Parade Rules Update: Changes & Entry Fee - TribPapers

Parade Rules Update: Changes & Entry Fee

Last year's Christmas Parade. Photo Submitted.

Weaverville – Parade rules change, and a small charge for entry will now be required as the Town of Weaverville convened its regular June meeting of the Town Council on Monday, June 26th. Following the agenda set and published for the meeting, Mayor Patrick Fitzsimmons officially initiated the session with a call to order, followed by approval of the agenda by council members.

Under the consent agenda, Town Manager Selena Coffey presented several items for the council’s approval, including the monthly tax report (99.92% collections), a budget amendment for the police department, and another for the recreation complex. Additionally, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Board of Education and the town for the North Buncombe High School Canopy Project was also a part of the consent agenda, which was all approved.

In her town manager’s report, Coffey introduced the new town clerk, Tamara Mercer, during this meeting. Mercer will serve as the town clerk for council meetings, as well as the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment. In addition to her responsibilities during these meetings, she will also oversee the maintenance of the Town’s website, the dissemination of the Town’s e-Focus, and assist with special projects, among other duties.

Coffey also said the town has recently acquired the CodeRED application, which will enable us to provide text or email notifications to the public. “We anticipate launching the public enrollment for this system at the end of July. As we progress through the setup process, I will provide further details and information regarding the system’s capabilities and benefits.”

Change and Charge for Parade

She further said that the town had been diligently working on revising safety protocols for the parades held in our town. These revisions are a response to unfortunate tragedies that have occurred during parades across the state and the nation. Based on these efforts, she presented a list of revised plans based on House Bill 633 regarding parades and protocols that prioritize the safety and well-being of parade participants, onlookers, and downtown businesses:

– The parade start time will be changed to 11 am, requiring staging to begin at 9:00 am.

– Staging will now take place in the Post Office/SECU/Tractor Supply lots, avoiding the five points intersection.

– The parade will conclude on Yost Street, where unloading will commence.

– The number of entries will be limited to 75, determined on a first-come, first-served basis through an online registration form. The registration period will open on October 1st and close on October 31st, unless all 75 spots are filled earlier.

– All entries will be required to pay a $20 registration fee, which can be directed towards a charity or non-profit organization such as Cops for Kids or used for Town parade efforts.

– Vehicle drivers must be 25 years of age or older.

– All vehicles entering parade staging will undergo a safety check by the Weaverville Police Department during the mandatory safety meeting.

The last item on her report was an update on the Weaverville-Woodfin Water Interconnection. She said ongoing discussions with the Woodfin Water District have been progressing positively. She anticipated finalizing this interconnection agreement in late summer. After her report came public comment, at which no one spoke.

Under action and discussion items

Rachael Bronson, a town resident and member of the Transportation Planning Division, presented the Weaverville Bike-Ped Plan. It passed.

Also passed was the town budget for the 2023–2024 budget year, along with the fee schedule and pay plan

. The $9.725 million budget drew no discussion from council members, as it had been discussed and debated over prior months.

The board then ratified an MOU with Buncombe County Schools for SRO services: Coffey explained that Buncombe County Schools approached the town because the county is having trouble finding School Resource Officers (SROs). The town agreed to assist schools with security. It offered the town money to help fill those positions in exchange for $36,000 per SRO—something the town has already been doing with Weaverville Primary and Elementary Schools.

Coffey had already signed the MOU and asked the board to ratify that agreement, which they did. “Buncombe County came to us and offered us, to start us down the road receiving for the year we are in today…but for also for next year. So because we had a very short turnaround time, I went ahead and signed the agreement on behalf of the town…in order to receive the money,” Coffey told the council. She said they had already received $44,000 for the fiscal year ending the last day of June.

Coffey explained that it was because the town took the initiative years ago to help with SROs Buncombe County Schools will coming to the town first with future funding. Future funding from the school system is offering “reimbursement up to $36,666 for each SRO employed by Weaverville for serving the Weaverville Primary and Weaverville Elementary Schools.”

Councilman Andrew Nagle took the occasion to swipe at those who opposed the town’s initial efforts to provide SROs. “For all the critics who said we were doing the wrong thing and that the county should pay for it – told you so.” 

The council also voted to move forward and not wait on possible funding for the recreation complex at Dottie Sherrill Knoll Community Center. They also said if needed, the public works director could also act as sort of a contract to do what was needed to further the project.

Public Works Director Dale Pennell then briefed the council on the Water System Resiliency Project, specifically the purchase of generators for the water intake pump and the treatment plant. He recommended, “that the Town consider accepting the quotes provided by Cummins Sales and Service for a total purchase price of $283,300 and expected delivery in about 70 weeks.” The council voted to accept the bid.