As the largest town west of Asheville and the county seat of Haywood County, Waynesville is the economic engine of the region, driving development and investment from Canton to Cherokee. Accordingly, its burden is high — some of the most important interactions residents will have with any local government occur on its website, almost 90 times each day.
Stephen Metzger was like a kid in a candy shop as he clambered over a massive mound of behemoth tree trunks piled high in the wood salvage yard behind Moose Crossing, a woodworking studio on the outskirts of Waynesville.
“Ashe, red oak, box elder, white oak, walnut, hard maple, sugar maple, sycamore,” Stephen said. “We’ve got a huge investment right here — huge.”
As the $11.6 million Howell Mill Road project was winding down in late 2015, the Waynesville Planning Board began to take a look at zoning within the burgeoning corridor; what the board found was commercial development encroaching on formerly rural areas and disagreements between neighbors on the future of their community.
Downtown Waynesville has racked up another accolade with the Great Places in North Carolina award — an honor that carries a little more clout and honor than the typical online poll or best-of list.
Waynesville’s 2016-17 budget includes funding for eight new full-time firefighters, effectively doubling staffing, shortening response times and increasing firefighter safety at a cost of about $530,000 per year over three years.
After several public opportunities for comment resulted in sparse discussion, Waynesville’s 2016-17 budget passed June 14 with the largest tax hike of Mayor Gavin Brown’s tenure.
A sparsely-attended special meeting held June 7 at the Waynesville Town Hall was meant to serve as a public hearing on the town’s proposed $29.7 million budget for fiscal year 2016-2017, but instead talk centered mostly around things much more elemental — namely, fire.
For Teresa Pennington, it’s a race against time.
“You have one hour to complete this drawing, where I’m usually taking three months on a single piece,” she laughed. “But, I’ve gotten better at it. You just have to be focused, have everything you need right there, and also plan ahead as to what you want to do.”
An ongoing debate over food trucks and pushcart vendors in Waynesville made its way to the town board last week, but a vote was delayed after it became evident town board members differed on their views.
The Waynesville town board met Tuesday for a third stab at narrowing down their pool of applicants for the town manager position.