August Minutes-2005

The Village of Forest Hills Council Meeting Minutes

                        Monday, August 1, 2005

                        University Inn Motel


In Attendance:  Mayor James Davis, Council persons, Dick Iobst, Jim Wallace, Sue Burton, Joe Rosano (absent), Jim and Evelyn Weir, Charlie Burton, Attorney Jay Coward, Sheriff Jim Ashe, Deputy Kim Hooper, Rick Bennett, Justin Goble (WRGC Radio), Samantha Blanton-Sylva Herald and village residents.


The meeting was called to order by Mayor Davis.  He introduced and welcomed all present.  He led the group in a short prayer.


The financial report for July was read by Jim Weir.  The Village has a cash balance of $59,806 as of July 31, 2005.  A motion was made and seconded to accept the report.

A question was raised about June’s report concerning a negative amount of $4,000.   Jim explained that the Village books are kept on a cash basis and the $4,000 showed as a cash loss since they had to dip into the cash reserve for the Powel Bill.   A motion was made and seconded to accept the June report.


Sue Burton, liaison to Western Carolina University, had nothing to report at this time. Jim Wallace, liaison to Greenway said work is still progressing on the Village entrance from Forest Hills Drive, to Highway 107, to Jackson Recreation Center is in progress.  Roger Turk (WCU) will be involved in the planning of the entry way into Forest Hills.


Sheriff Jim Ashe and Deputy Hooper were introduced and gave an overview of how his office and the sheriff deputies operate.  The county is divided up into three districts and there is a deputy for each section.  He explained that an off-duty officer patrols our neighborhood on Thursday nights, from 10:00p.m. – 2:00a.m., which is usually a big party night for WCU.  Since we have had this service, we have curtailed the noise and problems considerably.  Mayor Davis asked if the dispatch had been implemented since the last meeting.  The dispatch is now connected to the 911 Center.  On Friday and Saturday nights, if there is a problem, a call can be made to 911 and we can ask if a special assignment officer has called in and reported to be on duty (an off-duty deputy may or may not call in)  (what are we paying $6,000 for?) If no one has called in, we may tell dispatch (911) what the complaint is and the complaint will be related to the regular deputy on duty for our district.   It may take considerably more time to respond to the situation as there will probably be more pressing matters to contend with.  A log will be kept of patrolled dates and sent to the mayor each month. In case of excessive or loud noise, one warning is given to the landlord, owner of the residence, or group creating the problem.  If the problem persists, there is a NC nuisance ordinance abatement which allows the Sheriff to contact, close down, and sue an establishment, group, or persons responsible for repeated violations. 


Sheriff Ashe said that his office works closely with WCU’s Bill Haggard, Dean of Student Development and much progress has been made concerning problems that have arisen in the past.  The KA Fraternity House is closed and vacant at this time.  This fact should solve a lot of the noise problems that we have had in the past.  Sheriff Ashe said that a very big problem and concern in the county right now is the horrendous use of crystal methamphetamine, which is a very destructive and addictive drug which is being manufactured in basements, garages, shops within our county. It is being used by teenagers and adults alike. Sue Burton thanked Sheriff Ashe for responding to a previous complaint.  When asked if WCU campus police can respond to students who cause trouble, who live off campus, he replied that they do not.  If a problem occurs, and it is not a university sanctioned activity, they are not legally responsible to do anything.  If an extreme emergency arises, they have a mutual aid agreement, in which they could assist the Sheriff’s Department.


Jim Wallace brought to the attention of the council a problem that needs to be addressed.  There are quite a few  roads within the Village which do not have NC State #’s, including the connector road between North and South Country Club Drive, which also has no name.  All roads with State #’s are maintained by the NC DOT, and all roads which do not have #’s are private and are not maintained by the DOT.  Jim said that we need to get information before the public so they know what our policy for private roads is. All new roads, public or private, have to meet Village sub-division ordinances and restrictions required by the NC DOT.  There are deed restrictions that clarify that,___________ if   roads not maintained by the Village, causes a problem for homes on a_________ public/private road the Village has no responsibility to maintain the private road. The Council has maps showing all public and private roads within the Village.


A problem has been caused by a prospective homeowner Mr. Chris Williams, who did some bulldozing on a private road.  He did not get permission from the Council to do so; consequently his bulldozing has caused water runoff to other homeowner’s property around him.   Also, he did not follow sedimentation rules and regulations.  


Easement and right-of-way is one and the same thing Attorney Jay Coward said.  Easement dominates land underneath.  Serves as a right to use the easement to get to his property. One cannot make the improvements to his land which causes a burden on other people’s property. 


Reports were explained by Mayor Davis, concerning engineer, Victor Lofquist, Ken Presnell’s from DNR, and Robbie Shelton. Plans to fix problems from William’s water run-off and Murray’s road has affected the connector road to Rick Bennett’s houses. 80 feet of 24 inch diameter storm drain will eliminate the hole. The cistern could be taken out.  A pipe would run up to beyond the drainage ditch going up to the Murray’s drive all the way over to the bank on the other side of connector road and would spill into the natural flow run-off place.  We would also bring an 18 inch culvert on a 45? _____From bottom corner of William’s drive, take across Murray road and spill into upper part of stream.  We would be dividing the flow of water at a cumulative point, cutting the water flow in half.  The connector road remedy would give us two runoffs, water drainage that protects Bennett’s place and for other people using the road.  After much discussion, a motion was made to contact Bear Track Paving to 1) fix the back (connector road), 2) fix problem of pooling of water on South Country Club Road. 3) Fix problem that runs from Cave Springs to Forest Hill Estates road.  The motion was made, seconded, and passed.  Property owners will be notified as to what will be happening and when.

The cost of fixing these problems will be $7,200 to complete all.  Powell Bill money will be used.


It was mentioned by attorney Coward, that anyone who buys property within the Village, it is his/her responsibility to search titles, look at maps, know restrictions, and road ordinances, etc which are required by the Village and NC DOT.


Jim Wallace said the DOT will re-flag N. Country Club Dr., write a letter to everyone who lives on, and survey every property owner, give list of who did not agree to participate.  Within the next two months.  A petition does not have to be done again as 95% of residents on road signed last time.


Sue Burton said that she would be filing to run for mayor of the Village during the next election.


Meeting adjourned at 9:30p.m.


Minutes submitted by Janie Prentice