Montreat Minute 11/10/23

Mayor’s Summary of the November 9, 2023 Town Council Meeting

Hello Montreaters!

We enjoyed and appreciated the crowd who joined us for our November meeting.

My summary follows below. The official minutes will be in next month’s agenda packet. Please remember you can view tonight’s meeting recording by CLICKING HERE.

Public Forum

  • Wade Burns shared some of the history of the ETJ (Extra Territorial Jurisdiction) water wells that were dug many years ago. He said a storage tank was also planned for the site but due to the expense, the tank was never built. Wade stated that he is not sure that if there was a large fire, the two storage tanks we currently have could handle the capacity and pressure to suppress such a fire. He suggested the Council investigate installing the third storage tank.

To read more, CLICK HERE

Fire Ban Imposed

Montreat joined Buncombe County in issuing a state of emergency banning burning effective at 12 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 6 due to the extreme risk of fire. Under the state of emergency, all outdoor burning is prohibited, including fire pits, campfires, tiki torches, and chimineas. Only the preparation of food using outdoor grills is allowed. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, research points to embers and small flames as the main way that most homes ignite into wildfires. Embers are burning pieces of airborne wood and/or vegetation that can be carried more than a mile through the wind, causing spot fires and igniting homes, debris, and other objects. To learn how to protect your home, visit

Smoke from surrounding areas is impacting local air quality. People unusually sensitive to smoke should consider limiting prolonged outdoor activities. For the southern ridge tops, it is a code orange air quality forecast day. Children, active adults, and those with heart or respiratory disease, including asthma, should limit outdoor activity. To view current air quality conditions, visit and for more details on fire and smoke, To report a fire or illegal burn, call 911. For more information on the emergency declaration, go to

Landcare and Flat Creek Crossing Need Your Partnership

Did you know Flat Creek is inaccessible to strollers, wheelchairs and generally to people with disabilities? The Montreat Landcare Committee wants to make Flat Creek accessible to everyone. Landcare’s plans for the new Flat Creek Crossing Accessible Trail include removing a broken concrete roadbed and replacing it with an ADA compliant flat, smooth, permeable trail. Other features in the plan include a wildflower grotto, educational signs, a drop off zone, and accessible picnic area.

Landcare hopes to open the new trail in the summer of 2025. Please consider an end-of-year gift to help build the Flat Creek Crossing Accessible Trail – from yourself, your family, your church or foundation. Gift pledges can be spread over 3 years (2023, 2024 and 2025). To make a pledge, CLICK HERE. Please make checks payable to the Town of Montreat with Flat Creek Crossing on the memo line and mail them to: Montreat Landcare Committee, P.O. Box 423, Montreat, NC 28757 For more about Flat Creek Crossing Accessible Trail and other Landcare projects, CLICK HERE.  

Mayor Proclaims Guineas as Official Bird of Montreat

At last night’s Town Council meeting, the Mayor and Town Council passed a resolution naming the Guinea Fowl as the official bird of Montreat! The ubiquitous birds are not only well known around Montreat, but have quite a list of benefits they bring to Montreat. They are prolific eaters of pests like roaches, flies. wasps, termites, and even an occasional mouse. They are also very low maintenance, living in trees at night and having a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Best of all, they sound the alarm for and scare off cats, ferrets, weasels and even hawks. Their loud squawks tell us to be on the lookout for something not right.

For all those reasons and more, it is fitting that this practical and beneficial bird be named the official bird of Montreat. The mayor presented a copy of the resolution to the birds’ primary caretaker, Walter Somerville. To read the full Resolution, CLICK HERE.

Montreat Authors Highlighted at Book Fair Tomorrow

Montreat’s own Alice Boggs Lentz and Jeannie DuBose are participating in the “Write Local, Read Local” Authors Fair tomorrow, Saturday, November 11, from 9:00 am-noon at the Black Mountain Public Library.

Alice has published three children’s books, while Jeannie has published two books.

Their books will be for sale during the event.

In recognition of the 25th anniversary of Alice’s book, Mountain Magic, Alice will read her book at 9:50 am. Mountain Magic recalls the lure of the mountains and a family’s gatherings there over six generations. All who love Montreat will recognize many familiar spots in Mountain Magic. After her reading, Alice will present a hand-crafted gift to one of those present.

Jeannie’s two books were not only written by her, but were also illustrated by Jeannie. One of her books, The Mother Daughter Dance, is a personal narrative capturing both tender and difficult passages that a mother and daughter encounter as they move through time.

In commenting on the event, Jeannie stated, “I’m a real fan of the Black Mountain Library. I appreciate their support of local authors like Alice and me.”

Another Literary Opportunity

The Friends of the L. Nelson Bell Library will present historical fiction novelist Rose Senehi on November 14, 2023, at 4:00 pm in Gaither Fellowship Hall. Ms. Senehi will be discussing her two latest novels, Falling Off A Cliff and Catching Fire.

Both are set in the Western North Carolina mountains and part of the award winning Blue Ridge Mountain Series.  The presentation is free and open to everyone. 

Updates and Reminders

  • The Montreat Open Space Conservation Committee will meet on Tuesday, November 14th, at 3:30 pm in the Town Hall Community Room. The meeting will not be live streamed, but the public is invited to attend.
  • Do you receive your own copy of the Montreat Minute or know someone who doesn’t? Sign up for the Sunshine List to receive the Montreat Minute and stay “in the know” about the Town’s happenings. CLICK HERE to sign up for the list!

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!