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Jonesville Town Council Discusses Streetscape, Awards Bid for Mill Site Cleanup

Daniel Prince

Hepaco chosen to clean up the former Wellington Mill site

At Tuesday's meeting of Jonesville Town Council, Town Administrator Michael Tyler gave an update on the town’s Main Street Streetscape project. Last December, the SC Department of Commerce awarded the town a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant for improvements. Tyler told the council that the firm designing the work to be done revised the drawing following feedback. Tyler said the first drawing had landscape improvements on one side of the road and parallel parking spaces on the other side. Tyler said he thought the parallel parking would hinder what they were trying to do with the streetscape improvements and could even cause accidents, so he asked the firm to redo the drawing with landscape improvements to both sides of the street and utilize existing parking lots in the area rather than adding spaces on Main Street. He said another aspect of the project is to find a way to reroute truck traffic away from Main Street as much as possible, and he has a meeting set up with the DOT to try and come up with an alternate route for truck traffic in the area. Tyler said he hopes to be able to share the conceptual drawings with council, business owners, and the citizens of Jonesville and gather feedback over the next month or two, and have the project go out to bid before the end of the year so that work can begin early in 2023. He said the project is running ahead of schedule.

He also updated council on the former Wellington Mill site project. He said that project went out to bid, and the bids came back last week. He said that Hepaco, a Charlotte company that specializes in asbestos abatement and removal and dealing with brownfield sites, was the low bidder. The bid is being reviewed by the state, but Tyler said it came in under budget and includes not just the main part of the work, but also the smokestack removal and on-site grinding that had been added as alternates in the bidding process. He said that once the bid is approved, the company will have 60 working days to do the work. He said by the end of March, the mill site would be completely cleared, with nothing but dirt and a dusting of grass seed for erosion control. The town had received a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant for that project, as well, but work on the project had been delayed. The county has committed to paying $127,000 from one of its economic development funds to help with the project, which will eventually include an ampitheater, picnic pavilion, an improved playground nearby and an educational wetland.

Tyler said the town is wrapping up work on renovating a property on Alman Street. He said he hoped the work could be done by the end of the year so that the property could be reappraised and marketed for sale or lease, with the proceeds being used toward other projects.

Finally, Tyler updated the council on the status of the town’s website. He said he had been talking with a company out of Texas that does municipal websites for a number of locations, but he also had a conversation with David Berry, a local website designer, who said he could set up a site for the town for less money than the other company was asking. Tyler said he felt that having a local person who could help with any issues that arise and who could even help keep the site updated if needed would be beneficial. Berry had designed the site for the Town of Carlisle, Midway BBQ, WBCU, and others in the county, which are customized to their needs. He said the other company uses the same template for pretty much every municipality. Council unanimously voted to allow Tyler to use his discretion to select the best person or company to design the town’s website.

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