ELK PARK — As the Independence Day holiday weekend approaches, the Town of Elk Park is abuzz with activities in preparation for the event that was curtailed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board of aldermen went over a number of plans and projects related to the holiday weekend, reiterating that the town will be hosting a parade through town on Saturday, July 3, with parade lineup at H&H Trucking in lower Elk Park beginning at 4:30 p.m., and the parade beginning at 5 p.m. At approximately 6 p.m. a smoked barbecue dinner will be provided by the town and catered by Mike Richardson at at Winters Town Park, with live music by Jessi and the River Cats, as well as vendors and karaoke performances, with fireworks from JECO Pyrotechnics in the town at dark.
Pavement sealing at the town park and town hall parking lot has also been completed by Kyler Appalachian Sealing and Coating in time for the summer season.
In connection to the park, ceilings have been installed under picnic shelter roofing in the park. The town had issues with excessive bird droppings under the shelters where birds have nested in the ceiling area . Mayor Boone reported that the original contracted builder for the project, Brett Bond, had repaid the town what he owed for not finishing the job, and the job had since been completed by Whittco LLC. The board lauded the work on the project, and has inquired of Whittco about additional construction work at the town’s Well No. 2 site once someone is able to complete block work at the site.
In other news and notes:
- Mayor Boone reported that the Danny Buchanan property in town had been cleared out as discussed at the previous monthly meeting, and that the town is awaiting the final total for the process, including the trips by the town to the area landfill, to submit a bill to the property owner for payment. The town is also continuing the nuisance ordinance enforcement process with previously mentioned properties, with the intention of involving the town’s attorney for legal action as necessary.
- In relation to the nuisance ordinance, town residents Gary and Pam Tolley addressed the board during public comments regarding their flower shop location at the intersection of Hwy. 19E and Little Elk Road. The Tolleys acknowledged the nuisance ordinance letter from the town, but wanted to inquire exactly what it was pertaining to involving the property, with the board explaining that there are issues regarding line-of-sight at the intersection due to the parking of truck trailers, as well as having obstructions that made getting to the property’s water meters difficult. Tolley noted that he had several vehicles on the property that are not operational and that they could be repaired, but that he hadn’t had the time to do the necessary repairs. Discussion also took place regarding a fallen tree on a building near the back portion of the property, with Alderman Brad Benfield stating that town may potentially be able to assist with the tree’s removal. Following further discussion, the board requested that Tolley have the property satisfactorily picked up by the end of June to prevent further action.
- The town is still working on the panel board replacement for the Cranberry Lift Station, and town staff reported that it is awaiting Mountain Heritage Systems to come to the location to direct staff on where the posts for the board should best be installed.
- The board set a date of June 22 for a public hearing regarding a $1 monthly increase to in-town water service, and $2 monthly increase for out-of-town water rates. As well, the town is evaluating a new water and sewer tax billing system this week, as well as looking at the purchase of an AED defibrillator at the town hall through Active Threat Solutions, LLC.
- In additional business, the town adopted a charter amendment on behalf of High Country Council of Governments.
The next regular monthly meeting of Elk Park Board of Aldermen will take place at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 5, at Elk Park Town Hall on Winters Street.