West Jefferson Mayor Scott Hockenbery says the village administration is working with village council and the community to ensure that the “best days of West Jefferson are yet to come.’’
The mayor addressed the West Jefferson Business Council, a group of about 25 business owners and community leaders, on April 12 at Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library. Hockenbery read from a page of goals he has as mayor.
Among his goals is the creation of a small business center at Town Hall that would serve as a “one-stop shop’’ for answer to questions from small business owners. He also said he wants to see a comprehensive plan developed for parking in the downtown area to benefit local businesses.
A report from village council representative Darlene Steele augmented Hockenbery’s report. Steel said West Jefferson has not finalized downtown revitalization plans but has joined Heritage Ohio, a statewide program that guides cities and villages through the revitalization process. The West Jefferson Business Council has been working with the Main Street Program, an arm of Heritage Ohio.
Sean Hughes, director of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, said West Jefferson’s recent leadership has enabled the village to acquire state and federal grants to pay for street work, paving, curb work and other renovations to the downtown.
“Those monies and that work go with the various other areas of the entire revitalization picture,’’ Hughes said.
Steele added that the village government is putting together a schedule of impact fees to be levied on developers. The village will use the fees to pay for park maintenance and development. Hockenbery added that the fees also could pay for other needs.
Routes 42 and 142
In other business, Hockenbery said the Ohio Department of Transportation’s plan to make the intersection of routes 42 and 142 safer is still on target to begin in May 2009.
Joan Denes, a West Jefferson representative to the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, said she had heard from property owners near the intersection that the state had started talks about buying land to restructure the intersection.
Cheri Mullins, a spokesperson for the Madison Classic Car Show Committee, reported that the committee has set Aug. 16 as the date of the 2008 event in West Jefferson. The Business Council sponsored the first classic show last summer.
“We hope to have all the details together by the next meeting and have a flyer available for you to circulate,’’ Mullins said.
Details still to be worked out include the location of the show, downtown and/or in Garrette Park, and the number of outside vendors that can be accommodated.
Hughes reminded the Business Council that the original purpose for rejuvenating the car show was to bring people from outside West Jefferson into the village, thereby garnering more exposure for downtown businesses.
“Holding this outside the downtown area would tend to defeat the original plan of this group,’’ Hughes said.
The West Jefferson Business Council will meet again at 9 a.m. May 10 at Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library. The council’s remaining meeting dates are June 7, July 12, Aug. 9, Sept. 6; Oct. 4, Nov. 8 and Dec. 6. All meetings start at 9 a.m. at the library.