June 2024

Village of Forest Hills Council Meeting
Tuesday, June 04, 2024 – 7:00 pm
Forest Hills Assembly Hall, Cullowhee NC


The following members of the Council were present:

Councilmember Robert Kehrberg

Councilmember Nilofer Couture

Councilmember Daniel Shields

Councilmember Larry Ingersoll

The following members of the Council were absent:

Mayor Marcia Almond

Stephanie Gibson, Clerk

The following non-Council members were Present:

Terry Michelson, Co-Clerk

Niall Michelsen, Resident

Justin Wycoff, NC Class Director of Investment Services

  1. Call to order: at 7:00pm Mayor Pro tem Shields called the meeting to order. 

     2.  Announcements:

Reminder – Please silence cell phones for meeting. 

     3.  Approval of Agenda: Councilmember Ingersoll made a motion to approve the agenda, Councilmember Couture seconded the motion, unanimously approved. 

     4.  Approval of Meeting Minutes for May 07, 2024, Regular Council Meeting:(All meeting minutes are posted on the Forest Hills website once approved.) Councilmember Couture made a motion to approve the meeting minutes for May 07, 2024, Councilmember Kehrberg seconded the motion, unanimously approved.  

     5.  Acceptance of Financial Report & Checklist for the month of May 2024: (All financial reports are posted on the Forest Hills website once approved.) Councilmember Couture made a motion to accept the financial report, Councilmember Ingersoll seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

Stephanie noted that funds needed to be reclassed to correct overages in professional services, Website hosting, Village Social, Street Maintenance - Powell and advertisements. Councilmember Shields made a motion to reclass funds from non-Powell maintenance funds, police funds, Attorney fees, and entrance operating, to cover overage, Councilmember Kehrberg seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

Stephanie noted that she had completed the ARPA report due in April. She noted that the funds need to be spent prior to December 2024, she noted that eligible expenses could be reclassed from the time the Village received ARPA funds to spend down those funds. The consensus of the Council was for Stephanie to reclass eligible expenses to use the ARPA funds.

The council discussed the interest rates of the Money Market account and would like to check other financial institutions to see if we cannot get a better rate. Stephanie will check rates and report at the next meeting.

  1. NC Class:  Justin Wycoff, Director, Investment Services:  Justin discussed NCClass and provided an overview for the Council. NC Class, (The North Carolina Cooperative Liquid Assets Securities System) is an investment pool created by an Interlocal Agreement and an Indenture of Trust, pursuant to N.C.G.S. Section 159-30 (c)(10). North Carolina CLASS was organized in 2023 and provides a professionally managed investment program. Funds of the Participants are invested in prime or high-grade, short-term fixed income instruments selected with the goal of providing program safety, liquidity, and competitive rates of return as further defined within the North Carolina CLASS Information Statement.

The management of North Carolina CLASS is under the direction of a Board of Trustees comprised of eligible Participants of the North Carolina CLASS program. The Board of Trustees has appointed Public Trust Advisors, LLC to serve as the Investment Advisor and Administrator of the program and has appointed Fifth Third Bank as the Custodian. The program started in 2012 and they now manage more than $19 billion and are sponsored by the North Carolina League of Municipalities.

Justin shared that participation in North Carolina Class is available to any unit of local government. He noted that liquidity is daily and that there is no minimum investment. The number of withdrawals and accounts is unlimited, and the dividend rate accrues daily. Justin said that the rates are the same for everyone and are currently 5.42%. He said there are no fees. Current local participants are the Town of Waynesville and the City of Asheville.

Councilmember Ingersoll asked Justin if the accounts were FDIC insured and he said that no, they are not. The council discussed putting some funds into NC Class but decided to continue the discussion at the July meeting.

Justin said that to join the local government must pass a resolution. The council agreed to add this topic to the July agenda.

     7.  Public Comment:  None

     8.  Reports: 

Mayor’s Report: Marcia Almond – Mayor Almond was absent.

Roads: Larry Ingersoll – Councilmember Ingersoll said that he called Aaron’s paving to get an update on the schedule to pave in the village and was told that they got held up on a job in Cashiers and had some equipment issues, but they plan to come to the village as soon as they finish in Cashiers, it should be no more than 2-3 weeks.

Councilmember Ingersoll said that he spoke with Robbie Hess, he has mowed the village entrance, pruned trees, and said he will meet with Larry about the sign installations. Robbie noted that he may need to invest in a bush hog for mowing the roadsides, he said his mowers may not be powerful enough.

Councilmember Ingersoll said that the county advised him on where to place mirrors and recommended 20” mirrors for those needed on village roads.

Councilmember Ingersoll said that the previous complaint about the dog in the road has been addressed but that the neighbor mentioned a Beagle in the neighborhood that often kept her children awake, she was not sure who the owner is. He said that the complaint about furniture near the cabins and cross ties had been taken care of. The owner of the dogs, who some people had said seemed aggressive, seems to be keeping those dogs in.

Planning Board: Planning Board Chair Tim Eckard resigned and has moved, and Patricia Wink and her family moved so there are two vacant positions on the Planning Board.

Village Safety: Nilofer Couture – Councilmember Couture said that she has not received the patrol report for May. She said that there were 35 911 calls for the month, most came from Prospect, The University Inn, Summit, and Pin Cushion Lane.

  1.     New Business: 
  •          Audit Approval:  Stephanie emailed a copy of the Audit Contract toCouncilmembers prior to the meeting for review. The audit contract from Burleson & Earley was reviewed. Councilmember Couture made a motion to accept the audit contract, Councilmember Ingersoll seconded the motion, unanimously approved.

      10.  Unfinished Business:

  •          Summer Social:  The Council discussed the Village Summer Social to be held on July 14th. Councilmember Shields said that Catamount Jaxe is not charging for the village to hold the social there and that they are providing staff. Stephanie is mailing postcards to residents and ordering signs.


  •          Update on Tree Removal:  Councilmember Shields said that Sylva Tree removal came and has taken down the 4 trees in danger of falling and he sent the invoice to Stephanie, and she sent a check to the company. He noted they did not remove the stumps to prevent causing issues with the root systems of the existing trees.


  •          Road Projects:  Councilmember Ingersoll was absent. Councilmember Ingersoll said that he would call Aaron Paving and ask when they would be able to get to the work in the Village that was approved, he was previously told it would be about three weeks and that was a couple of weeks ago.


  •          Update on Prospect Commercial Space:  No current information. Mayor Almond was able to get the lease agreement signed for the Assembly Hall and Stephanie went by Prospect and paid the $12 annual fee agreed upon.


  •          Update on Grants:  Nothing new to report.

    11.  Additional Comments:  None


    12.  Adjourn: At 8:06pm, Councilmember Couture made a motion to adjourn, Councilmember Ingersoll seconded the motion, unanimously approved.