Town of Banner Elk

Pictured from left, town attorney Four Eggers, council members Allen Bolick, Charlie Voncanon, Robert Tufts, Mayor Brenda Lyerly and Mike Dunn listen to a question from an audience member during the town’s monthly meeting on Monday, March 9.

BANNER ELK — A new face will be serving within the Town of Banner Elk.

The board’s first order of business at its March 2 meeting was to approve the appointment of Ray Knowles to the Planning Board. Knowles will join Allen Bolick, Joel Owen, Penny Voncanon and Meredith Olan as the board’s fifth member. The motion was unanimously approved by Banner Elk Town Council.

The town approved a petition to annex a parcel of land that is owned by a Banner Elk couple that is looking to develop or sell the parcel. Town Manager Rick Owen expressed concerns about the ability to provide adequate water pressure to the property but approved the petition nonetheless in order to get the process started.

Owen also requested that the board approve a motion to contract with STAT Inc. in order to assess what needs to be done with an oil tank that sits underneath the Historic Banner Elk School, which is currently owned by the town.

Council member Robert Tufts asked Owen if it would be cheaper to go ahead and remove the tank instead of paying the firm twice to also complete an assessment beforehand. The board went on to approve a contract with the firm in the amount of $3,500.

“I can certainly negotiate with them or ask them the questions that will allow us to go towards the removal of the tank,” Owen said.

In other business, the board approved a motion to advertise outstanding tax liens, it approved a resolution in recognition of the celebration of Arbor Day on April 24 and the board will work with Less-McRae College to hold Farmer’s Markets beginning in April. The board also discussed the upcoming U.S. Census, but did not pass any resolution related to it.

Lastly, Owen gave an update on the town’s public WiFi installation project. The town is currently testing equipment and is waiting for one WiFi antenna to be activated. Owen said that the town will publicize the project when it is fully functional and can be utilized by the public.

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