Town board meets without fanfare

Andy Goodall, town planner, addresses the town board regarding a rezoning request at a public hearing preceding Monday’s town board meeting.

Pilot Mountain’s regularly scheduled town board meeting was devoid of fireworks Monday evening.

Unlike the public hearing and special meeting held April 5 to resolve a rezoning issue, a rezoning public hearing held at 6:45 p.m. prior to the regular meeting on Monday, brought forward only Pilot’s town planner, Andy Goodall.

Goodall explained that the property at the far end of Main Street (732 E. Main) was zoned RA (Residential Agriculture) and the owners were requesting a change to GB (General Business).

Quality Commercial Structures has purchased the two parcels totaling 0.58 acres and wishes to maintain the house as an office as well as put up buildings that are for sale and have a small parking lot on the property, according to Goodall.

“It’s not very big, so you couldn’t have a big business there,” added Goodall.

The land-use plan for the area designates it as medium-density housing. The planning board said the request is not consistent with the plan, but is a reasonable request.

“The area did not develop as residential,” said Goodall.

The planning board gave a recommendation that the zoning change be accepted, but asked for the land-use plan to be changed as well.

Later in the meeting, Commissioner Evan Cockerham made a motion to accept the zoning change per the planning board’s recommendation and that the land-use plan also be changed. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Gary Bell noted there was one tiny parcel in the area that was not consistent with zoning in the area.

“Let’s keep it consistent. Make it flow,” Bell said

Town Manager Michael Boaz said, “We’ll take care of it.”

When the floor was opened to public comments during the regular meeting, John Wendell came forward and asked repeatedly if the town crews who turned meters on and off were licensed plumbers.

He said his water was frequently turned off due to ongoing meter changes, causing an issue for medical equipment in his home.

“They send out the calvary,” said Wendell, when the water supply is interrupted, setting off alarms on the equipment which then sends out EMS and law enforcement.

“You can’t be tampering with the meter. You have to be a licensed plumber,” Wendell said he had been told by a member of town staff, whom he identified as “that little black-headed guy.”

Wendell asked once again about the licensing qualifications of town crews dealing with water meters.

Mayor Dwight Atkins said he’d look into it. Later in the meeting Town Manager Boaz said the crews did not have to be licensed plumbers.

Anna Nichols came forward to offer two public service announcements, inviting the town board and the public to library-sponsored events. The library’s 12th-annual photography exhibit opened Tuesday.

“Commissioner Bell lent his expertise as a judge,” said Nichols, and then invited the other commissioners to come and view the exhibit.

Nichols also announced that the state competition of Quiz Bowl will be held at the Andy Griffith Playhouse in Mount Airy. The regional competition, sponsored by the Northwestern Regional Library, of which the Charles Stone Library is a part, was held there last month, with the East Surry team the winner. East Surry’s team will be representing the region at the state level competition on April 28 at 10 a.m.

The board received audit proposals from three firms, having requested Town Manager Boaz to seek them out in a previous meeting. Boaz said town staff had reviewed qualifications of all three companies and found them all to be good. Bernard Robinson presented the low bid at $16,250 which was approximately $2,000 less than Gibson and Co. which has been doing the town’s audits for many years.

“We’ve been with Gibson for 13 years,” said Mayor Dwight Atkins, (citing town clerk Holly Utt as the source of his information). It’s probably time to go somewhere else, and there is the issue of timeliness.”

Gibson did not meet deadline for the last audit.

Gary Bell made a motion to engage Bernard Robinson to audit the current fiscal year, and the motion was approved unanimously.

For additional coverage, see next Wednesday’s edition of The Pilot section in The Mount Airy News.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

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