LED board

A new LED message board outside of the Newland Town Hall has been notifying residents with important information.

NEWLAND — The Newland Board of Alderman reconvened for its latest meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 6, in which the board addressed a couple’s request to connect town water and sewer to their home as the first order of business.

The couple, who had recently bought a new double wide trailer, said they were looking to tap their services onto an existing line off of a nearby trailer. According to Town Manager Keith Hoilman, the town’s policy says that each home will have its own meter and utility hookup, despite there being several homes in town that are connected to nearby homes.

The couple confirmed that they were out-of-town customers, so they were paying double rates. After Alderman Dave Calvert said this type of hookup would require a separate water meter for each unit, the board approved a motion to grandfather the particular type of utility connection in, with one board member dissenting.

Police Chief Byron Clawson reported that the police department had been unusually busy this month, having responded to three motor vehicle accidents, one animal complaint related to a bear on Elk Street, three domestic situations, five drug complaints, four investigations and one drug arrest related to hydrocodone, among other incidents.

Additionally, the department completed firearms training on Sept. 24. Clawson also reported that the department had received a K9 training grant, which includes 100 percent funding for the dogs, training and supplies. Alderman Jamey Johnson commended the department, along with other town employees, for their hard work.

“Part of my day job is pulling (911) call reports. I looked at 443 for the month, your call volume has doubled for the month,” Johnson said. “Thank you to your whole department, and that’s a good get on that grant.”

Colby Benfield and a few employees from the Public Works Department traveled to Atlanta to pick up the town’s new LED sign that is now in front of the Town Hall. The sign displays information such as the date, time and weather, as well as reminders to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. In other public works news, the department replaced a water line on Daniels Street.

Johnson mentioned the possibility of moving forward with phase two of the town’s maintenance facility, which would involve renovating or moving the maintenance department to a new location in order to provide additional space to keep and maintain equipment.

Hoilman reported that the town’s LED sign was made available through CARES Act funding. Hoilman said that Structall Building Systems will be ready for the town to connect the water lines to the old IRC Plant once McGill Associates transfers the well to them. The building material manufacturer is starting to clean up the abandoned plant.

The town has received site plans for the old Cardinal Insurance property next to the Town Hall and is hoping to make an announcement about a potential project in the following weeks. Additionally, Hoilman reported the town had completed the paperwork for the Asset and Inventory Assessment (AIA) water and sewer grant.

The town is still planning on holding its Treat Street celebration for Halloween. On Friday, Oct. 30, from 4 to 8 p.m., Newland businesses will be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Businesses that are interested in participating can contact the town at (828) 733-2023.

In regard to the Christmas parade, the town is still planning on hosting it while following all COVID-19-related guidelines, such as having it outside, incorporating masks and ensuring people stay six feet apart. The town is looking at a tentative date of December 5.

Before adjourning, the town passed a resolution in support of the Newland Police Department, stating that it will maintain efforts to support the department in light of a national trend calling for the defunding of departments across the country.

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