Mayor’s Summary of the September 9, 2021 Town Council Meeting

Greetings Montreaters,

I hope everyone has recovered from Tropical Storm Fred of three weeks ago. We had an unbelievable amount of rain and damage in such a short period of time. The Town is still making “Fred” repairs and will be for weeks to come.

The Council meeting brought just a handful of people attending, with others watching the live stream. If you would like to view the recording, CLICK HERE.

Here’s a summary of the meeting:

  • There were two Public Forum questions/comments, which included:
    • Wade Burns discussed several issues regarding property in the ETJ (extra territorial jurisdiction). The major issue he shared had to do with five properties, of which he owns one, that are not immediately contiguous to the Town water supply. He stated that the five owners would like to tie in to the Town water supply and buy water from the Town as opposed to drilling wells on their property. He said they would be willing to pay the expense of installing the lines down to the main water line. On a related question, I asked him who will maintain the roads since it is not within the Town boundaries. Wade said if the ETJ was not annexed by the Town, then the property owners in that area would be responsible.
    • Penny Phillips, our next door neighbor at the Town Hall, expressed her frustration about no action being taken by the Town in resolving the issue of light shining in her home from a parking lot light. She said she has spoken a number of times with various Town representatives, but there hasn’t been any action or communication. I assured her we would contact Duke Power to help resolve it and be back in contact with her tomorrow.
  • After a brief break, I called the Town Council Meeting to order. In my comments, I reiterated that masks are required by visitors entering the Town Hall and the Public Works building. I also reminded everyone of the same mask requirement in MRA and Montreat College facilities. We have to do our part in not spreading the COVID Delta variant. I also welcomed Chris Greathouse, the new Director of the Keystone Scholarship Fund at Montreat College, to his new position and thanked him for attending.
  • Town Administrator Alex Carmichael reported that President Biden has approved the Emergency Declaration due to Tropical Storm Fred on Aug. 17. That means Montreat could be reimbursed for repair expenses related to the storm. Alex also shared that the Planning & Zoning Commission at its meeting earlier today approved General Ordnance revisions on septic systems. The revisions will be on the Town Council agenda next month.
  • On the subject of the Administrative Reports, Commissioner Fouche asked Public Works Director Barry Creasman if the failed water well in the ETJ will affect water capacity. Barry said no, that we have plenty of capacity. He also said the Texas Road Well A is now being repaired and should be back on line soon.
  • There were no Public Comments.
  • There was no Old Business, so we moved directly to New Business:
    • After some discussion, the Council approved a motion asking the Planning & Zoning Commission to appoint a Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee to complete a Comprehensive Plan Update by June 9, 2022.
    • The Council also approved two motions to move $138,633 of ARPA funds into the Administration and Streets departments. Alex explained that a formal request will be forthcoming to use the funds for financial software and repairs due to Tropical Storm Fred.
    • A motion for Greybeard culvert repairs caused by Tropical Storm Fred in the amount of $32,500 was tabled.
    • The Council approved a contract in the amount of $7,590 with C&T Paving for Tropical Storm Fred repairs on Calvin Trial.
  • In Commissioners’ Communications, Commissioner Lentz announced that the Montreat Landcare Committee will hold the Native Plant Sale on April 23, 2022. As part of the event, the Montreat Tree Board will be celebrating the American chestnut in conjunction with the American Chestnut Foundation. This event was cancelled along with the Arbor Day celebration earlier this month.
  • We then adjourned to Closed Session to discuss a legal matter. No action was taken.

As I always say on behalf of the Council, your support and encouragement mean a great deal to us. Please contact any one of us if you have any questions or comments.

If you have any questions about this meeting summary, please write me at [email protected] or call me at 828/669-3852.

Mayor Tim Helms on behalf of the Town Council