Press Releases and News Items

Water & Sewer Project on Bearcat Blvd. 

Bearcat Boulevard Water ProjectOn the evening of January 15, 2019, members of Hendersonville Water & Sewer worked throughout the night on a multi-crew and multi-site project taking place on Bearcat Blvd. The main component of the job was a portion of a fire hydrant replacement program aimed at upgrading older hydrants throughout the city.

On this particular evening, crews removed an old hydrant that had been out of service at the corner of Bearcat Blvd. and Church St. A new hydrant will be added in a location that is more convenient and accessible to fire personnel. The second portion of the evening’s project involved installing two mainline valves. These valves allow crews to lessen the impact and customers affected by future water shut offs in the area. Disruption in water service can occur because of line replacements, leak repairs and scheduled maintenance, but by strategically placing mainline valves, crews can limit the number of customers affected. A third portion of the project consisted of replacing and updating a sewer service.

The project was headed up by Andrew Jones, Utility Systems Supervisor of the Excavations Division of Hendersonville Water & Sewer. Jones and other personnel began planning this multi-site project months ago in order to cause the least impact to businesses and residents with regard to water disruption and road closures. Regular notifications were made to affected customers leading up the project. The three-fold project was completed in a twelve-hour overnight shift with water service only being interrupted for eight hours. To finish out this Bearcat Blvd. project, Public Works will patch the pavement impacted and Water & Sewer personnel will coordinate with the Fire Department to install a new fire hydrant in a more accessible location.

Watch a short video on the project.

Posted by Allison N 01/16/2019

Hendersonville Fire Department Lieutenant Promoted to Captain 

Captain Christian MillerThe Hendersonville Fire Department has announced the promotion of Christian Jericho Miller from the rank of Lieutenant to Captain. The promotion took effect on January 12, 2019.

“Captain Miller is an asset to our team and the community we serve,” said Hendersonville Fire Chief Joseph Vindigni. “He is a proven leader who has shown a special interest in the training needs and futures of those he supervises as well as others throughout the department.”

Christian Miller began his fire service career in 2006 as a volunteer firefighter with the Tryon Fire Department. He served in Tryon as a firefighter, training officer, Captain and Assistant Chief. In 2009 he became a full-time (career) firefighter with Fairview Fire & Rescue. Miller joined the Hendersonville Fire Department in October 2013 and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in August 2014. In the past, Captain Miller has served as the department’s Training Officer and played an integral role in coordinating and tracking the extensive amount of training and certifications fire personnel are required to have. Captain Miller’s recent promotion will allow him to continue to lead the Engine Company assigned to Engine 1 on B-shift.

In order to serve as a Captain at the Hendersonville Fire Department, personnel must hold the following certifications in addition to various Hazmat, Driving and Incident Management Training: NC Certification as a Firefighter Level II, Emergency Medical Technician, Fire Inspector Level I, Fire Instructor Level II, Driver Operator Pumps, Driver Operator Aerials, Fire Officer II and Child Passenger Safety Seat Technician. Applicants must complete additional requirements in the Fire Captain Standard Operating Guidelines. Captain Miller has far exceeded the educational standards required by this position by obtaining an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in Emergency Management with a concentration in Fire Science. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Organizational Leadership.

Outside of his service to the City of Hendersonville, Christian Miller serves at Blue Ridge Fire & Rescue as a Fire Captain and a member of their Board of Directors.

Posted by Allison N 01/16/2019

City of Hendersonville Offices Closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 

Office closed for MLK DayThe City of Hendersonville government offices will be closed on Monday, January 21, 2019 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Garbage, Recycling and Brush Collection will be operating on a regular schedule. For water/sewer issues occurring on January 21, please use the afterhours number at (828) 891-7779.

 

Posted by Allison N 01/16/2019

Hendersonville Police Department Announces Employee of the Quarter 

Michele Hoyle Police Employee of the QuarterOfficer Michele Hoyle received the following Letter of Commendation announcing her as Hendersonville Police Department’s Employee of the Quarter for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Officer Michele Hoyle

A Letter of Commendation

In Recognition for Services as Set Forth Herein

We take great pleasure in recognizing you as the Hendersonville Police Department Employee of the Quarter for the period of September 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. This selection was based on your demonstrated, sustained, superior performance in the execution of your duties during the period noted above.

Since joining our department, you have demonstrated a level of professionalism, proficiency and attention to detail that is obvious to many within and outside of our agency. In addition to the volume of calls and the contacts made to our department from citizens at large and your peers lauding your level of service; you have been publicly recognized by city leaders, with an HPD Commendation for bravery and your lifesaving efforts you put forth in a late-night structure fire in December 2017. Moreover, you are featured in the latest edition of the Blue Ridge Community College Continuing Education Brochure in Michele’s Story, as a shining example as a standard for others to follow. You acquired certification as a Rape Aggression Defense Instructor to serve our community in this way as well.

Your fidelity, steadiness and desire to help us effectively serve our community reflect great credit upon yourself, the Hendersonville Police Department and the City of Hendersonville. We are fortunate to have you.

Herbert Blake, Chief of Police

Barbara Volk, Mayor

We congratulate Officer Hoyle on this well-deserved recognition.

Posted by Allison N 01/11/2019

Subdivision Ordinance Revision Project 

Subdivision Ordinance Committee Meeting

The Development Assistance Department is in the process of revising and updating the City of Hendersonville’s Subdivision Ordinance. This document is a vital planning tool that guides the proper subdivision of land to promote the orderly growth of the city. The goal of the revision is to increase the customer orientation of the regulations, make the guidelines more user friendly, and clarify requirements and processes.

The City of Hendersonville has enlisted the assistance of CodeWright Planners, LLC as a consultant to work with the Development Assistance Department on this project. The consultant Chad Meadows interviewed stakeholders representing both city and private sector representatives on Wednesday, January 9 and Thursday, January 10, 2019.

In conjunction with the interviews, a committee has been formed to assist with the revision. The representatives on the committee are City staff members, from departments like Public Works, the Fire Department and Engineering who are involved in the enforcement side of the ordinance, as well as the Chairs of the City of Hendersonville’s Board of Adjustment and Planning Board. Private sector representatives include surveyors, architects and engineers to include perspectives from those who work with the ordinance on a regular basis. Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Ron Stephens is serving as the City Council representative on the committee.

The committee met for a preliminary meeting held on Thursday, January 10 at 4:00 at City Operations to begin the project. The committee’s role will include reviewing ordinance draft material, acting as a sounding board for ideas and keeping stakeholders informed of the process. A tentative timeline of the revision outlines an assessment being presented to the committee in early March followed by the drafting process. Once a draft has been completed, a public input meeting will be held to allow for feedback during the summer. The goal is to adopt the new ordinance in August 2019.

The City of Hendersonville will share information about the public input meeting when it has been scheduled with local media partners and on the City’s website and social media.

 

Photo: Chad Meadows, AICP, CodeWright Planners, LLC, leading the Advisory Committee in their preliminary meeting on January, 10, 2019

Posted by Allison N 01/11/2019

Longest serving Hendersonville Police Department Employee Remembered 

Photo of Inez NormanOn January 8, 2019, the Hendersonville Police Department’s longest serving employee passed away at the age 88. Inez Norman was a beloved and dedicated employee who began her career in 1965, serving as matron in the City jail. She later became a police officer and served as a parking enforcement officer, school crossing guard, and reserve officer. Inez was still employed with the department as a part time civilian assistant at the time of her passing.

“Inez never met a stranger and she was always smiling,” said Hendersonville Police Department Parking Enforcement Supervisor Anita Clouse. “This is a very big loss for the community.” 

About ten years ago, Chief Herbert Blake created the ‘Inez Norman Award for Excellence’ that is given to civilian employees who serve at the Hendersonville Police Department. It is clear to see why this award was named for Inez whenever any of her coworkers speak about her compassion and dedication.

Inez was also a lifetime member of the VFW ladies auxiliary and the American Legion auxiliary. Many residents of Hendersonville will also remember her for working part time at the Chicken Shack on 7th Avenue.

Read memories and tributes to Inez Norman.

Posted by Allison N 01/11/2019

Fifth Avenue Parking Reconfiguration 

Public Works staff repaints parking spacesDuring their January Council Meeting, the Hendersonville City Council voted to reconfigure some parking spaces along Fifth Avenue East. The request had been brought to the attention of Councilman Jeff Miller by a Fifth Avenue property owner. The Council decided to add two spaces in between Edwards Alley and the City Hall Alley and remove one space closer to Main Street in order to expand a loading zone to assist downtown merchants with deliveries. The decision resulted in a more functional configuration and a net gain of one downtown parking space.

On January 8, the City of Hendersonville Public Works Department was working on Fifth Avenue to repaint the parking lines and loading zone markings. Great job by Public Works staff in their efficient response to carrying out the decision made by City Council only a few days prior.

Photo: Brandon Mundy and Deon Mendosa repaint the loading zone on Fifth Avenue

Posted by Allison N 01/08/2019

Water and Sewer Customer Service Improvements 

Customer Service Meeting photo

On Saturday, January 5, members of the City of Hendersonville's Customer Service Division and personnel from the Water and Sewer Department had a productive meeting focused on providing the best customer service possible to Water and Sewer customers in Hendersonville and across Henderson County.

"Our utility system continues to grow, and we realize there are areas where we can improve our customer service,” said City Manager John Connet.  “It is very hard to have this type of meeting during the normal work week, so our customer service teams offered to give up a Saturday morning. I appreciate their willingness to tackle some tough issues on a Saturday and look forward to implementing the changes that were discussed by the teams."

Hendersonville Water and Sewer is responsible for providing water service to more than 65,000 residents and businesses as well as sewer service to more than 21,000 residents and businesses. Warren Miller facilitated the Saturday morning meeting which was aimed at streamlining processes, improving communication and brainstorming ideas to better serve the needs of customers now and moving forward in a rapidly growing community. The City of Hendersonville appreciates our customer service employees, finance department, meter technicians and additional water/sewer staff for the pride they take in serving and assisting our customers.

Information about starting/stopping water service, billing and more can be found on the City of Hendersonville's Customer Service web page

Posted by Allison N 01/05/2019

Get Involved in 2019 

2019 Get Involved flyer

As you prepare your list of New Year’s Resolutions, why not make one to get more involved with your local government and community?

Here are five ways that you can connect with the City of Hendersonville in the new year!

1. Attend a City Council Meeting

One of the best ways to find out what is going on in your town is to attend council meetings. The Hendersonville City Council holds their regular meetings the first Thursday of each month at City Hall unless otherwise noted. You can visit https://www.hendersonvillenc.gov/council-meeting-agendas-and-minutes to view the agenda and minutes. If you have a desire to see local government in action, we encourage you to attend.

2. Become a Friend of Downtown

Each year community-oriented individuals give their time volunteering to enhance downtown Hendersonville and the wonderful events offered to both residents and visitors. By signing up to be a Friend of Downtown you can get involved with events such as Rhythm & Brews, Bearfootin’ Art Walk and more. Sign up at https://www.cognitoforms.com/CityOfHendersonville4/VolunteerSignUp

3. Download the Hendersonville Police Department App

The Hendersonville Police Department has launched a mobile app aimed at connecting with the public and making resources easier to access. The app features options to submit crime tips, request extra patrols, commend an officer, search crime maps and receive important safety notifications. Watch a short video about the app at https://youtu.be/SXQYoohhPQc. The app can be downloaded in the App Store and Google Play.

4. Serve on a Board or Committee

Local government relies on active participation of citizens willing to serve on boards and committees. These groups play an integral role in American local government and help plan the future of communities. The City of Hendersonville offers a wide variety of boards, commissions and committees that may align with your interests and passions. Visit https://www.hendersonvillenc.gov/boards-and-commissions for more information on each group and how to apply. We currently have vacancies on the Business Advisory Committee, Environmental Sustainability Board, Tree Board and Walk of Fame Steering Committee.

5. Get Connected Online

The City of Hendersonville provides many resources to keep you informed. Everything from starting water/sewer service and paying a bill to garbage collection informationengineering projects and greenway maps can be found at https://www.hendersonvillenc.gov/

The following social media channels will also help you stay up-to-date with City of Hendersonville news and events:

The City of Hendersonville wishes you a safe, happy and healthy new year!

Posted by Allison N 01/01/2019

Holiday Office Closing and Collection Schedule 

Holiday office closing and collection flyerAll City of Hendersonville local government offices will be closed Monday, December 24 through Wednesday, December 26, 2018 in observance of the Christmas holiday. The offices will also be closed on January 1, 2019 for New Year's Day.

The holiday garbage, recycling and brush collection schedules are outlined below and available at https://www.hendersonvillenc.gov/Data/Sites/1/media/2018-holiday-collection-schedule.pdf. Leaf collection will be suspended during the city holiday but will resume on December 27, 2018 and continue until the first week of January 2019. For any water/sewer issues occurring on a holiday, please use the afterhours number at (828) 891-7779.

Holiday Collection Schedule

  • Monday 12/24/18 – Regular Schedule
  • Tuesday 12/25/18 – No Garbage, Recycling or Brush Collected
  • Wednesday 12/26/18 – Regular Schedule Plus Tuesday 12/25/18 Routes Collected
  • Tuesday 1/1/19 - Regular Schedule

The City of Hendersonville Public Works Department will help residents dispose of their natural Christmas trees. Trees will be picked up as part of residents’ regular brush service and recycled into mulch. Christmas trees must be free of all lights, ornaments, tinsel, stands, and other materials.

Public Works staff will also be assisting with a Holiday Recycling event that allows the public to recycle natural Christmas trees, lights and greeting cards. The event takes place on Saturday, January 5, 2019 from 9:00am to 2:00pm at Jackson Park on Ball Field #6. This event is a collaboration between Henderson County, the City of Hendersonville, Henderson County Cooperative Extension Leaders in Training 4-H Club, MountainTrue and King Hardware & Rental. More holiday recycling information can be accessed at https://www.hendersonvillenc.gov/holiday-recycling and in the City of Hendersonville Environmental Services Resource Guide at https://www.hendersonvillenc.gov/Data/Sites/1/media/environmentalresourcesguide.pdf

Posted by Allison N 12/20/2018

Regional Hazard Mitigation Public Input Survey 

Regional Survey flyer

Henderson, Polk, Transylvania, and Rutherford Counties and the municipalities within the counties are working together to become less vulnerable to natural disasters, and your participation in the process is important to us!

The counties, along with local jurisdictions and other partners, are working to update the multi-jurisdictional Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. This plan identifies and assesses our community’s natural hazard risks and identifies strategies that determine how to best minimize or manage those risks.

A survey has been created as an opportunity for you to share your opinions and participate in the mitigation planning process. The information you provide will help us better understand your hazard concerns and can lead to mitigation activities that should help lessen the impacts of future hazard events.

Link to Survey:  https://s.surveyplanet.com/JoRVQduiP

Posted by Allison N 12/19/2018

Public Service Announcement on Traffic Stops 

Traffic Stop photo

Hendersonville Police Chief Herbert Blake is announcing the Police Department’s collaborative effort with Brevard College and their Criminal Justice Program in the making of a short Public Service Announcement to help enlighten the public about some details of a traffic stop. Over the last semester, students of the criminal justice program and film making class interacted through role play scenarios to address some of the “Dos and Don’ts of a Traffic Stop.”

“We hope to address some questions motorists might have if stopped by our police department or any law enforcement agency,” said Chief Herbert Blake. “Many people do not know exactly what to do and what to expect when they are stopped by the police for a traffic infraction. This video provides some answers to those questions.”

Volunteering to keep your hands visible, remaining calm, turning down any music, turning on your interior lights if you are stopped at night for better visibility, and speaking with the officer with a tone of respect and cooperation are steps motorists can take to assist the officer in the performance of their duties. The video explains why the officer returns to his or her patrol car and why it may take some time to either write a citation or issue a warning along with verifying the documents the officer received from the driver.

Chief Blake would like to express appreciation to Mr. Timothy Powers, Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Program at Brevard College; Mr. Thomas C. Webb, Faculty for Public Service and Film Making at Brevard College; and Officers Marcus Vance and Matt Capps of the Hendersonville Police Department for helping with this public service announcement.

“Our goal is to provide professional, courteous law enforcement services,” said Chief Blake. “A part of this includes educating and enlightening citizens when possible.”

The video can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/299886301

Posted by Allison N 12/18/2018

Cooking Fire Prevention Tips  

Cooking Fire Prevention Tips

On Tuesday, December 11, 2018, members of the Hendersonville Fire Department offered a cooking safety presentation at Union Grove Baptist Church in Hendersonville. Firefighters covered information on how cooking fires typically start, prevention tips, how to use a fire extinguisher and what to do if you are faced with a cooking fire.

“One of the responsibilities of our Life Safety Division is fire prevention education,” said Fire Chief Joseph Vindigni. “We try to be proactive out in the community to educate residents and avoid fires that can easily be prevented.”

The National Fire Protection Association reported that between 2012-2016, cooking was the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries with ‘unattended cooking’ being attributed as the leading cause of cooking fires and casualties. Earlier this fall, the Hendersonville Fire Department responded to two unattended cooking fires in the area neighboring Union Grove Baptist Church. Fortunately, no injuries were sustained in these fires, but fire personnel want instances like these to remind people how easily kitchen fires can start if stoves are left unattended.

Cooking Safety Tips:

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from your stove top.

If you have a small (grease) cooking fire and decide to fight the fire:

  • On the stovetop, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

If you have any doubt about fighting a small fire:

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 from outside the home.

HFD Cooking Fire Prevention Video

Posted by Allison N 12/13/2018

Police Department Makes Bank Robbery Arrest 

HPD logo

On Friday, December 7, 2018, Police Officers with the Hendersonville Police Department responded to the Entegra Bank on Spartanburg Highway for a reported bank robbery. Initially, officers were told that a white male, wearing some type of mask, robbed the bank at a teller station, got an unknown amount of cash, and fled the scene on foot. It was also reported that the suspect had some type of a weapon. The Hendersonville Police Department, with the assistance of Henderson County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Laurel Park Police Department officers, quickly secured the bank and the surrounding areas and began a search for the suspect. A short time later an individual matching the suspect description was located in a restaurant on Spartanburg Highway. This individual was identified as Daniel Wayne Owens of Hendersonville. Detectives with the Hendersonville Police Department conducted a follow up interview with Mr. Owens and determined that he was the person responsible for robbing the bank. Detectives charged Mr. Owens with common law robbery a few hours after the crime was reported. Mr. Owens was arrested and is being held at the Henderson County Detention Center on a $30,000.00 secured bond. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with additional information about this robbery is asked to contact the Hendersonville Police Department at (828) 697-3025.  

Posted by Allison N 12/11/2018

Hendersonville Fire Marshal to Join State Board 

Fire Marshal Justin Ward

Hendersonville Fire Marshal Justin Ward has been named as the Western Representative for the North Carolina Fire Marshal’s Association Board of Directors. Ward was nominated by City of Asheville Deputy Marshal Jeff Payne and was voted in by the North Carolina Fire Marshal’s Association (NCFMA) state’s membership at a quarterly meeting held on November 20, 2018 in Chatham County.

“I’m extremely proud of Fire Marshal Ward and his commitment to life safety and the betterment of not only the City of Hendersonville, but the entire state,” said Hendersonville Fire Chief Joseph Vindigni.  

Fire Marshal Ward’s position on the board of directors will allow him to connect with regional fire inspection, prevention and investigation professionals and further the mission of saving life and property through fire prevention across the state, as well as here at home in Hendersonville. His appointment takes effect on January 1, 2019.

Fire Marshal Justin Ward began full time employment with the City of Hendersonville as a firefighter in 2008. He worked through the ranks of Engineer, Lieutenant and Captain, and was promoted to Fire Marshal in 2016.

The City of Hendersonville congratulates Fire Marshal Ward on this appointment and looks forward to the commitment he will bring to the NCFMA, as well as the insights he will bring back home. For more information about the NCFMA, visit their website at https://ncfma.com/.

Posted by Allison N 12/11/2018
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