Mayor on Duty

The August meeting of the Highlands Town Board will be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow evening. The town website has the ZOOM meeting access information.

I am adding an option to ZOOMING tomorrow, provided the technology works. I will be ZOOMING at the Highlands Conference Center next to the ball field. 

If anyone wants to make a direct public comment, or make a statement at the two public hearings, they are welcome to join me, provided a mask is worn. 

I will simply turn my monitor to the person so the entire board will be able to hear their comment. 

Also, as in the past ZOOM meetings, comments can be made using the ZOOM option and app.  The ZOOM meeting information is on our town website. I advise calling town hall at 828.526.2118 and ask to be put on the public comment list. The list ensures we do not overlook someone.

The agenda has two public hearings. The first hearing pertains to the annexation of the OEI Farm on Arnold Road. The second hearing relates to zoning the annexed property to B-3.

Another agenda item will be a presentation by Tom Neal, the Chief Executive Officer for the HCA Highlands Cashiers Hospital. Tom will present a plan to the board on providing employee housing for hospital staff.

The board will also hear an update from Kaye McHan, the Highlands Chamber of Commerce Director, concerning the status of the park concert  series and the Labor Day Weekend fireworks. 

Kaye will also share the new chamber budget with the board.

Representatives of the Highland Food and Wine Festival will also provide an update. Their May concert and festival were cancelled. Their next event is scheduled for November.

The Performing Arts Center will present a drive-in theater plan for their parking lot.

This plan is only temporary during the pandemic. The drive-in will be achieved by using an inflatable screen that can be taken down after each performance. 

This portable screen and projection system can be setup anywhere, like in Founders Park.

A draft of the Macon County Comprehensive Transportation Plan is on the agenda. Rose Bauguess of the Southwestern Regional Planning Commission will present the plan.

A request for a public hearing to rezone the new fire department property is an agenda item. Currently the property is zoned B-3. The request will be for it to be zoned Governmental/Institutional. The board will also be asked to approve the relocation of the septic field for the fire department substation on US 64.

Finally, Lamar Nix, our Public Works Director, will be making a budget amendment request to fix the problem of water draining onto US 64 near the Wells Hotel. The water runs down the highway and creates a winter ice hazard on the curb before Foreman Road. 

Lamar has been working with DOT and property owners to address the problem. Like always, solving a problem can require money, about $15,000 in this instance.

ZOOM us in tomorrow.

  • Town of Highlands Mayor Pat Taylor

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