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Pending contracts await commission approval.

As soon as Macon County officials get word from the Local Government Commission in the next week or so, they can begin fast tracking work on the county’s new recreational complex. Although awaiting final approval from the LGC is slowing things down a bit, commissioners have moved forward with grading work needed for Phase 1 of the project.

After Macon County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the Parker Meadows site work construction bid to Penland Contracting Company, Inc. last month, Lewis Penland and his team quickly got to work grading and preparing the property for construction.

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The Macon County Airport Authority held its monthly meeting on Tuesday afternoon. While some of the members were absent as a result of other obligations, one seat was left vacant by the late Harold Corbin.

“Harold was a long time member of the airport authority,” said Chairman Milles Gregory. “We'll certainly miss him. He was a very passionate supporter of the airport and was always willing to do whatever he could to help us do what needed to be done down here.”

The board will need to fill the void left by Corbin's passing and intends to submit a recommendation to the board of commissioners at next month's commissioner meeting.

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Article prompts inquiries from across the country.

Sylva garnered national attention recently when Where to Retire, a magazine focused on helping people decide where to relocate during their retirement, named the small Jackson County town as one of the top retirement destination in the country.

Julie Spiro, director of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, said that since the magazine’s publication, the chamber has received calls from people all over the country wanting more information about Sylva.

To date, the chamber has received almost a hundred calls in response to the magazine article. “All 91 calls are requesting information on Sylva and relocating to Jackson County,” said Spiro. “We have had inquiries from more than 14 different states including California, Florida, Virginia, New Mexico and from as far away as Ontario, Canada.”

For everyone who called the chamber in response to the article, Spiro and her team mailed out relocation packages with information about the town and surrounding area. “The package contains: the Chamber's relocation and community magazine, Our Town,” said Spiro. “This is a comprehensive 40-page magazine about the entire county, with insets about each township including Sylva.”

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Back in March, board members from REACH announced plans for a capital campaign that would raise enough money to build a new shelter in the county. The shelter will hopefully be fully constructed by the end of 2015.

REACH is a domestic violence and rape crisis center with the mission of eradicating domestic violence and sexual assault crimes in Macon and Jackson counties through prevention, intervention, and educational services. The organization is also a nonprofit organization, thus operating with the use of grants and donations.

With a total price tag of $1.2 million, the board was able to secure a state grant that would fill the void of $900,000 – leaving $300,000 to be raised.

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On Saturday, June 28, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Southwestern Community College’s Public Safety Training Center in conjunction with local fire departments will be conducting a training exercise at 69 Carl Ammons Road. This exercise will allow local fire departments an opportunity to train in realistic firefighting scenarios. This exercise will culminate in the demolition of a structure by fire.

During this training, evolution flames and smoke will be visible and at times prevalent in the area of Carl Ammons Road in the area of Fulcher Road and McCoy Road. Fire apparatus and other emergency service vehicles will be utilizing these roads as part of the training drill so minor traffic delays are possible.

Employee compensation pay plan put on hold indefinitely

Monday night, in a unanimous vote, the Macon County Board of Commissioners voted to adopt the $45,721,122 budget for fiscal year 2014-15. When the budget was originally brought before the board by county manager Derek Roland, the proposed budget was $1.6 million less than the current year’s budget. After hearing advice from the board and other stakeholders in the planning process, Roland amended the budget to reflect an additional $200,000, which puts the final budget around $1.4 million less than what the county is operating under during this fiscal year.

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George has worked for board of elections since 2003.

Macon County Board of Elections has announced the appointment of Debbie George as the new Director of Elections for Macon County.

George has been employed by the Board of Elections since 2003 and appointed Deputy Director in 2005. She received her N.C. Elections Administrator Certification in 2009 with renewal of certification in 2011 and 2013.

"I appreciate the confidence from the Board of Elections," said George. "I'm looking forward to serving the voters of Macon County."

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At last week's League of Women Voter's meeting, three former Macon County Commissioners volunteered their time for a Q & A forum. Allan Ricky Bryson, Janet Greene, and Mark West all turned out to reminisce about serving the county in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Noticeably absent from the line up was former commissioner Harold Corbin who, at the time of the forum was experiencing health issues, passing away Wednesday (June 18) morning. His son and present chairman of the county commissioners, Kevin Corbin attended the meeting to represent him.

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Original proposal amended with $200,000 increase

Macon County Manager Derek Roland presented the board of commissioners with changes to the 2014-15 fiscal year budget during Tuesday night’s monthly meeting.

Roland proposed increasing the overall budget from $45.5 million to $45.7 million, a $200,000 increase. The May 31 budget work session afforded commissioners the opportunity to listen to stakeholders requesting additional taxpayer funds. With requests coming from different organizations, Roland weighed the options and proposed taking $200,000 from the county’s fund balance to provide additional funds for the budget. The budget proposed is a balanced, revenue neutral budget that was constructed without the need of a county-wide tax increase.

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Filing opened on Monday for two boards in Macon County. The Macon County Board of Education and the Soil and Water Conservation Board both have two seats up for grabs.

Seats held by school board members Tommy Cabe (District 2) and Gary Shields (District 4) will both be on the November ballot. When filing opened Monday at noon, Cabe was first in line to file to reclaim his seat on the board. Shields will not be seeking reelection to the school board as he is running for Macon County commissioner this November.

Former Franklin High School teacher and coach Fred Goldsmith filed on Monday in hopes of winning the open District 4 seat. Carroll Poindexter filed on Wednesday to run in District 4.

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published: 10/18/2013
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