By Tanya Chilton firstname.lastname@example.org
March 12, 2014
JONESVILLE — Topping the agenda for the monthly board of commissioners meeting was an approval to seek the maximum amount of a $3 million Community Development Block Grant.
The last time the town received a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grant was in 1995.
Town Manager Scott Buffkin said the grant has changed with housing rehab now separate. The current grant, if received, will help with some infrastructure and utility issues.
Buffkin told the commissioners they may as well apply and go for the maximum since it is available, and the town approved the motion.
“These opportunities don’t come along often, and census data shows we fit the guideline. I feel like we could get additional bonus points in our application,” said Buffkin.
In other business, the Jonesville Town Council heard Tim Collins, Jonesville utilities director, and Dean Ledbetter of the North Carolina Department of Transportation as two of Monday night’s main speakers.
Collins said the town has made great steps in the water department. Yet a valve in the water tank at Mineral Springs and a problem with the Arlington tank, with some tanks being higher than others, should be addressed to get a true situation with all tanks operating at the same level, said Collins.
The situation now is a booster tank pumps eight to 10 hours a day to fill a void that is created. With the gravity situation, the tank cannot fill fast enough to get sufficient pressure and Collins said that could be a concern if water was needed for an emergency. Collins said he would like to reroute lines to get 400 to 500 gallons per minute.
For efficiency, Collins said pumps and actuating valves should be adjusted at other locations, especially at the end of Messick Road in a low pressure area.
“I need to know where every drop of water goes,” said Collins. Knowing that fact, he said helps to understand issues when problems arise and helps in cost efficiency for the town and residents.
Collins said on Tuesday, the Water Department was battling a water issue near the Mineral Springs area and had not been able to sleep since the Monday’s town meeting.
Ledbetter from the DOT said a plan is being developed for Jonesville as part of the typical seven- to 10-year update.
He said the multi-modal plan represents needs and proposed recommendations, however, it does not commit to funding or constructing project proposals.
Ledbetter told the council some benefits are the plan helps to support the community adopted vision and goals by integrating land use for transportation planning. He said there is accountability to the public through the formal public involvement process.
Major issues are road improvement based on capacity and modernization (analyzing roads for deficiency). They also include safety and convenience issues. Ledbetter told Mayor Gene Pardue and the council he would look into the possibility of getting a welcome sign but said a separate sign for Jonesville and Elkin off the interstate was not likely. The existing sign reads Elkin-Jonesville.
Ledbetter said they would get back to the board to gather comments before going forward with a public draft. In addition, a bicycle map that identifies needs for road improvement will be considered for cyclists.
The board asked about safety rails off Swan Creek Drive and other smaller projects but was told those would have to be funded through local means.
The Jonesville Town Council scheduled public budget workshops to be held on March 24 and March 31 at 6:30 p.m.
Kennon and Company was approved to audit the town’s books with a three-year contract.
The mayor broke a 2-2 tie in favor of renewing the Urban Archery season.
Police Chief Roger Rees commended the town’s safety response to a potential HazMat incident that turned out safely off Interstate 77 and their efficiency as traffic was rerouted into the area.
The Arlington Fire Department reminded that it was a good time to review all equipment needed if such an event turned into a crisis situation.
Additionally, the town council congratulated the Public Works employees and others on a fine job of snow removal and response during the recent inclement weather experience by the town and surrounding community.
Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.