“We're very excited about the prospect of having an entertainment-type pavilion,” Commissioner Casey Kozlowski, who serves on the festival committee, said in April. “That will relieve us of a financial burden and it will also be a good fixture here ...
JEFFERSON Â â€”Â Village officials are looking forward to having a permanent symbol of the countyâ€™s annual Covered Bridge Festival and completing more infrastructure work, as the village Chamber of Commerce prepares for â€œa lot of changes.â€Next year, the village is set to begin construction on its new Covered Bridge Festival pavilion, a stage for live music, expected to go in Giddings Park, the epicenter of the event. The stateâ€™s capital budget included $100,000 for the festival.Smolen Engineering is currently designing the structure, said village Administrator Terry Finger. Once designed, the lumber needs to be custom-cut and air dried so the finished structure doesnâ€™t shrink, he said. County officials said they were confident it will be up by next yearâ€™s festival.
â€œWeâ€™re very excited about the prospect of having an entertainment-type pavilion,â€ Commissioner Casey Kozlowski, who serves on the festival committee, said in April. â€œThat will relieve us of a financial burden and it will also be a good fixture here that will serve as a symbol of the Covered Bridge Festival year-round.â€Finger said the village is also preparing for major sewer repair work along Ashtabula Street, scheduled for next summer. Itâ€™s expected to disrupt traffic, he said.â€œWeâ€™re going to have to excavate every one of the manholes through there,â€ he said. â€œWe have broken clay pipe underneath the road in 10 or 12 spots.â€More street paving is also on the agenda. The state-funded repave of State Route 46 was a huge part of refreshing the roads, and the village finished Kathleen Drive, southern Franley Drive and Willis Avenue this year.â€œAs soon as the snow goes, we get the potholes first then throughout the summer, (road crews are) looking at improvements to make,â€ Finger said.Each year the villageâ€™s Durapatcher treats road cracks, but officials will look to put all new asphalt along Jefferson Streetâ€™s two miles â€” from one end of the village to the other.â€œThen our main roads will be spotless,â€ Finger said.Come fall, the village will continue sidewalk repairs throughout the business district, he said. Next on the list is on the east side between Jefferson Street and the Speedway gas station.â€œWith the road done and all the new sidewalks, it should look like a million bucks,â€ he said.The village Chamber of Commerce is looking to provide more exposure for its 137 members, said chamber President and village Treasurer Patty Fisher. The chamber is working with Cicogna Electric and Sign Co. of Ashtabula for a new digital ad sign near the gazebo at the center of town.The sign is expected to cost about $10,000, Fisher said, at no extra cost to the chamber members. The Jefferson area Jaycees organization recently disbanded, turning over an about $11,000 certificate of deposit to the chamber for community development, she said.
Fisher estimates itâ€™ll be similar in size to the sign outside the McDonaldâ€™s along North Chestnut Street.Each of the advertising chamber businesses will have a certain display time.The chamberâ€™s membership drive begins in September.â€œAll the businesses were very interested in the idea,â€ Fisher said.Now that the chamber has added five new board members, Fisher said she feels itâ€™s time to revamp the chamberâ€™s policies and bylaws, which havenâ€™t been updated in years. Itâ€™s also time to discuss several regular events in the area. â€œThereâ€™s a lot of changes coming,â€ she said.Most concerning is the chamberâ€™s annual golf outing, which traditionally pays for Jefferson Area student scholarships. This year, the chamber gave out three $1,000 scholarships. But in the last two years, â€œeconomically, it wasnâ€™t worth it,â€ she said. The chamber board will need to decide whether to keep the outing or find scholarship funding through another event.The inclusion of carnival-style rides from Nolan Amusements of Zanesville at this yearâ€™s Jefferson Village Days event â€” the scope of which the village hadnâ€™t undertaken in five years â€” was a â€œtest run,â€ Fisher said.â€œWe didnâ€™t make a lot of money, but we didnâ€™t go broke,â€ she said â€” and the board will consider how to put on the carnival next year.