BUCKHANNON — All members of the Buckhannon City Council met on Thursday, including Councilman Jack Reger, who was happily welcomed back after several months of medical leave.
Beginning the meeting, John Waltz spoke with City Council on behalf of the Colonial Theatre Board, joined by Bryson Vannostrand from ART26201. The newly appointed Colonial Theatre Board members have held two meetings, establishing ideas and goals for the space. Waltz explained the Colonial is much more than a theatre, as they hope to offer exhibitions, entertainment, educational courses, installation pieces, and spaces available for weddings and private rentals. Discussing the many elements of the Colonial Theatre, Waltz brought forth a recommendation to rename the space to the Colonial Arts Center, which he said would better encompass the multipurpose use of the facility. City Council approved the name change and the theatre will now be known as the Colonial Arts Center. The Board will continue to hold meetings, open to the public, to further establish their space on Main Street.
Following, Public Works Director Jerry Arnold updated Council on the progress of the sidewalk projects on Smithfield and Kanawha Street, including several sewage projects around town. Crews are also reportedly working to install more lighting at Jawbone Park.
Amberle Jenkins then worked with Council members to make several changes to the 2021 FY General Funds budget. City Council continues to search for a financial solution to fund three additional firefighters since learning that the CARES Act money cannot be used to hire new personnel. Jenkins also discussed the City’s savings and balances relating to the GF budget.
Next, Fire Chief JB Kimble discussed Buckhannon Fire Department’s responses and calls from the past month. He explained the Mutual Aid Training sessions BFD has been holding to build skill sets with Upshur County’s Fire Departments. Fred Eberle’s electrician students recently installed new LED lights in the department, reportedly creating camaraderie between the students and firefighters. Chief Kimble concluded his report urging the public to use caution with fireworks this coming weekend.
City Council approved a “Shakespeare in the Park” event on July 10 at Jawbone Park. Hosted by Create Buckhannon, this event will provide alternative artistic viewing, free to the public on Saturday.
City Council also voted to move the August 5 City Council meeting to August 3 due to scheduling conflicts. The next City Council meeting will take place on July 15 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.