WEST JEFFERSON — The West Jefferson Board of Aldermen held its monthly meeting on April 5 to discuss annexations and future events for the year of 2021.
Beginning the meeting, April’s School of Dance requested that in its upcoming May recital, in addition to the closure of the tennis courts in West Jefferson Park, they also close the basketball courts for more space for the stage and to cut down on background noise.
In the month of March, the BOA approved the use of the tennis courts from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the dates of either May 15, 16 or 22. The request for the closure of the basketball courts was debated among the aldermen, Calvin Green hoping to make a move to the parking lot in between Badger’s Funeral Home and the old West Jefferson Elementary School.
Green said that the initial approval had shown red flags due to the possible damage the props could cause to the newly painted courts.
“If we could move it to the old parking lot behind West Jefferson School, that would work best,” said Green.
This also arose worries for there being a possibility of a funeral at the time of the recital.
Alderman Rusty Barr said that if they continue with the plans to have the recital at the tennis courts, it would be wise to close the basketball courts as well.
The board voted to contact April’s School of Dance and try to relocate to the parking lot, but if that is not possible, the school will have to sign a waiver for any damage that may take place.
Jimmy Miller from Vannoy’s Construction then presented a letter of intent to the Board that requests a right of way — an easement that allows access to cross over someone’s property in order to gain access of one’s own property — for the area near the Ashe Civic Center as construction on US 221 continues to widen. This area will eventually become a part of city limits, but will not be in the town’s right of way. Barr made a motion to draft a letter of support and the board voted to go forth with the letter.
A voluntary annexation for a parcel located near Radio Hill by Skyline Skybest was presented. The board voted to approve the annexation and the parcel will now be considered inside city limits.
A mobile home park annexation from Brad Johnson was also approved.
Attorney Jak Reeves was reappointed for the ABC board by Mayor Tom Hartman and the BOA.
In previous sessions, the Board looked into reconstructing the water and storm outlets behind the Farmer’s Market. Town Manager Brantley Price discussed a quote with PADCO that totaled around $42,000 as a deadline centered around May 1 has been brought up as the Market is set to open. Attorney Reeves agreed to further discuss with PADCO on the guidelines of the quote and how it can be adjusted for the town.
Mike Kesterson, representing Home Slice, made a proposal to the Board that outdoor dining be put back into place until Oct, 31, much like last year.
“No one can predict the impact of COVID-19 this year,” said Kesterson. “Having outdoor dining has greatly impacted not only our business but our customers as well.”
With Gov. Cooper’s executive order on March 23, occupation has increased to 75 percent, something that can be doubled if held outdoors according to Kesterson.
Kesterson asked the board to close four parking spaces to accommodate outdoor dining. The Board approved and outdoor dining will be made available seven days a week, but unlike last year, 1st street — in between Black Jack’s and Burger’s Y’all, will not be closed.
Barr added to the agenda for a parking lot closure near Hobby Barn for the car show. This will happen every third Saturday of the month starting April 24 through the end of Oct. The lot will be closed from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. per the Board’s decision.
The discussion of the ETJ footprint of the town to be cut back has been further pushed to a later date as the BOA wishes to continue research on how to cover what is necessary for the town.
Backstreet park concerts will commence later this summer from June to August, the West Jefferson Community Partnership planning to hold seven to nine concerts.
“We should move forward with them considering the way things are looking,” said Alderwoman Crystal Miller.
In the year of 2020, concerts were unable to be held due to the pandemic, but the aldermen have expressed hopes for a clearer summer. The concerts will follow all COVID-19 guidelines.