September 2014

                                                                        COUNCIL MINUTES
                                                                 VILLAGE OF FOREST HILLS
                                                                             September 16, 2014


The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills was held in the meeting room at the Webster Town Hall at 6:00pm on September 16, 2014.


The following members of the Council were present:

Mayor Kolleen Begley

Councilmember Clark Corwin

Councilmember Ron Mau

Councilmember Carl Hooper

Councilmember Dan Perlmutter


The following Non-Council members were present:

Stephanie Gibson, Finance Officer/Clerk

Tanner Hall, The Sylva Herald

Lee and Mary Ann Budahl, Village homeowners

Sealy Chipley, Chipley Consulting

Don Kostelec, Kostelec Planning


1)      Call to order:  The meeting was called to order at 6:04pm by Mayor Kolleen Begley.


2)      Approval of Agenda:  Councilman Perlmutter made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Councilman Mau, and unanimously approved.


3)      Public Comment:  None


4)      Framing Meeting:  Chipley Consulting & Kostelec Planning:  Sealy Chipley & Don Kostelec


Sealy Chipley and Don Kostelec discussed the Council’s ideas and goals for the community workshop/charrette.  Don began by asking what the guiding values for the meeting were, he documented that the guiding value was to maintain a pleasant residential community while promoting managed growth.  He asked what questions should be the focus of the workshop.  Council and homeowners in attendance provided ideas to present for input on a future vision for the Village to serve residents and what forms of development can fulfill those objectives.  Ideas provided were:

  • Provide green space, parks, and or trails
  • Mixed use development, such as professional office space, coffee shops, etc.
  • Have a community center or town hall.
  • Have a retirement center or continuing care facility.
  • Have an event or activity area, a sanctuary in a natural setting
  • Having everyone join TWSA for water and septic 
  • Having an educational/discovery center
  • Public Services Station (Fire & Police)


Mary Ann Budahl shared that she doesn’t want to see any more commercial development other than that on Hwy. 107.


Councilman Perlmutter asked if we should determine what residents are interested in before pursuing grants.  Mayor Begley said that based on prior surveys, residents were interested in green space.


Councilman Corwin said that he is concerned about what we tell the public about economic sustainability for whatever pursuits are followed.


Consultants Chipley and Kostelec said they will return to the October 7th meeting and summarize the framing and ideas for the charrette.


The Council discussed a date for the Community workshop and determined that Nov. 3rd or the 10th looked like a good time to meet but a larger room than the one used at the Recreation center would be needed.  Mayor Begley said that she would check with Cullowhee Valley School and see if those dates were available for the Village to meet in their cafeteria.  She suggested when mailing the information about the charrette, send as a survey so that residents who cannot attend can provide feedback via the surveys.


5)      Announcements: 1) next meeting is Oct. 7th at the Jackson County Rec. Ctr.  2)  the following meeting is on Oct. 28th   3) no meeting in Nov.  4)  mark your calendars for Feb. 2nd 2015, next joint meeting with Jackson County (meeting calendar on Home Page of website)                                                                         


6)      Approval of Meeting Minutes from August 05, 2014 Council meeting & August 18, 2014 Special Council Meeting: a motion to approve the minutes from the August 5th Council meeting was made by Councilman Mau, seconded by Councilman Hooper, unanimously approved.  A motion to approve the minutes from the August 18th Special Council meeting was made by Councilman Hooper, seconded by Councilman Corwin, unanimously approved.                                             


7)      Acceptance of Financial Report & Checklist for the month of August, 2014   Stephanie provided copies of the Financial Report for August. 

Revenues for the month included $1792.53 in Sales Tax, $277.53 in Ad Valorem Taxes, $50.00 for an Ordinance violation fee, and $12.12 in Interest earned.  Expenditures for the month included $325.00 for administrative fees, $600.00 for Police Protection, $975.00 for Audit fees, $26.40 for notices, $458.40 for Attorney fees, and $360.51 in Entrance operating fees.  As of August 31, 2014 there is $136,794.68 in the General Fund bank account and $15,179.82 in the Powell Bill bank account.


A motion to approve the financial report for August was made by Councilman Hooper, seconded by Councilman Perlmutter, unanimously approved.


Higher interest bearing account options – collateralized:  Councilmembers had reviewed interest rates obtained from several local banks and the account options available for the possibility of moving the unreserved fund balance to a higher interest account.  Old Town Bank had higher interest rates and offered a Money Market account option.  The Council discussed moving the unreserved fund balance of $108,750 to a Money Market account.  A motion to move the $108,750 to a Money Market at Old Town Bank was made by Councilman Perlmutter, seconded by Councilman Hooper, unanimously approved.


8)       Reports:  


Planning Board: Councilman Corwin said that the Planning Board met last night, four members attended; he said that Janie Prentiss stepped down as Planning Board Chair.  Councilman Corwin said that he asked members to be thinking about potential members and said that he would ask Steve about stepping up to chair the Planning Board and if he isn’t interested, he would ask Lee. 


Safety:  Councilman Hooper said that there was surveillance but no citations.


Roads:  Councilman Perlmutter said that he isn’t sure if handouts are still necessary regarding road issues.  He said that when surveys are sent out for the charrette, should a handout about the roads be included?  Mayor Begley said that we could make them separate.  Councilman Corwin said that he felt it would be confusing.  Councilman Mau said that it could bias the outcome.  Councilman Perlmutter said that he did not get a lot of the handouts returned from residents so he does not feel like he wants to continue walking to residents homes and giving them handouts.  Mayor Begley and Councilman Corwin said that they would be willing to hand out some of the surveys when walking through the community.  Councilman Perlmutter said he would bring printed copies to the next meeting.


Ordinances:  Councilman Mau said that Ken Dickert has sent out several certified letters regarding violations of ordinances.  One homeowner that was issued a citation did send their fee of $50.00 for a noise ordinance violation by mail.


Mayor’s Report


Speed Limit & No Parking on Roads


Mayor Begley said that she has spoken with D.O.T. and was told that if signs are posted and it’s documented in our ordinances, then police can enforce speed limits and no parking.


Mayor Begley noted that after a recent conversation with Elizabeth St. John, she understood that Elizabeth St. John initiated a request to the NCDOT and Mayor Wallace last year for a sidewalk to run along North Country Club Drive from Hwy.107 to the University Inn, and that Ms. St. John noted that Mayor Wallace indicated to her that he would bring this information to the board last August, 2013.   Mayor Begley noted that there were no meeting minutes showing that Mayor Wallace brought this to the board to discuss.  Board members indicated that they were unaware of the request.  Mayor Begley further noted that Mayor Wallace had not brought this to her attention either before or after she took over as mayor at the December, 2013 monthly Council meeting.  Mayor Begley & Councilman Perlmutter were informed that this project received a high ranking from the D.O.T. but that the Village would need to commit to a portion of the cost and maintenance of the sidewalk thereafter in order for further consideration.  According to the initial D.O.T. calculations, the total cost of the sidewalk project was approximately $500,000 and the Village would be required to commit to approximately $100,000.00 of that.  Councilman Perlmutter said that the reason the sidewalks were taken off the D.O.T. priority list was that they needed a commitment of a pledge amount right away, over the weekend when it was discussed.

Since neither the board members or Mayor Begley were aware of the request and had not obtained funding, Mayor Begley said she had to let the D.O.T. know they were unable to commit at this time but would like to consider this request again next year. Mayor Begley noted that the Village could plan for this funding by looking into grants, potential support from other stakeholders and other avenues of financial support available to assist with the Village portion of the cost.  Mayor Begley noted that Elizabeth helped in initiating the request for getting the recently constructed sidewalk on Little Savannah Road; she said that WCU paid 50% of the cost.  She noted that it would be good to have a long range pedestrian plan documented for next year’s consideration.  Mayor Begley said that she would ask Elizabeth to come to the meeting on October 28th or a future meeting to discuss her prior request and offer some insight as to how to achieve this going forward.     

Sidewalk on North Country Club Drive 


Mayor Begley discussed that she attended the PARTF (Parks and Recreation Trust Fund) grant workshop and noted that our area’s PARTF consultant was familiar with the Village of Forest Hills and the old golf course.  She said that there are grants available for municipalities for parks and recreational uses and she said that she feels like she is capable of putting together an application with the assistance of the councilmembers and outside review from the consultant.  She noted that special consideration is given to applications asking for $250,000 or less.  The grant is a 50/50 match and could be used to acquire some green space if the Village decided to do so.


Mayor Begley asked if we should talk to Chris Green about the idea or wait, Councilman Mau said that he feels we should wait to get resident’s input at the workshop.  He said in regard to applying for a grant for potential green space somewhere in the village, he feels that we should move forward. Councilman Perlmutter said that it might be a good idea to discuss the Council’s intent with Mr. Green without any commitment and noting that the Village has a limited budget.


Mayor Begley said that she was thinking that a smaller area for the green space would be less upkeep and maintenance.


Councilman Corwin noted that the ordinances will have to be considered when subdividing.

Mayor Begley asked the council again if they would like for her to talk to Chris Green, the Council said that they would like for Mayor Begley to talk to Chris Green and tell him that the village may be interested in an area for a green space if the resources can be acquired.  Mayor Begley said that if a grant was obtained, the village could purchase and then make future plans.  She said that it would be good to have Gerald Green review the idea, Councilman Perlmutter agreed and recommended that she have him review prior to talking with Chris Green.


9)       Old Business:


  • WCU Grant Writing Program (Biltmore Park, October 2014 $349):  Councilman Corwin said that he will review the dates and see if it is possible for him to attend.


10)   New Business

  • Forest Hills needs to appoint a representative for the Jackson County Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee.


Mayor Begley said she talked to Councilman Mau about being the Forest Hills representative for this committee. Councilman Perlmutter nominated Councilman Mau; Councilman Hooper seconded the nomination, unanimously agreed.  Councilman Mau accepted the appointment.


Mayor Begley shared a proposal she requested from B.H. Graning Landscapes, Inc., to put stone around the rotted flower box at the, small sign on the corner of North Country Club and South Country Club that was recently donated.  The proposal for labor and materials was for $385.00; Councilman Corwin made a motion to accept the proposal, seconded by Councilman Perlmutter, unanimously approved.


Mayor Begley asked Councilman Mau if he would be the contact person for snow removal this upcoming winter and he agreed that he would.


Councilman Corwin mentioned that we need to ask what stakeholders should be invited in addition to Village property owners such as commissioners, ETJ, etc.


Councilman Perlmutter recommended that a resident cleanup day not be scheduled, he suggested getting the community involved in ideas for the Village entrance, getting ideas, volunteers, etc.  Councilman Hooper and Councilman Corwin requested we keep a resident cleanup day idea on a future agenda.


11)   Adjourn:  At 8:35 Councilman Hooper made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Councilman Corwin, unanimously approved.