Press Releases and News Items

Water and Sewer Advisory Council Establishes Public Comment Period 

Advisory CouncilAt their meeting held on April 29, 2019, the Henderson County Water and Sewer Advisory Council decided to establish a public comment period at each of their quarterly meetings. The next meeting date has been set for July 22, 2019 with location details to be determined. The hope is to schedule the July meeting in the Flat Rock area, continuing the trend of holding the advisory council meetings in various areas and municipalities throughout Henderson County.

“This Advisory Council provides a forum where all stakeholders have a seat at the table and are able to ask questions, voice concerns and give input,” said City Councilman and Advisory Council Chair Steve Caraker. “These meetings provide a platform for Hendersonville Water and Sewer to be completely transparent with the board, the media and the public. During the April meeting we were all in agreement that creating the space for public comment was just another way for customers and citizens to get involved in how their utility is run no matter the jurisdiction.”

Those with seats at the advisory council table are Hendersonville City Council member Steve Caraker, Henderson County Commissioner Bill Lapsley, and governing board members from Fletcher, Mills River, Laurel Park, Flat Rock and Saluda. Industry and business representatives like the Chamber of Commerce and Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, and utility customers from inside and outside the Hendersonville city limits also have seats on the council.

The agenda during the quarterly meetings typically include timelines and updates on capital projects for the utility. There is always a portion of time set aside to allow stakeholders to provide updates or ask questions from each jurisdiction on issues related to water and sewer.

During the January meeting, a presentation was given on the City’s Sewer Master Plan allowing advisory council members the opportunity to review and give feedback prior to the formal presentation to City Council. In April, Ricky Levi, Facility Manager at Hendersonville’s Water Treatment Facility presented the 2018 Water Quality Report to the group followed by a detailed look at the Water and Sewer fund and budget presented by Budget Analyst Adam Murr.

“At our last meeting everyone seemed impressed and pleased with the detail and transparency contained in the budget presentation,” said Steve Caraker. “It makes me proud to see the care with which our city staff operates to make sure our stakeholders know how the utility is being managed and the ‘why’ behind decisions that are being made.”

The City of Hendersonville will make an announcement when the location and time have been secured for the July 22 meeting.

 

Posted by Allison N 05/14/2019

Green Meadows Community Meeting Encouraged Open Dialogue 

Green Meadows meetingOn May 7, 2019, the City of Hendersonville continued conversations with its citizens by hosting a community meeting in the Green Meadows community off Seventh Avenue. The meeting was a continuation of topics covered during the city’s Council Conversation series last fall and an opportunity for residents to talk about the subjects and concerns that are important to them.

Approximately 50 attendees circled up in the gymnasium at Union Grove Baptist Church alongside Mayor Barbara Volk, Councilman Jeff Miller and City Staff where the floor was opened to discuss whatever topics were of interest to the community.

One of the first topics introduced by meeting attendees was the need for more affordable housing options. Another discussion centered around the police station that Council has approved to be built on Ashe Street.

When asked why the Ashe Street location was selected for the police station, City Manager John Connet explained the site was chosen for multiple reasons. The city already owned three of the nine parcels making up the site, and many of the properties were vacant or substandard homes owned by absentee landlords. The site is centrally located and gives patrol officers easy access to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Connet added that constructing the police station on this site could help stabilize the neighborhood and open opportunities for reinvestment in the area, potentially attracting future affordable housing options.

Utilities Director Lee Smith provided an update on water and sewer infrastructure upgrades in the Ashe Street neighborhood and along 4th Avenue made possible by Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Fund loans.

Stormwater Administrator Michael Huffman got feedback from attendees on the stream running through Sullivan Park. A discussion ensued about a potential community project in which the City and residents could partner together to further improve the streambanks and water quality in ways that also enhance the appearance of the stream.

Public Works Director Tom Wooten presented two playground designs to the group. As presented in last week’s City Council meeting, Wooten shared the City had received a grant from the NC Recreation and Park Association to replace some playground equipment in Sullivan Park. He invited meeting attendees to vote for their preferred playground design. Option 1 was selected, and playground installation is expected to occur in the next few months.

Additional Council Conversation meetings will be scheduled across the city during the fall and will be announced later in the year.

Posted by Allison N 05/08/2019

Roadside Mowing  

Roadside mowingOn May 13, 2019, the City of Hendersonville Public Works Department will begin roadside mowing on City streets. Vegetation control along roadsides improves the visibility of signs, preserves sightlines for road users and keeps sidewalks clear and free from overhanging limbs and branches.

“Managing the vegetation along our streets is an important function of our Public Works Department,” said Public Works Director Tom Wooten. “The main goal is to keep our City streets safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.”

Residents are encouraged to maintain their property adjacent to street right of ways to avoid the need, and resulting effect, of the City’s sidearm mower. With nearly 68 miles of streets to maintain, the sidearm mower is the only viable way Public Works can manage this volume of roadside maintenance. 

A general guideline for homes adjacent to roadways is to keep any bushes, tree limbs, etc. out of the roadway and 1-2 feet behind the curb or edge of pavement. The height should be approximately 16 feet above the road surface. 

For streets with sidewalks, the same applies for the roadway while sidewalks should be clear of obstructions to a height of 7-8 feet. 

Property owners near intersections are also asked to keep vegetation and debris trimmed far enough away from the intersections to allow motorists a reasonable line of sight before entering the intersection. 

For more information about the roadside mowing program, please contact Public Works Department at (828) 697-3084.

Posted by Allison N 05/07/2019

City of Hendersonville Recognizes Exceptional Service 

LB HeatherlyThe Hendersonville City Council recognized employees for providing exceptional service during their meeting on May 2, 2019. The Service Excellence Recognition Committee accepts MVP nominations throughout the year for employees who show excellence in carrying out their day to day activities. Three nominations were chosen for quarter occurring January – March 2019.

  • During Christmas weekend, there was a serious problem with a 12” water line on Pace Road. Though not necessarily on call, Ricky Levi, Chris Duncan and Kyle Kirchner came in and handled the situation on a wet and muddy night to make sure our community and customers had water on Christmas.
  • Local resident, Mrs. Gunning, dropped her keys into the storm drain at Ingles on Hwy 25. Though not a City drain, Timmy Hensley went out and retrieved the keys for her.
  • Recently, a consultant performed a mock OSHA inspection on several City buildings. Upon assessment of the Water/Sewer warehouse at City Operations, she said in her years of safety work, including the twenty-two cities and counties she consults with, she has never seen a warehouse as orderly and clean as this one. She was amazed. Brad Duncan and LB Heatherly are to be commended for their effort and results.

City Manager John Connet and Mayor Barbara Volk recognized the nominees during the meeting. These recipients will be eligible to win the ‘MVP of the Year’ along with other quarterly nominees. We congratulate these employees for exhibiting compassion and initiative and their contribution to the City of Hendersonville’s goal of delivering excellent service.

Photo: LB Heatherly and Utilities Director Lee Smith

Posted by Allison N 05/06/2019

New Trees Will Be Planted In Green Meadows Neighborhood  

NeighborWoods

(HENDERSONVILLE, NC, April 24, 2019) –  Residents in Green Meadows neighborhood near the 7th Avenue East Historic District will receive trees on Saturday, May 4, to plant at their homes.  The 12 trees are provided at no charge by Hendersonville Tree Board to eight Green Meadows homeowners who signed up to participate in its NeighborWoods project.  At 10 a.m. at 807 Robinson Terrace a demonstration will be given to show participants how to properly dig the soil, amend it, and plant the new trees to increase the chances of success.  These residents have agreed to plant, maintain, and care for the trees so they will thrive and increase the urban-forest tree cover in the City and their neighborhood.  Among the trees to be added to the homes and landscape will be dogwoods, tulip poplars, and red maples.

Debbie Roundtree, a member of Hendersonville Tree Board, spoke to her friends and neighbors about the benefits of the NeighborWoods project and received a positive response.  “I am happy that Green Meadows neighbors are interested and willing to commit to this program,” she said.  “They all will benefit from shade trees that will provide cooling effect and soften the landscape. The NeighborWoods project is good for the City and neighborhoods, too.”

More than 200 trees have been planted in Hendersonville through the NeighborWoods program since 2010, including projects in Hyman Heights Historic Neighborhood where 35 new trees have been added to the numerous “historic” trees in the neighborhood; Hendersonville Community Co-op where more than 14 trees and numerous pollinator plants and shrubs were installed to enhance the storm water wetland behind the new storefront;  84 American dogwoods installed on properties along Fifth Avenue West, creating a beautiful springtime display; Regal Oaks affordable-housing project for senior citizens, where at least 10 fig and cherry trees were planted; a project in Green Meadows which included fruit and nut trees; and Druid Hills Historic Neighborhood, where 35 trees were planted last year at homes and in the neighborhood’s Keith Park.  The City was named 2018 Tree City of the Year in North Carolina due to such citizen-supported programs.

Donations to the NeighborWoods Tree Fund can be made through Community Foundation of Henderson County to help keep the popular tree-planting program thriving.  The funds are used by Hendersonville Tree Board to purchase trees for residents to plant in yards, at businesses, in neighborhood green spaces, and where needed.  The Tree Board’s program aims to assist residents to plant and maintain trees for health, beauty, wildlife, and to increase our urban forest coverage.      

To learn more about the NeighborWoods Project and how individuals and organizations can participate, or to make a donation to the NeighborWoods Tree Fund, visit the Tree Board website or email treeboard@hvlnc.gov.

Posted by Allison N 04/25/2019

City Takes Steps to Improve Sewer System 

ItrackerEmployees at the City of Hendersonville strive to provide excellent customer service to citizens, visitors and businesses. During employee orientation, new hires are introduced to nine principles that guide the organizations’ actions that form the acronym PROACTIVE.

A department that has been exhibiting proactive steps to improve the service provided to customers, minimize impact to the environment and improve aging infrastructure is the Hendersonville Water and Sewer Department. This department is responsible for treating approximately 2.5 billion gallons of consumable water and 1.1 billion gallons of wastewater each year. In Hendersonville and Henderson County, more than 65,000 residents and businesses receive water service and more than 21,000 residents and businesses receive sewer service. Operating a utility of this size presents many opportunities to not only provide service for today’s water and sewer demand, but plan for long term growth and system improvements.

The City of Hendersonville was awarded a $150,000 North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Infrastructure Grant to fund a portion of a Sanitary Sewer Asset Inventory and Assessment (SSAIA) project in 2016. The goals of this SSAIA conducted by Black & Veatch were to develop a well-documented, data-driven and forward-looking master plan. Additional objectives included conducting an overall assessment of the sewer system’s condition, providing guidance for future repairs and maintenance, prioritizing system improvements, adding data to the GIS database and providing an interactive planning tool for city staff. The SSAIA can be found at https://www.hendersonvillenc.gov/sanitary-sewer-asset-inventory-and-assessment-master-plan.

“Back in the 1920’s, in the beginning of the system, terracotta was used for sewer lines,” said Utilities Director Lee Smith. “It was a great material because sewer gasses don’t effect it.” Smith explained that the City of Hendersonville Sewer System currently uses PVC or ductile iron epoxy coated pipe when they are installing new lines, but much of the system is still the originally installed terracotta. The age of a system plays a big factor in the challenges it presents a utility, and it is one of the factors considered in a sewer system master plan.

Beyond the creation of a sewer system master plan that will guide future projects and improve the reliability of the system, staff has also taken the initiative to reduce the occurrences of sanitary sewer overflows (SSO).

SSOs are a release of untreated or partially treated sewage from a municipal sanitary sewer. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that SSOs occasionally occur in almost every sewer system across the nation, and they estimate there are at least 23,000 – 75,000 SSOs per year in the U.S. SSOs can be caused by a variety of factors such as sewer line blockages caused by fats, oils and grease (FOG), tree roots, sediment or other material buildup; excessive stormwater entering sewer lines during periods of heavy rainfall or flooding, referred to as inflow; equipment or power failures; and broken sewer lines or deteriorating sewer systems that are either installed improperly or poorly maintained.

SSOs occur infrequently in the area, but if they do, Hendersonville Water and Sewer is required to notify the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) in accordance with NC General Statute Article 21 Chapter 143.215.1C. The EPA has acknowledged that a few SSOs may be unavoidable; those occurring from unpreventable acts of vandalism, some types of blockages, extreme rainstorms and acts of nature like earthquakes or floods. Knowing that a system can never be completely immune to SSOs, staff at Hendersonville Water and Sewer are taking steps to reduce their likelihood and improve the system as a whole.

Inflow and Infiltration Reduction

Sanitary sewer systems are designed to carry wastewater from toilets, sinks, dishwashers, and showers, but that is not the only water that enters systems. Inflow is stormwater that enters a sanitary sewer system through improper connections like downspouts, drains from driveways or basement sump pumps. Periods of heavy rains and floodwaters can also flow into the system contributing to high inflow levels. Infiltration occurs when groundwater enters the system through cracks or leaks in the sewer pipes. Reducing the amount of Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) is one of the most effective methods in reducing SSOs and reduces the amount of wastewater needed to be treated at the wastewater treatment plant.

Flow Meters and Monitoring

“We actively pursue sources of I&I,” said Andy Brogden, Water and Sewer Operations Manager, “and part of that process comes from monitoring the system levels.” Andy explained that crew members check flow monitors that have been installed in each of the eight sewer sheds. Data is compiled to get a baseline so that when spikes occur, staff knows there may be a problem that needs to be investigated. Beyond using flow metering data to address current issues, levels are tracked during dry weather and wet weather to help predict future flow levels and infrastructure needs.

“We also have a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system that allows facilities maintenance workers and the Wastewater Treatment plant to monitor the pumping stations,” said Brogden. “If we get a high level alarm we get someone headed that way to try and head it off before we have an issue.” Sewer pumping stations are inspected at least weekly in addition to the continuous monitoring.

Andy Brogden mentioned an example where staff noticed an anomaly that led to the discovery of an issue before it led to bigger problems. On Friday, December 28, 2018, our area experienced a large rain event that resulted in flooding across the county. After floodwaters had subsided, Garrett DeMoss, the Facilities Manager at the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), noticed the levels were not returning to normal as they typically would following a flooding event. Garrett alerted staff and crews began looking for issues. A manhole adjacent to Mud Creek had been compromised and creek water was pouring into the system. Crews were able to fill the manhole, stop the inflow of creek water and reroute the wastewater into an adjacent sewer line.

“When it was all said and done, this repair reduced about 2.5 million gallons of creek water from entering the sewer system each day,” said Brogden. Had the issue not been located and remedied, the large amount of inflow could have led to SSOs further down the system or overwhelmed the WWTP.

Additional I&I Reduction Methods

Finding I&I in over 180 miles of sanitary sewer lines can seem like finding needles in a massive haystack, but the crews have employed methods to strategically locate issues. Tim Sexton is the Utility Systems Supervisor in charge of preventative maintenance. Beyond making sure that at least 10% of the system is cleaned every year using a vacuum/jetting truck, Tim’s staff locate I&I using some fascinating methods.

One method is smoke testing. Non-toxic smoke is forced into the sewer pipes and the smoke that is observed in between manholes can identify cracks and holes in the sewer system. Regular inspections of manholes and lift stations are another way staff identify problems.

Another method is using portable iTracker sensors. These small, battery operated sensors are strategically placed in areas of the sewer system to record volumetric changes in wastewater between dry and wet weather events. The devices are Wi-Fi enabled and take readings every thirty minutes. Before the city began using these flow meters, measurements would have to be taken manually by visual inspections which were not as accurate and much more time consuming.

The city also utilizes closed-circuit television (CCTV) to inspect the internal condition of sewer lines. When there is an area that is suspect, or a potential problem has been identified using the aforementioned methods, the vacuum/jetting truck and CCTV crew are assigned to inspect the areas to see what is causing the blockage or leak. Once identified, repairs can be planned.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades

The City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is permitted to treat 4.8 million gallons of sewage daily. Garrett DeMoss, WWTP Facilities Manager and Operator in Responsible Charge (ORC), reports that the plant averages 3 million gallons a day, but stormwater and the results of I&I during times of heavy rain raise the total. Beyond looking at ways to prevent SSOs from occurring on the collections side of the system, the City is also looking at improvements to the WWTP.

The City has purchased a generator that will be installed later this year to provide back-up power to the WWTP in the event of an outage. Additional upgrades include improvements to the SCADA monitoring system and replacing one of the two sand filters with an Aqua Aerobics Aqua-Diamond cloth media filter that can treat up to fifteen million gallons a day, far exceeding the capacity of what it took both sand filters to do. The remaining sand filter will be utilized when the Aqua-Diamond filter undergoes routine maintenance.

Also, funding has been set aside to evaluate the need for an equalization (EQ) basin. An EQ basin would allow the plant to store wastewater in a tank, slowing the system down and allowing the plant to take on more flow during periods of heavy rains. This could be a potential method on the WWTP side to help reduce SSOs.

“The City sees the big picture and is being proactive instead of reactive,” said Garrett DeMoss with regard to the generator and other upgrades. “We are an older plant—about twenty years old and a lot of the equipment is original. Much of it, like the blowers, run 24 hours a day.”

Mother Nature

Excessive rainfall has an undeniable impact on sanitary sewer systems. Hendersonville’s sewer system, like so many other municipal sewer systems, are faced with challenges to handle large amounts of rain, fund system improvements and replace lines, some of which date back a century. 2018’s record setting rain totals further support the City’s decision to commission a sewer master plan and continue efforts to reduce I&I in the system. 

“The Mayor and City Council have directed City staff to identify ways to reduce the number of SSOs within the sewer system,” said City Manager John Connet. “Our wastewater treatment plant upgrades, preventative maintenance programs and Sewer Asset Inventory and Assessment are just the first steps in meeting this directive.” 

Sanitary sewer system improvements video 

Photo: Inflow and Infiltration Technician Kenneth Page installs an iTracker flow monitoring sensor in a manhole as Line Maintenance Mechanic directs traffic

 

Posted by Allison N 04/25/2019

Walk of Fame Celebration Events Announced 

Walk of Fame signsThe Walk of Fame Steering Committee is excited to honor the Class of 2019 Walk of Fame inductees. These “visionaries of the past” serve as a model the community could follow today. The honorees include:

• Daniel Gibson, a banker, was active in the Flat Rock Playhouse, the Lions Club, the American Legion, Blue Ridge Community College Foundation, the Boy Scouts and Daniel Boone Council and the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra. He served as president of both the Chamber of Commerce and the North Carolina Apple Festival. His lasting contribution was the role he played in the founding of Carolina Village, which today is home to more than 250 residents.

• Hugh Randall, who served as schools superintendent, served in the Navy in World War II and was a farmer in addition to his work in education. His lasting contributions included overseeing the construction of Bruce Drysdale Elementary School, Hendersonville Middle School, the Jim Pardue gym and vocational-ed building at Hendersonville High School. He instituted fulltime librarians and assistant principals in the schools and started summertime migrant summer schools.

• W.A. Smith, known as the founder of Laurel Park, started his law practice in Hendersonville in 1876. He constructed Fifth Avenue at his own expense and opened the Laurel Park Railroad Co., which operated the Dummy Line, carrying residents and tourists from downtown Hendersonville to Rhododendron Lake, a swimming resort and dance pavilion in Laurel Park. He was also a key figure in the founding of the Toxaway Railway.

• Architect Erle Stillwell lived in Hendersonville and designed projects all over North Carolina and the South, including more than 70 movie theaters. His many designs include Hendersonville High School, several historic homes in the City as well as churches, manufacturing plants, college buildings and a military hospital.

• George Wilkins, Sr., World War II and the Korean War veteran, led the desegregation of City schools during the civil rights movement and worked for laws to accommodate handicapped children in schools. A lasting contribution was his work to established public kindergarten in all the elementary schools.

• Harley Blackwell, a leader and innovator in agriculture, was superintendent of the Mountain Research Station in Mills River. He helped bring Van Wingerden International, Bolton Greenhouses and Carolina Roses to Henderson County. His lasting contribution was to marshal the expertise of N.C. State University agriculture researchers to modernize farming in Henderson and surrounding counties.

• Colonel Sidney Vance Pickens, an officer in the Confederate Army, became an attorney after the Civil War and was a pioneer of transportation. He started the Hendersonville Street Car Company and the French Broad Steamboat Company, which operated the Mountain Lily, carrying up to 100 passengers on the river from Brevard to Asheville. He organized the first Bar Association in North Carolina in 1883, from which the state bar arose.

The Walk of Fame Steering Committee welcomes the public’s participation in the upcoming events planned for Sunday, May 5, 2019 to honor the inductees.

• Following a brief gathering for family and friends of the honorees, a public unveiling of the Walk of Fame markers will be held on Sunday, May 5, 2019, at approximately 2:30 p.m. Guests and the public are invited to hear brief remarks given by county and city government leaders in the Azalea Lot followed by an invitation to view the display of markers located along the walk connecting Third and Fourth Avenues at King Street.

• A banquet will follow at Carolina Village at 6:00 p.m. Guests are asked to park at the Epic Theater parking lot (U.S. Hwy. 64 East at Thompson Street).  Shuttle buses to Carolina Village will be provided, beginning at 5:00 p.m. A wine and cheese reception in the Fireplace Lounge will precede the banquet at 5:30 p.m.

Banquet tickets are $25 each and may be purchased at the Visitors Information Center on 201 S. Main Street, Hendersonville. Proceeds from the sale of banquet tickets help support the Walk of Fame project. Your support of this project is greatly appreciated.

The Walk of Fame Steering Committee was established jointly between Henderson County and the City of Hendersonville. They are charged with accepting nominations to recognize and honor on a yearly basis present or former residents of Hendersonville and Henderson County for outstanding and lasting contributions to the growth and development of the community through a walk in the downtown area designated as the Walk of Fame.

Please direct any questions to Kaye Youngblood, Chair, Walk of Fame Steering Committee, at (828) 674-2473.

Posted by Allison N 04/23/2019

Hendersonville Arbor Day Event Celebrates the Importance of Trees 

 

Arbor Day CeremonyTrees provide the very necessities of life itself. They clean our air, protect our drinking water, create healthy communities, and feed the human soul. This statement from the Arbor Day Foundation is the basis of Hendersonville’s Arbor Day Celebration, an outdoor event scheduled for Friday, May 3, at 12 noon, on Bearcat Loop near Hendersonville Elementary.  The public is invited to attend the hour-long ceremony, along with the students, the Mayor of Hendersonville, North Carolina Forest Service personnel, Four Seasons Rotary Club members, Hendersonville Tree Board, and others.

School children at Hendersonville Elementary will attend and third-graders will sing a song about trees and nature.  North Carolina Forest Service Ranger Chad Fierros will present awards from the Arbor Day Foundation to the City as part of the Tree City USA program. Hendersonville Mayor Barbara Volk will officially proclaim May 3 as Tree City Day in Hendersonville. And students will help plant a tree at the arboretum on Bearcat Loop for the benefit of students for years to come.  The event is hosted by Four Seasons Rotary Club, which has sponsored Arbor Day events each year since the first one was held in 1991.

A red oak will be planted in memory of the late Dr. James Volk, a long-time member of Four Seasons Rotary who coordinated Arbor Day events in recent years.  Tiffany Ervin, Rotary District 7670 Governor Elect and a long-time member of Four Seasons Rotary, will officiate.  

To address the tremendous loss of trees world-wide as well as a result of recent fires, floods, and storms in America, the Arbor Day Foundation recently announced it is launching the Time for Trees initiative.  The organization encourages Americans to plant 100 million trees in forests and communities and to inspire five million new tree planters by 2022 — which is the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day.  Hendersonville Tree Board encourages local citizens, neighborhoods, and communities to participate. 

Hendersonville is celebrating 28 years as a Tree City USA, recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

“We are proud of the efforts in our town to preserve, protect, and plant trees,” said Corey Prince, coordinator of the event for Four Seasons Rotary, “and our Rotary Club organizes Arbor Day programs to enable school children and the community to celebrate those efforts.  Everyone is invited to attend this brief but important event.”   

For more information about the Arbor Day celebration, phone Corey Prince, Arbor Day Coordinator, at 910-352-4005.     

Posted by Allison N 04/23/2019

Clear Creek Greenway Input Meeting 

site mapThe City of Hendersonville hosted a Clear Creek Greenway input meeting on April 16, 2019 at the City Operations Center. Approximately 50 people attended to review the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant project, ask questions and provide feedback. 

The public were welcomed by Councilman Ron Stephens followed by an overview of the project delivered by Brendan Shanahan, Civil Engineer with the City of Hendersonville.

The project, that would provide an additional 4,000 feet of greenway extending the existing Oklawaha to Carolina Village, is estimated to cost approximately $1.3 million according to Shanahan. The project is dependent on whether the city receives the PARTF grant. The application is due May 1, 2019 and the city should find out in fall if they have been awarded the funding. 

The Clear Creek Greenway would consist of a 10’ wide paved path that would link to a portion of the northern end of the existing greenway near Berkeley Mills Park. The route would pass over Mud Creek and follow along Clear Creek until connecting with Carolina Village. Features of the greenway extension would include a pedestrian bridge over Mud Creek, benches, emergency blue light stations, additional recreational amenities, and a flashing pedestrian crossing signs and high visibility markings where the greenway crosses Clear Creek Road. The project would provide a connection for future extensions such as a section identified in the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan that would pass under I-26 to the Highland Square Retail Park where Sam’s Club and Walmart are located.

Carolina Village has pledged $250,000 to the project with the remainder of the funding to potentially come from the grant and city matching funds.

Organizations or individuals interested in providing letters of support for the project can email Brendan Shanahan at bshanahan@hvlnc.gov or send by mail to City of Hendersonville, Attn: Brendan Shanahan, Civil Engineer, 305 Williams St., Hendersonville, NC 28792.

An input survey is also available on the city's website.

Posted by Allison N 04/17/2019

Green Meadows Community Meeting Scheduled 

Green Meadows MeetingThe City of Hendersonville is continuing conversations with its citizens by hosting a community meeting in the Seventh Avenue area next month.

On May 7, 2019, at 7:00pm, the City will hold a meeting in the Green Meadows community at Union Grove Baptist Church located at 901 Robinson Terrace in Hendersonville. The meeting is specifically geared towards local residents but open to anyone who has an interest in the future of the area.

“These ongoing meetings provide an opportunity for citizens and the City to work together to help the community to thrive,” said Mayor Barbara Volk. “Council members and City staff periodically hear from residents with questions and concerns. Bringing the conversation into people’s backyard is a great way to stay connected and create an open dialogue.”

Seventh Avenue and the surrounding areas are experiencing an upswing in revitalization and economic development. During the meeting, residents will have the opportunity to see renderings of the new police station and ask questions. An overview of planned water and sewer improvements in the Ashe Street neighborhood will also be on the agenda.

Last fall, the city hosted a series of five “Council Conversations” held throughout various areas of Hendersonville. This meeting on May 7 serves as a continuation of conversations started in October that centered around Sullivan Park, creek maintenance and other topics. City staff plan to give an update on the progress of these items and seek additional input from citizens.

Additional Council Conversation meetings will be scheduled across the city during the fall and will be announced later in the year.

Posted by Allison N 04/15/2019

Document Shred and Drug Take Back Event 

Shred Pill EventThe City of Hendersonville will sponsor a secure, Shred Day for City residents on Friday, May 17, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., in the parking lot of Patton Park, 59 E. Clairmont Drive. Shred-it will have their shredding truck in the parking lot to allow residents to dispose of sensitive materials. Residents of Hendersonville are invited to bring up to two boxes (or 50 lbs.) of paper items to be shredded. Suggested items to shred are financial statements, cancelled checks, credit card statements, payroll stubs, insurance forms, old tax returns, forms from doctor's offices, etc. This event is not for businesses. The public can simply drop their documents off or stay and watch their documents destroyed. The event will happen rain or shine. If the shredding truck fills up before 10:30, the event will be over.

During this time, the Hendersonville Police Department along with Hope Rx will host a Drug Take Back event to allow citizens to dispose of expired/unused medication, such as prescription and over the counter pills, vitamins, ointments, and patches. No chemotherapy drugs, needles or EpiPens will be accepted.

To make this part of a community outreach effort, the City is asking that residents coming to the event bring items to donate to the Storehouse and IAM. Suggested items are canned fruits and vegetables, canned chili and beef stew, and toiletry items.

For more information, contact Lu Ann Welter, HR Coordinator, 828-233-3204 or lwelter@hvlnc.gov.

 

Posted by Allison N 04/12/2019

Police Department Remembers Lt. Jimmy Case 

Lt. Jimmy CaseThe Hendersonville Police Department is mourning the loss of Lieutenant Jimmy Case who passed away unexpectedly on April 11, 2019 at the age of 57.

Jimmy was a longtime Hendersonville Police Department officer serving the city since 1999. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2012, became an acting Lieutenant in 2017, and received a promotion to full Lieutenant earlier this year. Over the years, Jimmy served as a K9 officer, motorcycle officer, hostage negotiator and Alive at 25 instructor for the department.

Most recently he was honored with the Bill Powers Leadership Award for Supervisor of the Year during the department’s annual award ceremony last month. Before joining the Hendersonville Police Department, Jimmy served with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office from 1984-1994. Jimmy was a great man who made a big impact in the community.

The Hendersonville Police Department appreciates the outpouring of support they have received from the community as well as their fellow law enforcement and first responder brothers and sisters. The agency’s thoughts and prayers go out to Jimmy’s family and friends during this time.

Service arrangements will be announced at a later time.

Posted by Allison N 04/12/2019

Annual Fire Hydrant Maintenance 

Hydrant Maintenance Flyer

The Hendersonville Fire Department performs hydrant maintenance annually in the months of April and May. This process consists of Firefighter’s verifying proper operation of the hydrants, recording various pressure readings, conducting basic lubrication, adding reflectors to increase visibility, and flushing the hydrants to remove sediment that may be deposited between the water main and the hydrant. Some issues may arise during the program such as a temporary drop in your water pressure or a temporary change in the color of the water.

Brown Water

Some water pipes can accumulate deposits on the inside of the pipe wall. Most of the time, this is not a problem, but changes in water pressure and changes in flow direction caused by construction activity or the use of fire hydrants can cause these deposits to break loose and dissolve in the water, resulting in discoloration. The City’s Water and Sewer Department recently completed system-wide flushing and this should help to minimize the likelihood of these deposits breaking loose while we are testing the hydrants.

Although unpleasant, it's temporary and not harmful. If you have discolored water you should let your cold water faucet run until the water appears clear. If the problem persists, contact the Hendersonville Water and Sewer Department during regular business hours at 828-697-3073 or the afterhours number at (828) 891-7779.

Program Benefits

Routine maintenance will help identify problem hydrants and report issues to the City of Hendersonville Water and Sewer Department for repair. Identifying these issues early, will help to ensure the hydrant is ready for use during an emergency and save critical time during a fire incident. Routine maintenance also helps improve our familiarization with hydrants in the area and allows us to verify they are unobstructed and easily accessible.

Thank you for your understanding as we work in partnership with the Hendersonville Water and Sewer Department to ensure the hydrants in your neighborhood are ready for an emergency.

For more information about water line flushing and hydrant maintenance, visit the Hendersonville Water and Sewer Department’s FAQ page.

Posted by Allison N 04/11/2019

Hendersonville City Manager Named NC Main Street Champion 

Main Street Champion 2019Hendersonville City Manager John Connet has been recognized as a North Carolina Main Street Champion by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. A ceremony was held in Salisbury on March 14, 2019 to recognize 43 champions for their contributions to Main Street programs and downtown districts across the state.

“Every city and town needs a Champion - someone that will step up and invest time and money in the community, improve the quality of life and grow economic vibrancy throughout the state,” said Anthony M. Copeland, N.C. Secretary of Commerce in a release. “Commerce is so pleased, each year, to recognize those individuals that are making a difference in their communities.”

John Connet was selected as an honoree for being a community and organizational leader who recognizes no project is too big or too small to deserve and benefit from his energy. During the awards ceremony Mr. Connet was recognized for his diligent work to move a variety of preservation, reinvestment, infrastructure and capital projects forward, all while annually attending the downtown program's volunteer recognition programs and volunteering his own personal time to support downtown events.

“From my first interactions with the City to the work I do on the Advisory Committee, John has always served with a complete dedication to the people and our community,” said Michele Sparks, Chair of the Hendersonville Downtown Main Street Advisory Committee and owner of Art Mob Studios. “He creates an environment where our town can continue to grow and flourish.”

This year’s group of Main Street Champions brings the total number to 721 that have been recognized by the NC Department of Commerce over the past nineteen years.

To read the award narrative form Connet’s recognition and watch the award video, visit https://www.ncmainstreetconference.com/blog/hendersonville-john-connet

To view the complete list of 2019 North Carolina Main Street Champions, visit https://www.nccommerce.com/news/press-releases/north-carolina-main-street-champions-honored-0

 

Photo: 

Liz Crabill – Chief Deputy Secretary of North Carolina Dept. of Commerce; John Connet – Hendersonville City Manager; Kenny Flowers – Assistant Secretary of Rural Economic Development – North Carolina Dept. of Commerce

Photo provided by Garry E. Hodges, Sunset Studios

Posted by Allison N 04/09/2019

City of Hendersonville Releases Water Quality Report 

Ricky Levi tests a water sampleThe City of Hendersonville has released its Water Quality Report for reporting year 2018. This annual report, also referred to as the Consumer Confidence Report, shows the City of Hendersonville is continuing to exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Safe Drinking Water Standards. The results reveal that Hendersonville received no violations in any of the categories measured.

“This report gives our customers a summary of the results from the testing that was completed throughout the year,” said Water Treatment Facility Manager Ricky J. Levi. “It tells them where their water comes from and the care that’s taken by our staff to provide them with clean drinking water.”

The report can be accessed under Reports and Other Program Information on the water department's webpage or by following the direct link. The report will also be included in water customer’s bills with hard copies of the report being available for pick-up next month at City Hall. 

City of Hendersonville water customers enjoy a water supply that is taken from three sources: two intakes located inside Pisgah National Forest within the Mills River Watershed and another from the main stem of Mills River. The Water Treatment Plant located at 4139 Haywood Road in Mills River is permitted to treat up to twelve million gallons a day with a conventional water treatment process that includes coagulation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection.

Ricky Levi explained that his staff must obtain and maintain a number of state certifications and follow a strict sampling schedule that ranges from turbidity testing occurring every fifteen minutes to other sampling taken hourly, daily, yearly and beyond.

“It really never stops,” he said. “It runs the gamut whether its bacteriological or chemical testing. It’s probably the most regulated industry in the world.”

Levi applauds his staff for their dedication and the impact they have on the public.

“I know in my case, I wanted to get involved in something that gives back to the community,” said Ricky Levi. “Providing people with clean water is a job that makes you feel like you’re making a difference in people’s everyday life.”

For more information about the 2018 Water Quality Report or for questions relating to water provided by the City of Hendersonville, please call Ricky J. Levi, Water Treatment Facility Manager at (828) 891-7779 or email him at rlevi@hvlnc.gov.

 

Photo: Water Treatment Facility Manager Ricky J. Levi conducts water quality testing in the lab at Hendersonville's Water Treatment Facility

Posted by Allison N 04/08/2019
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