January 2016

JANUARY 05, 2016


The Council meeting for the Village of Forest Hills was held at the Jackson County Recreation Center at 6:00pm on January 05, 2016.


The following members of the Council were present:

Mayor Kolleen Begley

Councilmember Ron Mau

Councilmember Carl Hooper

Councilmember Clark Corwin

Councilmember Debbie Rowland


The following Non-Council members were present:

Jason, Sylva Herald

Ken Dickert, Ordinance Administrator

Stephanie Gibson, Clerk

David Moore, Attorney


  1. Call to order:  The meeting was called to order at 6:05 pm by Mayor Kolleen Begley.


  1. Announcements:   a) There is an Essentials of Municipal Government course being held in Asheville February 17 and 18.  Scholarships for courses are available to local elected officials through the Local Elected Leaders Academy. Essentials of Municipal Government satisfies the Village education policy and satisfies the required Ethics training law.

             b) Ethics Training:  NC law requires at least 2 hours of ethics training within 12 months after each election or reelection to office.

             c)  The 2016 meeting dates for the Council meetings have been confirmed with the Jackson Co. Recreation Center, meetings will be held the first Tuesday of each month except for the month of May, the meeting will be held the second Tuesday because the Rec. Ctr. is not available on the first Tuesday.  For the months of July and August, the Rec. Ctr. is not available but the council will meet at the Southwest Commission’s board room in Sylva.  Mayor Begley has posted the updates to the calendar on the Village website.

            d)   The joint meeting with the county and Municipalities is scheduled for Monday February 01, 2016.


  1. Approval of Agenda:  Councilmember Corwin made a motion to approve the agenda; Councilmember Mau seconded the motion, unanimously approved.


  1. Approval of Meeting Minutes from the December 01, 2015 Council Meeting:  Councilmember Hooper made a motion to approve the minutes; Councilmember Mau seconded the motion, unanimously approved.


  1. Acceptance of Financial Report & Checklist for the month of December, 2015:  Councilmember Hooper made a motion to accept the Financial Report; Councilmember Corwin seconded the motion; unanimously accepted.


Stephanie noted that she submitted the Fiscal Data Report to the NCDOT on 12.01.15 required for the Powell Bill.


  1. Public Comment:  None


  1.  Reports
  • Mayor’s Report:  Kolleen Begley said that the Southwestern Commission meeting was held at the end of November and that WCU Chancellor David Belcher was there, she emailed handouts from the meeting and the vote coming up in March to Council members.
  • Planning Board:  Clark Corwin - Councilmember Corwin said that Kristy Carter attended the last planning board meeting but there was not a quorum present so they were not able to make any definitive plans, she started a tentative timeline.  He mentioned that the Planning Board would like to have a joint meeting with the Council on a Saturday or evening to work on the ordinance issues.

Councilmember Corwin said that he was not sure if Jayne Buchanan and Caleb Bailey had gone to the courthouse to be sworn in as planning board members but that he would follow up with them. 

Mayor Begley asked if Planning Board meetings for 2016 had been confirmed with the Rec. Ctr., Councilmember Corwin said that he would check with Brian.  She noted that the third Monday for January was on the 18th and the Rec. Ctr. is closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr.  Councilmember Corwin said they would try to schedule it the following Monday on January 25.

  • Safety:  Carl Hooper - Councilmember Hooper said that the Village was patrolled and officers reported it was quiet.
  • Jackson County CTP:  Ron Mau – Councilmember Mau said that at the last meeting they discussed infrastructure including sewer but the main topic was high speed internet.  He noted that there is a fee or tax charged on most bills that goes into a fund and the monies in that fund are going to have to be spent; he noted that Frontier is going to start doing some upgrades.  Rich Price is going to check on the areas and schedule of upgrades.  Councilmember Mau said that he plans to analyze raw data from the survey results when he has a chance.  He noted that the next meeting will be held on Feb. 1st.
  • Roads:  Debbie Rowland – Councilmember Rowland drove through the village and noted issues with roads.  She said that she contacted the sheriff’s office about the vehicle that had been abandoned across from Ken’s house with a tag that expired in February 2015, they told her that since the vehicle was not on a state maintained road, they recommended that the village attorney send a letter to the owner with the ordinance statement about abandoned vehicles included and if they do not remove it, then the sheriff’s office could do something.  Mayor Begley said that she has the owner’s contact information and suggested she try to contact them first and then if there is no response, send a letter.  Council agreed.

Councilmember Rowland said that there are several sections of road that she feels are too narrow and there are two pot holes, one on state maintained roads and one on SCC Drive.   Councilmember Hooper noted that the pot hole that CWS filled on SCC Dr. needs attention.  Mayor Begley recommended that Councilmember Rowland contact Joel Setzer with DOT to discuss issues on state maintained roads.  Councilmember Rowland noted that DOT needs to build up the road or put in a drain at the entrance to SCC Drive in front of the Rice property, water stands in the road there.

Councilmember Rowland said that she went by Summit Apartments but they were closed, she noted that they have recently been widening the shoulder on the road to the apartments and feels they may be creating additional parking.  She said that there was no parking for the front building.  Councilmember Mau said that there was a parking area above the first building with a staircase going down to the parking area for that building.  Mayor Begley recommended that Councilmember Rowland call Summit Apartments to inquire about adequate parking.

Councilmember Rowland asked if the road behind the Summit is included in the village, she said it doesn’t have a road name sign.    Mayor Begley noted it was Valhalla Road at the intersection North Country Club Drive and said she would contact DOT about who is responsible for putting up a new road name sign.

Councilmember Corwin said that he looked at the ordinance regarding parking and the Summit is zoned as R4 and he said in section 205, article 302 of the Village ordinances addresses off street parking and that all rental property must have a paved, marked site for each bedroom.

Mayor Begley asked Attorney Moore since it is ETJ, can the village put up a No Parking     sign, he responded that it is an ordinance not really zoning, he suggested that Councilmember Rowland discuss parking with the apartment management prior to putting up a sign and inquire as to why students are parking at the road.


  1.  Unfinished Business:  None


  1.  New Business:  Councilmember Corwin suggested scheduling a work session with Rich Price to discuss village assets.  He said he feels that the location is an asset considering its close proximity to WCU for faculty and staff interested in living close to the University, he said with faculty apartments being taken down in the future, affordable housing could be an asset to the area.  He would like to ask Mr. Price what he sees from an economic development aspect if the Council is interested.  Councilmember Corwin suggested that the Council could meet with him in the 30 minute work session prior to the February Council meeting, council agreed.  He will contact Rich to see if he will be available to attend that meeting and notify Mayor Begley if he can attend the meeting.

Mayor Begley recommended contacting Meredith Whitfield with WCU to discuss potential housing needs and see if she would be able to attend the work session in February as well.  Councilmember Corwin said that he will contact her and try to arrange it.


Contact for Inclement Weather:  Councilmember Mau said that he will be out of town January 10th – January 15th and one of the other councilmembers would need to be the contact person for arranging snow and ice removal if needed, Councilmember Rowland said she would fill in as contact until he returns.


5K Run:  Mayor Begley said that LeAnn Pate would like to attend the February meeting to discuss having another 5k run in the village, LeAnn noted that she would like for it to be an annual event.

    10.  Additional Public Comment:  None

    11.  Closed Session:  Councilmember Corwin made a motion to go into closed session as per state statute § 143-318.11 subsection (a), #3, to consult with the Village Attorney regarding Ordinance Violations on three properties, Councilmember Hooper seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

    12.  Return to Open Session:  Councilmember Mau made a motion that Council go back into open session, Councilmember Hooper seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

    13.  Adjourn:  At 7:55pm Councilmember Rowland made a motion to adjourn; Councilmember Hooper seconded the motion, unanimously approved.