October 2012



October  02, 2012

The  regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills was held on October 02, 2012 in  the meeting room at the Jackson County Recreation Center at 6:00pm.

The  following members of the Council were present:

Jim  Wallace

Suzanne  Stone

Clark  Corwin

The  following Non-Council members were present:

Stephanie  Gibson, Village Clerk/Finance Officer

Maggie  Tobias, The Sylva Herald

David  Moore, Village Attorney

Ben  Granning, B.H. Granning, Inc.

(1) Call to order: 6:00pm by Mayor Jim Wallace.

(2) Vote on Agenda: Clark Corwin made a motion to approve the agenda and  Suzanne Stone seconded the motion.

(3) Approval of meeting minutes from September 04, 2012 Council meeting: A  motion to approve the minutes from the September 04 meeting was made by Clark  Corwin, seconded by Suzanne Stone, unanimously approved.

(4) Financial reports for the month of October, 2012: Stephanie Gibson  provided the Financial Reports that were handed out. The budget for October  included $8,569.53 in revenues which includes the first disbursement for the  Powell funds in the amount of $5,602.24 and $4,032.38 in expenditures. General  expenses included police protection, attorney fee, audit fee, clerk fee, and  entrance operating expenses. Motion to acceptthe financial report was  made by Suzanne Stone, seconded by Clark Corwin, unanimously  approved.

(5) Village Entrance:  Presentation  by Ben Granning: As the Council  requested, Jim Wallace spoke to Ben  Granning and asked what he would recommend to improve the entrance.  Ben presented his plan, he suggested  moving several of the trees at the entrance that were spaced too closely  together,  the area where the  North/South Country Club Dr. meet as well as improving the lighting  situation.  He noted that there are  about 15 Cherry and Hawthorne trees planted on the north side of North Country  Club Drive where it intersects with South Country Club Drive.  Granning said about six of those trees  need to come out of that area so that the others are able to grow.  He said that those trees are valuable  and could be moved and replanted across the street. 

Ben suggested some light  landscaping on the opposite side of the road as well as redesigning the  North/South Country Club Drive space and adding some stonework to the base of  the sign and planting some perennial flowers on the Iobst property.  Also, the current lighting needs to be  upgraded, the lines need to be buried, and the fixtures need to be  waterproofed.  He said that  upgrading the lighting to commercial quality would be approx. $1200. -  $1250. 

Thinning the trees and  replanting will be between $1000. - $1500.  Clearing the underbrush, landscaping, planting evergreens, and some  shrubbery will be the largest cost; it would be between $4500 - $5500. 

Jim asked what the  additional maintenance cost would be per month if the proposed landscaping and  improvements are done and Ben replied that it would be  $30.-$35./mth.

Suzanne said she liked  the plan. 

Clark Corwin mentioned  that projects costing over a certain amount had to be put up for bid, he feels  the most expensive project might be in this range.  Jim Wallace said that he would call the  League of Municipalities to check on the amount of money spent that requires  bids.

Another issue could be  the ownership of the different areas of land in question, specifically the land  with Duke Energy power lines on it.  Attorney Moore said the process of getting a title for the land could  require easements and could get complicated, he said he would look into the  ownership of the land and see what the board would be allowed to do.  Board members need to determine where  Forest Hills resident’s property lines end in the areas in question. 

Clark made a motion to  have the attorney research title issues and determine what actions need to be  taken; Suzanne seconded the motion, unanimously  approved.

(6) November Meeting:  Change meeting date to November 13 to  avoid election conflicts:  Suzanne  made a motion to reschedule the November meeting from Nov.6 to Nov. 13 due to  the election, Clark seconded the motion, unanimously approved.  Clark suggested that a calendar be  created at the beginning of the year taking into account any known conflicts to  reduce absences.  Jim said that he  had planned for this conflict in January when he reserved the room at the Rec.  Center. 

(7) Erosion Control Report by Lofquist and Associates: Jim Wallace shared  Victor Lofquist’s proposal to correct the erosion problem behind Plummer, Spell,  Wallace, and Tweedy homes.  Board members decided to  table the report because two board members were absent.  The cost estimated by Lofquist to  install closed culverts and stop the erosion problem was around $160,000.  Corwin stated that since the cost was so  high, paying for the work would have to be stretched out  over several years.   Jim said  we have already raised taxes, we aren’t doing that again.  Jim said that through careful reading of  the report, he found that most of the erosion problems could be solved by proper  lawn maintenance.  He noted that at  his house, he installed a series of staggered railroad ties on the slope of his  yard so water ran down progressively from one to the other and that did help the  problem, however his neighbors cannot remedy their problem in a simple  manner.

(8) Cullowhee Community Planning District:  Clark presented a map of  the Planning District.  Suzanne said  that the Planning Committee held an open meeting on October 3 at 3:30pm. 

(9) Sponsorship of the Cullowhee Fire Department’s Annual BBQ:  The Council declined to sponsor the  annual BBQ since the Village had recently donated money to the Fire Department  in the amount of $3500.

(10) New Business: Jim asked about having the Planning Board  look at the budget in the future for long range projects.  Clark made a motion that a mission and  vision statement be developed, Suzanne seconded, unanimously  approved.

(11) Old Business: Clark asked Jim  if he had met with Rick Bennett about the road issues previously discussed and  Jim said that he did speak with Rick and explained that Green’s Excavating had  done some grading in the past and that he had not seen the same type problem  since.  Rick told Jim that if he had  further issues he would call him.

Jim  said that he has not reached the appropriate person at the NCDOT to discuss the  possibility of installing traffic mirrors needed in blind curves as previously  discussed.  The proposed mirrors  would be located at the intersection of Oak Forest Drive and Virginia Lane and  would most likely not be covered by NCDOT.  Jim said he did not see the problem when he drove in that area.  Suzanne said her home is close to the  area in question and she has heard and been involved in near misses that could  have been accidents and School buses stop in that area.  Suzanne and Clark discussed it being a  safety issue and that the cost of getting mirrors installed if not covered by  the NCDOT needed to be determined and discussed with the Council.  Jim said that he contacted NCDOT but had  not heard back.  Suzanne said that  she would call NCDOT.

(12) Public Comment:

At 7:40pm  Jim Wallace called for a motion to adjourn, motion was made by Suzanne Stone,  seconded by Clark Corwin, unanimously approved.