Council spends nearly $5M at meeting on two projects

By Clint Parker

Weaverville – The agenda wasn’t very long, but there was much to discuss at the January Weaverville Town Council meeting on Monday (Jan. 27) evening. The most anticipated item, by far, was the passing of the plans for the new Lake Louise Community Center (see related story page 2).

Council voted to spend nearly $2.8 million to build a new Lake Louise Community Center with Goforth Builders as the contractor on the project. With Legerton Architecture’s final plans approved and a contractor selected, the council voted to move forward with the project with all due speed as the project has been in the planning stage for about five or more years.

Five other contractors submitted bids for the project with local Goforth Builders being the lowest and with the highest being more than $3.5 million (by Hickory Construction Company). There is a five percent cost overrun in the contract and the builder has 14 months to complete the project with financial penalties for going over the deadline. The project is expected to get under way around the first of March.

In public comment, Laura Ayres, a non-town resident spoke on the demise of a heron recently captured at Lake Louise. The bird died after having a lure in its mouth, which kept him from eating, along with infection. “He had a lure in his mouth, which I believe is illegal,” said Ayres. She asked the town to enact some changes like new signage at Lake Louise, with info about proper fishing practices along with contact info for people to call in case of injured animal sightings, education, at the time of purchase, of Weaverville fishing permits and random checks of fishing permits by police.

The council then passed the consent agenda, which included a tax collection report, a tax release of a property valued at $102,780, a resolution to recognize Friday, April 24 as Arbor Day, and to set a public hearing on code amendments for land development for February 24 at 6:45 pm.

Also included in the consent agenda was a request for the council to approve the Lake Louise Public Fishing Access project, which will consist of a floating pier to be paid for by the NC Wildlife Commission and will be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant. The pier will be “T” shaped with the end of the pier being nearly ten and a half feet wide and 42 feet long (see picture this page). The access for the dock would be off W. Lakeshore Drive. The agreement to allow the pier to be at the lake is good for the next 25 years.

The council approved a waterline extension project estimated at nearly two million dollars and “is contingent upon approval of the interim financing and issuance of USDA revenue bonds by the Local Government Commission (LGC).” The winner of the bid was Hyatt Pipline, LLC with a bid of $1.934,055 with the highest bid coming in at over $2.5 million (submitted by King General Contractors, Inc.)

The council also spent a lot of time on a new policy for accepting private streets into the town’s road system. While a final motion was passed, the Tribune asked for clarification on what exactly passed, as it was a hybrid of two of four options the council members were given to choose from. The Tribune did not receive that clarification as of press time.

There are about 7.2 miles of residential private streets in Weaverville, with another 1.6 miles of commercial and .8 miles of industrial. The new policy would set standards for accepting such roads into the town’s road system with an application process to be filed by the owners of the road, followed by proving the roads were built to the town’s standards. Both the application process and the acceptance process will have deadlines. The Tribune hopes to bring you additional information on this in next week’s issue. The council also heard a quarterly planning and finance report before dismissing for the night.

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