BAKERSVILLE – The Bakersville Town Council met in regular session Thursday, Aug. 22, and received an update about the ongoing water project.
Bakersville Mayor Charles “Chuck” Vines gave an update about the water project, and council members were given photos of the recently installed well house to see the progress being made. Vines stated the building itself had been delivered on a 53-foot trailer, and the timing for placement of each piece had been well planned and executed. He noted it had been stressed that any interruption to the school day was unacceptable, and fortunately, there had been no issues.
Vines said he was extremely pleased with how well the installation had gone, not only how quickly but also how efficiently everyone had worked. He stated the lines and electrical would be the next steps toward getting the well online and working, and electricians were scheduled to arrive the following Monday.
Vines said the meter replacements had continued, and he believed the meter replacements were around two-thirds complete. He noted he felt things were moving along well.
Vines also presented to council a resolution for a NC Water Infrastructure Grant Program for Bakersville to apply for a Water and Wastewater Asset Inventory Assessment Project. He noted W.K. Dickson was currently working on a grant proposal to request funding to do the assessment. Vines said the first step was to do the assessment and asked for a motion to adopt the resolution. Councilmember Beau Thomas made a motion that was seconded by council member Dr. Charles Nash.
Thomas inquired more about the creek bank erosion situation along the creek walk. Vines noted he had inquired about a grant from the Soil & Water Conservation District to stabilize stream bank, and there would hopefully be more information on what can be done forthcoming.
Nash noted someone associated with a proposed new meat store in town had been told the town had provided $20,000 for the food truck that was in operation. Vines and all council members noted this rumor was ridiculous and they could not imagine where it originated.
BAKERSVILLE – The Town Council of Bakersville met at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, in regular session at the Bakersville Town Hall. Present at the meeting were Mayor Charles “Chuck” Vines, Councilmembers Charles Nash, Jordon Baker and Beau Thomas, Police Chief James Ramsey, Public Works Director Jamison Burleson and Town Clerk Sarah Hughes. Also present were Janet Ouzts, John and Harley Masters, and Germaine Galjour.
Mayor Vines opened the floor for public comments. There were three presenters for the public comment period, Galjour, and John and Harley Masters. Vines asked Galjour to go first.
Galjour stated she was letting the town know she had requested an additional $100 to purchase more flowers from the Bakersville Improvement Group, or BIG, and her request was denied. She apologized to the council because she had been unable to secure more funding to add to the flowers in town and noted she was surprised and frustrated by BIG’s refusal to assist. Galjour stated she did have two new birdhouses completed.
Vines opened the floor to John and Harley Masters, owners of Southern Ridge Cafe. John took the floor and stated he and Harley just wanted to thank the Vines and the members of the council for their support during the one-year celebration for Southern Ridge Cafe. He noted they had approximately 160 people from as far away as Raleigh and Tennessee.
John stated he and Harley plan to start an annual event and were looking at the name NC Mountaineer Festival. Mayor Vines noted he had enjoyed the one-year celebration, and he appreciated all the hard work they have been doing.
Burleson to present his report to the council and noted that due to several leaks in July there was a significant loss of water that month. He stated the work on the grant project was progressing, and he believed there were fewer than I00 meters left to be replaced.
Burleson said work behind the Crimson Laurel Gallery should start in the next week because it would be a large job and included replacing approximately 250 feet of 2-inch line. He noted there had been one informal water complaint that resulted in additional water testing at a residence from both the town and the state. All tests came back clear.
Thomas thanked Burleson for his hard work. Vines noted the cross-connection test Burleson had passed was one of the more difficult tests to take. Vines added the well house was wrapping up with fencing and testing, and he was hoping to start easing it into use soon. Thomas inquired if the water had been tested for Coliform. Vines and Burleson confirmed it had.
Vines opened the floor to Ramsey to review his report for the council. Ramsey noted he was present at the residential water testing site, and the person from the state noted the water was better than what she had in Asheville. Ramsey noted Vines had allowed him to attend a class on interview and interrogation, and he had also completed his firearms qualifications. He reviewed his report and noted the Southern Ridge Cafe celebration had gone smoothly.
Vines opened the floor to Janet Ouzts, who was present to discuss a proposal for a solar pump watering system. Ouzts stated Steve Rowland, owner of Bowditch Antiques, was an engineer and had offered to install a solar-powered pump watering system on the bridges by next year to help alleviate the need to water the plants during the summer months continually. Ouzts stated the cost for building the systems was $920, and she was planning to raise some of the funds but wanted to know if the town would be willing to donate to the cause if all funds were not raised.
Galjour interjected she was planning to ask BIG to donate from the beautification funds at Thursday’s meeting. Baker presented some questions about items that need to be purchased. Thomas asked Ouzts if Rowland was volunteering his time, and she stated he was. Ouzts also said she would get Rowland to give her a list of the items needed for the construction of the pump. Thomas asked if there was a timetable for her to get the funds, and Ouzts stated she could come back at the November meeting with an update.
Vines expressed some concern over lighting availability for the operation of the pumps. He noted he was unsure of what location would allow enough light and yet keep them out of reach. Thomas stated his concern about the location would be accessibility for vandalism. Vines asked the council members if they wanted to take action. Nash called for a vote with the contingencies of a listing of supplies needed and an update on funds raised. Thomas made a motion to approve and was seconded by Nash. All members agreed.
Vines then presented budget amendment No. 1 to the council for approval. He stated it included an increase of $8,000 to the enterprise fund for the purchase of equipment necessary to repair damage at the wastewater treatment plant caused by a lightning strike. Vines asked for a motion to approve the budget amendment. Thomas made a motion to approve and was seconded by Baker. All members agreed.
Vines stated to the council he had a request from Bowman Middle School to consider changing the Safe Circle Halloween event to a different date because they were going to be having a basketball game on the same evening. Vines asked the council members for their thoughts, and all council members agreed the date should stay the same.
Vines asked the council if they had anything to add. Baker inquired if the Bed & Breakfast had been sold because he had noticed the grass had been mowed. Vines stated it was his understanding the property had some interest but has not been sold.
He noted he believed the mowing was set up on a schedule. Baker asked if anyone had heard anything about Crimson Laurel Gallery’s building also being sold. Everyone stated they had not heard it was sold, but the owner was actively trying to sell.
Nash asked to verify the dates for the Christmas Concert and the Parade. Vines noted that they were Nov. 30 and Dec. 7, respectively. He reminded everyone that lineup would be at Gouge Elementary for the parade and usually started around 4 p.m.
Thomas said he had some questions from residents about the sidewalk situation near Bowman, and he wanted to know if the sidewalk belonged to the town. Vines noted it is the towns, and maybe the concern should be added to the agenda for the October meeting.
Vines stated Sharon Rowland, Harley and John Masters, and others in town were working with the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce for the holiday lighting event being planned. He said they were hoping to get enough involvement to have Christmas lights that would run from the Blue Ridge Parkway in Spruce Pine to Bakersville. Vines stated there is a group putting together events in Bakersville for the weekends of Dec. 7 and Dec. 21, and Spruce Pine would be having events the weekends of Dec. 14 and maybe another.
He noted details were still being worked out and more information would be forthcoming. Harley Masters noted the prize amount from the Chamber for best display was $250. She asked if there were pictures yet for the Halloween Coloring Contest that had been mentioned on the Facebook page. Baker presented his picture idea to the rest of the council.
He asked for input about any changes, as well as suggestions on judging criteria. John Masters asked how the judging would be handled this year for the Halloween Display Contest that had also been on Facebook. Baker said anonymous judges would be given detailed criteria.