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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City Hall News: Week of August 9, 2021

Elkins, W. Va., August 7, 2021: Meeting this week are council’s Public Safety Committee and ARPA Advisory Committee. City hall will be closed Friday.

On Monday at 10 a.m., the Public Safety Committee will hear a request to lower the speed limit on Boundary Avenue. The committee will also begin prioritizing dilapidated structures for enforcement action during fiscal year 2022 and hear reports from the city’s public safety officials.

The ad hoc ARPA Advisory Committee meets Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. to continue consideration of possible uses for funds received by Elkins under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The city has been awarded approximately $3 million, half of which has been received and half of which will be disbursed next summer.

Elkins City Hall will be closed on Friday for electrical work being performed as part of the parking-lot project. As a result of this electrical work, the building will be without power all day. For more information about the parking-lot project, see: www.bit.ly/ElkinsCityHallParkingLot

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City Hall News: Week of July 26

Elkins, W. Va., July 24, 2021: Council is currently reviewing a proposed new zoning ordinance, the product of six years of work by the Elkins Planning Commission. To learn more about this proposed update to the city’s zoning code, the current version of which dates to the 1950s, visit the city website: www.cityofelkinswv.com/zoning-update.

For the Tuesday 4 p.m. meeting of the Water Board, the agenda includes an update on water meter replacements, consideration of revenue sources for expenditures related to recent water main breaks, and the reinstatement of a team dedicated to systematic replacement of aging water-system infrastructure.

Second-quarter business and occupation (B&O) tax returns are due to the Treasurer’s Department by July 31.

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City Hall News: Week of July 19, 2021

Elkins, W. Va., July 17, 2021: Next week will see meetings of council’s Public Safety Committee and Personnel Committee. Also meeting are the Elkins Sanitary Board, the Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission, and the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission. The Elkins Planning Commission presents its proposed zoning ordinance to council on Wednesday.

The Public Safety Committee, meeting Monday at 10 a.m., will continue its discussion of body-worn and dashboard cameras for the police department and take up questions about the interpretation of the city’s vacant structures ordinance.

The Sanitary Board meets Monday at 3:15 p.m. to hear an update about the sewer/stormwater separation project and review invoices and financial statements.

On Monday at 3:45 p.m., there will be a special meeting of the Personnel Committee to review staffing in the Operations Department and consider a new software tool offered by AlignHR, the city’s human resources contractor.

Tuesday’s 4 p.m. meeting of the Historic Landmarks Commission has an agenda that includes discussion of the possible expansion of the downtown historic district and an update about Maplewood Cemetery.

On Wednesday at 5 p.m., the Planning Commission will present its proposed zoning ordinance to council. The commission has since 2015 been working on updating the city’s zoning laws, which have not been significantly updated since adoption in the 1950s. This is an informational presentation; the proposed ordinance cannot be adopted until after two additional public hearings, which have yet to be scheduled. This meeting will be live streamed on the Elkins City Hall Facebook and YouTube pages.

Also at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the Parks and Recreation Commission will select a bid for the replacement of the gym floor and hear reports.

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City Hall News: Week of July 12, 2021

Elkins, W. Va., July 10, 2021: Meeting this week are council’s ad hoc ARPA Advisory Committee and Rules & Ordinances Committee. Council meets Thursday.

Meeting Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., the ARPA Advisory Committee will continue its consideration of possible uses for the approximately $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds awarded to Elkins. Funds will be disbursed this year and next and must be obligated no later than 2024.

The Rules & Ordinances Committee meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. The committee will consider proposed additions to the city’s home rule authorities and a request for additional safety requirements when single-family houses are converted to multi-family dwellings.

Council meets Thursday at 7 p.m. The agenda, which may be adjusted through Tuesday, currently includes allocation of excess FY 2021 revenues and reappointments to the Elkins Tree Board, the Board of Trustees of the Elkins-Randolph County Public Library, and the IPMC Appeals Board.

There remain two openings on the Board of Zoning Appeals. This board hears appeals of zoning decisions and will play an even more important role after the pending adoption of the updated zoning code. To learn more, including how to apply, see: www.bit.ly/Elkins-Boards-Commissions.

This week’s meetings will be held in person in the council chamber on the second floor of Elkins City Hall (401 Davis Avenue).

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City Hall News: Week of July 5, 2021

Elkins, W. Va., July 3, 2021: Elkins City Hall will be closed Monday, but garbage will be picked up on the normal schedule. Meeting this week are council’s Personnel Committee, Finance Committee, and ad hoc Fire Chief Hiring Committee.

The Personnel Committee meets Thursday at noon. The committee will discuss the topics of a part-time humane officer, a compensation review by the city’s human resources contractor, consideration of changes to policies concerning temporary employees, and a part-time code enforcement officer.

The ad hoc Fire Chief Hiring Committee meets Thursday at 1 p.m. to plan interviews. The committee is interviewing five candidates starting Friday.

At its 9 a.m. Friday meeting, the Finance Committee will take up the following agenda items: FY21 excess revenues, YouthBuild partnership, American Legion Post 29 baseball team, and fire chief salary.

Second quarter business and occupation (B&O) tax forms have been mailed. Tax returns are due July 31.

The regular meeting of the Elkins Tree Board has been cancelled. The board will not meet in July.

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City Hall News for Week of June 28, 2021

Elkins, W. Va., June 26, 2021: Meeting next week are the Elkins Sanitary Board and the Elkins Planning Commission. Business license renewals are due Wednesday, and council meets Thursday.

The Sanitary Board, which oversees the city’s sewer system, meets Monday at 3:15 to review invoices and financial statements. The board will hear an update on the Phase II Sewer Project (sewer/stormwater separation project). More about this project: www.bit.ly/Phase2Sewer.

City business license renewals are due to the Treasurer’s Department by Wednesday. B&O taxes must be current in order for your renewal to be processed.

Meeting virtually Thursday at 1 p.m., the Elkins Planning Commission—which has been at work updating the city’s zoning laws since 2016—is set to finalize its proposed draft and forward it to council. The commission will present an overview of the proposed ordinance to council on July 21. Log-in information for Thursday’s meeting is here: www.cityofelkinswv.com/council-and-committee-meetings.

Council meets Thursday at 7 p.m. The agenda may be adjusted through Tuesday. Current items include the final readings of ordinances revising statutory language concerning the Elkins Tree Board, abandonment of public rights-of-way, and nuisance properties. Also receiving a final reading is an ordinance finalizing the recent codification and publication of city ordinances. The city’s external affairs specialist will present an orientation to the city website.

To further protect public and employee safety, Operations Department staff members will undergo flagger/barricade training this week, courtesy of the West Virginia Rural Water Association.

Unless otherwise stated, the above meetings are in person at Elkins City Hall. Meeting times and agendas are available here: www.cityofelkinswv.com/council-and-committee-meetings.

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City Hall News: Week of June 21, 2021

Elkins, W. Va., June 19, 2021: City hall is closed Monday in observance of West Virginia Day. Trash will be collected on the usual schedule. Meeting this week are the Elkins Water Board and council’s Boards & Commissions Committee.

The Elkins Water Board (which oversees the city’s water system) meets Tuesday at 4 p.m. to hear an update on the water-meter replacement project and review invoices and financial statements.

The Boards & Commissions Committee meets Thursday at 9 a.m.  This is an ad hoc committee charged with reviewing the establishing ordinances and current practices and procedures of city-appointed boards and commissions to ensure compliance with state law. This week, the committee will discuss the Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission, the Elkins Planning Commission, and the Elkins Housing Authority (the governing body for Gateway Apartments).

In addition to ongoing work on the sewer/stormwater separation project and the water-meter replacement project, two separate crews are milling and paving city streets in various locations around the city. Please subscribe to the city’s newsletter to receive closure announcements: www.cityofelkinswv.com/newsletter-signup.

Business license renewals are due to the Treasurer’s Department by June 30. You must be current on B&O taxe in order to renew. 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.

Unless otherwise stated, meetings are held in the Elkins City Hall council chamber. Unvaccinated persons must wear face coverings.


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