The members of the Blue Ridge City Council, including new members, Angie Arp and Bruce Pack were sworn in to the oaths of office Jan. 14 by City Clerk Bill Sowers.
After being sworn in it was time for the Council to get to work. The meeting was called to order and the Council appointed the following positions: 1. City Clerk: Bill Sowers 2. Chief of Police: Johnny Scearce 3. City Attorney: David Syfan 4. City Judge: Robert Snead.
Restaurant owners looking for support of the Sunday Sales Resolution looked to be disappointed as the Council tabled the issue once more.
Several restaurants owners spoke concerns on tabling the issue. Pat Walker owner of Blue Ridge Brewery asked if council members realized how much income they were losing every month they tabled the Sunday Sales.
John Soave and Steve Oyer also spoke in favor of not waiting but to proceed with getting the wording of the Ordinance ready to go on the upcoming ballot. Walker made the argument of revenue lost, up to $80,000 – $90,000 a year. Oyer stepped up to remind the Council this was just money that the restaurants would bring in. There are other revenue that would go up too such as grocery sales, cabin rentals and retail for examples.
Walker asked the newest council members how they felt about Sunday Sales. Arp said she would like to see final figures on election costs and know how much the referendum would cost the city.
“Basically, I’d like to have all my ducks in a row,”
she said. Pack said,
“I am not going to be for it.”
The Council did take some steps on righting the water issues that have been causing problems throughout the county.
Five new master meters will be purchased to be installed with in the city. With the new meters put in place the City of Blue Ridge will be able to view which sectors have leaks and can cut off these areas to fix problems.
The next item on the agenda was the Mountain Street and East Main Street intersection. The board discussed ways to make it a safer area for pedestrians and drivers alike. After discussion the board agreed to take down the flashing yellow light to see if that would make for less confusion.
Upon reaching the final item on the agenda the room got tense. Jan Eaton was there on asking the board to fix curbs and allow her to have a curb cut on her E. Main. Below there are two videos of the workshop and meeting that show just how heated things got.
Michael Eaton kept the feuding up as he stated to the crowd that this was politically motivated by the mayor.
In the end Kendall, Arp and Pack approved for the county to fix Eaton’s lot. This included fixing curbs on Messer Street, a curb cut on E. Main Street and gravel on the lot.
The new curb cut will be taking up three more parking spots in downtown. With the Mountain Street intersection coming into question this may be taking six spots away from the very busy downtown area.
Watch below to see the meetings in full.
Watch the workshop as thing become heated between the Mayor and the Eatons.