Spruce Pine Council approves transportation plan
SPRUCE PINE – The Spruce Pine Town Council at its regular meeting Monday, Sept. 9, unanimously approved the Mitchell County Comprehensive Transportation Plan, or CTP, received public comment from Jacqueline Hinshaw and received an update from Spruce Pine Town Manager Richard Canipe.
David Graham from the North Carolina Department of Transportation presented the county CTP to the council and discussed the benefits of the plan. Graham also presented the plan to the Mitchell County Commissioners earlier this month. The commissioners unanimously approved the plan during that meeting.
After the plan is approved by all local government bodies, it must be approved by the North Carolina Board of Transportation and then becomes the Mitchell County plan.
Graham said with the CTP in place, when future projects come up in the county that could be funded through the state, the CTP will be consulted.
“You have documentation now,” Graham said. “It gives you a long-range vision.”
Hinshaw, who gave her public comment representing WAMY Community Action, said her organization is pursuing grant funding through the AMY Wellness Foundation that would provide funding for coalitions to find solutions to local issues with low-income housing and food and security.
The 100-percent grants are projected to total several million dollars over the course of several years. The funds would aid Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties and Hinshaw said the funding would be “huge” for Mitchell County.
“I think it’s unprecedented the funds that are coming available through this grant,” she said. “It could have a community-changing effect.”
Hinshaw asked the town council for a letter of support for WAMY’s efforts. The council unanimously approved the decision to draft a resolution of support for Hinshaw and WAMY’s work to pursue the grant.
Hinshaw said she would continue to meet and speak with other local community leaders, churches and nonprofit organizations. Her deadline was Sunday, Sept. 15, for submitting documents of support.
“The more they hear from organizations and churches as to how important these initiatives are, the easier it will make their decision,” Hinshaw said. “We have seen a lot of support already.”
During his report, Canipe said the owners of the Pizza Shop building have announced demolition and cleanup of the building is expected to begin soon. The building was destroyed by a fire on May 1.
Canipe said demolition of the old hosiery building on US 19E next to Stamey’s Grocery is progressing quickly and added he has heard positive nothing but feedback from the clearing of the land next to Gouge Oil Company across from Ingles.
Gouge Oil cleared the land using its manpower, Canipe said.
“They get an ‘atta boy for that,” said council member James Acuff. “That looks a lot better.”