From Clay County
BY BRIAN JONES
At their August 13 meeting, the West Point Board of Selectmen discussed grants for infrastructure development at the Yokohama site, held two zoning-related public hearings and announced that the school district’s levy will go up.
Phyllis Benson of the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District several grants related to the Yokohama project.
“You have already submitted a $1 million grant application to the Appalachian Regional Commission for an elevated tank at the Yokohama project,” Benson said. “That project has been reviewed and approved from their FY13 budget. They are a commission, and they have to give their money to a federal agency to distribute. They have given the money over to TVA, and TVA has now sent you a contract to administer this grant.
“(ARC) has verbally invited you to submit a grant for $460,000 for water and sewer improvements,” Benson said. “That has to come out of 2014 funding, and that fiscal year begins October 1.”
A $3.4 million CAP loan has also been approved by the state, she said.
“That money will couple with the second ARC funding for water and sewer,” she said.
The board unanimously voted to move forward on the three funding sources.
The board held two public hearings pertaining to zoning. The first was a request to rezone a parcel of land adjacent to the hospital. The parcel, technically part of Lakeside subdivision, is currently zoned residential, but had been used since 1984 as a car lot. The current owner wants it rezoned M-1 for use as a pharmacy.
The West Point Planning Commission recommended approval.
The selectmen unanimously approved the rezoning with little discussion.
The second hearing was about adding a major conditional use for recreational vehicle parks to zone A-O. Zone A-O, which is agricultural open, surrounds the core of the city.
Several citizens spoke, mostly in opposition.
“There was discussion about whether than bringing them into the city limits that there was acreage out near the (Yokohama) site that could be purchased and set up for the RVs,” said citizen Janice Dayton. “That way we don’t have to deal with it inside the city limits. We have to understand that we’re bringing in some problems along with the good part of all of this. I’m concerned about opening up the city limits for RV parks.”
“I think we should not allow that to take place,” said citizen Carolyn Poston. “Once you set a precedent, then you can’t stipulate what goes in.”
“A lot of people think as long as it’s away from them, it’s not important,” said Ward 3 Selectman Jimmy Clark. “But if it’s in your yard, it is important. Personally I see a lot of things that need to be talked about before we allow this. I’m not against it in the proper place. I think it could be an asset. The thing that bothers me is that we don’t have a clear picture of what is taking place.”
“One concern I have is that there is a lot of A-O,” said Ward 4 Supervisor Keith McBrayer. “I think there’s too much unknown at this point.”
The board unanimously denied the major conditional use.
Mayor Robbie Robinson announced that taxes will likely go up this year due to the West Point School District’s tax request.
“We received the resolution from the board of trustees requesting funds,” Robinson said, “and their request is $299,026 more than last year. They are requesting $5.8 million for district maintenance and $327,000 for their bond fund. I think it’s a little premature to accept this, because the county has not certified the land roll. More than likely, based upon our tax base, the millage will go up. Not drastically, but there will probably be a slight increase.”