BUCKHANNON — Buckhannon City Council convened Thursday evening to discuss reports from each department. Mayor Robbie Skinner was out on leave, so the meeting was led by City Recorder Randy Sanders.
Before department reports, Buckhannon-Upshur High School Junior Class President Hank Phillips addressed Council regarding the high school’s upcoming homecoming celebration. Phillips requested the approval of their “Homecoming Parade” event, which would tentatively take place the evening of September 29.
Phillips explained that Student Council is awaiting guidance from the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department to determine the location and style of the parade. If the traditional celebration at Jawbone Park is deemed unsafe due to COVID-19, Student Council will consider a “reverse parade” at the high school, allowing for social distancing and additional safety guidelines. City Council approved his request as presented.
Jerry Arnold began department reports with updates on Buckhannon’s Public Works Department. He notified Council that Truck Fest, scheduled for Sept. 17-18, was cancelled due to COVID-19. He added that his crew has begun demolition of the old sidewalks on North Spring Street. Council approved Arnold’s request to begin collecting bids for the purchase of a light equipment utility vehicle.
Following, Amberle Jenkins updated Council on the General Funds budget balances, the payment of the bills, and several expenditures. She announced that the Children’s Festival is still pending, due to a rise in COVID cases. The festival would take place on September 18 as a “Road Trip Pit Stop” themed celebration.
Buckhannon Fire Department Chief JB Kimble provided his department’s reports for the month of July. They responded to 106 calls in July, totaling 2021’s call responses at 746 to date. He emphasized the department’s need for volunteer firefighters, urging anyone interested to contact BFD.
After voting to hire three additional paid firefighters weeks ago, the top three candidates have been selected and will be interviewed within the next month. The date of their assessment will be set with Mayor Robbie Skinner. Chief Kimble also requested an event for the 20 Year Anniversary of 9/11. The gathering would commend first responders and include a bell ringing ceremony. The event was approved.
City Council also approved the request to use City Hall as voting precinct 9 for elections.
During Council comments, all members welcomed Shelia Lewis-Sines, as this was her first meeting as a member of Buckhannon’s City Council.
The next regular City Council meeting will take place September 16 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.