Hughes and Johnson

Newland Board of Alderman member Christie Hughes presents Jamey Johnson with a restaurant gift card as a token of appreciation for his efforts in the town’s Virtual Santa event.

NEWLAND — On Tuesday, Jan. 5, during the Town of Newland’s regularly scheduled meeting, Town Manager Keith Hoilman announced that O’Reilly Auto Parts would be opening a store in town.

Hoilman had received the plans for the O’Reilly Auto Parts from the developer, which he said is planned to be built at 335 Linville Street, the former location of The Avery Journal-Times, and will be a 7,200-square-foot building. The old building will be demolished, and a brand new one will be built.

“It’s good for the town to get another business. I had been working with Tommy Burleson, and the developer, also the engineer,” Hoilman said.

Hoilman continues to work with Structall Building Systems and McGill Associates, as the manufacturer progresses into the old IRC plant. Hoilman added that he is currently working with another developer on the possibility of bringing another business into town, but he is unable to release the information just yet.

The new Bojangles in town continues to progress. Hoilman reported that construction crews have completed much of the foundation on the site, and the initial plumbing installation has also been completed.

“It just depends on the weather when they’re going to get it done,” Hoilman said.

The backhoe the town ordered using money from the previous fiscal year arrived, and the Public Works Department has already benefited from the new equipment. As part of the Public Works Department report, Public Works Assistant Colby Benfield said the department had a normal month, except for one major mainline leak that had taken place the previous Wednesday.

“We got that repaired in a timely manner, all things considered. We would have never fixed that leak if we didn’t have (the backhoe). We would have had to call in contractors, and we would have been there twice as long,” Benfield said.

Newland Police Chief Byron Clawson reported that all of the department’s officers have completed the required mandatory training. For the month of December, the department responded to one domestic situation, 10 motor vehicle accidents, one individual driving while impaired, one noise complaint, six documentation reports and three physical arrests.

Alderman Dave Calvert inquired Clawson about the holiday activity, which Clawson said the department did not experience much of an increase.

In new business, the board voted to approve the official closure of the Eighth Street alleyway adjacent to the Town Hall and the Bojangles property. The alleyway had been closed for years, but no official records of the closure existed until the meeting.

Before entering into closed session and adjourning, Alderman Christie Hughes presented Alderman Jamey Johnson with a token of appreciation on behalf of the town for Johnson’s participation in Virtual Santa. Johnson thanked those who helped with the event.

“I need no individual credit for Virtual Santa. Everyone in this room deserves credit. Thank you,” Johnson said.

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