A much-discussed issue in Ronda, ordinances regulating farm animals, nuisance properties and a general penalties code, will be back on the agenda Tuesday night for Ronda commissioners to consider.
Commissioner Rheajean Benge made a motion to table a discussion and vote on ordinances in October, which passed unanimously. In interviews after the meeting, Benge said she considered a vote on the proposed ordinances to be tabled indefinitely and expressed her opposition to them.
During a work session Thursday night, Commissioner Sandra Simmons asked that an ordinance discussion and vote return to the agenda for the Dec. 13 meeting.
The motion appeared to die for lack of a second. However, a discussion ensued, with Mayor Victor Varela and Simmons citing several reasons why the matter needed to be brought back up.
Benge and Commissioner Manuel Wood expressed their continued opposition to the ordinances during the discussion. They suggested the town send letters to residences seeking their opinion on ordinances before passing them.
Wood questioned how any ordinances passed would be enforced and expressed misgivings about neighbors having authority to begin the complaint process for enforcement.
“What is wrong with ordinances designed to clean up the town,” countered Simmons.
She pointed out the neighboring communities of Clingman and Roaring River are making efforts to clean up their unincorporated towns.
“We might as well dissolve the town if we can’t pass these ordinances,” said Simmons.
Varela said a letter would be written to residents once a complaint had been filed. Ultimately a tax levy could be placed on the property if the situation remains unchanged.
“The ordinances are a way to protect our rights,” said Varela. “I don’t want another situation with roosters living nearby.”
“The residents of Ronda should make the decision,” replied Wood.
Varela responded by saying it was the board’s decision. “We were the ones elected.”
After several minutes of back and forth talk between the two, Commissioner Helen Porter said “the town needs guidelines for the next generation” and seconded the motion.
Varela broke the tie by voting to place the ordinance discussion on the Tuesday night agenda. Commissioner Cody Soots did not attend the meeting.
During a phone interview on Friday morning, Varela said he believes the ordinances being considered will pass on Tuesday night.
“So many people think the passing of the ordinances will be some kind of witch hunt, but that is not the case or the purpose,” said Varela on Friday.
Preliminary plans for a greenway along the Yadkin River in Ronda will be presented during the Tuesday meeting with maps of the proposed route.
Ron Niland, town consultant, said his brother Gary Niland, has been gathering information on the 58 property owners who would be affected by the greenway or walkway along the river.
The proposed greenway would be part of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, which extends to Elkin and Wilkes. Niland said connection to the Elkin portion of the trail would be made first and then to Roaring River.
Grants from the Clean Water Trust Fund would assist with the extension, said Niland.
The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail is part of the U.S. National Trails System, which includes the Yadkin Valley Greenway in Wilkes. It recognizes the Revolutionary War soldiers who fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain.
Carolina Fibers sewer bill
A $2,000 unpaid sewer bill from Carolina Fibers, located in Ronda, was briefly discussed.
The money is collected by the town of Ronda for the Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority.
Varela said a conference call between Wayne Moore of the Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority and Fred Vincelli of Safety Harbor, Fla., owner of Carolina Fibers, will be held before the end of the year. Varela said he would act as mediator.
Macedonia Church Road water
Commissioners will also discuss extension of water lines to the Macedonia Church Road for two residents. Cost is estimated at $5,000.