BEECH MOUNTAIN — “Tiny houses,” updates to the water plant replacement project, water intake expenditures, the departure of town manager and much more were on the agenda of the Beech Mountain Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 13.
The start of new business began with an update from West Consultants Construction Administrator Dale Schepers on the water plant replacement. Currently, all work is “satisfactory” and a little bit behind schedule, Schepers said. An extension to the work will be considered at future meetings. This was followed by the Spruce Hollow to Beech Mountain Parkway update by Public Utilities Director Robert Heaton, who said the trail is now at over 4,500 feet.
Town Manager Ed Evans said that a driller arrived at the test well site Tuesday and began work. Last month, the town authorized an expenditure of around $14,000 near Grassy Gap Creek Road to drill a well in search of additional water sources.
Resolution 2016-12 was passed, which defined procedures for disposal of personal property valued at less than $30,000. Evans cited build-up at trash depots.
Evans then moved on to the procurement of two vehicles from Modern Ford for the town. While it was several months ahead of schedule, Evans pointed out that if they waited until the new year, the council would be spending over $13,000 more due to new regulations. The motion passed.
Town Planner James Scott made three presentations to the council in which he asked for future public hearings on three items. The first request was for the town to amend its regulations regarding fire extinguishers to align with the state’s ordinances. The motion was approved
The second was to explore a proposed ordinance regarding the minimum size for detached single family dwellings. Beech Mountain currently has no minimum size, so it falls in with the state’s policy, which Scott believes to be 200 square feet. After going over all of the detached single family dwellings in the town, Scott proposed a minimum size of 800 square feet, which aligns with the smallest known dwelling in town limits.
The third was to look into amending the town’s subdivision regulations regarding requirements for open space and trails, with an emphasis on recreation.
After Scott’s presentations. Mayor E. “Rick” Miller went over appointments for the planning board, board of adjustment, tourism development authority and the tree committee. All except the tree committee had appointments ready for the new year.
Council comments had Evans report that Beech Mountain is now upgraded to Level 1 water restrictions after being at Level 3 the previous month thanks to a good month of precipitation. Snow-making would start the next day through the holidays with cold weather in the forecast and that the water plant was operating at “great capacity”.
The end of the public session saw Evans speak about his decision to take the town manager’s position in Blowing Rock. Evans brought up his health as a reason for the move. Due to the altitude changes, his “ear issue” has progressed to a point where there’s nothing more for the doctors to do. Evans thanked the council and the citizens for a wonderful tenure.
Miller used his comment time to praise Evans, saying the Town of Beech Mountain is losing one of the best managers they’ve had.
The town then moved to close the public session and move to a closed session.