Montreat Minute 6/21/24

Town Council Passes 2024-2025 Budget with No Tax Increase

The Montreat Town Council passed the Fiscal Year 2024-2025 (July 1 to June 30) budget at its meeting last week without a tax increase. The total budget is $2,232,905, a 10% increase over the current year. Highlights of the budget include:

  • No tax increase. Taxes will remain at $0.43 per $100 of valuation.
  • A $15 per month sanitation fee will be added to utility bills for all customers using Town sanitation services. Expenses for sanitation services have increased significantly in the past year. The funds will be used to pay increased fees for landfill charges and dumpster hauling expenses, improvements to the Town Convenience Center, and sanitation staff expenses.
  • The Texas Road Bridge will be replaced at a cost of $250,000. We will be using $150,000 from the General Fund (our savings account) and borrowing the balance.
  • Sidewalks will be completed along Assembly Drive from the Town Hall to the Columbarium entrance and from Lookout Road up the hill to Lake Susan, enabling someone to walk from Lake Susan to downtown Black Mountain on sidewalks the entire way.
  • Staff salary increases include a 3% cost of living increase and a variable, up to 3%, merit increase. Additionally, the Town will pay 75% of family healthcare coverage.

In commenting on the new budget, Mayor Tim Helms said, “This year’s budget was challenging given increased expenses, new initiatives, and general upkeep versus limited revenue. But we kept in mind residents’ desires, and I think struck a good balance.” For a copy of the new budget and budget ordinance, CLICK HERE.

Meet (and Find) Monte!

Meet Monte! Monte is the Town of Montreat’s new mascot!!  He’s a Guinea fowl, a representation of our official Town bird. Monte will be investigating his new home this summer, travelling near and far…. from Flat Creek all the way up to the top of Greybeard (maybe)! Every Friday, the Montreat Minute will post a picture of Monte in his favorite place that he visited that week.

Your assignment each week is to email [email protected] and tell us where you think Monte’s favorite place was that week. Some weeks it might be easy, other weeks he might make it hard! But no worries, no one knows Montreat better than a Montreater! The first person who correctly identifies Monte’s location and submits it in email before noon on the Monday after the Montreat Minute will win a prize! Next week’s prize is two 4th of July BBQ tickets!

For practice (no prize for this one) and to get everyone excited, can you identify the location of Monte’s favorite place this week? For bonus points, which Town Employee is also in the picture? The answer is at the end of today’s Montreat Minute.

Tickets Now on Sale for 4th of July BBQ

Is there anything more American than BBQ? Make your Montreat 4th of July complete by enjoying some tasty southern barbeque with your family and friends! Plan to chow down on the annual Montreat Cottagers 4th of July barbeque picnic lunches right after the July 4th parade. The lunches will be distributed at the Walkup Building on Community Circle immediately after the flag raising ceremony.

Treat yourself to your choice of barbeque pork or chicken sandwich, baked beans, coleslaw, 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 tomorrow, Saturday June 22nd through Tuesday, July 2nd  (excluding Sundays) at the Montreat Post Office from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and at the Montreat Store and Red Radish during regular business hours. Tickets must be purchased by cash or check made payable to Montreat Cottagers, Inc.

Montreat Adult Summer Club Programs Begin July 10th

The Montreat Adult Summer Club has announced its summer lineup for Wednesday program speakers.

July 10The Fouche Family will share about their 2½ year adventure aboard their sailboat touring the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, and the Pacific, including stops in the Galapagos, Tahiti, Bora Bora, and finishing up in Australia. 

July 17: Dale Slusser will talk about the fascinating building tradition from England of building with river rock in Montreat and WNC. Rocks were collected from Flat Creek and other streams to build many of the buildings in Montreat. Win prizes during the “Bingo” game!

July 24: Dr. Carl Savory will share about his experience on the Operation Eagle Claw team, the failed attempt to rescue captive US embassy staff in Tehran, Iran. Eight Americans died in the effort and seven US aircraft were abandoned, captured or destroyed. This experience was later made into a Hollywood movie.

Programs begin at 2:30pm in Upper Anderson. Refreshments will be served immediately following the program.

The final program will be the covered dish picnic on Wednesday, July 31, at 6:00pm in Gaither Fellowship Hall. Walter Somerville will bring his wit with remarks at the picnic.

For more information, pick up a Summer Club brochure at the Post Office, Montreat Store, PHC, and the Huckleberry. The Summer Club celebrates their 113th anniversary this year!

Updates and Reminders

  • The 2024 Montreat Cottager Directory will go on sale starting tomorrow, June 22nd, at the Post Office. Directories are $25.00 each (if bought in person) or $35.00 each (if mailed). For questions, please contact Laurie Morgan at 828-669-7626 or email [email protected].
  • The Tree Board will meet on Tuesday, June 25th, at 9:30am, in the Town Hall Community Room. CLICK HERE for live stream instructions. All are invited to attend.
  • The Town will be sponsoring the annual Gate Race on July 4th at 7:00am. This “no cost, no frills” race is an annual favorite. More information next week.
  • 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 Angela Murphy at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Have a great weekend and stay cool!

Answer for Monte’s location: He’s sitting on a picnic table at the Texas Road Bridge. The employee on the ground in the background is Daniel Wiggs!