By Amber Thompson

In an effort to increase visibility on Highway 231 in downtown Ashville, the Ashville City Council voted to designate a no parking area near the Inzer House Museum.

“It was brought to my attention that we need a no parking area there, and I agree,” Mayor Robert McKay said during Monday’s meeting. “It’s had enough to get in and out of there as it is. It may benefit the Inzer museum as well as the public.”

In the past, there have been visibility problems turning onto Highway 231 from 7th Avenue, which runs alongside the Inzer House, due to parking. Councilman David Thompson also noted that it’s sometimes impossible to turn onto 7th Avenue because cars turning onto Highway 231 are too far over due to parked cars on the side of the road, creating a bottleneck.

Councilman Mike Sheffield voiced a concern that older visitors park in the 7th Avenue area in question, so the council decided to have Street Superintendent Randy Thompson check on making a no parking zone with handicapped parking spaces  designated closeby.

McKay also said he received a call from the State Engineer’s office regarding removal of a 200-year-old tree in front of the Inzer House, stating that the museum’s leadership wanted it removed in fear of it falling and destroying the historical building. The council approved McKay to approach the state about its removal, contingent upon verification from the Inzer House Museum that they did, in fact, want it removed.

Other actions included:

— The July 4 council meeting was rescheduled to July 5.

— Nicky Bowlin’s resignation from the Variance Board of Adjustments was approved. Barbara Gandy was appointed to replace Bowlin.

— Lisa Swindall and Anita Teague were re-appointed to the Planning and Zoning Board. Swindall willl serve another three-year term, and Teague will serve another four-year term.

— The city approved submission of a letter of intent for the Hazard Mitigation grant program through FEMA. The grant, if awarded to Ashville, will allow citizens to be reimbursed for the cost of building storm shelters.

— The purchase of an ad for the Ashville High School football magazine was approved.

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