The South Hill Town Council was called to order by Mayor Dean Marion on Tuesday, November 12 for their regular monthly meeting, with all 8 members present and accounted for. After roll call and the approval of the October regular meeting minutes, the council heard from Code Compliance Official, David Hash. Mr. Hash opened a Public Hearing , during which no spoke, regarding the request to rezone 3 Peebles Street from General Commercial District to General Industrial District, allowing the property to be used for manufacturing purposes. The council voted unanimously to approve the rezoning request.
South Hill Police Chief, Stuart Bowen, informed the council of the 315 activity incidents, 28 reportable criminal offenses, 849 calls for service, and $1,602 worth of property recovered throughout the month of October, when he presented the police report. A representative from the Southside Rescue Squad was present to discuss practical retesting and to apologize for not sending anyone to attend the October meeting. Gavin Gwaltney answered several questions from the council and stated that several localities had been contacted to help offset some of the costs of retesting. There was no call for action from the council on this matter.
Kim Callis, Town Manager, presented the financial report, during which he thanked the ladies in the front office for their hard work getting tax bills mailed out. The financial report was approved unanimously by the council. Business Development Manager, Brent Morris, gave the business development report to the council, including the continuing work on the upcoming Hometown Christmas celebrations. $30,000 has been confirmed in sponsorship for this event.
Floyd Edmonds was the first citizen to address the town council requesting the use of the South Hill Exchange for a band festival fundraiser on behalf of the Mecklenburg County Cancer Association. Bands already confirmed for the event include JB and the Get Down Browns , the Feature Attraction Band, and Konnection. The council voted to grant Mr. Edmonds the request. Shep Moss expressed his concerns to council members about an incident that occurred at the October meeting where allegedly members of the public were not given enough time to get back in the chambers after a closed meeting before a public matter was voted on. Mr. Moss then stated that the citizens would appreciate the professional courtesy of letting them know that the meeting is reopened to the public. Chamber Treasurer, Leilani Todd and Chamber President Elect, Lynne Clary presented a Spooktober Recap and discussed the plans for the upcoming Hometown Christmas events, which will take place at the Market Square area this year since the depot is under renovation.
Town Manager, Kim Callis, discussed the ongoing public works projects starting with the work being done on the downtown parking improvement project along West Danville Street and South Mecklenburg Avenue. This project will provide 18 parking spaces to the area. The work should be completed before the Thanksgiving holiday traffic. Mr. Callis then told the council that there were numerous breaks along the Highway 47 water line and that it had become an emergency situation with cold and freezing weather starts to roll in. The town is facing an unexpected situation with the highway 138 project. Telephone and Internet service providers installed new communication lines in the planned construction area after the project survey was completed. The town is working with CenturyLink and Mid- Atlantic Broadband Cooperative to identify steps to avoid any further delays. It is unlikely that the project will be completed before Thanksgiving, but the goal is to have it completed before Christmas holiday traffic.
Councilman Taylor informed the council that several people have shared their complaints and concerns with him about the lack of ACC Network with Comcast and Xfinity. He asked that Kim Callis please send a letter to them regarding this concern, Callis informed Councilman Taylor that after speaking to others he had already reached out and received a response from Comcast, which stated that they had not reached an agreement with ESPN to carry the ACC network. Customers can still watch games on broadcast and cable channels such as ESPN, FOX, and CBS.
The council then heard from Richard Hawkins regarding his Freedom of Information Act request. Mayor Marion commented to Mr. Hawkins that Town Clerk, Anna Cratch, had left him several voicemails explaining that anyone was welcome to attend the meetings but FOIA requests should be submitted in writing. Mr. Hawkins stated for the record that he is concerned about the information that was provided to him and will take appropriate measures to seek additional materials. The meeting was adjourned at 8:27 p.m. The next South Hill Town Council meeting will take place on Monday, December 9 at Town Hall.