Town manager receives $8K bonus

New footbridge ribbon cutting set for Oct. 2

By Wendy Byerly Wood -

The top Elkin town official received a bonus last Monday night following his annual review by the board of commissioners.

At the end of Monday’s commissioners meeting, a closed session was held to discuss Town Manager John Holcomb’s annual review with him, reported Mayor Lestine Hutchens. She explained that each board member did individual appraisals, and after those were discussed among the board members, the review was brought to Holcomb.

The board voted unanimously to give Holcomb an $8,000 bonus “because of his great performance and his money saving,” Hutchens said.

Also during Monday’s meeting, Dr. Bill Blackley of the Elkin Valley Trails Association updated the commissioners and those in attendance of the activities and progress of the trail group, including the announcement that a formal ribbon cutting ceremony for the newest footbridge on the E&A Rail Trail/Mountains-to-Sea Trail will be held Oct. 2, beginning at the bandshell at Elkin Municipal Park.

The community walk to the new bridge will begin at 3:30 p.m. with music, followed by remarks by officials at 4 p.m. and the walk to the footbridge, which is located adjacent to the town’s reservoir. The walk to the bridge is eight-tenths of a mile, and once there, the ribbon will be cut on the south side of the bridge. A second ribbon cutting will follow on the north side of the new bridge.

Also, the easy section of the mountain bike trails being built will be completed by Oct. 2, Blackley said.

In other EVTA news, Blackley reported the group will be joining a state park official at the Wilkes County Board of Commissioners meeting Sept. 20 to make a presentation on the proposal for the state to purchase land where Carter Falls is located with hopes it will be leased to Wilkes County for $1 for 40 years for a proposed route for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to pass by the falls and possibly a county park of some sort.

He explained the easement to build the trail already exists, but this new proposal would allow for a park at the site of the falls.

Several bridges are being constructed on a 1.1-mile stretch of the trail south towards Elkin from Grassy Creek, and Blackley said youth from First Baptist Church of Elkin have been helping work on the trail.

Also, several of the EVTA trail sections can now be found on Google maps, and he reported that Chad Myers continues to work on the mapping as a side project. Walkers and hiker who use the apps “Map My Hike” or “Map My Walk” can find the trails now.

The trails continue to bring in interest from other areas, as a group of visitors from Alamance County recently came up for the day to walk the trails and eat and play in town. Blackley said another group is scheduled to be in town in October from Oriental Yacht Club.

Other upcoming trail events include the duck and turtle regatta on Sept. 24; the Insane Terrain event on Oct. 22; and the state Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail meeting in February of 2017.

In other town business, a vacancy remains on the town’s planning board for a back-up representative from the Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction, which is the one-mile radius around the town limits in Surry County. Those interested in serving in that role should contact town hall.

With the unanimously passed consent agenda, a public hearing was set for Oct. 10 for a petition that property at 943 N. Bridge St. to be rezoned from from R-12 Residential to B-2 Highway Business.

The next meeting of the Elkin Board of Commissioners will be Oct. 10 at 6 p.m.

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

New footbridge ribbon cutting set for Oct. 2

By Wendy Byerly Wood

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