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The Town of Banner Elk held its monthly meeting on Monday, Nov. 9.

BANNER ELK — The Banner Elk Town Council reconvened for its monthly meeting on Monday, Nov. 9, in which the council approved the purchase of a strip of property at the end of Culver Street, allowing the town to pave a new road connecting the Historic Banner Elk School to Culver Street.

The purchase is a key component of the town’s site plan for the historic school and will allow the town to install a new water line between Culver Street and Azalea Circle. The council unanimously approved a budget amendment of $5,000, which was negotiated as the price of the sale.

“The use of the property will be to make a road interconnection between the two properties and also to be used for a new water line that will run across there,” Town Manager Rick Owen.

After briefly entering into a public hearing, the council re-entered its regular meeting and approved a motion to table a public hearing for next meeting to discuss the publishing of new regulations into one document. Tax Collector Cheryl Buchanan reported that town ordinances had to be updated to be compliant with a piece of legislation that combined some county and municipal regulations.

The council reviewed an annexation request of 11 acres off of Balm Highway. The owners of the property requested the annexation in order to connect their home with town water and sewer services.

“One of my concerns about the annexation request was the amount of undeveloped property that the applicant requested. So my recommendation was to suggest a smaller parcel to be surveyed off of the large parcel,” Owen said.

Councilman Charlie VonCanon inquired about possibly using the larger parcel of land as a potential well access site. The council then approved the request contingent upon a survey.

The council approved a proclamation declaring November 2020 as National Hospice Palliative Care Month Proclamation. The proclamation reads in part:

“For more than 40 years, hospice has helped provide comfort and dignity to millions of people, allowing them to spend their final months at home, surrounded by their loved ones. Beyond providing physical treatment, hospice attends to the patient’s emotional, spiritual and family needs, and provides family services like respite care and bereavement counseling. Palliative care delivers expertise to improve quality of life and relief from pain, can be provided at any time during an illness, and hospices are some of the best providers of community-based palliative care. Every year 1.5 million Americans living with life-limiting illness, and their families, receive care from the nation’s hospice programs in communities throughout the United States.”

Owen gave the town manager update in which he said that he continues to have phone conversations with County Manager Phillip Barrier on the status of COVID-19 in the county.

“We want to remind everyone that the health department remains very concerned going into the fall with the numbers the way they are,” Owen said.

Additionally, Owen reported that the town’s financial status is optimistic as sales tax revenue remains up, as well as water and sewer revenue, going into the winter and holiday seasons. Lees McRae-College will be adjourned at the conclusion of its fall semester beginning on Nov. 20.

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