Weaverville – The Weaverville Town Council finished the year with a lite agenda for Monday’s December monthly meeting (Dec. 19th). After trying to get their sound system to work to no avail, Mayor Patrick Fitzsimmons called the meeting to order and asked that the council approve the agenda, which they did.
Under the consent agenda, which was approved, besides the approval of the minutes from the council’s workshop and last month’s regular meeting, Town Manager Selena Coffey pointed out that tax collection was at about 50%, which is good for this time of the year. She also offered budget amendments because of donations for the police ($10,435 for Cops for Kids) and fire departments ($50). There was also an amendment to the fee schedule, which set the emergency water rate at $4.15 per 1,000 gallons between the town and Mars Hill. The rate reflects the cost of processing the water plus 10 percent.
Sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Such was the case during Coffey’s manager’s report. Coffey said an opportunity had arisen with the Land of the Sky Regional Council to apply for funding for a feasibility study to connect the Weaverville Greenway to the Woodfin Greenway.
“That was due today, so I didn’t have time to bring that to you for your consent, so I’m asking for your consent now,” she told the board. She said she would come back to the board for final approval if they were to be awarded the funds. There would be a cost to the town of about $12,500, and the grant was applied for in conjunction with the Town of Woodfin.
Coffey added the grant news to her report about the Music on Main event being set for Saturday, June 10th, 2023, the submitting of the annual Tree City application, and an update on the MS4 Stormwater Program.
No one spoke during general public comments, but under discussion and action items, the new Buncombe County School Superintendent, Dr. Rob Jackson, stopped by to introduce himself to the council. Jackson, a Swannanoa native, just returned to where he started in school as a janitor, working his way up to become a teacher for nine years before leaving to work in the eastern part of the state. Now he’s back to lead the county school system in the top spot. Weaverville Council had no questions or comments for Jackson. On Tuesday, he went to Woodfin’s town meeting to do the same.
The board then took up the annexation request along with R-3 zoning and a water extension request for the 480 Reems Creek development. The town attorney, Jennifer Jackson, said the request for water had been paused at last month’s meeting until the owner’s request for voluntary annexation had a chance to be processed.
Jackson said the number of units in the project has also decreased to 139 townhouses. The council set a public hearing for Jan. 17th during the council’s workshop and not during the regular monthly meeting. While the council could have voted to supply the project with water at the meeting, it opted to wait until the annexation was passed.
Next, the council addressed the 171 Monticello Road low-income development project’s annexation and conditional district. The developers had taken suggestions made by the council and redesigned the layout of the project, offering more of a buffer to neighbors already living near the project. Instead of the housing being next to the neighboring properties, the developer moved the parking lot closer to the property line. A swimming pool was also moved to give a larger buffer, along with several other changes. The council also set a public hearing for this project for January 17th.
Last week, the council heard the quarterly report from the public works and water departments, where Public Works Director Dale Pennell told the council that water consumption was down.