Council told nine vie for Hillsville Farmer’s Market position

By David Broyles -

Hillsville Town Council was informed at its Jan. 23 meeting there are nine candidates for a farmers market coordinator. Council also approved budget adjustments for the Hillsville Police Department.

“We are in the process of reviewing applications for the farmers market position,” said Town Manager Retta Jackson. She said nine applications had been received for the part-time post as manager and coordinator. Previously, Jackson confirmed the project will test the viability of a combination farmer’s market and event venue. She said the effort is funded through a grant.

Earlier, work continues drafting a business plan to develop a permanent structure for the market which could include an area for hosting performances. She said recent progress on the market has been made possible by grants from several organizations. A dual use is planned for the market, which will regularly host community events with a staging area (during summer) behind the Carter Home. According to Jackson, the plan could involve grading a piece of property behind the historic structure which will ultimately provide easy access for market participants, the vendor stalls and additional parking for downtown.

The market is contingent on the ability to prove its sustainability and be a valuable venue for local agriculture. Information the Town provided indicates the job will require extensive marketing and communication skills. The manager will work with Jackson initially to create a temporary market which could become a full-time operation when and if a permanent structure is developed.

Councilman David Young, noting the Hillsville Police Department’s most recent activity numbers report with 145 speeding and or reckless driving summons, indicated he favored upward adjustments to the HPD budget. Young’s motion to this effect was approved by council.

Information supplied by the town for the 2017 fiscal year budget adjustments indicates an increase of $86,000 to offset additional expense. This increase will go to certain accounts in relation to subsequent revenues which exceeded the budgeted amount. Debit amounts listed were $20,000 for salaries and part-time wages, $30,000 for salaries and traffic safety overtime wages and $36,000 for police supplies.

The HPD activity numbers report for January 5 through January 8 indicates the Department assisted 25 motorists, conducted nine criminal investigations and eight accident investigations. HPD performed 459 business checks, 31 house checks and five welfare checks. The Department had 13 false/unfounded calls, 51 traffic warnings, three safety belts summons and 43 other traffic summons.

Police Chief Wesley Yonce told council the Department now has body cameras for its officers. He said currently officers have been instructed to become accustomed to the new equipment by recording out-of-the-ordinary encounters and traffic stops. The equipment was purchased through a grant.

Vice Mayor Ed Terry commended the town staff on getting the new awning up on the front of Town Hall and the Beautification Committee on the design and color choice of paint for the awning. Councilman Bill Tate asked for prayers for the family of a longtime local businessman, the late Cleophus Surratt, who passed away on January 19 at the age of 90 at the Salem VA Medical Center. Surratt was born in Carroll County and served in the Army during World War II. He was a jeweler in Carroll County for over 65 years. Jackson also welcomed Studio B, LLC as a new business in town. The fitness studio is located in the old post office at 307 North Main Street.

David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.

By David Broyles

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