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Mt. Jackson council eyes three enhancement projects

Crosswalks on Main Street, gateway signs, park improvements on agenda

By Preston Knight - pknight@nvdaily.com

MT. JACKSON - Towns within Shenandoah County are always searching for ways to stay unique yet also feed off the opportunities brought forth by others.

With three recent decisions, the Mt. Jackson Town Council is doing a little of both.

Town Manager Charlie Moore said residents have long expressed the desire for crosswalks on Main Street. The Virginia Department of Transportation recently conducted a study and returned with proposed crosswalks at three locations, he said, and the council endorsed two of them at its Aug. 11 meeting.

One crosswalk will be in front of Dellinger Funeral Home and the other in front of Holtzman Oil Corp., leading to the employee parking lot on the other side. The latter has a high volume of foot traffic three times a day, Moore said.

The third proposed location, near the corner of King and Main streets, will come along once a veteran's park slotted for a small patch of land there is completed, he said.

The first two crosswalks should be finished within the next month.

In the two months or so after that, new gateway signs should be placed at the northern and southern ends of Main Street and along Conicville Road heading into town. Moore said the signs, costing around $2,800 total, are green with white painting welcoming people to Mt. Jackson.

Several years ago, New Market added entryway signs, worth more than $5,300 each and standing 6 feet tall. Moore said part of the U.S. 11 corridor plan is that people are able to delineate as they move from one town to the next through the county, something the signs help do.

And along the lines of what the Woodstock Town Council did this year, Mt. Jackson officials are going to reassess the town's two tennis courts, the council decided last week. As part of potential improvements to the town park, Kids Cove and the tennis courts could be due for some repairs, Moore said.

The children's playground is almost 20 years old, he said, and the wood comprising it is not meant to last forever. Safety standards have changed, too, and newer equipment is designed differently, Moore said. The town would need to find funding resources for new equipment.

But first, however, officials will seek public input through such means as the town newsletter, asking residents what they want to do with Kids Cove and then the tennis courts as well.

"We want to know how much they are used, how many are used," Moore said. "The ball diamond's been re-done and it sees excellent use. ... We don't hear too much from the tennis courts."

The tennis court refurbishing would be more expensive than fixing the children's area, however. Woodstock, for example, received a bid for $28,400 earlier this year to refurbish its six tennis courts and one basketball court at W.O. Riley Park.

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It's a crappy tennis court, that's probably why no self respecting tennis player uses it. As far as Kids Cove goes, it's dangerous!!! There are loose boards that the kids hurt themselves on, the swings are always falling apart, most of the times that I visit there I see that something is gone, just because it had been falling apart. I don't recommend anyone letting their children play on it, besides the fact it is filthy and not taken care of. I would gladly travel to the Woodstock park and pool.

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