September 2013



September 03, 2013

The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills was held on September 03, 2013 in the Gym of the Jackson County Recreation Center at 6:00pm.

The following members of the Council were present:

Jim Wallace, Mayor

Carl Hooper

Clark Corwin

Ron Mau

Suzanne Stone

The following Non-Council members were present:

Stephanie Gibson, Village Clerk

David Moore, Village Attorney

Nick Breedlove, Sylva Herald

(1)  Call to order: 6:00pm by Mayor Jim Wallace.

(2)  Vote on Agenda: Councilman Corwin made a motion to approve the agenda; Councilman Hooper seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

(3)  Approval of meeting minutes from August 06, 2013 Council meeting:  Councilman Corwin made a motion to approve the minutes, Councilwoman Stone seconded, unanimously approved.  (Approved meeting minutes are posted on the Village website.)

(4)  Financial Report for the Month of August:  Stephanie Gibson provided the Financial Reports.  The budget for August included $2,317.66 in revenues from Interest, Ad Valorem Taxes, and Sales tax and expenditures of $7,396.13 for Notices/ads, Police protection, Entrance operating, Fire protection, Audit payment, streets, and clerk fee.   Motion to accept the financial report was made by Councilman Hooper, seconded by Councilman Corwin, unanimously approved.

(5)  Public Hearing:  Mayor Wallace presented the information that Chris Green had given him about owner financing.  Mr. Green said that a $50,000 down payment would be required.  Mayor Wallace presented spreadsheet containing owner-financing information provided by Mr. Green in the event the board decided to proceed with the purchase.  Information on the worksheet showed that the average homeowner in the village would have to pay an additional $840 - $1,020 per year in taxes to finance the purchase.  Mayor Wallace said costs would be even higher by the time liability insurance, maintenance, and other costs were factored in.  If Green decides to develop the property, it will have to comply with town zoning and ordinances.  The council hasn’t received a formal presentation from the owner.

Everyone who signed to speak will have three minutes to make their presentation. 

Janie Prentice spoke and said that she is not in favor of the village buying the land but she would like to keep the area residential.  She suggested having a working meeting with Mr. Green to discuss future desires for the village.

Kolleen Begley spoke and asked how residents get questions answered.  Councilman Corwin said that this is a public speaking session to discuss the purchase of property and other issues cannot be discussed at this time.  Kolleen said she does not think that it would be responsible for the village to consider purchasing a million dollar property.

Carl Iobst spoke and said that he is not in favor of raising taxes that the village would need an end game.  If the village purchased the property it could potentially be leased out for agricultural purposes.

Jean Adams spoke and said that she is opposed to purchasing the property but not opposed to Mr. Green making a profit and developing the land.

Steve Brown spoke and said that he and his wife were opposed to buying the property saying that it is not financially viable.

Lee Budahl spoke saying he is not in favor of the village purchasing the property.  He said that if anyone builds in the village, there is a 2 acre lot requirement.  He would like a legal opinion to know if the village purchased the land and later went belly up or dissolved, would the homeowners be responsible for the remainder of the debt.

Doug Painter spoke saying that it would be fiscal irresponsibility to purchase the property.

Nancy Kolenbrander spoke and said she is not in favor of purchasing the property.

Mark Teague spoke and said that he does not support purchasing the property.  He said that the village became incorporated to protect the area and residents by creating ordinances.

Councilman Mau asked for a show of hands of people interested in buying the property and none of the present homeowners or landowners were in favor of buying the land.

Councilwoman Stone made a motion to tell Mr. Green that the village is not interested in purchasing the property, Councilman Hooper seconded, unanimously approved.

Councilman Corwin said that we should work with Mr. Green on the future of the “Valley”.

(6)  Planning Board:  Janie Prentice said that the Planning Board is working on the village statement.  She noted she would like to meet with Mr. Green and speak to him about ideas to be implemented.

(7)  New Business:  Councilman Corwin noted that there are two volunteer positions open, one for the Planning Board and one for the council that Councilman Stone has resigned, her position has a two year term remaining.

Councilman Corwin noted that he would like to have the rules and procedures of the village on the agenda at the next meeting.

(8)  Old Business:  None

(9)  Public Comment:  Several homeowners signed to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Kolleen Begley spoke saying that she had noticed for a couple of years there has been a surplus, there has been a tax increase but no more money has been earmarked for roads.  She noted that there is no requirement to have a certain amount of funds available; the state suggests $10,000 for a municipality such as the village.

Mark Teague said that he wanted to make sure that the council got the letter from the attorney and that the council voted on the fact that Forest Hills Estates is part of the village.

Rick Cardona spoke saying he is against the purchase of the property but feels that it is in the best interest of the homeowners to discuss future options with Chris Green.  He feels that there should be a contact person as well as a backup contact listed on the website with numbers so if there is a road issue, maintenance issue, etc. people will know who to contact.

Mayor Wallace asked the council if they should initiate a contact with the property owner.  Councilman Corwin said that the property owner, Mr. Green, has only contacted Mayor Wallace and has not approached anyone else about his intentions.

Councilman Corwin suggested a master plan with input from the village of future plans for VFH.

(10)  Adjourn:  At 7:00 Councilman Corwin made a motion to adjourn; motion was seconded by Councilman Hooper, unanimously approved.