Montreat Minute 06/16/23

Town Council Adopts FY 23-24 Budget 

Last week the Town Council approved the FY 2023-2024 Town budget that begins on July 1. Highlights of the budget include:

  • A total combined general and water fund budget of $2,430,436, a very slight decrease over the current year.
  • Capital expenditures of $252,544, which include:
    • Texas Road Bridge project
    • New replacement police car
    • Tractor and wood chipper
    • A-V improvements in Town Hall Community Room
    • Water system meter upgrade
  • Staff salary increases of 5%
  • No tax increase
  • No use of funds from the Town’s fund balance (our savings account)

The budget includes an increase in water consumption rates, going to $6.26 per thousand gallons used from $4.95. This will result in a monthly average residential increase in the water bill of $3.13. There has not been an increase in water since 2012 for institutional and 2016 for residential rates. CLICK HERE if you would like a copy of the budget.

Comprehensive Plan Complete

Yesterday, the Montreat Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee presented the new Comprehensive Plan, Montreat Tomorrow, to the Planning & Zoning Commission for their review and recommendation to the Town Council. The Commission expressed great appreciation to the Steering Committee for their 18 month effort in updating the 2008 Comprehensive Plan. They then reviewed the plan page by page, making very few, minor revisions. The revised plan will be available on June 29, however the original version is available by CLICKING HERE.

The Steering Committee, made up of community representatives and representatives of the College, MRA and the Town, met for the first time in January 2022. They met 16 times over the course of the project, including 10 times in 2023 alone. Members of the committee include John Casper, Richard DuBose, Maggie Elliott, Mari Gramling, Tim Helms, Daniel Hewitt, Paul Maurer, and Bill Seaman.

There were significant opportunities for community input, which is a critical element in developing a comprehensive plan such as this:

  • A preliminary community assessment survey was conducted in 2020, with nearly 220 respondents
  • Another survey was conducted by the planning team in July, 2022, with 402 respondents
  • An interactive Community Workshop was conducted in late July at the Town Hall
  • Four neighborhood meetings were held between July and August in residents’ homes
  • All 16 Steering Community meetings were open to the public with opportunity for public comment at each meeting, and all but three meetings were live streamed.

The plan includes significant background information. The opportunities for the future are in Section 4 and include three Vision Statements, a series of Objectives, and Next Steps.

“Next steps” for adoption of the plan include public input and Town Council action. Here is a timeline:

  • June 14: Plan available online
  • June 29: Revised plan available online
  • July 13: Public input opportunities during Public Forum prior to Town Council meeting and a Comprehensive Plan Public Hearing during Council meeting; no action to be taken by the Council
  • August 10: Public input opportunities during Public Forum prior to Town Council meeting and a Comprehensive Plan Public Hearing during Council meeting; the Town Council will take action on the plan following the Public Hearing.

Color copies of the Comprehensive Plan are available at the Town Hall for a fee of $18. The Town Hall business office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am until 5:00pm.

Montreat College Library Prepares for Annual Book Sale

The Montreat College Library will be holding their annual July 4th book sale on the library porch, and you can help make it a success. They are accepting book donations between now and June 30th. They are in particular need of recent fiction. And please, no magazines, DVDs, VHS, CDs, or books in poor condition.

4th of July Barbeque

Is there anything more American than barbeque? A Montreat 4th of July is not complete without enjoying some tasty southern barbeque with your family and friends! Plan to chow down at the annual Montreat Cottagers’ 4th of July barbeque picnic lunch right after the July 4th Parade.

Treat yourself to your choice of barbeque pork or chicken sandwich, baked beans, cole slaw, a delicious dessert bar, a bag of chips and bottled water. Tickets for these mouthwatering, all-American meals, prepared by Red Radish and Little Sprout Carryout of Black Mountain, are only $15.00.

Tickets must be purchased in advance and will be on sale from Monday June 19th through Saturday July 1st during business hours at the Montreat Store and Red Radish, and from Wednesday, June 21st through Saturday, July 1st from 9:00 to 12:00 pm at the Montreat Post Office. Tickets must be purchased in advance by cash or check made payable to Montreat Cottagers, Inc.

Updates and Reminders

  • The Montreat family grew by one this week. Sanitation Specialist Drew Brown and his wife, Taylor, introduced a baby girl, Etta June, to the world. Congratulate Drew when you see him!
  • The Board of Adjustment will meet on Thursday, June 22nd, at 5:00pm, in the Town Hall Community Room for the purpose of hearing a variance request for a wayfinding sign on Assembly Drive. The meeting will be live streamed, CLICK HERE for streaming instructions and other materials. All are invited to attend.
  • The Tree Board will meet on Tuesday, June 27th, at 9:30am, in the Town Hall Community Room. The meeting will be live streamed, with instructions to follow. All are invited to attend.

Questions or Comments?

Do you have Town-related questions or comments to offer? If so, please send them to Angie Murphy at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Have a great weekend!