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Developer wants to buy KM lakes
City Council Friday night in a
four-hour long budget workshop
apparently shot down Mayor Scott
Neisler's proposal to cut taxes from
40 cents per $100 valuation to 36
cents and his budget plan that he
says will put the required money in
the city's reserves fund before the
June 30 current fiscal year ends
"I'm really beating my head
against a wall," said Neisler as he
attempted to show the six of seven
members present ( Councilman
Jerry White was absent) that Kings
Mountain could end criticism from
City Council snubs mayor's budget
the state by rebuilding the reserve
fund now since Kings Mountain
apparently has the money.
Last year the mayor's budget
plan was rejected by the Local
Government Commission. This
See Mayor, 11-A
ready next week
~ A formal contract between
Charlotte Mecklenburg Hospital
Authority and the Cleveland
County Board of Commissioners
for a 17-year lease of Kings
Mountain Hospital is expected to
go out to all parties in the proposed
merger next week.
Hank Neal, administrator of
Kings Mountain Hospital, said that
a detailed proposal has been com-
CMHA already has a manage-
ment contract with KMH and also
with Cleveland Memorial Hospital
At Tuesday's meeting of the
KMH Executive Committee the
board conducted a first reading of a
proposed amendment to the current
ws that would provide for
leadership during the
of the full board of trustees.
Neal said that a new woman in-
ternist coming to Kings Mountain
on July 1 has purchased the former
McGill Clinic from Dr. John C.
"Dr. Minor will be in the office
See Hospital, 11-A
going to council
A utility rate study that could
cost as much as $55,000 will be
recommended by SVBK
Consulting Group of Charlotte
Tuesday night to the Kings
Mountain City Council.
The board meets at 7:30 p.m. in
Council Chambers at City Hall.
Dan Stone, representing SVBK,
will present his findings from a re-
cent utility audit which identified
numerous problems in metering
and billing and concludes with
about 20 recommendations includ-
ing a major rate study.
Stone will also recommend that
the city hire a customer service
representative, a new position in
the city finance department.
The board is also expected to set
the date for public hearing on the
city's 1995-96 budget
The amendment will take a vote
At least a dozen residents of
city-owned Davidson and City
Lakes aired their concerns Monday
to the city utilities committee about
rumors they had heard that the city
is selling the lakes and approxi-
mately 104 acres of land.
Jerry L. Smith of DreamCatcher
Enterprises recently sent the city a
letter of intent to buy the property
but he said Monday he really has
no immediate plans and had only
the best intentions for use of the
from them to take it off."
"take it off."
West School Principal Sherrill Toney discovered
Thursday that "reading will make you bald."
He got a shirt with that appropriate inscription after
hair stylist Joyce Bridges shaved his head at the urging
of his students who yelled at the top of their voices,
Toney had his head shaved in front of the elemen-
tary school student body, keeping good his promise
that if students read more this year he would pay off a
The school goal in the Accelerated Reader program
was 5,000 points. West students ended the current
school year with 6,557.4, 1,557.4 points over goal.
Before the final shave, however, Bridges and Toney
had fun with the students. Bridges presented Toney in
a Mohawk look, a clown hairdo and finally took the
shaving cream to his nearly bald head and gave him
his crowning glory to the delight of the audience.
Fifth grader Meagan Spicer was top reader for the
West School Principal Sherrill Toney, above, makes good on his reading bet with his students by getting
his head shaved. Hair stylist Joyce Bridges presented the principal in various hair styles until a clamor
Promise to readers leaves
West School principal bald
school with 275 points followed closely by fourth
grader Virginia Neisler with 266.4. Third place winner
was second grader Stacey Spicer, 125.7 points. Other
top finishers were Erica Odems, third grader, 113.4
points, and first grader Lauren Gaffney, 52.9 points.
Fourth graders were the top readers, compiling
2,197.6 points followed by the fifth grade with 1,756.3
point, the third grade with 1,140.5 points, the second
grade with 1,100.9 points and the first grade, which
did not participate until February, 28. 6 points.
A total of 29 students in grades 1-5 participated in
the reading program.
Toney said he gave the students their choice of
dunking him, kissing a pig, sitting on the roof for a day
or having his hair shaved. .
"They voted by ballot and 95 percent of them wanted
me to shave my head if they won our bet," he said.
Toney said that numerous awards went to the top
winners including putt-putt games and pizza Thursday
afternoon for the 34 members of the Principal's Club.
. ommending that the city undertake
Pat Plonk, president of the Kings Mountain Historical Foundation Inc., presents a $25,000 check, a state
grant for renovation of the old post office as a museum, to treasurer Ruby Baker as some of the members
of the Foundation look on. From left, Plonk, former Senator J. Ollie Harris, Ruby H. Baker and Chamber
of Commerce official Jeannie Moore. Back row, Larry Hamrick Sr., Mary Neisler and Gene White.
property if the city wanted to sell it
Smith's offer got some immedi-
ate reaction from Council mem-
bers present at the utilities meeting
and from neighbors.
"[ don't care who buys the prop-
erty as long as we are protected,"
said Bobby Maner.
"We have no security. The last
thing we want to see done is some-
thing to harm us or the land," he
Because the properties - 86 acres
on Davidson Lake and 18 acres on
City Lake - lie outside the city's ex-
traterritorial jurisdiction, the city
has no zoning control over the
area. The county has no zoning
"The lakes are a liability, not an
asset to the city," said Utilities
Chairman Jim Guyton. "We just
spent $300,000 renovating the
See Lakes, 12-A
Study recommends city
hire customer service rep
A 60-page audit of the city's
billing system lays the blame for
the city's underbilling and over-
billing of electricity customers of
thousands of dollars at the feet of
both the utility and billing depart-
But Dan Stone, representing
SVBK Consulting Group of
Charlotte, doesn't stop there.
He also says customers are not
without fault. They moved or left a
home without notifying the city
and the result is inaccurate billing
for that residence.
Stone presented his findings and
recommendations to the city utili-
ties committee Monday night, rec-
a rate study of all utilities and hire
a customer service representative
"The four Councilmen at the
eeting, Jim Guyton, utility com-
Grindstaff agreed that Council
should implement the recommen-
Why pay $25,000 for a study if
you don't do what it says?" asked
The new rate study will cost be-
Guyton also suggested that the
city start at once billing out utilities
on 30 day cycles.
"People on fixed incomes can't
pay these bills for erratic readings,"
Guyton said that some cus-
tomers get bills for a 12 day period
and the next month the bill is for
40 or 60 days.
Spears also suggested that new
meter reading routes need to be es-
tablished, a recommendation of the
Finance Director Maxine
Parsons said it will take about three
months to change the metering sys-
Guyton suggested that meter
readers quit skipping streets when
they read meters and work both
sides of a street at the same time.
Grindstaff said Council should
an Spears, |
KM utility bills
to be increased
Your July 1 utility bills from the
City of Kings Mountain will be
The 1995-96 preliminary budget
calls for a 3 1/2 percent across-
the-boards increase in sewer and a
slight increase in sanitation fees
due to increased costs to the city
by the suppliers.
Last Friday City Council took no
formal vote but indicated it would
pass on increased sewer rates by
the City of Gastonia for treatment
of sewer at the Crowders Creek
Plant instead of absorbing the addi-
tional $67,000 annual cost.
recommended last week that Sy \
zens get a break in the sewer costs.
- For a water customer using
The county landfill costs for
each residential customer will go
up 26 cents a month. For the com-
mercial customer, the rate will go
from $2.56 to $2.95.
The same tax rate will apply as
last year, 40 cents per $100 valua-
tion which will net the city about
$130,000. Since recent
reevaluation by Cleveland County,
tax bills will be higher.
Gastonia is raising its costs to
Kings Mountain for sewer treat-
ment 6.7 percent effective July 1.
Utilities Chairman Jim Guyton
said that a major expense next year
will be a basin and clarifiers at the
Pilot Creek Wastewater Plant
which could top the half million or
Commissioners penciled several
major expenditures on the capital
outlay budget Friday, filling no
new positions. One secretary in the
Parks & Recreation Department.
now in a part-time position, will
work full-time in a reorganization
move by that department. A cus-
tomer service representative posi-
tion is expected to be funded for
See Bills, 11-A
15,000 gallons of water a month the
increas ill be 24 cents a|
See Audit, 12-A
Historical Museum gets $25,000
The Kings Mountain Historical
Museum Foundation Inc. has re-
ceived a $25,000 state grant, seed
money for renovations to the old
Kings Mountain Post Office to a
Kings Mountain Museum.
"We are so excited,” said Pat
Plonk, president of the Foundation
who said that efforts to establish a
museum began as far back as 1985
when Hazel Fryer organized the
Museum Foundation and it re-
ceived a charter from the state on
April 7, 1986.
Plonk said that a love of history
and a desire to commemorate the
city's role in the history of the re-
gion and the nation fostered the
movement to renovate the empty
building at the south-cast corner of
Mountain Street and Piedmont
Avenue that once housed the city's
A board of directors of 14 local
citizens was formed to pursue the
dream of a muscum. Former
Senator J. Ollie Harris offered his
assistance in Raleigh to help secure
the grant, one of about 400 re-
quests for funds totaling $2 million
which the General Assembly ap-
propriated to support local historic
projects in North Carolina in 1994.
Betty McCain, secretary of the
N. C. Department of Cultural
Resources, mailed the check to
Plonk this week and she presented
it to members of the board of direc-
Over the years Plonk said that
citizens contributed historic materi-
als which are presently stored
above the old fire department bays
on North Piedmont Avenue.
Museum cases have been pur-
chased also from funds originally
donated to the Centennial celebra-
tion for the City of Kings
Mountain in 1974. A historical dis-
play is in the lobby of City Hall.
Plonk said that after the city pur-
chased the old post office from the
federal government that efforts
were made tor a number of years to
obtain the building for a museum.
The city had planned carlier to ren-
ovate the old post office as a law
enforcement center but in 1994 city
fathers decided to turn the building
over to the Museum Foundation for
use as a museum and build a new
police station when funds were
Plonk said that plans will get un-
derway immediately to renovate
the building. Since tax exempt sta-
tus has now been established. it is
expected the museum directors will
start immediately to plan for local
fundraising from the community.
industries and businesses interested
in preserving the history of Kings
Mountain and this area.
Plonk said opening of the muse-
um is expected by the end of 1995
if sufficient support and funds are
given to the project. Local citizens
and businesses are invited to join
in the fundraising. renovation and
accumulation of historic materials,
Mrs. Plonk may be contacted at
The old post office was used as
an air raid shelter during World
War IL It was built about 1939 and
is already included on the N.C,
See Grant, 11-A