April 2014


                                                                        COUNCIL MINUTES

                                                                 VILLAGE OF FOREST HILLS

                                                                          April 01, 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 April 01, 2014.


The following members of the Council were present:

Mayor Kolleen Begley

Councilmember Clark Corwin

Councilmember Carl Hooper

Councilmember Ron Mau

Councilmember Dan Perlmutter


The following Non-Council members were present:

David Moore, Village Attorney

Stephanie Gibson, Finance Officer/Clerk

Quinton Ellison, the Sylva Herald

Mark Teague, Planning Board Member


  1. Call to order: The meeting was called to order at 6:00pm by Mayor Kolleen Begley.

  2. Approval of Agenda: A motion to approve the agenda was made by Councilman Hooper, seconded by Councilman Corwin, and unanimously approved.
  3. Announcements: 1) September meeting date change confirmed: was September 2nd, changed to September 9th.    

                                    2) Budget Committee workshop date confirmed and   advertised: Saturday April 5th 12:00pm at the Rec. Center.

                                    3) Public Hearing for FY 2014-2015 Budget: May 13th

     4. Approval of Meeting Minutes from:

                                    1) March 04, 2014 Council meeting, a motion to approve the minutes was made by Councilman Perl mutter, seconded by Councilman Corwin, unanimously approved.

                                    2) February 04, 2014 Zoning Board of Adjustments Hearing, a motion to approve the minutes was made by Councilman Hooper, seconded by Councilman Corwin, unanimously approved. (Approved meeting minutes are posted on the Village website.)

     5. Acceptance of Financial Report for the month of March, 2014: Stephanie Gibson provided copies of the Financial Report for March. Revenues for the month included $3,154.00 in Ad Valorem Taxes, Sales Tax, and Interest earned. Expenditures for the month included $480 for Police Protection, $373.19 for administrative fees and supplies, $48 for Postage, $39.60 for notices, $525.00 for Attorney fees, $200 on snow removal, $632.77 to reimburse Clark for purchasing a Printer, Projector, and supplies for the Village, and $281 on Entrance operating fees. As of March 31, 2014 there is $138,426.93 in the General Fund bank account and $17,274.15 in the Powell Bill bank account.

     6.   Reports:   

           Planning Board:  Councilman Corwin said that no decisions were made at the last meeting. 

           Safety:  Councilman Hooper said he was unable to reach his contact at the Sheriff’s office.

           Roads:  Councilman Perlmutter said there was not much new information, he has changed the map and will update and give information at the next meeting.

           Zoning:  Councilman Mau said there was no new information.

           Mayor’s Report:  Mayor Begley said the Agenda covers new items.  She said that she is meeting with Jamie Van Pelt in two weeks to review his report and is attending his presentation on April 25. 

Mayor Begley said that she has updated some of the formatting on the website.

Mayor Begley said when the Village ordinances were documented with the Register of Deeds, the Zoning map was not recorded.  She asked if the Powell map would work and they said that it would.

She noted that she has a meeting with Rich Price, the new Director of Economic Development, next week.

      7.  Public Comment: Mark Teague said that he has issues with the Ordinances; he said there is no mixed use. He feels that Chris Green needs to bring his plan forward so that any issues with current ordinances can be addressed. Mayor Begley said that the intern, Jamie, and Rick Cardona should have updated information soon.

Mark said that Zoning will have to be enforced or it is no good. Mayor Begley asked if enforcing Zoning should be on the next Agenda and Council agreed that it should.

Mark said that the problem with run off from the 6th house on South Country Club Drive needs to be addressed. Councilman Hooper said that the Department of Transportation needs to be contacted about the problem if it is a state maintained road.

     8. Conditional Use Permit submitted to Village: Kingdom Care Ministries (Note: a request for more information + $500 application fee was sent to Kingdom Care Ministries regarding their CUP application). Mayor Begley asked for a motion to pay the County $150 fee for the Zoning Board of Adjustments Appeal, Councilman Corwin made a motion to pay the fee, seconded by Councilman Hooper, unanimously approved. Stephanie will send a check to Gerald Green’s office made payable to the town, Jackson County.

     9. Assistant Zoning Administrator position: Councilman Mau has asked to be removed from the position and that his name is removed from the website.  He is unsure if the position is needed since there isn’t much to do. Councilman Hooper said that we should ask Ken Dickert, the Zoning Administrator, if he feels the position is needed.

    10. Correct Village of Forest Hills resident roster/population information from County: Mayor Begley said that the information will be provided when it is complete.

    11. Policies: a. Education Policy for all seats – elected and appointed, classes and/or books.  Councilman Corwin suggested asking other Municipalities what they spend on education.  He feels that the classes are beneficial and that the Planning Board might also benefit from some of the classes offered.  Councilman Corwin feels that money should be allocated in the budget for these expenses.

Councilman Perlmutter said that he feels publications would be helpful.  Councilman Corwin added that there is an online index of materials on the UNC School of Government website.  Councilman Perlmutter said a Resource library would be good.  Mayor Begley said that she could ask Vickie Wade what would be a good basic guideline of information required for new Village Personnel?  Council agreed to form some type of Education policy. 

Councilman Hooper made a motion to reimburse Mayor Begley for two publications she purchased from the School of Government, Councilman Perlmutter seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

b. General Fund Balance Policy – Mayor Begley provided a handout of a town’s General fund balance as a guide and reviewed the information and gave an overview of the Town of Sylva’s Fund balance, she noted that they keep 40% of their budget as an Unreserved Fund balance.  A Reserved and Unreserved Fund balance is separate.  She also shared that Webster keeps $100,000 on average in their bank and they have the same budget and population as the Village. Mayor Begley feels that the board needs to specify what amount to keep in reserve and that the budget committee will need this information.  She noted that the state recommends 8% of the total Budget, research suggests 20-25% of the total budget, and noted that Sylva keeps 40% as a policy for Unreserved funds.  Mayor Begley said that she was comfortable with keeping $100K when she was finance officer.

Councilman Perlmutter raised two questions to consider, first, are taxpayers paying too much money, and does the Village have the revenue to pay for needs moving forward? 

Councilman Mau shared the handout he had shared previously on managing risk and he feels that a reserve of 200% is the statewide average. 

Councilman Corwin said that he feels the Village homeowner’s need to see a return, he feels there needs to be a policy on the needs for the reserve and the amount needed.  Mayor Begley asked the Council if they would like to recommend a percentage to leave in the Unreserved Fund balance? 

Attorney Moore suggested looking at the Village’s risk for the next 1, 3, or 5 years and anticipating the needs.

Councilman Corwin made a motion that 125% of the annual budgeted revenues be the minimum kept in an Unreserved Fund balance policy for the Village, Councilman Perlmutter seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 

 c. Closed Session Meeting Minutes Policy – when to release or post on the website?  Mayor Begley asked Attorney Moore when the Closed Session minutes could be released, he suggested whatever is a reasonable time of irrelevance, he recommended having the clerk present the Council with Closed Meeting minutes for approval to post on the website.  Councilman Hooper suggested beginning with the Closed minutes for the last six months, Council agreed.

    12. Old Business

a. Projector & printer purchased:  Councilman Corwin purchased a Projector and Printer to be available for Village meetings as needed, he was reimbursed for the expenses. 

b. Potential seat on TWSA Board:  Councilman Corwin shared that the director said he would be    willing to speak with the Council.  The Council expressed interest; Councilman Corwin said that he would let the director know that the Village is interested.

c. Construction Management students update:  Councilman Mau said that he will provide an update at the May meeting.

d. Village application forms:  Councilman Mau suggested that if applications are posted on the website that there be a disclaimer saying there may have been updates to the forms since they were posted and that a fee might apply.              

e. Schedule of Village Fees:  Mayor Begley said she would like a schedule of fees for Village applications and schedule of fines for breaking Ordinances posted to the website.  Councilman Perlmutter will work on this and suggested discussing this at the May meeting.             

 f. Stipend for Jamie Van Pelt, intern for the Village:  Attorney Moore said that compensation should be considered a payment, not a stipend.

    13. New Business:

a. Revise Village entrance to reduce future operating and maintenance costs?  Mayor Begley said that she would explore potentially getting input from some landscape architects.

 b. Goals for fiscal year July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015?  Any changes to Budget Committee at this time?  Council agreed that Mayor Begley, Councilman Hooper, and the Finance Officer would be Committee members. Council discussed the probability of applying for various grants to assist with Educational opportunities as well as revenues for the Village. 

c. Councilman Corwin noted that he received a call from Jim Wallace about the drainage issue.  He    also noted that he would like to have a similar meeting style as the Cullowhee Planning committee. 

d. Councilman Mau said there needs to be a plan by 6-30-15 regarding Paving projects, etc.  Call Rick Bennett about drainage problem and noise issue with residents riding four wheelers.

    14. Adjourn:  At 8:00pm Councilman Hooper made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Councilman Corwin, unanimously approved.