City Hall News: Aug. 1, 2020

Elkins, W. Va., August 1, 2020: Elkins Common Council meets virtually on Thursday at 7 p.m. The agenda is not yet finalized but includes an ordinance revising municipal court fees, the second of three readings of an ordinance issuing bonds to finance the sewer/stormwater separation project, and an ordinance adopting the first recodification of city laws since 1991.

At Thursday’s meeting, council will also hear a presentation from the attorney advising members on the charter update process. Council will then begin public deliberations toward specific charter-change proposals. After Thursday’s meeting, next steps in the process will include, at a minimum, informal opportunities for questions and input from the public, a formal public hearing, and at least two additional public council meetings.

Utilities shutoffs, suspended since March, resume Wednesday. If you have not paid your June balance in full, including both new charges for June and any additional amounts listed as past due on your June bill, your account will be subject to shutoff as of Wednesday.  New charges listed on your July bill, which will be mailed July 31, are not due until later in August and will not subject you to the August 5 round of shutoffs. Utility bills may be paid online (www.bit.ly/ElkinsBills), by mail, by phone, via the dropbox behind city hall, or in person.

The Elkins Firefighters Civil Service Commission meets Wednesday to plan for a round of civil service testing in the fall. Although there are currently no vacancies, it is necessary to test and be placed on the fire department’s list of eligible candidates to be considered for any future openings.

City Hall News: July 13-17, 2020

Elkins, W. Va., July 11, 2020: Elkins City Hall closed Thursday because an employee tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Reopening could occur as soon as Monday, July 13, but we cannot announce a firm reopening date until test results are received by employees who were in contact with that original employee.

Council’s Personnel Committee meets virtually on Monday, at 2 p.m., on an agenda that includes “consideration of Human Resources services” and a personnel issue in the municipal court department.

At Wednesday’s 5 p.m. meeting of the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission, the commission will review its ongoing pandemic response. Commissioners will also hear reports on the Phil Gainer Community Center, parks and recreation, and its overall budget. The commission meets at the Phil Gainer Community Center.

The Elkins Planning Commission continues work on its update to the city’s zoning laws in a virtual meeting on Thursday, at 10:30 a.m. Commissioners will continue work on the language of the new ordinance, review a draft zoning map, and consider proposed updates to the comprehensive plan’s future land use map. The agenda also includes consideration of the zoning ordinance’s enactment process and schedule.

Council meets virtually in regular session Thursday at 7 p.m. The agenda has not yet been finalized but, so far, includes the first reading of the ordinance issuing bonds to fund the Phase 2 Sewer Project, the second reading of the municipal court fee ordinance approved on first reading at the previous council meeting, and budget revisions recommended by council’s Finance Committee. For information about the Phase 2 Sewer Project, please see: www.bit.ly/Phase2Sewer.

The above meetings are open to the public. Login information and agendas for virtual meetings can be found at: www. cityofelkinswv.com/login.

City Hall News: July 6-10, 2020

Happy Fourth of July, Elkins! As you celebrate Independence Day today, remember that it is illegal to use “consumer” fireworks inside Elkins city limits. Consumer fireworks include bottle rockets, firecrackers, Roman candles, and other fireworks that explode or launch into the air. Handheld sparklers and ground-based fountains, worms, and smoke bombs are allowed. When using allowed fireworks, please also be considerate of neighbors (and neighbors’ pets).

Council’s Finance Committee convenes virtually on Monday at 10 a.m. to consider various budget adjustments and a request for additional street paving funds. The committee will also hear a report on the city’s current financial position, as well as an update on the city’s application for reimbursement of pandemic-related expenses under the federal CARES Act. Login information for this meeting is here: www.cityofelkinswv.com.

On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., the Elkins Tree Board will hold an in-person meeting in the garden next to the Darden House, adjacent to city hall. The board’s agenda includes budget planning for fiscal year 2021, a report on 2020 grant expenditures, and ongoing tree inventory work.

The city’s glass and yard-waste recycling drop-off location will be closed through Monday. The location will reopen Tuesday at 6:30 a.m.

City Hall News, June 29-July 3, 2020

The Elkins Planning Commission meets virtually Wednesday at 1 p.m. to continue drafting a new zoning ordinance. Login information: www.cityofelkinswv.com/login.

Business license renewals are due to the Treasurer’s Department by Tuesday. (If mailed, they must be postmarked June 30.) If you have not yet received a license renewal form in the mail, or if you are applying for your first license, you must first submit a copy of your state business license to the Treasurer’s Department. If you have questions, please call (304) 636-1414, ext. 1318 or ext. 1721.

Council meets virtually Thursday at 7 p.m. The agenda, which is not yet finalized, includes consideration of changes to municipal court fees and penalties as required by House Bill 4958.

Business and occupation (B&O) tax forms for the second-quarter filing period will be mailed this week. Returns are due July 31.

City hall will be closed on Friday, July 3. Trash will be collected on the normal schedule.

City Hall News: June 22-26, 2020

Elkins, W. Va., June 20, 2020: On Monday, city officials will swear in the newest member of the Elkins Police Department, filling one of three current vacancies. In the next fiscal year, which commences July 1, an additional sworn officer position will be created as a result of the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Hiring Program grant award that the department recently received. Candidates on the current Elkins Police Civil Service Commission list are being evaluated to fill these vacancies.

Summer is certification season at the Elkins Fire Department (EFD). Over the next several months, the department will be testing and recertifying its pumps, aerial ladder and related apparatus, and hoses.

In the fall, EFD will be testing for a new Elkins Firefighters Civil Service Commission hiring list. The department’s seven current civil service positions are fully staffed. However, any future vacancies may only be filled with candidates from a civil service list, so anyone interested in a paid firefighter position in Elkins should plan to test this fall.

EFD’s strength and agility test is strenuous and includes running, stair climbing while carrying a hose, dummy dragging, and moving an I-beam with blows from a sledgehammer. Prospective candidates are encouraged to start training now; you may contact the fire department to learn specifics about these requirements: (304) 636-3433.

For several years, the City of Elkins has partnered with the Randolph County Humane Society (RCHS) by hosting adoptable cats in the Elkins City Hall Treasurer’s Department offices. If you are stopping by to pay bills or transact other business at the front counter, please say hello to Penelope, the fourteenth cat we have hosted. For more information about Penelope or other adoptable pets, please contact RCHS: (304) 636-7844.

Council will meet in special session Thursday at 7 p.m. to discuss wording of a consensus statement on current nationwide events. This meeting is public but will be held virtually. Login information is available here: www.cityofelkinswv.com/login.

City Hall News: June 15-19, 2020

Elkins, W. Va., June 13, 2020: Monday commences the fifth week since Elkins City Hall reopened to the public. Before visiting, please review the safety precautions on this page of our website: www.cityofelkinswv.com/visiting-city-hall-pandemic-expect.

On Monday, at 3:15 p.m., the Elkins Sanitary Board—the body that oversees the city’s wastewater collection and treatment—will hear an update on the Phase II Sewer Project, consider invoices presented for approval, and review its latest financial statements.

The Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission holds an in-person meeting Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the Darden House (next door to city hall). On Wednesday, at 9 a.m., council’s Municipal Properties Committee meets to discuss the Elkins Main Street Streetscape project. Also on Wednesday, the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission holds an in-person meeting at 5 p.m. in the Phil Gainer Community Center. Agenda items include discussion of ongoing pandemic response and the status of remaining closures and restrictions.

Council meets in regular session Thursday, at 7 p.m. The agenda has not yet been finalized, but one item concerns contracting with an arborist for tree care and maintenance downtown.

City hall will be closed Friday in observance of West Virginia Day. Trash will be collected on the normal schedule.

Business license renewals are due to the Treasurer’s Department by July 1. If you have not yet received a license renewal form in the mail, or if you are applying for your first license, you must first submit a copy of your state business license to the Treasurer’s Department. If you have questions, please call (304) 636-1414, ext. 1318 or ext. 1721.

All the above meetings are open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, all council and committee meetings are being held virtually. Log-in information for each meeting will be posted on this page: www.cityofelkinswv.com/login.

City Hall News: June 1-5, 2020

Elkins, W. Va., May 30, 2020: Council’s Finance Committee meets virtually Monday, June 1, at 10 a.m. The committee will hear updates on the city’s financial position, in addition to reviewing several proposed budget revisions.

Council meets virtually Thursday, June 4, at 7 p.m. The agenda has not yet been finalized but so far includes consideration of any budget revisions recommended for approval at Monday’s Finance Committee meeting.

Budget revisions occur when it is necessary to move funds from one line or department in the budget to cover unanticipated expenses in another. When funds are proposed to be shifted within departments, council’s approval is sufficient. When funds are proposed to be moved between departments, revisions are subject to review by the state auditor’s office to ensure the city’s overall budget will remain in balance after the change.

Council also plans to discuss options for and challenges to returning to in-person meetings.

Street paving will continue in various locations throughout the city during the first part of the week.

All council, committee, board, and commission meetings are open to the public. All meetings are being held virtually, using the Zoom platform. Login information and instructions for submitting public comments can be found here: www.cityofelkinswv.com/login.

City Hall News: May 25-29, 2020

Elkins, W. Va., May 23, 2020: Elkins City Hall is closed Monday, in observance of Memorial Day. Please join us in remembering American veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms throughout this nation’s history.

There are no council or committee meetings scheduled during this week. Trash normally collected on Monday will be collected Tuesday instead. Please continue to place out items for collection by the Sanitation Department only in tied trash bags.

Tuesday begins the second week of Elkins City Hall being open to the public after its pandemic-related closure. Customers are still asked to minimize in-person visits and instead use online, phone, mail, and drop-box options for paying bills. All city offices are reachable via phone and email at the contact information available through this page of the city website: www.cityofelkinswv.com/contact.

If you must visit city hall, please help us keep you and city employees as safe as possible by ensuring that only two customers are in the lobby at one time and by calling ahead for appointments with second-floor personnel. Please also follow Governor Justice’s strong recommendations to wear masks and maintain at least six feet of distance between yourself and other people.

Police department renovations are in their final weeks. New furniture, built by West Virginia Correctional Industries, has been delivered and officers are in the process of moving into and organizing their workspaces.

Work is also progressing on renovations to the Phil Gainer Community Center. Contractors recently removed the old ductwork and air handlers from the main activity room and rerouted sprinkler lines. A generator has been installed, enabling the building’s use as an emergency shelter if needed.

City Hall News: May 18-22, 2020

Elkins, W. Va., May 16, 2020: Elkins City Hall reopens to the public during normal business hours (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) starting Monday, May 18. However, the public is asked to continue to use low-contact methods for interacting with city staff, including asking questions by email or phone and paying bills by mail, online, or by using the drop box behind city hall. Other safety precautions will be posted on entrance doors. For more information: www.cityofelkinswv.com/coronavirus.

For at least the month of May, Elkins Common Council and its committees will continue to meet virtually. Login and other important meeting information will be posted on this page of the city website: www.cityofelkinswv.com/login.

The Elkins Sanitary Board, the body in charge of the Elkins sewer system, holds its regular meeting Monday, May 18, at 3:15 p.m. Council will hold its regular meeting Thursday, May 21, at 7 p.m. The agenda is not yet complete but will include consideration of the Fiscal Year 2021 Water Fund budget. (Virtual meetings; login information at above link.)

Please continue to help keep our sanitation workers safe by placing items out for collection only in tied trash bags. Don’t forget to fill out your Census form—it’s absolutely crucial for federal funding and representation in Congress. And remember: Tuesday, May 19 is the deadline for registering to vote in the upcoming primary election. Because of the pandemic, all West Virginians are eligible to vote via absentee ballot. See www.sos.wv.gov for information about voter registration and other election information.

City Hall News, May 11-15, 2020

Elkins, W. Va., May 9, 2020: The reopening of Elkins City Hall, previously scheduled for Monday, May 11, has been postponed. Although the city has now procured the protective equipment needed for employees under the governor’s reopening guidelines, officials are monitoring the reopening decisions of the state and other municipalities, most of which are still closed to the public for now. (more…)

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