Former library property leased

By Troy Brooks -

JONESVILLE — During its meeting on Monday evening, the Jonesville Town Council voted unanimously to lease the former library building to a local business owner.

Terry Brown had requested to lease the former library building to expand an existing screen printing business. The lease is for $300 a month in addition to making repairs to the building, including door frames and windows.

“He and his son are operating the screen printing business in downtown Elkin,” said Town Manager Scott Buffkin. “There’s not enough space for what they’re doing. He heard this building was available and made a call wanting to look at it. We gave him a tour of the building. It’s not a lot of rent, but it will help with the power and water bills and he has agreed to make some improvements to the building.”

The lease will be done on a month-to-month basis which could change depending on the town’s needs.

Cody Amburn, chairman of the Friends of the Jonesville Public Library, spoke about his concerns with the lease of the former library location and the lack of direction for a new permanent home for the library, which is temporarily housed in a building on N.C. 67 owned by Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital.

“You all have made a motion to lease the old library property, but no one has yet to tell me or the library staff the future of our library,” said Amburn. “I have applied for a grant to raise funds for the building, I went for an interview with Branch Librarian Barbara Gilpin and you know what the first thing we were asked is, what is your town doing to help you? We have continued to be put off and placed on the back-burner. We thought the plan was to tear down the old library and the old town hall. Now you’re leasing the property, but none of you had told me what my future is for my library.”

Local resident and Jonesville Historical Society member Virginia Wagoner also spoke on behalf of the library.

“The library needs to be closer to the school. That is what the library is about, the children. I’m surprised that you are putting the library off the list when you’re going to let someone use the building,” said Wagoner. “Think about our children for this town. They are important because they are the future and I can assure you, that is one point the person in that empty chair would have backed. Let’s think about that. The town needs to work with the library, as best as they can, because it is our future. If these kids are not spending time at the library, what are they doing? We need functions. We don’t have anything for children to do in this town except for the playground and the movies.”

In other news, a public hearing was held for a rezoning request for a property.

The owner of the property located at 114 Osborne St. requested the property be rezoned from R-12 (Medium Density Residential) to R-12 MH (Residential Manufactured Housing), which would allow for mobile homes to be placed at the site. The planning board met on Aug. 25 and recommended approval of the request. The rezoning request was passed unanimously by the town council Monday.

A request was approved by the council to allow resident Maurice Rondeau to use town property for a new business.

Rondeau is planning on starting an outfitting business next spring which would provide kayak and tube rentals along with transportation at an upstream location along the Yadkin River. He requested the town give him permission to use town owned property located at the end of Deer Run Road as a location for clients to disembark at the river for their river trips.

“It’s off of Hwy. 67 at the end of Deer Run Road. The town acquired the property through the Greenway Grant a few years ago,” said Buffkin.

“I’ve live at 2025 Hwy. 67. We moved here about two years ago and we’re trying to do our little business up in Jonesville and help the place grow as best as we can,” said Rondeau. “What we’re doing now is planning on opening an outfitter. Consumers will be dropped off there and we’re asking the town’s permission to use town property to bring guests to the river.”

“That would bring some business and traffic in for the town,” said Councilman Tracy Wall. “I don’t think we should pass up that opportunity.”

A budget amendment was passed to help repair damage to the Jonesville water plant after a lightning storm caused damage to equipment. Items have been reported to the insurance carrier and the town expects to receive nearly $10,000 in reimbursement for the expenses.

Discussion of the old town hall demolition was continued Monday as well. Town staff have received bids to perform asbestos surveys of the old town hall building. Surveys must be completed to determine if there are any asbestos-containing materials within the building which must be removed before demolition of the building. Costs are estimated at $1,500 for Allied Consulting and Environment Services, LLC; $600 to $700 for Trinity Environment; and $1,000 for Pilot Environmental.

Dewitt Whitten with Allied Consulting and Environmental came to look at the building. Others gave a price over the phone without looking at the building, explained the staff.

“There are qualified professionals that can do a job,” said Buffkin. “It concerns me that others weren’t interested enough to come look at it. They may come here and say ‘this is not what I expected.’ We would have to come back and do this over again. Determining what materials they are and where they are. This company will test to see where it is.”

The decision was made to work with Trinity Environmental not to exceed $700.

A resolution to declare surplus property was made for a property on the northwest corner of River Road and Shaw Street where the town has received a $500 bid for the lot. The property was acquired in a joint agreement by the town and Yadkin County via tax foreclosure.

The town has no need for the property, according to the staff. The council voted unanimously to approve the resolution.

A policy regarding purchasing profiles and procedures was passed by the town.

The purpose of this policy would be to implement procedures to encourage and promote responsible, ethical, legal, and efficient utilization of town purchases. The policy would be an administrative policy and does not require formal council approval. However, management wanted to make the council to be aware of the new procedures. Prior to the meeting, town staff followed many of these processes, but the written policy will make it official.

Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.

By Troy Brooks

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