June 2014

                                                                        COUNCIL MINUTES

                                                                 VILLAGE OF FOREST HILLS

                                                                              June 03, 2014



The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills was held in the meeting room at the Jackson County Recreation Center at 6:00pm on June 03, 2014.


The following members of the Council were present:

Mayor Kolleen Begley

Councilmember Clark Corwin

Councilmember Ron Mau

Councilmember Dan Perlmutter


The following members of the Council were absent:

Councilmember Carl Hooper


The following Non-Council members were present:

Ken Dickert, Zoning Administrator

David Moore, Village Attorney

Stephanie Gibson, Finance Officer/Clerk

Rich Price, Jackson County Director of Economic Development

Gary Peacock, Area Manager of Utilities, Inc. and affiliates

Dan Harbaugh, Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority Director

Tanner Hall, The Sylva Herald


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

  2. Announcements: Reminder – July & August monthly Council meetings will be held in Webster’s Town Hall located at 1411 Webster Road (meeting calendar is in Documents tab on Village website).

    3.  Approval of Agenda: A motion to approve the agenda was made by   Councilman Perlmutter, seconded by Councilman Corwin, and unanimously approved. 

    4.  Approval of Meeting Minutes from May 13, 2014 Council meeting: a motion to approve the minutes was made by Councilman Mau, seconded by Councilman Perlmutter, unanimously approved.                                          

    5.  Acceptance of Financial Report for the month of May, 2014: Stephanie Gibson provided copies of the Financial Report for May. Revenues for the month included $392.19 in Ad Valorem Taxes, $1521.17 in Sales Tax, $1601.00 in Alcohol Beverage Tax and $12.88 in Interest earned. Expenditures for the month included $600 for Police Protection, $447.93 for administrative and reimbursement fees, $57.60 for notices, $877.00 for NC League membership fee, $495.00 for Attorney fees, and $217.88 in Entrance operating fees. As of May 31, 2014 there is $141,381.42 in the General Fund bank account and $16,716.27 in the Powell Bill bank account.

A motion to accept the financial report was made by Councilman Perlmutter, seconded by Councilman Mau, and unanimously approved.

   6.  Written Budget Ordinance Approval: Mayor Begley prepared and submitted a Budget Ordinance and summary for the Village for the Fiscal Year 2014-2015.

A motion was made to approve the Budget Ordinance by Councilman Corwin, seconded by Councilman Mau, unanimously approved.

   7.  Public Comment: None

   8.  Utilities, Inc.: Gary Peacock, Area Manager for Utilities, Inc. spoke about the service his company provides to the Village. Utilities, Inc. provides water only to the Village. Mr. Peacock spoke about Capital improvements the company is working on, including having a system with computer access that is able to turn equipment on and off without workmen having to be on site.

Councilman Corwin asked Mr. Peacock how long they have had the Village water system, he said that he has had some problems with his bill being much higher a couple months of the year and then going back down. Mr. Peacock said in order to check the problem; they can pull the meter and send it in for an independent review.

Councilman Perlmutter asked the age of the system, Gary replied that he was unsure of the exact age but said that there is some older equipment but that the company is in the process of updating and replacing the older equipment.

Mayor Begley mentioned that there was a leak in the road that Rick Bennett had mentioned and noted that there was a worker from the company on site right away. 

   9.  TWSA: Dan Harbaugh, Director of TWSA, gave a Power Point Presentation and handouts outlining the company’s operations. He noted that TWSA has received several grants for additional expansions. He noted that there are no fire hydrants in the Village.

Councilman Perlmutter asked about private sewer lines in the Village and whether or not they were working properly. Mr. Harbaugh replied that private lines do not receive the attention that public lines do.

t sure the lines and the current system would be able to service hydrants and suggested following up with Utilities, Inc. regarding this. 

Mayor Begley noted that Councilman Hooper was planning to ask if someone in Forest Hills should have a seat on the TWSA board. Mr. Harbaugh said that most of the members have been on the board since consolidation and had given some contribution to the company. Councilman Corwin said with further development that the Village should look at a seat on the board. Mr. Harbaugh said to discuss future development and determine what the Village’s needs would be.

Mr. Harbaugh said that Public education is a big concern to everyone in the county whether or not they are a TWSA customer, they contribute to water. Mayor Begley asked about the availability of information for education and Mr. Harbaugh said they have pamphlets available, they do a radio show about fly fishing, and they participate in educational outreach. She asked about getting copies of those pamphlets to handout during the community charrette. 

Councilman Corwin asked about utility lines running over the golf course, if developed, would that be something that could be negotiated with TWSA? Mr. Harbaugh replied that potentially it could.

   10.  Jackson County Economic Development: Rich Price, Director: Rich Price, Director of Economic Development for Jackson County, spoke at the meeting and shared data regarding growth in the area. He said that he sees tremendous opportunity for growth from Cashiers to Qualla. He noted that the area is doing well in that there isaccess to higher education, hospitals, and outdoor activities. He said that he wants to see responsible recruitment of new businesses both large and small as well as taking care of current businesses and looking out for the community. He shared that there are four main areas or building blocks of economic development: physical infrastructure, civil/social, business recruitment, and work force development. He would like to know what the Village’s vision is and how they can help.

Mayor Begley asked if Cullowhee is over building or if it is in line with the projected growth rate.  Mr. Price responded that it is currently in line with the vision for 2020 and the expected growth.  Mayor Begley asked if WCU was going to re-build the area that burned that the endowment owns and if it’s known yet whether or not that development will be targeting students, or the community.  Mr. Price said that WCU is going to re-build; they are looking at mix use. 

Attorney Moore said that WCU is looking at a town center with student housing, shops, restaurants, etc.  He noted that the previous owners of the restaurants that burned will have right of first refusal.

Councilman Perlmutter said that the more development is discussed; people tend to view it differently.  He noted that residential areas will change as growth comes to accommodate increased population.

Mr. Price recommended looking at examples of similar areas and how they found their niche.

Councilman Corwin said that the Village may need to look at ways to protect themselves.  He noted that they need to balance what the Village is willing to tolerate.

Mr. Price said that he would like to offer any assistance to the Village with any ideas and ways to benefit both Jackson County and the Village of Forest Hills.  He shared that he has been to Rural Development Institute programs with mayors, pastors, educators, etc.  He suggested getting Mayor Nick Breedlove’s perspective since he has attended meetings on Rural Development.  Mayor Begley said that she would invite him to attend the July meeting since the Village will be meeting at Webster’s Town Hall.

  11.  Plan a survey mailing and organize a charrette for public input: Councilman Corwin suggested talking with Gerald Green about applying for grants; the Village could apply for matching grants that would assist with costs such as the Landscapes Initiative Tool Box. Mayor Begley said that she would contact Gerald and get an idea of the costs. Councilman Corwin noted that we would need to know how much we could apply for.

Mayor Begley asked if a survey should also be sent to residents and what the time frame should be.  Councilman Perlmutter suggested planning the charrette for fall.  Councilman Mau said that he is not sure that we can schedule the event until we know the details of the grant and have more information.  Mayor Begley said that she will contact Mr. Green and discuss the details at the July meeting.

  12.  Reports:   

Planning Board: Councilman Corwin said that the Planning Board did not meet last month due to the joint meeting with the council.  He noted that he has been having difficulty contacting members and getting responses, he would like to set up a workshop with Ron Hancock.

Councilman Perlmutter said that there may be some individuals attend the charrette that are interested in being on the Planning Board. 

Council decided that if there is nobody that shows interest in filling the vacant seats on the Planning Board, they will reduce the number of members to five.

Safety:  Councilman Hooper was absent, moved to July meeting.

Roads:  Councilman Perlmutter said that he has contacted numerous paving companies and will have 3-4 estimates available for the July meeting and will provide an updated map with the roads that were previously left off for the July meeting.  He noted that he called Jonathan Woodard with the Department of Transportation regarding the boulders and was told that they would take care of removing them.

Zoning:  Councilman Mau said he needs to get an update from the Zoning Administrator, Ken Dickert, regarding a zoning variance for a new garage being built.

Mayor’s Report:  Mayor Begley said that she spoke with Victor Lofquist after the Planning Board recommendation in December about drainage issues and he suggested meeting with the homeowners, having the attorney attend, and discussing a cost effective, agreeable solution.  Mayor Begley said that each of the homeowners are responsible for directing drainage off their property but that the Village could address road shoulders, ditches, and culverts.

Mayor Begley brought a sign donated by Mr. & Mrs. Freisner to the Village.  Council discussed the color scheme of the Village and decided that the color could be changed to match the scheme with outdoor, weather-resistant paint and then be put up.  Council agreed that they would like to have color cohesiveness. 

Councilman Corwin made a motion to revise the sign, ask Mr. Freisner to install it, and allow Kolleen to have the sign edited for a fee of up to $300; Councilman Perlmutter seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

  13.  Old Business

a. NC Cash Management Program for higher interest earnings on idle funds:  Stephanie will contact the Sylva Finance officer for her opinion of the program, United Community bank for possible higher interest options, and review the packet mailed from the program and discuss options at the July meeting.

b. Planning Board nominations:  Mayor Begley noted that Planning Board members, Rick Cardona, and Kent Briggs have vacated their seats and nominations are needed for new members.  Council agreed to post the vacancies on the website and contact any homeowners that may be interested and discuss at the July meeting.  If nobody shows an interest the number of members can be reduced to five.

c. Board Compensation:  Councilman Hooper was absent, moved to July agenda.

14.  New Business: Councilman Corwin would like to look at parking ordinances to be in line with State ordinances at the July meeting. He noted that he has an issue with cars parking in the road.

Attorney Moore said that the Village of Forest Hills ordinance covers from NC 107 to the motel, only North Country Club Drive.

 15.  Additional Public Comment:  (Sign-up sheet, set time per speaker) none

 16.  Adjourn: At 8:50pm Councilman Corwin made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Councilman Perlmutter, unanimously approved.