The West Jefferson Aldermen met Monday night and approved two capital projects and were presented the quarterly report from the ABC store.
The two capital projects the aldermen approved were for the continued expansion of the sewer line extension in the area of Ashe County Ford and for a sidewalk improvement project on Main Street.
West Jefferson Town Manager Brantley Price reported to the aldermen their approval was needed for a budget amendment to continue the sewer line expansion because the work will continue into the upcoming fiscal year. It was approved.
Price also reported to the aldermen the sidewalk and streetscape projects are scheduled to be completed by June 30, the end of the fiscal year for the town. The budget amendment needed to begin the work was approved.
Price said the funds being used for the two projects were not coming from the town’s fund balance, but with unrecognized tax collections and $74,000 in funds from the N.C. Department of Transportation.
The aldermen did not have the proposed changes in the town’s sign ordinance on the agenda.
Haskell McGuire, the chairman of the board of the town’s ABC store, reported to the aldermen that first quarter sales for the store were down by approximately $2,000 over the same period last year.
He also announced the store had contributed $10,500 to the town during the quarter.
After McGuire completed his report, he was asked by Mayor Dale Baldwin about the prospect of the state’s ABC stores becoming privatized; an issue that had been raised as a possibility during the last year’s statewide political campaign.
McGuire said he had looked into the issue and said there were no plans “at this moment.”
“It looks like we’re okay,” said McGuire.
Price reported to the aldermen that $1,048,000, or 95.2 percent, of the town annual tax levy had been collected as of the Monday of the meeting.
He also told the aldermen the town’s Tourism Development Authority had decided to advertise on a Charlotte television station and had purchased space on a billboard between Boone and Blowing Rock.
West Jefferson Police Chief Jeff Rose presented the monthly incident report.
Rose reported the town’s officer’s responded to 223 calls during April. The town’s officers also made 18 arrests, 15 drug-related arrests, one burglary arrest, five drug citations, one driving while under the influence, and seven larcenies,.
West Jefferson’s Utilities Director David Hamilton reported the all the town’s water tanks were full, one well was down for repairs, that a recent state inspection of the treatment facility had revealed some “minor things.” “They’re picking at us, in my opinion,” said Hamilton.
He also said since January, there has been 29 inches of rain and 23 inches of snow, which is better than half of what the area’s precipitation is for an entire year.
The aldermen scheduled another budget workshop for 6 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at the town hall.