WEST JEFFERSON- Recently awarded revitalization funds have made West Jefferson a safer tourist destination for locals and guests alike.
Work recently wrapped up on the sidewalk installation project on the Backstreet. The last stage of the project began three weeks ago. The project also included the installation of an additional bump out/planter at Second Street with a seating area and a bump out at North Jefferson Ave. at First Baptist Church.
Town aldermen discussed this issue at length during an August special meeting. The monies were awarded to the town by the Rural Economic Development Division of N.C. Department of Commerce.
With any qualifying municipality, the funds can be used for public infrastructure including water, sewer, electric, lighting, sidewalk, traffic, road and or digital infrastructure improvements. Also, the funds can be used for façade or building improvements and or property acquisition, way-finding signage and art or cultural installation.
At the August meeting, several members discussed sidewalk installation between Doggett Road to the Carpet House on Business 221 stating the importance of sidewalks in the area of town and safety concerns by not having a sidewalk. Town Manager Brantley Price explained to the board after consulting with the N.C. Department of Transportation on installing sidewalks in this area, it would require the size to be five-feet with no obstructions, which would result in moving the existing utility poles in the area and a retaining wall would need to be built in order to build the sidewalks, according to the board’s minutes. Ultimately, Price stated the DOT said sidewalks on this section would not be feasible at this time with all the issues.
Town resident Terri Palmer spoke to the board stating she would like to see the extension of the sidewalks of N. Jefferson Ave. past First Baptist Church and extending up the hill. Price stated there are current issues with right-of-ways and the town has had issues of acquiring easements in the past, however it is a long range plan for the town to install these sidewalks.
Reach Jesse Campbell at (336) 846-7164.
New sidewalks line the Backstreet.