Q: What is Montreat?
A: It’s not an easy answer! The Mountain Retreat Center was formed in 1905 as a church-related conference and retreat center. The name Montreat was formed as a combination of Mountain + Retreat. Eleven years later, Montreat College was formed as a two-year college under the auspices of the Mountain Retreat Center. During Montreat’s history, private homes were built, primarily for seasonal use. Fifty six years later, in 1967, as Montreat continued to grow, the Town of Montreat was established to take the burden of civil services like utilities, roads, taxes and governmental duties off the shoulders of the Retreat Center.
Today, Montreat continues to exist in a symbiotic relationship between the Town, the Conference Center and the College. All three entities provide important and indispensable services to one another and the thousands of people enjoying what Montreat offers. More than six hundred homes, a combination of year round and seasonal residences, are in Montreat with a full time population of approximately 903. In the summer, the population swells to more than several thousand for conferences and vacation times.
A: Officially, Montreat is an independently incorporated town sitting immediately North of Black Mountain, NC, in the Western North Carolina mountains. It sits at approximately 2,500 feet above sea level at the gate, but increases to more than 3,500 feet on the upper boundaries.
Montreat struggles with an address issue. Your GPS may not recognize a street address being in Montreat (zip code 28757), but in Black Mountain (zip code 28711) instead. Follow the GPS, it will get you to your Montreat address.
A: The Town of Montreat collects trash from all residences year round on Mondays. During the summer period, June through August, trash is also picked up on Fridays.
Place trash in tied plastic trash bags and place in water-tight containers at curbside by 8:00am on pick up days. Bear proof trash containers may be used at other times as long as they are really bear proof!
If you have more trash than your containers can hold, trash bags and recycling bags can be purchased at the Town Services Building, 96 Rainbow Terrace, on the right just before the Montreat gate. A quantity of five bags is $5.00.
The system is quite simple: dispose of kitchen or household trash or recyclables outside of the regular pickup schedule by dropping off the filled pre-printed bags at the Town Services Building between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. ONLY the special pre-printed bags will be accepted by the Town for disposal at the Town Services Building. A special collection is available to accommodate the bags. Just ask any Town employee for instructions on where to place the bags. Out of courtesy, please do not leave the bags in the parking lot, outside the building or along the outside fence.
A: Yes, please do! Place all recyclable items in either clear or transparent blue trash bags. There is no need to sort recyclables. But it is important to recycle properly. Cans, glass bottles, aluminum, newspapers, corrugated cardboard, mixed paper, and clean food cartons and boxes are all recyclable. Please do not recycle contaminated food containers. Click Here for additional information about acceptable recycled materials.
A: The Montreat Town Council meets every second Thursday of the month at 7:00pm in the Walkup building. Meeting agendas are published on the website one week in advance of the meeting. The meeting is preceeded each month by a Public Forum at 6:30pm, giving individuals the opportunity to ask questions, share opinions or simply listen. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.
A: There are various options available:
- Montreat website: regularly provides updates and activities of the town
- Sunshine List: sign up for the Sunshine List to receive automatic emails about town activities and special information. Click Here to sign up for the Sunshine List.
- Montreat Retreat Association (MRA) Monday Announcements provide information about key Town information and events.
- There is always much going on with MRA and the college. Go to their websites for a full perspective: http://www.montreat.org/conference-schedule/ and montreat.edu.
A: Code Red is a Town of Montreat alert system that enables subscribers to receive important notifications about things like weather, fires and other natural circumstances directly to their mobile devices whether at home or on the road. Sign up for Code Red or get the Code Red Mobile App by clicking here.
A: Public participation in town work is critical to effective and efficient government. The eight town advisory boards and committees are heavily dependent on public participation. Interested individuals may download applications for boards/committees from the Forms Page under "Administrative Forms." or pick up applications at the Town bulletin board in the Post Office. Applications are reviewed and voted on by Town Commissioners and terms of service vary by committee.
A: Leadership of all three entities understand and agree to the importance of clear and ongoing communications due to their unique relationships within Montreat. The Mayor meets regularly with the Presidents of the Retreat Center (Richard DuBose) and the College (Paul Maurer). Additionally, Town Administrator Alex Carmichael meets with leadership from both organizations on an ongoing basis. Other services, such as Police, Public Works and Streets work closely with staff from the other two entities. The interrelationships are extremely important and critical, and everyone appreciates the need for effective communication.
A: Yes. Your taxes provide for two special bulk/white goods pick ups each year, one in the summer (usually July) and the other in the fall (usually October). Nearly anything may be placed at curbside, except paint, flammables and other similar items. Mattresses and box springs carry a $5 per item disposal fee, but everything else is free. See the town calendar for specific pick up dates.
A: Falling trees are a constant issue at Montreat simply because of the quantity and the natural life cycle of trees. If you see a fallen or about-to-fall tree, call the Town Office at 828/669-8002. A Public Works employee will come to investigate and take proper action. Trees on public property and right of ways are the responsibility of the Town while trees on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. The Town staff can offer counsel on what needs to be done.
A: Yes, that is the plan. After the new Town Hall is built, the sidewalk will be extended not only to the gate, but will connect to the greenway trail inside the gate running alongside Assembly Drive.
A: Actually, your property tax bill includes a payment to Buncombe County and to the Town of Montreat. Montreat’s tax rate is $.43 per $100 of home value. Buncombe County’s rate is $.77 per $100 of home value. The Town feels it provides value for what is paid. Contact the Town Administrator if you’d like to discuss it (828/669-8002.)
A: Another interesting and challenging question. It depends. The official census indicated Montreat’s population is 903 residents. Many permanent residents may leave for periods of time, such as in the winter. Then, of course, the population swells as seasonal home owners come for extended periods. With the conference employees and participants, the number of people at Montreat can be several thousand during the summer.
A: Yet another challenging question. Based on utility records, which accounts for houses and apartment units in homes, it is estimated that there are approximately 620 residences, including homes and apartments, in Montreat.
A: The next Town election is scheduled for November 5, 2019. In that election, two Town Commissioner seats will be up for election (currently held by Bill Gilliland and Kitty Fouche) and the Mayoral seat (currently held by Tim Helms).
A: Tentative plans call for the Town Hall to be completed and ready for use by the end of August, 2019. The Town Hall will be located on the lot just outside the gate but in the Montreat municipal boundary.
A: At this point in time, staff and commissioners are still working out those details. But it is likely that the Town Hall will be funded through designated cash reserves on hand as well as a mortgage note.
A: Homeowner leaf and brush is picked up curbside every other Wednesday by town staff. Homeowners place leaves in brown biodegradable paper bags. Limbs should not exceed six foot lengths and six inches in diameter. Please limit brush piles to approximately three cubic yards (about the size of a small pick up truck load). Also, and this is the important part, please ensure no metal or pipes are mixed into the brush. Town staff use a wood chipper for the brush, and the use of metal is not only dangerous to staff but also ruins equipment.
Also please note: the Town will not collect brush or leaves deposited by private contractors, landscapers or tree removal specialists, even if they are contracted by the homeowner. Leaf and brush pick up is a service provided by the Town for residents. Private firms are responsible for removing their own materials.