Promoting Beauty in Polk County          

Polk County Appearance Commission

MINUTES (Corrected and approved November 2, 2010)

Polk County Appearance Commission – Regular Meeting 
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
First Peak of the Blue Ridge Visitor Center

Attending: Joe Cooper – Chairman; Carolyn Ashburn, Burt Baer, Beth Cannon, Eric Gass, Harry Peterson.
Not attending: Reneé McDermott, Rolfe Wardner
Guests: Glenn Franklin, Ernie Kan, Brenda Ward

Chairman Joe Cooper called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.

Representatives to Town Councils: Harry Peterson – Tryon, Carolyn – Saluda. None named for Columbus.

Financial Report: Carolyn reported $526.50 spent year to date; $1,973.50 remains in the budget.

Columbus Tree Project: Brenda Ward reported 
The first step has been to select a tree variety that is drought tolerant, disease resistant, grows to a height acceptable for the general locations taking into consideration sidewalks, overhead limitations and not blocking signage (a concern of the property owner’s Brenda consulted.). The tree to property owners will be heptacodium. This variety is does need shaping but the Master Gardeners can take care of this. 
A movable planter is being considered to screen the AC units on the NE side of the Womack building.

Saluda Gateways at I-26 East and West onto Ozone Drive: Carolyn Ashburn reported that NC DOT can provide trees that meet their guidelines with a budget of $15,000. A Safe Route To Schools committee representative was also at the meeting and DOT may be able to help with trees along the Ozone Drive route into the city.

The Gateway Project: Joe Cooper reported that he and Jonathan Kanipe, Columbus city manager, met with the PCCF grant committee for the interview stage of the grant application process. This is the last step for applicants before the grants are awarded. It is hoped that notification of grand awards will come soon.

Historical Designation Ordinances: Glenn Franklin reported that ordinances will not be presented to the county commissioners until other information is gathered. Specifically an inventory of all county historical buildings is needed. Glenn hopes to work with Anna Pack Conner to accomplish this inventory.

Ordinances: It was reported that another Dollar General is being planned for the Highway 9 and Highway 14 intersection of the county. Currently there are no ordinances in place that would speak to landscaping and appropriate façade/size which have been the issues related to the Dollar General recently built in the Town of Tryon. There was discussion of what steps to take and how to encourage the both the county and the towns to adopt such ordinances.

Public Comment Questionnaire: The group agreed that there is no need for a questionnaire since a complete survey was done by the county as part of the visioning process.

Tree Sale: A motion was made by Eric Gass, seconded by Bert Baer, and unanimously approved to spend $100 to buy trees from NC DOT that would be resold to encourage tree planting on private property along roadways. Several venues were suggested for selling the trees. Master Gardeners would be available for information. Eric Gass will work up PR. Brenda Ward can see about obtaining trees which will probably be very small. Results will be distributed to committee via email. October-November-December are considered the best time of the year for such plantings.

Adopt-A-Road: This sate program that the commission has been supporting applies only to state roadways and not to local streets and roadways. Motion was made by Bert Baer to set up an unstructured “Adopt-A-Block” program that participants would commit for 1 year to keep litter free. Eric Gass seconded the motion and which carried unanimously. Discussion resulted in agreement that no reporting would be required in order to keep the program administration simple. The web page be used to recognize participants. The Chamber of Commerce will be contacted to see if they will support such a local effort.

Kudzu: There was general discussion of the kudzu problem. Additional newspaper articles such as those in the Tryon DailyBulletin about the efforts in Saluda could be used to educate and inform individual property owners who have kudzu problems of their options. The group needs more information about who is currently helping with eradication throughout the county area and if is this a coordinated effort. The limited resources of the Appearance Commission, both in manpower and funding, was noted as a constraint on addressing an issue of this magnitude.

Newspaper Articles: Joe asked for commission members to consider rotating responsibility for newspaper articles to keep the public informed on projects and topics of interest related to county appearance concerns.

The next meeting is November 2nd at 5:30 p.m. at the Visitors Center at Hwy 108 and Walker Street. Visitors are always welcomed.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:55 p.m.