Forest Hills Council Meeting 11-5-01

Village of Forest Hills Council Meeting

Monday, November 5, 2001

7:00 PM

University Inn


In attendance:  Mayor Irene Hooper; Council persons Jean Adams, Joe Rossano, Harold Williford and Larry Kolenbrander; Clerk Mary Ann Budahl; Attorney Heather Baker; Reporter Rose Hooper; and seven Village residents.


The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Mayor Irene Hooper.  She welcomed all present, and reported that Treasurer Jim Weir is recuperating at home after a fall he sustained about ten days ago in which he sustained a torn ligament in his knee.  She thanked Joe Rossano for driving her in his 1967 red Ford convertible in the Jackson County 150th anniversary parade.  Mayor Hooper also represented Forest Hills in the WCU Homecoming parade on October 26.  She also thanked Dick Iobst for his presentation on the history of Cullowhee and the settlements around Judaculla Rock.


1.  The minutes of the meeting held on October 1, 2001 were unanimously approved.  (Kolenbrander, Williford)


2.  The minutes of the continued Council meeting held on October 22, 2001 were unanimously approved as previously circulated.  (Williford, Kolenbrander)


3.  The financial statement for October was distributed.  It showed a balance of $68, 216.  Joe Rossano, reporting for Jim Weir, stated that the Powell Bill funds amounted to $10,841, a bit less than was budgeted ($11,500).  The report was accepted unanimously.  (Kolenbrander, Williford)  Joe also distributed copies of the financial audit as prepared by the audit firm, Crisp, Hughes and Evans, which concluded that the Village of Forest Hills is in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.  Mayor Hooper thanked Carol Pearce and Jim Weir for their diligence in handling the Villages’ finances.  The report was unanimously accepted (Williford, Adams)


4.  Larry Kolenbrander reported for the Ad hoc Road Committee that all the roadwork and paving on both North and South Country Club Drives has been completed to the satisfaction of all.  He noted that a curb was added in front of the University apartments to prevent erosion, cracking, etc.  Mayor Hooper had previously notified Smoky Mountain Paving, the losing bidder of our decision.  Kolenbrander requested authorization to purchase enough striping paint to complete both North and South Country Club Drives.  Motion to allow $600.00 for striping paint passed unanimously.  (Kolenbrander, Williford)  Larry will apply the paint to North Country Club Drive with the striper that belongs to the Village; Irene will call Mark Ellison to arrange for someone on the Road Committee to mark and paint the centerline on South Country Club Drive.


5.  Motion for Forest Hills to release funds in the sum of $90.96 from the State’s general fund to go to Region A which comprises seven counties in western North Carolina passed unanimously.  (Adams, Rossano)


6.  Mayor Hooper reported on a proposal by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to designate Region A as a Rural Transportation Planning Organization (one of the first seven in the State).  The designation (RPO) will ensure that rural governments will have the same opportunities for input and coordination with the NC DOT planning processes that urban communities have.  Motion to adopt resolution for inclusion passed unanimously.  (Rossano, Kolenbrander)


7.  Mayor Hooper distributed sample ballots for the election that will take place tomorrow (Tuesday, November 5, 2001) to elect a mayor and three council members for the Village of Forest Hills.  Motion to pay $200.00 for an informational advertisement in the Sylva Herald passed unanimously.  (Adams, Williford)  The newly elected officials will be sworn in at the December meeting.



8.  Larry Kolenbrander, reporting for the Planning Board, stated that because of the decision to establish ETJ, a new ordinance to modify the Planning Board must be formulated.  He distributed copies of a proposed ordinance which designates that the Board will be comprised of nine members giving the ETJ area proportional representation.  This ordinance will be voted upon after a public hearing that is scheduled for December 3, 2001.  Motion to set public hearing on December 3, 2001 for Ordinance Number: 97-2  Proposed Amendments: November, 2001 after appropriate publication in the Sylva Herald and with a copy of the proposed ordinance made available for public viewing at the University Inn, the Jackson County Public Library, and the Western Carolina University Hunter Library passed unanimously.  (Kolenbrander, Adams)


9.  Ron Stephens, Forest Hills’ representative to the EDC, gave a thorough report on the matter involving a proposed asphalt plant to be built in the Qualla community.  He explained that the Jackson County Commissioners had asked the EDC for their recommendation, and Ron, in turn, asked the Forest Hills Council for their thoughts and direction.  Ron visited the proposed site for the asphalt plant, as well as similar plants in Dillsboro and Franklin.  He attended community meetings, he spoke to the proposed plant owners, and he researched the State standards as to pollution, etc.  He presented both sides of the argument in a fair and impartial manner.  However, for reasons including pollution, odor, children being exposed to fumes, road access being a possible cause for accidents, almost certain drop in property values, low employment numbers to be gained, drop in tourism, etc. he favored recommending against allowing the plant to be built.  The Council concurred, and the motion to accept Ron’s conclusion to vote no at the upcoming EDC meeting passed unanimously.  (Adams, Kolenbrander) 


Ron then submitted his resignation to the EDC to take effect after the vote on the asphalt plant.  This was acknowledged with remorse and sadness.


10.  It was noted that the second round of Smart Growth meetings are underway with May, 2002 being the anticipated date of closure.


11.  Joe Rossano presented a plaque to Mayor Hooper for her outstanding contributions to the Village of Forest Hills.  It read as follows:  “Presented to Irene M. Hooper For her dedication, commitment and outstanding service in the founding of the Village of Forest Hills and as the first Mayor of the Village of Forest Hills 1997-2001.  From the Village of Forest Hills Council members Jean Adams, Harold Williford, Larry Kolenbrander and Joe Rossano and Mary Ann Budahl Village Clerk.”  Mayor Hooper accepted the tribute, and thanked the Council and the Village residents for their support and cooperation over the years.  She said that it had been an honor to serve the residents of Forest Hills, and she recalled the trip to Raleigh in 1997 that she along with Jim Pearce, Larry Kolenbrander, and Harold Williford made to Raleigh with signed petitions of 95% plus of Village residents who favored becoming a municipality.  They met with, and were assisted by Representatives Liston B. Ramsey and Charles Beall.


Jean Adams stated that it has been a pleasure to serve as a Council member, and she looks forward to the new Council carrying on with the business of the Village.


Larry Kolenbrander, another retiring Council member, recalled what an incredible process it has been to move from the loosely organized Forest Hills Homeowners Association to the instant bureaucracy that we are today.  He will continue to be a member of the Planning Board. 


The meeting was adjourned at 8:47 PM after a unanimous vote to do so.  (Kolenbrander, Adams)


Mary Ann Budahl