West Jeff council OKs warehouse site plan

(Posted April 2, 2019)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

West Jefferson village council signed off on a site plan and landscape variance for a distribution warehouse going in on the west edge of town.

Hillwood, a development company based in Dallas, Texas, plans to build an 843,000 square-foot warehouse off of Commerce Parkway. The company does not have a tenant for the building at this time.

“There’s a lot of demand on the market, and we’re hoping to catch some of that market with a building that’s up and available,” said T.J. O’Brien, a development director with Hillwood who attended council’s April 1 meeting.

O’Brien said Hillwood has completed projects in Columbus. This will be the company’s first project in West Jefferson. The plan is to break ground this spring and have the building up by the end of the year, he said. Hillwood is working in partnership with Continental Realty.

John Mitchell, West Jefferson’s public service director, said a master plan is coming together for landscape and equipment upgrades at the village’s three parks–Westwood, Converse, and Garrette. The village recently acquired Garrette Park from Jefferson Local Schools. Mitchell said it likely will be the first park to receive attention because it is in most need of updates.

Choice One, an engineering and landscape design firm, is putting together three plans for each of the three parks. Village leaders can pick from among the plans or mix and match features across the plans, Mitchell said. Changes will not be extravagant, he added. The basic idea is to update and replace where needed.

Council approved the donation of the village’s old bucket truck to Jefferson Local Schools. The village recently purchased a newer truck. The school district had borrowed the old truck several times. Because it had no trade-in value, Mitchell suggested that it go to the school district.

“This is a great way to dispose of a piece of equipment and give them something they can use when they need to,” he said.

Council member Jim King asked about the water bill he received at his home on April 1. He said the due date on the bill was April 2, and jokingly asked if it was an April Fool’s Day prank. Becky Arnott, the village’s finance director, said a technical error resulted in about one-quarter of the village’s water bills (approximately 400) going out with the incorrect due date. Bills are mailed to residents on the first of the month and are due on the 15th of the month. Payments for the April bills are due on the 15th, as usual.

Mayor Ray Martin said a downtown beautification plan is in the works. The focus is flowers. Hanging baskets are too heavy for the village’s lampposts, so leaders are looking into planters that sit on the ground.

West Jefferson village council’s next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. April 15 in council chambers at village hall, 28 E. Main St.

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