Last updated: April 17. 2014 5:18PM - 829 Views
Wil Petty jpetty@civitasmedia.com

Phil Trew of the High County Council of Governments attended the Lansing Board of Aldermen meeting on Monday, April 14 to discuss plans involving the Lansing Creeper Trail Park.
Phil Trew of the High County Council of Governments attended the Lansing Board of Aldermen meeting on Monday, April 14 to discuss plans involving the Lansing Creeper Trail Park.
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Members of the Lansing Board of Aldermen were visited by a representative from the High Country Council of Governments during its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, April 14.

Phil Trew, the director of planning and development from the organization gave an update on what the High Country Council of Governments does and wanted to discuss the plans the town has underway for the Lansing Creeper Trail Park.

“We’re governed by a board of directors made up of one elected official from each of the 19 towns and seven counties,” he said.

Including Ashe, the High Country COG also covers Alleghany, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey counties. Alderman Brenda Reeves is the representative for the town of Lansing, while Commissioner Judy Porter Poe represents Ashe County.

The organization is funded with grants from the N.C. and Federal governments, as well as dues paid by local governments.

“We help local governments do whatever they want help with,” Trew said.

Trew then spoke of the High Country Council of Governments’ informal correspondence with Ann Rose, the head of Greater Lansing Area Development (GLAD) about the PARTF grant and project surrounding it.

“I wanted it to formalize (this correspondence) in discussion,” he said. “We work with the towns and the counties, and our method of communication is typically with a town or county manager or elected officials. We have groups and individuals like (GLAD) and main street groups and individuals of the town, chambers of commerce that get familiar with our services and contact us directly.”

Trew said he wanted to ensure that the town and GLAD were on the same page over the project, so his organization could be better fit to help.

“We just want to make sure that what these outside individuals and agencies are calling us to work on is in line with what the towns and counties want,” he said.

Trew suggested the Board have somebody be in correspondence as well as a way to keep everybody in tune with their work.

The Board agreed to have all correspondence between Rose and the High Country COG representatives be shared with members of the town government, per Trew’s request.

“Well that’s a good idea, and we did as a board vote for GLAD to handle the administration of this PARTF grant that we did receive, so therefore yes, Ann is right in being your contact,” Lansing mayor George Rembert said. “It is a good idea to have us in the loop as well with the correspondence.”

In addition, Rembert suggested the correspondence include the Town of Lansing’s email address which can be accessed by the mayor and the aldermen of the town.

Trew said his concern was about the organization being caught in the past with conflicting work between small groups and town governments, so it would be an extra step to protect against that.

“Our staff is spread thin so we really want to work on stuff that is for the towns and counties that pay our dues,” he said.

In other action taken by the Lansing Board of Aldermen:

• Began the process to find a new town clerk.

• Were updated by LifeStore Bank representatives about possible loans and accounts.

• Were updated by Tim Parsons of Century 21 about a contract to buy the property beloning to Jeff Thompson for $210,000.

• Discussed the mowing contract for the town of Lansing. The contract will be on an hourly rate and no bid has been accepted yet.

In attendance were: Aldermen Jack Brown, Dylan Lightfoot, Brenda Reeves, Mauvene Shepherd and Michelle Slaton, Lansing financial officer Beth Johnson and Mayor George Rembert. The next meeting of the Lansing Board of Aldermen will take place Monday, May 12.

Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.

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