By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
West Jefferson council members are waiting to learn more before voting on a tax agreement related to property at State Route 29 and U.S. Route 40.
Council President Ron Garver said he did not know much about the legislation, presented to village officials late on Oct. 4 by West Jefferson Law Director Ron Parsons who asked that it be placed on council’s Oct. 7 meeting agenda.
Developer Duke Realty recently purchased 96 acres from the Shui-Nan Chuang and Chiou-Jeu Chuang Trust and five acres from J&L Rotonda LLC. Duke Realty is looking for council approval of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement for both properties and an amendment of an existing Community Reinvestment Act agreement. No one from Duke Realty or the sellers attended the meeting, nor did Parsons.
“We hope to have more information at the next meeting,” Garver said. A second reading on the legislation will come at the Oct. 21 meeting.
Mayor Darlene Steele said that tax proceeds from the proposed TIF would be more beneficial to the village than past TIF agreements.
Under previous TIFs approved for such development plans, 50 percent of the proceeds went to the local schools, 25 percent to the village and 25 percent to the developer. But under the proposed agreement for Duke Realty’s most recent purchases, the schools and the village would divide the proceeds equally, each receiving 50 percent.
Public Service Director Dave Metzger, who has been involved in the negotiations, said the plan would provide a better way for the village to pay its share of infrastructure work related to the area.
Steele said there will be some development on the sites, but said she does not know of specific plans at this time.
Leaf pick-up has started in West Jefferson and will run until Thanksgiving.
Metzger said his workers are on leaf duty Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, following the recycling map schedule.
Residents should not park their vehicles on the street during this time. People who have curbs should rake their leaves into the street up against the curb and try to avoid the catch basins. Those without curbs should rake their leaves to the edge of the grass.
Grass clippings, small pieces of tree debris, and trash should not be included with the leaves.
New part-time police officer
Patrick Milstead is now a part-time West Jefferson police officer. A West Jefferson native, Milstead completed training at the Fire Academy and Police Academy, in addition to his service in the United States Marine Corps. He is married and has three children.
According to an ordinance adopted by the West Jefferson Village Council, the assistant finance director will serve as clerk of council.
Yard sale signs
Council President Ron Garver brought up the issue of yard sales signs that remain posted after the sales are over.
“What should we do about those signs still hanging on posts?” he asked. “Should we have the code enforcement officer remove and return them to the people’s houses? We need to get an ordinance.”
Metzger agreed, stating, “We need to put some teeth into it. We can’t be clean-up boys.”
Council members also complained about representatives from out-of-town activities putting flyers on posts and not returning to remove them after the events.
Council adopted legislation that states the village’s assistant finance director will also serve as clerk of council. Emilia Jackson served as clerk until her resignation about a month ago. Assistant Finance Director Debbie Dileo now serves as clerk.