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Blowing Rock Historical Society member Ginny Stevens speaks on behalf of the organization’s
request to declare June 18 as Jerry Burns Day in the town.

Originally published: 2012-05-14 13:30:57
Last modified: 2012-05-14 13:33:47

Council tables rental talk until survey results are in

The vast majority of the people present at Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Blowing Rock Town Council were there for one item on that night’s agenda: a discussion of the town’s 28-day short-term rental regulations.  

However, the council had previously decided at a retreat that it would not discuss or decide anything about the regulations until the Blowing Rock Planning Board received the results of its survey of Blowing Rock residents on the matter. 

The survey, which poses questions on a vast variety of subjects, is being withheld until later in the summer resident season when more people will have the chance to respond to it. 

After the survey responses are tabulated and analyzed by researchers at North Carolina State University, the results will be sent to Blowing Rock.  

“It will probably be late August before we have the results of the survey,” said town planner Kevin Rothrock.  

Blowing Rock Commissioner Tommy Klutz stated that he did not previously know that North Carolina would be involved “with our survey of our citizens.” Commissioner Dan Phillips made a motion that the request to discuss the 28-day short-term regulations be tabled until the survey was back with results.  Commissioner Albert Yount asked the public present at the town council meeting how many of them were there specifically to hear discussion on the town’s short-term rental regulations. 

About three-fourths of the approximately 80 people present raised their hands. Yount then asked how many of them had traveled from out of town to attend the meeting. Five or six people raised their hands.  

“Why was this on the agenda for tonight’s meeting at all?” Yount asked.  

The town’s 28-day short-term rental regulations prohibit many property owners within town limits to rent out their property to visitors for less than 28 days at a time. 

At previous town council meetings, many property owners have complained that because of the stagnant economy, fewer visitors are able to stay for lengthy visits.

Other business
In other town council news, the commissioners voted unanimously to:    

• Approve consideration of a bid award for improvements to the town’s wastewater treatment plant to Greene Construction Inc. for $408,998. The project generally consists of improvements to the wastewater treatment plant, including a new emergency generator to replace the existing generator, new air piping and diffusers for the aeration basins, handrail repairs and related appurtenances. The town council earlier approved a state revolving loan of up to $737,000 at 2.455 percent per annum with a term of 20 years for the project.

•  Approve consideration of a request for authorization to hold the second annual High Country Half Marathon, with proceeds going to Girls on the Run on Saturday, Aug. 25. The event is sponsored by ZAP Fitness of Blowing Rock and the High Country Triple Crown. Girls on the Run is a program dedicated to boosting the esteem and health of girls in elementary school.

• Approve consideration of a budget amendment to properly account for various items.  

• Table consideration of a request from Appalachian State University to possibly lease the Ice House for a location to sell tickets to university programs and events, provide university information and sell university items.

During Tuesday evening’s meeting, two proclamations were unanimously approved by the council.

The first proclamation declared June 18, 2012, as “Jerry Burns Day” in Blowing Rock. The second declared June 2, 2012, as “Oasis Shriner Day” in Blowing Rock. (See side stories for the complete text of these two proclamations.)  

Tuesday night’s town council meeting was held in the community room of the Blowing Rock Library, due to Town Hall being utilized as a voting location during this week’s primary elections.  

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Blowing Rock Town Council will be held beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12, in Town Hall

The proclamation requesting the town of Blowing Rock to make June 18, 2012,  “Jerry Burns Day” was requested by the Blowing Rock Historical Society in honor of his birthday.

The proclamation reads:  

Whereas, Jerry Burns was born in Blowing Rock on June 18, 1940; and whereas, Jerry Burns loved Blowing Rock and was proud to share his hometown with everyone with whom he crossed paths; and whereas, Jerry Burns was one of Blowing Rock’s strongest advocates for our special community and its small town atmosphere; and whereas, Jerry Burns was editor and chief writer of The Blowing Rocket from 1965 to 2009, and served as the town’s official photographer; and whereas, Jerry Burns served Blowing Rock citizens and readers of The Blowing Rocket by reporting on news and community events with words that bound the community together; and whereas, Jerry Burns, known as “Mr. Blowing Rock,” was one of Blowing Rock’s greatest historians, recalling days gone by with his articles in The Blowing Rocket; and whereas, Jerry Burns fulfilled his duty to his country through his service in the United States Navy in the early 1960s; and whereas, Jerry Burns, in addition to serving as a Blowing Rock town councilman, also served the Blowing Rock community as a member of the following religious and civic organizations — Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation board, Blowing Rock Historical Society board, Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church, Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, Blowing Rock Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Blowing Rock ABC board, Blowing Rock Hospital board, Blowing Rock Stage Company, Hayes Performing Arts Center board, Edgewood Cottage Restoration Committee and Mitford Days Planning Committee; and whereas, in 2009 Jerry Burns received from North Carolina Gov, Beverly Perdue, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the state, in recognition of his contributions to Blowing Rock and the state of North Carolina.  

Now, therefore, be it resolved the Blowing Rock Town Council hereby establishes June 18 of each year as “Jerry Burns Day” in Blowing Rock.  Adopted this day, the 8th day of May 2012.   

The proclamation was signed by both Blowing Rock Mayor J.B. Lawrence and town clerk Sharon H. Greene.
The proclamation to make June 2, 2012, “Oasis Shriners Day” in Blowing Rock was requested by the Oasis Shriners based in Charlotte, as well as Blowing Rock resident and Shriner George Wilson.  

 The proclamation reads:  

Whereas, Shriners are well-known, respected fraternity dedicated to fun, fellowship and philanthropy with hundreds of thousands of members who belong to 191 chapters throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Republic of Panama; and whereas, members support Shriners Hospitals for Children, the one-of-a-kind international pediatric specialty health-care systems that was founded by the Shriners fraternity and provides all care with no obligation to the patients or their families; and whereas, members in the Shriners fraternity offers the invaluable opportunity to build camaraderie and lifelong friendships with other men of character and upstanding values; and whereas, the Oasis Shriners based in Charlotte, with some 9,000 members throughout central and western North Carolina, still stands as the second largest chapter out of 191 in North America; and whereas, the Oasis Shriners are holding their Spring Ceremonial in Blowing Rock on June 1-3, 2012, and will celebrate with the public on Saturday, June 2.  

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the mayor and the town council of the town of Blowing Rock hereby welcomes the Oasis Shriners ceremonial on June 1-3, 2012, recognizes the Shriners for their many achievements over the past 118 years and proclaims June 2, 2012, as “Oasis Shriner Day” in Blowing Rock.  

Adopted this the 8th day of May 2012. The proclamation was signed by both Blowing Rock Mayor J.B. Lawrence and town clerk Sharon H. Greene.  
For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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