Last updated: November 05. 2013 6:53PM - 847 Views
Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

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Elkin Commissioner Joe Walker gave a brief farewell speech at his last official Board of Commissioner meeting in Town Hall on Monday night.

Placing his right hand up and waving to attendees, Walker smiled as spectators gave him a standing ovation.

“Ten years has been enough. I appreciate all the support over the years. It’s time for some new blood to come on in,” said Walker in his final statement to the town of Elkin.

Walker announced last June that he would not be seeking re-election citing a desire to spend more time with his family, particularly his grandchildren.

Mayor Lestine Hutchens congratulated Walker for his tenure of service to the people of Elkin.

“Joe Walker has been an excellent addition to the commission. He’s represented the citizens well. Joe wants no parties. He’s going to be missed,” said Hutchens.

According to Commissioner J.L. Lowe Jr., Elkin will swear in three commissioners at its next scheduled meeting, Dec. 9.

“We don’t waste time here. We put them right to work,” said Lowe.

Two incumbents were up for re-election, Cicely McCulloch and Terry Kennedy.

Commissioner Terry Kennedy indicated that Elkin could sweep in three new members in the election held on Tuesday.

“I would hope everyone were to get out tomorrow and vote. The majority will rule,” said Kennedy.

Cicely McCulloch indicated that she was 14 days post abdominal surgery and thanked Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital for its care over her.

She also mentioned about 700 children passed through on Halloween and said that the parking situation had improved.

Public Comments

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Ken Haney presented testimony stating that he is supporting candidate Jim Ipock and Bob Norton in Tuesday’s election. Haney indicated he is supporting the candidates because he’s one of the over-stressed, over-burdened, and over-taxed citizens who feels that Elkin needs sweeping change. Haney also indicated that he is against any elected official serving more than one term.

EVTA update

Bob Hillyer of the Elkin Valley Trails Association provided an update on EVTA’s progress. Hillyer disclosed that EVTA raised $2,900 from the Insane Terrain race recently held in Elkin and indicated additional fundraisers are developing. Beyond the city limits, Hillyer indicated that EVTA trailblazers have made progress in Wells Knob area.

Terry Kryska said EVTA has a few bids out to general contractors for the footbridge and expects the bridge to be delivered in late February and installed in March.

Martha Smith said that EVTA submitted two grants to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation for additional funding. EVTA officials are applying for a $75,000 grant which requires a $25,000 match. EVTA are applying for one in calendar year 2014 and 2015.

Lloyd Payne, Elkin town manager, indicated that Elkin would pay the expenses for the project associated with the grant, but in return would be reimbursed from the grant program.

“EVTA is coming up with the $25,000 match for the grants. Thus, the town’s portion will simply be to ‘front’ the money and then be reimbursed. We will have no cash out for the grants,” said Payne.

Road change

The southern portion of North Elkin Drive, about 500 feet of its intersection with Oak Grove Road, has been replaced by a new two-lane street built by the Elkin Valley Baptist Church. Town officials said the church installed street lights, placed a fire hydrant, and has complied with all requirements stipulated in a resolution adopted by the town of Elkin on April 9, 2012. The town of Elkin retains all easements for utilities.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or email at agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.

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