Village of West Jeff doubles its donation to Ox Roast

(Posted Aug. 19, 2021)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The village of West Jefferson has doubled its usual support of the Ox Roast.

On Aug. 16, village council approved a $6,000 donation to the West Jefferson Community Association, the non-profit group that puts on the festival. In previous years, the village donated $3,000 to the annual event which takes place over Labor Day weekend.

“We wanted to help them more. We knew they were hurting,” said Jen Warner, council president.

The association’s funding is down significantly after the COVID-19 pandemic led to cancellation of last year’s Ox Roast. Normally, the group starts with $17,000 to $18,000 heading into the festival. This year, they started with $9,000, according to Jeff Pfeil, association president.

Each year, the association raises money at the current festival for the coming year’s festival, mainly through sales of its signature Ox Roast sandwiches and a revenue sharing agreement with the ride company. No festival last year meant no sandwich or ride revenue for this year. Additionally, the association was unable to secure a ride company for this year’s Ox Roast which means no ride revenue going into next year.

“They couldn’t get rides to come which is a moneymaker for them, and the price of meat has gone up high,” Warner said. “This organization is great for the community. They do so many good things. We wanted to do something more to help with expenses.”

This year’s Ox Roast takes place Sept. 4-6 at Garrette Park.

Annexation and rezoning
In other action at the Aug. 16 meeting, village council approved annexation of 2.664 acres from Jefferson Township into the village. Owned by Robin Creamer, the property sits on State Route 142 SE and is zoned residential. One house already exists on the property. Warner said the owner is looking to build one or two more homes there.

Council approved rezoning for a piece of property recently annexed from the county into the village. The property sits at 9450 W. Broad St. and is home to a construction company that is renovating the building on the site. The acreage was zoned general commercial under county zoning. Council approved the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recommendation to rezone it as highway business district, the village zoning designation that comes closest to matching the county’s general commercial designation.

The village is adding a new position to its staffing–information technology (IT) manager.

“The mayor, council, and department heads sat down and talked about our needs. As the village continues to grow, our need for IT and computerized equipment grows,” said John Mitchell, public service director.

Council approved the new position with a pay range of $68,640 to $85,529.

Council also approved an increase in the pay range for the assistant water superintendent position. Previously, the range was $58,240 to $72,571. The new range is $60,320 to $75,171 which matches the range for the assistant wastewater superintendent position.

The next regular council meeting will take place on Sept. 7 at 7 p.m., one day later than usual due to the Labor Day holiday.

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