Junaluska Assembly Community Council
November 5, 2013
Members in Attendance: Bill King, chair, Ken Zulla, Jimmy Pennell, Jeannette Shaver, Oscar Dowdle, David Baxter, Pat Koonts, Jack Ewing, Buddy Young, and Aly Moose
Bill King called the meeting to order and asked Oscar Dowdle to lead us in a prayer.
Mike said that there was a car that was driven into the lake on November 1 that resulted in no injuries. Also, a Jeremy Clark was apprehended for going door to door and misapprehending funds from homeowners.
Board of Trustees Report
Jack Ewing reported that the Board of Trustees approved the new utility rates that were brought before them in their October 18th meeting.
Part of the Board meeting was a tour of Lake Junaluska facilities. The Board visited Lambuth, Colonial, Jones, Lakeside, and Harrell in order to see some of the challenges facing the Conference Center. The lodging and food area of Lake Junaluska is a profit department, and its profit supports the break-even departments and expense departments. We need to invest in our lodging and food so that people come to the Lake and provide the funds to support the other departments. This is why the project at Lambuth hotel is so important. No action items were taken at the meeting, and until the March Board meeting, individuals who are willing to support the Lambuth project will continue to be sought out. Sixty to sixty-five percent (of the 15-20 million dollar Lambuth project) will be obtained by loans, and six to seven million dollars is the goal for charitable giving for the Lambuth project.
The Board also made the determination that going forward they will be known as the Board of Trustees, as opposed to the Board of Directors.
Public Works Report
Buddy Reported that the increased rates have gone into effect starting on this month’s bill. We have already begun moving forward with our first Capital Improvement Project, which is a pressure reducing valve at Tri Vista Condos. It will greatly reduce the water breaks in that area.
Earlier in the year, we replaced a portion of a water line in Holston Village that has been leaking and requiring a lot of attention. After we patched that area, our monthly water loss was reduced to 26% from 35%.
Public Water Supply came by the Public Works office for their yearly inspection of our records and water system. There were no reporting or monitoring violations for our system.
Pat Koonts asked if the Lake was going to be taken down this year.
Buddy Young said it will come down just a few feet before Thanksgiving in order to inspect the dam and plan repairs. The lake will not be taken down enough that it will expose the lake bottom, but some recession on the edges will be noticed.
Jack Ewing wanted to acknowledge two gifts from the Associates: $119,000 for the Lambuth project and $200,000 split up into four years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) for the purpose of renewing the Children’s playground, as well as upgrading other outdoor recreation areas. The Board forwarded $100,000 out of Conference Center cash reserves so that the project can be done before summer 2014.
Bill King commented that visitors to the Lake have increased by having the playground here. It is an asset to drawing people to the Lake.
The dock and dock storage area will be relocated from the South side of the pool to the North side. The construction will occur in 2014 when the lake is drawn down.
Rules and Regulations
Bill King reported that discussion of the Rules and Regulations are still an agenda item. If annexation were to take place, these Rules and Regulations are an essential part in defining our community as far as zoning is concerned.
Jack affirmed that changes to the Rules and Regulations will have to be adopted by the Board of Trustees.
Buddy explained that we would need to be careful about making changes to the Rules and Regulations, and that our lawyer should be consulted.
It was decided that a committee consisting of Ken Zulla, Bill King, another council member, a member of the Lake Junaluska Assembly Property Owner’s Organization, and a volunteer attorney from the community will meet to determine what action we should take going forward. It was approved by consensus.
Questions from the Audience
Don Keck asked when we would add the white line and stop sign on Methodist Drive. Buddy and Bill stated that they thought the decision was made to see how the yellow line worked before installing the white lines.
Ed added that for those coming down Hoosier, the stop sign is ignored some of the time.
We cannot issue citations for people running stop signs. We could cite for reckless driving and speeding, however. Since we are not a municipality, we are limited in what we can enforce, and how.
Glener Gilland asked if we can enforce new rules and regulations, if we were to update them.
Buddy said that enforcement would require taking legal action. Public Works cannot take legal action against a property owner, but the Board of Trustees and other property owners have the right to do that.
Jimmy Pennell asked how these things would be affected if we were to be annexed.
Buddy said that Waynesville police could cite for running stop signs, speeding, and zoning violators. The covenants that are in the deeds would remain in effect even if we were to be annexed. For example, no alcohol can be made or sold on Assembly property where it is forbidden in the deeds.
Bill King closed the meeting and said that the next meeting will be the first Tuesday in January.
Respectfully submitted by:
Junaluska Community Council
October 1, 2013
ATTENDANCE: Pat Koonts, Buddy Young, Jack Ewing, Jeannette Shaver, Oscar Dowdle, David Baxter, Ken Zulla, (Bill King and Jimmy Pennell were out of town on pre-announced absences), Ed Lafountaine and 5 other visitors were in attendance.
Pat Koonts called the meeting to order at 4 p. m. and opened with prayer. She thanked Gene McAbee for his service to the Lake Junaluska community and asked for blessings for him and his family during his retirement.
She called on Buddy Young for the Public Works report.
Buddy said that there had been seven candidates for security chief and that there were some strong candidates in the group. He said that David Baxter had represented the Community Council on the Selection Committee. He introduced Lt. Mike Shuler of the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office who has been chosen as the new chief.
Buddy said that Lt. Shuler has been employed with LJA Security either full or part time for the last 21 years. He will continue to be employed by the Sheriff’s Office with his official assignment being to manage the security and police operations here and Public Works will reimburse the Sheriff’s Office for his salary. He said that the announcement to the community will go out by e-mail on October 2.
Gene McAbee expressed confidence in Lt. Shuler as a good choice for the position.
David Baxter said that he was impressed by the way the Selection Committee was put together and that his main questions dealt with whether the candidates understood the community. He was happy to find that most did understand the unique qualities of our community. He commended the process.
Mike Shuler said that he was glad to be at the meeting and that he looks forward to working with the members of the Council. Buddy said that Mike’s official start date will be October 21.
Buddy reported that a full test of all fire hydrants at LJA had been conducted by the Waynesville Fire Department and Public Works staff. Members of the public will notice color-coded tape and paint on the hydrants that identify the size of the water line, the flow, and the fittings. All hydrants were rated. Four hydrants did not pass the inspection. One has been repaired; two were found to be redundant, and one has been removed with no plans to replace it. Then all will be documented and approved.
RATE CHANGES AND ISSUES
Buddy said that letters will go out right after the Board meeting announcing rate changes and will include a list of issues being faced in Public Works.
Because of changes in the software used for credit cards at our bank, all automatic credit card charges will have to be re-entered. There are approximately 170 bills each month that are paid by automatic charges to the customers’ credit cards. There are no hardcopy files of those customers’ names and card numbers. All customers will have to present their cards again or call in with their numbers to complete the process.
The mailing will include a tri-fold pamphlet of information about brush and leaf removal and suggestions for how property owners can help speed the process of removal, particularly during the busy months of October, November, and December.
The mailing will also include a notice from the Conference & Retreat Center on one or more issues.
Pat Koonts asked when the rate changes will take effect. Buddy said the new service charge rates will begin in January but will not be due until December of 2014.
Pat then called on Ed LaFontaine.
PETITION FOR ANNEXATION
Ed said that he and some other property owners were starting a petition drive for annexation. He said that based on the results of the Municipal Studies Task Force findings and the recommendations of the Community Council and Board of Directors, the group felt that annexation was the right path to address the future of the Assembly.
He said that the survey conducted by the MSTF indicated that a majority of the property owners at the Assembly support annexation and while some challenged the validity of the survey, the Community Council believes that the survey accurately reflected the will of the majority.
He reminded everyone that the annexation bill had passed the Senate and then had been withdrawn during the long session of the House will be presented in the short session.
The members of the group of property owners for whom Ed spoke believe that a petition will further validate the survey.
The petition will address two classifications of persons (1) registered voters; and (2) property owners at large who may not be registered voters.
The effort to complete a petition is being made on the advice of our legislative representatives.
Several members of the Council asked questions about the petition and Ed answered those questions.
Ed noted that the petition letters will be sent out from the Public Works office with a cover letter on Public Works letterhead because both the Community Council and the Board of Directors have expressed support for annexation and the Public Works office is charged with taking the lead in pursuing annexation under those directions.
There will be one form for registered voters and one form for property owners who are not registered voters. After responses are received there will be an attempt to contact all property owners and registered voters who have not returned a signed petition with a target of achieving 100% participation. Anyone who does not support annexation would simply not return the petition.
Ed said that he believes that this petitioning process will not only validate the results of the survey but will assist in the healing process for members of the community.
Ed explained that no formal action was being requested by the Council since the Council had already voted unanimously to support annexation and the Board of Directors had voted overwhelmingly to support annexation. He did request that all Council members sign petition forms supporting annexation during this meeting and they did.
Pat Koonts thanked Ed for the work that he and the other members of the group had done.
Buddy Young said that he had met with our legislators Joe Sam Queen and Jim Davis and Rep. Queen was the first to sign the petition based on his status as a property owner. Both assured their support of the annexation measure in the upcoming session of the General Assembly.
Pat then recognized Jack Ewing for his report to the Council.
Jack said that for the last year, the Haywood Firefighters’ Association had been using the Lakeview Motel for training. In either the last week of October or the first week in November, their training will include the complete burning and destruction of the buildings to be followed by the clear of debris from the site.
Jack noted that Buddy had said that a part of the APW mailing going out soon will be an insert from the Conference & Retreat Center. He said this insert will ask all property owners to remove any boats that they have stored on the south side of the pool off Memory Lane. Any boats that are not removed for the winter will be removed and stored by the C & R Center staff. He announced that a resident had agreed to fund the construction of racks on the north side of the pool for private boat storage. When those racks are complete, persons may pay a fee to store their boats in the racks.
Jack reported that the trolley has been out of service while its suspension system is being repaired. He said that the C & R Center spends several thousand dollars every year to repair the suspension on the trolley because it is not made to drive over the speed bumps that are on North Lakeshore Drive.
Jack suggested that some of the speed bumps be removed, particularly those at Memory Lane and N. Lakeshore Drive and near the Terrace. Stop signs would be installed on N. Lakeshore to slow traffic in place of the speed bumps. Jack asked for comments.
Gene McAbee said that he had some concerns about the installation of stop signs on N. Lakeshore at Memory Lane because it will slow the movement of traffic on that road during the heavy traffic we experience associated with major conferences and events. He believes that this intersection would have to be covered by a traffic officer if signs were installed to keep traffic moving. He said that the entire area between the Terrace and the Harrell Center needs to be re-designed to make it more pedestrian-friendly and suggested that “raised crosswalks” be installed that would serve as speed breaks and direct pedestrians straight across the street instead of diagonally.
The suggestions are open for comments from the community.
Pat then asked if there were questions or comments from the audience. Ron Clauser noted that Jack King was present in the audience and asked that Jack comment on the continued efforts toward annexation since Jack had officially taken a position against annexation. Jack King responded that he had officially taken a position toward reconciliation and asked that the Council move carefully and cautiously
Jim Gilland said that he believes that the petition process is fair because it allows input from both registered voters and property owners who are not registered to vote here. A referendum alone would eliminate participation by property owners not registered to vote in Haywood County.
Ron Clauser said that there is a risk associated with the petition effort. He said that the survey was attacked in Raleigh and not valid. He said that the process of official vote on annexation would leave many people feeling disenfranchised.
With no further comments, the meeting was adjourned at 5:18 p. m.
Gene McAbee for Aly Groesser
Junaluska Assembly Community Council
September 3, 2013
Attendance: Bill King, Buddy Young, Jack Ewing, Pat Koonts, Jimmy Pennell, Oscar Dowdle, Jeannette Shaver, Ken Zulla, (Marcy Onieal, Waynesville Town Manager) 23 Visitors
Bill King called the meeting to order at 4 p. m. and opened with prayer.
He announced that the minutes of the last meeting had been approved, distributed to members, and posted on the web page. He summarized the minutes. The Council approved a $3 per month increase in garbage fees for 2014 bringing the monthly charge to $16.86 per month. The Council will recommend to the Board of Directors an increase of $2.25 cents per hundred dollar valuation for service fees bringing the total service fee to $35.25 cents per hundred.
The Council agreed that the costs of the recommendations of the Martin-McGill study are too expensive to bear at this time. The Council asked Buddy Young to prepare two budgets for presentation: one that addressed only critical needs and one based on the recommendations of the Cavanaugh study. He turned the meeting over to Buddy to present those budgets and other Public Works issues.
Buddy said that though Aly Groesser had been approved to replace Gene McAbee as secretary for the Council at the last meeting, Aly could not be here today and Gene had “agreed” to take the minutes.
Buddy reported that he had participated in a comprehensive inspection of the dam required by state inspectors. He said that Phase 1 of the inspection had been completed. Phase 2 will be an inspection of the spillway. There are indications that there are some problems in the spillway noted from the way water is flowing. There will be an inspection of the spillway in November that will require us to lower the lake some. The scope of the work needed will be identified. Then in March, the lake will be taken down 8-10 feet to complete the work identified. This will also provide an opportunity to check sediments. Buddy said that he knows of seven major landslides that have occurred upstream on Richland Creek in the last year and the effects of these landslides on sediment in the lake will be examined.
Security Chief Position
Buddy said that he has conducted some initial interviews with applicants for the Security Chief position that will be vacant due to the retirement of Gene McAbee on October 15.
The Public Works leaf vacuum needs to be replaced. Buddy has found a used vacuum that was owned by the City of Chapel Hill and sold to a paving company in Asheville. That company is going to sell it for $5800. It is larger than the one we have now. Buddy emphasized that we cannot afford to have a vacuum go down in the height of the leaf season because we are never able to catch up when that happens.
Junaluska Sanitary District
Buddy and another Council member Oscar Dowdle along with several property owners attended a meeting of the Junaluska Sanitary District Commissioners. Buddy said that the Municipal Studies Task Force had considered the possibility of merging our systems with the JSD early in their study but dismissed that option early because such a merger would not address all of our issues. It would only address water and sewer. In addition, since JSD is a “purchase” system just like Lake Junaluska, a merger would address only our water and sewer infrastructure.
He said that the Commissioners would have to have a petition from 15% of the property owners to consider merger, but that even if they got that request, they are unlikely to approve it because the merger would not match their goals. Their goals have always been to “bring water and sewer to rural areas” that do not have those services.
Pat Koonts asked about comparative costs of service from JSD. Buddy said the differences are marginal. He said that they do have the ability to purchase from Clyde and Maggie Valley, but both Maggie Valley and Clyde also purchase from Waynesville or Canton in a drought situation. He reminded members that we have seen that the Waynesville rates compared to other systems in the state are highly competitive.
Ken Zulla mentioned that representatives for the Town of Waynesville have indicated that funds from grants for repairs and upgrades to water and sewer systems are not available now. Buddy said that is true, but there is always a possibility that funds would be available again in the future.
Buddy said that the total outstanding service charges are $98,500. Buddy said that some people are making payments after falling behind. He said that at the end of September, the collection process will begin again.
Budgets (Copies of the proposed budgets are available at http://www.lakejunaluskacommunity.com or you may receive a copy at the Public Works Office).
Buddy reported that the service charge and garbage budgets are finalized. He made these comments about the Cavanaugh study:
(1) Install a pressure reduction valve for Tri-Vista; that area has higher water pressure than any other area of the Assembly because it is the lowest point; this causes leaks and failures; this action was recommended by Cavanaugh in its first study and will cost approximately $50,000;
(2) The Cavanaugh study ranked lots of projects at high priority; Buddy would like to bring them back and have them identify work that is “critical;”
(3) The study recommended mapping of the system; Buddy does not recommend full mapping and installation of digital meters at this time; his recommendation is that we focus on staff training in the use of computerized systems and software so that they will be prepared for this change in the future.
Buddy said that if we simply choose to focus on critical needs, we can simply wait and see what problems develop that must be addressed as they occur. For example, 150 yards of water line had to be replaced in Holston Village this summer and we have to address a sewer line that is routed under a house that is failing.
He said that in June, July, and August we experienced 10 breaks of varying seriousness.
Bill King asked for more details about the proposed budgets.
Buddy reviewed details of the two budgets he prepared: one for critical needs only and one based on the Cavanaugh study.
Oscar Dowdle pointed out that the “critical needs” budget was just basic. If there is a big problem, the budget will be in the red. Buddy said that our budget always runs close, but could certainly move into deficit if a big problem developed.
Tom Sigmon asked if the increase in service fees would result in an increase in the number of people not paying their fees. Buddy said that the increase would not push too many people over the edge. He explained that with water and sewer charges, if a bill is not paid, the water can be turned off until it is.
A member of the audience asked if we would be wasting money in implementing the Cavanaugh recommendations with possible annexation pending. Buddy said that it is an option to put off action on those recommendations until annexation is settled.
A member of the audience asked what steps are being taken to collect unpaid service charges. Buddy said that liens are being applied to the properties and the liens increase by 12% per year.
Kelly Jones asked what happens to any funds in the Public Works budget if annexation occurs. Buddy said that those funds go with the system to the Town of Waynesville or would have to be refunded to the customers based on percentages. Any reserves that were transferred to Waynesville would have to be used for water and sewer.
MOTION: After some further discussion, Ken Zulla motioned that the Community Council accept the budget based on the Cavanaugh study. Oscar Dowdle seconded. The motion was approved unanimously.
Bill King recognized Jack Ewing for his report. Jack said that he had realized that when we think of costs to us personally, we need to think in terms of decades instead of annually. In the past, we have tried to keep annual service fees as low as possible but we will save money, in the long run, if we proactively replace infrastructure. It does not matter whether annexation or incorporation occurs or whether we remain the same. Someone will have to pay the bill.
Jack said that the funding sources for the Conference & Retreat Center have changed dramatically. As the Methodist Church membership ages, people who have come here for years no longer come. Many of the individuals who attended events in the past did not pay their own expenses; they were paid by the church or from other sources. Those sources have dried up. The reality is that we are in a changing environment with shorter events. At one time, the business of the C & R Center was 90% group-driven. In the future we will most likely have more individual business. We must be competitive with our facilities. We must improve meeting, eating, and sleeping spaces or our numbers will continue to decline. Then everyone, including property owners, will suffer.
We need to see Lake Junaluska Assembly as a complete picture, not just its parts. No matter what form of governance we choose, we must think broadly: What is Lake Junaluska Assembly today? What do we want it to be in the future?
Jack said that our competition is not Ridgecrest, it is Disney World.
Bill King asked if any other members had issues to bring up.
Gene McAbee reported that warrants had been drawn on one person for the vehicle break-ins that occurred last week and warrants were pending on two others.
Bill distributed a handout to all members. The document follows.
There will be discussions before the convening of the short session of the NC General Assembly next
spring about strategies that should be followed carrying out our stated desire to pursue annexation by
the town of Waynesville. There also will be discussions by the duly authorized Reconciling Committee as
it charts its path forward. For the record, I want to enter in the minutes concerns I circulated by email to
the Community Council regarding these community discussions.
I encourage any forward looking discussions within the community that keep us focused on our mission
and as to the best path toward sustainability. I have no objection to any Council member participating in
any discussion as a member of the Junaluska community and private property owner.
However, I do not believe the Community Council should have official representatives at any body
without discussion and authorization by the Cc. As Chair, I intend to remain neutral on any discussions
by any group going forward until any possibilities are brought before the Council. Then there can be
open debate as is our practice, and as is our charge as elected representatives of the Junaluska
Bill then opened the floor to questions and comments from the audience.
Kelly Jones asked for information about who was paying the costs for the trips to Raleigh to lobby for the annexation bill. Buddy said that the costs have been supported by the Public Works budget because both the Community Council and the Board of Directors instructed him to proceed with the process.
This discussion continued for quite a while with Kelly asking about the propriety of using Public Works funds to support such a political action. Buddy pointed out that 65% of property owners surveyed had approved annexation; the Community Council recommended annexation to the Board; and the Board instructed him to move ahead.
Jim Gilland asked who will be able to vote in the referendum on annexation when it occurs. Buddy said that only registered voters would be allowed vote. Jim expressed his concern several times that some property owners will not have a voice. Gene McAbee explained that the Community Council had done its best to include all property owners and had provided a voice to all property owners, but the request for a referendum is an action of the state legislature.
Mike Jordan asked if it would not be possible to have a capital campaign to raise money to fix the streets and water and sewer systems. A lengthy discussion followed.
At this point, the Secretary had to leave to attend mandatory in-service training required to maintain his police certification in North Carolina. It was reported to the Secretary that the meeting adjourned as he was leaving.
Respectfully submitted with my apologies,
Gene McAbee, Secretary
Junaluska Community Council Minutes
August 6, 2013
Bill King, Buddy Young, Ken Zulla, David Baxter, Jimmy Pennell, Oscar
Dowdle, Jeannette Shaver, Aly Groesser, Gene McAbee (Visitors—69)
Bill King called the meeting to order at 4 p.
m. Jimmy Pennell opened with prayer.
Opening Statement from Bill King, Chair
Community Council Authority
Our agenda today is to primarily look at the direction the
Lake Junaluska Assembly should go in utilizing its responsibilities in
providing for basic services for the Conference and Retreat Center and private
property owners. The authority for this is centered in the Lake Junaluska
Community Council, formerly called JACC, but now shortened to Community Council.
The NC Utilities
Commission recognized this authority in 2011 when after thoroughly
reviewing the Lake Junaluska "utility," the physical condition of the plant, its
operation, financial viability, rates,
including rate design, and its governance - noting specifically the
constitution and bylaws and means of election to the Community Council - it ruled that the Assembly meets the statutory criteria for
exemption from Commission regulation. A central point in granting exemption was
that all water and sewer customers of the LJ Assembly are eligible to run for
the CC, and all water and sewer customers of the LJ Assembly elect the CC.
The Constitution of the CC, adopted in
2006, notes that same authority in Article ll,
Purpose, when in Section 3 it states its purpose is "to support and
advise the Office of Assembly Public Works with the authority of elected leadership. Article
IV, Jurisdiction and Authority, Section 4, states that the CC shall have
authority to advise the Office of Public Works with regard to budgeting and
Likewise the Lake Junaluska Board of
Directors recognizes the CC as an advisory body to its Public Works
Committee, and by precedent has granted
the CC authority to utilize paid consultants and appoint duly authorized study
committees or task forces to gather information. In addition the North Carolina State
Supreme Court has recognized the authority of the Board of Directors to set
Service Charges for police protection, street maintenance, street lighting,
drainage maintenance, and administrative costs. The Board of Directors seeks
the counsel of the CC in setting Service Fees.
Since its inception the CC, through its elected members,
has come to be recognized as a creditable voice for the interests of the
property owners and the Conference and Retreat Center of the Lake Junaluska
We have much to celebrate with the very
successful continuing programs of our Centennial Celebration and probably more
to hear from Public Works than we may want in relation to the record breaking
rain we have been experiencing, but our focus today is as previously stated. We
will begin with a report from Buddy Young and then hear from Jack Ewing.
William E. King Chair, Community Council August 6, 2013
Bill called on Buddy Young for the Public
Buddy reported that Gene McAbee will be
retiring on October 15, 2013. Buddy
commented on the outstanding work that Gene has done for the Assembly
throughout his career.
He recommended that Aly Groesser be appointed the new
recording secretary for the Community Council.
Pat Koonts made the motion. Oscar
Dowdle seconded. Approved unanimously.
Buddy’s presentation appears below from his
written notes and power point slides.
Although our bill passed through the Senate easily in
April, we stalled in the House. There is
no doubt that our bill has been caught up in the political culture that is in
firm control in
Raleigh at the moment. I have
been assured by many who know that in any other session, a
local bill with the support of the local delegation would have moved through
without serious opposition. At the same time I must point out that the
opposition was well
worked hard, and certainly had an effect.
We will be able to pick-up where we left in
the House off in the short session next spring.
have a much better grasp of what is needed to move the bill forward. We learned
Several key house members have told me
personally that they will not support the bill
without a referendum. Sen. Davis offered an amendment requesting a referendum
the survey results. It is unrealistic that a bill will be passed that does not include a
referendum. Therefore the best case timeline for annexation, that includes a
November 2014 and an effective annexation 7/1/15.
Prior to the
March 5 CC meeting and the Board meeting, our office maintained public
neutrality on the issue. However, after the survey demonstrated decisive
support by the
property owners of annexation ( I stand behind the survey), the recommendations
of the Community
Council, motions put forward by the Board of Directors, I have been directed to
necessary steps" to pursue annexation.
It has become obvious that our approach to
the General Assembly needs work and
organization before the short session next spring.
Some have said that our office should stay
out of the organizing efforts, and let the property
owners organize for themselves. That we should stay above the fray.
However, it is my belief that the course that
has been directed by the managing bodies of my
until such time as the Board or this Council directs otherwise our staff will
openly and fully towards the continued pursuit annexation.
Because of the annexation timeline discussed,
the 2014 budget will be for the full year. We have
held our fees constant during this process and regardless of the overall direction that we
decided as it relates
to Capital improvements, some fees or services need to be adjusted.
Buddy then presented a Power Point presentation that may be viewed HERE
The 2013 budget was developed last year at this time.
As I think we all know, we have two sources of revenue that
cover different departments;
Annual Service Charges and monthly utility bills. Blue utilities; red service
Let’s look at Service Charges. Service Charges cover administration, streets,
and security. There were some expenses
in 2013 that will not recur in 2014. Part of the 2013 budget built reserves, so
of the $60,000 in reserves $6,000 has come from this year's budget.
This is what your monthly bill looks like. Monthly utility bills cover water
sewer, solid waste and fire protection.
I expect Fire protection to change in July
2014, but since it is currently just a pass through
charge to Waynesville, the anticipated changes will have a neutral effect on
the budget. What
I expect to happen is the County tax bill will reflect a 6 cent per $100 charge
to Waynesville for Fire
starting July 1, 2014 and then we will remove the pass-through of $4.
If we plan to continue with the level of garbage, recycling, brush pickup, and
collection we must increase our solid waste fees, Through June we are almost
I would point out that we had to purchase a
new transmission for $4,000. We do budget
quite a bit for maintenance but this was unexpected. A new truck will be needed
will be financed over a period of years.
We also will need to purchase a new leaf
vacuum or suspend service. The one we bought in
2010 was a very inexpensive model $16,000. The crew looked at the options and
because it was small and able to vacuum from either side. It gave us a lot of
trouble last year,
and will be a constant problem this year. If we get a new
similar model, we can have a
backup that might extend the life of the one
we have now and maybe the new one.
There are no reserves for solid waste and if
we allow folks to pull out of garbage service we will be in trouble soon.
If we increase our fees by $3.00 per month we should increase solid waste revenues by
$21,750. We will be able to pay off the 2013 deficit, break even and come very
close to paying off the new leaf vacuum. After the first year we should be in a
position to finance a truck.
For comparison, folks in Tuscola Park and Junaluska
Sanitary District pay an independent hauler $15, per month for
trash and recycling pick up only, Clyde offers the same service; our bill will
go from $13.86
to $16.86 and include leaf pickup and brush.
The rate structure and formula is set by the NC Utilities Commission. It is divided into two parts: base
rate that covers operation and usage that is a pass through to Waynesville.
Our current usage charge is Waynesville’s cost
plus 30%. Our water loss through June 30 is
36% for the year. We had two major problems in March that caused us to lose 54%
water we purchased that month.
At the moment we are $10,000 in deficit. We do have approximately $54,000 in reserves in
emergency line of credit of $50,000. Our billing compared to last year is off by
8.5 percent. There
are a couple of projects estimated at about $15,000 that are critical plus a
bill for $5,000 that
is due any day.
BACK TO SLIDE
3 Zero usage is the base rate that covers
operation and Capital
Improvements obviously for these rates there is not much in capital
The difference between zero usage and 5,000
gallons which is basically a pass through
payment to Waynesville; $17.88 for water and $23.35 for sewer.
Waynesville had a 6 increase that was passed
on the bill that you received Saturday, August 3. If we
adjust our rates by an additional 5% to cover the increasing water loss, the
total monthly bill
with 5,000 gallons, will rise from $58.13 to $62.79; so I am proposing an increases of $4.66
for the usage pass-through ONLY; all this accomplishes is to prevent using
funds for the purchase of water and sewer.
SLIDE 8 We need a base rate increase just to handle the deficit and
the repairs that are
critical. A rate increase of approximately 25% for water
($2.00 per month) for water
and 12% ($1 per month) for sewer along with the increasing water loss
adjustment will bring
our bill to $65.79 and increase our operating funds by $28,200.
When we undertook the Cavanaugh study, we
focused on water loss. As an example in the
first two projects Cokesbury and Stuart Circle, we replaced water lines but did
not touch the
sewer lines even though the sewer lines were also 100 years old.
If we plan to undertake the CIP that was conducted by
Cavanaugh we will need to build some
capital because we do not qualify for the type of funding needed to finance
We need to raise our base rates from $16.90 to $37.06.
The Martin McGill study that was conducted
jointly with Waynesville was much more
comprehensive and Waynesville Capital Improvements are at a much higher
standard and requires a much higher level of funding.
SLIDE 9This slide shows the different base rates
with the proposed usage rate increase,
again the Total Base is equal to zero usage. The line at the bottom shows the
total prior to
SLIDE 10This slide shows
what the Terrace would be paying under the different options.
The usage is based on the 12 months
usage in 2012.
Waynesville estimated the Terrace when
annexation appeared likely for Conference and Retreat Center budgeting.
SLIDE 11 As a point of comparison Junaluska Sanitary
District monthly bill was at $67.91 on January 1 and they also charge a
fee of 6 cent per hundred value for the Sanitary District, which equals $120
per year for a $200,000 home. Therefore, with zero
usage JSD rate
would be $53.06 per month or $77.91 with 5000 gallons usage on a home worth $200,000.
These figures do not include the 6 % increase
from Waynesville that takes effect this month
and applies to each of these users.
SLIDE 12 This shows the combined proposed
to Secretary’s Minutes
the presentation, Pat Koonts asked if the proposed increases should take effect
in November or January. Buddy suggests
said that receipts were down because
there was little watering of gardens, lawns, and flower beds.
repairs need to be made on water lines in Holston Village and one sewer line
which is under a house needs to be relocated.
In addition, damage to a home from sewer back-up cost $5000 to
Zulla asked if it was true that fire protection for 2014 will be based on
assessed value of the property rather than a standard fee. Buddy said that is true and if implemented
rates would increase if the property is valued at over $80,000.
Koonts asked about the possible need to replace 13-14 year old garbage
trucks. Buddy said that trucks cost in
excess of $100,000 and should not be addressed at this time.
turned the meeting back over to Bill King.
said that the recommendations of the Martin-McGill study are out of our reach
at this time. All members indicated they
said that the Conference and Retreat Center will pay a high percentage of any
cost increase and this needed to be taken into account in deliberations.
Koonts said that the decision will be made based on whether we believe that
annexation will occur in 2015. She
suggested that if it does not occur, the Council should shoot for the Cavanaugh
said the question is can we hold out for a year without major increases.
Zulla said that we can’t put aside obligations and can’t wait for
annexation. There is a need to start now
based on the recommendations of the Cavanaugh study.
said that while we are not under the control of the Utility Commission, if we
go outside the formulas established by the Utility Commission the NCUC could
retake control. He would want to run new rates by the Commission. Our rates should be set according to Utility
pointed out that there is a real need to add staff to develop technologies,
mapping of systems, and to coordinate paving and water and sewer repairs. He said he would like to use the lower end of
the Cavanaugh study as a guide. He
believes that we need the services of an engineering specialist.
pointed out the Martin-McGill study estimates are low and are basic costs.
said that he supports going with the Cavanaugh study now and Martin-McGill
asked for two budgets recommendations:
One based on the Cavanaugh study and one on critical needs.
asked for a decision on recommended service charges and garbage fees.
MOTION: Pat Koonts moved that
the Council recommend an increase in garbage collection fees from $13.86 per
month to $16.86 per month. David Baxter
seconded. APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.
asked if we need a vote on service fees for the Board of Directors.
MOTION: Pat Koonts motioned that the Council in
October recommend to the Board of Directors that service fees be increased from
33 cents per $100 valuation to 35.25 cents per hundred. This increase would become effective on
January 1, 2014. Ken Zulla seconded. APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.
was explained that service fees covers streets, security, and administration.
King asked Council members whether proposals for water and sewer should be
considered today or whether we should ask for two budgets for presentation at
the meeting in September.
MOTION: Jimmy Pennell motioned that the Council ask
for two budget proposals in September.
Pat Koonts seconded. APPROVED
called on Jack Ewing for his presentation.
Ewing said that he had given a full report on the Conference and Retreat Center
to the Junaluska Associates this past Saturday and would not repeat that. He said this has been a good year for the C
& R Center. He projects a balanced
budget for the year even with the decrease of $1 million in support from the
said that the renovation and expansion of the Lambuth Inn will be the highest
priority for the coming year. He hopes
that ground can be broken on the project in 2014.
said that the Associates committed funds for the next four years to upgrade
outdoor recreational facilities for children and youth including the
playground. Plans for the playground
would turn it into a “natural”, more modern facility.
said that the impact of recommended changes to fees would be substantial.
said his goals are to (1) Preserve our Christian Community; and (2) Sustain and
improve our operations. No part of the
operation of the Conference & Retreat Center should be at a lower standard
than it can be. He wants the C & R
Center to live up to the potential that God and our founders have given us.
said that he regrets that the annexation issue has brought divisiveness to the
community. This was never intended and
he pledged to work to repair damages in the future.
then opened the floor for questions.
Smith said that we have experienced 100 years of not maintaining our water and
sewer systems as we should. He said we
can’t do 100 years of work immediately.
He said that he will pay his part as long as he can. But, for the future, there should be money
made available to repair and replace pipes as necessary.
King stated that standards have changed dramatically over the last 100
years. We are dealing with a new
situation. Buddy reported that the life
span of the pipes installed 100 years ago is about 100 years. Pipes installed today have a shorter life
Dobson asked if he could receive a report on the number of people not paying
service fees and what is being done to collect them. What percentage does not pay their fees.
reviewed the action that had been taken that resulted in the Supreme Court case
upholding our service fees. He explained
that liens are placed on properties where fees have not been paid. He explained that there have been some
foreclosures over the last few years that required that the fees owned be
written off. However we are in much
better shape with collections than in the past.
announced that Assembly Public Works will be in transition over the next year. He will retire in October 2014, and this will
have associated costs. He said that
there will also be some expenses for lobbying in this budget year but not as
much as last year.
said that he appreciates the way that Buddy has managed problems.
Armstrong asked if it was not true that Public Works is working toward
annexation. Buddy said that we are
working toward annexation because the Community Council, the Board of
Directors, and the opinion of the majority of the people who took the survey
supported that direction.
Junaluska Community Council Meeting
July 9, 2013
Attendance: Bill King, Ken
Zulla, Pat Koonts, Aly Groesser, Oscar Dowdle, Jeannette Shaver, 17 Visitors.
David Baxter, Jack Ewing, and Buddy Young were out of town. Jimmy Pennell had another appointment.
Bill King called the meeting to order at 4 p. m. Bill noted that we usually do not meet in
July. He also noted that the Centennial
Celebration was remarkably successful given the weather.
Bill said that action by the General Assembly on the annexation bill
was anticipated and the work of the Council needed to move forward.
Bill updated the Council on the bill saying that the lesson learned is
that the process in the General Assembly is unpredictable. The bill (SB290) passed the Senate and then
stalled in the House. Pat Koonts added
that Buddy and Waynesville officials had talked to committee members in the
House and believed there were enough votes to pass if the bill comes up for a
Bill spoke about services charges.
He reminded Council members that the service fees for 2011 had been set
in 2010 at .2775 per 100. After the
paving and equipment studies were completed, services fees were increased to
.33 per 100. In 2013, that rate was
maintained. Funds from the increase were
used to pave Atkins Loop, sidewalk repairs, and for a new truck.
Rates need to be set for 2014.
We are facing other new charges and increases in costs. Since garbage can no longer be taken to the
recycling center at Jones Cove, additional costs for delivery of garbage to the
landfill at White Oak are already being experienced. Both commercial and residential collections
now must go to White Oak.
Buddy Young has suggested that commercial and residential garbage be
combined into one trip. The cost of disposal
will increase, but the number of man-hours dedicated to delivery and dumping
will decrease along with fuel costs.
Fire protection rates will increase.
Our contract with the Town of Waynesville for fire protection will
continue. Fire rates are changing from a
set fee per household to one based on property valuation. From Bill’s personal experience with his
property, the annual rate will move the cost from approximately $48 per year to
about $148 per year. If annexation
occurs, there would be no cost since that item would be covered in taxation.
Ken Zulla noted that changes in the fire districts implemented by
Haywood County initiated the discussion of evaluating our contract for fire
protection with Waynesville and considering contracting with the Junaluska Fire
Department. After discussions with
officials from both fire departments, the Council decided to remain with
Bill said that again we are an unincorporated entity acting as a
municipality and caught up in changes.
Bill said that water and sewer rates have a base charge of $8.65 for
water and $8.25 for sewer *$16.90 for both).
The usage charges are added to the base rate. Since we purchase water from Waynesville,
there is a mark-up. Waynesville will
increase charges on usage by 6% beginning August 1. This does not apply to the base rate.
Bill said that the Council needs to look at water and sewer charges and
become familiar with the assessment and appraisal information on the Public
Works web page (copied and included in this document). Bill gave a brief review of the study. The study said the Assembly Public Works is
seriously behind the curve on maintaining the system. He pointed out that the cost of new software
and digital meters are not included in the review.
Several members gave their estimates of how much rates would need to
Bill said that it is the responsibility of the Community Council to
advise the Board of Directors and Buddy on decisions that must be made on water
and sewer rates.
Buddy has said that he will prepare two budgets next month: one for six months and one for 12
months. The 12-month budget will include
“prudent attention to capital improvements.”
Ken pointed out that Waynesville’s costs are higher because as a
municipality, they are held to higher standards. He said that it is wise to fix and construct
our systems to municipal standards. He
said that we operate under a regulated authority in which building reserves is
not allowed. He said that Public Works
has done a good job of keeping service charges down. He also suggested that we do our best to
coordinate patching and paving streets with repairs of water and sewer lines so
that we do not have to tear up new pavement.
Bill and Pat said that Waynesville has been helpful in providing used
equipment needed in the past at a cost.
Following this discussion, Bill called on Gene for a security
update. Gene reported that an arrest had
been made in the series of vehicle break-ins and no other incidents had been
reported since the arrest.
Aly Groesser reported that Mike Rhinehart retired after 22 years of
service. She said that the center-line
striping on Hoosier Court had been contracted and Oscar Dowdle asked if that
was the result of Council discussions.
It was. Don Keck asked if a stop
sign was going to be installed on Methodist Drive at that intersection. Gene said this was a question for Buddy and
Gene recommended that we try the center line only at this point to see if it improves
Ken noted that the short fencing being installed by residents on S.
Lakeshore has been effective in keeping geese off their property.
Bill then asked for questions and comments from visitors.
Joe Harrell, a new resident of Crum Drive, asked if annexation would
help. Gene explained that municipalities
and counties have access to federal and state funds to improve and maintain
infrastructure systems. We, as a church
affiliated organization, do not.
Ken explained that residents at Lake Junaluska have to pay for water
used and water lost where residents of Waynesville just pay for water
used. He also said that there is a tax
deduction for local taxes, but not for service fees.
Bill asked that members contact Aly for addresses of legislators who
are considering the annexation bill.
Ken said that he was most concerned with increased costs to the
Conference & Retreat Center if annexation does not occur. He said that if the Conference & Retreat
Center fails, property values will fall.
The meeting adjourned at 5:05 p. m.
Gene McAbee, Secretary
The Appraisal and Assessment is not attached here it is available on this website under Lake Junaluska Community Plans
May 7, 2013
Attendance: Bill King, Marie Metcalf, Oscar Dowdle, David
Baxter, Ken Zulla, Pat Koonts, Jimmy Pennell, Jeannette Shaver, Buddy Young,
Bill King called the
meeting to order at 4 p. m. and opened with prayer. He introduced the agenda and Marcy Oneial,
Waynesville Town Manager. Marcy provided
handouts and a book of regulations for each Council member.
She said that the
annexation bill is scheduled to go to the House committee on Local Government
and the Finance Committee on May 16th or 23rd. She said that until the bill is approved, it
may seem premature to talk about zoning, but zoning takes time. In attempting to answer the question about
who best represents the residents and property owners of Lake Junaluska
Assembly, town officials recognize the Community Council as the only elected representatives
of the people. Marcy invited the Council
to be a part of the process of establishing zoning regulations and discussion
of other issues as we move forward.
The Town of Waynesville
has a statutory obligation to have zoning and enforcement in place within 6
months after annexation. Discussion and
required public hearings on the plans take time. The town has the authority to enforce regulations
under NC GS 160a. The most important of
these regulations will be those related to land development and zoning.
The town’s Planning Board had its first meeting recently to begin considering
zoning after annexation. (See the
attached handouts). Marcy emphasized
that planning will proceed based on what exists now at the Assembly and that
none of the documents provided should be considered final.
Ken Zulla asked about
the effect of zoning on rental property.
Marcy said that the Town has no regulations to prevent renting
property. Anyone who rents their
property at this time should be able to continue.
Marcy said that she had
received questions about the use of golf carts at Lake Junaluska. She said that golf carts were not allowed in
the Town at this time, but they could be allowed at Lake Junaluska. She pointed out that the Town already has
“neighborhood districts” and Lake Junaluska would fit in as its own
She pointed out that
the chart marked 2.18 shows usages in specific areas. There are three categories of uses: those that are permitted; those that are
permitted with rules; and those that are permitted if approved by the Zoning
Bill King noted that
the primary property uses at LJA are residential and lodging.
Ken Zulla stated that
the covenants do not allow commercial use and wondered if that would
change. Buddy Young said that the
covenants would stand.
Ken brought of the
issue of enforcement of issues like pedestrians walking in the roadways. Marcy said that this is not really a zoning
issue; it is an ordinance issue.
Bill said that the
Council will need to meet with Paul Benson in the future to discuss the zoning
Pat Koonts said that
the Council members need to meet to evaluate our own rules to see what is
important to us.
Jimmy Pennell asked if
the documents cover covenant issues.
Buddy said that some are covered.
Marcy emphasized that
covenant restrictions are not enforceable by town officials and must be
enforced through civil action.
Marcy said that there
will need to be two agreements drawn up between the Board of Directors and the
Town of Waynesville. One will contain
the details of the annexation agreement.
The second will be a transfer of property and easements (streets, water,
and sewer lines).
Marcy invited the
Council to the table of discussion with the Town. She said that the Town must zone with or
without input from LJA. The Town needs
help in identifying areas where the current status of usage at Lake Junaluska
may be out of sync with the Town. The
Town is looking to the Council to be the official contact for LJA. All meetings are open to the public and
Council members are invited. Information
and results of the meetings are available on the Town’s websites.
Bill asked about the
contents of the book that Marcy provided.
Marcy said the book contains all zoning regulations. Marcy pointed out that much of the existing
structures and land at LJA will be grandfathered if it does not meet current
Ken Zulla asked about
forcing changes for situations which are out of compliance with the
covenants. Marcy said this is not an
issue. For example, it is unlikely that
the Town would force someone to tear down a wall that already exists because it
was built too close to a property line a long time ago.
David Baxter asked
about areas of the Assembly where septic tanks are in use; would owners be
required to connect to town sewers.
Marcy said that she was not aware that any homes here used septic tanks,
but that the Town had not forced connection in the past unless the septic tank
Bill King called on
Buddy Young for comments.
Buddy reported that he
attended the Planning Board meeting that that the Board is anxious to have the
Council work with them. One question
involves areas at LJA that have different setbacks. For example, Hickory Hills has buffers for
natural areas. At this time, Haywood
County will not approve building plans until LJA signs off on them. Will the Town of Waynesville do the same?
Pat said that we can’t
really do anything until the legislature acts, but we have to begin working on
the issues. She suggested that we
schedule meetings in the summer. Buddy
agreed. Bill suggested the second
Tuesday in July. Pat noted that we will
need a large meeting room for the public.
Pat reported that Paul Benson had suggested that the meeting be held at
David asked about the
purpose of the public hearing. Marcy
said that public hearings are required by law and she suggested that the
hearings be held early in the process.
Ken asked if
Waynesville plans to have educational meetings for LJA residents. Marcy said that an information fair is under
David asked about the
next step for the Council. Possible
additional meetings for the Council were discussed. Marcy reported that the Planning Board will
meet the 3rd Monday in May.
She suggested that Council members study the material provided and
identify issues that are not addressed.
Bill said that if we discuss rules, the Executive Director needs to be
Preston Jones asked
about the voting process in the legislature.
Marcy explained that if the bill is approved by the House, it still must
go back for a vote before the full House.
Preston asked about comparative millage rates and Buddy provided that
Bill turned to other
matters. In the last meeting, Jim
Gilland had presented an issue with the storage of a large truck or trailer and
construction equipment on property across from his house. The tenants at that rental property have now
moved, however the issue still remains about enforcement. Bill asked Marcy how the Town of Waynesville addresses
such problem. Marcy said that this is
probably not a zoning issue, but a “nuisance ordinance” issue. She said that the Town does enforce
ordinances on abandoned vehicles, uncut grass, etc. Bill asked about how the town reacts to a
person operating a business out of a private residence. Marcy said that would require a conditional
use permit and must have no effect on traffic.
The permit must specify what is allowed for that specific property.
Ken mentioned that
there had been a problem in the past with the lot at the corner of Dellwood and
Russ and the Town acted to get that lot cleaned up.
Bill called on Buddy
for the Public Works report.
Buddy said that March
was a terrible month for water loss with a 54% loss due to a large break near
the pool and an overflow at the reservoir related to a timer and daylight
savings time and a deteriorated overflow pipe.
The overflow washed out a gravel road and fence and deposited mud on the
driveway of a home on Mouzon Road. An
engineer has been hired to rebuild the area.
Repairs will cost approximately $10,000.
Water loss for the year stands at 32%.
Buddy reported on the
study of the intersection of Hoosier Court and Methodist Drive that resulted
from a request from a resident of Hoosier to put a stop sign on Methodist
Drive. Buddy said that a center line on
Hoosier would be painted to discourage drivers from cutting the corner when
they make a left turn onto Methodist.
On the DOT exit
widening project on US 19 near Hickory Hills Road, residents of the area
submitted a petition to DOT to install sound and visual barriers. DOT has verbally agreed to plant cypress
trees along the right-of-way.
Preston asked if the
speed bumps on Hickory Hills Road and Crescent Drive would be painted this
summer. Buddy said they would.
Bill said that he has
heard people say that after annexation, all speed bumps would be removed and
the trolley would not be allowed to run.
He said this is not true.
Buddy reported that
some tree cutters who had solicited work on Sleepy Hollow and Mouzon had left a
mess by not cleaning up debris.
Don Keck reported that
he was concerned about the speed of vehicles on Hickory Hills Road and
suggested that a stop sign be installed on Hickory Hills at the intersection(s)
of Crescent Drive.
The meeting adjourned
at 5:30 p. m.
Gene McAbee, Secretary
April 9, 2013
Attendance: David Baxter, Jeannette Shaver, Pat Koonts,
Buddy Young, Bill King, Ken Zulla, Oscar Dowdle, Jack Ewing, Aly Groesser, Gene
McAbee (Jimmy Pennell was out of town). Ten
Bill King called the
meeting to order at 4 p. m. and called on David Baxter to present an opening
prayer. At the request of the Council,
David’s prayer is presented below:
o God of spring. ...
Awaken us from the dormancy of colder, hunkered down times
in our spaces. Let holy Light warm our roots that once again we might sink
deeper into rich soil of your grace and love and righteousness.
o God of sacred past ...
We are remembering
those whose boldness of faith and assemblage of
built, and established this as ground unique in purpose, and
planted a cross that
twenty-four hours a day could be seen, so that
those who would abide here would never
o God of promising future ...
We have plans, but around the administrative tables there
is a humbling awareness that unless you "build the house, " it's just be lodging and
food service, and a trail. Grant us the faith to see you walking in
front of us. And the discipline and discernment to see your foot-prints so that
our steps will not be about where we thought we ought to go, but entrust us
with a master - vision and commitment to find our place in your path.
o God of a blessed now ..
Grant that we shall be found radically
available and reliant upon the
indwelling Spirit that shall grant us
wisdom for our endeavors and
participation in this year of
celebration. May we have the maturity to accept
and believe in one another in times when some folk may be
feeling pushed or left out. May we find solace in the confidence others
have placed in us to advocate and lead in the trust that through our
transparency, openness, and experience, wisdom will appear in
our midst for the good of this beloved place.
Bill noted that the
Council has spent a great deal of time on the issue of annexation. He asked about the role of the Community
Council in the future, should annexation occur.
He asked what issues the Council may be asked to address. He called on Buddy Young for the Public Works
Buddy said that the NC
Rural Water Association has had two men working on the campus for two days to
locate leaks. Three leaks have been
found and repaired. He said that the
March water loss was high because of a problem at the pump station and a major
leak at the pool. No leaks were found on
Atkins Loop where a tour of homes will take place as a part of the Centennial
Buddy said that three
prices had been presented to him for repaving Atkins Loop: $11,000 for fixing the worst spots; $16,000
for fixing the worst spots and overlaying the street with tar and gravel; and
$29,000 for complete repaving. Bill
King pointed out that Atkins Loop and Stuart Circle would be focal points of
the Centennial Celebration since the first homes built at Lake Junaluska were
constructed on those roads. The
Community Council approved complete repaving by acclamation.
Buddy reported that a
resident of Hoosier Court has asked that there be a stop sign installed on
Methodist Drive at the intersection of Hoosier Court because the intersection
is blind when coming off Hoosier Court.
Buddy said that Gene McAbee had investigated the request and asked Gene
to present his findings.
photographs of the intersection to the Council.
He said that when making a left turn off Hoosier Court, visibility is
limited to the left on Methodist Drive by an embankment. He said that if a person coming off Hoosier
Court is careful, in the correct lane, and not cutting the corner, a left turn
could be made safely; however, a stop sign might be useful. He said that he would only recommend the sign
if the majority of residents on Hickory Hills agreed that it was
desirable. After some discussion about
the issue from residents of Hickory Hills in attendance including Ed LaFontaine
and Don Keck, the Council decided to table the request until the next meeting
to allow members to visit the site. (On
April 12, Don Keck sent a letter to the Council with recommendations for action
in the area. That letter is attached).
Ed LaFontaine asked
about the work being done by DOT on the exit ramp off US 74 beside Hickory
Hills. Buddy provided the information that he had although he pointed out that
DOT only recently advised him that the work was beginning and no input from LJA
Bill then called on
Jack Ewing for the Executive Director’s report.
Jack reviewed the Centennial year schedule of events and reported that a
brochure about the events is not yet complete.
He said that one event, an antiques appraisal event, had been
cancelled. The first event will be on
Thursday, April 18, when Donald Davis (a storyteller) will perform in Stuart
Auditorium. During the week of July 4,
there will be fun and games for everyone including a family Olympics. A water ski show is scheduled on the lake on
July 5. Several concerts are also
Bill asked about summer
conferences. Jack reviewed the
conference schedule and reported that the Council of Bishops will be here in
the fall along with the Church of the Brethren’s Older Adult Conference.
Bill the asked for discussion
of the role of the Community Council in the future. Jack said that the Council will play a
significant role going forward. Its role
could continue to be advisory to the Board of Directors or it could be more
active. He expects that the activities
of the Council will increase.
Jack said that one
issue for the Council will be the continuation of service fees. LJA retains the authority to assess service
charges even if annexation occurs. Buddy
said that the Supreme Court ruling of two years ago allows for fees to be
levied to support security, streets, storm drainage, street lights, and
Jack suggested that the
Council develop a process to solicit and receive community input on services
for which they are willing to pay. He pointed
out that the survey on municipal status used a $50 fee as an example based on a
2.5 cent millage rate (just as an example).
That would generate $58,000 a year in revenue.
Bill asked if service
fees were not initiated immediately, would the authority to assess those fees
be lost. Jack and Buddy both confirmed
that the authority to assess fees would continue whether or not any were
Ken Zulla suggested
that some of the supplemental services the community may desire could be done
by private contractors.
Buddy reported an
example in the Beaverdam community where a “caretaker” has been hired to patrol
common areas, wears a uniform like a park ranger, and encourages people to
behave. Bill asked if such a person
would be employed by LJA or by the Council.
Jack said that the person would be employed by LJA.
Pat Koonts asked about
the future status of security for the Conference and Retreat Center. Jack said that discussions are in progress
but at this point it appears that in the future, security officers will be
unarmed and their primary responsibility will be toward the C & R
Center. He re-iterated that Waynesville
PD will have oversight on the parking lots and common areas.
Gene McAbee said the
primary responsibility of the C & R Center to the property owners would be
to maintain and/or increase property values.
He said that Chief Bill Hollingsed of the Waynesville Police Department
reviewed the services that Lake Junaluska Security provides now and said that
his officers will provide all those services with the exception of physical
security checks on Conference Center buildings.
Gene noted that he appreciated Chief Hollingsed’s commitment, but that
he recognized that line officers may not wish to accept some of these
“security” duties. However, Gene
suggested that the Council adopt a wait and see position and if the community
decided after experiencing police services from Waynesville that they wanted
additional patrol, that issue could be considered then. He said that the Council and LJA should guard
against incremental increases in fees for one service and then another since
that pattern was likely to offend property owners.
Bill then asked what
actions must be taken before the anticipated annexation date of August 31. Buddy explained that the budget is not an
equal 12 month distribution, so service fees for this year will not be exactly
2/3 of the normal level. He said that a
plan for zoning will have to be ready within six months after annexation and
the Council should play a major role in that plan.
Ken asked how liens
will be maintained after annexation.
Buddy said that it is possible that he may take on that responsibility
himself. He also said that reserves for
water and sewer will go to the Town of Waynesville. Reserves for service fees will go to the
Assembly. There is $35,000 in service
fee reserves at this time.
Bill then reported on
the visit or our representatives to the legislature for a hearing with the
Senate Local Government Committee. Jack
and Mayor Gavin Brown made statements before the committee and Town Manager
Marcie Onieal provided handouts. Two
property owners from Lake Junaluska attended to make statements against
annexation. Bill said that there was
support for the bill from our local representatives and there is no reason to
believe that has changed. The bill was
approved by the committee and will now go to the Senate Finance Committee. A similar process must occur in the House
where Joe Sam Queen is the sponsor of the bill.
Bill said that the
Council has a big workload with no meetings scheduled in July or December. Ron Clauser pointed out that the by-laws
“require” the Council to meet 10 times a year, but the Council may elect to
meet more often and can certainly schedule call meetings.
Bill asked for
recommendations on how we should approach service fees. Pat Koonts suggested that we make it clear to
community members that we can wait to evaluate the quality of services provided
by the Town of Waynesville before a decision on service fees is made.
David Baxter suggested
that the Council needs to see what kind of supplemental services people have in
mind. Bill said that a public meeting
seems to be in order. David agreed.
Ken Zulla said it may
be premature to identify services needed at this point until we know the
details of the services that the Town of Waynesville will provide. Buddy said that the Town of Waynesville plans
to hold public orientation meetings after the process is finished. Buddy suggested that at this point, the
Council could make informal invitations to Town officials to gather
information. David asked if we should
wait until we know that annexation will be approved.
Bill asked if a 30 day
notice was required for a call meeting.
Ron said that a special call meeting does not require a 30-day
notice. Bill suggested that we continue
the conversation at the next meeting.
Buddy said that the
Town of Waynesville has chosen the Council to help them work on zoning. He said that he believes that the Council
should play a role in mediation of covenant violations and neighborhood
Jack asked the Council
to consider how we deal with covenant violations and pointed out that Jim
Gilland was present to talk about a specific problem on Crum Drive. Jim said that a rental property above his
home had been occupied by people with large construction trailers and other
construction equipment in their driveways.
He said this was a violation of the covenants and the LJA had failed to
enforce its covenants. Jack suggested
that the Council may want to assist Jim with a letter to the owner of the house
and the rental agency. Gene agreed.
David Shaver said that
any rules established should have some meat in them through enforcement.
Buddy said that it is
not absolutely clear that the covenant is being violated. A copy of the rules was delivered to the
owner of the house and they said they believe they are in compliance. Aly Groesser said that options on enforcement
were limited. Buddy said that most such
situations in the past, he had handled informally and residents had been
cooperative. The problem comes up when
they are not cooperative.
Bill asked what Jim
would like the Council to do.
Oscar Dowdle asked if a
subcommittee could be formed to address the situation. Buddy said that the best option would be to
handle such situation through zoning rules.
A subcommittee was formed which included Bill, Buddy, Pat, and Jim
Gilland to look at the situation. Jim
asked for a copy of the rules. Buddy
suggested that Jim stop by the Public Works office to pick one up.
Bill said that he would
see that every member of the Council received a copy of the rules. (A copy has now been delivered to all members
except Jimmy Pennell).
The meeting was
adjourned at 5:40 p. m.
Gene McAbee, Secretary
Don Keck's Letter
Community Council: Gene:
I have talked with the Shepherds, Overbay and Phelan, all
who live on Hoosier Drive about the matter
of visibility at the comer of Methodist Drive, Hoosier an Sarah Court. Each of
them have the
common problem of not being able to see clearly traffic coming from the Left or
Right as they try to
come down Hoosier. Each ofthem would like to see it resolved for their safety.
I have three recommendations for the intersection of
Hoosier Court, Methodist Drive and Sarah Court.
- Put a stop sign at the corner of Methodist Drive as it goes
toward Hickory Hills Rd .. Which
allows people coming down from Hoosier to see the traffic on Methodist Drive on
when they stop. They will still have to judge the traffic coming up from the
curve, but if they
stop and Methodist traffic stops, they only have one direction to worry about. I would also put a
white or yellow strip down the middle of the road before the stop sign, so that traffic would
least be to the right side. I would hate to have to put a stop sign
on Methodist Drive coming up a
- Put a white or yellow strip down Hoosier about 50 up from
the present stop sign, so people
coming down Hoosier will stay to the right when they stop and have a better
view of traffic
coming up from Hickory Hills Road on Methodist Drive.
- Continue to have a yield sign on Sarah Court. Plenty of
visibility coming up the hill to slow for
traffic at the intersection.
A possible answer for some corners, is to ask the
property owner that has bushes that tend to block
the view of traffic, if the Lake could possibility move them, to a new location
on their property. If
Public works does the work, most home owners would not object to having greater
visibility for traffic at
In another matter if you wish to get rid of
speed bumps on Hickory Hills Road, put a three way stop
signs by Crescent and Hickory Hills Rd and an additional stop sign on Hickory
Hills Road, going toward
the South Entrance at the Methodist Drive. That will slow down the straight
away road on Hickory Hills
Junaluska Community Council
March 5, 2013
Bill King, Buddy Young, Jack Ewing, Oscar Dowdle, David Baxter, Jimmy
Pennell, Ken Zulla, Jeannette Shaver, Pat Koonts, Aly Groesser, Gene McAbee
Bill King called the meeting to order at 3:31 p. m.
and opened with prayer.
Bill read the following opening statement into the
Bill King, Chair of Junaluska Community
Council, Member of the Board of Directors and the Municipal Studies Task Force
Opening Statement 3/5/2013
History of the MSTF
should be well understood and the path of discussion pretty clear at this
The LJA Bd. of Directors
asked the CC for assistance in discerning solutions for identified problems.
created the TF and consciously selected members for their expertise and passion
for U. It met 10 times
in 10 months, some sessions lasting 2 1/2 hrs. All meetings were open and transparent with minutes
available to all for study.
The TF has brought a
resolution to the CC, 1/ that the Task Force recommends to the
Community Council and they in turn recommend to the Board of Directors of the
Junaluska Assembly that the Junaluska Community request annexation by the Town
It is our responsibility as a duly constituted, elected, representative,
advisory body to consider a
recommendation to the Public Works Committee of the Bd. of Directors.
We are NOT starting
discussion anew. CC members have been part of the TF and all have attended the
TF meetings. As representatives of districts we have heard from constituents. I
have had discussions
with neighbors I see almost every day, some I see mostly in the summer, and
some I have not talked
with in years. The CC, too, has had experts inform us about issues with which we
were not readily
familiar when we had a session about the purpose and procedure of municipal
zoning. Last meeting we
had a very thorough discussion of the concerns before us.
The question for this
body today is does each member feel he or she has sufficient information to
an informed decision. Members may abstain from voting or vote as they see fit.
All members have a
vote. Any member who has a prepared
written statement may submit them to the Secretary.
I will ask Jack Ewing to make a statement
if he wishes, then Buddy Young. Both are ex officio members
of the cc. I will ask Buddy to address the
specific question raised about the possibility of working with
the Lake Junaluska Sanitary District. That concept is not new to us since we
have had the fire chiefs of the Junaluska district and Waynesville make
presentations to us over fire protection.
After Buddy's remarks,
members of the CC may ask questions first, then those in the audience.
I request that primarily new concerns be
expressed. The educational and participatory process has to date been unprecedented. We do not need to go over and
over the same ground. We are aware of
the broad outline of the desire for more time for study and information. There really should be no need at this stage for this meeting to
last for 2
MOTION: To set
the discussion, I move that the
Lake Junaluska Board of Directors pursue annexation with the Town of
Waynesville. SECOND: Ken Zulla.
Following his opening statement, Bill called on Jack Ewing for
comments. Jack reminded everyone that he
is an ex officio member of the Council.
He said that regardless of the final vote of the Board it will be his
responsibility as Executive Director to lead Lake Junaluska and implement the
decision. For that reason, the same one
he expressed in the last Task Force meeting, he would not state a position.
Jack said that the Community Council is an elected representative
body. The Community Council makes
recommendations to the Board of Directors twice a year at the Board’s
meetings. Typically, the Council makes
recommendations regarding millage rates for service fees.
Jack said that the Board looks to the Council as a body that brings advice
and recommendations on issues relating to the residential community. The Board is absolutely not abdicating its
responsibility by saying that on the issue of municipal status if will simply
agree with the recommendation of the Council.
The Board will look closely at the recommendation, the work of the Task
Force, and much more information that has been provided to Board members.
The Task Force is not making a recommendation to the Board directly, but
the Board knows about the recommendation the Task Force has made to the
When the Board meets on Thursday morning, the Board chair will determine
how much public comment will be heard, but the primary purpose of the Thursday
morning session is for the Board to receive information and ask questions. No decision will be made Thursday
The Assembly Public Works committee of the Board will review the
information and make a recommendation to the Board. The decision will be on the agenda for Friday
Any information received by the Board is exactly the same information that
is available to the public. Jack said
that he has tried to facilitate getting information and public comment to the
Board by forwarding communications he has received to all Board members without
comment. Jack said that it pains him
that some people have accused him of feeding only information to the Board that
would support his own desire on the issue.
He said that he prays that we will not lose the spirit of this community of
Christian love that has distinguished us for the last 100 years.
He said that he cringes when he hears Buddy say that he was acting under
Jack’s instructions when the process began.
However, he did instruct Buddy and all other leaders to think strategically. He would have never chosen to try to make
this decision in our centennial year.
But, he said that it is not inappropriate to explore and discuss those
Finally, he thanked everyone for their tremendous participation in the
Bill then called on Buddy Young to provide his statement. Buddy read the following statement into the
record. The statement is modified by the
Secretary to fill in places where abbreviations were used and where Buddy may
have made additional clarifying comments.
Buddy Young, Director of
Public Works, Ex officio member of the Community Council, Task Force, and Board
Junaluska Community Council
March 5, 2013
Junaluska Sanitary District
(Secretary’s note: this is in answer to
the request from Bill King above to provide information about the possibility
of merging with Junaluska Sanitary District raised most recently by Paul
Starnes , although it had been discussed many months ago).
We have 895 customers at APW,
JSD has 1829
TOW has 7,255
Junaluska Sanitary District is a
purchase system just like Assembly Public Works. The Sanitary District buys its water from
Waynesville just like we do. A merger
with them would not improve our cost situation.
Cost to Individual Property
Monthly Water and sewer bill (Secretary’s
note: for a typical property owner at Lake Junaluska) for 5,000 gallons of
Assembly Public Works is $55.00
Junaluska Sanitary District is
NC state average $59.99
Town of Waynesville is $39.81
A sanitary district has no tax
base to supplement water and sewer rates as does the Town of Waynesville. In addition, the rates that I just discussed
do not reflect a major capital improvement plan that APW needs to undertake.
Junaluska Sanitary District is approximately
50 years old. They have no capital needs
that compare to Lake Junaluska.
Junaluska Sanitary District
covers some very low income housing areas while:
Haywood County mean household
income MHI $37,222
State average $46,291
Haywood poverty rate is 20.5
State average 16.1
It would be unfair to place the
burden of the repairs to our system on those low income families in the
Joining JSD does nothing to
improve our streets, storm drainage or law enforcement.
A story about Stuart Circle.
Three years ago we were beginning
a project to replace a 6” water line and install a storm drainage project in
Stuart Circle. Stuart had been identified as a problem area in the Cavanaugh
Water loss study (the pipes were original and 100 years old) along with other
problems had identified themselves. Stuart Circle is a lovely place.
The quality of the work is solid,
it is permitted, it is to code, and the engineered drawings have been approved
by the NC Public Water Supply Section. We did the whole project for $48,000;
the Associates donated $5,000 to help the Native Garden with some enhancements.
It was done as cheaply as possible; for the short run. Because we were so
focused on water loss, we did not touch the sewer lines that are also 100 years
old. Before too long those will need to be replaced and obviously it will cost
more then. It is a shortsighted strategy that we are forced to play, but it is
the hand we are dealt.
The only place that the water
line is out of our easement is at the top of the Native Garden and Oxford Rd.
We had to move the line over into the Native Garden several yard to avoid a
guywire and pole. It did not make the Native Garden folks happy that we had to
destroy more of their precious space, and I truly hated to do it.
The pole that caused the trouble
is like many poles on the grounds; it was loaded with power, transformer, phone
and cable lines.
It leads me to this,
Wouldn’t it have been nice to
stay in our easement?
Wouldn’t it have been nice to get
rid of the pole and bury the power lines?
Wouldn’t it have been nice to put
decorative street lights in the area?
Wouldn’t it have been nice to
replace the old sidewalks instead of patching where we damaged them?
Wouldn’t it have been nice to
repave the road instead of patching our cuts to the pavement?
Wouldn’t it be nice to do a good
job instead of a cheap job?
We did what we could to restore
the area back just like it was, but wouldn’t it be nice to make some
To take on improvements like this
requires a professional planning department to plan and coordinate the various
projects. It requires a finance department that can fund projects properly,
professionals that work with Progress Energy, Bellsouth, people that know what
they are doing.
Look at downtown Waynesville;
look at what is about to happen on Howell Mill Road and south Main Street. I am
not saying that annexation will automatically make power lines disappear.
If all we want is to keep things
like they have always been, then we should just stay as we are. But if we want
to dream of a better place, then we must have the courage to change.
This leads me back to the
conclusion I stated last Thursday night:
Junaluska should pursue annexation with Waynesville without delay.
At the conclusion of Buddy’s statement,
Bill called for other statements.
Ken Zulla said he had a question. He
said that we had met with the planning and zoning officials from Waynesville
and he remembered that they had indicated that there would probably be 3 or 4
kinds of zones in the Assembly area. He
said that as he recalled, they said that existing structures would be
grandfathered. New construction would
have to meet new zoning codes. He said
that he believes that it was said that Waynesville has 16 districts and each
has its own unique character which is protected by the zoning regulations. Ken said that he believed that Waynesville
officials are being truthful with us and asked Ron Clauser if this is the information
that he recalls. Ron said yes.
Bill King said that the discussions indicated that Lake Junaluska would
have a representative on the Zoning Board.
Pat Koonts said that the discussions also suggested that the Zoning
Board would meet with the Community Council to receive advice on zoning
Jimmy Pennell said that the consistent question he has heard from his
neighbors and other property owners is that the short time-line has left them
feeling boxed in, painted into a corner to meet a deadline. They want to know if we can reconsider the time table. Jimmy noted that the person who wrote a
letter to that effect is in the audience and invited that person to address the
issue if they wish.
Jack Ewing said that the time lines are different for annexation and
incorporation. He said that we have
already missed the deadline for submission of a draft bill for incorporation
which would have had to be submitted in November 2012 to be considered in this
long session of the General Assembly.
But, there would not be another opportunity until 2014 for the 2015 long
The time line for an annexation bill is March 2013 for this long session
and the next chance would be in March 2015.
He said that the timing of the study process combined with this window
of opportunity caused some people to feel rushed, but it was completely
appropriate to continue to gather information and continue to address the
issues at hand
He said that the Board of Directors is fully cognizant of this issue of
timing and thoughtful about it. He said
that the Board “could” suggest that the process be delayed, but that would also
raise additional unknowns. Will there be
changes in the law, changes in the General Assembly, changes in the Town of
Waynesville or Lake Junaluska that would have an impact on the decision. But, the general issues remain the same: whether to remain the same, pursue
annexation, or pursue incorporation. Add
into that decision, the question of timing.
As far as implementation dates, there are two windows of opportunity based
on the governmental fiscal year of July 1 to June 30. The first window of opportunity for
annexation would be June 30, but this would be difficult to manage. The second window of opportunity would be
August 31. This would be the last window
until June 30, 2014.
He said without speaking for the Board and just as an example that the
Board could vote for annexation and then in a separate motion select the date
of August 31 or June 30.
Pat Koonts said that some people may feel that this decision is rushed,
however in reality, we have been meeting, learning about the options, and
discussing the issues for about almost a year.
Since last spring, the Task Force has held 10 open public meetings for
Bill King said that both Jack and Pat have spoken to the same points he
would make: “Are the members of the
Council confident with making a decision at this moment?”
Bill then said that we have covered the overriding issues from previous
public meetings. He then opened the
floor to questions.
Rhett Turnipseed shouted “Money!” He
then asked how much it will cost us as property owners.
Jack Ewing said that he had sent a sheet to all property owners which
compared our service fee rates with the tax rates of the Town of Waynesville.
For a property with a value of $200,000 in a 20% tax bracket, with 5000 of
water use per month, the estimated costs are as follows:
$1800 if we remain as we are;
$1600 if we incorporate;
$1200 if we agree to annexation by the Town of
Jack said that in the simplest form, it will cost the average property
owner $600 more a year if we remain as we are factoring in the improvements
that are needed to our infrastructure.
Rhett then said that he remembered that information was on the sheet.
Jack King asked “who are the Board of Directors?”. Jack Ewing and other members of the Board
assisted in naming as many as possible.
Bill King followed up by saying that he was on the Board of Directors in
the 1980s before the administrative change that occurred a few years ago. He said that the current Board knows much
more about the state of the Assembly including the residential area because so
many of them are residents and property owners.
Jack King asked how active the members are in C & R Center
activities. Jack Ewing said that some
are and some are to a lesser extent, but he assured everyone that this Board is
deeply concerned about Lake Junaluska and very much engaged in who we are and
what we want to be. He pointed out that
the Board is established for all of Lake Junaluska and not just for the C &
Jack King asked if anyone foresees any complications in the legislature due
to House Bill 79. He asked if the
General Assembly will respond negatively if rushed. He said that House Bill 79 requires a 2/3 vote.
Buddy said that was not exactly correct since we approached Waynesville
about the possibility of annexation and this was not a “forced”
Marcie Onieal, Town Manager for Waynesville, was in the audience. She explained that House Bill 79 addresses
incorporation. She said that an
“involuntary annexation” requires 60% approval of registered voters in the area
to be annexed. She said that this effort
would be considered “local legislation” by the General Assembly. If the measure is supported by our local
representatives to the General Assembly, it is likely to be approved as a
“courtesy” upon their request. She also
said that House Bill 79 will make it more difficult to incorporate in two
Jack Ewing said that he has advised people not to worry about what the
General Assembly might do. We cannot
control the General Assembly. If the
General Assembly says no to our request…that the action cannot be taken without
an official “vote” instead of a “survey”, then we will have to have an official
vote…even though this would eliminate non-resident property owners from the
He said that House Bill 79 does not apply to the way we are approaching
annexation. But, if the General Assembly
disagrees then we will follow their instructions.
Jack King asked why we have chosen the path of not voting. Pat Koonts said that many property owners are
not registered voters. The survey allows
all property owners to be heard. If they
don’t live here, they could not have voted.
Using the survey, “you have had your chance to express your opinion and
that opinion is going to the Board. I am
sure that they will look seriously at the results.”
Buddy said that our local legislators have already been contacted for
advice. If they had wanted us to have a
“vote” they would have told us. But,
they asked for a survey of all property owners.
He said that this is the only reasonable route we could take after what
we discovered in our studies of our needs last March.
Bill King said that the layers of decision-making have been amazing as we
got into the process. He said that the
study process had been carefully orchestrated and he thanked Ron Clauser for
his leadership on the Task Force. He
said that we all have done the best we could possibly do with the charge that
we were given.
Tim Phelan asked if the votes of the Council members today would be based
on the results of the survey.
Ken Zulla explained that it was originally considered not to release the
survey to anyone before the Board received it.
He had objected in an e-mail to Jack Ewing saying that he could not make
a decision without knowing the opinions of the people he represents. Jack then released the survey to the
Community Council members. Still, Ken
says that the survey results did not change his decision. He says that he has been concerned about
representing the people and that 8 out of 10 people who have spoken to him
directly feel his final decision is correct.
David Baxter said that when we started the process of
thinking about our municipal status, he began by thinking that we don’t want to
mess with what we have got now. But,
after receiving the financial projections, ALL are high. He said that it is time to be realistic. Realism for us is living within our
He said that he heard people at another meeting saying
that we would all have to dig deeper.
Still he said that he would hate to believe that this decision is made
based solely on money.
He said that he finally decided that we need to go with
annexation. He realized that his dream
of incorporation to stay as much as possible like we are is not realistic. He said that we are all dealing with
finances. He said “I simply cannot do more
financially.” He said he would hate to
think that increased charges from remaining the same or incorporation would
cause some good people to have to sell their property because they could no
longer afford to live at Lake Junaluska.
David Baxter provided a written statement which was not read into the
record, but it seems appropriate to enter it here).
David Baxter, Member of the Community Council
March 5, 2013
Response to Municipality
Task Force Recommendation Favoring Annexation
I am quite aware that
the recommendation from the Task Force comes to Community Council
with a great deal of technical research, financial appraisal,
time and energy consumed with both a
combination of community endorsement and doubt.
I join with others in
commending the labor of Task Force, our Junaluska staff, Waynesville City
leadership, and those who have participated from our community in forums across
the last ten
months. Thank you!
My "heart" favors incorporation. I
like the thought of "self-determination" as a means of
maintaining traditions and policies and expectations that we have all learned
to count on.
However, from the financial projections that
have been shared with us, incorporation is the most
expensive of options. Such estimates force me to consider reality as the basis
of my vote. I
would have preferred that "what's best for Junaluska" would not turn on finances. But if I’m
understanding correctly, financial responsibility is what
started the municipality study. I've been
impressed by the bold generosity of those who have publicly declared their
willingness to "dig
deeper" in order to incorporate or keep things
as they are. But for me, I cannot absorb significant
increases. That's my
reality. And I cannot vote for an option that might force me, or any of
us, to relocate because services charges
were beyond our ability to pay.
So "reason" for me, at this moment, must rule over my
emotional attachments and fears and I
concur with the Task Force recommendation for annexation.
I do hear those who are convinced that
more time for response to the Task Force
recommendation might better inform a decision and unite those of differing
anybody's guess that if we had
another month or two years that we would be any more informed
or wiser than we are now. Nor am I sure
that in two years Waynesville would have ~he interest or
will to reinvest the energy of personnel or the costs of updating
studies in. order to give us another
entry. I'm feeling the pressure of wise decision making, but: I'm not feeling pushed
I anticipated that when
all the studying was concluded a decision would follow. For me that’s the reality of time which any
opportunity asks of those who contemplating taking or leaving.
Paul Starnes, another member of the audience read a written statement into
the record and provided a copy to the Secretary. The text follows:
by Paul Starnes to Junaluska Assembly Community Council, March 5, 2013
I preface my remarks by stating that I did not retire to
Lake Junaluska to quarrel with my neighbors but rather to enjoy my neighbors
and to work with my neighbors in solving problems that mutually affect us. Solving problems, of course, involves
discussion and sharing viewpoints – some of which are diametrically opposite –
but this does not mean it cannot be done without villianizing and demonizing
each other. We are a Christian Community
and our faith calls on us to respond to
each other with respect and love. We are
not apt to achieve unanimity on the issue before us but we can achieve unity, which
is the ability to love each other and to work together in spite of our differences. Whatever the outcome, it is my intent to
continue working for the good of Lake Junaluska Assembly and to love my
I sent each of you an email concerning my feelings but I
wish to repeat a portion of that email here in order for it to become a part of
If you were at the final
meeting of the Municipal Study Task Force, you are aware that I am among those
who feel that the rush towards annexation is unwise – that we need to seriously
and thoroughly explore other options before making a final decision. The community needs more time to digest the
report and to discuss the ramifications of annexation. If annexation is the final result, the critics
will feel that they have been heard and taken seriously and residents will have
had time to adjust to the idea of annexation.
Perhaps a representative group of those who feel that annexation is not
the best course could be challenged to come up with a feasible alternative for
You will remember that at
the Task Force Meeting last week I suggested it might be wise to explore
a merger with the Junaluska Sanitation District. I noted that they had recently replaced all
the water and sewer lines of Tuscola Park and the areas adjacent to County
Road, starting at Whitfield Way. This
was done with a government grant and no assessment to the residents. I am unsure of the exact boundaries of The
Junaluska Sanitary District but I know that it takes in quite a large area –
Tuscola Park, the area adjacent to County Road, Foxfire, and some sub-divisions
down old Clyde Road. A Municipal Study
Task Force member told me that the idea of merging with the Junaluska
Sanitation District had not been explored by the Task Force. Perhaps a meeting involving the Junaluska
Assembly Community Council or/and the Municipal Task Force and the Junaluska
Sanitation Board could be productive.
Should that option not prove productive, another option which might be
pursued is the residents of Lake Junaluska Assembly forming our own District
without incorporating (if the Assembly would do what they are being asked to do
with Waynesville – deeding the pipes and streets to the residents).
Questions with which I
continue to struggle include: What will result from taking the streets of the
Assembly from private to public? (We are
told that we do not have speed limit or arrest authority right now. However, with private streets we do have the
authority to order persons off the grounds and officers do come onto private
property by request when there are such things as domestic violence.) Will Assembly activities be hampered by
having to get permission from the Waynesville City Council to close a street
for an event or to alter a street? How
quickly will the Waynesville City Council or departments respond to requests
for service? Will city police provide as
much security as a private security force?
What will be the result of Church and State being somewhat wed by having
to be so intertwined on religious assembly grounds? In cases where private individuals purchase
such facilities as Sunset Inn and want to permit certain activities or serve
alcoholic beverages, would the Assembly rules really hold up in court if
challenged? What might happen if the
Waynesville City Council is overtaken via an election by persons who are not
sympathetic to the philosophy or requests made by Lake Junaluska Assembly. I well remember some very negative letters to
the editor and also some full page advertisements that have appeared in The
Mountaineer concerning the Assembly.
Among the things I like
about the present set-up is the ease with which we can address community
concerns and problems. The persons
responsible are close at hand and known by the community. We have a court established right to assess
service charges. Perhaps those charges
need to be increased to meet our service needs.
Could the infrastructure needs be a part of the up-coming building
campaign? It was said at the Task Force
Meeting that we would be asking the Jurisdiction to pay for the personal water
and sewer needs of the Assembly but I would beg to differ. The Jurisdiction would still own the pipes
and the streets and receive the revenues from residents tapping on. Most
important of all, I value our clearly being a religious assembly, free to rule
our own affairs and to be unapologetically a Christian endeavor. When
I was a member of the LJAPOO Board, I remember Buddy Young responding to a
question about a government requirement concerning the Lake with “That’s what
you open yourself too when you accept government money. There are always strings attached.”
As you can see, I have a
lot of questions and am still processing the situation, as are many others and
I hope that the Community Council will give the Community the time and the
resources to do just that – making sure to cover all the bases. I believe we will be a more united community
whatever the outcome if all feel that all options have been explored. With annexation we are, after all, making an
irrevocable decision and we would be wise to do all in our power to see that it
is the right decision.
Respectfully and in
Paul Starnes (Owner of 87
Glenview Drive, Lake Junaluska, NC)
Bill King thanked Paul for expressing the opinions of those who continue to
have a lot of questions and want more time.
He said that members of the Council and the Task Force have also heard
from those who want more time. However,
Bill said that we are at the place where we have to make a decision. We have collected and analyzed information for
nearly a year and it is time to make a decision.
Tim Phelan said that he has no problem with annexation as long as the
Council members as elected representatives vote with the results of the
Bill explained that the Council is an advisory group and is not making the
final decision. He emphasized that the
survey is “not the decision”, it is part of the information to be examined when
making the decision. He explained that
the decision could be made outside the results of the survey.
Paul Young said that he hopes that the Board will NOT make its decision
solely on the basis of the survey. The
Board has a responsibility to the property owners, the Conference & Retreat
Center, and the mission of this place that we have. He said that there is a point in history
where great decisions have to be made.
Wishes of those affected should be considered. But Lake Junaluska Assembly did not come into
being with the idea of serving property owners.
Paul said that the biggest issue we are considering is how to get the
financial burden of a 100 year old infrastructure off our backs.
But, he says that he hopes that the primary focus of the decision is not on
“me as a property owner, but on the Conference and Retreat Center and the
mission of the Assembly.”
Oscar Dowdle entered his statement into the record. The text follows:
Oscar Dowdle, Community Council
MARCH 5, 2013
Thanks to Jack Ewing, Buddy Young, Board of
Directors, Task Force and Town of
Waynesville for the timely and careful study of LJA current status regarding
infrastructure. The Martin-McGill study has confirmed our staff's evaluation
infrastructure has reached the end of its life expectancy.
I appreciate the deep concern some have
regarding incorporation or annexation
as they feel LJA will lose its unique place in the life of the United Methodist
Also that a change may alter the housing community in some drastic way. Some
decision before us has been hurried and need more time. The reality is: present
situation has developed over several decades which previous administrations
looked. I don't think further study will change the situation before us.
I support the recommendation of both the TASK
FORCE and the Martin-McGill
study to annex for the following reasons:
To remain as we are now is not viable. To incorporate seems
we increase the population ten-fold. Both choices will burden the residents
of dollars that will feel like a financial tsunami. The Southeastern Jurisdiction of the
UMC has made it clear that it can no longer afford the annual one million
of past years.
The Conference Center will remain in the control of the
LJA has long enjoyed a mystique for United Methodists and
others. The heart of
the mystique is not the housing areas but the Conference Center which has
worship, conferences, workshops, fellowship and leadership training for leaders
Church. This is the mystique, the THIN PLACE where lives are touched by God.
Thus, I support annexation which will help
provide finances for the aging
infrastructure over the short and long term, thereby enabling LJA to remain a
place to live and continue to be the THIN PLACE where lives are transformed by
renewal of soul, mind and body.
Pat Koonts was recognized by the chair and called for the question. However, the chair allowed discussion to
continue to some point when Jack King called a point of order from the audience
and suggested that it was a conflict of interest for Council members who were
also members of the Task Force and had already voted for annexation to vote
again on the Council.
Jack Ewing noted that Clifton Metcalf was in the audience and asked his
opinion. Clifton said that to him it
would seem like it would be a decision made by each individual member as to
whether their personal circumstances suggested a conflict of interest.
Bill King said that he saw no reason that all members should not vote: that
they had been elected to vote.
Pat described the make-up of the Task Force as one that was fair and
representative of the community including representatives from the Junaluskans,
the Community Council, the Board of Directors, LJAPOO, property owners, and the
Gene McAbee called a point of order that a call for the question requires a
vote and that a call for the question was on the floor and had to be
Bill King called for a vote on the call for the question.
Members voted unanimously to call for the question.
Bill repeated the motion he had entered during his opening statement which
was seconded by Ken Zulla:
That the Community Council recommends that “the Lake Junaluska Board of
Directors pursue annexation with the Town of Waynesville.”
All members present voted yes.
No one voted no.
There were no abstentions.
Gene McAbee asked for permission to
make a correction to the minutes of the final meeting of the Task Force. Jack King had asked that one of his
statements be clarified in those minutes.
Since the Task Force would not meet again, approval was needed from the
Council to modify the minutes. Bill
asked if there were any objections. None
arose. Gene will make the change Jack
Gene asked for a final disposition on the records he has maintained of Task
Force activities. He suggested that the
complete record be transferred to the SEJ Museum at Lake Junaluska to be
preserved as an archive. Bill asked if
there were any objections. There were
none. Gene will confirm that the records
are complete, reproduce all of them electronically, and submit them to the
Bill thanked everyone for their participation and adjourned the meeting at
approximately 5:25 p. m.
Gene McAbee, Secretary
ADDENDUM: Ken Zulla’s and Jimmy Pennell’s prepared
statements were not read into the record, however, for archival purposes, they
are provided here. Pat Koonts’ statement
from the Task Force meeting on February 28 is included at the end.
Ken Zulla, Member of the
March 5, 2013
Before I give my opinion I would
like to say as a former corporate IRS agent, a lot of my decisions were not
perceived as being very popular. They
were however made from what I thought to be what were truly the correct answer
based upon the facts as currently presented and the law that was in existence
at that time. I pray that whatever
decision is made, Lake Junaluska and its community remain in the same unity and
harmony before this process started.
Evelyn and myself have been
owners of property on Lake Junaluska since 1997 and residence since January of
2001. We decided to move here from
upstate New York due to the beauty of the mountains and Lake, very similar to
upstate New York where we lived for 25 years.
We did not realize that Lake Junaluska brought more than a beautiful
place to live, but a community dedicated to carrying out God's work. We soon became members of various committees,
volunteering not only at Lake Junaluska, but in the surrounding communities including
Waynesville. When we look out our window, our home doesn't end at the edge of
our property, but extends into the waters of the Lake reflecting the shadows of
the cross, all created by the thoughtfulness of our founding fathers. You can understand why we have participated
year after year in Lake clean-up, donating monies to Assembly to maintain the
cleanup during the summers for the next 10 years, taking care of the swans,
running the fashion show for scholarships and recently pulling out 20,000 plus
pounds of debris around the shore after two storms.
I have attended as the South
Lakeshore representative all of the JACC meetings since the original mention of
the 4 choices to deal with Lake Junaluska's long-term plan with respect to its
infrastructure and Lake Junaluska community as a whole. I have also attended several Town of
Waynesville meetings and all of the Task Force Meetings. I have drafted several e-mail messages, had
telephone conversations with both Buddy and Jack Ewing. I have taken my representation very serious.
I agree with the majority of the
people living at the Lake, there is a need for change. To stay the same would not be financially
sound in pushing a great burden to fix our infrastructure onto a limited
resource of people. I believe if the
Conference Center is to survive it needs to become totally dedicated to
managing the Church's property and programs.
I believe that Jack Ewing and Buddy Young need our help by voting not to
stay the same, but voting for one of the other alternatives. Being an accountant, if the repair over 10
years is close to $10 million, how is the Conference Center going to be able to
provide its share of 15/20% and still become profitable. This year Jack did a great job, but this was
the last year of the Church providing monies towards his Conference
budget. Adding $150,000 to $200,000 in
their share of services charges for repair just doesn't make success in turning
the Conference Center around to becoming self-sufficient. If the Conference
Center fails, so do your property values.
You also must know that this is only the first fix and that a second and
third phase of repair will have to be addressed for the next 20 years or more.
need to move on to the issue of incorporating on our own. Based upon
Waynesville's latest information, the cost to fix the infrastructure will be
about double than originally estimated.
There are a lot of reasons for this including bringing up to municipal
code and actually having their engineers on the grounds reviewing the Lake's
needs. The footnote mentioned in the
survey about a new town personnel requires the higher model of staffing,
meaning higher yearly taxes than in the survey.
A smaller town office will have to rely on a lot of out sourcing of services. Incorporating will require startup costs and
much more time than merging into a community that already exists. People have
said we can always change our mind, do you take a chance in setting such up,
only to walk away a few years later? Who
is to say in waiting two years, TOW will want us under their new
administration, especially after spending all this money in 2012/2013. A separate town will also be competing for
grants if they have similar projects. No one can guarantee if such grants will
even be if available in today's climate. It should be noted that no one from
the TOW has indicated that they would try and deny incorporation as a choice if
we wished to move forward with this option.
Another negative for incorporation is that we do not have a lot of area
for commercial growth, thus no increase in tax base and taxes continued to be
leveled on a fixed number. A major portion of our roads due to being narrow,
may not qualify for road assistance grants. The tax exempt status of the
Conference Center would push additional burdens, repairing the infrastructure
on the residents, again adding several hundred dollars to your yearly tax
bill. Not all people itemize and
therefore will not benefit on their personal income taxes by changing from a
service charge to a tax. What we do know
is the Conference Center is tax exempt and we will lose their 15/20% share of
service charge and receive only a contribution based upon their determination.
We will have to build, buy or lease a Town Hall building, create a new police
department that will be able to enforce laws and continue to buy water from
Waynesville where we are charged whether we consume or lose. We will have to either have or hire for
contract, planning and zoning personnel, buy new equipment to service roads our
infrastructure and other functions of a municipal. Finally, being a new town we will have very
limited startup resources, be limited as to amounts that we can borrow at lower
interest rates. Being independent is a much better solution then staying the
same, but not the answer to the future of the Conference Center and residents.
Finally, what I
confirm as our only choice, annexation into Waynesville. I must say that I prefer to call this a
merger since annexation has a negative impression. This a mutual agreement to merge into one
government, but remain as separate entities in what they represent and will
carry on into the future. Lake Junaluska
will always remain a religious community standing for " a place of
Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of mind, body
and soul". The people and the
Assembly have a permanent goal for Lake Junaluska, being a spiritual
reasons for my decision is that the TOW has defined what your tax bill will be
at this time. They feel there is no need
to raise taxes at this time just because of a merger, Martin McGill study
confirms this. Fixing the infrastructure
through a larger entity will be the least expensive to the Junaluskans,
something a retirement community with fixed resources will benefit from. The
town has already starting fixing their Town's infrastructure with a plan that
sets priorities, budgets portions currently and sets aside reserves. They have
the professional management team and police force already in place. They have
agreed to treat LJ's priorities as equal if acquired. Cost to repair would come through water rate
increases which would initially drop to Junaluskans if they acquire us,
hopefully making this a wash issue. What
would be important is that such would not be a fix based upon assessed values,
determined by Haywood County. The TOW
has only $12 million in debt and is allowed to borrow four times that amount
and will be able to secure interest rates that a new town could not secure. The
TOW has promised to honor covenants and prior accepted zoning practices,
something very important to the residents. Yes, we know there will be changes
that we will have to adjust to. Marcy
Onieal I believe has spoken the truth and has earned our trust by her actions.
At this point in
time I need to vote for annexation. I
believe the Board of Directors could however come up with other alternatives,
such as funding their portion of the cost of the infrastructure and staffing
rather than pushing such obligation to the residents. Either option would allow
Jack Ewing to continue on with rebuilding Junaluska to even a greater religious
community than our creators could have ever visioned. Since funding by the
Jurisdiction has not been proposed, annexation is the only viable option at
this time. As we move forward to
annexation we must remember the strength of the Junaluskans is their ability to
work together and unify for a cause, religious or otherwise. The TOW provides a professionally run Town that
has shown the ability to operate effectively and efficiently. If by the chance the TOW does not fulfill
their promises, their leaders will be put to task either at their town meetings
or by the power of vote. The town has
already experienced this by the large attendance of Junaluskans at some of
their meetings, I call it the Junaluska
James T. Pennell, Member of the Community Council
March 5, 2013
First, I would like to
express my appreciation to the Task Force for the service which they have
rendered on behalf to study various options facing our community in the
future. They have worked hard and have
provided some helpful information.
During my 60 year
association with Lake Junaluska I have witnessed many changes through the
years. My initial visit to Junaluska was
to attend a Youth Conference in 1953. My
first connection was related to my tenure as Director of Youth Activities in 1958-59. My wife and I purchased property here in
I have been a member of the Jurisdictional Council on Ministries, and
later the SEJ
Administrative Council. In the process I have served in several leadership positions such as Finance Committee Chair for four years and later as Chair of the Long-range Study Committee for four years. In the Junaluska community I have served on the Board of The Property Owners Organization and on the Design Team to establish the Community Council. I have lived through many of the major changes which are described in Bill Lowry's recent history of Lake Junaluska Assembly. Junaluska has been in the process of evolving for
I have followed with interest
the process of the Municipal Study Task Force and have studied the
documents and information which have been provided. It is unfortunate that the process was
into a rushed schedule
because of the legislative calendar which has limited the time for our
consideration of all of the options. At one
point I was hoping that
incorporation would be a realistic
option, but that does not now
seem to be the case.
I can understand some of the emotions and misunderstanding expressed by property owners. We are living in a time of dramatic change in so many areas of our lives. Change is sometimes difficult
and painful as we are forced to make adjustments in our thinking. For some, it is a grief process as we
reflect upon our experiences of the past
and they must actually go through several of the stages of grief
before coming to some resolution. This takes time.
In the process of the study, I have tried to wear two hats: One as a property-owner since
1972; and the other as a part of the Lake Junaluska Assembly in a variety of positions through the years.
The underlying question for me has been: "What is in the best interest of each of the stakeholders?"
I have come to the following conclusion: First, I realize that the voluntary annexation by
Waynesville will not solve all
of our problems and meet all of our needs. But based upon the
information and research which has been provided, I feel that merger with Waynesville is in the best
interest of the Junaluska property owners, The Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center and the Town
of Waynesville. I support
this recommendation to the Junaluska Board of Directors.
March 5, 2013
Pat Koonts, Member of the
Community Council and the Task Force
Feb 28th Task Force Meeting
I vote to
recommend annexation by Waynesville.
In 2011 an
assessment of the infrastructure at Lake Junaluska confirmed that it needed
massive repair/replacement in the next ten years. The Community Task Force was
started to explore the options for the future, to educate the community and to
listen.. The Southeastern Jurisdiction cannot pay for the repairs of the
infrastructure, and the roughly 800 property owners were facing the massive
bill themselves. This dilemma meant the task force focused on the options of
incorporation or annexation, either of which would give the community access to
grants and lower cost contracts to help pay for the improvements. After nine
months of study and listening, I feel that incorporation would place the
property owners in a situation in which we have too few resources–both
financial and human–to fund a governing body and make repairs. Thus, I will
vote to recommend to the Junaluska Assembly Community Council that they in turn
recommend to the Board of Directors of the Junaluska Assembly that the
Junaluska Community request annexation by the town of Waynesville.
The town of
Waynesville is a well run, financially sound municipality with whom the Lake
Junaluska Community has strong ties; and I feel annexation will make each
I realize that
any choice will mean that I will have to pay my part as a property owner for
the replacement/repair of the infrastructure. I realize that my property taxes
in Waynesville will be slightly higher than my current assessment, but that my
water bill will be less and fire protection will be included in property taxes.
I am aware that annexation, if the Board
of Directors so votes, will occur on August 31st and in the year 2013 will entail additional
taxes since the Town of Waynesville has a July-June tax year and Lake Junaluska
Assembly a January-December year. I realize some services like snow removal and
property checks will be additional services that the community can choose to
I look forward
to continue being a Junaluskan–participating in the community; being enriched by the Conference Center’s
programs and volunteering there; and enjoying and supporting the common
grounds, which will still be owned by the SEJ.
I feel blessed to be a part of this vibrant community and have enjoyed
being a part of the Task Force.
Community Council Meeting
January 8, 2013
In Attendance: Bill King, Chair, Pat Koonts, Vice Chair,
Gene McAbee, Secretary, Ken Zulla, Jeanette Shaver, Jimmy Pennell, David
Baxter, Oscar Dowdle, ex oficio members Jack Ewing and Buddy Young, and guest
Paul Benson, Waynesville Zoning Director.
Chair Bill King opened the meeting with prayer. He expressed that the task before the
Municipal Study Task Force is a complex one, and that we should attempt to keep
everything as simple as possible. The Municipal
Study Task Force was appointed by and reports to the Junaluska Assembly
Community Council to carry out the task of investigating options for municipal
status and to make recommendations to the Community Council. The Community Council is an elected body
acting as an advisory group to Assembly Public Works and to the Board of
Directors. The Board of Directors is the
ultimate authority for planning and operations of Lake Junaluska Assembly,
answering to the Jurisdictional Conference which meets every four years. In addition, the Town of Waynesville and our
local representatives (Jim Davis, Michelle Presnell, and Joe Sam Queen) must be
partners and key players in this process.
Bill King reminded the Community Council to keep the issues as simple as
possible. He then opened the floor to
Buddy Young to introduce Paul Benson, Waynesville Zoning Director.
Buddy expressed his gratitude to Paul for coming to our
meeting and reported that he and Paul have worked together on many projects in
the past. Buddy explained that
especially in the case of annexation or incorporation, it will be necessary to understand
and be able to implement zoning. He
said that it makes sense for the Community Council to act as an advisory group
for the Town of Waynesville in establishing zoning regulations for the
Paul Benson explained that zoning is a series of “Use Districts,”
each containing certain dimensional standards
and permitted uses that are
associated with it. He said that Waynesville
has eight categories of districts and twenty total districts. He said that Lake Junaluska is a unique
situation because it has never had zoning.
He explained that Waynesville has no agenda in this matter and wants
only to develop districts and standards that property owners would like.
The zoning for Lake Junaluska would follow density
patterns. Residential, neighborhood
central (for institutional purposes), and a commercial area for the businesses
on Dellwood Road would perhaps be some of the zones.
The process of zoning at Lake Junaluska would be open and
would encourage public input. Changes to zoning maps may be considered each
month, as it is in the town of Waynesville.
The first tool need is a future land use plan. The
land use plan concerns demographic patterns, growth trends, and includes
community input in order to develop goals for the community.
A common sense approach is favored in zoning. Zones need to make sense; “spot” zoning is
not acceptable. Spot zoning is selectively
zoning a lot here or there that is within the general boundaries of a larger zone.
Zoning would create additional
regulations for Junaluska.
Paul does not foresee any strong opposition to zoning at
Lake Junaluska since residents are already accustomed to deed restrictions
already in place.
Bill King asked where zoning would fit into the process of
incorporation. Paul explained that
incorporation would have to come first.
There is no time limit on when zoning must be in place after incorporation…it
could take months. He also said that in
the case of annexation, zoning would not have to be completed before annexation
although the state legislature could place such a special requirement on an
annexation or incorporation request, that would be unusual. Paul said that a community’s zoning needs to
be comprehensive. We are under a general
principle to zone everything within the city’s limits. Unless state legislature says otherwise,
zoning doesn’t need to be completed at the moment of incorporation or
annexation. Buddy added that zoning
would be required under incorporation, so it would have to be addressed at some
Bill King asked Paul to elaborate on the purpose of zoning. Paul said that zoning is necessary because
people don’t live by the golden rule.
Zoning prevents neighbors from doing things that will negatively affect
other property value. It’s the community’s members that request and
appreciate zoning, and not necessarily the town that seeks out that
regulation. It encompasses many more issues
now than it did when the idea of zoning first began in the 1920s: storm
drainage, trees, building height, design control, etc.
Buddy asked how zoning affected historic preservation. Are there restrictions on removing older
buildings? Paul said that that would be handled
mainly by the Historic Preservation Commission, which is a voluntary program. A property owner can apply for their home to
be a local historic landmark. At that
point, the building is “frozen” at a certain appearance. The design guidelines cover issues such as
add-ons, shutters, etc. A Certificate of
Appropriateness is required before an owner can make changes. This would likely be the only way that a
building could be prevented from being torn down. A local historic landmark can be a modern
building in a historic district, or a single historic building surrounded by
Bill King clarified that a town cannot impose a Local
Historic Landmark initiative on a building.
Paul said that it is possible, but rare, and that it wouldn’t be pursued
by the town unless the community members supported it.
Pat Koonts asked how close our current covenants are to the
zoning categories in Waynesville. Buddy
said that Aldersgate has got stringent regulations, such as certain siding and
colors. Hickory Hill has guidelines of
how big a house needs to be. In the old
areas, you can do what you want as long as you are within the setbacks. The
golf course was clarified as a recreational area, and not a commercial
David Wright asked if the Golf Course brings in a net income. Jack said that it does except for the debt on
the new clubhouse. Buddy said that it is listed as “for profit”
Buddy asked if the campground would be “grandfathered” in to
the town, since the Town of Waynesville doesn’t allow campgrounds. Paul said that it would, but that you can’t
increase the degree of nonconformity.
David Wright asked how the city tax rates compare to service
charge rates. Would service charges go
away? Buddy said that a decision would have to be
made as to whether residents wanted some of the services provided by Public
Works and Security continued.
Ken Zulla said that there is a concern among some residents
that if we become part of Waynesville, would all of Lake Junaluska properties
be grandfathered? Paul said that non-conformities would be
grandfathered, but future modifications would have to meet zoning
regulations. He noted that zoning does
not impose many standards on single-family dwellings. Single-family zoning consists mostly of
setback and infrastructure restrictions.
Districts would be crafted to minimize non-conformities. LJA covenants would remain enforced as well
as the new zoning regulations.. The most
restrictive rule would prevail in the case of overlapping regulation.
Ken Zulla asked about RVs specifically. If parking an RV is not restricted in
Waynesville, would that be an issue in Lake Junaluska? Paul said that zoning from Waynesville would
not undermine Lake Junaluska’s restrictive deeds.
Ken Zulla asked what the different districts would be. Paul said that the Conference Center would be
a “Commercial Neighborhood”, but that adjustments could be made to the zoning
ordinance so that good things would not be prevented from happening. Town Homes would be a higher density area (up
to 16 persons per acre), and it would just need to be mapped out. “Smart Growth” ordinance mixes uses and
densities, requires sidewalks and landscaping as well as bike lanes and bike
Arnold Howell asked if the business on Dellwood Road
adjacent to LJA property (the car lot, Granny’s Chicken Palace) would be
brought into consideration for inclusion in zoning. Buddy said that situation with Granny’s would
be decided by the Board of Directors.
The car lot is not a part of Assembly property.
Pat Koonts asked what percentage of Lake Junaluska property
is not developed. Buddy said that at
least 85-90% of the property is developed.
Pat said that zoning meetings would mostly be looking at property that
has already been established. Buddy and
Paul said that we would try to conform the zoning to what we already have got.
The only area of land that is yet undeveloped is 60 acres up on Utah Mountain. Jack said that the assembly owns 20-something
lots, mostly in Hickory Hills, that have not yet been sold. These lots are in
developed neighborhoods though, and would not affect the zoning in those areas.
Dave Wright asked what commercial properties already exist
at Lake Junaluska. Buddy said the
campground and a portion of land on County Road near the Public Works office.
Dave Wright asked how many people live in the assembly
area. Buddy answered that there are
approximately 803 homes with people living in them, but depending on the month,
the actual number of persons fluctuates greatly. He noted that 60% of all water bills are
mailed to off-property addresses.
Gene McAbee asked if Paul could envision any future
conflicts with building and renovation plans for the Conference and Retreat
Center under annexation and new zoning regulations. Paul said that was certainly possible. He said that usually adjoining residents are
the ones who have concerns about looming buildings and increased traffic. Zoning requires landscape buffers, maximum
heights, and design, etc, but the town usually ends up as the “monkey” in the
middle, mediating issues.
Gene clarified that if Lake Junaluska and Waynesville were
annexed, property owners could take concerns regarding Conference Center zoning
issues to the Zoning Board to air their complaints, whereas now they take all
concerns directly to the Conference Center administration or the Board of
Directors. Paul agreed that that’s what
Oscar Dowdle asked if Lake Junaluska would have a
representative on the Zoning Board. Paul
says that would make sense. Paul said
that we could ask the board to add representatives from Lake Junaluska.
Oscar asked how zoning could impact property value. Paul said that Windfalls and Wipeouts
is a zoning book that is very informative.
In general, zoning enhances and protects property value, but in some
instances it diminishes it.
David Wright asked why Lake Junaluska is considering
annexation and incorporation. Don Rankin
asked if David had been to any of the previous meetings, and explained that the
question has been asked and answered at every meeting. Pat Koonts asked that members of the task
force respond to David’s question at the conclusion of the meeting, when the
meeting issues have been discussed and concluded. (Don spoke with David privately and will send
him a copy of the “Frequently Asked Questions” document that has been
Bill said that the previous meeting’s minutes are on the
website, and asked if anyone has a comment regarding the last meeting. No one
did. He invited Buddy to give a report on Assembly Public Works.
Buddy said that Assembly Public Works will end with a
balanced budget. The Service Charge
receipts are also expected to improve this year.
Buddy reported that David Ward, an outstanding employee who
was our Operator in Responsible Charge had an opportunity to become the Public
Works Director for Clyde. He has left,
which has created additional strain on the crew. It will be a challenge without him and hiring
someone to replace David will be very difficult. The two remaining water/sewer crew members have
agreed with Buddy to share the load.
Buddy asked Gene McAbee to give a report regarding the security
activities for 2012.
Gene passed out tally sheets of police and security
activities for last year and previous years back to 2006. He said that overall crime reports have
decreased over that period of time. Security
officers have done a good job of patrolling and removing persons who have
warrants out for their arrest . Local
criminals have come to understand that Lake Junaluska is not a place to commit
crimes, most likely because they have seen our police force. We are surrounded by high crime areas, but
are fortunate to have avoided those same statistics. Reports of theft and breaking and entering
have primarily been on Conference Center property. Two residences had problems last year. During a routine house check, Adma Ross’s
house showed signs of someone trying to enter.
Another house on Wells appeared to have been slept in overnight without authorization.
During 2012, our officers patrolled over 56,000 miles in our 400-acre
property. The security guards are being
seen patrolling and deterring crime.
Call or email Gene if you have any questions. Buddy said that our security team does a
great job, thanks to Gene’s leadership.
There are special limitations on our security since we are not a
municipality, and they deal with the limitations expertly.
Buddy said that a window of opportunity for a decision is
coming up quickly. He spends a lot of
time in contact with the Town of Waynesville and Martin-McGill Associates. Uncollected service charges that resulted in
liens, totaling $75,000, are a big topic of discussion. Our Accounts Receivable account is
considerable, because it travels with the Service Charges. We have two budgets: our service charge
budget and the monthly utility bills. In
the case of annexation, the liens would have to stay with the community, and would
not transfer to Waynesville unless the decision is made and agreed to that the
community would be assessed to the point that those outstanding liens could be
paid and the residents set free of their liens.
If we do go with annexation, the right to assess would become law. Right now, the assessments are used for our
vital services, but in annexation, we could choose to use assessments for
things that would increase our property values.
The Junaluska Assembly Community Council would have to continue for
several years in the case of annexation to maintain liens and bill the assessments. The assessments would remain under the
control of the Board of Directors.
Our water loss has exceeded 30% in 2012 and we can’t afford
to hire a consultant to find the leaks.
Ken Zulla added that we pay for sewage treatment for our water
loss. Buddy said that that is what is expected
in a purchase system, but that with the Town of Waynesville, we would save a
lot of money on our water bills. Sewage
treatment costs more than water treatment.
Ken asked if it makes sense to get aggressive with the liens. Buddy said that the Board of Directors would
have to make a legal move to sue, but that that is all that we could do.
Pat asked how taking the trash to White Oak affects the
utility charges. She suggested that
increased costs for solid waste disposal must result in higher charges. Buddy
said that it definitely affects it, but that we are waiting to see what unfolds
with annexation. If we stay as we are,
immediate increases will take effect. In
addition, we will need to hire people to find and fix the leaks in the water system.
Pat noted that the Board of Directors meets in March and
asked if we should recommend increases to the Board at that time. Buddy agreed.
The Board of Directors sets our service charge rates, but the utility
bills could be increased after notifying the Utility Commission, and without
getting express permission from the Board of Directors.
Bill King then introduced Jack Ewing for the Executive
Director’s Report. In the report for the
Conference and Retreat Center, Jack began by saying that they are projecting a
balanced budget for 2012 with a surplus of between $175,000 and $200,000. This will be the second time in the last
decade that the Conference Center has ended the year within budget. It is also the first time in the black
without significant Southeast Jurisdictional support.
In 2012, a large goal of $260,000 for the annual fund was
exceeded by $7,000. The Campus Master
Plan is underway. Lambuth Inn is the
first priority. Architects Craig Gaulden & Davis, and construction
managers, Clark & Leatherwood are the ones hired to complete the project. Funding needs to be a combination of funds
raised and debt service. While banks are
not loaning money as readily as they did several years ago, there are several
banks that have already expressed an interest in making loans to the Conference
Center. Jack hopes to have proposals to present to the
Board in March.
Jack commented on our security operations. Lake Junaluska’s first ski weekend was over
New Year’s weekend. When a group showed
up a day early , their rooms had not been cleaned. There was no housekeeping staff working at
that time. Aaron Deaver, a security
officer, volunteered to strip and make the beds for the group. Jack said that the security staff is
reflective of Gene’s leadership, and thanked him for his service.
Jack said that when the Board of Directors met in October,
it was not evident to them that the time frame for an annexation bill was so
tight. He said that there are still a
lot of unknowns, and we have an obligation to be informed as well to
inform. We also need to provide the
Board of Directors with the best information possible. We will be working hard from now until the
end of the month to inform the Executive Committee of what they need to be
informed about. It is imperative that we
make the right decision. No one should
feel that a decision was forced upon them by time restrictions. Hopefully, a large majority of the residents
will support whichever decision is made.
Jack continued by saying that there is a lot of work that
needs to be done before March, including gathering information, and exploring
the role of the Board of Directors in the case of annexation or
incorporation. The Board of Directors
determines what role they will play going forward. The Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United
Methodist Church (SEJUMC) also is a huge player. They are the ones who gave authority to the
Lake Junaluska Board of Directors. At
this time, little substantive conversation has been held with the Jurisdiction regarding the Municipal
Study. Jack plans to meet with Bishop Taylor on
Monday to begin that process.
Jack said that there is an urgency to accomplish our goals
by March, but we must proceed with caution.
We need to be sure that whatever decision is made, we need as much
support as we can get. This will not be
a rubber stamp decision on the part of the Board of Directors.
Ken Zulla asked if we know for sure whether the Board of
Directors or the Jurisdiction will be the final decision-maker. Jack said that we will have more clarification
on Monday when he meets with Bishop Taylor, the Chair of the Committee for
Coordination and Accountability of SEJUMC.
Ken asked whether any decision by property owners would be available to
the Board of Directors. Jack said that
Bill King said that a survey would be sent out, but that the
word “vote” confuses the matter, and we should avoid it.
John Russell, Chair of the Executive Committee, said that
the Board of Directors will insist on having the will of the people presented
to them before taking this kind of action.
Ron Clauser said that at the upcoming meeting of the Municipal
Study Task Force members, he intends to ask the members to go on record saying
which option they favor, and why. Ron said that he plans to appoint a sub-
committee from the Task Force to prepare a survey for distribution to the
community. The survey will
be sent to every property owner, not just registered voters. The Community Council will have the Task
Force’s opinions as well as the community survey before making a recommendation
to the board. Buddy added that the state
legislature is requesting a survey and public hearings in Waynesville. A
referendum in the Town of Waynesville will not be required. The state legislature is the ultimate
Jimmy Pennell said that some residents feel that the
decision on annexation has already been made and referred to the article in the
Smoky Mountain News this week.
Bill King said that the process continues to be a
fact-finding and educational effort. Meetings
are announced and public and we are having continual communication with
John Russell said that the opinions of non-resident property
owners must be considered.
Jack said that the way in which the survey is crafted needs
to be educational, but unbiased. He
suggested that an outside observer look at it before sending.
Bill King added that the Martin-McGill & Associates
study is also important in the making of a decision. No decision has been made yet.
Don Rankin said that bill is provisional, and that it could
be withdrawn. Buddy agreed that it can
be withdrawn between March and June, but a bill won’t be accepted without
support from all involved parties.
Meeting was adjourned at 5:35 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Aly Groesser
Reviewed by Gene McAbee, Secretary
For additional minutes contact Buddy Young at firstname.lastname@example.org