By Benjamin Cohn
Woodfin – Woodfin’s Board of Aldermen met Tuesday evening in the second monthly meeting of the new year. The agenda was comparatively light, with only five items to discuss.
Woodfin Town Administrator Jason Young explained to the board a “brand-new item on [the] agenda that we just discussed on Friday when we were out and about. Riverlink [the local French Broad conservation group] would like to formalize our arrangement about having a project oversight committee” for the anticipated Woodfin Greenway-Blueway project.
Some of the stipulations suggested by Riverlink include taking minutes during project oversight meetings and making those meetings open to the public, according to Young.
The next item discussed by the board was the “consideration of a budget amendment related to various expenditures and income modifications.”
Young explained that “this is primarily fueled by, when we set the budget every year, we don’t know exactly what we’ll get in from the Christmas program,” but the town will guess. “The estimate is always wrong,” Young continued, “because we don’t know what we’re going to get.”
This time, the town was fortunate and received nearly $20,000 more than they anticipated labeled by the town as “additional, unexpected income” from the town’s Christmas programs.
The third agenda item that the board considered and passed was a resolution “certifying and declaring the results of the special bond referendum on the bond order authorizing the issuance of $4.5 million general obligation parks and recreation bonds held for the Town of Woodfin” in November 2016.
Young described the resolution as being part of the “final throes of this bond issue,” and that “this is the last step the board needs to take, you need to pass this evening in order for us to send that application on to the state.”
The last piece of new business saw the board set dates for the budget retreat, to be held the week after March’s Board of Aldermen meeting.
One resident, Harry Garfinkel, chose to address the board during the public comments portion about an issue he’s been experiencing on Verde Drive. Garfinkel described wanting to volunteer his services in the gathering of bids to improve local roads like Verde Drive.
“I sincerely hope we can get this done because the road is in terrible, terrible condition,” Garfinkle said.
Michael Dykes, Woodfin’s Chief of Police, then stood and gave his monthly report to the board.
“The annual report got a little delayed this year, and that one’s on me.” Going on to describe some family medical issues. He went on to say, “Nonetheless, I’m now back on track, and we should have that annual report for you in March.”
Dykes said that annual report would detail some of the increases seen from 2017 to 2018 (see story page 2), but one fact he was able to share with the board. Woodfin police perform what are called residential security checks on individuals’ homes while they’re away. This is a voluntary program and, as Dykes explained, only recently were these residential checks being logged in the police database.
Some of the statistics that saw an increase over last year’s reported numbers were in citations issued (up to 63 from 40), felony charges (up to four from zero), crash reports (up to 28 from 11) and hit-and-runs (up to three from two), according to the January 2019 monthly report.
Young then gave reports from other municipal branches to the board, including reports from public works and the Woodfin ABC board. Young reported that “145 tons of garbage” were collected in January and that “55 square yards of chipping brush” were recycled, per a report from public works.
From Woodfin’s ABC Board, Young initially reported what appeared to be a loss of about $21,000, but it was later determined to be a clerical error. The actual loss from January 2018 to January 2019 was approximately $5,000, well within expected values.