Forest Hills Council Meeting 10-7-02

Village of Forest Hills Council Meeting

Monday, October 07, 2002  7:00 PM

Jackson County Recreation Center


Mayor Jim Davis called the regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills Council to order at 7:00 PM.  In attendance were Mayor Davis, Councilpersons Joe Rossano, Sue Burton, Dick Iobst, and Jim Wallace; Financial Officer Jim Weir, Attorney Jay Coward, Sylva Herald Reporter Rose Hooper; Clerk Mary Ann Budahl; and six residents of the Village. 


Mayor Davis welcomed all in attendance and then said a short prayer.  The minutes of the previous meeting were approved with one correction:  paragraph five should state that the vote to change the number of people on the Planning Board from nine to seven passed.  (Iobst, Wallace)


Financial Officer Jim Weir distributed copies of the Financial Report for the Period 7/1/02 through 9/30/02.  He pointed out that there were two big expenditures this past month:  the audit, $2100.00; and the Village’s contribution of $2400.00 to the Cullowhee Volunteer Fire Department for fire protection.  It was also noted that the Village is again receiving the services of the off-duty deputy on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 11:00 PM until 2:00 AM at $20.00 per hour.  Jim also mentioned that $10,267.00 was received on October 1 from the Powell Bill which brings that total to around $33,000.00.  As an aside, he mentioned that the official population of Forest Hills is 337.  Sue Burton stated that she would be addressing this issue further along in the meeting.  Joe Rossano asked Jim Weir if he had reviewed the Financial Audit.  He had, and he explained that his report was in the form of a ‘cash basis’, whereas a larger municipality would use an accrual form of accounting.  The report was accepted as submitted.  (Iobst, Rossano)


Jay Coward summarized the last EDC meeting.  He stated that the speaker, whom he described as a ‘futurist’, talked about the field of biogenetics as being a frontier.  He also stated that the traditional jobs that we had relied on in the past are gone and are not coming back, due to the globalization that is taking place.  Brief discussion of the roles of SCC and WCU.  Former Mayor Irene Hooper is our representative to the EDC and will continue to keep us abreast of their meetings.


Mayor Davis has been contacted by the W K Dickson engineering firm and was told that the high per capita income of the 337 Forest Hills residents precludes qualification for any grants to build a sewer system which would cost in the neighborhood of $2.5 million.  However we could possibly meet the criteria for various loan programs.  The Planning Board will be asked to research this long-range topic.


Mayor Davis has also obtained the Noise Control ordinance and the Residential Occupancy Controls which are in place in the city of Boone, NC.  Residents there are required to obtain a permit from the town before they can have a party.  The regulations include rules regarding sound speakers and their placement, measures required for crowd and traffic-control, cleanup of litter, etc.  Copies of these documents will be made available to the members of the Planning Board for their input and recommendations.


Several Council members expressed dismay at the length of time it is taking to install the traffic light.  All agreed that it will be a pleasant surprise when it is operating.  Mayor Davis also stated that a long turn-off lane has been added to Hwy 107 at the back entrance to Cullowhee Valley School.  On the subject of traffic, one of our Council members confessed to being stopped by our off-duty deputy for making a too wide right turn and going over the yellow line about 11:00 PM recently.  The Council expressed their condolences, but was gratified to hear that the deputy is doing the job that we are paying him to do.


Joe Rossano reported that he has heard from several residents about the need for repairs on both South and North Country Club Drives.  Powell Bill funds are available for this purpose, and so it was suggested that estimates be obtained for not only patching the roadway, but for improving the crumbling areas of the roadbeds and controlling the roadside shrubbery as well.  As an aside, Jim Wallace reported on the stalled situation involving state maintenance of North Country Club Drive.  Visits to property owners will be forthcoming, and Jim promised to remain in contact with the Project Manager, Rob Shelton of the DOT.


There was further discussion about the necessity for establishing a connection between South and North Country Club Drives for emergency egress.


Gene Tweedy asked that the Planning Board be given a list of prioritized items that the Council would like to be focused on.  He also asked what constitutes a quorum since the Planning Board is composed of seven members now.  Another point that he brought up was that the members of the Planning Board are in need of copies of the current Subdivision Ordinance and Zoning Restrictions. 


Motion:  To establish a "road committee" to monitor and suggest necessary repairs to both North Country Club Drive and South Country Club Drive.  The committee shall have equal representation from North and South Country Club Drives and shall report to the Council on a routine basis.  (Wallace , Iobst) Passed unanimously.  The Council asks that anyone who is interested in this project call Gene Tweedy. 


Short discussion regarding election of a Mayor Pro-tem.  The Council agreed to table this item until the November meeting.


The litter sweep was canceled due to rain on both the original date and the make-up date.  Village residents are asked to carry along a trash bag when walking along our roads and to pick up any trash that you encounter.  Mayor Davis will contact the KA fraternity to enlist their help in keeping the trash picked up.


Sue Burton reported that she had accessed some interesting demographics regarding the Village via American Fact Finder.  She learned that there are close to equal distribution of men and women, and that 25 percent of our population is in the 20 – 24 year old range.  The median age is 34.8 years.  And did you know that there are 156 total households in our Village? More  statistics are available on the internet at American Fact Finder through WCU.


Sue also volunteered to enlist her husband to paint a sign for the entrance to the Village, and Ron Stephens will see that it is erected.  Sue will also check into replacing the sign, “Village of Forest Hills” that was on the information box at the University Inn.  Jerry Friesner, who has heretofore been the sign-meister of the Village, has assured the Council that he is only too happy to relinquish this job.


New business.  Jim Wallace proposed the following motion to request that the Planning Board discuss and prepare plans to present to the Council for the following:


A. The erection of a new sign along Highway 107 identifying the location of The Village of Forest Hills.   The sign should be at least 8 to 10 feet long and 6 - 8 feet high and be mounted upon a stone and concrete base.  It should be illuminated with discrete lighting.   If possible it should be located on the "wedge" of land adjacent to the property of the Rice’s.   (The Village could purchase or lease the land which belongs to Gene Hooper.  Elmer Hooper knows how to contact Gene.)


B. Plan a paved walking trail to connect North and South Country Club Drives.  It should be barricaded at both ends with a locking device and the Mayor and Mayor Pro-tem shall have keys for emergency situations.


C. Develop a plan for “beautifying” the entrance to The Village.  Contact the NC DOT to see if they would put up a railing if the Village would pay for it.  Perhaps there should be a plan to control parking along Village Roads near the entrance where no one lives.    Second by Iobst.  Passed unanimously.


Another eyesore near the Village entrance is the property to the left of the Summit Drive.  A representative from the Summit Apartments will be at the December meeting to discuss the feasibility of erecting a ten-bedroom apartment adjacent to the present Summit Apartments, and what they propose to do with the remainder of the land belonging to them.


Joe Rossano asked if the Council wishes to continue with the Holiday Gala and outdoor lighting contest and the idea was met with overwhelmingly approval.  A motion to appoint Irene Hooper to form a committee to plan same was passed unanimously.  (Iobst, Burton) 


Motion to adjourn passed.  (Wallace, Iobst).  The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM.


Mary Ann Budahl, clerk