Author: Selena Coffey

November 2022 e-Focus Newsletter (Corrected Christmas Parade Date)

The November 2022 e-Focus Newsletter has been published here:  https://conta.cc/3gVMfUb

UPDATE: The Town’s 911 Observance will be held Monday, September 12 at 11am at the Community Center at Dottie Sherrill Knoll located at 60 Lakeshore Drive. Please join us.

Town Manager Names New Fire Chief Scottie Harris

 

Weaverville, September 7, 2022 – Town Manager Selena Coffey has named Scottie Harris as Weaverville’s next Fire Chief.  Chief Harris currently serves as the Fire Chief at Northern Wake Fire Department and was recently the Fire Chief for the Town of Black Mountain. Chief Harris has served in fire and emergency services for 30 years, with the last 18 years in senior management roles in municipal, county, and combined fire departments, as well as serving 8 years in contract fire services at U.S. Army installations in the Middle East and U.S. Navy support facilities in Diego Garcia. Chief Harris earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Waldorf University, a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Administration and Associate’s degree in Fire Services from Columbia Southern University, and has an extensive resume of fire and emergency services certifications.

Manager Coffey has stated, “We were fortunate to interview a number of highly qualified individuals. My goals for recruiting for the Fire Chief position included that of hiring an experienced and professional leader with strong communication skills and the ability to provide visionary leadership, and with consistent qualities of integrity, accountability, and honesty. I believe we found this leader in Chief Harris.”

Manager Coffey has extended her gratitude to members of the Weaverville Fire Department and states, “With every interview, I boasted that our Fire Department team is second to none in their knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide public safety to the Weaverville area. Chief Harris will be a complement to our team and will progress the Department in the years to come.”

Interim Chief, and Weaverville Police Chief, Ron Davis, has very capably led the Fire Department during the search process and Manager Coffey could not be more pleased with his efforts to lead this important team during a challenging time. “Chief Davis has been steadfast, flexible, and has exhibited a willingness to serve in his dual capacity with a professionalism and attitude that is unparalleled.”

Town Manager Coffey anticipates that Chief Harris will begin his employment with the Town of Weaverville on October 10, 2022.

 

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SCHEDULED WATER OUTAGE ON JUNE 4-5, 2022

The Town of Weaverville has scheduled a water outage on June 4-5, 2022 for the area along Merrimon Avenue between Lake Louise and Reems Creek Road.  This outage is planned for town crews to install a new main-line water valve at the intersection of Merrimon Avenue and Aiken Road and to allow the construction of a new water tap by a contractor.  The outage is scheduled to begin at 6 pm on Saturday June 4, with the water scheduled to be back on by 6 am on Sunday June 5.  The general area to be affected includes:

  • Creekside Village
  • Homes and Apartments along Aiken Road from Merrimon Avenue to I-26 bridge
  • Hickory Lane
  • Sample Group Inc.
  • OTS
  • Thermo-Fisher Scientific
  • A-B Emblem
  • General Equipment
  • Bochiro Health & Wellness
  • Dodge on Chlopek Way

Residents in the affected area may experience low or no water pressure during this outage.  When the work is completed, customers may experience discolored water or air in the lines and are advised to wait until the water is clear before using it.  For more information, please contact the Town of Weaverville Public Works Department, Water Maintenance Division, at 828-645-0606 Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm.

 

MAYOR’S RECOMMENDATIONS ON WATER CAPACITY ISSUES TO TOWN COUNCIL

May 23, 2022 —- Mayor Patrick Fitzsimmons

I was tasked by the Town Council Water System Committee to meet with various stakeholders and area governments to examine possible alternatives to water plant expansion or collaborative opportunities to meet future regional water demands. Over the past few months I have done that and as a result of those conversations, I make the following recommendations to Town Council:

  • Develop a more aggressive tiered pricing system for water. The current pricing structure provides no incentive for users to conserve water usage. Conservation is the easiest and least expensive way to reduce usage and delay need for expanded water capacity. I suggest we create a tiered pricing structure that provides the first 3000 gallons per month at $9.22 per 1000 gallons, the current rate and the amount the average household uses in one month. For 3,001 to 10,000 gallons the rate would be 50% more at $13.83 per 1000 gallons, and for more than 10,001 gallons at $18.44 per 1000 gallons. As an example a customer who uses 5000 gallons currently would pay $48 and under new system would pay $55.00.

Timeline: implement in new fiscal year, July 2022

  • Apply for state funds in conjunction with the town of Marshall. Marshall is interested in building a water line to connect to Mars Hill’s system. Mars Hill wants to connect help provide water to Marshall but be able to use our water also as their capacity is fairly limited. Marshall anticipates they will have their engineering reports completed for such a project in July. I recommend we apply for state funds to expand our water treatment plant with the provision that we will supply Marshall with their water needs via Mars Hill at rates we charge our customers. Our chance of acquiring funding in conjunction with Marshall is much greater than if we pursue funding ourselves due to the fact the Marshall is considered a town at financial risk and in a Tier 2 county ranking their prospects of funding much higher. It is anticipated that there will be a second round of state ARP funding for infrastructure projects in August or September. We need to be an applicant and we should apply for as full cost of expansion. The max municipalities can apply for in the current round of ARP funds is $15 million.

Update: I have met with our local state legislator and secured his support for this project. I meet with the Madison County officials this week and will ask them to gain the support of their state legislators also.

Timeline: Apply to the state in August 2022

  • Retrofit water line connection to Mars Hill. Apparently the water line we have between the two cities has water only flowing one way. Seemingly the pump could be retrofitted for water to flow both ways. This would mitigate both of our risks for any water emergencies that may occur. Mars Hill agrees this is a good idea and that we would sell water to each other as needed at regular customer rates.

Update: Public Works Director researched this and advises this can be easily accomplished.

Timeline: end of 2022

  •  Connect our system to Woodfin Water. Our water lines literally cross over Woodfin’s water lines at several locations yet there is no valve to connect the two systems anywhere. We should build such a connection so that we could get water from them or they from us in emergencies or when either needed supplemental water. Woodfin currently produces water and purchases extra from Asheville all which could flow into our system through such a connection.

Update: Public Works Director researched this and advises we actually had a connection in the past and that this too could be easily accomplished.

Timeline: by the end of 2022

  •  Negotiate extra water supply from Asheville. Asheville has considerable water capacity and by law can only charge other municipalities the same rate they charge their own customers. We __ gallons per day which we could supplement our water supply with at a low cost.

Update: We have requested a meeting with the Asheville Water System

Timeline: by the end of 2022

  •  Expand our Water Treatment plant. All of the above recommendations will help reduce water usage, provide for emergency and supplemental water for our system, build regional diversification of water supply by connecting Asheville, Woodfin, Weaverville, Mars Hill and Marshall systems, thereby mitigating risk during emergencies for all communities. However, if an attempt to acquire state funding to pay for our water plant expansion through a cooperative proposal with Marshall (with Madison Co. and Marsh Hill as partners) is not successful in the fall of 2022 Weaverville will need to expand their own water treatment plant through a USDA loan soon after.  A decision to do so, if the proposal with Marshall fails, should be done before the end of 2022.

Timeline: by the end of 2022

 NOTICE: The Mayor and Town Council will be further discussing the aforementioned recommendations at a workshop on June 20, 2022 at 6pm at Town Hall. The public is invited to attend and give input at this meeting.