(Posted Feb. 18, 2020)
By Ris Twigg, Staff Writer
West Jefferson village council announced a public town hall meeting and passed two zoning ordinances during its Feb. 17 meeting.
Mayor Ray Martin said the town hall meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at the West Jefferson Community Center, 230 Cemetery Rd.
“We have a town hall meeting every first and third Monday (of the month), really, but this (on Feb. 19) is more of a low-key thing. It’s kind of a ‘state of the union’ kind of deal. We like to do several of those a year,” Martin said.
Council members and village department heads will have the opportunity to share with residents what’s happening in their local government.
Martin said if residents want to know what’s going on in their community, then this is the meeting to attend.
“It’s where you can voice opinions, ask for opinions, and not be in a setting like (council),” he explained. “It’s more relaxed. It’s just a good venue to know what’s going on.”
Residents who attend the meeting can look forward to learning more about a new parks and recreation development for which the village is seeking capital grant funding. The goal is to install accessible playground equipment at Garrette Park to provide recreation opportunities for children of all abilities.
The meeting also will cover ways the village is working to protect the Big and Little Darby Creeks, an update on the village’s contract with its current trash collection provider, and more information on employment growth and housing developments.
“An informed citizen is a happy citizen,” Martin said.
As for the two ordinances passed during the Feb. 17 meeting, one brings the village into contract with the city of Mount Sterling, and the other approves zoning variances for a new warehouse.
Currently, West Jefferson performs all residential and non-residential inspections services for Madison County, except for the village of South Solon. The new ordinance also tacks Mount Sterling onto the list.
“These big warehouses go to the state (for inspections). And one of those warehouses is bringing in about $250,000 in permit fees. That was going elsewhere,” Martin explained. “We get it all here now. We would get 20 percent of that, but now we get 100 percent.”
The second ordinance passed approved a site plan and granted a variance for landscape plans for a new building that will span more than 1.1 million square feet once completed.
The new warehouse–located at 70 Enterprise Pkwy. and dubbed “Project Christmas” to keep trade secrets and cost information out of competitors’ hands—is set to be a spec building built by American Structurepoint Inc., according to council documents. The building will house a variety of new companies and bring more jobs to West Jefferson, Martin said.
“They’re part of the original CRA (Community Reinvestment Area) out there,” he said. “So, when you get that, you have to guarantee so many jobs. Well that’s already met out there. We wanted to start doing it per building so we get more of a guarantee for jobs.”