Forest Hills Council Meeting 9-11-00


Monday, September 11, 2000
7:00 PM


In attendance: Mayor Irene Hooper; Council Members, Sharon Jacques, Larry Kolenbrander, and Harold Williford; Village Clerk, Mary Ann Budahl; Carol Pearce, Financial Officer; Attorney, Jay Coward; Department of Transportation representative, Jonathan Woodard; Lynn Hotaling, Sylva Herald Reporter; and approximately ten Village residents and friends.


Mayor Hooper called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM, and extended a warm welcome to all.

Motion to approve minutes of the August 7, 2000 meeting (Jacques, Williford), passed unanimously. 


Motion to accept the Treasurer's Report as circulated (Jacques, Kolenbrander), passed unanimously.  The balance in the account is $30,827.12.


Larry Kolenbrander introduced Jonathan Woodard, an engineer with the North Carolina DOT who was invited to answer questions regarding state maintenance of North and South Country Club Roads.  Mr. Woodard stressed that the petition that has been circulated to the home and property owners in the affected area is merely a "good faith," non-binding promise only.  Although 100% of the signatures have not been obtained yet, the Village must submit a petition to the Jackson County Commissioners, who in turn forward a resolution to DOT.  Then the DOT engineers look at the road and decide on the basis of the property and homeowners degree of support and the location and condition of the existing roadway whether it is worthwhile to proceed.  The roadway is surveyed to establish a centerline, and then DOT right of way agents speak to home and property owners to obtain the legally binding, necessary right of way, which in our situation is 22.5 feet in each direction of center.


      Some answers to specific questions:


Cost:  DOT will spend between $2000 and $4000 for each home which is occupied full time, and between $1000 and $2000 for part time residences.  On the basis of North Country Club Drive with 23 houses, this would generate approximately $90,000.  The estimated actual cost of upgrading the road to gravel was $175,000.  The road would be maintained as gravel until it reached the top of the priority list and it would then be paved.  This could take several years unless the Village wanted to bear the cost of paving ($8.00 per linear foot, or $35,000 for .8-mile on NCC Dr.)  South Country Club Drive is estimated to cost $85,000 for a .5-mile stretch, or approximately $10 - $15, 000 more than the State would allow on the basis of 19 full time homes.


Utility poles, fences, etc:  Utility poles, fences, etc. must be relocated at property owners' or Village expense, although Mr. Woodard stated that utility poles can be located in the right of way as long as they do not pose a danger to traffic.  Trees would be moved by DOT.  Property owners pay for relocation of water pipes.  The State will not allow gardens, fences, sight encumbrances, etc on the easement, although the property owner would be allowed to landscape this area with approval from DOT.


Mr. Woodard concluded by saying that the benefits of state roads are maintenance such as snow removal, mowing, resurfacing, etc.  The negative aspect is that the roads in Forest Hills that now function as private roads will, if state maintained, become public roads with more traffic, etc.


When all the questions were answered, Mayor Hooper thanked Mr. Woodard for attending and for his help in clarifying these issues.


Mayor Hooper reported on the meeting of Joint Municipalities of Mayors and Commissioners held on August 15.  Dr. Bardo of WCU and Dr. Groves from SCC were speakers, along with Tom McClure from the Economic Development Commission.  The impact of rapid growth throughout the Southeast was discussed.  Mr. McClure reported that the Norfolk and Southern railroad is considering cutting back its service to this area that would adversely affect several Jackson County businesses, especially Jackson Paper Co. which relies on the railroad for receiving raw materials and shipping its products.  Motion to adopt a resolution encouraging the railroad to continue its present level of service (Kolenbrander, Williford) passed unanimously.


      Dr. Bardo stressed the importance of acceptance of the state bond referendum that will provide monies for schools and colleges.  Resolution to endorse (Williford, Jacques) passed unanimously.


Larry Kolenbrander will attend the next Joint Municipalities meeting on September 28.


Harold Williford reported on the Greenway Project, which has generated much enthusiasm throughout the area.  He stated that Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer (TWSA) will give right of way along the Tuckaseigee River from Jack the Dipper road to the WCU campus to this endeavor to create a walking/bicycle path.  Americorps will sponsor a position to employ a person to apply for grants, etc.  Motion made to endorse a resolution in which the Greenway Task Force be sanctioned as the over sight committee, and to request that the direction come from the County, with the towns being responsible for their jurisdictions.  Furthermore, that the Task Force Committee be given the authority to hire and fire employees, to do grant writing and to apply for a 501c(3), and to continue to move the project forward.  (Kolenbrander, Williford) passed unanimously. 


      Motion to request the treasurer to pay Forest Hills' portion ($300.00) of the cost of bringing Greenways specialist, Ed McMahon to Jackson County (Kolenbrander, Williford) passed unanimously.  Discussion:  fees such as this that are shared by municipalities should be prorated according to population in the future.


      Larry Kolenbrander will attend the next meeting on September 19, 2000


Larry Kolenbrander will handle a request for current maps of the Village from the Traffic Safety Systems Management Unit (TSSMU) of the North Carolina DOT.  He plans to get two copies of these maps from Geoff Willett of the NC Department of Commerce at a cost of approximately $25.00.  Motion to approve this expenditure (Kolenbrander, Jacques) passed unanimously.


The NC Litter Sweep (clean-up) is scheduled for September 17 - 30.  Forest Hills will participate by cleaning up our roadways as we normally do on a semi annual basis.  Jean Adams will be asked to set a date and to organize this immensely popular event.


Last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights many Forest Hills residents were kept awake until 2 or 3:00 AM by the loud noise of several parties that took place in the valley.  Much discussion ensued as to ways of controlling this nuisance, with considerable input from Jay Coward regarding legalities of such efforts.  Mayor Irene Hooper will schedule a meeting with Chancellor Bardo to discuss this annoying problem and will report on this matter at the October meeting.


Harold Williford reported that he has not yet received the tax information from the Jackson County Tax office that he needs to completehe Powell Bill report.  He will continue to pursue this matter.


Larry Kolenbrander reported that he is waiting for more information pertaining to boundaries involving the ETJ proposal.  He will report when this is complete.


Eugene Tweedy has been appointed to the ad hoc Road Maintenance Committee.


Planning Board:  Steve Owen of Forest Hills Estates has agreed to serve as a replacement for Angela Davis.  He and two replacements for members who will be matriculating off the Board in October will be appointed and sworn in at the October meeting.


The motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Larry Kolenbrander and seconded by Sharon Jacques.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:25 PM.  It was noted that the next meeting of the Village Council will be held on October 2, 2000.


Respectfully submitted,



Mary Ann Budahl

Clerk, Village of Forest Hills