The Jonesville Town Council adopted a proclamation on Monday recognizing June 19 as Juneteenth, a holiday recognizing June 19, 1865, when enslaved people in Texas finally learned that slavery had been abolished.
Farando “Sly” Best, Shelia Gray and Dr. Chad Mann gave a brief presentation about the proclamation.
“We have come a long way since 1619, we have come a long way since 1865, in 2020 we have come a long way, as a diverse community we have united to build good, strong relationships with all of our residents, with our local government, with our police department, and with our youth, our future. By acknowledging and recognizing the original sin of slavery, and the celebration of its end, has made this small town stronger together and move forward in a positive way,” said Gray.
The proclamation states: “Whereas, on June 19, 1865, nearly two and one-half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Union Soldiers, led by General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas, bringing to some of the last enslaved Americans news of their status as free persons, and whereas, the nineteenth of June has become nationally recognized as “Juneteenth” to commemorate the abolition of slavery and honor the strength, determination and triumphs of African Americans in the face of extreme oppression and hardship, and whereas, on this anniversary each year, individuals, communities and organizations across North Carolina and the nation celebrate African American heritage, culture, freedom and tradition, and whereas, citizens of all colors, creeds and origins share a love of and respect for freedom; and whereas, the Town of Jonesville encourages people to observe Juneteenth as a day to reflect on and learn from the past, a day of healing and renewal and a day to spur on efforts to build a brighter future.”
Yadkin County EMS Director Keith Vestal addressed the Council on Monday regarding approval of a regional hazard mitigation plan. Vestal said the plan is required to be updated every five years and is meant to serve as a guide for preparing for natural disasters such as hurricanes or other storms that could affect the area. The Council approved the plan.
Jonesville Librarian Jennifer Rogers shared updates on the library’s successful summer reading program. Despite being done all online, Rogers said there were 80 participants with several children reading more than 100 books. Nearly 60 at-home craft packets were distributed by the library and a few adults also took part in a reading challenge.
A port-a-pit chicken fundraiser is planned for Sept. 11 by the Friends of the Jonesville Library. Town Clerk and Finance Officer Wendy Thompson also noted that the goal is to have everything moved over and up and running in the new Jonesville Library location at 112 N. Swaim St. by Oct. 1.
Yadkin Valley Rotary Club members Ron Ashman and Claire Sellars presented a check to the Jonesville Town Council for the purchase of a handicap accessible swing for Lila Swaim Park. Rotary President Anita Darnell spearheaded the grant project to apply for the $1,680 for the swing.
The Council approved Town Manager Michael Pardue to proceed with accepting bids to purchase one of the old Jonesville fire trucks.
Thompson also discussed with the board the allocations from the Federal CARES funding and how it will be used. The total amount of $127,232 will be divided as follows, PPE/Supplies $11,000, Payroll Expenses $106,232, Utility Bill Assistance $10,000. There is an allocation for Jonesville Elementary up to $3,000.00 and Arlington Fire & Rescue up to $2,000. The money for Jonesville Elementary School will be used for purchase of masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies.
Code enforcement violations involving trash and junk as well as farm animals in the city limits at a residence on Shaw St. was discussed and the Council asked Pardue and Police Chief Mastin to proceed with citations.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.