PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners welcomed Charles Anderson, of the Resource Institute, to discuss pending grant projects on Lola Lane and Depot Street at their Monday meeting.
“We have a long history with Pilot Mountain,” said Anderson, expressing his desire to help the town on another improvement project.
The two separate projects both include stream restoration and storm water management components. On Lola Lane the biggest concern is an exposed sewer line, while on Depot Street the issue is a collapsed culvert which created a sink hole in the road.
Both grants were submitted to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund which, according to Anderson, receives requests totalling four times the amount of funds available. “They won’t be likely to approve two projects from one town,” Anderson said, explaining the importance of prioritizing the projects for the committee. The deadline for submitting priorities to the foundation is Nov. 19.
“You may have to look at doing these projects in phases,” said Anderson, noting the possibility that only partial funding is approved, and that other funding sources exist should these grant applications fall through.
According to Anderson, the grant applications indicate that the town had received intent from land owners to provide easements. “Obtaining signatures is the town’s responsibility,” Anderson said, explaining that collecting easements is the longest part of the process, and can be accomplished during the first phase of funding.
Interim Town Manager Michael Boaz shared news that the State Board of Transportation will be voting on allocating $95,000 in contingency funds for the Depot Street project on Nov. 5. Sen. Shirley Randleman, who has assisted with securing these funds, felt strongly that the funding would be approved.
According to Boaz, the funds available for road maintenance in the Powell Fund are near $103,000. The board voted to begin resurfacing of Boyles Street and Gordon Court as soon as weather permits. With an estimated cost of $51,321 for Boyles Street and $9,680 for Gordon Court, There will still be funds available for other paving projects. Before deciding on other projects Boaz recommended, “I suggest we develop a scoring system to prioritize road needs.”
The commissioners made several new appointments all with unanimous votes. Larry Cook and Richard Whitley were appointed to the ABC Board. Stacey Hardman and Todd Morse were reappointed to the Tourism Development Authority Board. The Planning and Zoning Board had Junior Fulton and Jerry Reid appointed as in town representatives and Les Bennett recommended to the county as the extra territorial jurisdiction representative.
Two budget amendments were approved. The first amendment is to close out two capital project funds, for The Pilot Center and a mapping project. The second amendment appropriates funds from the sale of library stock to a new line item for library maintenance.
A new ordinance was passed allowing the board to issue permits for special events allowing consumption of alcoholic beverages on public property. A permit was then issued to the East Surry Class of 1975 for a reunion to be held at The Pilot Center on Nov. 7, contingent upon a certificate of liability insurance of at least $1 million.
An offer has been made on the Friend Street property, totaling .037 acres, by Michael Jessup for $785. “Remember that the town is not in the business of owning property,” said Town Attorney Ed Woltz, after answering that the sum may not cover the expenses incurred. The board directed staff to determine the cost of selling the property before acting on the offer.
Junior Fulton addressed the board about a water line issue on his dead-end street dating back to 2011. Records show that the line has not been flushed since last November, resulting in murky water coming from the tap. “When the line is not flushed, the water is not good,” he said, noting that previous management determined that weekly flushing is optimal. The board agreed to resume weekly flushing.
Frank Nichols thanked board members Gary Bell, Linda Needham, and Dwight Atkins as well as Serenity Counseling and The Hair Cottage for their dedication to the library, noting the donations made on Saturday for new computer equipment and two new doors.
Todd Tucker, of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, introduced Andrew Wright as a new member of their team who will work with Pilot Mountain.
The board is considering adding a monthly agenda briefing to its meeting schedule. The briefing would allow the board to determine what should be on the agenda and ask any relevant questions to be better informed before voting on issues.
The next Board of Commissioners meeting has been moved from it’s normally scheduled time to Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. A public hearing will also take place at that time to consider amending the zoning ordinance to allow zoning appeal to be heard by the Board of Adjustment rather than the Planning and Zoning Board.
Diane Blakemore may be reached at 336-368-2222 or on twitter @PilotReporter.