BANNER ELK – Banner Elk City Council met on June 14th at Banner Elk City Hall to discuss the proposed new city ordinances, code book and sanitation. In attendance were Mayor Brenda Lyerly, Mayor Pro-tem David Lecka, Town Manager Rick Owen and Council Members Mike Dunn, Charlie B. VonCanon and Robert Tufts, as well as Area Administrator Cheryl Buchanan and City Attorney Stacy Eggers IV.
Buchanan introduced five changes to the city ordinance that the city council would like to call for a public hearing. The five ordinances comprised § 400 (parking and loading regulations), § 708 (installation and shielding of garbage containers and outdoor storage), § 308 (on permeable surfaces), § 311 (procedure for checking plans and applications) and § 316 (mobile food trucks ).
The Council plans to hold a public hearing on the adoption of the new code book next month, with a date to be announced. Town of Banner Elk’s new code book will be available in digital format on a new online platform next month after approval, Town Manager Owen said the code book will be more accessible to Banner Elk residents.
Owen also noted that the city budget needs to be approved by the end of the month, explaining that there are still some updates to be included, such as the increased budget the city will receive from the High Country ABC Store. Banner Elk shares an ABC store with Sugar Mountain and Seven Devils, which grew sales last year and will provide $ 160,000 to each of the three counties in the upcoming 2021-22 fiscal year, an increase over the $ 120,000 Dollars last year, says Owen.
In his city manager update, Owen noted his discussion with the city’s IT department, Banner Elk, regarding the city hall’s computer server. The server “is far out of its predicted lifespan” and needs to be updated, Owen reported. This is expected to cost around $ 10,000.
In addition, Owen stated that the book fair at the Historic Banner Elk School will reopen on June 15, and that this event will be an opening of the space to the public.
Finally, in Owens City Managers Update, he said that Banner Elk’s only garbage disposal service provider, Republic Services, will increase its prices by 3.19% in the coming fiscal year, starting July 1. While residents are not required to use Republic Services, Owen noted that residents can bring their own trash to a garbage collection point on Sugar Mountain, and a number of residents also have trash picked up and rely on Republic services.
Republic Services has a clause in their contract that allows the company to increase the consumer price index every year, according to Owen. The council agreed that there were few complaints from residents about the Republican services, apart from a few complaints about the morning noise from the garbage collection.
Councilor Robert Tufts stated that the Town of Banner Elk’s recent Art on the Greene over Memorial Day weekend was a success. The city maintained 50% capacity for the vendors, a lot Tufts believed it worked well and had ample space. Going forward, the council plans to maintain the same number of vendors for the remaining Art on the Greene events of the season as well as for Banner Elk’s July 4th celebrations.
Marisa Mecke is a Report For America corps member for Mountain Times Publications. Report for America is a not-for-profit national utility that places journalists on local newsrooms to cover undercover issues.