Mayor’s Summary of the September 8, 2022 Town Council Meeting

Hello Montreaters,

Tonight seemed like “unofficial fall” as the Council, staff and a handful of visitors convened for the Public Forum and Council meeting. Read on for my summary of tonight’s meetings. You can read the complete, official summary in the meeting minutes that will be published next month. Or if you would like to view the recording, CLICK HERE.

Public Forum

  • Jean Norris stated that she has had a growing conviction that the Town sewer needs to be extended to the Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) on upper Greybeard. She is concerned about septic systems being used in new development and their possible effects upon the environment. She also commented that she would continue to study the issue. I urged her to learn more and share with us. Approximately eight years ago we had a quote of approximately $250,000 to extend the sewer into the ETJ from which we receive no taxes or other income to help pay for the installation. Typically the Town will install sewer and water lines and allow the property owners to pay for those costs over a 10 year period. However, not all ETJ property owners would participate in the cost sharing if sewer is extended into the ETJ as they already have or are planning to install their own water wells and septic systems. The Town cannot afford the burden of that cost alone. I asked Jean to let us know what she learns.
  • Brad Hestir underscored Jean’s concern and stated he thinks the Town needs a more comprehensive plan addressing our environment. He is concerned with the ETJ and the development implications up in that area.
  • Tom Frist expressed his appreciation to the Town Council for our work. He appreciates the improvements at the Texas Road Bridge and picnic area, and he thanked the sanitation staff for their good work. Tom finished with “Montreat is a nice place to live.” I agree with him!

Council Meeting

  • In opening the meeting, in memory of Queen Elizabeth II, I asked Tom Frist to relate a poignant personal story about a visit between Ruth and Billy Graham and the Queen.
  • In my communications I introduced and welcomed the Black Mountain News’ new reporter, Kerrigan Monk.
  • There were no Public Comments.
  • Under New Business
    • We had a presentation from Dr. Mary Roderick from the Land of Sky Regional Council who we contract with to handle our stormwater management administration. We reported last month that during a recent audit by the state, several deficiencies were found in regard to updating our existing stormwater policy as well as updating verbiage. There were no physical violations in our stormwater infrastructure. Mary gave a report on our response to the state, fixing the deficiencies, and preparing our updated plan to submit next month which, when approved, will be good for another five years.
    • The Council approved the appointment of Bill Tucker to the Planning & Zoning Commission.
    • The Council also approved the appointment of Mark Spence to the Board of Adjustment.
    • The Council tabled a motion to appoint Mari Gramling to the Board of Adjustment until the October meeting pending several questions that we were not able to ask prior to the meeting.
  • In Commissioners’ Communications:
    • Commissioner Fouche congratulated the Presbyterian Heritage Center for the excellent seminar on “From Shakespeare to the Inklings”, which concludes tomorrow.
    • Mayor Pro Tem Widmer commented that he has heard that the home meetings for the Town Comprehensive Plan are going well with very good discussions being held. He also thanked Mark Spence for his years of service as Chair of the Board of Adjustment.

Thanks for your interest in and encouragement of the work of the Town. If you have any questions about this meeting summary or other town topics, please write me at [email protected] or call me at 828/669-3852.

Thank you for your support,

Mayor Tim Helms on behalf of the Town Council