City Council focuses on strategic issues

BUCKHANNON -City Council met Thursday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. with a focus on strategic issues.

Brenda Scotchie, on behalf of the West Virginia Service Dog Support Group Association, submitted correspondence requesting the city to provide Buckhannon Dog Park for dog training classes. She is president of a nonprofit group comprised of individuals that have joined together to educate people about training; however, we would sponsor certified instructors to provide basic canine obedience class to help educate pet owners and service dog handlers.” Mark Delaney from the Clarksburg Kennel Club will be offering the dog training classes on Tuesdays in April from 6-7 p.m. at the Buckhannon Dog Park. Together, they are looking to provide basic canine obedience training to the people in the Buckhannon community.

A deal was made by the City of Buckhannon to contribute to the Brushy Fork sewer line fund. The City of Buckhannon will offer certain property owners near the Events Center at Brushy Fork the opportunity to be annexed into the city and not have to solely pay for the proposed sewer line extension. Aaron Harris, owner of A&T Enterprise LLC,  wishes to open an approximately 12,000 square foot facility with an auction house, retail outpost, and a Daily Grind coffee shop. Aaron will be 1 of 10 to 15 auctioneers to own their own auction houses in West Virginia. “The outpost house will be 4,800 square feet of the facility,” Aaron stated. The outpost will have retail space that includes the sale of antiques, clothing, bulk candies, local meat from Harris Farms, and Amish furniture. “We want to include as many local products as we can in that facility,” Harris said. The project is estimated to cost approximately $100,000 to complete.  The sanitary board agreed to pay $20,000 toward the project while the city is pledging $30,000 from the general fund. Major property owners in the area agreed to pay the remaining $50,000.

Recommendation to name city hall after J.D. Hinkle Jr. was proposed next with a 4 to 2 veto outcome. Mayor David McCauley started the discussion saying he believed in naming City Hall after J.D. Hinkle Jr. “When you think of the city of Buckhannon, it is hard not to think of J.D. Hinkle Jr.,” McCauley said. “He was an integral part in making the city what it is.” In a dissenting opinion, J. David Thomas stated he did not believe naming city hall after Hinkle was “appropriate as a process.” “Now this is nothing against Hinkle as a person,” he said. “I just don’t think it is appropriate.”  Robbie Skinner followed suit and vetoed the motion saying, “I’d rather it stay Buckhannon City Hall.” Board Member Mary Albaugh agreed with Skinner. “I like Buckhannon City Hall,” she stated. “And I would like to keep it Buckhannon City Hall.”

Colin Reger voiced his opinion stating, “I’m inclined to agree with David Thomas, Robbie Skinner, and Mary Albaugh.” “This is the city center and should remain Buckhannon City Hall,” Reger stated. According to citizen Ron Pugh, “There have been so many other mayors that have contributed to the city, we should just keep it recognized as City Hall of Buckhannon.”

A written request was submitted by the City of Elkins Fire Department to borrow Buckhannon fire department’s reserve E11 engine for 30 days. In an uncommon request for assistance, the Elkins fire department is down two pumpers. They had to ship one of their pumpers to Columbus for maintenance and upgrades. This engine has completely been unavailable for use. In March, another pumper suffered a mechanical breakdown and the engine locked up. This engine has been transported to the Western Branch Diesel in Charleston for repair. That leaves the Elkins fire department down to two pumpers. Engine 405 is currently still in working order with some moderate cosmetic damage. The request for a loaner pumper, which will be used strictly as a reserve or in case of multiple alarms, is needed immediately. It is Fire Chief Meader’s hope that either or both of the out of service vehicles will be home and operational in 30-45 days. They are reviewing the policy for insurance coverage at this time.

There will be a special City Council meeting Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. This meeting will cover laying the levy issues. The next regular scheduled City Council meeting will be held Thursday, April 18, 2019.


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