NEWS

Black Mountain Town Council accepts 26 acre donation

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
The Black Mountain Town Council met for a special call meeting Dec. 22 to approve the donation of 26 acres of land.

In a special call meeting Dec. 22, the Black Mountain Town Council voted unanimously to accept a 26 acre donation from Black Mountain Ventures LLC.

“It’s Christmas come early,” Mayor Mike Sobol said.

Town Council was first told of this donation in closed session meetings. The purpose of the Dec. 22 special call meeting was to inform the public and put it to an official vote.

Vice Mayor Archie Pertiller made the motion to accept the gift, and all present council members voted in favor. Council member Alice Berry was absent from the meeting.

The land Black Mountain Ventures LLC will be giving the town is behind the old Bi-Lo building, including a parcel of land behind the ABC store.

Town Attorney Ron Sneed said the donation is comprised of three parcels and comes with “no strings attached.” He said the town was waiting on appraisals to see if the land was acceptable. The town found it was.

Before putting it to a vote, council member Pam King said she wanted the public to know that the town did its due diligence in looking at the land to make sure it would not cause any problems down the line.

Council member Doug Hay asked if there were any structures on the land the council needed to be aware of. Sneed said there were not, but there was once a homeless encampment behind Bi-Lo that, to the town’s knowledge, is no longer being used.

Hay also wanted to know if the land would be immediately accessible to the public. Sneed answered that while the land is owned by the town, it is up to the council to decide whether or not the public has access to it.

“It’s town property, not necessarily public property,” Sneed said. “Access is a little tricky, so it’s not readily available to anybody unless they go in through the dog park.”

Sobol commented that until particular use is approved for the land, it could be considered similar to the watershed in that the town owns the property, but the public does not have access to it.

Sobol also said that, with his new appointment to the Friends of the Fonta Flora State Trail Board, he is excited to see what use the town can make of the land.

“I’m tickled pink,” Sobol said. “This is exactly where Fonta Flora would love to come through.”