West Jeff grant request moves on

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The Village of West Jefferson’s Issue II grant request for $480,000 for long-term revitalization projects soon will be in the hands of the state’s District 11 Regional Planning Commission.

At the Jan. 5 West Jefferson Business Council meeting, Mike Boerger told the group of 25 business owners, business employees and government representa-tives that the grant request had passed scrutiny at the county level and will go to the district level for approval later this month.

“I can tell you as a member of the Madison County Regional Planning Commission that the request was listed as the top priority project for the next year,‘’ Boerger said, noting that other grant requests from local governments also were sent to the district for further consideration.

The district regional planning meeting is expected to be held in Clark County later this month. At that time, representatives of the various counties will lobby for approval of their respective Issue II grant requests.

In other business, Madison County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sean Hughes said Restoration Hardware is developing a job fair for the area. The company is building a distribution center in West Jefferson’s industrial park area.

While the company has hired a national employment agency to coordinate hiring, applications are available online at the Restoration Hardware Web site. Local residents are encouraged to apply for jobs, Hughes said.

While planning for a new year of activities, Business Council members agreed that committees need to be set up now for the more successful events supported by the council last year. Those events include: the National Road Yard Sale in May, the farmers’ market in the summer and early fall, the Madison County Classic Car Show in August, the Ox Roast in September, and Christmas in the Park in December.

Joan Denes, West Jefferson representative to the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, said West Jefferson residents who are unaffiliated with businesses have expressed interest in attending Business Council meetings.

“I tell them anybody who is interested in the town and is interested in the community is welcome to attend these meetings… You don’t have to have a business in town or work for one. This is all about what we want our town to be and everyone is welcome to any of our meetings,” Denes said.

The West Jefferson Business Council is a subsidiary of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce. The group’s next meeting will take place at 9 a.m. Feb. 16 at Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library in West Jefferson.

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