Forty-plus years after becoming a town governed by a council-manager form of government, Pilot Mountain is formally adopting that style of government.
Town records reveal that during the Re-Codification Project, town attorney Ed Woltz and town commissioner Michael Boaz discovered that the process of changing the town charter to allow the change in government did not appear to have been completed back in 1973 or 1974.
Boaz told commissioners that “out of an abundance of caution” it was recommended the town redo the charter amendment procedure. “We can’t find the ordinance,” Boaz told commissioners.
After an August public hearing in which no comments were given, the board unanimously voted to amend the town charter. According to town documents, there is now a 30-day window (from the Oct. 16 meeting) for anyone who opposes the charter amendment to gather signatures to force a referendum on the issue.
Crumbling porch goes to court
Action was taken by the Pilot Mountain board of commissioners recently in the ongoing saga of 513 West Main Street.
The property owner, Ken Smith, was issued a letter by housing code administrator Steve May on June 14 that the property did not meet requirements of Pilot Mountain’s minimum housing code. A hearing on June 26, attended by Smith, determined the property was not up to code and Smith was ordered to bring the property into compliance by Sept. 29.
Town manager Michael Boaz reported to the town commissioners on Oct. 16 that an Oct. 2 inspection of the property by May found it still not in compliance with the town’s minimum housing code.
Boaz informed the commissioners they had two options to handle the situation. They could either make the necessary repairs at the town’s expense and then attach a lien to the property for the amount of the cost or they could seek injunctive relief by taking the matter to Superior Court. He recommended the latter.
Going through the courts would take longer, Boaz told the board, but would not require the cash outlay of paying for the repairs.
During the ensuing discussion, Boaz was asked if the house was occupied. He replied that it was not and that he was relatively certain that there was no water service to the property.
He told the commissioners the ordinance doesn’t say the house must be occupied. “It’s a set of standards, and doesn’t include anything about occupancy.”
Boaz stressed to commissioners that the matter at hand is entirely exterior. No one in an official capacity has been inside the house. He said the condition of the interior is unknown.
As far as the porch, “It’s crumbling due to years of no maintenance, and is unsafe to enter. The porch may fall on your head.”
The board voted unanimously to pursue the matter in Superior Court.