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Designs unveiled for Jemison Main Street renovation

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Excitement is mounting for planned improvements to a portion of Main Street in the old downtown of Jemison.

Architectural renderings for sidewalk, railing, lighting and road improvements are now on display at the Jemison Municipal Complex. The City of Jemison has received $480,000 in grant funding from the Federal Transportation Alternatives Setaside Program for the improvements.

During a Jemison City Council meeting on March 1, Mayor Eddie Reed said the city has met with business owners located where the project will be.

Reed said he was pleased with the attendance to the meeting because all but one business owner was able to come. However, he spoke to her at another time, and she has also expressed support for the project.

This initial meeting was held on Feb. 23, but a second meeting, which will include the architect and the City Council members, will be held in the near future.

He said the business owners expressed appreciation for the improvements the city will be making.

“They are very excited about it,” Reed said.

The business owners are also being asked to make improvements to the exterior of their buildings. Business owners have agreed to meet and discuss contributing to awnings to provide a consistent look to the row of buildings.

As a first step, Jemison has begun renovations to the exterior of fire station on Main Street.

“We could not ask them (business owners) to do upgrades with our fire station looking the way that it is,” Reed said. “They have begun to do the uplifting on the fire station.”

He said a more detailed update on the fire station renovation would be presented at the next council meeting.

When the actual renovations will begin is still undetermined.

During the March 1 meeting, the Council also reviewed the city finances. Councilman Rex Bittle commented that having $1 million in the combined accounts was a good position to be in. City Clerk Vicki Potts said the bond payment of $93,000 and the insurance payment had been paid since the statement was created. Bittle said it was good for the city to be in a position to make the bond payment without having to worry about where the money was coming from as it had when he first joined the Council.

Reed thanked Potts and her staff for everything they do to keep the finances in a good position.

Enforcing hours at the park and locking gates after 9 p.m. has been proposed as a way to address vandalism at the park.

Reed expressed his anger at the types of words that had been painted on the picnic tables and destruction in the bathrooms.

A proposal for a new higher gate/ fence is expected in the near future.