Library, election cycle discussed by town council

By Kitsey Burns Harrison -

JONESVILLE — The Jonesville Library Committee’s report was presented at Monday night’s meeting of the Jonesville Town Council. After storm damage caused leaks in the building and damage and mold to many of the books, the library was relocated from its original building on Main Street to a building at 560 Winston Road, next to the Hugh Chatham Urgent Care. The lease on the new location will be up in May. After May, the lease will go to a month-by-month basis with a two-month notice.

According to the report, the Friends of the Jonesville Library and library staff members prefer to have a metal building with a decorative façade constructed on or near the site of the former library building on West Main Street.

The Friends of the Library also pledged to support the project financially with monies already raised and continued fundraising efforts.

As part of the committee’s review of the situation, they reported the former town hall building next to the former library location is also in bad shape. The consensus of the committee was that if the old town building were to be demolished, they would like a new library, of at least 4,000 square feet, to be constructed on that site.

The council requested that Town Manager Scott Buffkin investigate the cost to have the building demolished and determine if the site was large enough to accommodate the requested space.

Also discussed at Monday’s meeting was the possibility of changing the town’s municipal election to even numbered years to coincide with other state elections. The towns of East Bend and Boonville also are interested in potentially changing their election cycle so Buffkin suggested a committee be formed to further investigate the cost effectiveness and other pros and cons of changing the municipal election cycle.

Also approved at the meeting was the renewal of the urban archery season, slated for Jan. 14 to Feb. 18, 2017.

In other business, a full page ad for the town, with some minor edits, to be published in the Yadkin Navigator was approved. The cost of the ad will be shared with the town’s Tourism Development Authority, with each group paying $375.

A public hearing, as required by state statute, has been scheduled for the next regular meeting of the board on April 11 in regarding to changing of some text in the zoning ordinance. The change to the zoning statute was enacted by the General Assembly and disallows the protest petition requirements in local zoning ordinances and the resulting three-fourths super majority requirement for approval, said Buffkin. Instead any resident or property owner may now submit written comments to the town clerk who will forward those comments to the town council. A simple majority vote of the council will be all that is required to approve the amendment.

An audit contract with Canon & Co. was approved as well as the award of a bid of surplus property. Two bids for filter work at the water plant and a vault enclosure at the raw water intake were awarded to low bidder Carolina Environmental Specialists in the amounts of $7,065.95 and $9,963.21, respectively.

The town council also proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

A final agenda item in regard to a resolution in opposition of the non-discrimination ordinance enacted by the city of Charlotte was tabled.

Commissioner Judy Wolfe said Buffkin had not been able to locate a copy of the Charlotte ordinance and therefore she requested the item be tabled until they could review that ordinance and determine what they were “voting for or against.”

No citizens came forward to speak in the public comment portion of Monday’s meeting. Mayor Gene Pardue noted that while there is a public comment time during the meetings, citizens are encouraged to contact the town manager at any time with concerns.

“In reference to this public comment period, we want to welcome public comments from citizens of the town,” Pardue said. “What we do not want is to turn the town meeting into a circle of arguments back and forth. Mr. Buffkin is our town manager, if you have a problem he is the one to talk to about it. Mr. Buffkin is here at town hall five days a week to help anyone with a town problem. If he cannot solve the problem, he will present it to the board. The town meeting each month is to take care of town business presented by the town manager.”

The minutes from the previous meeting were approved four to one. Wolfe noted two changes to the minutes, that 24 fire hydrants were originally deemed inoperable not 16 per the minutes and several individuals’ names who spoke at the meeting were not listed in the minutes. The mayor called for the minutes to be approved without Wolfe’s changes, therefore she did not vote to approve the minutes.

Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.

By Kitsey Burns Harrison

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