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Newland Aldermen Approve Site Plan; Sell Police Department Body Cameras to Village of Sugar Mountain

By Tim Gardner

The Town of Newland’s Board of Aldermen has approved a site plan for new homes on Vale Road and selling police department body cameras to the Village of Sugar Mountain, it was announced at the Board’s August regular monthly meeting.

Board of Aldermen (Town Council) members Kenny Caraway, Christie Hughes, Lauren Turbyfill, and Jamey Johnson attended, while Alderman Dave Calvert was absent. Other town officials present at the meeting included: Mayor Valerie Jaynes; Town Administrator Keith Hoilman; Finance Officer Lise Meinhardt; and Town Clerk and Board of Aldermen secretary Tammy Gardner. Town Attorney Joe Seegers was absent.

Rick Snyder, President of Snyder Surveying in Butler, TN presented the Board of Aldermen with layouts for five stick-built homes. Alderman Johnson made a motion to approve the site plan pending it’s within the guidelines of the Town’s ordinances. The motion carried unanimously (4-0).

During the police department’s monthly report, Chief Byron Clawson asked the Aldermen their opinions about selling the department’s used body cameras to The Village of Sugar Mountain. Clawson stated that only one of the cameras currently works. Clawson stated he was asking $200.00 on behalf of the Town for the camera that worked and $25.00 for each one that does not work for a sum of $300.00. Alderman Johnson made a motion to sell the cameras to The Village of Sugar Mountain for the prices Clawson suggested. It carried 4-0.

Mike Tolson, vice-president of Mack Gay Associates of Rocky Mount, NC presented the Board of Aldermen with an Asset Inventory Assessment (AIA) Program Resolution. Tolson explained how the Town can qualify for a monetary grant for updating its wastewater system through AIA and how much it would cost to apply. The grant funds will become available in 2020.  

The Federal Clean Water Act Amendments of 1987 and the North Carolina Water Infrastructure Act of 2005 have authorized the making of grants to aid eligible governments in financing the cost of construction of AIA Assessments.

Alderman Caraway made a motion to adopt the resolution, which also passed 4-0.

Also during the public comments segment, Jerry Moody, Avery County Extension Service Director told the Board of Aldermen that the Extension Service employees would like to assist the Town with the Halloween Trick or Trunk festivities.   Moody offered the Town the use of the Avery County Fairgrounds, located on the Extension Service property off Vale Road, so children would not have to be on what are usually congested streets in the Town on Halloween. Moody also explained that the Extension Service plans to develop a haunted trail for children to use on Halloween next year.

In other business, Meinhardt informed the Board of Aldermen that the Town’s audit is scheduled for August 26 and gave the Aldermen a pre-audit summary. Meinhardt also advised the Aldermen that she had moved the Town’s money into First National Bank.

Hoilman advised the Aldermen that Crystal Hicks resigned as Director of Avery County’s branch of the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles Tag Office, located in Town Hall. Town Officials promoted Whitney Townsend, previously Assistant Director of the Tag Office to its Directorship, and on On August 9, hired Courtney Ford as its Assistant Director.

The Board of Aldermen’s next regularly scheduled monthly meeting will be Thursday, September 12, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in Town Hall, located at 301 Cranberry Street.