Polk County Appearance Commission – Regular Meeting
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
First Peak of the Blue Ridge Visitors Center
Attending: Joe Cooper – Chairman; Carolyn Ashburn, Burt Baer, Beth Cannon, Eric Gass, Commissioner Renee McDermott, Rolfe Wardner
Not attending: Harry Peterson.
Guests: Ernie Kan
Chairman Joe Cooper called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.
Financial Report: Carolyn reported $526.50 spent year to date; $1,973.50 remains in the budget.
Columbus Tree Project: Joe reported that Brenda Ward has the approval of Town of Columbus to plant trees on the City Hall property. This will be the first step of the Ward Street tree project. Motion by Rolfe, 2nd by Burt, approved unanimously to refund up to $100 of Brenda’s costs.
Beth agreed to assist Brenda as the projects continue.
Ordinances: Rolfe reported that the Town of Tryon will hold a meeting November 16 to allow community comment on Planning and Zoning. An on-line survey about downtown development is also seeking input related to planning and zoning. Rolfe has delivered a copy of the Town of Columbus Zoning Book to Tryon Manager. Rolfe understands from Mark Byington that Tryon has received a grant to plant downtown trees.
Burt reported that he and Joe have each spoken to Cathy Ruth about the Dollar General planned for Green Creek. Dollar General does not expect to meet requirements other than those ordinances on the books. It was suggested when Dollar General has purchased the property that a meeting be held between a Dollar General representative and County Manager Ryan Whitson, Commissioner Renee McDermott and Joe Cooper to encourage Dollar General to go beyond the basic store with no landscaping that would now be permitted in that location.
Adopt-A-Block: Bert reported that the program planning is completed except for a few details. Discussion followed about who might administer the program in each of the towns. The Chamber of Commerce was suggested. The next phase of the project might include encouraging participation of subdivisions that are in the county but outside city limits of Columbus, Tryon and Saluda. Coordination could be administered by the subdivision homeowners’ group. It was noted that DOT will pick up bags of trash in the county if notified.
Political Signs: Removal of political signs should be done by candidates or their parties after today’s election. Parties could be notified if some signs remain after a few days.
Web Site Updates: Carolyn agreed to oversee posting minutes, news up-dates, kudos, etc. on the web page. She will work with Melinda Young, web page administrator.
Appearance Commission Minutes: minutes will be approved with corrections before posting to web-page. October minutes were approved as corrected.
Appearance Matters column in local newspapers: The December article will be to recognize several groups who are working on appearance including Big Sweep and the Kudzilla effort in Saluda.
The committee agreed that a general letter of appreciation be drafted that Chairman Joe Cooper could send to groups deserving recognition. Carolyn will help with the article and letter.
The January article will be about the Beautification Award.
Kudzu: Discussion included asking Lisa Kolack to be a liaison for us to the Kudzu Task Force.
Gateway Tree Planting Project: PCCF awarded a $10,000 grant for the project with certain restrictions related to construction and maintenance and with a PCCF recognition sign on the project site. The Town of Columbus will begin working on this funded part of the project. DOT has agreed to provide trees and mulch up to a $20,000 cost limit.
Abandoned homes and trailers: The Town of Tryon is demolishing abandoned properties on Rippy Road and on Markham Road. Carol Rush continues to be concerned about this issue. Condemned houses can be burned by the fire department as training events, but mobile homes cannot be burned and may not have enough scrap value to cover costs of tearing them down and/or removal. It is not known what action the county could take on this issue. It was agreed to keep this on future agendas for additional discussion.
Vaughn Creek project: The greenway project connecting three Tryon parks is now just $25,000 short of its goal. Most of the funding will be through grants. Sally Walker of the Pacolet Area Conservancy is working to have land donated for easements. Dr. Bill McCall has recently donated a small tract adjacent to Woodland Park. Donated lands may equal the $25,000 set aside to purchase easements.
Tryon House is expected to close on the purchase of the old Tryon Federal Bank Building with the intent of developing the property into a street level department store, restaurant and ice cream shop and the upper level into condominiums.
There will be no December meeting. The next meeting is January 4th.
Meeting was adjourned at 7:05 p.m.