June 2012



June 05, 2012

The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills was held onJune 05, 2012 in the meeting room at the Jackson County Recreation Center at 6:00pm.

 The following members of the Council were present:

Jim Wallace, Mayor

Carl Hooper

Gene Tweedy

Clark Corwin

Suzanne Stone

 The following Non-Council members were present:

David Moore, Village Attorney

Stephanie Gibson, Village Clerk/Finance Officer

Maggie Tobias, Sylva Herald

Residents:  Sue Burton, Janie Prentice, Gurney Chambers, Todd Collins, Kent Briggs, Jayne Buchanan, Carol Marin-Vegue, Mark Teague

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

(2)  Vote on Agenda: Carl Hooper made a motion to approve the agenda and Gene Tweedy seconded the motion.

(3)  Approval of meeting minutes fromMay 01, 2012 Council meeting:  A motion to approve the minutes was made by Carl Hooper, seconded by Suzanne Stone, unanimously approved.  (Approved meeting minutes are posted on the Village website.)

 (4)  Financial reports for the month of May, 2012:Stephanie Gibson provided the Financial Reports that were handed out.  The budget for May included $1,489.60 in revenues and $1,096.52 in expenditures.  General expenses included police protection, utilities, attorney fees, and Clerk fees.   Motion to accept the financial report was made by Gene Tweedy, seconded by Suzanne Stone, unanimously approved.

(5)  Mayor Pro Tempore:  Suzanne Stone has been filling this position until Gene Tweedy was able to resume the position.  A motion was made to have Gene Tweed replace Suzanne Stone as Mayor Pro Tempore by Clark Corwin and seconded by Carl Hooper.

 (6)  Swearing in Ceremony

Planning Board:  Jim introduced the potential Planning Board members and asked for a vote, Suzanne Stone made a motion to accept the Planning Board members and Carl Hooper seconded the motion.  The Planning Board members that were present, Kent Briggs, Jayne Buchanan, Janie Prentice, Todd Collins, and Carol Martin-Vegue, were sworn in by Clerk-of-Court, Ann Melton.  There were two of the Planning Board members that were absent, Ken Dickert and Dawn Gilchrist-Young. 

Gene Tweedy was also sworn in as the Mayor Pro Tempore

(7)  Public Hearing:  2012-2013 Budget:  Jim Wallace announced that there needed to be a review of and vote on the FY 12-13 proposed budget.  Jim reviewed the areas that were different in the proposed budget than the current budget and announced that there would be an increase in Ad Valorem Taxes of approximately $18,000.  He announced that the floor was open if anyone would like to address the proposed budget changes and the increase in taxes.

There were no residents that addressed the proposed budget for FY 12-13 in the Public Hearing.  Carl Hooper made a suggestion that an additional amount of $2,000. be added to the Attorney Fees section of the budget and removed from Contingencies, he did not feel the amount listed would be enough in the upcoming year since they are close to going over the amount budgeted this year.  One of the residents asked what the basis for the increase was and what the hourly rate is.  Clark Corwin said that the rate is $200.00/hr. and that the increase was only to prevent going over budget this year, it is not an increase to the amount we pay the Attorney.  A motion to accept the proposed budget for FY12-13 as amended was made by Carl Hooper and seconded by Clark Corwin.

(8)  Village Concerns:  Drainage Problems on North Country Club Drive and Cave Springs Road:  Proposal by Victor Lofquist:  Jim Wallace said that he was asked to contact an Engineer to address the drainage problems, he contacted Victor Lofquist.  Jim shared a proposal from Lofquist stating that he would give us a plan on how to correct the two areas with major problems, one being on North Country Club Drive where water cuts behind Gene Tweedy’s home and the other is on Cave Springs Rd. where water comes down behind Mr. Plummer’s house, Dr. Spell’s house and behind my property.  In the case of the Spell’s house, there is actually hydrologic movement of the house and a retaining wall.  Mr. Lofquist said that he would give us a proposal including the lay of the land, drainage, and everything that needed to be done to correct these problems for $2,160.

Jim Wallace and Gene Tweedy excused themselves from the vote since their properties are involved.

A motion to tell Victor Lofquist to continue with the plan was made by Carl Hooper and seconded by Suzanne Stone.

(9)  Solid Waste Resolution:  Jim Wallace said that Jackson County would like a resolution from the Village of Forest Hills to approve their Solid Waste Management Plan.  Jim noted that this is the same plan that we approved in 2009.  A motion was made by Carl Hooper to send a resolution letter to the county and seconded by Suzanne Stone.

(10)  Public Liability Insurance:  Jim Wallace shared that the NC League fees approved to be paid at the last meeting were only for the membership fees and that we still need to approve the Liability Insurance in the amount of $900. that covers the council members.  A motion to pay these fees was made by Carl Hooper and seconded by Clark Corwin.

 (11)  New Business:

  a)     Cullowhee Community Representation:  To have a Planning Board in Cullowhee, the commission of Jackson County has to name a committee of 5-7 members.  There has to be 650 acres to go forward as a town.  There are no currently no zoning restrictions in the Cullowhee area.  Having Cullowhee designated as a town would offer zoning protection and give WCU extra protection without changing their current policies.  The VFH is listed as approximately 100 acres.  It was determined that the village needs representation in this group.  Jim said that the committee has asked what role the village would play.  Clark Corwin said that it would be similar to the Cashiers Community, they could assist in controlling zoning issues.  A motion was made by Carl Hooper and seconded by Gene Tweedy to appoint Clark Corwin and Suzanne Stone to represent the Village in this committee.

 (12)  Old Business:

 (13)  Public Comment

  A motion was made by Carl Hooper to adjourn the meeting and seconded by Clark Corwin.

Mark Teague asked if the budget could be discussed and Jim Wallace explained that the FY 12-13 Budget     had already been voted on and approved, he noted that a sign-in sheet was passed out prior to the meeting so that if anyone wanted to speak in the Hearing they could sign up to do so. 

Another resident asked why residents voted to lower our property values; he said that when taxes go up property values go down. 

The Attorney, David Moore, said that a motion was on the floor to adjourn and that it need to be approved or rejected but that needed to be done before proceeding with public comments.  He noted that procedures were followed during the public hearing to approve the proposed budget and that none of the attendees signed up to speak during that time.

A vote was held to address the motion to adjourn, two council members voted against adjourning and the motion was defeated.  Public discussion was continued.

Mark Teague asked about the money allotted for preventative maintenance, he said that Caves Springs Road was in need of maintenance, he said this issue was mentioned last year.  Jim Wallace said that the road was looked at last year and it was determined that no significant maintenance was needed at that time but they will look at that area again when reviewing road maintenance issues.  Mark asked if additional areas will be addressed with the added revenues. 

Gene Tweedy said in response to the budget increase, to continue to pay on current services, we will need more money in the future particularly to address road maintenance issues.

Janie Prentice suggested using some of the additional funds to clean up debris and properties that needed to be cleaned up.  Jim Wallace explained that public funds cannot be used to clean up private properties.

It was mentioned that the entrance to South Country Club Drive has had no maintenance and is looking bad, it was suggested that some of the entrance funds be used to address this.  Jim Wallace said that it has not been included in the entrance fees in the past because it is not part of the main entrance to the village.

Several residents that live on state maintained roads asked what improvements would mean to them.  Clark Corwin responded that because we live in a village, we cannot separate funds for residents who live on state maintained roads versus those who do not; we have to look at the village as a whole.

Suzanne Stone asked what Capital Outlay was for and Carl Hooper responded that it is for special projects that arise.

Janie Prentice asked about Police Protection, she noted seeing the officer’s vehicles at the club parking area and near South Country Club Drive at odd hours of the day and wondered what they were looking for.  Gene Tweedy responded that they were looking for people involved in drugs and speeding vehicles.

Janie noted that there are limbs down on the road to her home and that some are lying across power lines, she asked who she should contact.  Jim said that she should contact WCU.

At 7:20pm Jim Wallace called for a motion to adjourn, motion was made by Carl Hooper, seconded by Clark Corwin, unanimously approved.