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Originally published: 2012-11-08 11:26:57
Last modified: 2012-11-08 11:26:57

Elk Park Board of Aldermen prepares for town hall completion

Jamie Shell / (

After more than three years of planning and legwork, the newly constructed Elk Park Town Hall project is near completion, reported Elk Park Mayor John Boone at the monthly meeting of Elk Park Board of Aldermen on Monday, Nov. 5.

An inspection is scheduled to take place this Wednesday, Nov. 7, according to Boone, with a few “punch list” items still needing completed. Boone added that town hall offices and staff should be able to move into the new facility within the next couple of weeks if there are no hang-ups with inspection or unforeseen circumstances. Following move-in, town staff and board members will determine a date and time for an open house.

Aldermen discussed the wiring of the new facility for phone and Internet service. Staff reported that a quote was given for a cost of $2,800 to do the job, but a number of board members felt the staff resources on hand could accomplish the tasks necessary, so the board moved to purchase necessary materials for the job and have employees complete the work.

Maintenance supervisor/operator Otis Ward gave an update to the board about the three-phase power discussion at the wastewater treatment plant. Ward reported that after conversation with Mountain Electric officials, he recommended the town purchase soft starters for the plant motors at a total cost of $4,679. Ward explained that if these pieces are in place at the plant, there is a much greater chance that Mountain Electric would work with the town in undertaking the necessary work to install true three-phase power with near 100 percent capacity, improving the current state of around 80-percent power capacity. The board approved the purchase of the soft starters.

In other news and notes:

• The board set a meeting for Thursday, Nov. 15, to meet with town auditor Doug Tennant for its annual audit and discussion of the town’s financial state.

•  Alderman Joel Whitley was appointed by the board to attend a meeting at Sugar Mountain Village Hall this Wednesday, Nov. 7, scheduled by NCDOT for local municipalities to attend to discuss potential road and street improvements needed within their towns.

• Alderman Mike Smith reported that the old rescue squad facility will serve as the new permanent polling location in Elk Park.

• Boone informed the board of several completed projects, including the new logo to be affixed to the conference room table at new town hall, as well as the wooden steps in the middle of town, a revised logo for the large Elk Park Town Hall sign to be hung inside the new facility and a ditch repaired at the Joe Turbyfill residence. Boone also added that required ethics training for all board members has been completed.

• Boone reported that police chief Mike Ellenburg is awaiting word from authorities in Indiana in regard to following up on the damaged fire hydrant at the Bruce King residence.

• Aldermen approved the purchase of a bronze plaque to be installed at the new facility documenting the project and individuals and companies involved.

• Ward reported that he had spoken with Cranberry House, and that the business had approved the plan to hook its water supply to the Elk Park line, but have not set a timetable to do so. The hookup will provide the town with an additional $6,400 for its water fund. Ward also reported that Well No. 2 is in need of work in the near future due to rusting issues, and that necessary materials to complete the job will cost an estimated $7,000. 

• Town Clerk Connie Guinn was asked by the board to check with Mountain Electric about the status of pole changing work in Elk Park. Board members agreed that if the MEC work is not completed by Dec. 1, the town will not request Christmas lights installation from them this season.

• The board moved to have the town’s dump truck taken to Wilkesboro to get an estimate on repairing the apparatus that lifts the dump and additional needed repairs.

• Boone requested that aldermen and anyone in the town or county that might have a photo of former Elk Park Constable Zeb Winters contact him at town hall. Boone explained that Winters was the first law officer killed in the line of duty in Avery County and is in need of a photo for town historical purposes.

• Guinn reported that Elk Park Town Hall will be closed on Monday, Nov. 12, for Veterans Day, as well as Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22 and 23, for Thanksgiving.

The December meeting of Elk Park Board of Aldermen will take place at 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3, at Elk Park Town Hall.