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News Commissioners approve county dog park

Friends of the Greenway received the go-ahead from County Commissioners to build fencing for a dog park around a one-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Greenway, located behind Big Bear Park. Photo courtesy of Macon CountyMacon County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to approve a dog park along the Little Tennessee River Greenway at October’s regularly scheduled board meeting. Steve Philo approached the board on behalf of the Friends of the Greenway to request using a portion of property owned by the county for a dog park. Philo assured commissioners that Friends of the Greenway would finance the project, which is estimated to cost $6,000. The board agreed to allow Friends of the Greenway to begin fencing in the area located behind Big Bear Park, near the playground located just off of the Greenway. The organization plans to build fencing for approximately one acre of land and construct a gate to secure the area for dogs and are also charged with maintaining the property for citizens.

Commissioner Ronnie Beale said that he is confident a dog park would be a great addition for the county and the Greenway. “If other people treat their dogs like I treat mine, a park would get used all the time,” said Beale. “I take my little dog every time I go to the Greenway and the number of dogs you see on the Greenway is unbelievable.”

After Commissioner Kevin Corbin expressed concern about the safety of a dog park, Philo stated that citizens who use the park would be informed that they are doing so at their own risk. “Most of the time dogs get along better than people,” said Philo. “It is our intention to place signage informing the public that the park is to be used at your own risk and that owners are responsible for their pets.”

Other Business

Chairman Brain McClellan recognized the county’s Finance Department for receiving the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. Members of the finance department were presented with the award, which marked the 17th time that Macon County has been recognized with this honor. “I don’t say that I speak on behalf of the entire board often, but I think I say that our finance department is absolutely second to none in the state,” said McClellan.

Vice-Chairman Bobby Kuppers presented Director of the Finance Department, Evelyn Southard, who will be retiring at the end of the month, with the award. “This is a great night for this department,” said Kuppers. “I think we are going to have to build a wall just to hold all of these awards.”

County commissioners unanimously voted to approve the North Carolina Department of Transportation Secondary Roads Construction Program, which will bring approximately $851,060 in state funding to Macon County to pave and repair secondary roads in 2012. NCDOT Division Engineer, Joel Setzer informed the board that the proposed road projects were established based on priority. Setzer acknowledged that additional roads in the county do need maintenance, but due to funding, only roads which the NCDOT classified as priority can be addressed at this time.

Roads expected to receive improvement include Clear Creek Road, Bethel Church Road, Buck Knob Road, Blue Valley Road, and Horse Cove Road. The Alternate considered for improvement in 2012 is Flat Mountain Road.

Commissioners voted to continue the regularly scheduled meeting until October 25 at 6 pm, at which point they will discuss the planning board’s recommendation regarding the proposed construction standards for the county.


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