Board of Alderman: Old Fort officials discuss summer carnival, mobile home ordinance

The Old Fort Summer Carnival and an amendment to the town’s mobile home ordinance were discussed in Monday’s Board of Aldermen meeting

This year’s summer carnival in Old Fort and an amendment to the town’s mobile home ordinance were among the topics at this month’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

Old Fort’s summer carnival will take place Aug. 6-10.

According to Alderman Andrew Carlton, contracts were in place from B&K Carnival Company for the event, which specifies that the town would receive 10 % off ticket sales.

“Last year, we didn’t take a percentage because we wanted to bring them in here and get them established,” said Carlton, adding the current percentage could grow annually. “As the carnival grows, we have the potential to make more, because they said the percentages could go up each year. Last year, they were here and grossed $46,000. Ten percent of that would’ve been $4,600, which is something our budget could’ve used.”

According to Carlton, the contract between the town and B&K clarifies that the town would be responsible for a suitable location, permits, water, security and utilities for trailers. B&K would be responsible for rides, concessions, liability coverage, agreement to leave the grounds as found, electricity for the rides, personnel in uniform with state and local permits and would hold exclusive rights to cotton candy, candy apples, popcorn, snow cones and funnel cakes, which would allow outside vendors to contribute.

Prior to approving the contract, an issue was raised regarding who would be responsible for supplying and paying for electricity for their campers, as last year’s carnival resulted in multiple instances of overloading the power system.

An agreement was reached between Carlton and B&K on Tuesday morning, in which the town would supply the site with water and electricity for the campers on the condition that B&K would be responsible for repairs if there were any electrical problems in the hookup, according to Town Clerk Renee’ Taylor.

Near the end of the meeting, the board entered a closed session, after which they announced that there would be an amendment to the town’s mobile home ordinance.

The amendment to Ordinance #127, which enforces minimum standards of design, construction, maintenance and regulation for mobile home parks in the town, stated that recreational vehicles and travel trailers that are titled won’t be permitted as a primary residence within the town’s limits with the exception of property owner having their home remodeled or repaired under a permit from the town to do so.

According to Mayor Rick Hensley, permits asked of the town will be good for 60 days. Anyone in violation of the amendment will be fined $500 per day. Those already situated with permanent water and sewer hookups will be grandfathered in, according to Hensley. Once the recreational vehicle or travel trailer leaves, it cannot be replaced with another.

In other business:

• During public comments, Carol Price of the McDowell Tourism Development Authority gave the board an update on the wayfinding signage project, which helps pedestrians and motorists navigate to different settings, including tourism destinations, on the highway and interstate. Price said 40 to 50 sites for signage have been spotted and that the size of the signs will depend on the posted speed limit. Price also said that this update will be provided to DOT this week and would hopefully completed in early fall.

• Resident Toni Hollenbeck asked the town during public comments about DOT putting up signs at crosswalks that require motorists to yield to pedestrians. Carlton replied that while that was on DOT’s schedule, the town was told they could provide their signs at their convenience and that a follow-up with DOT was needed.

• Paving for U.S. 70 in Old Fort is still to be determined, with prerequisite action having taken place.

• The Old Fort Community Forum will hold their monthly meeting this Thursday, April 11 starting at 5:30 p.m., with dinner served at 5:15 p.m. According to Kirstie Conner of the community forum, the meeting was moved ahead one week to accommodate for the Old Fort Community Easter Service on April 18 at Mt. Hebron Wesleyan Church. Conner also said that the following month’s meeting on May 16 will celebrate the one year anniversary of the Community Forum’s first meeting, with potential interactive activities outside such as inflatables, food and drinks.

• The first meeting of the town planning board will be May 20 right after the monthly aldermen meeting. According to Carlton, this will be an advisory planning board with 15 listed members – both local residents and those who travel or do business in Old Fort – chaired by Alderman Wayne Stafford that will report all findings and discussion to the town.

• Pioneer Day will be Saturday, April 27 starting at 10 a.m. at the Mountain Gateway Museum. Featured activities include craft demonstrations, historical exhibits, children's games, animals, wagon rides and more.

• The Official NC Gold Festival is scheduled for Saturday, June 1 at the Mountain Gateway Museum.

• The board announced that the Old Fort rodeo would be permanently set to July 3 and 4 each year to coincide with the Fourth of July celebration. Businesses that want to inquire about sponsorship are asked to call Town Hall at 668-4244.

• Grass cutting and maintenance for the town’s cemetery will be performed by an outside company on a regular basis, according to Carlton.

Next month’s Board of Aldermen meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 20 at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

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