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News General

Lease negotiations for the highly anticipated and valiantly fought for dialysis center have concluded and renovations to an already existing building are expected to begin the first week of February.

At the request of community members, which was supported by commissioners, representatives with DaVita Dialysis Center, the company awarded the contract to open a center in Macon County, diligently searched for an already existing and vacant building in Macon County to house the new center. The search hit a small snag when options and locations for the center were limited to buildings not able to accommodate the center's need.

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Officials making plans to compile necessary data.

The Macon County tax office has procured new software that will allow them to better identify and collect delinquent taxes. In accordance with North Carolina General Statute §105-368, the county is responsible for identifying delinquent taxpayers in the county and take the appropriate actions to collect the taxes.

“We have followed N.C.G.S. §105-368 for years when using enforced collections,” explained Teresa McDowell. “We have used it to garnish N.C. Dept. of Revenue Tax returns, wages, rent proceeds, escheat accounts and bank accounts, and have done wage garnishments on more than one occasion. However, since we have such a small staff, we were never able to do them on a large scale. With the procurement of this new software, we will be able to do wage garnishments on a larger scale.”

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As a result of last week's torrential rainfall accumulations, a portion of road on the Great Smoky Mountains Parkway connecting Cherokee and Tennessee, was swept away in a landslide. The first assessment of the landslide which occurred along Newfound Gap Road in North Carolina shows that the landslide is approximately 90,000 cubic yards of material or 350-400 feet — around the length of a football field — and 45-50 feet deep.

According to Molly Schroer with the National Park Service Public Affairs department, as of Tuesday, the slide is still active and an assessment team has observed debris continuing to fall.

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In keeping with the goal of open, bi-partisan communication for the people of Macon County, commissioners held their mid-year review retreat last Saturday. The meeting, which is held midway through the fiscal year (which runs from July 1-June 30) is intended to evaluate the county's to-date progress and look toward planning for the upcoming year.

County manager Jack Horton began the meeting by giving commissioners a brief summary of on-going and new projects in the county. Horton noted that the upgrade to the water and sewer system, a project that has taken more than a decade since it began, is nearly complete, and other projects such as renovations to the Highlands School are just about to begin. “There are several projects both new and old that the county has taken on,” said Horton. “Regardless of the project, these things are necessary improvements to the infrastructure of our county.”

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