COMMISSIONERS SETTLED ON THE NEW 56.5 CENT TAX RATE MONDAY NIGHT
After long hours of discussion, debate and decision making---HendersonCounty commissioners Monday night, in a split 3 to 2 vote, settled on a five cent tax increase for county property owners and taxpayers in the new fiscal year starting July1. The new tax rate of 56.5 cents per $100 valuation will fund a $130, 287,224 dollar budget in the new fiscal year.
More county services, three per cent pay raises for county employees totaling a million dollars, planning for a new law enforcement training center, and debt service on major buildings like a new HendersonvilleHigh School, new EMS headquarters, an Early College or "career" academy, and the new health science facility for Wingate University, Blue Ridge Community College, and Pardee Hospital appeared to be driving the need for the ten per cent increase in county property taxes which will generate about six and a half million dollars in additional revenue for the county.
Even though commissioners have turned down, for now, a request from the sheriff for an outdoor firing facility because of public opposition to it, some $1.2 million dollars a year was approved by commissioners to cover what staff estimates the cost would be for a new county law enforcement training center…and the county manager says he’s heard possible costs as high as $15 million.
Apparently, the $130 million budget and the tax increae of over a nickel will not be subject to a public hearing…one was held on the proposed budget back in May prior to any approval of a tax increase.
In addition, commissioners have gone on record supporting the quarter cent sales tax increase that will be on voter’s ballots in November.
One report says the commissioners are attributing the higher taxes and spending to the cost of growth in the county.
Property taxes in Hendersonville, Flat Rock and Laurel Park will remain where they are in the new fiscal year, while the county’s and the Town of Mills River’s will be going up.
THE CHURCH WILL BE INVESTING $1.4 MILLION IN 141 SPACE PARKING LOT
It’s apparently a “done deal”…the Hendersonville Post Office WILL be re-located late in 2017 to the larger postal sorting facility near Sam’s Club at Highland Square and Highway 64 East. And the current post office property WILL become a parking lot for the First Baptist Church.
First Baptist members apparently made it official in a business meeting that the church will buy the current post office property, the building and the 1.52 acre lot, and close the deal this July for just over one million dollars. The postal service does not own the property…they lease it from private owners.
The $1,003,000 purchase will enable the church to apparently level the existing post office building and construct a 141 space parking lot on the property. From the time of the purchase this July until the post office moves out in October of 2017, the postal service will be leasing the property from the church.
When all is said and done, the church will have invested $1.4 million in the project.
And this should put to rest speculation that the post office property might be purchased by the City of Hendersonville to build a parking deck, or perhaps for a new convention-type hotel.
What the postal service plans to do beyond October 1 2017 is not clear…if they will operate a post office out of that sorting facility near Sam’s Club or if they, as reported earlier, will eventually re-locate the Hendersonville post office to another nearby town.
AT THE INTERSECTION OF SUGARLOAF ROAD, 64 EAST, AND I-26...WHAT WAS ONCE A HOLIDAY INN...THEN A QUALITY INN...AND UP UNTIL LATELY HAS BEEN A DELAPIDATED RUN DOWN JUNK PILE...IS BECOMNG THE CASCADES MOUNTAIN RESORT
This WLOS TV photo tells the story...a lot has been accomplished so far and a lotr more is still to come. The grand opening of the new resort has been pushed back. The owners of Cascades Mountain Resort have told reporters that they are now slated to open on August 15.
The old Quality Inn off Interstate 26 has been under renovations since April and was expected to open this month. But the owners say they're waiting on the water slide...which will be a main attraction at the resort.
The owners also say they expect to hire more workers.
"We're going to be doing a lot of hiring coming up, as well," co-owner Daniel Day said. "In July, about mid-July, we'll be looking to hire somewhere between 80 to 100 people to be a part of the new project."
Day says they're going to keep everyone updated on the project through their Facebook page, which will include job postings for positions at the resort.
MORE NEW, LARGER, MODERN CHOICES FOR GROCERY SHOPPERS
Most new Ingles Supermarkets being built in the area now are being constructed like the "model" of the large Ingles store on Highway 280 in Mills River...and it's believed the new one to be built on the Spartanburg Highway in Hendersonville will be of that new, larger design. Construction on that new Ingles came another step closer this week as the former Pizza Hut on Spartanburg Highway was demolished.
The former Pizza Hut property was purchased a while back by Ingles and will become part of the site for that new Ingles store. The older Ingles store closed for good a few Saturdays ago and site work is expected to start soon in preparation for that large new supermarket. Ingles recently opened a news supermarket in Enka on Hominy Creek that's similar to the Mills River store, and it's rumored that one will be constructed where an older Ingles was recently demonlished on Brevard Road across from Asheville Outlets.
The south end of Hendersonville will have a lot to offer grocery shoppers with construction of that new Ingles.
Publix is expected to start work soon on their store to be built where Atha Plaza has been fpr several generations on the Greenville Highway. That new Publix is expected to open in the spring of next year.
And there is already a modern, large Harris-Teeter supermarket in the same area, on the north side th Spartanburg Highway.
Hendersonville City Council will hold the required public hearing…and adopt the city’s budget, capital improvement plan, and fee schedule for the new fiscal year starting July 1…at Council’s June meeting which will be this Thursday night at 5:45 in Council’s Chambers in City Hall.
City Council will also likely waive the water system development fee charged for the new HealthSciencesCenter now under construction on Pardee Hospital’s campus on Sixth Avenue West.
Also on the agenda for City Council Thursday night will be a request from Hendersonville Police Chief Herbert Blake for a new radio system for the police department.
Interfaith Assistance Ministry is building a new facility near the Blue Ridge Mall and wants to re-zone their present location at 210 Ehringhause Street from medium density to high density residential. Council will consider that request Thursday night.
And City Council will also be hearing a presentation by Tom Orr of the Walk of Fame Steering Committee.
City Council will meet and accept public comment at 5:45 Thursday night.
In recognition of National Safety Month, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office would like to educate and remind gun owners of the responsibility that comes with gun ownership.
“Owning a firearm is a big responsibility,” said Sheriff Charles McDonald. “Many people, and rightly so, choose to take advantage of their 2nd amendment right to protect themselves, their families and their property by owning a gun. But every precaution should be taken to ensure their firearm doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.”
Beginning June 1st and throughout the month of June, the public can stop by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office lobby to pick up gun safety educational materials, a free gun lock provided by Project ChildSafe, and the chance to win an American Security Pistol Box donated by American Eagle Locksmith.
In addition to proper gun storage, Sheriff McDonald encourages parents to talk with their children about gun safety. “Children should be taught what to do if they come in contact with a gun, whether there are guns kept in the house or not,” said Sheriff McDonald. Federal statistics estimate that approximately 40% of all U.S. households contain guns. Children can come in contact with a gun at a neighbor’s house or under other circumstances that parents aren’t able to control. “The responsibility to secure the firearm lies on the gun owner, but ultimately, we all need to take responsibility to educate children on what they should do if they encounter a gun.”
Parents should talk to their children about gun safety on a regular basis. Resources to assist parents can be found at https://eddieeagle.nra.org/ and http://www.projectchildsafe.
Citizens can come to the front desk in the Sheriff’s Office lobby to receive their free Project ChildSafe cable-style gun lock while supplies last. The Sheriff’s Office is located at 100 North Grove Street in Hendersonville and is open to the public -Friday from . American Eagle Locksmith, located in Fletcher, NC, donated an American Security (Model PB3) pistol box with the intention of raising awareness with regards to gun safety. There is no fee to enter the drawing and entries will be accepted during the month of June. Contestants must be eighteen years or older to enter.
Agudas Israel Congregation is presenting its second MOUNTAIN JEWISH FESTIVAL on Sunday, August 21 from 11am to 4pm at the synagogue (505 Glasgow Lane, Hendersonville).
This year’s festival will include MORE FOOD, MORE TRANSPORTATION AND MORE PARKING for your convenience. Increased parking will be available in the area, with frequent shuttle buses to the Festival. Handicapped parking will be in the synagogue parking lot.
This Festival will feature tidbits of Jewish food and traditions. Homemade traditional Jewish food will be served and sold including: Chicken Soup with Matzah Balls, Chopped Liver, Kugels (noodle pudding), Potato Latkes (pancakes), and Homemade Baked Goods: Mandelbread, Rugalach, Hamentashen, and braided Challahs. In addition, Pastrami, Corned Beef, Knishes, Bagels with Lox Cream Cheese, Babka (sweet yeast cake), and more, will be available for lunch and for large size purchases.
Don’t miss the opportunity to come, see and learn how we celebrate our Jewish holidays and how we observe Shabbat. Meet and greet our Rabbi Rachael Jackson as she conducts
Life Cycle events in the sanctuary. Satisfy your curiosity about the Jewish customs of a Jewish Wedding (11:30am & 2:30pm), Bar and Bat Mitzvah (12:30pm & 3:30pm), and Baby Naming/Circumcision (1:30pm). Live Music under the tent…featuring song leader, Penny White.
FREE ADMISSION; Food tickets will be sold at the door. In addition, our Judaica Boutique will be open and stocked with beautiful new items.
Cash, check, and credit cards will be accepted. For questions or more information, call the synagogue office at 828.693.9838, or visit our website: www.agudasisraelsynagogue.org