By Beth Lawrence
Several Jackson County communities will benefit from municipal grants awarded by the Board of Commissioners at its regular meeting on Nov. 25.
Commissioners voted unanimously to award approximately $14,100 in grants to the four incorporated communities in the county. The county sets aside $20,000 annually to award to municipalities to support projects. Each area may ask for an amount up to $5,000.
“The Webster Town council would like to thank the County Commissioners for consideration in awarding municipal grants again this year,” Webster Mayor Tracey Rodes said. “Last year’s project was to replace the landscaping at our World War II Veterans Monument. The grant funding inspired several volunteer workdays and aided in community involvement.”
The funding this year benefits the municipalities in several different ways.
The town of Webster plans to use its grant money to extend electricity to the WWII veteran’s monument at 128 Webster Road. The line would operate three LED lights to replace the current solar lights illuminating the display.
There are also plans to add signs to the town hall “to clearly distinguish it from the post office, which is a similar brick building,” the application said. “We plan to streamline the front of Town Hall by removing any existing superfluous signage.”
The sign will also indicate that Webster Town Hall serves as a Jackson County sheriff’s substation.
The town also wants to provide a desk and chair to accommodate deputies working there and provide deputies with snacks and a beverage cooler for bottled water.
The total cost of the project comes to about $6,490.
“We would like to make the Webster sheriff’s substation more inviting for law enforcement to utilize our facility,” Rodes said. “Any increased usage of Town Hall by law enforcement will provide residents with added security and an increased visibility of patrols. Officers will benefit by having use of a clean restroom, a private meeting place and desk for a workspace.”
The town of Sylva requested $5,000 of a $5,980 project to make improvements to Main Street. Plans are to move the crosswalk at Main and Evalina Streets, extend the curb on Main Street and add “street furnishings in the bump-out,” add a handicapped parking space and install a new bench at the historic Courthouse Public Library Complex.
Forest Hills has asked for $1,540. The money will be used for an anti-litter campaign. Plans are in the works to create a sign made from repurposed litter. Metal frames covered by chicken wire would spell out the word “Whee,” the nickname for Cullowhee. The letters would be filled with garbage picked up from the area. The sign will be located in the community greenspace just off N.C. 107. The community will also place two vandal-proof covered trash cans along Stadium Drive and North Country Club Drive to encourage people not to litter.
Dillsboro will use the money from its grant to add three benches around town and a new grill at the handicapped picnic area at Dillsboro Picnic Park.
Money will also be used to replace signage. The town operates three parks where the signs listing rules “have become very faded and in disrepair,” according to the application.
The cost of the project would be about $2,559.