By Morgan Cook
Weaverville – This past Tuesday, April 14, the Weaverville Town Council held a Zoom Meeting workshop to give information about the town’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to look into possible actions the town may take. This meeting was open to the public.
During the meeting, a slide show was presented in which leaders in the town council shared information from their areas. After each member spoke the town council discussed further action.
The first to speak was Weaverville Town Manager Selena Coffey. One key point that she touched on was that of the Weaverville Small-Town-Strong Initiative. This initiative would compile small business website information on to one website to allow citizens to still support small businesses while in quarantine.
Finance Director Tonya Dozier spoke on water bill payments. She stated that citizens should know that if they miss a payment they will not be charged a late fee nor will their water be turned off at this time. She also informed citizens of two different ways to pay their water bills. One way is through a drop box in front of Town Hall and the other is online.
Public Works Director Dale Pennel focused on giving some positive news. He noted that the new outside of town hall is now functional (see adjacent story), new parking signs have come in and will soon go up, the new community center at Lake Louise is moving forward as planned and that a new handicap accessible fishing dock has been completed at Lake Louise.
Weaverville Chief Ted Williams with the Weaverville Fire Department spoke on measures the Weaverville Fire Department is taking to keep firefighters safe. This includes not going on non-emergency COVID-19 related calls. He ensured citizens that if an emergency call comes in related to COVID-19, the fire department would still be involved. He also noted that there has been a decrease in the number of non-emergency calls that the department receives.
Another key topic brought up by Chief Williams was that a new Emergency Operations Center has opened up in the basement of the Public Health Building to better serve the community during this time. The fire department is working closely with this new center.
Chief Ron Davis with the Weaverville Police Department noted that arrests are down, but that the department is getting more disturbance calls. He also noted that the department is doing more patrols and helping at North Buncombe Elementary School’s meal site.
The Town Attorney Jennifer Jackson spoke about her work to keep the town up to date on state and federal regulations as well as how she is working with the town manager to enforce these regulations.
Amongst others who spoke were Water Superintendent Trent Duncan and Planning Director James Eller. Duncan and Eller spoke on how their departments were running smoothly and keeping up. All departments spoke on their measures to keep their facilities clean for workers and the public.
There were two proposals brought up at this meeting that the Town voted on. The first proposal was to assign Chief Ted Williams as a primary agent and Town Attorney Jennifer Jackson as a secondary agent in the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Weaverville. Chief Williams was named as the primary agent because he is already working with the Emergency Operations Center. This proposal was passed by all members of the Town Council.
The second proposal was brought up by Jackson and proposed a set of rules to guide remote public meetings for the future. This included a way to hold a public forum so that citizens’ voices could still be heard. This proposal was also passed by all members of the town council.
The specifics of this proposal, as well as notes on the entire meeting, can be found on the Town of Weaverville’s website.