The Transylvania Times -

City Council Approves New Jenkins Center - Brevard, NC

 

November 27, 2017

Courtesy Photo

Councilman Maurice Jones, Mayor Jimmy Harris, Councilman Mac Morrow and City Manager Jim Fatland recently went to Raleigh to receive the awards on behalf of the city.

Last week, Brevard City Council unanimously approved plans to build a new Mary C. Jenkins Community Center.

In her last meeting as a council member, Ann Hollingsworth, who is being replaced by Maurine Copelof, made a motion to approve the recommendations from the city's Parks, Trails and Recreation Committee to retain Harris Architects for the design and construction of the building, authorize staff to work with the Mary C. Jenkins board to establish a task force to oversee the project and authorize City Attorney Michael Pratt to work with the Mary C. Jenkins Board of Directors to facilitate the donation of the property to the city.

The Mary C. Jenkins Community Center opened in 1952 and was a hub of the Rosenwald community for more than 70 years, according to Marcy Thompson, the local historian at the Transylvania County Library.

In 1953, the Happyland Nursery and Kindergarten opened in the center, and a swimming pool was installed in 1958.

In addition, The Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County began and operated at the center before moving to its location on Gallimore Road.

Mary C. Jenkins Board Chairman Randy Lytle, who attended the meeting, asked about the "time frame" on when there would be a building. City Manager Jim Fatland said he wants to get the process moving, which, he said, is why he wanted to get the recommendations approved at the meeting.

Councilman Charlie Landreth asked if there were "existing drawings."

"We aren't starting from scratch, right?" Landreth asked.

Fatland said "no," and that with the help of the architect and the task force, the project could "progress very rapidly."

"The architect can start working tomorrow, and the task force needs approval from the council in January, and then we meet with the architect and can make recommendations to council," Fatland said.

Landreth suggested, "to accelerate the process," an amendment to the motion, which was approved, to add Councilmen Maurice Jones and Gary Daniel to the task force.

Harris Architects will do preliminary and schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding, negotiation and construction phase services at a cost not to exceed $51,000.

Fatland said he would come back to council with a plan to pay for the building, which could include a half-cent tax increase over a 15-year period to pay for a loan.

In other council news:

•The city has been recognized with two awards for work that has been done to improve its wastewater services. The city received "Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations and Maintenance Excellence Award" for the Western region from the American Water Works Association North Carolina.

The city also received an award from the Council of Engineering Companies for the Neely Road Force Main Project.

"We received a most improved waste treatment plant," said Mayor Jimmy Harris, "not in the region, not in the community, but in the state of North Carolina. That's a different story than three years ago. In my mind, I was prepared for the sky to fall. You don't know how bad you need it until it doesn't work, and trust me, a flush is better than a full house."

•Tom Whitlock was sworn in as deputy finance director for the City of Brevard.

•Employees of the city's Fire Department, including Assistant Chief Mark Norton, Capt. Adam Hughey, Capt. Richard Travis, Safety Officer James Galloway, firefighters Jesse Robinson, Kendrick Glover, Chris Hall, Dan Futrelle, Michael Owens, Tommy Whitmire and Jack Sgroi, won a "Life Saving Award" for their response and resuscitation of a patient "who was without pulse and respiration" as the result of a car accident in January on Rosman Highway.

Norton, Hughey, Travis, Galloway, Tommy William-son and Kevan Smith also won an additional "Life Saving Award" for their "quick action in successfully resuscitating a patient who was choking and without pulse and respiration" at the Taco Bell in March.

•The city had received a downtown economic development grant for $500,000 from the N.C. Department of Commerce in November 2016, according to City Planning Director Daniel Cobb, and conducting a public hearing was "the last step before officially closing the grant."

"The city and D.D. Bullwinkel's received a grant from the Department of Commerce in the form of a community development block grant, and the main mission of the community development block grant program is to remove slum and blight within cities," Cobb said. "In this case this funding source was created for economic development purposes to remove slum or blight, and the grant was $500,000, and the floor plan was the old Belk's building. But the floor plan is just lines on paper, and if you go into the store, it's a completely different story.

"We got the release of funds just about a year ago this week, and the project was finished up this summer."

•In closing remarks, Hollingsworth, who was voted onto the council in 2013, said that she was grateful to have served.

"I have really enjoyed my time here," Hollingsworth said. "I've loved serving the residents of Brevard and the community and I feel like this is a great group to work with."

 
 

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