Jim Goldson may not work for the City of Burnside, but he’s put a lot of work into it.
“Jim’s been a good friend to the city,” said Burnside Mayor Robert Lawson. “... He likes to do anything he can to help the community out.”
The longtime local businessman has been an especially good friend in recent years. From the new parking lot beside City Hall to providing the town with its holiday tannenbaum, Goldson has pitched in plenty — and the City of Burnside is appreciative.
Burnside officials met with Goldson on Monday to present him and some of his United Rail Service employees with Honeybaked Ham gift certificates as a show of gratitude for their efforts.
Goldson has also received a ceremonial key to the city of Burnside, as well as a personal gift from Lawson, a print depicting the first train to cross the railroad bridge in Burnside.
For the last couple of years, the city has worked to turn the large sinkhole beside City Hall along U.S. 27 into something safe and useable. Goldson would bring heavy equipment like a track hoe and would personally do excavation work or send one of his crew to help out.
“When the city got the lease on the sinkhole, (Goldson) started having conversations with Crissa (Morris, Burnside City Clerk) and myself about keeping it level and in place,” said Lawson.
Said Goldson, “It started off rather slow. People would get rid of suitable fill, and we kept the machine there to place it. When they started the sewer program, that brought a lot of fill in, and they needed it moved in a quicker fashion, and we did that.”
Goldson also used his crane to help put the roof on the new stage at Cole Park and also donated and helped put in place the town’s Christmas tree — a massive 40-foot-tall evergreen standing across U.S. 27 from City Hall.
“They knew I had a lot of land with cedar trees and pine trees and I knew I had one somewhere that would work for them,” said Goldson. “We cut it and took it to them.”
Does it fill him with a sense of community pride to see the tree there and the work he’s done to help Burnside? The ever-humble Goldson admitted it does.
“I’m a native of Burnside. I have a business in Burnside. I have houses in Burnside,” he said. “I just wanted to do something for the community.”
Goldson, who used to operate Jim’s Saw Shop, is also friends with the mayor, who helped with his former business’ financial operations.
“He’s been a very good friend to me and has done a lot for the city,” said Goldson of Lawson. “He wants the city to grow and do well, and he’s (helped) with just that.”