BUCKHANNON — The Buckhannon City Council held a regular meeting in person at City Hall on Thursday evening. Members of the community were welcome to attend by calling in, visiting in person with required masks, or livestreaming the meeting on the Channel 3 Buckhannon YouTube and Facebook pages.
Mayor Robbie Skinner swore James Adam Fisher into office as a Probationary Officer for the Buckhannon Police Department. “I hope to fulfill my oath. I’ll do everything that I am supposed to do. I will always make sure to fall back on my oath. I’ll always fulfill my oath and my duties as the power granted to me as a police officer,” Fisher affirmed. The new officer will begin his position Monday and Fisher’s Police Academy paperwork has already been submitted for the next available class in January.
The Council approved Trick-or-Treat for Saturday, October 31 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., after the Upshur County Commission’s decision last Thursday. Mayor Skinner recommended its approval to keep consistent with the county and prevent any confusion. “I don’t want to be at odds with the Upshur County Commission and I don’t want to create some confusion,” Skinner stated.
The Council would like to remind residents that the event is completely voluntary and there will be other options available. The Family Resource Network will be hosting a Drive-through Trunk or Treat as a safer option for this year’s Halloween event on Wednesday, October 28. City Council recommended for the public to stay cautious and follow the CDC guidelines, which will also be posted on the City’s website and in future editions of The Record Delta.
City Attorney Tom O’Neill held the First Reading of Ordinance No. 447 to revise Downtown Parking. The edits included time reset details on when the clock starts and what does and does not qualify as a reset, escalating funds on subsequent violations, and one mandatory warning before an issued first violation. Councilors discussed the details but decided to table the discussion. Each City Council member will review the Ordinance and send their suggestions and concerns to O’Neill, who will review them during the next meeting.
In other business, Upshur County Parks and Recreation Board Representative Dennis Cortes gave his monthly report, including working on bike trails and disc golf projects.
Information Coordinator and Grant Researcher Callie Cronin-Sams gave her report, including a job vacancy in the Street and Parks Department. She reported the final version of the Recycling flyer is available on the City’s website.
Mayor Skinner gave the Public Works report on behalf of Director Jerry Arnold, who could not make the meeting. He explained the cement mixer vendor should be available next week to conduct training on the mixer and silo, as well as the progress reports from the Sewer and Engineering departments.
Finance Director Amberle Jenkins gave her report on grants, bills, current balances, revenues and expenses.
Buckhannon Police Chief Matthew Gregory reported that Sergent Courtney’s K-9 training is about half-way completed and is going well. They have received the first set of WatchGuard materials for in-car and body cameras, and will begin installation and training soon. Gregory also welcomed Fisher to the force.
Mayor Skinner addressed the following items during Correspondence and Information: Proclamation declaring October 2020 as Breast Cancer Awareness Month; WV Ethics Commission’s newsletter; FirstEnergy Press Release for Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers to lower electric rates in 2021; FOIA Request for ensafe-environmental site assessment; Lowe’s Store Manager Chad Corley’s thank you letter, as he will be moving to Morgantown’s store; Colonial Theater Rehabilitation Phase III FY 2020 Final Report from the WV Dept. of Arts, Culture and History; Mayoral Proclamation for Christian Heritage Week from November 22 to 28, in response to Governor Jim Justice’s proclamation; and the Agreement for Sales and Purchase of Commercial Real Estate between Mike Ross and the City of Buckhannon’s Mudlick Property.
The Council approved their October 1 regular meeting minutes, building and wiring permits and the payment of bills. They also approved to establish the Stormwater Fund No. 426, per Jenkin’s recommendation, in order to fund stormwater projects. The Council then approved to transfer $75,000 from the Sales Tax Fund to the Stormwater Fund.
City Council approved to accept the Fire Civil Service Commission’s List of Eligibles, including Devin Lee Landis, Andrew Douglas Loudin, Darren Lee Martin, Jr., Maria Elaine Potter and Charles Hunter Wilfong.The Council held a discussion on the Paper Alleys within City Limits and clarified what they are. Mayor Skinner explained that paper alleys are listed on paper as alleys, but they are not for driving through, parking in, or building on. These paper alleys are City-owned property and personal items can be taken or towed.
City Councilors gave their comments and announcements. Mary Albaugh thanked O’Neill for his work on the Ordinance revision. Pamela Bucklew announced she is looking for volunteers to help with Christmas decorations and planning. They will meet on Monday at 10:00 a.m. at the Street Department building. CJ Rylands announced that CREATE Buckhannon and the Band of Brothers will be hosting a BBQ Chicken Dinner on October 24 on Route 20 across from the rental center. David Thomas reported that the Band of Brothers is still selling their calendars and the FRN has rescheduled their raffle. Tickets are $5 each or $20 for 5. He also stated he has received more phone calls about Suddenlink complications and recommended a discussion at the next meeting.
Before adjourning, the Council went into an executive session regarding personnel and property matters. The next Buckhannon City Council meeting will be held on Thursday, November 5.