to walk, everywhere from the paths and trails of Montreat to the Camino de Santiago trail in Spain and Portugal. The photo above was taken in Arcade, Spain, on the trail in 2017 when Alice completed her first trek. She hiked it again the following year with sisters and fellow Montreaters Beth Fountain and Jan McRae. And, she is planning yet another adventure there in 2022.

We are fortunate to have Alice as part of our Montreat community as well as her leadership on the Town Council. Say hi to her next time you see her trekking through Montreat!

Updates and Reminders

  • We are grateful for the continuing arduous work of the Planning & Zoning Commission. They met yesterday and the YouTube recording of the meeting is available by CLICKING HERE.


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.