BUCKHANNON — Buckhannon’s City Council met on Thursday in Council Chambers to hear reports from each department, and to vote on strategic issues in town. All members were present, apart from Council member David Thomas.
Beginning the meeting, Jody Light updated Council on the upcoming Almost Heaven BBQ Spooktacular event, planned for October 30. Due to COVID, the event has unfortunately been downsized to one day of competition that Saturday, and drive-thru meals will tentatively be available on November 6. City Council provided Light $2,000 in funding for the event. Dates, times, and prices will be published when finalized.
Following, Tammy Reger, Executive Director of the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce, spoke before Council. She informed them that the Chamber’s Annual Awards Ceremony fundraiser will be held virtually this year, due to the recent spike in COVID cases. One of the awards scheduled to be presented—Business Woman of the Year—still needed a sponsor, so Council agreed to contribute $1,000 towards the award.
Next, local WVU Extension Agent and 4-H leader, Craig Presar, spoke on behalf of National 4-H Week. Presar works with the WVU Extension Office to advocate 4-H involvement, as it is the largest positive youth development organization in the world. Presar requested the usage of Jawbone Park and the City Park for possible upcoming 4-H events later in the month. Council approved his request, and Presar ensured information will be passed out when the plans are finalized.
Buckhannon’s Christmas Decoration Committee requested doing an “Old-Fashioned Christmas” theme this year, and asked for $5,000 to purchase and hang lights, wreaths, banners, trees, and more. Supporting the idea that these decorations can be used for multiple years due to the theme, Council approved the funding.
Finance Director Amberle Jenkins gave a report to Council regarding this past month’s bill payments, expenses, donation totals, and project budgets. Revising the budget with the new funding passed during the meeting, her financial report and was approved.
Concluding department reports, Buckhannon Fire Department’s Chief JB Kimble provided his report to City Council. All members commended and thanked Kimble and his outstanding team of firefighters for their bravery and work to put out Tuesday’s Main Street fire. An estimated 1.3 million gallons of water were used to put out the raging fire, which thankfully caused no serious injuries or deaths. With the help of BFD, the Buckhannon Police Department, numerous departments from surrounding districts and counties, the Water Board, Waste Board, Public Works, community members, and business owners— Buckhannon was able to work together to extinguish the flames and save Main Street. In BFD’s report, Kimble also explained that they’ve responded to over 1,000 calls in 2021 alone, in addition to visiting over 600 students to teach fire prevention.
The next City Council meeting will take place on Thursday, October 21 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.