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Jackson municipal grants approved

Jackson municipal grants approved

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners has approved three municipal grants for the towns of Sylva, Webster and Dillsboro. 

“We do have some funds left over because we had three out of the four municipalities apply,” said County Manager Don Adams. “At this point I believe it was agreed upon that the additional $5,000 would remain in reserve until another project may or may not be found.”

The municipal grant program is intended to assist the municipalities of the county with the implementation of projects that directly benefit not only the citizens of the municipality, but all the citizens of Jackson County. A total of $20,000 was earmarked for the municipal grant program; individual grant requests are limited to a maximum of $5,000 per municipality. 

Sylva applied to use the grant funding to repair the sidewalk on Jackson Street. According to the grant application, this sidewalk is one of oldest in town limits. The town’s goal in repairing the sidewalk is to improve pedestrian safety and aesthetics in the Jackson Street neighborhood. 

Repairs will be done in 5’x6’ panels with only broken panels being replaced. The eight sections that need replacing will total $5,400. The Town of Sylva requested $5,000 in municipal grant money and will match the additional $400 with town funds. Owle Construction LLC will complete the work. 

The Town of Webster applied for the grant to purchase additional picnic tables and benches for the Jackson County Board of Education property, adjacent to the Southwestern Child Development Center. According to the grant application, the picnic tables and benches may be used by visitors, residents of the town and county and by Jackson County for school functions. 

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The Jackson County Recreation and Parks Department and the Board of Education have discussed the possibility of a future park at this location. For this reason, grant funding would purchase tables and benches that match the four existing picnic tables and at least half of them will be ADA accessible. All outdoor furniture will be able to be relocated if necessary for future park plans. Total costs of the project will be just under $5,000. 

“A community need for a safe, outdoor meeting place has been determined through three previous Webster community surveys,” reads Webster’s grant application. “The need for gathering places that allow for physical distancing for community members has been exacerbated by COVID-19 and has become even more important for fostering social connection during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.”

The Town of Dillsboro requested municipal grant funds in order to restore its public restroom building. This is the only public restroom in Dillsboro and is open year around. This project was previously considered by The Dillsboro Board of Aldermen in January 2021 but was deferred due COVID-19 and other projects. The only bid received for the project was from Jaye Deitz who has provided contracted handy-man services for the Town of Dillsboro in the past. 

“Many County residents utilize Dillsboro as a recreational area for walking and outdoor exercising, as well as regional visitors and tourists,” reads the Dillsboro grant application. “Providing a clean, sanitary restroom building will enhance the visitor experience to the town.”

Upgrades to the public restroom will cost a total of $9,200. The municipal grant will supply $5,000 while Dillsboro will put forward $4,200 for the project. 

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