The Old Fort Board of Aldermen met Tuesday night and approved Officer Jessica Woody as their ordinance officer.

“I want to say for the past three years, I have tried every way humanly possible. I have been neighborly and polite about people cleaning up their property,” said Mayor Rick Hensley. “We have the ordinances on our books for people to comply to, but we did not have anything the budget to hire an ordinance officer full time. But, we do have an officer, Jessica Woody, who said she would be more than happy to work extra in her week as an ordinance officer.”

Woody currently works third shift, and on her last day of the week, will stay over an extra fours to enforce and police the town’s many ordinances.

“She will go over the ordinances and get with the property owners to let them know they need to be complying with the ordinances,” said Hensley. “She will give them a time frame and will issue fines. People can go on our website and look up all of our ordinances.”

Several aldermen discussed reviewing the ordinances and fines, and make changes as she goes through the books.

“All we are doing is enforcing the ordinances that we already have on the books,” said Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Carlton.

The board approved unanimously Woody as the ordinance officer. Alderman Melvin Lytle, who is also the Chief of Police for Old Fort, recused himself from the vote.

“I think she’s perfect for the job. It will show the people that she is willing to go above and beyond. I am very impressed with her work. This way we will actually get some things done,” said Hensley.

In other business:

• Hensley commended the Old Fort Lighting Committee on a beautiful Christmas holiday. “They did a fantastic job and the more that we add every year the more comments we get from the public and they have all been good,” he said.

• HensIey also commended Old Fort maintenance with their help with the Christmas lights, and their quick response on clearing the streets after the snow. “It was actually on WLOS how quick Old Fort streets were clean and free for travel. I was really grateful for some good news on WLOS about Old Fort,” he said.

• Accounting firm Lowdermilk and Church were approved unanimously to conduct the town’s audit for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

• Approved a motion to accept bids for landscaping businesses to mow the Old Fort Cemetery during the summer months.

• Hensley told the board that after a meeting with the NC Department of Transportation, a sign will be placed on Interstate 40 under the Mountain Gateway Museum showing travelers that Old Fort is now the official site of the NC Gold Festival. Back in June, Gov. Pat McCrory signed a proclamation making declaring Old Fort as the site for the NC Gold Festival. The signs will be up by April 1.

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