Street Vendor Ordinance now in place

Elkins City Council unanimously passed an ordinance during Thursday’s Elkins City Council meeting that will allow for street vendors within city limits.

According to City of Elkins Ordinance 264, street vendors – any person except itinerant vendors, who engages in or conducts, either as principal or agent, a business selling goods, wares, merchandise, food, confectionary or drink upon any street, sidewalk, or public park, including food trucks, will be permitted.

However, there are exceptions: vendors may only conduct business between six a.m. and 11 p.m.; no vendors may block pedestrian passageways; vendors must remove merchandise at the end of the sales day; no vendor set-up may consume more than three feet in width and eight feet in depth or more than two parking spaces; and no street vending is permitted on Davis Avenue between Second and Fifth Streets.

There are three classifications of vendors: Class A includes all non-food items, such as clothing, arts, crafts, flowers and miscellaneous items that are not food products; Class B covers all food products that do not require cooking, such as whole fruits, vegetables, and non-perishable food items that are pre-packaged by the manufacturer; and Class C is all food products that require cooking, heating, or a health permit. Vendors may also be required to meet additional requirements, depending upon their classification and location.

“It became apparent over the past few years that the food truck and street vendor industry had reached Elkins. I was receiving an increasing amount of inquiries about how and where vendors could operate, and in reviewing our City Code found it didn’t effectively address these questions,” Elkins City Clerk Jessica Sutton said.  “The Rules and Ordinances Committee, with the help of the City Attorney, Administrative Officers and local vendors, developed an ordinance they feel will both protect and encourage this growing entrepreneurial enterprise.”

Applications, as well as all the rules and regulations, are available at Elkins City Hall, 401 Davis Ave., and on the City’s website.

Adopt-A-Tree

CITY OF ELKINS TREE BOARD ANNOUNCES ADOPT-A-TREE PROGRAM

Date: August 22, 2019

Contact: Marilynn Cuonzo, Chair, Elkins Tree Board mcuonzo@cityofelkinswv.com

ELKINS-A new program that promotes planting trees throughout the city is being initiated by the Elkins Tree Board this fall. An Adopt-A-Tree program will provide a free tree to two selected homeowners in each of the city’s five wards. Application deadline for residents is Friday, September 13.

Members of the Elkins Tree Board are excited about the program and are inviting residents in the five wards interested in adopting a tree to fill out the application.. The selected tree owner commits to taking care of the tree for a minimum of three years, but board members will provide assistance and advice throughout the three-year period.

The trees must be planted in the front of the home and the type of tree will vary according to the site location. Preferred locations would be in a designated tree lawn, the grassy area located between the street and the sidewalk. The homeowner will be responsible for planting the tree within two weeks of receiving it.

The goal of the program is to continue to cool the streetscape, provide shade for those walking on city sidewalks and encourage everyone to plant more trees in town. The benefits of planting trees are numerous. Not only do trees improve the aesthetics of a neighborhood, but they also assist with the lowering water run-off, reducing air-conditioning costs and noise pollution. Most importantly, trees remove significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the air, which reduces the impact on climate change.

If the initial year is successful, the tree board will continue the Adopt-A-Tree program every year to reestablish trees lost due to age, storms and removal.

Applications are available online on the Elkins Friends of Trees Facebook page and the City of Elkins website, and at City Hall, 401 Davis Ave., Elkins. Deadline for submission is September 13, 2019, and the trees will be distributed no later than October 14. For further information, contact Marilynn Cuonzo, Chair, Elkins Tree Board, 304.636.5900 or mcuonzo@cityofelkinswv.com.

The Elkins Tree Board meets the first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Darden House adjacent to City Hall. The public is welcome to attend. The board offers various workshops and volunteer opportunities throughout the year and, those interested are encouraged to visit the Elkins Friends of Trees Facebook page.

Traffic pattern to change

The traffic pattern at the intersection of Gorman Avenue and Martin Street will transition to a four-way stop. Motorists are asked to use caution when approaching this intersection. It is projected that the intersection will become a two-way stop on Gorman Avenue as the completion of the bike route approaches.

Website Calendar

We are experiencing some interface issues with our website calendar. Please be patient while we work to address the problem with the help of our website developer. During this time, if you would like to confirm the date and time of any meeting, please call the Mayor’s Executive Secretary, Lea Crawford, at 304.636.1414 ext. 1110. We apologize for any inconvenience.

What to do under a boil water advisory

What should I do?

  • DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.

Final leaf pick-up

Announcement:

The City will complete a final leaf pick-up starting on Monday, December 17th. The crews will cover each ward in an efficient manner.  All leaves must be placed at the curb by this date in order to be picked up. Please note that this will be the last leaf pick-up of the season.

COMBINED SEWER SMOKE TESTING NOTIFICATION

ATTENTION

COMBINED SEWER SMOKE TESTING NOTIFICATION

The City of Elkins is conducting a sanitary sewer smoke testing evaluation designed to detect ground water and storm water that is entering the sanitary sewer system through defects in the pipe or illicit connections such as catch basins or downspouts.  We will be testing sewer lines in the Teaberry Hills areas.  The smoke testing will be performed during the week of November 26th, 2018.  In the event of inclement weather, the smoke testing will continue into the following week.

Smoke will be blown into the sewer system at manholes, and may be seen coming from roof vents, building foundations, or manhole covers.  The smoke is a non-toxic substance which is clean and harmless to humans, pets, food, and material goods and creates no fire hazard.  The smoke should not enter your home unless you have defective plumbing or dried up drain traps.  Ensure that all plumbing traps, including basement floor drains, are not dry and contain water.  If you have any seldom used drains, pour water into the drain to fill the trap.  If smoke enters the home through faulty plumbing, this indicates the possibility that dangerous sewer gases are also entering your home and you should consider contacting a licensed plumber to identify and make repairs.  You can report any presence of smoke within the house to the crews working in the street conducting the tests.

Please avoid unnecessary exposure to the smoke.  Although the smoke is relatively harmless, smoke of any kind can be irritating to the nasal passages for some people.  If you experience smoke irritation, it should be temporary and quickly disappear after exposure has ceased.

If you or any member of your family have respiratory problems, are immobile, or have any other health condition that you feel we need to be aware of, please contact the City of Elkins Operations Division, at 304-635-7021.

 

Leaf pick-up update

Announcement:

Once again fall leaf pick-up has presented us with challenges. The wet weather, late leaf fall, reduced work force and availability of only one leaf truck has slowed our progress.  We continue to work as quickly as we can, however, if you are concerned about letting leaves sit on your grass for too long, please feel free to bag them up. The bagged leaves may be taken to the yard waste roll off container at 31 Jones Drive on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p., or Saturday 9:00 a.m. – noon. The facility is closed on Sundays and holidays.

As long as time allows, our crews may be able to collect the bagged leaves.  Like regular leaf collection this work is weather and manpower dependent and so no pre-determined schedule can be provided. If the crews can tell the bags contain leaves, they will tear them open and collect the contents.

We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your patience.

Traffic Safety

Traffic safety is important to every West Virginian. Regardless of whether you are a driver, a passenger, a cyclist, or a pedestrian, laws exists to protect your life and your rights. Most of us area aware of the high profile traffic related safety initiatives in the state such as “Click-It or Ticket” targeting seat belt use and “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” focused on preventing impaired driving. While these are important and effective programs, there are even less obvious efforts and habits that can be undertaken daily to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment.

Pedestrian crosswalks are designed and utilized for two purposes. Both to direct pedestrians to cross the roadway in a particular spot and to notify drivers to be cautious and that they may need to stop. The Elkins City Code (Sec. 19-112) mirrors West Virginia State Code §17C-10-2 in assigning right-of-way depending on the circumstance. In situations where both a traffic signal and a crosswalk indicator are in place and in operation, both parties will be directed how to proceed by the signals. In the absence of any signals or if a signal fails, the code requires that “the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk.” However, this does not permit pedestrians to walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to safely yield. In addition, when a vehicle is stopped at a marked or unmarked pedestrian crosswalk, the driver of any other vehicle is not permitted to overtake or pass the stopped vehicle.

While pedestrians are required to use the crosswalk in the presence of adjacent intersections at which traffic signals are in operation, they are also strongly encouraged to use them when available nearby. This helps both pedestrians and drivers know what to expect and allows for a smoother interaction between the two. However, it is sometimes necessary to get across a road in the absence of a crosswalk, in which case the burden to yield falls to the pedestrian, not the driver.

Did you know that any person operating a bicycle on a roadway is granted all of the rights, as well as being subject to all the rules, applicable to the driver of a vehicle? If not, you may not be alone in that. It is a common misconception that cyclists should ride on the sidewalk, when in fact this is illegal and dangerous to both the riders and to pedestrians. Cyclists ride with traffic; use hand signals in the absence of electronic ones to turn; yield to pedestrians at crosswalks; and the like. When an adjacent bike lane is available, riders should utilize it, otherwise they should ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when passing, turning left or avoiding some condition or conflict. (See W.Va. Code §17C-11)

This information is meant to enlighten drivers and pedestrians alike of what the rules are. Pedestrians and drivers alike may be fined for a violation of these codes up to $100 plus court costs for a first offense, and even higher for subsequent offenses. But ultimately this notice is meant to remind everyone that slowing down and paying attention to your surroundings is in everyone’s best interest.  In order for Elkins to be the livable, accessible city that makes us attractive to residents, tourists, and investors alike, understanding and implementing the use of multiple forms of transportation simultaneously is vital. Beyond that, it’s an excellent example of common courtesy.

Municipal Election Filing Period Opens

The City of Elkins municipal elections are held every two years on the first Tuesday in March per the City Charter. As was announced with the Call of the Election at the council meeting on October 10th, the next election is March 5, 2019 and the filing period for those interested in running for a ward seat or the mayoral seat opened today. Candidates may file in person with the Elkins City Clerk during regular business hours from now until November 16, 2018. A filing fee of $25 for council or $50 for mayor is required at the time of filing. There are five council seats, one in each of the five wards, and the seat for mayor up for election this March. Candidates must be residents of the ward in which they file, or within any ward of the city to file for the mayor’s position. Candidacy may only be announced for one open position. The City Clerk’s office is open 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, the Clerk maintains a regular work schedule during this time so please be aware that you may have to wait or return if the Clerk is not immediately available. If you wish to make an appointment or have questions, please call Jessica Sutton, City Clerk, at 304.636.1414 ext. 1211.

More information on election guidelines and candidates will be available soon.