What’s new on the plateau

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Patrick Taylor 

Highlands Mayor

I want to thank American Legion Post 370 for the moving Memorial Day ceremony this past Monday at the Veteran’s Memorial Park. Over 40 new veterans bricks were installed.  An application for a veteran brick can be found at the park in front of the police department. A small kiosk is by the walkway with all the information for purchasing a brick with a veteran’s name on it. I also want to thank Phil Potts and the volunteers who placed flags on the graves of veterans at the Highlands and surrounding cemeteries for the Memorial Day Holiday.

This past weekend I went up to Satulah to see the progress on the new water tank.  It is amazing how this massive structure has been erected on the site.  The new tank is twice the size of the old, failing tank. Sometime this fall the new 630,000 gallon tank will come on line.

The new bear resistant street cans are now in place. The next step will be to replace all the old commercial toters with bear resistant toters.  This process will begin after the new budget year in July.  There will be no increase in rental fees for merchants using these new toters.  Another step will be to move away from using shared dumpsters and having merchants, when possible, convert to the new toters. Town staff will be working with merchants, especially on Oak Street, in making this conversion.

Another step in becoming a BearWise community will be to use bear resistant containers in the residential areas. This conversion is more complex, more expensive, and about a year away from implementation.  Town staff will be reviewing options and developing a plan in the coming months. As I have stated before, the old system of having our sanitation workers lift 35-gallon trash cans repeatedly every day is on its way out.  The town has to move everywhere to toters with lift bars.  I have had many folks ask me about the plan.  My response is that if one is planning on purchasing new trash cans, consider a bear resistant toter with a lift bar.  They are available at the local hardware store or online.  I see throughout the town residences that use 95 and 65 gallon toters. It doesn’t matter about the size as long as there is a lift bar.

This summer I will get rid of my 35-gallon trash cans that are housed in a wooden, bear resistant stand.  I plan on getting a bear resistant toter and building a new stand.

Tomorrow is the Community Coffee with the Mayor at the Hudson Library beginning at 11 am. My guest will be Rebecca Shuler, Highlands Director of Finance. Rebecca and I will cover the highlights of the forthcoming budget for FYI 2019/20.  There will be a public hearing for the proposed budget at the June 20 board meeting followed by a final review I and approval of the budget that goes into effect July 1. 

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