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Council Votes to Annex Additional Properties, Tables New Lease with SAHA

Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford delivers the monthly Noise Report to the town council. Photo by Ron Fitzwater

By Ron Fitzwater

Mar. 22, 2012. BOONE — The Boone Town Council met in regular session on Tuesday, March 20 for the first of two scheduled meetings for the week and made swift work of a modest agenda.

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Loretta Clawson and following a few announcements, approval of prior minutes and approval of the evening’s agenda, the council briefly discussed the adoption of the newly minted Town of Boone Code of Ordinances, following a short presentation from Boone Planning and Inspections Director Bill Bailey. The new code basically just cleans up and arranges town ordinances for ease of use by both the town and the citizens.

Randy Jones updated the council on the downtown Post Office project telling them that “to date, civil engineer’s drawings are completed and ready to submit for a zoning application.” The drawings will be available for inspection on April 3rd and project bidding day will be April 26th. Jones is hoping to have the project completed within eight to 10 months.    

The council held significant debate pertaining to renewing the soon to expire property lease with Southern Appalachian Historical Association for the property on Horn of the West Drive. Some council members were concerned about the length of the lease wanted by SAHA. The organization was looking for a 20 to 25 year lease to aid them in obtaining federal arts and humanities grants. However, some among the council were concerned that under North Carolina law, a lease for that length of time constituted a sale of the property, something they are against. Other concerns included agreeing to a lease before the group completed sub-lease negotiations with the Farmer’s Market. In the end the board voted 3 to 4 to table the matter until their first meeting in April.

Police Chief Dana Crawford presented the monthly noise report and told the council that after receiving only a few calls since the town’s new noise ordinance went into effect, that businesses seemed to be complying and that one of the calls answered by officers actually turned out to be from patrons outside of an establishment. Some sound spikes were identified when doors to businesses were opened, but no sustained noise above the legal limit was discovered. Crawford also reported that his officers had received new sound monitoring equipment and were in the final phase of training with the gear and should be using it by this weekend.

Pilar Fotta presented the board with requests to annex more properties in town; Voting 4 to 0, the council annexed the properties located at 150 Clay House Drive and 122 Moretz Street.

Public Utilities Director, Ricky Miller reported that the town’s Water Treatment Plant recorded a maximum daily demand of 1.878 million gallons on Feb. 17; the average daily demand for Feb. was 1.689 million gallons; the total water treated in Feb. was 48.975 million gallons, which is a .75 percent increase from the total amount of water treated in 2011.

The council then voted to enter into closed session pursuant to North Carolina General Statute §143-318.11(a)(3)(5) for legal advice on a water intake issue and property acquisition for the Chestnut Street Connector.

Following the closed session the council went into recess until 6:30 p.m. March 22, 2012.