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
November 3, 2012
This Annual Meeting
served as both a meeting of the Community Council and the Municipal Study Task
ATTENDANCE (Members of
the Community Council) Bill King, Buddy Young, Jack Ewing, Pat Koonts,
Jeannette Shaver, David Baxter, Ken Zulla, Jimmy Pennell. Gene McAbee (Oscar
Dowdle’s wife was hospitalized the night before and he was not present)
(Members of the Task
Force): Ron Clauser, Ed LaFontaine, Mary
Allen Conforti. Lee Galloway, Joe Stowe,
Don Rankin, Kelley Bonfoey, George Thompson, (Ron Phelps was out of town)
Bill King called the
meeting to order at 10 a. m. and opened with prayer. He recognized Buddy Young to present the
Public Works report.
Public Works Report
Buddy reported that the
budget for next year has been submitted.
Under the budget the millage rate for service charges will remain 33
cents per hundred. There will be a 5%
increase in water and sewer rates.
Buddy also reported
that the new policy on feeding waterfowl has worked well. There have been few violations since it
became effective on September 17. Some of the geese seem to have migrated.
Bill King then
recognized Executive Director Jack Ewing.
Dr. Ewing reported that
the Board of Directors completed their meeting on October 19. The Board approved the priorities related to
the new master plan. He said that public
forums on the new master plan would begin before Thanksgiving. He noted that this is an exciting plan when
will help to guide renovation and construction for the Conference and Retreat
Center for several years.
Bill then called for
questions on the Public Works report and the Executive Director’s report.
Ken Zulla asked if the
millage rate would include funds for future reserves. Buddy said that it does. The recommendations of the paving study and
the equipment study have already been approved by the Community Council and the
Board of Directors. He said that no
funds were included for capital improvements to the infrastructure as yet. This would have required a rate increase.
Bill then informed
those present that all this information , along with information from the MSTF,
is available on the web page lakejunaluskacommunity.com.
Bill then recognized
Ron Clauser, chair of the MSTF and past chair of the Community Council, to give
the Task Force report.
Municipal Study Task
Ron reviewed the
make-up of the Task Force: 10 voting
members and 3 ex officio members. He
restated the mission of the Task Force:
(1) to receive community input; (2) to educate; (3) to listen; (4) to
reports its findings and recommendations to the Community Council.
Ron reported that the
Task Force had recommended to the Community Council that study of the options
of incorporation and annexation continue.
He pointed out that this did not eliminate the option of remaining the
same. The option of having the Town of
Waynesville take over the operation of the
water and sewer systems had been eliminated because the Town has no
interest in that option and the Task Force concluded that it would be unfair to
Ron reported that the
Community Council had approved the recommendation of the Task Force, submitted
the recommendation to the Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors had
approved continued study.
Ron then recognized Joe
Stowe, a Task Force member, to continue the report.
Joe reminded everyone
that 100 years ago the Assembly looked very different. The dam was under construction and the lake
did not exist. There was some assembly
property and a few houses. What could
not be seen were the original water lines, sewer lines, and storm drains which
were already being installed.
Joe said that after 100
years, some pipes are so old they are nearly blocked by corrosion. While this is not a unique problem with such
systems, it is one that will have to be addressed.
He then provided a
shortened version of the mission of the Task Force and its options and repeated
that the Board of Directors had approved continued study of the options,
incorporation and annexation.
He said that Waynesville
has been a resource for LJA for many years and that LJA had partnered with
Waynesville in the construction of a wastewater treatment plant. Waynesville continues to supply wastewater
treatment services and supplies our water drinking water and fire protection
He reminded everyone
that the Town of Waynesville is not “coming after” Lake Junaluska. Town official have only responded to our
requests to help with the study.
He suggested that we
must examine these questions:
What needs to be done to our systems?
What happens if we are annexed?
What happens if we incorporate?
What will it cost us?
What will become of the service charges?
Considerations: Do we want to be a part
of Waynesville or the Town of Lake Junaluska?
(4) Political: How do we want to be governed?
(5) Spiritual: How do we preserve the spiritual identity of
In answering these questions,
community input from property owners and from the citizens of Waynesville is
All communications up to this
point have been “informal.” At some
point, there will have to be formal communications.
All property owners at Lake
Junaluska are not registered voters in Haywood County, but we still need to hear
from them and they have a right to state their positions.
Finally, if there is a reduction
in staff at Lake Junaluska as a result of any final decision, we need to keep
those affected employees in mind and take care of them using normal attrition
as a means to adjust numbers of staff.
Judy Holton asked if it
was possible that natural gas could be supplied in the residential area. Buddy explained that the private company PSNC
has an interest in doing this, but it would cost approximately $600,000. He explained that there is a line on N.
Lakeshore and some residents have connected to it. He said that he is not sure how incorporation
or annexation would affect installation of gas lines.
Lee Galloway said that
from his experience with the Town of Waynesville when PSNC expanded its
services to town residents, it was a business decision made by the company and
the Town did not fund it. He does not
believe that incorporation or annexation would affect that PSNC business
Ted Maziejka said that
the Task Force’s process of educating the community has been a good one. He expressed support for involving property
owners, not just residents or registered voters, in the final survey or vote to
examine community support for any decision.
He believes that a process should be designed to get more property
owners to participate in the decision.
Ron Clauser noted that
a vote means different things to different people. Registered voters do not include all property
owners since some property owners are registered voters in other jurisdictions
and are not allowed to vote here. But,
he reported that there will be a joint meeting with the Property Owners’
Association on January 26, 2013.
He said that the Task
Force will make a recommendation for action to the Community Council. With the approval of the Community Council, there
will be a vote or a survey and property owners will be included. Following the vote or survey, a the Community
Council will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors.
He also said that there has been and will be
correspondence going from Public Works, the Property Owners’ Association, and
B ill King said that the
Community Council is set up with elected representatives from LJA districts and
at-large. He encouraged all property
owners to express their opinions to their representative.
Ron then recognized Dr.
Jack Ewing to continue the MSTF report.
Dr. Ewing reported that
the recommendations of the MSTF and the Community Council were presented to the
Board of Directors. He attempted to help
the BOD understand their responsibilities in this process. He reminded everyone that Lake Junaluska is
an organization of the Southeastern
Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church.
In 2008, the responsibility
for governance of Lake Junaluska was transferred to the Board of
Within the structure of
Lake Junaluska Assembly, there are two divisions: Public Works and the Conference and Retreat
The Board of Directors is
the fiduciaries of assets of Lake Junaluska Assembly. Those assets include the Conference and
Retreat Center, the common areas, and any property that is not owned by
individuals within the boundaries of the 1200 acres of the Assembly. The Board is responsible for assuring that
all property is managed properly.
The BOD is responsible
for setting fees for both property owners and the Conference and Retreat
Center. He reminded all present that the
Conference & Retreat Center also pays fees.
Dr. Ewing emphasized
that regardless of the decision on annexation or incorporation, ownership does
not change. The SEJ will still own the
Conference and Retreat Center, the dam, the lake, and all common areas.
The ownership of the
water and sewer systems and the roads would probably be transferred to the Town
of Waynesville or the Town of Lake Junaluska under annexation or incorporation,
but that is yet to be determined.
He describes the
situation as similar to a college or university within the city limits or a municipality. The college is within the boundaries of the
municipality, but operates independently of the municipal government.
Tax issues for property
owners would be determined by the municipal government. The Conference and Retreat Center now pays
service fees just like all property owners and the amount paid equals
approximately 1/6 of total collections.
This would not be the
case under incorporation or annexation since the C & R would not pay
taxes. However, there are many examples
from across the country of colleges voluntarily providing support to local
He said that the MSTF
will examine all information it believes it needs to provide recommendations to
the Community Council. The Community
Council will examine the findings and recommendations and make its own
recommendations to the Board of Directors.
But, even at that, the
Board of Directors does not have final authority in the decision. He said that the issue would fall under the
jurisdiction of the Committee on Coordination & Accountability and the
Council on Finance and Administration of the SEJ. However, the final decision rests with the NC
General Assembly. Legislators will want
to know “the will of the people.” They
will not go forward with any proposal unless they know that a majority of the
people affected support the proposal.
Ted Maziejka noted that
Lake Junaluska Assembly is a corporation and operates within the Lake Junaluska
Jack said as it stands
the way we operate now, “property owners” have no legal authority; the Board of
Directors has full authority for establishing fees. He stressed the importance of the Community
Council in allowing LJA to operate “like” an “incorporated community.” Even though it is an advisory group, the NC
Utilities Commission recognizes it representative of the community.
Jim Gilland said no
matter what is done, the SEJ will provide no money to Lake Junaluska Assembly
and, therefore, acts as an “absentee landlord.”
Ron Clauser said that
the MSTF members understand that concern and are looking at options. The best option would be the ones that will
provide both benefits and responsibilities to all parties.
Buddy said that since
1988 when Residential Services (Public Works) as established no apportionments
from the SEJ have gone to support the residential community. Jack added that the only possible way to
interpret SEJ support of the residential community would be the time that he
spends on residential issues.
Jack said that in the
future it will be important to encourage support from the SEJ and from local
Tom Hood asked about services provided by Haywood
County to LJA citizens who pay taxes to the County. Buddy said that the County does not maintain
any roads. The services the county
provides are law enforcement, education, social services, and others that fall
under their purview by statute.
Ron then recognized Lee
Galloway to continue the MSTF presentation.
(The full text of Lee’s comments is included in the attached PDF file.)
Lee confirmed that the
final decision lies with the General Assembly and that over the years the GA
has been more inclined to create new communities than to approve annexation or
merger. Merger is rare. He expressed his interest in the concept of
the voting process where non-resident property owners would be allowed to vote.
Generally, Lee said
that the Town of Waynesville is in good financial shape. The Town is capable of taking care of the
residents of Lake Junaluska. The water
and sewer rates for Waynesville are lower than most cities and towns in Western
Ken Zulla noted that
when he moved from New York to NC he was surprised at how low such rates were
here. He said that the quality
of the Waynesville water is far above other systems. In merging into
Waynesville there would be a savings to each homeowner since we would no longer
pay for the monthly water loss that our system allows each month, sometimes
between 15 to 20%. The residents must pay for everything that is pumped
even though we do not use do to leakage.
Don Rankin reminded
everyone that because Lake Junaluska is not incorporated or a part of a town,
we are not eligible for loans or grants that are available for repairs or improvements to infrastructure. When asked about the grants received for
sediment removal, Buddy reported that the grant was actually award to Haywood
Bryant Lindsey asked if
the Town of Waynesville sells electricity.
Lee said it did, but could not provide it here unless Progress Energy
decided to turn over its systems here to the Town. He noted that Waynesville’s rates are
slightly less than Progress Energy.
George Thompson asked
how the acquisition of the Lake Junaluska systems would affect Waynesville’s
financial situation. Lee said that the
more water you produce, the less the cost per gallon to produce it. He said that he believes that it would be a
financial benefit to Waynesville. He
also reported that the water rates charged to Lake Junaluska are industrial
rates. They would be slightly higher for
individuals; however, Pat Koonts reminded everyone that we now pay Waynesville
for “all” water that enters our system whether it leaks away before it reaches
a meter or not so some savings could be realized there.
Jack said that we now
have a mark-up of about 30% on our water so if Waynesville took it over it
would still be less.
Buddy explained that
one part of our charges are for actual usage.
The second part of the charges are a fixed rate for water and sewer
taps. Buddy said that under our capital
improvement plan, water rates will increase by about $20 per month even if no
water is used.
Lee said that
Waynesville’s rates are usually in the lowest 3-4% of the towns in WNC. This year, rates went up by 6% and still
remained in the lowest 4-5% of towns.
Ron then recognized
Buddy Young for an update on action taken and planned.
Buddy said that a
“frequently asked questions” document was being prepared on the issues to go
out to all property owners the first of December. This would help keep the dialogue going.
He said that the study
has been mentioned on the water bills every month for the last six months.
He said that the budget
included a $9000 increase for legal fees to support the study. $10,000 was budgeted to support the
consolidated study effort with Waynesville in hiring a consultant to examine
the LJA systems. He said that this will
provide a clear and objective analysis of the projected impact of annexation of
Assembly property into the Town of Waynesville.
Waynesville has allocated $25,000 for the study and there is a
possibility of grant funds to support it.
The study will consider the financial ability of Waynesville to absorb
the LJA systems and the condition of our streets and water/sewer lines.
Marcie Onieal and Buddy
have recommended that Martin-McGill, Inc. be chosen at the consulting
firm. Information on the firm is
available at martin-mcgill.com. The
study will take 3-4 months.
Buddy complimented the
School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill for their assistance. They have given good advice, but they stress
that they are not telling Lake Junaluska what it should do. They do believe that if we do a survey of
property owners showing majority agreement, the General Assembly will accept
that and not require a referendum.
Buddy said that all LJA
covenants will still apply no matter what option is chosen. The covenants have been validated by the
courts. There will be no difference
under any option. Deed restrictions will
still apply. Furthermore, if assessments
are in place, there could be a non-arbitrary fee charged to raise funds for
community enhancements. The School of
Government‘s advice to reserve the right to assess for services in the future
in our final documents. By doing that,
we could be a source of funds for enhancements in the future.
We would still have a
community council that could consider assessments and advise the Board of
Buddy talked about the
timeline. A full-session of the General
Assembly begins in January. If we
believe we want to move forward we need to get on the docket in January. Buddy suggests a simple annexation proposal
to be submitted to hold a place on the docket.
Ken Zulla asked about
the short notice. Buddy said that if the
measure was not docketed this year, next year would be a short session and it
would likely be two years before any action could be considered.
Mary Allen Conforti
also asked about the short time available.
Buddy said that by January we should know what we want to do. He said that it is a good idea to lay the
foundation for action understanding that we can withdraw the request if we
decide we are not ready to move forward.
Jack said that it is
important that we very quickly identify the steps necessary. He said that he does not want us to feel
rushed in our decision.
Ron concurs with
Jack. He noted that the Property Owner’s
Association will not meet until the end of January.
Ed LaFontaine suggested
that we need to understand the downside to putting a hold on a place on the
docket in January.
Lee Galloway brought up
covenant enforcement. He said that
annexation or incorporation would not “disband” enforcement of covenants but
that everyone needed to understand that municipalities do not enforce covenants. There should be no expectation that
Waynesville would enforce covenants.
However, Buddy noted that we could work with Waynesville to get portions
of our covenants included as zoning laws.
Buddy reported that he
and Jack have talked about hiring an attorney in Raleigh to handle
incorporation or to negotiate with Waynesville on annexation because that
attorney will need to be near the legislative sessions.
Ron then recognized
John Miller who had requested to address the Council, the MSTF, and those in
(The text of Mr. Miller’s remarks are included in an attached PDF
Generally, Mr. Miller reviewed the history of governance
discussions at Lake Junaluska. He spoke
about the formation of the Lake Junaluska Property Owners’ Association. He reported that “20 years ago” (1991 property
owners became extremely concerned when they received a rumor that the Town of
Waynesville may be moving to annex. In
the end, the Town of Waynesville assured property owners that it had no
intention of attempting to annex.
Mr. Miller expressed
his opposition to annexation.
He also expressed his
opposition to the process underway saying that any discussion of annexation or
incorporation should begin with the citizens and the citizens had to petition
After Mr. Miller’s
presentation, Ron Clauser said that he has known Mr. Miller for a long time and
considers him to be a friend. Ron reminded
everyone that we are in an “investigative” phase and we are simply studying our
The meeting was
adjourned at 12:20 p. m.
Attachments will be posted soon
October 2, 2012 4:00 p. m.
Attendance: Bill King, Pat Koonts, Ken Zulla, Oscar
Dowdle, Jimmy Pennell, Jack Ewing (Buddy Young was out sick, Jeannette Shaver
and David Baxter were out of town) Ron
Clauser and Ron Phelps were at the meeting representing the Municipal Studies
Task Force. Five community members were
Bill King called the
meeting to order at 4 p. m. and opened with prayer. He then asked for everyone present to
Bill then reviewed the
schedule for meetings over the next year.
Two changes were made over the standard first Tuesday of the month
meeting dates. The November meeting will
be a combined meeting with the Annual Meeting on Saturday, November 3 at 10 a.
m. in the Harrell Center Auditorium.
There will be no meeting in December as usual. (Ron Clauser pointed out the by-laws call for
10 meetings a year and that traditionally there have been no meetings in
December or July). In January, the
meeting will be held on the second Tuesday in the month (January 8) because the
first Tuesday is on January 1, a holiday.
The meeting dates for
the upcoming year are:
Bill said that at the
Annual Meeting on November 3, we will convene as the Community Council and then
turn the meeting over to Ron Clauser for the Municipal Studies Task Force.
Bill then recognized
Ron for the report from the Task Force. Ron
reviewed the process of the Task Force’s formation and goals. He said that he had been pleased with the
level of community attendance and participation and pleased with the work of
the members. He noted that even though
information moves around Lake Junaluska quickly, there are some people who had
not received information about the process because they do not have or do not
use computers and e-mail.
Ron presented the two
recommendations from the Task Force to the Community Council:
- The Task Force recommends to the Community
Council that the option of remaining the same and the option of only merging water and sewer systems be
eliminated from consideration. Those two options should not be a part of the
study going forward.”
- The Task Force recommends to the Community Council that a study on
annexation with Waynesville be initiated with costs shared by Lake Junaluska
and the town of Waynesville.
that the option to remain as we are has been studied and he looks at this as a
“fall back” option which is still on the table for the future if consensus
cannot be reached on incorporation or annexation.
explained that he does not expect the study process to be completed any time
soon. He said that community members should
be looking toward the future with the question not being “what is this going to
cost me now” but what is best for the Lake Junaluska community over the next
At this point,
Aly Groesser pointed out that Buddy had met with Marcy Onieal from the Town of
Waynesville and they had estimated that the total cost of the study on
annexation would be $50,000. She
reported that the Town had budgeted $25,000 toward financing the study, there
would be grant funds available, and that the estimated cost to Lake Junaluska
would be $10,000.
Ken Zulla said
that he would prefer that we use the word “merger” when discussing the possible
future relationship with Waynesville instead of annexation. He believes that the word annexation carries
the impression of a forced action. Ron
said that he agreed that “annexation” does carry unpleasant connotations, but
he did not believe that the Council should generate the appearance of
attempting to “soften” the impact of the action to some people.
Ron said that
we have the ability to have this discussion about annexation because there is no
threat of forcible annexation from the Town of Waynesville since that is no
longer possible under state laws.
Ron said that
there are still a lot of things to do and a lot more discussion that must take
place on many issues.
Jimmy Pennell motioned:
the Council accepts the recommendations and report of the Task Force. Ken Zulla seconded. Approved by acclamation.
discussion about action by the Community Council and proper wording of a
motion, Pat Koonts motioned and Ken Zulla seconded:
That the Junaluska Community Council recommend to the
Board of Directors that a study on merger/annexation with Waynesville be initiated with
costs shared by Lake Junaluska and the town of Waynesville recognizing that a
study of merger/annexation will also provide insight into the remaining option
Ken Zulla then
motioned that the Community Council recommend to the Board of Directors a
cost-sharing arrangement with the Town of Waynesville for this study. After some discussion and a re-reading of the
motion above which included mention of sharing costs, there was no second and Ken
withdrew the motion.
Woody Adams, a
community member, expressed his appreciation to Buddy Young for his willingness
to speak one-on-one with community members who needed more information on the
process. He asked if incorporation
requires approval by the state. Bill
King answered that both annexation and incorporation will require approval by
Dobson, a community member, expressed concern for current employees from Public
Works and wondered what would happen to their jobs. Ron Clauser said that personnel issues have
not been discussed in depth and this would be an issue that would have to be
discussed in the future. Gene McAbee
expressed his confidence in Chief Bill Hollingsed and the Waynesville Police
Department, but also explained that it is unlikely that the WPD would be able
to provide the level of intensity of security and traffic service that would be
necessary for the conference center or possibly desired by the residents and
property. He said those issues need to
then reported for Buddy Young. Buddy and
Andrew d’Adesky visited the School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill. Some of the SOG faculty who have been helping
Andrew would like to attend a future Task Force meeting.
that so far the new policy on feeding waterfowl has been accepted and only two violations
of the policy have been reported. Jack
Ewing noted that the sidewalks and parking lots are certainly cleaner.
Dr. Ewing then
reported that the Board of Directors will meet on October 18-19. There will be seven new members installed who
will begin service on the Board in January.
There will be new officers since the chair, vice-chair, and secretary
are rotating off the Board. He said the
majority of the discussions will be about the campus master plan. He said that a year from now, we hope to
begin working on some major renovations with the understanding that they will
have to be complete by the following conference season.
opened the floor to comments and questions.
Neil Dobson asked about the painting of the Ascension. Jack said it had been crated for protection
and stored for the moment until a proper location can be found for its
Neil then asked
about how property values might be affected by annexation. He noted that property values at Lake
Junaluska are different than they are in Waynesville. Ken explained that the merger/annexation
would have little or no effect on property values since those values stand by
themselves based on sale prices the market will bear.
Fred Avett, a
community member, asked Jack about counts for the summer conference
season. Jack said that room nights were
down slightly, but attendance at events in Stuart and other facilities were up
significantly. He identified this as a
continuing issue: a number of people
utilize our facilities without paying anything to support the facilities.
With no more
questions or comments, Bill King adjourned the meeting at 5:16 p. m.
Junaluska Community Council
September 4, 2012
Young, Aly Groesser, Bill King, Jeannette Shaver, Jimmy Pennell, David Baxter,
Oscar Dowdle, Pat Koonts, Ken Zulla, Jack Ewing, Gene McAbee
Buddy Young called the meeting to order at 4:02 p. m. in the
absence of an elected chair after recent elections and the end of the term of
past-Chair Ron Clauser. Buddy presented
Buddy opened the floor for nominations for chair. Pat Koonts nominated Bill King. Ken Zulla seconded. Bill was elected by acclamation. Buddy turned the meeting over to Bill.
Bill recognized Ron Clauser for his service as the only
past-Chair of the Community Council. He
said Ron did a superb job of working through issues and presiding. He was always prepared and knew the right
questions to ask and direction to go.
Bill opened the floor for nominations for Vice-Chair. Ken Zulla nominated Pat Koonts. Jeannette Shaver seconded. Pat was elected by acclamation.
Bill recognized two new members of the Community Council who
won seats in the last election: Jimmy
Pennell and Oscar Dowdle and welcomed them to the Council.
Bill called on Buddy to give the Public Works report.
Buddy deferred to John Miller who had come to the meeting to
express concerns about the Municipal Studies Task Force and the direction in
which Lake Junaluska may be heading. John asked if this was the proper forum for
his presentation. He wanted the Council
to understand that these issues were discussed 20 years ago and he had a great
deal of information to present. Ken
Zulla noted that there is a Task Force meeting scheduled for the following
night, but it may not be open for
public comment. John decided to defer
his presentation to a Task Force meeting.
Buddy reminded the Council that they had approved a policy
of no feeding of waterfowl at Lake
Junaluska at the last
meeting. Buddy described the actions
being taken to prepare for public education and enforcement of that new rule
which include signs, news releases, and pamphlets which will be distributed to
violators. There is an article in the
Mountaineer which is already on line and will be in the paper on
Wednesday. There will be an article in Lake News
Buddy said that he expects controversy and that is why we
are treating this so seriously.
Jimmy Pennell asked if we are prepared to respond to letters
to the editor.
Jack Ewing asked if all Council members could get a copy of
the pamphlet. Aly Groesser went back to
the office to get the pamphlets and distributed them when she returned.
Buddy said that the accounts department has had some
problems this, but he presented a budget update for seven months of this fiscal
year that he believes to be accurate. He
said service charge collections are ahead of last year, $6,300 in actual, but
$26,200 behind in budget. He said
expenditures for sidewalk replacement of approximately $22,000 had put us
behind where we should be. There is approximately $34,500 in service charge
He also reported that a new position had been created for
Bob Gaddis, former administrative assistant, when Bob began to suffer eye
problems that made it difficult for him to use a computer. Bob is now working outside. This is the first new position for Public
Works in ten years.
In addition, the pay for Andrew d’Adesky for his work on the
municipal status study was more than anticipated, but this was money well
Buddy reported that utilities are and $2000 ahead of budget
and $5,200 ahead of actuals. He said that we had some big outlays
at the first of the year which should slow down now. Our debt is about $28,000. Utility revenues are approximately $38,000.
The plan is to continue making payments on the debt. There is approximately $34,500 in service
charge reserves at this time.
If we plan to generate electricity with the dam, the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission must be involved.
As it turns out, FERC officials are familiar with the dam because of
past assignments. Two of those officials
already support the program. They have
reviewed the feasibility study and will have to complete an inspection.
Buddy reported that the presentation by the Town of Waynesville on the option
of annexation was very well received and that the Task Force would meet on
Wednesday night for a public meeting where members would be allowed to make
their own statements and express their opinions.
Buddy asked for questions from members. Pat asked if there were any major plans for
paving this year. Buddy said that all
work would be small projects.
Bill asked about work in progress on the columns at
Shackford Hall. Jack said that the
NOMADS were doing repairs there.
Ken asked if the policy on fishing at night had changed. Gene said that the policy remains the same,
but enforcement levels will fluctuate based on the workload of the officers on
duty and the individual officer’s inclination to enforce that rule. Gene noted that his staff probably has more
difficulty enforcing fishing rules than any other rule because many fishermen
seem to want to argue with the officers.
Jack noted that it is not beneficial for LJA for officers to be very
strict in their enforcement of rules such as these. Bill noted that enforcement efforts are best
when they are educational in nature.
Bill recognized Jack Ewing for comments.
Jack noted that the Municipal Studies Task Force was created
by the Community Council and that the Community Council will receive the report
of the Task Force. He encouraged all
members to participate in discussions of the report when it is presented.
He said that like a college campus such as Emory University,
the property owned by the Southeastern Jurisdiction will remain the same. The difference will be in the governmental
authority. He noted that under
annexation and incorporation, the Conference
Center and SEJ properties
will not be taxable. He pointed out that
approximately 1/6 of total service charge revenue will be lost with the changes
and this cost would have to be shifted to property owners. However, many colleges and universities that
may not be taxed are voluntarily paying to support their local
communities. He supports such an
arrangement with the new governmental authority which may be established.
Jack said that ownership of the Conference and Retreat Center will not be affected by any
changes under consideration.
Jimmy Pennell asked if legal opinions will be sought. Jack said they will.
Ken asked if we turn our common areas over to Waynesville,
would we not become more like a Waynesville
Buddy reminded members that the grant that we received a few
years ago to remove silt from the lake required opening the common area to the
public. He said that there had been
attempts in the past to make Lake Junaluska a closed community, but the gates were
taken out of operation as far back as 1969 so, in effect, the Lake Junaluska
has been open to the public since then.
Jack said that the Board of Directors meets on October 18
and 19. He said that the Community
Council should be prepared to submit its report to the Assembly Public Works
Committee for consideration at that time.
He said that the process followed should be described and the Council
should provide an update to the Board at its next meeting in March.
Ken asked if the Conference and Retreat Center would commit
to providing support before a final decision is reached. Jack said yes.
Buddy said that the conference center will have additional
expenses because the “more intense” services provided now for the Center will
not be available from the Town of Waynesville.
Jack said that the Conference and Retreat Center
will be losing another quarter of a million dollars in operational support from
the SEJ next year. In addition, another
$150,000 has been identified that we will not have available next year. The Conference and Retreat Center
will be facing a significant financial challenge. There has been only one year in the last ten
when the C & R
Center showed a profit.
Jack said that still the C & R Center
needs to be a good citizen and good partners with the community, residents, and
Jimmy Pennell asked if the Board of Directors is
incorporated. Jack said it is. Jimmy pointed out that the Board of Directors
has authority over the property regardless of SEJ wishes. He noted that SEJ could not sell the C & R Center or the common areas or
property. Jack affirmed that was
Ken noted that funding was not actually “cut off”, but was
redirected. Jack confirmed that SEJ
still provides funding for debt reduction and capital repairs and
improvement. Buddy said that the debt
that SEJ approved will be paid off in four years, but not any debt since the
Board of Directors was established.
David Baxter asked about the purchase of Granny’s Chicken Palace.
Jack confirmed that the property had been purchased by the C & R
Center for $380,000: its tax value on
the property only. Mary Ellen Bowen will
continue to operate the restaurant through October. Jack said that the property will be prepared
for expansion to the west if needed and specifically mentioned athletic
Bill then opened the floor for comment.
Charles Johnson thanked the Council for its action in
attempting to control the feeding of geese.
A question was asked about bikes on the walking trail. Gene said that there is no rule against bikes
on the walking trail and certainly it is safer for small children with their
parents to be there rather than in the roadway.
As long as bike riders are courteous and yield to pedestrians, he sees
no problem. He said it is when people do
not use common sense in their operation of bikes on the trail that people
The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p. m.
For additional minutes contact Buddy Young at firstname.lastname@example.org