The fourth time was the charm for the West Jefferson Board of Aldermen when it approved the location of the second annual antique fair during its regular meeting Monday night.
“We’ve been on this thing for four months…(and) I would really like to get it over, one way or the other,” said West Jefferson Mayor Dale Baldwin as he opened up the floor for comments on which area of downtown should be the site of the fair.
At the end of the discussion Monday night a location, that appeared to satisfy all those concerned, was agreed upon unanimously by the aldermen.
The location approved was S. Jefferson Avenue from the intersection of Main Street to E. Second Street (Tri-County Monuments). Fair vendors will also have access to E. First Street from Jefferson Avenue (Black Jack’s Pub and Grill). The location will include Third Avenue (The Honey Hole) from E. First Street to Main Street.
Reaching a consensus on the site began with little fanfare in January when the aldermen unanimously approved having the second annual fair on Main Street, from the Jefferson Avenue intersection to the front of Badger’s Funeral Home. The January decision was rescinded in February and the fair’s organizers were asked to return in March with an alternative site.
During February, the West Jefferson Business Association met and decided to maintain its support of the original site on Main Street. However, during the March meeting, a motion by Alderman Stephen Shoemaker to endorse the Main Street failed for lack of a second.
The fair’s primary organizer, Antiques on Main owner Keith Woodie, said he would return in April to propose an alternative location. He did and the board approved.
During the meeting Monday night, Woodie asked the board to also approve the road closures to include from noon to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20. The board agreed.
Broad smiles were seen around the room after the aldermen voted to approve the site.
“I think we’re clear on the location,” said Alderman Tom Hartman with a wry smile.
Mayor Baldwin was a bit more emphatic.
“Thank God Keith…you’ve done it,” said Baldwin.
“Thank you,” answered Woodie. “It will be great for West Jefferson.
In other town business:
• The aldermen agreed to begin the process of attempting to qualify for a grant that would be used to help pay for renovations to the Old Hotel (formally Brickstone Pizza). Sherman Lyle, the general manager of the River House Restaurant, is planning to open a new restaurant at the location that will called the Hotel Tavern. The grant is contingent on the number of permanent full-time jobs that would be created by the new business.
“This is not a slam dunk by any means,” said Lyle about the prospect of obtaining the grant, which would cost the town less than $1,300 if approved.
He said the Hotel Tavern is scheduled to open by July 1.
• The board tabled attempting to approve the updated sign ordinance.
• The board agreed to a budget amendment to continue repairs on one of its sewer lines.
• The board agreed to allow the Heritage Iron Club to close off the Backstreet for several “cruise-ins” this spring and summer.
• The board agreed to allow a representative from the American Cancer Society to plan an event for downtown to kick off the annual Relay for Life fundraiser in July. It will be called “Paint the Town Purple.”
• Town Manager Brantley Price thanked the Ashe Camera Club for its photos that are hanging in town hall. Price also said the town had collected $1,032,400, or 94.9 percent of the levy. He also reported Ernest O’banion had resigned from the West Jefferson Tourism Development Authority and the aldermen should consider a replacement.
• W.J. Police Department Chief Jeff Rose reported, for March, 189 calls, which resulted in 30 citations, 13 larceny arrests, eight drug-related arrests, 14 drug violations citations, and 13 motor vehicle collisions.
The alderman will hold a budget workshop at 5 p.m. Monday, April 22.