Forest Hills Council Meeting 2-4-02

Village of Forest Hills Council Meeting

Monday, February 4, 2002

7:00 PM

University Inn


The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills Council was called to order by Mayor Jim Davis at 7:07 PM.  Present were councilpersons Jim Wallace, Dick Iobst, and Harold Williford.  Joe Rossano is in Florida.  Also present were Jim Weir, Financial Officer; Mary Ann Budahl, Clerk; Former Mayor Irene Hooper; Rose Hooper, Sylva Herald reporter; Deputy Sheriffs Neal Hooper and Ronnie Melton; and several Village residents.   


Mayor Davis asked for a motion to open the Council meetings with prayer, saying that the Council needs faith and trust to do its work, and feeling it appropriate to ask for help from above.  Motion to open all Council meetings with prayer (Iobst, Wallace) passed unanimously.  Then Mayor Davis said a short prayer.


Mayor Davis gave a short synopsis of the recent school for new mayors and council persons that was recently attended by Mayor Davis, as well as Jim Wallace, Joe Rossano and Dick Iobst.  It was sponsored by the Institute of Government and the League of Municipalities; and legal, financial, grant writing issues, etc. for governments large and small were covered. 


A letter from DOT was recently received by Mayor Davis requesting that any proposed street changes taking place before June 30, 2002 that would affect Powell Bill Funds be reported.  The Council agreed that none were foreseeable.  Mayor Davis will respond.


In a recent phone conversation with Brendan Bryson of the DOT, Jim Wallace learned that residents would begin being contacted regarding the state maintenance of North Country Club Drive around February 14, 2002. 


Mayor Davis reported that he will meet soon with C. R. Styles of the DOT regarding traffic flow in and out of the Village. 


The Forest Hills web page is to be revised with a more accessible address and interactability.  Mayor Davis is to undertake this project. 


The long-standing and aggravating issue of late night and early morning noise was then addressed by deputies Hooper and Melton who attempted to answer the question of options and alternatives to the problem.  They stated that residents who are bothered by noise should call 586-1911 to complain, and they should be willing to testify in court about the nuisance.  Discussion concerning hiring an off-duty deputy who would patrol the Village and would be able to issue citations for drunkenness, littering, and speeding as well as disturbing the public ensued.  The Village would pay this person $20.00 per hour.  Landlords could become involved in enforcement, also.


Motion to hire an off-duty deputy on a trial basis for an indeterminate period at $20.00 per hour was made by Iobst, seconded by Wallace.  Jim Weir pointed out that there was no money designated in the budget for this type of expense without a board vote.  The motion to table this motion until financial arrangements can be made (Wallace, Iobst) passed unanimously.  The idea of polling the residents using a non-binding resolution at the May election regarding this issue was discussed. 


Along the lines of police patrol, the Community Watch program was discussed.  Forest Hills has placed signs regarding this in the past, only to have the signs vandalized.  New signs cost about $18.00 each and the Council has previously given its consent to replace them.  Former Mayor Irene Hooper agreed to obtain the signs.  They will have to be put in place by Village volunteers.


To return to the issue of off-duty police patrolling, Iobst moved that Jim Wallace and Mayor Davis prepare a letter from the Council to Village residents to get their opinion on this matter.  Irene Hooper suggested that the letter should advise people of noise control options, and ask how much residents are willing to pay for this service, if they would file a complaint, and if they would be willing to take their time to go to court to testify or to support those who testify.  Motion that Davis and Wallace are to prepare a draft of the letter before the March Council meeting (Iobst, Williford) passed unanimously.


Jim Weir presented the Financial Report.  It showed an actual expenditure of $7238.00 (mostly for street maintenance) in January, and a balance of $60916.00.  Wallace asked how much of the balance was Powell Bill funds that must be used for road costs.  Jim Weir promised to get this information for the Council at the March meeting.  The Financial Report was adopted as presented.  (Iobst, Wallace)


Williford will follow-up with the W. K. Dickson Co regarding the water and sewer feasibility study that was undertaken last year.


The minutes of the previous two meetings held in January were accepted unanimously.  (Iobst, Wallace)


Irene Hooper, our representative to the EDC reported that the EDC has requested a meeting with the County Commissioners regarding the proposed asphalt plant in the Whittier community.  The EDC feels little economic benefit is to be gained from a business of this nature. 



The question of whether speed bumps could be placed on state maintained roads was asked.  Mayor Davis will contact a representative of the DOT for an answer. 


Motion that the Council approves obtaining estimates to upgrade the right-of-way and convert the upper end of the valley connecting North and South Country Club Drives to a walking path (Wallace, Iobst) passed unanimously.  Wallace will explore ownership of this land and obtain estimates.


The legality of allowing freestanding storage buildings was presented by Wallace.  Mayor Davis will call Larry Kolenbrander, Chairman of the Planning Board for clarification since they are in the process of addressing zoning ordinances now.


Motion to adjourn (Iobst, Wallace) passed unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM.


Mary Ann Budahl