Jonesville to apply for $2 million grant

By Kitsey Burns Harrison -

JONESVILLE — Monday’s meeting of the Jonesville Town Council began with a public hearing on a Community Block Development Grant the town plans to apply for to update the water system.

The grant is for up to $2 million, with no required match from the town, to replace and update the waterlines and hydrants in the areas of North Mineral Springs, River, Cherry, Mathis, Pickett, Oakland, and Loop streets in Jonesville. The purpose of the grant, which is part of a program from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development, is for infrastructure and projects that will benefit low and moderate income persons. Town staff and community volunteers helped to complete in-person surveys of homes in the area in order to boost the grant application.

Town Manager Michael Pardue thanked those who helped to complete the surveys, which was quite time consuming.

No speakers came forward at the public hearing and the board approved a resolution to apply for the grant. Pardue requested approval to apply for a second grant which would allow the town to assess the water system for needed improvements.

Finance Clerk Wendy Thompson gave a brief report during the meeting. She noted the success of the recent back-school celebration hosted by the town. She said children and adults alike were delighted by the event.

“It was amazing,” she said. “The kids had so much fun, the families had so much fun. It was a good time.”

One boy at the event asked Thompson, “Are you going to do this for me again?” she said. And the answer is yes, the town is now planning to host a Christmas tree lighting celebration in the park on Dec. 1.

Thompson also reported that an Adopt a Street program has begun in town. Signs are available and individuals or businesses may sign up to clean a Jonesville town street once a quarter.

During his report to the board, Public Works Director Tim Collins noted that right-of-way cleaning had taken place with trees and other vegetation being trimmed to make for easier viewing. He said additional clean-up projects are planned.

He also noted an ongoing issue with an earthy/musky smell from the water. The unpleasant scent is not harmful, Collins said, and they are working to rectify the issue, which is caused by algae growth in the reservoir. Heavy rains and run-off of fertilizer from area fields has caused excessive algae growth, he said. He suggested residents consider a charcoal water filter in their homes to help eliminate the odor.

Police Chief Dane Mastin noted the number of calls and arrests in town for the month of August. He said substance misuse is a common cause of many of the arrests made in the last month. He also noted a case of multiple vehicle break-ins which are believed to have been perpetrated by individuals working their way along I-77 committing similar crimes. Cash left in vehicles is primarily what has been taken.

Mayor Gene Pardue said his vehicle was one of the ones targeted in the recent vehicle break-ins, though nothing valuable was in the car for the thieves to take. Mastin reminded residents not to leave cash or other valuables in vehicle and to keep vehicles locked.

A special called meeting is scheduled for the board on Sept. 12 at 8:30 a.m. at the Jonesville Town Hall in order to approve the minutes from Monday’s public hearing so that the town can move forward with the CDBG grant application.

Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-518-3049 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.

By Kitsey Burns Harrison