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The Haywood County Board of Commissioners met Monday, Nov. 16. Here are several of the items discussed.

Wireless telecommunication tower

U.S. Cellular has applied for approval of a 100-foot monopole tower in Silver Bluff area. The elevation is below the 127-foot elevation requiring a pine-tree design, it is not on a protected ridge top and is greater than 1 mile from other telecommunication sites. The tower will provide increased coverage for the area and eliminate gaps.

Several commissioners asked about co-location opportunities with other companies and whether the county could use the site for emergency services if needed. The contractor handling the application said he would look into it.

Several individuals expressed concern about the 5G technology and its alleged carcinogenic properties. The commissioners said Haywood is currently operating with 3G and 4G service.

“I don’t ever see having 5G in Haywood County,” Commission Chairman Kevin Ensley said. “It’s not being considered anytime in the near future.”

Pet adoption fee hike

Due to increased costs for sterilization fees, Animal Services Director Howard Martin requested adoption fee increases to cover the added cost.

The dog adoption fee is unchanged at $85, but adopting cats will increase from $35 to $50.

New fee charges were also requested, including $15 each for heart worm tests, FIV/FVLV combo tests and microchips; $20 for health certificates; $50 for a livestock impound fee; $10 for a bite investigation and $50 for a cat trap deposit.

The commissioners approved the fee changes.

County employee raises

The commissioners approved a resolution to appropriate $350,000 from fund balance to provide a 2% cost of living adjustment and up to a 2% merit raise for county employees, effective Jan. 4, 2021.

Because of budget uncertainties at the end of the fiscal year in June, the commissioners delayed a decision on salary increases at the time.

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