Town reverses on speed limit among other action at meeting

By Clint Parker

Woodfin – The Board of Aldermen in Woodfin took the opportunity to reverse an earlier vote this year, among other actions before ending 2019 at the Tuesday, Dec. 17th meeting.

The meeting also saw the swearing-in of recently elected members of the board, including Mayor Jerry VeHaun and Aldermen Jim Angel, Donald Honeycutt and Ronnie Lunsford as the meeting got under way.

The board also heard from several members of the Reynolds Mountain community who brought a petition because they were upset with the board after they lowered the speed limit from 25 mph down to 15 mph.

Reynolds Mountain Homeowners Association President Nancy Bresell addressed the board, saying, “This matter came to our attention just suddenly. Suddenly, this 15 miles per hour speed limit sign was posted on Senator Reynolds Road. Nobody knew anything about it. Probably a decision made by you at some prior meeting, but as president, I was getting emails and phone calls from residents.” She requested that the board reinstate the 25 mph limit. She also asked for a yellow centerline to be painted on the road.

After a short discussion, a motion was made by Alderman Ronnie Lunsford to change it back with an amendment to the proposal made by Alderman Don Hensley that it would take a majority of the homeowners to alter the speed limit again. The motion passed. The board put the yellow centerline vote off until Spring when it could be done when the weather is better.
The board then heard from their accountant Mark Bumgarner about the town’s financial audit. Of the original approximate $3.952 million in revenue expected in the budget, the actual amount ended up being $4.159 million (about $200,000 more than anticipated), Bumgarner told the board. Of that revenue, $2.367 million came in from property taxes, with 99.76 percent of taxes collected.

The board also voted to designate a 2001 leaf vac as surplus. “We’ve put this item on govdeals(.com) to see if someone wants to buy it…some parts are still usable, but in terms of reality, it’s beyond repair,” said Woodfin Town Administrator Jason Young.

The board tabled an ordinance that would have extended the corporate limits of the town to include Sour Wood Inn as a non-contiguous portion of the municipality. The town is expected to revisit the matter in January.
A public hearing on taking in an unnamed road into the town system was held during the meeting. Young said that the public works director had concerns over plowing the road in bad winter weather. Other concerns about the road included the condition of the road. “Is it up to standards,” asked Hensley. “It doesn’t seem to be in a state of disrepair,” answered Young. He reemphasized that the road puts public works crews in “jeopardy” in snow and icy conditions.

The need to take a closer look at a town ordinance passed eight months ago regarding taking roads into the town system and a fact-finding investigation to find out more about the condition of the road tabled any action on the item until next month.

In reports to the board, Woodfin Police Chief Michael Dykes, among his regular monthly information, told the members that the department had raised nearly $1,000 for charity for “No shave November.” Young said that it might be that Woodfin would start reaping a “windfall” from the City of Asheville’s moratorium on hotels as the town is in conversation with two different hotel groups about building inside the town limits. The aldermen then went into executive session before dismissing.

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