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GOOD JOB!/NEEDS WORK ... Water water everywhere

Needs work … Grady Hawkins, the chairman of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, keeps imagining city water conspiracy and secrecy where none exists. Hawkins is within his prerogative to insist that the city of Hendersonville notify the county of proposed water line extensions because where water goes development follows. But two times this month Hawkins implied that the city had slipped through a couple of major water extensions and in the process “unilaterally discarded” a 1997 agreement requiring the city to notify the county of expansions. That’s not what happened. At the request of homeowners and the developer, the city took over maintenance of the private water system in the 28-home Pinnacle Falls subdivision on Pinnacle Mountain. The city has supplied water to the development (and to upper Kenmure) since a 2008 agreement the county signed off at the time. Hawkins also questioned a $6 million contract for a new water line to Etowah, which is a replacement of a existing pipe. At a recent meeting of the Local Government Committee for Cooperative Action, Hendersonville Mayor Barbara Volk and City Manager John Connet assured Hawkins that the city complies with the 1997 agreement. Apparently satisfied, Hawkins urged the city to coordinate with the county as its planners draft a 2045 land-use plan. That’s a good idea.

Good job! An example of cooperation between city and county we ought to see more of has produced an exciting new event downtown. The city, the county rec department and Hola Community Arts partnered up to create the new Treat Street Carnival on Halloween. The former Trick or Treat Street became so popular that safety was a factor. The new event, which will close Main Street to traffic, features the costume contest and candy mining by little witches, ghosts and goblins with added attractions including inflatables, a Halloween-themed outdoor movie and performances in the spirit of Día de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead Mexican holiday.

Needs work … The hyperbole of Cultural Landscape Group founder Anne Coletta and the CLG slate of anti-greenway and anti-road improvement candidates strains credibility with each mailbox pickup. This “historic election that will irreversibly set the direction of Flat Rock for generations,” as the latest overwrought CLG campaign mailer asserts, is primarily being fought over a two-foot paved shoulder on Highland Lake Road, the loss of some roadside trees (which will be replanted) and a 10-foot paved greenway through the park. The project would hardly create, as CLG says, an extension of Upward Road, which is a five-lane highway, nor turn Flat Rock into Hendersonville South. Nor has the Flat Rock Village Council endorsed a plan to widen and add a 10-foot greenway along Little River Road, nor one to widen Erkwood Drive and Blue Ridge Road. The incumbent Village Council did raise taxes this year, for two unavoidable purposes: to pay for increased fire protection budgets adopted by the county Board of Commissioners and to defend the village against the yard sign lawsuit — brought by Coletta.