Green bench honors nature stewards

BUCKHANNON — The city of Buckhannon plans to go even greener.
At its Thursday meeting, city council unanimously passed a resolution formalizing its commitment to environmental stewardship and establishing a ‘Green Bench,’ which will be located in front of the city seal mural at the corner of Main and North Locust streets. Mayor David McCauley developed the concept of the Green Bench and its accompanying resolution on the heels of the city winning the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s highest honor, the Cabinet Secretary Award, earlier this month.
McCauley proclaimed Thursday, June 15, to be Green Day throughout the city of Buckhannon and directed the installation of the Green Bench in front of the city seal mural. Inaugural Green Bench honorees — that is, individuals who McCauley said “have led our community’s environmentally protective initiatives” — are Bob Coit, Don Gasper, Upshur County Solid Waste Authority director Burl Smith, Rodney Carr, Joyce Harris-Thacker, Bob Braine, Donnie Tenney, city public works director Jerry Arnold, Callie Cronin Sams and Lindsay Bever.
Council approved Resolution No. 2017-06, which McCauley said “reaffirms the city of Buckhannon’s commitment to environmentally conscious initiatives.”
A celebration dedicating the Green Bench will be announced in forthcoming weeks.
In other city news, McCauley said the city had received a letter from Atlantic Coast Pipeline requesting a letter of “no objection” to the company installing pipeline beneath the bedrock in the Buckhannon River.
“We will be sending a letter to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline saying we neither object or don’t object at this point,” the mayor said. “We’re awaiting further information, and so you know, we have been negotiating with representatives of the company concerning some assurances that they would make concerning things like funding an extra monitoring device on the Buckhannon River, so if there was a problem as a result of some catastrophic failure, we would know about it sooner rather than later.”
McCauley said the city is also negotiating with the company regarding the new $1.2 million water tank it plans on building atop Victoria Hill.
“They tend to go to these communities where they’re putting in these big lines and they spend a million bucks putting in a temporary water tank which they then raze, and poof, it’s gone. So (since we’re building the water tank), we’re making a pitch to the pipeline folks, ‘Hey, instead of you coming in and wasting a million bucks on something you’re going to tear down two years later, why don’t you give us the money, let us build something that would be a permanent part of our water system, and we’ll do everything you need relative to this part of the project,’” McCauley said. “In the spirit of transparency, we’re having a discussion with the company.”

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