Mayor on Duty

As we move into spring, many activities are underway on the plateau. I know the construction in the downtown area is disruptive, as well as disturbing, for some folks.

The refurbishing of the sidewalk in front of Reeves Hardware is complete. A new permanent black, wrought iron railing will be installed as soon as it is fabricated.   There are other sidewalk projects in the future, like the refurbishing of the sidewalk in front of the Presbyterian Church. 

NCDOT will be redesigning and improving several intersections this summer in order to be compliant with current ADA standards.

The schedule for paving Main Street was blown up last week with the recurring severe rain storms. The paving will continue as weather conditions permit. 

One major change in strategy by the contractor is to not mill the street at night. At the first of last week the contractor realized that the milling process could be done faster than initially projected.

The new plan is to begin milling a block section very early in the morning followed by paving in the afternoon. At night the paved section will be striped and marked for parking spaces. 

I am optimistic that the work in the downtown area can move very fast, weather permitting.

The Highlands Community Plan is on schedule to be completed this summer.  Currently, leaders of the plan have posted a business survey on the website. They want as many businesses as possible to take the survey. 

Earlier in the process there was a tremendous response to the community survey. The more input provided, the better the leadership can develop a final plan reflective of citizens concerns. I am delighted to know many diverse community voices are weighing in.

I again want to thank Tom Neal and the army of community volunteers who have conducted over nine vaccination clinics for Jackson and Macon Counties. At last count 4,741 people had been vaccinated. 

Our vaccination effort is nearing the top of the hill so to speak. In January we faced limited vaccine supplies and a priority list that prevented some folks from getting the vaccine. Now, vaccine supplies are increasing and the list of those eligible is opening up in stages to the entire population.

Everyone in the community can do their part in shutting down COVID be getting vaccinated.  It doesn’t matter which vaccine one gets, just get vaccinated. Also, it doesn’t matter where one gets the vaccine. 

In addition to our vaccination clinics, the county public health departments are in full vaccination mode. 

For vaccine information go to your county, or the Highlands Cashiers Plateau Vaccination Clinic websites, to register and schedule an appointment. Local pharmacies are also giving vaccinations at this point. In the last two weeks our pharmacies have vaccinated 309 people.

If one is not internet active, call the Highlands Cashiers Plateau Vaccination Clinic at 828.526.1310 for information and assistance, or Macon County at 828.524.1500, or 828.349.2517.

Spanish speaking folks can call 828.526.1353.

In the meantime, we all need to follow the basic COVID protocols for a little longer. Even if a person has been vaccinated, wearing a mask and socially distancing in public is recommended, since medical experts are still not totally sure transmission is not possible by vaccinated people. 

I have been vaccinated but continue to wear a mask in public. My only exception is when I’m road running. 

  • Town of Highlands Mayor Pat Taylor

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