Though unanimously passed 4-0, Canton town board members approved the 2014-2015 budget with some hesitation. The budget came in at $7,718,836, which is up from $7,085,956 for 2013-2014.
It was suppose to be Canton’s wrap-up budget meeting. But community members showed up to voice concerns about a specific item tucked within that budget: a proposed firing range in the Gibsontown neighborhood.
Evergreen Packaging paper mill in Canton could get $12 million in state assistance to offset the cost of converting from coal to natural gas, if a proposal pending in the General Assembly goes through.
For true local charm, look no further than Canton and Clyde, the neighboring towns nestled in eastern Haywood County. They are situated around the Evergreen paper mill, which started life as Blue Ridge Paper Products and has been running steadily for more than 100 years.
Union employees at Evergreen Packaging’s Canton and Waynesville factories are currently engaged in contract negotiations.
Canton Mayor Mike Ray was happy to see it come to an end. Finally, a decision has been made.
“We’ve gone through 80 applications and have worked hard to make a decision for our city, our employees and our residents,” Ray said.
Evergreen Packaging paper mill in Canton is embarking on a $50 million natural gas conversion of its coal-fired boilers to comply with new federal air pollution limits.
The Canton town board remains undecided about who will take over as town manager. The board was expected to choose between three finalists at its March 13 meeting, but two members pushed for a delay until at least the next meeting.
William McDowell remembers when segregation was a reality in Canton.
“When I was a kid we weren’t allowed to sit anywhere but the balcony at the Colonial Theatre in downtown,” he said. “You couldn’t eat in certain restaurants and there were black and white drinking fountains — segregation was really enforced.”
A request to serve keg beer at an event in the Canton Armory prompted a broader discussion of the town’s alcohol policy at public venues it rents.