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Originally published: 2012-09-13 13:32:12
Last modified: 2012-09-13 13:32:12

Elk Park Board of Aldermen discusses town hall progress

Jamie Shell / (

During its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 4, Elk Park Board of Aldermen shared several decisions made regarding the new town hall construction, as well as progress made by builders on the site.

Mayor John Boone informed the board that the town is waiting to pave the parking area around the facility until the Laws brothers are able to build a retaining wall on the back portion of the property. 

Boone also told board members that a security and/or fire alarm system will not afford the town any insurance discount. Following discussion, the board decided to opt for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers inside the facility to use in conjunction with the security system already planned for the building.

Boone reported that during the past month a number of projects around the new town hall had been completed, including interior trim, cabinet installation, prime painting, exterior siding, hard tile and porch decking. Other projects, including electrical trim, interior trim stain and HVAC installation were more than 50-percent completed. Boone added that in the coming 30 days, projects to be completed will include finish paint, hardware, sand finishing of hardwood, exterior concrete, stone veneer, paving, landscaping and the aforementioned retaining wall. If progress continues at the current or greater pace, the projected date of completion for the facility will be near the end of October.

In other news and notes:

• Police chief Mike Ellenburg reported that he is still working with Robert Burleson to obtain more information regarding the fire hydrant damage several months ago at the Bruce King property.

• Boone reported that a tax letter is being distributed to citizens detailing back taxes for previous years and encouraging citizens to pay balances. The board agreed to allow citizens to negotiate a monthly payment plan at 8.5 percent of the total amount owed, with the taxpayer signing a tax payment agreement.

• Boone reported that when NCDOT marked the area for the new culvert in the upper part of town where water runoff issues have taken place, that the group marked an area 10 feet higher than needed. He added that the town purchased a distribution box and grate at a cost of $487 to allow larger vehicles like tractor-trailers to travel over the area. The culvert is to be installed at its originally agreed upon location, with NCDOT installing the necessary products and repaving the portion of the road affected by the construction. Boone said he expects this solution will resolve the recurring water damage issues.

• Town maintenance supervisor/operator Otis Ward reported that there is no true “phase three” power to the sewer plant on Elk River Road. Ward added that this is part of the reason that some citizens near the plant area experience flickering lights at their residences. The board agreed to check about whether a new transformer could be installed on Elk River Road that would provide enough power to accommodate the needs of the citizens and the town.

• Insurance funds from the damage to the steps leading from Highway 19E to Lower Street has been received, and Boone reported that Dean Hagie has agreed to undertake the project to return the steps to working order.

• Ward told board members that the pump at the lift station in Cranberry is beginning to malfunction, and that the town needs to consider repairing it. Ward added that the cost to replace the pump will cost $10,216.

• Town staff received certification in CPR by attending a recent class. The board discussed purchase of a defribulator at a cost of approximately $800. The board also agreed to have the Elk Park Town Hall sign edited by Pittman Signs, replacing the falls picture on the current sign with the original Elk River Falls logo. The sign will be installed inside the new facility.

• Boone reported that he would be attending a meeting later in the week regarding community development grants in conjunction with High Country Council of Governments. The grant, conditionally awarded to Avery County in the amount of $225,000, will help lower income residents in Avery County with housing and projects. HCCOG is applying for the grant funds through Community Development Block Grant Scattered Site Housing Program.

The next meeting of Elk Park Board of Aldermen will occur at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 7, at temporary Elk Park Town Hall located on Old Mill Road.