Mayor on Duty

The July meeting of the Highlands Town Board is tonight at 7 p.m. It will be at the Highlands Community Building next to the ball field. The meeting agenda is rather full for this time of the year.

The meeting includes two public hearings. The first hearing is for a petition by Kevin Bradley to annex a small piece of property that is contiguous to the town limits. It is a voluntary annexation.

The second hearing is for the abandonment of a right-of-way on Big Bear Pen. Near the town property on Big Bear Pen there is a drive way of sorts that we have never used. Since there is direct access to the water tank and tower on Big Bear Pen, there is no need for the town to maintain this right-of-way that passes through the lots of some homeowners. The town attorney advises the town can abandon the road, Crest Drive, without any adverse effects to the residents.

The final transfer agreement for the PAC property is also on the agenda. Attorneys for both parties have reviewed the agreement. This final transfer is in conjunction with the commencement of building construction.

The board will also discuss a proposal for paving Arnold Road that was presented at a previous board meeting by the Lake Sequoyah Property Owners’ Association. The issue will be determining the specific cost that the town would contribute to the project, since this road is not within the town limits. The waste treatment plant is at the end of the road. Town road crews currently maintain the road by annually replacing gravel on it and keeping the ditches clear.

Kevin O’Donnell of Nova Energy will provide and update to the board on several legal issues involving the Duke Energy contract.  There are several cases in play concerning past Duke charges and fees to their wholesale customers like Highlands. Potential refunds from these settlements could help the town hold down coal ash fees that we have passed through to customers.

There will be additional board reviews of the pole attachment fees that providers are charged to locate on town utility poles. A proposal will be reviewed concerning designating a number of parking spaces in the parking lot next to town hall for town parking during the business day. At the peak of the season town workers, especially those operating town utility vehicles, are having difficulty finding parking spaces.

Finally, a proposal will be presented to close Pine Street at the park during July 4th. This past July 4th the Chamber of Commerce sponsored a band just prior to the fireworks. There was a very big response to the event similar to our Saturday in the Park concert series where the road is closed. It is probably a good plan to do the same for July 4th. Let me give a shout out to the Chamber for once again putting on a successful fireworks show. The addition of the band was great.

See you tonight.

Town of Highlands Mayor Pat Taylor

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