Black Mountain Town Council nixes property purchase, OKs annexation

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
Black Mountain Recreation and Parks Director presented his departments annual report to town council May 8.

After hearing several annual reports, the Black Mountain Town Council voted to reject a proposal to purchase town property, as well as to annex and zone a parcel of land in the May meeting.

Black Mountain Beautification Committee Co-Chair Tucki Folkers presented the annual report of the committee, detailing the various projects, awards and events the committee put on in 2022.

For 2023 goals, Folkers said the committee plans to continue to “maintain, educate and collaborate” with the town and merchants.

The Black Mountain Beautification Committee maintains several planters around town.

Folkers ended her presentation by saying the Black Mountain Beautification Committee applied for $14,000 in funding from the town to continue these projects.

Josh Henderson, recreation and parks director, presented the department’s annual report. He pointed to an increase in partnerships within the community and improvements made to town facilities as points of interest in his presentation.

He said indoor soccer was the most popular of the youth sports with a total of 348 participants and generated $20,430 in revenue. He said the department is “on track” to bring back basketball for the next season. In 2022, the pool saw 13,061 visitors with gate revenues coming in at $44,473 and concessions revenues totaling $14,413.

Last year, the department hired a new community garden manager and had 129 registered gardeners.

Henderson said facility rentals “remain steady,” with the most popular being the Lakeview upstairs rental space. This area saw 68 rentals and $22,080 in revenue.

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Council member Doug Hay asked Henderson if the recently presented Recreation and Parks Master Plan shaped the way the department operates, and Henderson responded it helps him know what to look for.

“I would say that it sheds light on what’s needed in the community in terms of what people are interested in and what we can offer,” Henderson said.

The Black Mountain Town Council directed town staff to begin working on improvements to Cragmont Park, including the basketball courts.

Following Henderson’s presentation, Public Works Director Jamey Matthews presented the council with the annual water report.

Matthews said the department completed several projects as well as 3,648 total work orders in 2022, down slightly from 3,739 in 2021.

He said the town purchased 187,585,123 gallons of water from the city of Asheville and pumped 138,643,000 in 2022. Matthews said this was because a well was taken offline, bringing the town down to 11 wells. Another well was not producing as much water as it has in the past, leading to the town purchasing more water and pumping less.

In unfinished business, the council continued discussion of an offer from Fred Alexander to purchase a piece of town-owned property off East Street. Alexander wished to use the property for agriculture and offered $35,000.

Council member Bill Christy described the property as “pretty rough” and suggested getting a broker to provide an estimate on the value of the land.

Other council members floated the idea of one day opening a park on the land or other town uses.

More:Ideas for remaining Black Mountain ARPA funds: firetruck, parks, Tomahawk, garbage toters

Hay made a motion to reject the offer, which passed 3-1. Christy voted against the motion and Vice Mayor Archie Pertiller excused himself from the vote as he had a conflict of interest.

Finance Director Tammy Holland presented an amendment to the stormwater utility. Previously, the town billed property owners a yearly stormwater utility fee. With this new ordinance, the fee would be charged monthly.

The council voted unanimously to allow the Kiwanis Club of Black Mountain/Swannanoa to close State Street for a Field of Honor Parade on Sept. 11. With this approval by council, the proposal will now go to the Department of Transportation for final approval.

After a lengthy public hearing, council voted to approve annexation of a parcel of land located near North Fork Road and to zone it as a suburban residential district.

The public portion of the meeting ended as the council went into closed session.