Chancery Street parking doesn’t allow fire trucks to pass


BUCKHANNON — Chief of the Buckhannon Fire Department JB Kimble addressed vehicles parking on Chancery Street and blocking fire trucks, impeding response times at the last city council meeting.

“Chancery Street is becoming an issue,” Kimble said. “We had a response on Chancery Street and we couldn’t get a fire truck down. I’ve reached out to the county and we haven’t made any headway yet but I will present this to them again. I’ve sent you pictures of our concern. There is no way any of our fire trucks can get down Chancery Street at any given time during daytime hours.”

Councilman CJ Rylands wanted to clarify the location.

“This is the street that goes between the annex and the courthouse?” Rylands asked. “That’s a city street?”

Kimble said it is a city street.

“This is a huge concern for the business on the lower end of the street and a huge concern for us,” Kimble said. “If we can’t have access down that street and if something is on fire or someone is in cardiac arrest that just extends our responses.”

Rylands asked if there are marked parking spots on Chancery Street.

Kimble replied,“I’m not sure. I think there are two reserved spots but once you get to the hangover from the old part to the new part it’s so skinny that if you park anything, you can hardly drive a car through there, let alone a fire engine.”

Councilman David Thomas said this needed to be fixed as soon as possible.

“It seems to me there’s not a whole lot to discuss, that this increases liability both for the city and for the county if we’re impeding response times,” Thomas said. “I think the mayor needs to call the president of county commission and fix this sooner rather than later.”

McCauley said, “There’s a couple of places in front of the courthouse, one of them is handicapped parking and don’t they have another spot that’s like 20 minute parking? What if we could designate a couple of spots if they need them for the judge or something along that line.”

McCauley said this dispute might be better suited for Consolidated Public Works Board, but Thomas said they do not meet for another 34 days. The CPWB merged their November and December meetings and scheduled it for Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. in council chambers.

McCauley said, “The parking spots have been down there for 30 years. If we have to wait another month to address the issue, that’s what we’ll do.”

McCauley said he would try to arrange a meeting with Kimble and the county commission. County Administrator Carrie Wallace said Monday the matter needed to be discussed.

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