Folkmoot gets town funds after all

By Mary Ann Enloe | Jul 25, 2014

Folkmoot will get $10,000 from the town of Waynesville that it was denied during the budgeting process.

The unexpected gift, not on the agenda,  was enthusiastically agreed to by the governing board just before adjournment of  Tuesday night's regularly scheduled meeting.

"Before we adjourn, I have an apology to make," Mayor Gavin Brown said.  "I must have been off on a tangent or something when I said we shouldn't give Folkmoot its annual $10,000 to help with operating expenses.  I've changed my mind.  It's still in the non-profit contingency fund.  We didn't take it out. And I think we ought to give it to them. Is everybody OK with that?" he asked.

Aldermen Wells Greeley, Gary Caldwell, Julia Freeman and Leroy Roberson quickly agreed.

Brown explained his change of heart.  "I attended the gala last night, and I saw Trinidad's performance again today.  The town needs to be part of supporting this excellent program. It helps support our economy and we need to help support it," he said.

When the town adopted its F.Y. 2014-2015 budget, it granted Folkmoot's request for $5,000 in planning monies to assist in the international festival's efforts to convert its historic Hazelwood School headquarters into a year-round community venue.  The town balked at giving $25,000 toward the capital project, saying they want to see more planning and progress before making that commitment.  The town cut out completely its traditional annual $10,000 stipend which helps Folkmoot with operating expenses.

"Nobody has approached me about this," Brown said.  "I just came to my senses last night at the performance.  Again, I apologize.   Did I do wrong when I cut that money out, Gary?" Brown asked Alderman Caldwell who oversees non-profit funding requests.

Caldwell hesitated a few seconds and then answered with a chuckle, "Yes, Mayor, you did."
"Well, poke me in the ribs the next time I do something like that," Brown replied good-naturedly.
"No, we don't do that to the mayor," said Caldwell.

Summer brings requests for street closings and several are planned for July and August.  The Gibbs family, which has been holding reunions for about 35 years, now plans block parties.  Phillip Gibbs, spokesman for the family, asked that Belleview Road from Hillside Road to East Street be closed on Friday, July 25 from 7:00 p.m. until midnight.  The governing board voted to approve the request.

Commerce Street from Depot Street to Giles Chemical will be closed Saturday, August 2, from2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for the Frog Hop Street Festival and the dedication of the public art sculpture "Chasing Tadpoles.

Movie-making isn't coming to Main Street, but cameras will be rolling one street over on August 11. Wall Street from East Street to Howell Street will be closed, as well as Maxima Lane and Welch Street and the Wall Street public parking lots.  Approximately 30 utility, equipment and actors' trailers are expected to be parked there.

Armored Car Productions, LLC officials have talked with Town Manager Marcy Onieal.  "They will allow access of residents to their property, and of course emergency vehicles will always be allowed through," she said.  "We haven't had any issues on Plott Creek.  They've been using off-duty police officers to handle traffic."  The board approved the request.  The production company has been filming near the new Hazelwood Elementary School for several days.

The Canton Lions Club and Waynesville Police Association are partnering September 13 for a Mud Run to begin and end at the Recreation Park and asked that part of Vance Street be closed.
"My grandson participates in mud runs in the military," said Brown, who then asked Ryan Jacobsen of the Canton Lions Club to explain for the record what mud runs are.

"They're obstacle courses in mud," said Jacobsen.  "It will end with a downhill slip-and-slide." The 3-mile Building Bridges Mud Run was named for Jim Bridges, an active member of the Canton Lions Club who is battling cancer, and because a bridge is being built near the mud run course, said Jacobsen.

A mud run tradition is to have beer at the end of the event.  Town ordinances prohibit alcohol on the premises of the Rec Park.  Beer can be served in the closed portion of Vance Street.  Jacobsen said he hopes to have the participation of local breweries. The board approved the event and the closure of Vance Street.

In other business, the governing board, as permitted by state statute, voted to award service shields and side arms to Lieutenant Tim Brooks and Sergeant Sylvia Palmer of the police department upon their August 1 retirement.
Onieal made several brief reports, none requiring board action.  Propane now propels seven of the new fleet of Dodge Chargers, the first such Dodge Charger conversions in North Carolina and maybe in the nation, Onieal said.  Eventually the entire fleet of 2014 Chargers will be fueled with propane, and Blossman Propane will convert two 2013 cruisers at no charge.  "We paid $1.70 a gallon for propane the other day," she said.  "This should result in a substantial savings to the town."

Onieal circulated a new organizational chart for the recently announced Public Services Departmentreorganization under new director David Foster, which names three division heads.  New water superintendent is Jeff Stines, Daryl Hannah heads up streets and sanitation, and Robert Hyatt assumes the responsibility of asset services manager which is another name for maintenance and facilities manager.