Last updated: July 23. 2013 9:00AM - 1473 Views
By Wendy Wood

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PILOT MOUNTAIN — Tattoo parlors and body piercing businesses are only able to operate in area’s zoned general business following a zoning ordinance text amendment made Monday by the Pilot Mountain Board of Commissioners.

The text amendment added a definition of “tattoo parlor/body piercing studio” to the town’s ordinances and designated them only allowed in the general business areas. Prior to Monday night, there were no rules or regulations about establishments for those purposes.

Commissioners opened the meeting with a public hearing on the proposed changes, which were recommended unanimously by the town’s planning board, but no one addressed the town board during the hearing.

After closing the hearing, the board, with no discussion on the matter, unanimously approved the amendments on a motion by Commissioner Linda Needham and a second by Commissioner Dwight Atkins.

A number of board appointments were made by the commissioners, including a new five-member planning board being appointed after the commissioners changed the town’s ordinances last month to reduce that board from seven members.

“I’d like to thank those people who have served and who will serve in the future. These seats have no pay and, especially on the planning board, can be a headache,” said Mayor Earl Sheppard as he started the appointment process.

During the appointments, each commissioner nominated a planning board candidate, giving four names, then a fifth name was nominated at large. After the new members were approved, Sheppard appointed the chairman and terms were appointed for each member’s seat.

Of the eight people who had been willing to serve, the five appointed were Dennis Thompson to a four-year term, Carolyn Boyles to a three-year term, Billy Pell to a two-year term, Junior Fulton to a one-year term and Jerry Reid to a two-year term. Pell was named chairman, after Fulton turned down the request by Sheppard to lead the group.

Two new members were appointed to the town’s Tourism Development Authority, out of four names provided. Scott Needham and John Bullington both will serve three-year terms.

Financial numbers strong

During his financial report, Town Manager Homer Dearmin reported that the 2012-13 fiscal year revenues for occupancy taxes, which are imposed on those who stay in the town’s lodging facilities, came in over budget and at the highest they’ve been since the town began collecting the taxes in July 2007.

The fiscal year saw $35,560 collected in occupancy taxes, which are restricted to be used for tourism development in Pilot Mountain. This is a 28.45 percent increase over the amount collected in 2011-12.

“Tourism is up in Pilot Mountain with the cruise-ins and other activities,” Dearmin told the board.

In addition, he said the town ended the fiscal year with a fund balance of about 14.3 percent, well above the just more than 4 percent it had in 2010-11.

“We are moving in the right direction,” he said.

During the departmental reports, Marshall Atkins, chairman of the ABC Board, reported that the ABC Store “is still doing well.”

But June was the first time since the store opened in 2009 that the revenues didn’t increase over the same month the previous year.

This year, the revenues were $61,144, while in June 2012, $63,344 was made.

“But we made money and were able to pay down $25,000 on our line of credit,” said Atkins.

In other items:

• Dearmin reported that the Pilot Knob Volunteer Fire Department Board of Directors voted to hire an outside contractor initially to inspect and test the town’s fire hydrants. As the work orders come in, the town will have them repaired “very quickly,” he said.

• The crosswalk project at N.C. 268 and Main Street is still in the works. Dearmin said the town is working with CVS’ corporate headquarters for cooperation on the project, and plans are being prepared on how to handle the project if all property owners don’t want to participate.

• Commissioner Gary Bell asked that the town look into addressing feline problems, especially in the downtown district where some businesses continue to feed the stray cats. Sheppard said the town should call around and research how other municipalities address the issue.

• Dearmin introduced the board to John Lovell, the town’s part-time employee with public works who graduated from East Surry High School and is attending Surry Community College.

Reach Wendy Byerly Wood at wbyerly-wood@civitasmedia.com or at 719-1923.

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