T-N: Board backs funding for North Highland Lake Road project over Flat Rock’s objections

From the Times-News:

The North Highland Lake Road improvement project will proceed as planned after Flat Rock’s request to defund the project was declined by the French Broad Metropolitan Planning Organization Board.

The board – comprised of members from governments in Henderson, Buncombe, Transylvania, Haywood and Madison counties – voted 15-1 to continue funding the project, according to Tristan Winkler, transportation planner with the French Broad MPO.

Flat Rock representative Anne Coletta was the lone vote in favor of defunding the project.

In December, the Flat Rock Village Council passed a resolution requesting the N.C. Department of Transportation’s plan aimed to modernize Highland Lake Road be removed from the state’s Transportation Improvement Program.

It was up to the MPO board to decide whether to vote in favor of Flat Rock’s request and ask NCDOT to stop the project.

Winkler said many MPO board members argued that the road is used by a lot of people, not just village residents, and therefore wanted to see improvements made.

Winkler said board members also made a number of comments in support of continued discussion between NCDOT and Flat Rock to address the village’s concerns.

The village appears poised to fight the project on its own. The Village Council passed a resolution in December for the village to decline entering any agreement to sell or convey any village-owned property to NCDOT.

This means the land NCDOT will need from The Park at Flat Rock will need to be acquired through eminent domain. . .

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