(Posted Jan. 5, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Gearing up for 2022, West Jefferson village council approved cash transfers from the general fund for park and street projects to be completed this year.
The village is working through a long-term plan to make improvements at each of its parks. The work kicked off last year with new playground equipment and other upgrades at Garrette Park.
This year, the focus is on Westwood Park. The plan is to install new playground equipment and redo the tennis and basketball courts. On Jan. 3, council approved the transfer of $255,000 to the park development fund for this project.
Council also approved the transfer of $710,000 to the capital projects fund for street work. Most of those funds will go toward total reconstruction of roads in the Westchester subdivision near Converse Park. This includes paving, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and driveway approaches.
The total cost of the project is approximately $1 million. The village is receiving an Ohio Public Works Commission grant to cover a portion of the cost; local capital project dollars will cover the rest.
Also at the Jan. 3 meeting, council approved the site and landscaping plan submitted by Exeter Timmons LLC for property located on the north side of State Route 29, across from Commerce Parkway and Enterprise Parkway. The company plans to construct four buildings, the first of which will measure approximately 500,000 square feet in volume. All of the buildings will be suitable for industrial, manufacturing or distribution operations. The company has not announced a specific tenant for the first building.
Many of the facilities in the West Jefferson industrial park area measure around 1 million square feet, but more and more smaller facilities are being built there, as well.
“We still have the bigger ones going up. It’s nice to see it being a little more versatile with the smaller ones coming in, too,” said John Mitchell, West Jefferson’s public service director.
Mitchell cited the forthcoming 215,000 square-foot Michael Foods facility as an example of one of the smaller-scale facilities coming to West Jefferson.
Michael Foods is a wholly owned subsidiary of Post Holdings Inc., a consumer packaged goods company. Post Holdings announced plans for the West Jefferson project in early December. The facility will produce protein drinks for BellRing Brands Inc.
“Post Holdings’ new facility will expand economic diversity in the village of West Jefferson and the Columbus region,” said West Jefferson Mayor Ray Martin in a press release released by Post Holdings.
The Michael Foods facility is projected to create 200 new jobs over the next four years. Hiring for management and production positions is expected to begin in early 2023.
In other action, council:
• elected Mike Conway as council president and re-elected Linda Hall as council vice president for 2022;
• reappointed Sandy Boucher to the Planning and Zoning Commission for another two years, effective Jan. 3;
• confirmed the mayor’s reappointment of Roy Von Almen to the Planning and Zoning Commission for another two years; and
• confirmed the mayor’s appointment of J. Michael Murray to another two-year term as the village’s law director and Josh Beasley to a two-year term as assistant law director and prosecutor. Beasley replaces Fred Ballam who retired.
The next regular meeting of West Jefferson village council is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 17. Council meets the first and third Mondays of each month at town hall.