Site plan approved for West Jefferson development

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

Another company is making plans to build in the U.S. Route 40/State Route 29 area west of West Jefferson, and the village is getting ready for it.

On Feb. 3, village council passed a resolution approving the final site plan for a development project known at this time as Project Green. The actual name of the company has not been announced publically.

Project Green will locate southeast of Kellogg’s and east of Ace Hardware on the east side of Enterprise Parkway in the Route 40/Route 29 triangle. A 524,182 square-foot warehouse/distribution facility is planned as are 300 parking spaces. The company expects to employ 150 individuals. The extra parking spaces will accommodate full-time and seasonal employees and shift changes.

The village’s Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a request to rezone the area to Planned Commercial Development.

At a January council meeting, representatives of Duke Realty said they hoped to have the building up and running by late summer. Project Green is being served by engineering consultants Faris Planning & Design.

Changes in employee handbook

In a 5-2 vote, council approved changes to the village employee handbook.

With the changes, a new employee’s insurance becomes effective on the first day of the month after he or she is hired. Additionally, the village will now pick up half of the cost of insurance for an employee’s spouse. It’s this second change that drew opposition from two council members.

Council President Ron Garver said everyone is paying more with the rising costs in insurance, but said the taxpayer should not have to foot the bill. Vice President Steve Johnston agreed.

In separate action, council approved guidelines regarding employee reimbursement for using personal cell phones for village business. The ordinance lists by job title who is eligible for reimbursement and for how much. Originally, the ordinance stipulated that payments be made once a year, however, that was amended so that reimbursements will come in June and December for expenses already incurred.

Council approved the amendment and the ordinance unanimously.

New police dispatcher

Council approved a resolution to hire Deborah Skeldon, a veteran police dispatcher, as a full-time employee. According to Mayor Darlene Steele, Skeldon has 25 years of dispatching experience with the city of Hilliard. West Jefferson Police Chief Terry Ward said, “She has training we’ve never seen.”

Skeldon will be paid at the 20-year experience level of $17.20 an hour.

Next council meeting

The next West Jefferson council meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 17 on the second floor of town hall.

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