Blowing Rock Public Town Meeting May 1, 2023: Underground Utilities

April 28, 2023

IMPORTANT FOR BLOWING ROCK VOTERS AND TAXPAYERS TO ATTEND:  Community Information Meeting about burying downtown utility lines – May 1, 2023, 6 pm, American Legion Building

  • The issue for Town Council – Do the benefits of the project justify its substantial cost? All residents need to be well-informed since YOUR property taxes pay for about half of the funding for the Town’s budget.
  • Some questions to consider:
    • How will the project be paid for? Previous statements by Town Staff indicate that the primary source for the cost of approximately $7 million will be new Town debt to be repaid with increased property taxes. What kind of increase would there be and for how long?
    • To what extent will the amount of debt required for this project impact the ability of the Town to borrow for other needed and/or quality of life projects in the future?
    • How long will the project (and the water/sewer work from Chetola to 321 that Council has already approved) disrupt business, traffic, and parking on Main Street? Previous statements by Town Staff indicate at least 2 seasons, with the utility line burial making it even longer. Two separate trenches will be dug for the water and sewer lines. Utilitieswould require an additional trench.
    • Has there been an attempt to measure the economic impact on Main Street merchants of the disruption on Main Street and the likely higher rents to be charged by landlords to cover higher property taxes? Some restaurants and businesses are still trying to recover from COVID.
    • Does Blowing Rock really want to attract more tourists and visitors before it addresses issues of downtown traffic congestion and parking? Supporters say burying utilities will improve the appearance and potentially improve the desirability for tourists to visit.
    • Do a significant number of Blowing Rock voters and taxpayers favor the undergrounding project?

The May 1st meeting may be the only time to ask questions and share your opinions before the Town Council acts on this project, possibly at the May 9th council meeting.  Blowing Rock Civic Association strives to be a positive voice for all homeowners in our beautiful town. We believe it is important for all residents to be well- informed.

Posted in ,