By Benjamin Cohn
Woodfin – For its regularly-scheduled monthly meeting, the Town of Woodfin’s Board of Aldermen met the evening of April 23 to discuss the Woodfin Greenway-Blueway’s budget, the town’s proposed Parks and Recreation master plan and a proposal to accept roads in the Greenwood Fields subdivision into the town’s local street system.
After approving last month’s minutes and this month’s agenda, the board heard Town Administrator Jason Young’s budget proposal related to the Woodfin Greenway-Blueway project.
“As you could see, of the $18 million plus total for funds [the balance] is down to $9.8 million which the Town of Woodfin will be directly managing,” Young indicated. “$4.5 [million] of that is coming from our bond referendum and additional proceeds from other sources, but not the general fund sources. Young told The Tribune that they are, as he expected, just under budget.
“This [proposal] is broken up by groups into Greenway Project expenditures, Silverline Park expenditures,” and others, according to Young.
Young reiterated that his budget proposal is meant to be a “guidance document, not a binding document,” and that the final plan may not look exactly as it did that night. The board voted unanimously in favor of adopting Young’s proposed budget.
Linda Giltz, a contractor hired by the Town of Woodfin to assist the town in being selected for a state grant, stood to deliver her presentation, an analysis of the surveys offered to town residents gauging their interest in park-related topics.
“This is a plan that covers the town, the whole town, not just a Woodfin Greenway and Blueway project, which you’ve had a lot of discussion about and been working on. It takes a look at that plus your existing parks, your existing facilities and what should we be thinking about planning as you’re going to be moving forward.”
Giltz reported that Woodfin’s population is growing, the current population about is 6,500 residents. Other features of Woodfin’s populace include its relative youth compared to similar communities, she said, in addition to a more significant Hispanic population than in other Buncombe County municipalities.
She also noted that the average salaries and property values in Woodfin are low compared to the Buncombe County average, but that this fact may be encouraging young families to relocate within the town’s borders.
Soon after Giltz’s report, the board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the proposed Parks and Recreation master plan and to approve a grant application for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund which, if approved, would grant the town $300,000 for park improvements.
Young then explained one of the night’s final agenda items, a resolution that would accept new roads, specifically those located within the Greenwood Fields subdivision, into Woodfin’s municipal street system.
The town administrator noted that the required application fee for such an inclusion – in the amount of $6,400 – had not yet been paid. Young said, “We’re going to hold our judgment until such time as they’ve come forward with that money.”
Alderman Don Hensley, citing recent issues with maintaining the quality of inherited roads, made a motion to put stipulations on any future proposals involving taking over control of roads to guarantee the subdivision continues the maintenance of the streets for several years after they are acquired by the town. Hensley’s motion passed easily.
Regarding Greenwood Fields’s roads, the board voted to table the issue until such time as the subdivision was able to review and accept the new terms.
Finally, the board heard and approved a motion designating the week of May 5, 2019 Spring cleanup week for the town.