City Hall News: Week of October 18, 2021

Meeting this week are council’s Municipal Properties Committee, the Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission, the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission, the Elkins Sanitary Board, and the Elkins Board of Zoning Appeals. Council meets Thursday.

On Tuesday, at it 4 p.m. meeting at the Darden House, the Historic Landmarks Commission will discuss its upcoming report to city council and review a report concerning the Darden House. Old business items include ongoing monitoring of conditions at Maplewood Cemetery.

The Municipal Properties Committee meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. This meeting will open with a hearing on a citizen request that the city abandon unopened sections of Wilmoth Avenue and Main Street, in Second Ward. The committee will also discuss future uses of the city’s parking lot at Seneca Mall and the design of new welcome signs to replace the old iron signs on Randolph Avenue and Harrison Avenue.

Meeting later Wednesday, at 4 p.m., the Board of Zoning Appeals will orient and train new members prior to a zoning appeal planned to be scheduled sometime in November.

Also Wednesday, at 5 p.m., the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission meets at the Phil Gainer Community Center on an agenda that, in addition to recurring reports, includes the item “Riverbend Park sewer project—Elkins Little League.”

The Sanitary Board meets Thursday at 6 p.m. The agenda has not yet been posted.

Council meets Thursday at 7 p.m. The agenda may be adjusted through Tuesday. Current items include a proposed contract for new time clocks and related software from Tyler Technologies and consideration of a proposed $5,000 capitalization threshold for fixed assets.

Elkins Friends of Trees is hosting a work day at the Kump House on Saturday. Starting at 9:30 a.m., volunteers are needed to plant trees and install fencing to protect heirloom apple trees from deer. Visit the Elkins Friends of Trees Facebook page for more information: www.facebook.com/ElkinsFriendsOfTrees.

Utility bill and in-city Fire & Rescue Service Fee payments are due by Tuesday. Third quarter business and occupation (B&O) tax returns are due by October 31.

Unless otherwise stated, all meetings are at Elkins City Hall (401 Davis Avenue.)

City Hall News: Week of October 11, 2021

Meeting this week are council’s Public Safety Committee, Rules & Ordinances Committee, and Personnel Committee. Adopt-a-Tree applications will be accepted through Friday. The city does not close for Columbus Day; the street sweeper will run as usual.

The Public Safety Committee meets Monday at 9 a.m. The committee will hear an update on plans for procuring body-worn and dashboard cameras for the police department, costs for proposed demolition projects, and planned steps to address misuse of shopping carts. The city’s public safety officials will also make reports.

The Rules & Ordinances Committee meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. Agenda items include consideration of changes to city laws regarding the use of “street legal” UTVs on city streets, sidewalk ownership and responsibility downtown, and parking in alleys.

Meeting Thursday at 9 a.m., the Personnel Committee will take up agenda items including a personnel matter in the Operations Department, proposed hours for the executive secretary, staffing in the water distribution department, and the reappointment of the city treasurer.

Applications will be accepted through Friday for the Elkins Tree Board Adopt-a-Tree Program, through which residents can obtain a free tree for planting in front of their homes if they agree to water and maintain it. Read more here: www.bit.ly/Elkins-Adopt-a-Tree.

All of these meetings will be held in person at Elkins City Hall (401 Davis Avenue).

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City Hall News: Week of Oct. 4, 2021

Meeting this week are council’s Finance Committee and the Elkins Tree Board. Council also meets Thursday. 

The Finance Committee meets Monday at 10 a.m. Agenda items include analyzing current accounting for city-owned vehicles and heavy equipment; consideration of a proposal to outsource utility-bill mailing; and hearing a request from the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce for funds to support this year’s Christmas-display contest.  

The Tree Board meets Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Darden House (next door to city hall). The board will discuss a potential new source of trees for city use. Old business items include planning a tree planting at the Kump House, approving proposed new members, and reviewing the recent garden cleanup at city hall. The committee will also review any applications received for the 2021 Adopt-a-Tree program, which runs through October 15. More about Adopt-a-Tree: www.bit.ly/Elkins-Adopt-a-Tree. 

Council meets Thursday at 7 p.m. The agenda may be adjusted through Tuesday. Current items include the promotions of various fire and police department personnel, proposed changes to the organizational structure of Elkins Municipal Court, and a proposal to shift from enumerated expenses to a standard per diem for city employees traveling on business. Council will also plan an approval process for and consider additional proposed expenditures of ARPA funds. 

Third-quarter Business & Occupation (B&O) tax returns are due October 31. Delinquent utility accounts must be settled before Wednesday, October 6 to avoid disconnection. 

All meetings are at Elkins City Hall (401 Davis Avenue) unless otherwise stated.  

City Hall News: Week of September 27, 2021

Elkins, W. Va., September 25, 2021: Meeting next week are two ad hoc council committees, the Collaboration and Marketing Committee and the ARPA Advisory Committee. Also meeting are the Elkins Planning Commission and the Elkins Water Board.

During its Monday, 1 p.m. virtual meeting, the Planning Commission will continue its work updating the city’s zoning laws, which have not been significantly amended since adoption in the 1950s. As the commission nears completion of its draft ordinance, it will consider input recently received from city council and other stakeholders. The commission will also plan opportunities for the public to review the draft ordinance once it is complete.

The Collaboration and Marketing Committee meets Tuesday at 9 a.m. The committee, which was recently created by Mayor Jerry Marco, will discuss its mission and goals as potential uses for the city’s marketing budget.

Also on Tuesday, at 4 p.m., the Water Board will review requests for approval of ARPA funds expenditures, the disposition of the water meters replaced this year, and options for recovering the cost of water-line repairs this year.

On Wednesday at 9 a.m., the ARPA Advisory Committee will discuss proposed uses for the $3 million in ARPA funds awarded to the city. The committee will also begin designing frameworks for prioritizing and executing proposed uses for the funds.

On Thursday, city employees will attend virtual training on snow and ice removal.

Applications for the Adopt-a-Tree program are available now and are due October 15: www.bit.ly/Elkins-Adopt-a-Tree

All meetings are in person at Elkins City Hall (401 Davis Avenue) unless otherwise stated.

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City Hall News: Week of September 20, 2021

Elkins, W. Va., September 18, 2021: Meeting this week are council’s Personnel Committee, Finance Committee, and ad hoc Boards & Commissions Committee and Special Hiring Committee. Also meeting are the Elkins Sanitary Board and the Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission. Elkins Friends of Trees will host volunteers at a garden cleanup at city hall Saturday.

At its Monday, 3:15 p.m. meeting, the Elkins Sanitary Board—which oversees the city’s sewer system—will consider invoices and other financial information; a change order for the sewer/stormwater separation project; and flow meters.

The Personnel Committee meets Tuesday at 2 p.m. on an agenda that includes review of the city’s contract with AlignHR as well as various sections of the city’s personnel manual. The committee will also consider proposed changes to the personnel structure of Elkins Municipal Court and hear an update from the city’s administrative officers concerning action plans to address findings from a recent employee survey.

Tuesday, at 4 p.m. in the Darden House (next door to city hall), the Historic Landmarks Commission will hear an update from Elkins Main Street.

The Boards & Commissions Committee meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. This committee was created to compare state and city laws concerning boards and commissions to identify and correct any discrepancies concerning membership requirements, appointment methods, term lengths, and other rules. This week, the committee will examine the Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission, the Elkins Planning Commission, and the Housing Authority of the City of Elkins. The committee will also review vacancies and plan training for city board and commission members.

The Finance Committee also meets Wednesday, at 10:30 a.m. The agenda includes a funding request from the Phil Gainer Community Center for funds toward installation of the new synthetic gym floor, a review of vehicle and equipment inventories, receipt of an estimate for removal of the iron signs at city entrances, consideration of utility bill mailings, and analysis of fixed asset costs.

On Wednesday at 3 p.m., the Special Hiring Committee continues to consider possible changes to the organizational structure of the Operations Department and the job description of the operations manager. The operations assistant is currently the acting operations manager after the resignation of the former incumbent earlier this month.

On Saturday, starting at 9 a.m., Elkins Friends of Trees will host a public garden maintenance and cleanup day at the Darden House and city hall.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their own gloves and gardening tools if possible, but some will be available for loan during the event.

To avoid penalty, payments for utility bills and in-city fire-and-rescue fees must be received in the Treasurer’s Department no later than Monday.

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City Hall News: Week of Sept. 13, 2021

Meeting this week are council’s Public Safety Committee, ad hoc ARPA Advisory Committee, Municipal Properties Committee, and ad hoc Special Hiring Committee. Also meeting are the Elkins Tree Board and the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission. Council meets Thursday.

Monday at 10 a.m., the Public Safety Committee will review quotes for demolishing dilapidated structures and discuss proposed laws concerning unauthorized removal of shopping carts from store properties and animal defecation. The committee will also review the vacant properties list.

The ARPA Advisory Committee meets Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. to continue consideration of possible uses for the approximately $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds awarded to Elkins. Topics at Tuesday’s meeting include water system improvements, ADA upgrades for city hall, and software upgrades. The committee will also hear results of the online public-input survey available through midnight Sunday at this link: www.surveymonkey.com/r/RBWDQ3P.

Also on Tuesday, at 5:30 p.m., the Tree Board continues work on a grant for additional new downtown trees, discusses the Friends of Trees organization, and plans a tree planting in City Park. The Tree Board meets in the Darden House, next door to city hall.

The agenda for the Municipal Properties Committee’s 9 a.m. Wednesday meeting includes the following items: Elkins Main Street Streetscape discussion, city property report, and city hall parking-lot project update.

The ad hoc Special Hiring Committee continues its consideration of the operations manager’s job description and the city’s organizational chart at its Wednesday 10 a.m. meeting.

Council meets in regular session Thursday at 7 p.m. The agenda may be adjusted through Tuesday. Current items are the final reading of an ordinance officially adopting the name “Phil Gainer Community Center” for use in city code and consideration of the Tree Board’s request to apply for a grant for downtown trees.

All meetings are at city hall unless otherwise stated. Find agendas here.

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City Hall News: Week of Sept. 6, 2021

Elkins, W. Va., September 5, 2021: A busy week at Elkins City Hall will see meetings of council’s Special Hiring Committee, Rules & Ordinances Committee, Finance Committee, and Personnel Committee. City hall is closed Monday for Labor Day, but trash will be collected as usual.

On Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., the Special Hiring Committee will review the operations manager job description and the city’s organizational chart for possible restructuring.

Meeting Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., Rules & Ordinances will work on a policy regulating the conversion of single-family to multi-family dwellings and consider whether changes are needed to the city’s vacant-properties registration ordinance.

The Finance Committee meets Thursday at 9 a.m. to consider funding requests from the Randolph County Housing Authority, for YouthBuild North Central WV, and the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission, for synthetic flooring installation in the Phil Gainer Community Center. The committee will also review vehicle and equipment purchases.

Later Thursday, at noon, the Personnel Committee meets on an agenda including departmental personnel action plans, review of the AlignHR contract, review of city policies concerning officially observed holidays, and the personnel structure of Elkins Municipal Court.

Wednesday is shutoff day for delinquent utility accounts. You may pay your bill online; via U.S. mail; by dropping payment in the secure payment box temporarily located on Fourth Street, next to city hall; or in person at the front counter on the main floor of city hall. Learn more here: www.cityofelkinswv.com/living/utility-billing.

City Hall News: Week of August 30, 2021

Elkins, W. Va., August 28, 2021: The Elkins Planning Commission and Elkins City Council meet Thursday.

The Planning Commission meets virtually Thursday at 1 p.m. to continue its work updating the city’s zoning ordinance. Agenda items include consideration of input from city council, Elkins Main Street, and a historic preservation consultant. The commission will also be planning public input opportunities. Log-in information for this meeting is here: www.cityofelkinswv.com/council-and-committee-meetings.

Council meets Thursday at 7 p.m. The agenda, which can be adjusted through Tuesday, includes the second reading of an ordinance lowering the speed limit on Boundary Avenue from 25 to 15 miles per hour, consideration of the Elkins Tree Board’s application for a state grant to fund planting additional downtown trees, and a resolution of support for the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area pollinator program. Council will also hear a presentation from Mark Doak, representing Envision Elkins, a downtown business owners’ group.

Water-line flushing resumes Monday: www.cityofelkinswv.com/water-line-flushing-to-resume-monday.

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Return of Juror Questionnaires Required by Law

Elkins, W. Va., August 18, 2021: Elkins Municipal Court recently mailed out questionnaires to prospective jurors, and these must be completed and returned by August 24, city officials announced today. Prospective jurors are required by law to respond and may face punitive action if they do not.

Elkins Municipal Court hears cases involving violations of city laws. Although jury trials are not common at the municipal court, all defendants have the constitutional right to one. A jury trial has been scheduled for September 22, and the city has sent questionnaires to the prospective jury pool to gather information such as availability and possible grounds for being excused or disqualified.

“We’ve sent out several hundred questionnaires to individuals selected as potential jurors for an upcoming jury trial in September,” says Michelle Metheny, the municipal court clerk. “I have only received a few of these questionnaires back. If people don’t return these questionnaires, we’ll have to summon them to appear, and they may then face a charge for failure to appear if they do not.”

Metheny points out that jury service is a crucial component of the judicial system in this country.

“We understand that jury service may seem inconvenient, but everyone has the right to a jury trial,” she says. “In order for any of us to be able to exercise that right, we all have to be willing to serve if asked.”

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City Hall News: Week of August 16, 2021

Elkins, W. Va., August 14, 2021: Meeting next week are the Elkins Sanitary Board, the Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission, and council’s Collaboration & Marketing, Municipal Properties, and Rules & Ordinances Committees. The Personnel Committee’s regular August meeting has been cancelled. Council meets Thursday.

Monday at 3:15 p.m., the Sanitary Board—which oversees the city’s sewer system—will review financial statements and invoices.

Tuesday at 9 a.m., the ad hoc Collaboration & Marketing Committee meets for further consideration of how the committee can best achieve its goals of strengthening community cooperation and making Elkins as attractive as possible for new residents and businesses.

Later Tuesday, at 4 p.m., the Historic Landmarks Commission meets to continue discussion of the possibility of extending the boundaries of the Downtown Historic District. The commission will also hear a report from its County Commission Committee and an update concerning Maplewood Cemetery.

Wednesday at 9 a.m., the Municipal Properties Committee will meet on an agenda that includes the items “downtown sound system” and “W. Va. Coalition Against Domestic Violence parking.”

On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the Rules & Ordinances Committee will work on finalizing its recommendations to council concerning additional authorities to be sought under the West Virginia Municipal Home Rule Program. Since 2015, Elkins has participated in this program, which enables cities to apply for authority to adopt local ordinances that differ from state code requirements. The committee will also discuss the vacant properties registration ordinance.

Council meets Thursday at 7 p.m. The agenda may be adjusted through Tuesday. Current items include action on any of the Rules & Ordinances Committee’s recommendations for new home-rule authorities, review of the Elkins Tree Board’s application for a West Virginia Department of Forestry Demonstration Grant (to fund next spring’s downtown tree plantings), and the appointment of two new members to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Utility bills and in-city Fire & Rescue Service Fee payments are due to the Treasurer’s Department by Wednesday.

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