South Elkins Boil Water Advisory

** Update: November 27, 10:15 AM**
The boil water notice in South Elkins has been lifted. Laboratory testing found no contamination.

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As a result of loss of pressure on a water main caused by a leak, a Boil Water Notice has been issued for water customers in South Elkins in the area bounded by Bond Lane, Ward Avenue, the Tygart River, and Whiteman Avenue. (See map at the bottom of this post.)

Boil Water Notices are issued out of an abundance of caution because positive pressure has been lost and the possibility of contamination exists, not because contamination has been detected. The presence or absence of contamination must be confirmed by an independent lab through a testing process that requires at least 24 hours after delivery of a sample. For more information about what to do under a Boil Water Notice, click here.

Notification will be sent out when the Boil Water Notice is lifted. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience during this time.

To keep up to date on these and similar announcements, please follow the following channels:

Elkins Testing for Police Officer Candidates Dec. 11

The Elkins Police Civil Service Commission will test for entry-level police officer candidates on December 11, 2021. On that date, the physical fitness test will be at 9 a.m., and a written (online) test will follow at 12:30 p.m. Candidates passing both the physical and written tests will sit for interviews on December 14, 2021, starting at 2 p.m.

After interviews are complete, successful applicants will be ranked by overall score on a list of candidates eligible for entry-level appointment to the department. There is currently one entry-level opening that could be filled from this list.

Applicants currently certified as West Virginia law enforcement officers are eligible for a $7,500 signing bonus, although they would join EPD as entry-level officers regardless of current rank. (more…)

Zoning Presentation and Q&A Slated for December 7

The Elkins Planning Commission will present information about and hear public input on the latest draft of its proposed zoning code at a public forum with a question-and-answer period. The event is scheduled for December 7 at 6:00 p.m. at the Phil Gainer Community Center.

Zoning laws in Elkins have not been significantly updated since the 1950s. Starting in 2016, the Elkins Planning Commission, with the assistance of the WVU Land Use Law Clinic, has been working to update the city’s zoning laws. This work is now drawing to a close, and the commission will present its proposed new zoning code to city council for adoption in the coming months.

Zoning laws regulate how land may be used inside a jurisdiction. More specifically, these laws typically divide a jurisdiction into zones with different rules about what types of buildings, businesses, and residences are permitted there. The goals of zoning include protecting the character of existing neighborhoods, preserving and improving quality of life, and encouraging new investment.

The purpose of the December 7 forum is to familiarize the public with proposed changes to the city’s zoning laws before the beginning of the formal approval process. The program includes a presentation about the main components of the proposed new law and an open forum during which members of the public may ask questions and engage in back-and-forth conversation with commission members and city staff. The proposed zoning code, along with other background materials, may be downloaded from the city’s website: www.cityofelkinswv.com/zoning-update.

Some of the proposed changes in the planning commission’s draft ordinance include regulation of style, size, and placement of signs; frameworks to encourage high-quality reuse of properties such as disused churches and schools; regulations for new types of businesses that did not exist when the city’s current zoning laws were adopted; and requirements for landscaping and buffers between new commercial areas and residences.

The new zoning code would “grandfather” almost all existing uses, meaning that no current businesses or residences would be required to make changes, even if a property is sold. The exception is that, under the new code and as required by state law, if a “non-conforming” use is “abandoned” for one year, it cannot return to the non-conforming use.

The proposed laws do not impose design or historical-preservation requirements anywhere in the city.

The December 7 forum is the latest in a long series of opportunities for public input during this multiyear process. Since 2015, the commission has held about 40 public meetings (only 9 on Zoom, during the pandemic); two open houses for the purpose of collecting public input and concerns (January 2018 and September 2018); and an online survey (September 2016).

After the December 7 forum, the commission will review public input and make any needed changes to its proposed zoning code. After these final changes have been made, the commission will then formally present the proposed zoning code to council. After this formal presentation, there will be two more opportunities for public input at separate daytime and evening hearings held by council. Then, council will vote twice, at two separate meetings, on whether to approve or reject the new zoning code.

Again, the proposed zoning code, along with other background materials, may be downloaded from the city’s website: www.cityofelkinswv.com/zoning-update.

To stay up to date on this process, please follow the following channels:

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Read this on our blog: www.cityofelkinswv.com/city-blog.

Whiteman Avenue Homicide

Statement of EPD Chief Travis Bennett:

On 11/18/2021 at approximately 11:39 pm, Elkins Police Department officers responded to a residence located at 112 Whiteman Avenue for a reported shooting.

Upon arrival, officers encountered a male subject suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. EPD officers provided medical aid to the victim until Randolph County Emergency Medical Services arrived on scene. The victim, Timothy Slayton (41), was transported to Davis Medical Center where he died a short time later.

Officers were able to quickly develop a suspect and locate him at his residence located at 1117 South Kerens Avenue. The suspect, Heath Coberly (48), was taken into custody by the Elkins Police Department without incident at 1:03am. Coberly is charged with Murder. I would like to thank the WV State Police, Randolph County Sheriff’s Department, the Randolph County Prosecutors Office, and Randolph County EMS for their assistance with this incident.

As this is an ongoing investigation, we are not able to release additional information at this time.

 

City Hall News: Week of November 15, 2021

Meeting this week are the Elkins Sanitary Board, Elkins Water Board, and council’s Personnel Committee, Municipal Properties Committee, and Special Hiring Committee. Council meets Thursday at 7 p.m., following a 6:30 p.m. public hearing concerning proposed new home rule authorities.

The regular meeting of the Public Safety Committee is cancelled, with a new date yet to be determined.

The Sanitary Board meets Monday at 3:15 p.m. on an agenda that includes an amendment to a loan agreement; the replacement of a utility truck, a generator, a backhoe, and the vacuum truck; and the vacuum-truck dump site at the Wastewater Treatment Site.

The Personnel Committee meets Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. New agenda items include proposed changes to policies concerning temporarily assigned duties and benefits for full-time employees.

At a special meeting of the Elkins Water Board on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. discussions on expenditure replacement and staffing will continue. Members will also hear reports from the Chief Water Operator and the Treasurer.

Meeting Wednesday at 9 a.m., the Municipal Properties Committee will first hold a hearing concerning a proposed alley abandonment near Terrace Avenue, then continue on an agenda that includes discussion of the abandonment request; next steps concerning the sanitation garage; and discussion of proposed “Welcome to Elkins” signs.

The Special Hiring Committee continues work on updating the operation manager’s job description Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Contact: Sutton Stokes City of Elkins External Affairs Phone: 304-636-1414, ext. 1212 Email: sstokes@cityofelkinswv.com

On Thursday, at 6:30 p.m., there will be a public hearing concerning proposed amendments to the city’s home rule authority. More information: www.cityofelkinswv.com/city-applying-to-amend-home-rule-authority.

Council meets Thursday at 7 p.m. The agenda may be adjusted through Tuesday. Current items include the final reading of an ordinance abandoning sections of Main Street and Wilmoth Avenue, at the request of the adjacent property owners; changes to penalties for parking violations; the reappointment of the city treasurer; other appointments to boards and commissions; a proposed contract for next year’s downtown flowers program; changes to the city’s organizational chart recommended by council’s ad hoc Special Hiring Committee; and consideration of proposed expenditures of ARPA funds. Also at Thursday’s meeting, two police officers will be promoted.

To avoid penalties, utility bill and in-city Fire & Rescue Fee payments are due to the Treasurer’s Office no later than Wednesday.

All meetings listed above are open to the public and will be held at Elkins City Hall (401 Davis Avenue). Agendas may be found on our website in advance of the meetings: www.cityofelkinswv.com/council-and-committee-meetings.

City Hall News: Week of November 8, 2021

Meeting next week are council’s Special Hiring Committee, Rules & Ordinances Committee, and ad hoc ARPA Advisory Committee. Also meeting are the city’s police and fire civil service commissions. City hall will be closed Thursday in observance of Veteran’s Day, but garbage will be picked up on the regular schedule.

The next shutoff date for overdue utility accounts is Tuesday, November 9. To avoid shutoff, accounts must be brought up to date before Tuesday. More information: cityofelkinswv.com/utilities-shutoff-date-november-9.

On Tuesday at 1 p.m., the Elkins Police Civil Service Commission meets to consider a request for promotion. Council has established an organizational structure for the Elkins Police Department, including specific numbers of positions at each rank, and a corporal has completed the necessary time in grade to qualify for promotion to a sergeant position that is currently vacant and for which there are no other candidates.

Meeting Wednesday at 9 a.m., the Rules & Ordinances Committee will continue consideration of the possibility of outlawing “street-legal” UTVs and ATVs on city streets. The committee will also return to discussion of the vacant-properties registration ordinance and rules concerning parking in alleys.

The ARPA Advisory Committee meets Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. The committee, formed to help council make decisions about expenditures of the approximately $3 million in federal American Rescue Project Act funds awarded to Elkins, will consider proposals from the Elkins Wastewater System and a community group. For more about the city’s ARPA award: www.cityofelkinswv.com/arpa-funds.

At meeting on Friday, at 9 a.m., the Elkins Firefighter Civil Service Commission will review interview procedures for prospective firefighters.

The Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission is offering free archery tag at the Phil Gainer Community Center on Saturday, 1-5 p.m., for middle and high schoolers. Bathrooms in city parks have been winterized and will remain closed until the spring.

Thanksgiving Week Closures and Schedule Changes

The following closures and schedule changes will be in effect during Thanksgiving week:

  • Elkins City Hall will be closed Thursday and Friday (11/25-26).
  • There will be no garbage collection on Monday (11/22) or Thursday (11/25).
  • Garbage normally collected Mondays will be collected starting at 6 a.m. on Sunday (11/21).
  • Garbage normally collected Thursdays will be collected starting at 6 a.m. on Wednesday (11/24).
  • Garbage normally collected Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays will be collected on the regular schedule.

External Affairs Specialist
Sutton Stokes
sstokes@cityofelkinswv.com
Phone: (304) 636-1414, ext. 1212
401 Davis Avenue, Elkins, WV, 26241

Utilities Shutoff Date: November 9

The next shutoff date for overdue utility accounts is Tuesday, November 9.
 
To avoid shutoff, please bring your account up to date before Tuesday. You may pay your bill online, via U.S. mail, by dropping payment in the secure payment box located in the parking lot behind city hall, or in person at the front counter on the main floor of city hall.
 
Make online payments here.
 
If you (the person whose name is on the account) would like to discuss setting up a payment plan or have questions about your bill, please contact Utility Billing at (304) 636-1414, ext. 1715 or 1720. You may also pay by phone at these numbers.
 
More information about utility billing is available here.

Council Committee Diary: October 2021

Following is a summary of committee work from the month of October 2021.

Most council agenda items originate in one of council’s standing or ad hoc committees. You can learn more about council committees here and find meeting times and agendas here.

  • ARPA Advisory Committee: As the name suggests, this committee’s work is entirely devoted to preparing recommendations for council concerning the best uses for the $3 million the city is receiving under the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The best place to catch up on this committee’s work is in this post on the city news blog.
  • Finance Committee: At its October 4 meeting, the committee reviewed a request to provide $5,000 for prizes in the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber’s Christmas lights contest but declined to recommend approval to council.
  • Public Safety Committee: At its October 11 meeting, the committee heard an update on body-worn cameras (EPD will test a Motorola model in January) and considered next steps for a collaboration with area businesses to address discarded shopping carts.
  • Personnel Committee: At its October 14 meeting, the committee discussed the city’s policy concerning the definition of full-time employment, the need for additional staff members in the Water Department, and the reappointment of the city treasurer (the committee recommended reappointment).
  • Rules & Ordinances Committee: At its October 13 meeting, the committee asked the police chief and city attorney to research possible changes to the city’s laws concerning the use of ATVs on city streets. This matter will be taken up at its next meeting, which will be held November 10 at 9 a.m. The committee also discussed the possibility of better regulating parking in city alleys.
  • Municipal Properties Committee: After a hearing on the subject, the committee voted to recommend approval of a request by several city property owners for the abandonment of unopened sections of Wilmoth Avenue and Main Street. The committee also voted to recommend approval of a request for the dedication of parking spaces in the Seneca Mall Parking Lot for the use of the Tygart Hotel after completion of planned renovations by Woodlands Development & Lending.
  • Special Hiring Committee: This committee was formed to manage the search for a new operations manager. In order to be able to create an accurate job description, the committee has first been considering possible restructuring of the Operations Department. The job description is still pending and the job opening has not yet been advertised as a result.
  • Planning Commission: At its October 28 meeting, the commission continued work on updating the city’s zoning laws, which were adopted in the 1950s and have not been significantly updated since the 1970s. This update work, which has been underway since 2016, will soon complete. At this meeting, the commission considered which zoning districts should permit docks and what the front setback requirement should be in the Central Business District. The commission also discussed plans for a public open house concerning the proposed zoning ordinance, tentatively scheduled for November 17.

10/31: Boil Water on Graham Street

Update as of 11/2, 10:35 a.m.: This Boil Water Notice is now lifted.

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As a result of motor-vehicle damage to a fire hydrant, a Boil Water Notice has been issued for water customers on Graham Street between South High Street and Randolph Avenue.

Boil Water Notices are issued out of an abundance of caution because positive pressure has been lost and the possibility of contamination exists, not because contamination has been detected. The presence or absence of contamination must be confirmed by an independent lab through a testing process that requires at least 24 hours after delivery of a sample. For more information about what to do under a Boil Water Notice, click here.

Notification will be sent out when the Boil Water Notice is lifted. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience during this time.

To keep up to date on these and similar announcements, please follow the following channels:

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