Boone Council To Meet on Monday: Raw Water Intake, SAHA, Noise Ordinance & More

Published Monday, February 23, 2015 at 10:48 am

Update: Thursday’s Boone Town Council meeting has been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 23, at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers on Blowing Rock Road.

By Jesse Wood

The Boone Town Council will meet on Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Council Chambers, located at 1500 Blowing Rock Road, at 5:30 p.m. for its monthly meeting. The council will address a number of items including a license with SAHA, the noise ordinance, the proposed Boone water intake along the New River, development at the old Southern States property and more.

Previous Updates from Town Manager

Town Manager John Ward’s updates from January meeting were included in the minutes of this meeting’s packet.

Ward announced that the Public Works and Public Utilities departments have been consolidated into a single Public Works Department to make “more efficient resource allocation for equipment, projects, etc.,” according to the minutes. Ward added that the transition received positive feedback so far.

Ward also announced that the parking-meter project in downtown Boone has a projected “go-live date of March” and that an education campaign for metered parking would launch in February. Ward said on Tuesday that the town was waiting on “proofs” before launching

Agenda items for Thursday’s meeting include:

Student Parking Lease in Public Works Lot

The council will consider an agreement between the Town of Boone and Kingswood Condominiums, which are located off of East King Street, to lease 24 parking spaces in the parking lot of the Public Works Center at 321 East King St.

The license agreement runs from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016. The payment to lease the 24 spaces for the year is $4,625.

Approval of Appraisal Services for Boone Water Intake

According to a memo to council, the Public Works Department has selected Sweeting Appraisal Services, based in Blowing Rock, for appraisal services pertaining to the Boone’s proposed water intake along the New River.

The contract totals $84,600, plus a proposed hourly rate of $175 per hour for additional services as an expert or witness. This wasn’t budgeted in this year’s budget and will require a budget transfer from the Water and Sewer Infrastructure Reserve Fund, which contains $5,548,374. The total budget amendment is for $101,520, which includes 16,920 for the hourly-rate additions.

According to the proposed contract for the council to consider, the initial scope of work includes Sweeting preparing narrative appraisal reports for 37 properties along Brownwood Road and seven properties along the New River Hills section. Plus, Sweeting would appraise three more properties, identified as alternative route choices, within the New River Hills section.

Budget Amendments for Intake Right-of-Way Agreements

In addition to the appraisal-services contract, the Boone Town Council will also consider budget amendments totaling $250,000 for right-of-way negotiating services and W.K. Dickson engineering services on the water-intake project.

As was the case with the appraisal services, this item wasn’t budgeted for in this year’s budget and would require a transfer from the Water and Sewer Infrastructure Reserve Fund.

SAHA License

The Boone Town Council will consider a license agreement with Southern Appalachian Historical Association that runs through the 2015.

SAHA Vice Chair Greg Williams said that he’s been working with Town Manager John Ward on “hammering out” a new agreement for the past several weeks. This agreement would allow for “Horn in the West,” which is produced by SAHA, to continue in 2015 and also covers the Hickory Ridge property.

“We are excited. We’re making plans, selling sponsorships and hiring actors,” Williams said, anticipating the approval of this license.

Noise Ordinance

The Boone Town Council will revisit the noise ordinance again on Thursday. Last month, Councilman Fred Hay put the noise ordinance on January’s agenda because the “noise ordinance as it is is controversial,” according to meeting minutes.

Other council members voiced their support in looking at the ordinance again. On Thursday, the council will hear a report from Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford comparing Boone’s ordinance to those of other cities.

In 2011, the Boone Town Council enacted changes to the noise ordinance and then in February of 2012, the noise ordinance was again amended. From a February 2012 High Country Press article:

“Directly due to the comments made at the Jan. 10 [2012] meeting, the board amended the original ordinance noise levels with a five-decibel increase. The ordinance now requires that measured noise within 10 feet of a business or venue be at a maximum level of 70 decibels up until 11 p.m. and then 60 decibels until sunrise during the workweek and then 70 decibels from 10 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday and 60 decibels from midnight to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.”

Hay didn’t immediately return a call on Tuesday afternoon for specifics on revisiting the ordinance.

Boone Saloon Owner Skip Sinanian said he isn’t sure where the council is taking this issue now but added he and others (professors, local business owners, community members) would attend the meeting and speak during public comment.

While downtown resident Judy Humphries, who lives on Grand Boulevard, has called for a stricter noise ordinance during the last meeting, Sinanian said that this ordinance is impacting his business.

“Our music schedule has really died in the past couple of years because of the noise ordinance and I don’t think that’s good for the town,” Sinanian said.

Cases from Public Quarterly Hearing

The Boone Town Council will also consider cases that were heard at the Quarterly Public Hearing in February. The Planning Commission met on Feb. 9 and made a recommendation to approve the Rivers Walk development on the old Southern States property. The council will also look at rezoning the “Rivers Properties” and address the proposed Wellness District Small Area Plan.

See the entire agenda and meeting packet here.

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