Patrick Taylor – Highlands Mayor
The September meeting of the Highlands Town Board is tonight [Thursday] at 7 p.m. It is a hybrid meeting so to speak in that it will be both a ZOOM and in person meeting. The ZOOM log on information is posted on the town website.
Along with several commissioners, I will meet in person at the Highlands Conference Center where we will also ZOOM. The public can join us at the Highlands Conference Center so long as masks are worn and social distancing practiced.
We have a full agenda for the meeting. The first item will be a public hearing for rezoning the recently purchased property on US 64 for the new fire department. The rezone will be to change the current B-3 designation to GI which is governmental/institutional. We will also review of the fire department construction bids. Our construction representative has bids from subcontractors for all phases of construction. The board will review these bids and the guaranteed maximum price for the new facility.
The board will also review the final subdivision plat for the Bearmor Subdivision on Big Bear Pen Road. Town engineer will make a report on the status of the project and his recommendation.
A major agenda item will be the Highlands Cashiers Hospital request for water and sewer for workforce housing. Tom Neal made an initial presentation at the August board meeting. Further details will be presented followed by what I anticipate will be a lengthy discussion. A board decision could come at the end of this review.
Our recreation director, Lester Norris, will be reviewing several items including opening the ice skating rink. Lester will also present a proposal to convert two tennis courts to six pickle ball courts. Two newly resurfaced tennis courts would remain.
Kaye McHan of the Highlands Chamber of Commerce will update the board on impending community events sponsored by the chamber. The status of the Halloween event, the town lighting and the Christmas parade will be reviewed.
I have been gratified to see several community events move forward by modifying operational procedures. The recent art show is a prime example. We have the Dahlia Festival this weekend, where flowers will be displayed throughout the community.
The Highlands Motoring Festival had to cancel their show in June, but developed a limited but very successful car event this past weekend. Car enthusiasts participated in tours around the plateau. I had the honor of welcoming participants on Friday morning. To support the nonprofits that the car show normally benefits, please go the Highlands Motoring Festival website and make a contribution as I did before welcoming participants.