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Annual fire department meetings are postponed until the county is no longer facing a state of emergency, the Haywood County Board of Commissioners decided during a meeting last week.

The county government’s agreement with its 15 volunteer fire departments requires each district to hold an annual meeting for residents to review budget proposals, said County Manager Bryant Morehead. Fire departments also elect board members during the annual meetings.

Given the county’s declared state of emergency to focus on containing the new coronavirus, Vice Chairman Brandon Rogers questioned whether those fire department meetings, usually held in March and April, should still occur.

After some discussion, the commissioners decided against canceling the annual fire department meetings or combining them into another meeting, but determined the timing should be delayed due to the coronavirus situation.

The board unanimously voted to suspend the rules requiring an annual meeting of county fire departments, then voted to move the meetings until a time when the county’s emergency declaration is lifted.

Lake security

The board approved a contract renewal between Haywood County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake Junaluska Assembly, continuing to provide HCSO presence at the lake, in addition to the assembly’s unarmed security employees.

A sworn deputy sheriff will provide service to the lake from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday to Friday, and 24 hours on Saturdays.

The pay rate for deputies patrolling the lake has increased to $17 an hour, and is reimbursed to the county by the assembly on a monthly basis, said Chief Deputy Jeff Haynes. An additional $6,000 is provided by the assembly for the annual cost of using an HCSO vehicle.

The agreement is good through 2020.

Expenses

The outbound scale at the Haywood County Material Recovery Facility in Clyde will be replaced by Braswell Scale & Equipment of Asheville for $86,550. The scale has been in use for more than 20 years, and was recommended for replacement by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

A replacement roof at the agriculture center on Racoon Road will cost $37,860, contracted to Cervantes Roofing & Repairs of Clyde. The building’s 20-year-old shingled roof is worn to the end of its life expectancy.

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office bought two Fujifilm X Series X-T3 mirrorless cameras for the criminal investigations division, using contributions made to the office.

Appointments

The following were appointed to the Haywood County Watershed Review Board:

  • Tommy Thomas — representative of the Waynesville watershed area
  • Stephen Taylor — representative of the Maggie Valley watershed area
  • Hubert Edward Saleem — representative of the Maggie Valley watershed area

The Watershed Review Board is tasked with upholding the spirit of the county’s watershed ordinances and instituting actions to restrain, correct or abate conditions or violations that may pose a threat to water quality.

The next scheduled meeting of the Haywood County Board of Commissioners is in the historic courthouse at 9 a.m. Monday, April 6.

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