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Patrick Taylor – Highlands Mayor

Tonight is the April meeting of the Highlands Town Board of Commissioners. It will not be held at the Highlands Community Center.  Since we are under a state of emergency the meeting will be a remote, electronic meeting by way of the ZOOM meeting technology.  The North Carolina attorney general and the governor have determined that an electronic meeting is allowable under the current emergency. Other elected bodies are already holding such meetings.

The public can access the meeting be calling into +1 929 436 2866.  The meeting ID is 667 357 965.  The password is 007442.  The meeting can be accessed on a computer or tablet by going to https://zoom.us/j/667357965?pwd=ZkJ5Q0xNbHNyL1ZGVzVwM0ZwRUp3dz09. The meeting ID and password is the same whether calling in or using the internet.

A  ZOOM App can downloaded for free.  Using the app the above meeting ID number and password/code can be entered for fast access.

The first item on the agenda will be public comment. A person wishing to make a comment has to simply raise their hand. The session manager will open the microphone for the person to speak and the board to hear the comment.  Please keep comments to three minutes.

On the agenda of the cancelled March meeting was a public hearing concerning ordinance changes. It had been advertised in the newspaper. This hearing has been postponed until the May meeting, regardless of whether there is public attendance or if we  again hold an electronic meeting. The hearings will again be advertised in the newspaper.  The town manager and I decided that it would be better to delay and make sure all hearing procedures were  followed in order to eliminate any confusion and to allow maximum opportunity for public response.

The agenda for tonight’s meeting is small.  There will be a review of a preliminary plat for a new subdivision near Mirror Lake.  A preliminary plat is a design and layout for a proposed subdivision. If the preliminary plat meets all ordinance requirements, the board approves the plat.  The developer then has to build the infrastructure according to the approved preliminary plat before final board approval is given.

The board will also review the status of the utility fees for the Performing Arts Center.  The board waived these fees as a part of the transfer of the property from the town to the PAC. This agreement was to be in effect while construction of the new facility was under way.  They were to expire in March.  

Also, the board will review and approve the Comprehensive Water Master Plan and Assessment Management Plan.  The town received a grant to hire consultants to do a comprehensive study of of our water system.  In order to receive grant reimbursement for the study, the board will have to review and approve  this report.    This study and report will serve as a guide for future improvements to the system over the next several decades.

Hope everyone can “tune in” to tonight’s meeting.  

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