Town manager to stay, roads to be paved

By Bill Colvard - bcolvard@MtAiryNews.com
From left, Commissioners Evan Cockerham and Kim Quinn, Mayor Dwight Atkins and Commissioner Gary Bell review material during Monday night’s Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners meeting. - Bill Colvard | The News

The only surprise at the August meeting of Pilot Mountain’s Board of Commissioners came at the end of the evening after a closed session, when the board chose to keep a town manager around.

Officials renewed the Michael Boaz’s contract for three additional years.

Boaz said on Tuesday that he was happy to be staying with Pilot.

In other town news, Boaz informed the board he had received an estimate from the Department of Transportation on the paving project the board has been working on. That estimate is significantly less than the $981,000 estimate in the engineering report for the project.

“It’s one third less,” said Boaz, who encouraged the board to apply to the USDA for the larger amount, and then not borrow all of the funds if they are not needed. The town has $140,000 in the current budget already saved for paving.

“We will ask DOT to resurface Boyles Street as soon as they possibly can,” said Boaz. “They have been waiting a long time.”

“We’ve made some progress downtown,” said Mayor Atkins. “I think it’s time we go forward with this.”

The board approved a motion to apply for a USDA loan for the balance of the funds needed to complete the paving plan.

The board passed a resolution naming Sept. 9 as David Diamont Day in Pilot Mountain to coincide with a ceremony on that day renaming East Surry’s football stadium in honor of the retired teacher and coach’s four-decade career and service to Pilot Mountain and Surry County.

Mayor Dwight Atkins said he understood Gov. Roy Cooper would be present for the ceremony that day.

“That is tentatively true,” said Boaz.

The board took the first step toward enrolling the town in the National Flood Insurance Plan. There are a few properties in the town limits and several more in the town’s Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction that are in a flood plain and could purchase flood insurance through the program if the town participates in the program.

“They are few and far between, but there are some,” Boaz said of flood plain properties in town, and then added that property in the ETJ would also be eligible for coverage.

Boaz said there was no upfront cost for the town, only some time cost for town planner Andy Goodall to administer the program.

In response to a question from a commissioner if property owners could purchase flood insurance without being in the program, Boaz said, “You can, but you likely can’t afford it.”

Commissioners Gary Bell, Evan Cockerham and Kim Quinn voted unanimously to proceed. Commissioner Linda Needham was not present.

An amendment to the town’s nuisance ordinance proposed to streamline enforcement of nuisance violations characterized as “mundane nuisance ordinance violations” by town staff passed unanimously.

The ‘mundane’ items involved are found in Ordinance 26-1 (1)-(15) and include breeding ground for mosquitoes, rats, snakes and other pests, overgrown grass and weeds, noxious vegetation, several types of trash and junk, drainage issues, health department violations and burned/partially burned buildings.

Previously, a hearing was required for all potential violations. Under the proposed change to the ordinance, town staff would issue a notice of violation to the property owner upon discovery of one of the nuisance conditions described in the ordinance. More serious issues covered under Section 26-1 (16) would still require a more formal process including a quasi-judicial public hearing held in front of the board of commissioners.

The proposed ordinance change also makes minor changes to the penalty for violation, levying a civil penalty rather than a criminal one. Also, the town would be allowed to skip the notice requirement for repeat offenders, particularly for failing to cut grass.

Boaz described the process for repeat offenders: “Anytime we find a violation, we will abate the nuisance.”

“It’s more than you want to pay,” Boaz said of the cost for town staff to mow grass. “It’s $95 an hour plus an administration fee of $250. It’s high, but it’s high for a reason.”

From left, Commissioners Evan Cockerham and Kim Quinn, Mayor Dwight Atkins and Commissioner Gary Bell review material during Monday night’s Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners meeting.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_IMG_1225.jpgFrom left, Commissioners Evan Cockerham and Kim Quinn, Mayor Dwight Atkins and Commissioner Gary Bell review material during Monday night’s Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners meeting. Bill Colvard | The News

By Bill Colvard

bcolvard@MtAiryNews.com

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.