Landis board meets, sets goals for year

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 29, 2015

By Jeanie Groh

Landis’ Board of Aldermen met Saturday to discuss the town’s goals and budget for the upcoming year.

Town Manager Reed Linn said the town’s tax base has increased slightly since last year, which means it should bring in an additional $5,000 in taxes.

Although that’s a relatively insignificant amount, he said the important thing was, “we didn’t lose anything.”

Landis also received good news from ElectriCities, the cohort of North Carolina towns that provide private power for their citizens.

Vice President Matt Schull said the group is restructuring its debt to lower power costs for the towns between 2015 and 2018. The Local Government Commission still has to approve the restructuring, but Schull said they’re confident it will be approved.

During those three years, ElectriCities encourages its towns to take the opportunity to evaluate their rates and ensure they’re fair across the board, as well as build capital in their electric funds and fund infrastructure and improvement projects.

The aldermen were in favor of keeping rates steady over the next few years, allowing the town’s electric fund to grow, while becoming more competitive with Duke Energy as its rates continue to rise.

The board discussed a timeline for improvements to the Corriher Wilderness Area, which are being funded through a grant from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.

The park will receive upgrades including a disk golf course, a floating boardwalk, piers, a cabin and a bathhouse.

The project should take roughly one year to complete and is expected to open in the spring of 2016.

The first six months will focus on planning; then it will take roughly a month to a month and a half to bid all the individual projects. Construction will take another six months.

Landis employees brought department needs before the board as well.

The police department requested two new cars and a new station when finances permit. Parks and Recreation discussed the possibility of rebuilding the pool in the next few years to make it larger and to solve leakage problems. Sewer and water requested another jet machine to clean out pipes.

Mayor James Furr mentioned considering a snowplow to attach to an existing truck to clear the town’s streets during inclement weather.

The board also discussed adding a second elevated water tank to add water pressure to the town’s water system, adding fire protection to the town as well.

Alderman Tony Hilton suggested that the town’s goals include adding sidewalks to North Main Street and Kimball Road.

He also mentioned having the roads patched and demolishing a well near Landis’ park.