A proposal to put in a new cell tower a half-mile from the Cashiers crossroads has sparked heated debate between long-time neighbors Mark Zachary and Rick Barrs, but the outcome of an upcoming hearing on the issue will affect more than just the two men.
Mark Jones has never voted for a tax increase before, but the Jackson County Commissioner joined the rest of the board in favor of instituting a fire tax for the Cashiers and Highlands areas of the county last week.
A public hearing to get Cashiers’ take on a proposed fire tax for the area drew about 70 people to the Cashiers-Glenville Recreation Center. Judging by the 10 speakers who said their piece to the Jackson County Commissioners, one opinion is fairly unanimous among Cashiers taxpayers: the Cashiers Fire Department needs more revenue.
A fire tax for Sylva and Cullowhee is off the table, at least for now, but Jackson County Commissioners told county staff to keep going on the Cashiers and Highlands fire districts.
Macon County is asking Jackson County for money to pay for providing services to its residents in Highlands, but Jackson officials are exploring other alternatives, including establishing fire districts and levying a tax.
Macon County has requested about $160,000 from Jackson County to continue offering emergency services to residences in Highlands that are technically located in Jackson County. While Jackson County receives the property tax revenue from these homes, Macon County is burdened with the responsibility of providing emergency services.
The Jackson County Department of Public Health has scheduled a public meeting to discuss increased levels of mercury in walleye and large mouth bass at Lake Glenville.
The 2nd annual United Community Bank Mountain Challenge featuring American tennis legends Andy Roddick and Jim Courier will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 26, at the Cedar Creek Racquet Club in Cashiers.
The event will be hosted by the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce and benefits the nonprofit organizations Mountain Youth Charities and the Boys & Girls Club of the Plateau.
Public concerns over the visual blight of a proposed cell tower in the Cashiers area have prompted Verizon Wireless to alter its design for the tower, namely by disguising it to look like a very tall, very big pine tree.
It was time for something different.
“We’ve been looking at doing something like this for years,” said Sally Peterkin. “And when we found the right place, we knew it was time to do it.”
Highlands and Cashiers are perched on the edge of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, where the mountains plunge sharply from a high plateau, creating the right ingredients not only for bountiful waterfalls but a temperate rainforest, one of the few in North America. This makes for lush vegetation, plus special designations such as “salamander and lichen capital of the world.”