Jefferson’s long-discussed amphitheater project will get a fresh look.
With a 4-1 vote at its April 26 meeting, the Jefferson City Council agreed to spend up to $10,000 for new conceptual drawings for a potential city amphitheater south of the downtown square.
Previous conceptual drawings exist, but those drawings do not account for a Regions Bank drive-through location situated on city property in the area of the amphitheater site. Councilman Mark Mobley said the bank facility could be there for 14 more years. He said wants drawings that reflect the drive-through and other moving parts “so that we can begin building pieces out.”
“If we have a drawing, then we can build parking where parking is going to go, we can build sidewalks where sidewalks are going to go and not have to worry that later we’ll have to tear it down,” Mobley said.
Councilman Malcolm Gramley, who voted against the drawings, said he was unsure if a $10,000 expenditure for new drawings to include the bank drive-through were worth it.
“Are we going to change a great deal of the existing plan or existing the concept drawing we have now?” Gramley asked.
Councilman Clint Roberts said the location of the bank drive through would impact the configuration of the parking and access to the area.
“I don’t know, given the plans that we have today, that our team could go forward in developing those particular pieces of access to parking,” Roberts said.
Mobley said the point of the concept process is to “put everything back on the table and look at it with some of the fresh things that have happened and may yet happen.”
“I think it’s entirely possible to do something more than just place a building back,” Mobley said.
CITY TO PURSUE THEATER GRANT
The council voted to give city manager Priscilla Murphy permission to apply for a $600,000 matching grant to renovate the city’s historic Roosevelt Theater. The council will also allow for a budget adjustment to allocate funds to match the $600,000 for improvements. Any donations for the project would be included toward matching those dollars. Renovation plans would restore the building, which was built in the 1920s, to a 109-seat movie theater.
In other business, the council:
•approved an annexation and medium density residential zoning request for 0.57 acres on Brockton Rd. to allow for a single-family dwelling.
•approved a variance request to increase the square footage allowed for a cottage industry from 1,500 to 4,079 square feet for 1.04 acres on Washington St. for a furniture store with a portable sawmill.
•approved a resolution to accept 0.383 acres south of South Public Square from the Jefferson Downtown Development Authority.
•approved a resolution to add items to the city’s planning and development fee schedule, specifically fees related to review of water and sewer plans.
•will look into purchasing speed cushions — similar to a speed bump — for areas of the city where speeding is an issue. The areas receiving speed cushions would be determined by public safety officials. The speed cushion design allows for fire trucks — but not general traffic — to pass over them without having to slowdown.
•heard from Gramley, who heads the new city logo and branding subcommittee, that said proposals for a new logo will be submitted by Friday and available for subcommittee review by the first of next week. The group will then meet Thursday (May 6).
•heard from councilman Cody Cain that the city has sought bids for conceptual drawings for improvements to the city pool on Memorial Drive. Cain, who chairs the pool improvement subcommittee, said his group will meet with the city school system’s facility committee to discuss the project. The city and school system have agreed to work jointly on a potential improvement project, but an intragovernmental agreement between the two still requires approval.
•heard from Mobley, who chairs Exit 137 beautification subcommittee, that his group will hold its final meeting May 11 and will bring recommendations to the council by the May voting session. The subcommittee has raised concerns about animals being caged and sold on the weekends near the exit. “We would like to discover if that is legal within our code or something that the council would entertain changing so that’s not a possibility,” Mobley said. The subcommittee also requests to ask the state department of transportation to clean-up and pressure wash the bridge over I-85 as well as improve lighting on the bridge. The subcommittee also requests arranging an internship with a University of Georgia landscape design student to help execute plans for the project.
•heard from Roberts, who chairs the city’s code and charter modification subcommittee, that the group will work on the city’s much-discussed food truck ordinance and bring it before the council for its next work session.