James HowellStaff Writerjhowell@civitasmedia.com
January 8, 2013
The West Jefferson Town Aldermen are planning a centennial celebration for West Jefferson in 2015 - an event truly 100 years in the making.
During the West Jefferson Town Aldermen Meeting on Dec. 3, the aldermen decided to form a committee that will plan the celebration.
Also, Gene Hafer, a local historian, was approached by town officials and asked to be an advisor for the celebration.
“They needed someone with experience and I offered to help,” said Hafer.
Along with his knowledge of the town’s history, Hafer served as chair for a committee that planned Raleigh’s bicentennial celebration in 1992.
“This project is still very much in the planning stages,” said Hafer
“Right now, the main thing we are working on is trying to get as many people involved with the project as possible,” said Hafer.
Sign up sheets will be available at West Jefferson Town Hall. Afterwords, they will be taken to the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce, the West Jefferson Business Association, and other businesses in town.
“Positions and committees will be determined after we see who signs up,” said Hafer.
On Monday, Jan. 8, the Ashe County Board of Commissioners approved $15,000 of funding for West Jefferson’s centennial celebration in a 4-1 vote.
Commissioner Gerald Price voted against the $15,000 pledge, advising the BOC give West Jefferson $7,500 “at the proper time and as things develop.”
“This event is in 2015 and we are entertaining a commitment of $15,000?” said Price to the board.
BOC Chair Larry Rhodes said this expense won’t be paid until much later and may not be in this budget year.
“Let me point out this is a big event, a celebration, and something of significance,” said Rhodes.
Even though the celebration is more than two years away, Hafer said he will constantly update the town alderman about the celebration’s progress.