By Morgan Cook
Woodfin – This past Tuesday, July 15, Woodfin held its monthly Town Hall meeting. Mayor Pro Tem Debbie Giezentanner directed the meeting while Mayor Jerry VeHaun was out recuperating from injuries sustained in a fall.
The board’s main point of business was addressing support for the Craggy Mountain Line (CML), a non-profit historic railway inside the town’s limits, which the Tribune recently reported on.
Ed Krause, a volunteer with CML, was present to represent the organization and asked that the board consider giving him a letter of resolution in order to apply for grants. He explained that the organization would like to build a depot for people to wait on trains and for artifacts to be preserved in as well as to construct modern bathrooms. Krause estimated that the organization needs to raise around $165,000 as well as $25,000 – $30,000 for decks that would be used as a seating area for a restaurant. The non-profit has about $10,000 so far.
The board agreed to write a resolution and expressed its support for Craggy Mountain Line. They also announced official plans to obtain two CTA train cars and donate them to Craggy Mountain Line. The owner of the rail cars does not want to sell or donate them to a museum. After Alderman Ronnie Lunsford paid the $2 out of his own pocket, the board voted to purchase the cars for the express purpose of donating them to the CML.
Another agenda item considered any prospective planning/zoning board of adjustment member or potential candidate to the ABC board be removed from the meeting until Mayor VeHaun returned. The motion was made by Alderman Don Hensley and passed without any objection.
A public forum was also held to allow members of the community to speak. The first individual to speak was Eleanor Floyd. She was upset about the fact that she was living beside a short-term rental (STR) home (see article page 1). Eleanor explained it was “like living beside a motel.” She believed it was against a town ordinance that says that there should be no businesses in residential areas. Eleanor expressed her desire for the law to be enforced. Floyd’s comments were supported by another community member whose road is being used as a turn around area for short-term renters who accidentally passed the STR house.
Woodfin Attorney Joe Ferikes explained that the case was currently in litigation with the owners and that they were awaiting a judge’s response as to whether or not they could enforce the ordinance. Should the judge side with the owners of the property, the attorney explained that he planned to take the case to Raleigh, which could take up to a year or longer to get a decision from.
Another Woodfin resident was the last to speak at the public forum. He talked about paving Verde Drive in Woodfin. He also asked for a previous meeting’s minutes to reflect that they were currently awaiting a signed contract. The board offered a letter on town letterhead for him to show his community.