With the Labor Day holiday fast approaching, West Jefferson Village Council passed a resolution Monday night to give financial support to the village’s oldest and most well-known festival.
Council approved a resolution that authorizes the payment of $3,540 to the West Jefferson Community Association (WJCA) to help with the cost of off-duty police officers for the annual West Jefferson Ox Roast.
This year will be the 64th year for the festival, which will run from Saturday, Aug. 30 to Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 1. The annual event brings hundreds of visitors into the village and also helps to support many local businesses, officials say.
Proceeds from the festival are used by WJCA to help maintain and improve the Ox Roast grounds at Garrette Park and pay for expenses such as insurance, utilities, maintenance and security for the festival. Funds also support other organizations such as the annual community Halloween costume contest for children and the annual senior citizens Christmas party.
In the past, village council has donated funds to the Ox Roast festival to help defray costs for portable toilets, grey water holding tanks, refuse containment and security. It is estimated that village police officers will provide 118 hours of special duty security for the festival at a rate of $30 per hour.
In other business, council passed a resolution allowing the West Jefferson Police Department to purchase 11 5.56 mm carbine rifles from Vance’s Law Enforcement for the purchase price of $13,662.
The cost of the rifles was made possible due to a recent donation of $12,500 by Jefferson Industries Corporation. The remaining $1,162 came from 2014 police department appropriated funds. The police department will return dated M-16 rifles it received from a federal program through Homeland Security once the new rifles have been received.
Also on Monday, council:
• Passed an ordinance that authorizes supplemental appropriations for $2,868.69 into the Duke Realty TIF fund, $7,956.97 into the Battelle TIF fund and $10,000 into the Water Deposit Fund. Finance director Jack Herrel said the village budget only estimates what the TIF funds will be.
In the long run, it actually means more revenue for the village, he said.
“When we set up the budget we are guessing what these TIFs will bring in,” Herrel said. “In both cases, we under-estimated what the TIFs would bring in. We have to put out more money to these companies because we took in more money, which is more money in our coffers.”
Herrel also said there has been an increase in the number of people moving into the village, exceeding estimates for the amount of water department refunds for this year.
“With the water department fund, we actually had a lot of people move out and are owed a deposit,” Herrel said.
• Passed an ordinance establishing a policy for the payment of water, sewer and sanitation services. The ordinance also set fees for late payment and set shutoff procedures for non-payment. The ordinance was declared an emergency and repealed a similar ordinance passed in April 2005.
Kevin Dye is a contributing writer covering the area of West Jefferson.