JONESVILLE — Jonesville swore in its new mayor and two commissioners Monday.
Gene Pardue was sworn in as the new mayor by Town Clerk Lynn Trivette. Pardue then swore in commissioners Anita Darnell and Andy Green.
The ceremonies were held after the old business of the town council was completed. Outgoing commissioner Danny Lewis sat in on the annexation of the Jonesville Pit Stop and an update on Mineral Springs Drive before stepping down from the commissioners’ area.
Darnell then took her new seat and proceeded with the rest of the business for the December meeting.
A special reception was held before the regular meeting. Refreshments and a congratulatory cake were available for the elected officials, their guests and others present.
The commissioners unanimously voted Commissioner Wayne Moore as the new mayor pro-tem. The position was vacant following the move of Pardue from mayor pro-tem to mayor.
The remaining empty position on the board is still vacant following the Monday night meeting. Commissioners voted to table the issue until the new board can meet and discuss the vacancy, which was created following the death of Lindbergh Swaim earlier this year.
Jonesville Pit Stop officially was annexed by the town of Jonesville.
The location is a gas station and convenience store off Exit 79 of Interstate 77. The business is located about a mile and a half outside of town limits, but already received water from the town.
The annexation passed through the required public hearing with no takers.
Moore asked the board and Town Manager Scott Buffkin what the tax revenue increases and town costs would be if the store was annexed.
Buffkin said the town would not receive the same water rate from the store. Prior to the annexation, Pit Stop had purchased water at the out-of-town rate. It will now receive the in-town rate.
Aside from that no major effects will be seen. The town will receive tax collections from the property and will provide police protection for the area.
Police Chief Roger Reece said the additional police coverage was not a major issue as the town already had been backing up the county sheriff’s office at the exit.
Outgoing commissioner Danny Lewis said annexations were the only way the town could grow.
Pit Stop owner Rajni Patel said the annexation would bring in more money for his business and for the town.
Patel co-owns the business with Sumitra Patel and Jon Gambill.
Patel said the annexation would allow him to sell beer and wine. He said customers did not understand why he could sell wine — which is legal countywide — but could not sell beer outside town limits.
The annexation would allow Patel to serve alcohol following Jonesville’s passage of alcoholic beverage sales within town limits in the Nov. 5 election last month.
Mineral Springs improvements approved
A road closure that has caused major outcries will soon be reopened, according to Monday’s town council meeting.
Mineral Springs Drive was reported to be in disrepair and unsafe for travel earlier in the year, causing the town to place road barriers at each end of a large hill along the road to prevent traffic from using it.
Detour signs were put in place, causing higher traffic and speeding concerns on neighboring roads. Residents of the closed road were inconvenienced and spoke during the town council’s public comment period in November requesting the road be reopened.
The consulting firm Blue Ridge Environmental Consultants examined the roadway and recommended the following steps to the town to allow it to be reopened:
• remove all debris from the ditch running along the south side of the road;
• remove trees and brush from the top and bottom of the retaining wall, replacing them with grass;
• repair the hand rail along the top of the retaining wall;
• patch the asphalt curbing along the northern stretch of the street where needed to deflect water from the retaining wall;
• patch the erosion under the culvert at the beginning of the retaining wall.
Buffkin said the steps were straightforward, with many of them able to be done by the town. What the town cannot do, it may contract out to a private company.
Commissioners unanimously voted to allow the town to move to make the recommendations happen. Officials hope to have the road reopened within a month.
Reach Taylor Pardue at 835-1513 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.