Water Plant Hosts Filtration Training

The Elkins Water Treatment Plant recently hosted a training session on membrane water filtration. The session, which was organized by the West Virginia Rural Water Association (WVRWA), was attended by water treatment operators from several counties as well as engineers from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services. Elkins Chief Water Operator Wes Lambert and the rest of the water operators who staff the city’s plant helped provide hands-on training.

The city’s water treatment plant, which was put into service in 2017 after a $37 million construction project, uses membrane water filtration, as opposed to sand or media filtration. WVRWA convened its training session in Elkins for access to both one of the newest membrane-filtration systems in West Virginia and the knowledge and skills that Lambert and his staff have acquired while operating it.

“Wes and his team have always been open to share information about the membrane filtration technology that the Elkins Water Treatment Plant uses,” said Heather Somers, the WVRWA training specialist who facilitated the training session. “This hands-on training class was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate exactly how that technology works.”

Somers called the training a success and said she looks forward to future opportunities to host training at the Elkins plant.

“West Virginia Rural Water is thankful for the opportunity to facilitate this education opportunity in Elkins,” said Somers. “We’re always looking for ways to train the various professionals dedicated to providing safe drinking water in our state.  We hope to continue collaborative training efforts like this in the future.”

 

 

Illegally Dumped Diesel Fuel Found in Tygart River

Water operators contained a small amount of diesel fuel dumped by an unknown person

On Friday, city, county, and state officials responded to a report of an oily sheen in the Tygart River, near Fifteenth Street.

Elkins Water Board employees determined that the sheen was caused by a small amount of diesel fuel in the river. Water operators immediately took action to contain and neutralize the spill, then investigated for the source of the problem.

No ongoing source of contamination was found, and the facts of the situation are consistent with an unknown person having illegally dumped a limited amount of fuel into a nearby storm drain. The substance in question did not enter the city’s treatment system, and the city’s drinking water was unaffected.

Chief Water Operator Wes Lambert reminds the public that it is illegal to dispose of any substances down storm drains, and additional penalties apply for disposing of petroleum products this way. This is because most of the city’s storm drains empty directly into the river, with no treatment; whatever is poured down one of these drains will go directly into the water.

“The Tygart River is our drinking source water,” says Lambert. “We all must do everything we can to protect that water. That means not dumping anything at all down storm drains, and especially not hazardous waste like petroleum products. Dumping into the stormwater system or the river directly can also harm wildlife and cause problems with drains.”

According to the Randolph County Solid Waste Authority, petroleum products may be disposed of at either Advance Auto Parts or Auto Zone. Other auto-supply stores and service stations may also accept petroleum products for disposal.

Lambert urges the public to report any illegal dumping, signs of contamination (e.g., an oily sheen), or suspicious activity in and around city infrastructure facilities.

“If you see anything that concerns you about our water supply, the best thing to do is call 911,” says Lambert. “When it comes to our drinking water, I would rather be safe than sorry, and calling 911 is the best way to ensure the fastest possible response.”

APPLICATION PERIOD EXTENDED: Water Board Vacancy

Last modified on April 28th, 2022 at 03:38 pm

Council will soon fill a vacancy on the Elkins Water Board. City residents who wish to be considered for appointment to this important volunteer position are encouraged to submit an application to the city clerk no later than April 29. Update: The application period has been extended to Friday, May 13.

What the Board Does

The Elkins Water Board is responsible for the the management, control, and operation of the Elkins Public Waterworks System. The water board collaborates with city council in establishing rates and planning and securing funds for capital projects. Council is ultimately responsible for setting rates, issuing bonds, and similar matters.

Membership

There are five seats on the board, one of which must be filled by the mayor (or the mayor’s designee). At least three members must be Elkins residents, and all must be West Virginia residents. Water board members are appointed by the Elkins council to four-year terms; membership is unpaid.

As the current vacancy arose from a resignation, the successful applicant will be appointed for an unexpired term ending March 31, 2023. Again, this applicant must be a city resident.

Meeting Times

The regular meetings of the Elkins Water Board are on fourth Tuesdays at 4 p.m. in the council chamber at Elkins City Hall. The board may also hold special meetings with two days’ notice when needed.

More Information

Visit the Elkins Water Board homepage for more information.

To Apply

Apply by downloading and completing this PDF application form. The form may be submitted to the city clerk’s office by email, mail, or hand delivery. Please ensure your application arrives no later than April 29. Update: The application period has been extended to Friday, May 13.

Elkins Tree Board to Celebrate Arbor Day

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

ELKINS-The Elkins Tree Board will hold its official recognition of Arbor Day Friday, April 29, at 2 p.m. in Glendale Park. The event will include planting two sourwood trees in the Pollinator Alley area of the park and the reading of the Mayor’s Arbor Day Proclamation.

An additional Arbor Day event is scheduled at 5 p.m. at Bluegrass Park. The Emma Scott Garden Club is sponsoring this tree-planting ceremony. The two events are part of a week-long series of environment-themed activities, which kick off with an Elkins City Park tree restoration event on April 22 and an afternoon-long Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 30.

“We are so excited to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day this year,” said Angela Daniels, ETB education coordinator. In the 1870s, Nebraska newspaper editor J. Sterling Morton was enthusiastic about trees and advocated strongly for individuals and civic groups to plant them. Once the secretary of the Nebraska Territory, he further spread his message of the value of trees. On January 4, 1872, Morton proposed a tree-planting holiday called “Arbor Day” at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture.

The celebration date was set for April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for the highest number of properly planted trees on that day. It was estimated that more than 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.

“Our city continues that tradition this year by stepping up its tree-planting efforts, with more than 100 trees placed in the ground in the past year by an extraordinary number of volunteers,” Daniels said. “We are also grateful to those who first started the Elkins Tree Board. Those early tree enthusiasts recognized the importance of having a healthy, well-maintained urban forest.”

This year also marks the 14th time Elkins has been recognized as a Tree City by the Arbor Day Foundation. The foundation honored the city for its commitment to effective urban forest management. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, partnering with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

Elkins achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

“Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers, and committed citizens in communities like Elkins make smart investments in urban forests,” said Matt Harris, Arbor Day Foundation chief executive.

“Trees bring shade to our homes and beauty to our neighborhoods and numerous economic, social, and environmental benefits,” he said. “Trees are assets to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants, and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.

“While most holidays celebrate something that has already happened and is worth remembering, Arbor Day represents a hope for the future. The simple act of planting a tree represents a belief that the tree will grow to provide us with clean air and water, cooling shade, habitat for wildlife, healthier communities, and endless natural beauty — all for a better tomorrow.”

For more information on this event and the Elkins Friends of Trees program, visit the Elkins Friends of Trees Facebook page. If interested in joining Elkins Friends of Trees, email Katy McClane at katy.mcclane@gmail.com. Friends of Trees offers volunteer opportunities to increase and maintain the City of Elkins’ urban greenspace.

The Elkins Tree Board meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. in the Darden House next to City Hall. The public is welcome to attend.

–END–

PHOTO CUTLINE:

AmeriCorps members Haley Shreve, left, and Ellen White were among the many volunteers who helped dig holes for 30 trees that will be planted at Elkins City Park this April. The project is one of many that the Elkins Tree Board oversees, with the assistance of Friends of Trees, the City of Elkins, and other volunteer agencies. Elkins has once again been selected as a Tree City and will celebrate Arbor Day April 29.

New Water Valve Reduced Recent Outage Area by Half

Around 100 city residents avoiding falling under a recent Boil Water Notice thanks to a newly installed water valve near the intersection of South Henry Avenue and Fifteenth Street. The new valve allowed Elkins Water Board employees to reduce the area affected by the outage and subsequent Boil Water Notice by about 50 percent.

The valve installed at South Henry and Fifteenth is one of five that Wes Lambert, the city’s chief water operator, decided to install throughout South Elkins after 2021 saw nearly three dozen water outages in that part of the city. Although many factors contribute to the frequency of water-main breaks in that area—old pipes, inherently soft soils, and further soil destabilization resulting from the 2021 sewer/stormwater separation project—one reason the resulting outages were often so widespread is the relatively small number of functioning valves in that part of the city’s water system.

To address this problem of needlessly widespread water outages, Lambert ordered the installation of five new valves in key locations throughout South Elkins during early 2022. These new valves, which can cost as much as $15,000 apiece, were purchased using the city’s ARPA funds. Two of these have been installed so far, including the one at South Henry and Fifteenth.

Lambert is pleased that one of the new valves has already shown its value.

“Ideally, we wouldn’t have any more water-main breaks, but unfortunately that’s unavoidable,” he says. “In the meantime, I’m excited we are already seeing a reduction in how many people are affected by a break because of this new valve.”

Reducing the number of water-main breaks will require widespread replacement of the failing lines, a project that will likely take the better part of a decade and cost tens of millions of dollars. As a first step in that direction, council also dedicated a share of the city’s ARPA funds allotment to retaining an engineering firm to formulate a plan for this work. Read more about council’s prioritization of ARPA funds for infrastructure projects here: www.cityofelkinswv.com/council-focuses-on-infrastructure-for-arpa-funds.

To receive notifications of water outages (usually at least one hour in advance, barring emergencies), Boil Water Notices, and other important information, subscribe to emergency text alerts here: www.cityofelkinswv.com/emergency-text-notifications.

##

Photo:

Map below shows actual area of recent Boil Water Notice (in yellow) and the area that would have been included, if not for the new valve (in blue).

Elkins ARPA Committee Awards $154,000 for Community Projects

On Wednesday, a city council committee approved more than $150,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for 11 projects proposed by community organizations, including the Elkins-Randolph County YMCA, the Randolph County Humane Society, the Elkins Farmers Market, and Meals on Wheels.

Elkins officials learned in early 2021 that the city had been awarded $3.08 million under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, with half to be disbursed in 2021 and half in 2022. The mayor ordered formation of an ad hoc ARPA Advisory Committee with membership comprising the chairs of council’s five standing committees: Mike Hinchman (Finance Committee), Marilynn Cuonzo (Municipal Properties Committee), Rob Chenoweth (Personnel Committee), David Parker (Public Safety Committee), and Nanci Bross-Fregonara (Rules & Ordinances).

Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, the ARPA Advisory Committee had recommended, and  council had approved, some $1.6 million in ARPA expenditures, including for the retention of an engineer to plan systemwide improvements to the city’s water and sewer infrastructure; the purchase of essential supplies and heavy equipment for the city’s sewer, water, and street departments; software upgrades at the water and wastewater treatment plants; ADA and fire-protection upgrades at city hall; training for peer recovery support specialists requested by the mayor’s Addiction and Homelessness Task Force; and rubber mulch for city playgrounds.

In addition, council reserved five percent (approximately $154,000) of the city’s total ARPA award for eligible community-based requests and authorized the ARPA Advisory Committee to make final distribution decisions for this money. These were the funds being disbursed at Wednesday’s meeting.

Applications for these community requests were accepted via an online form through February 28. Applicants were asked to describe their proposed projects; explain why these projects would constitute an appropriate use of ARPA funds; identify specific demographics their projects will benefit; and estimate total costs. Finally, applicants were asked to connect their projects to goals in the city’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, if possible.

The city received 22 community proposals. The total of all 22 project budgets was $516,013.66, or $361,767.66 more than the $154,246 allocated by council.

All submitted applications were reviewed by the committee at Wednesday’s meeting. In reviewing proposals, the committee considered many factors, including long-term viability and whether projects duplicated services or facilities already available in the area.

Appearing in support of their applications were representatives of the Elkins Babe Ruth League (request: $50,000 toward new concrete bleachers/stairs for Robin Harvey Field at Bluegrass Park); Davis & Elkins College (request: $50,000 toward new outdoor amphitheater for community concerts and events); and Randolph County Humane Society (request: $20,000 toward its trap/neuter/release program).

After extensive discussion, the committee approved disbursements for the following 11 projects and in the following amounts: Elkins-Randolph County YMCA (youth center bathroom; $5,000); Davis & Elkins College (new amphitheater; $43,746); Randolph County Humane Society (trap/neuter/release program; $17,000); Randolph County Homeless Shelter (security upgrades; $3,000); Meals on Wheels (meal delivery program; $7,000); Our Town (free public activities and events; $3,000); YouthBuild (operating funds; $15,000); Elkins Babe Ruth League (Bluegrass Park bleachers; $50,000); Elkins Farmers Market (equipment, supplies, and marketing; $5,000); Randolph County Community Arts Center (enhanced fine-arts exhibit capabilities; $5,000); Old Brick Playhouse (sound system; $8,000).

Several project proposals were classified as ineligible for the community-proposed category, because—although requested by community organizations—they would have resulted in improvements to city property. These included requests by the Kump Education Center for $5,000 toward construction of an outdoor education pavilion and Woodlands Development Group for $48,000 toward improvements in the Seneca Mall parking lot in support of that nonprofit’s $16 million project to renovate the historic Tygart Hotel building. (The Kump House and the Seneca Mall parking lot are both owned by City of Elkins.) Committee members agreed to refer the Woodlands request to full council for consideration, outside of the community-proposed projects category. The city’s operations manager, Josh Sanson, said that he would secure resources for the Kump Education Center project, either from within the existing Operations Department budget or by submitting a separate internal ARPA request.

Although the Bluegrass Park bleacher project would also result in improvements to city-owned property, the committee approved the contribution of the final $50,000 needed to fully fund a total project cost of $173,000 because a binding construction bid was set to expire Friday. Babe Ruth League officials present at the meeting expressed concern that, given current skyrocketing increases in the prices of construction materials, failure to fully fund the project this week could result in substantially higher costs.

Organizations awarded ARPA funds are considered subrecipients under the authorizing federal legislation and so must follow all the same documentation requirements and are subject to the same audits as City of Elkins. If auditors were to find that a project was not eligible for ARPA funds, the federal government could require repayment.

For more information about the city’s ARPA award, including amounts allocated to date, see: www.cityofelkinswv.com/arpa-funds.

Elkins Receives Clean Audit for Fiscal Year 2021

The “unmodified” audit opinion is the city’s tenth in a row

City of Elkins received high marks on its latest annual audit, Elkins City Treasurer Tracy Judy reported to council last night. West Virginia cities must undergo yearly audits, per state law. This audit, which examined financial records from the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2021, was performed by accountants working for BHM CPA Group, an Ohio-based public accounting firm with offices in Huntington, West Virginia.

The purpose of municipal audits is to verify the city’s financial position, as described on its annual financial statements, and to evaluate its compliance with state law and government accounting standards. To accomplish this, auditors review the city’s accounting procedures and examine financial records related to revenues and expenditures, grant administration, bank accounts, and more. Auditors also evaluate the city’s internal controls, or fraud-prevention safeguards.

“This is our tenth unmodified opinion in a row,” Judy told council. “That is the highest grade you can get, because it means the auditors didn’t find any significant errors in our financial statements.”

Sometimes also referred to as an “unqualified” or “clean” opinion, an unmodified opinion is the best result an audit can return because it indicates that auditors have found no misrepresentations of fact or failures to follow appropriate accounting standards. As Judy mentioned, Elkins has received unmodified opinions in each of its annual audits since the fiscal year ending in 2012.

For more about city audits, see: www.cityofelkinswv.com/government/treasurer/audits.

Inspection of Elkins Water System Finds No Deficiencies

Officials from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) inspected the City of Elkins water system in February and found no deficiencies. Federal law requires these inspections, known as “sanitary surveys,” every three years.

A sanitary survey is a review of a public water system to assess its ability to supply safe drinking water. In West Virginia, these surveys are performed by DHHR’s Office of Environmental Health Services (OEHS), the agency that regulates water systems in this state. Sanitary surveys are a proactive public health measure and an important component of the public water system supervision program created under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

During their visit, OEHS inspectors examined our system’s water source and intake area, treatment plant, distribution system, water storage, and water-supply pumping facilities. Inspectors also analyzed the system’s compliance with monitoring and reporting requirements; the management and operation of the system; and staffing levels, training, and certifications.

Sanitary surveys can result in findings of minor, moderate, or significant deficiencies. The February inspection in Elkins found no deficiencies in any of these categories.

For more information about the city’s water system: www.cityofelkinswv.com/living/public-service-utilities/elkins-water-board.

FY 2023 Budget Information

At Tuesday’s 9 a.m. special meeting, the Elkins council unanimously approved a General Fund budget for Fiscal Year 2023 (July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023) that is only about $65,000 higher than the FY 2022 budget and maintains the city’s property-tax rates at current levels.

The proposed FY 2023 budget includes pay raises for police officers and other city employees, additional money for street paving and the flood control works, and continued funding of all “outside organizations” (i.e., strategic partners such as the Randolph County Development Authority, Elkins Main Street, and various other authorities, agencies, and organizations) at FY 2022 levels.

Council’s proposed FY 2023 budget, also known as the “levy estimate/budget document,” must now be submitted to the state auditor’s office, which will inspect it for accounting and procedural errors.

Council will then meet on the third Tuesday in April (April 19), when it can “lay the levy,” i.e., finally adopt its FY 2023 budget.

  • Proposed FY 2023 budget: $5,380,724
  • FY 2022 budget: $5,315,307[1]
  • Difference: +$65,417

Balance

One of the things the auditor’s office will verify is that the budget is “balanced,” i.e., that projected revenues and projected expenditures are equal. This requires estimating both the city’s income and outlays for FY 2023.

Projected Carryover

Estimating the city’s future income requires projecting how much (if any) of the money budgeted for FY 2022 will remain at year’s end (i.e., June 30).

  • Estimated carryover from FY 2022: $270,054

Projected Revenues

Estimating the city’s future income also requires estimating revenues from the city’s share of county property taxes, city business and occupation taxes, the 1 percent municipal sales tax, the utility excise tax, and the rest of the city’s approximately 3 dozen revenue categories.

  • Estimated revenues for FY 2023 (inc. FY2022 carryover): $5,380,724

Projected Expenditures

Estimating the city’s expenses requires projecting personnel, equipment, and supply costs for day-to-day operations, planned special projects, and contingencies for unexpected necessities and emergencies. Expenditure projections that the city’s administrative officers considered during budget planning included:

  • 100 percent increase in street paving budget (for total of $200,000 in FY 2023)
  • Increase of $25,000 in maintenance and upkeep for the city’s flood control works
  • Wage increases in various city departments, including an increase of about $54,000 total in annual police department salaries (average increase of $4,000 per officer per year)
  • Estimated 4 percent increase in liability and property insurance
  • Estimated continued high fuel costs
  • City absorbing 5 percent increase in PEIA costs

The city’s administrative officers used these and other factors to estimate their respective departments’ FY 2023 expenditures.

  • Estimated expenditures for FY 2023: $5,380,724

Contributions to Outside Organizations

One significant category of annual city expenditures is known as “contributions to outside organizations.”

These outside organizations include strategic partners such as external boards, authorities, and commissions; countywide agencies and operations such as animal control, the health department, and the library; and economic development agencies such as Elkins Main Street and the Randolph County Development Authority. Also included are the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission and the Elkins-Randolph County Tourism Convention and Visitors Bureau (Elkins Depot Welcome Center).

A budget recommended to council last Thursday would have made significant reductions in these budget lines. However, today’s meeting produced an amended budget that restored FY 2023 funding for all such organizations to their FY 2022 levels.

Water & Sewer Funds

Per state law, revenues and expenditures for the city’s water and sewer utilities must be managed and accounted for entirely separately from General Fund. No General Fund revenues, such as sales tax, may be used for costs of the Water or Sanitary Funds, and vice versa.

##

For more on the rules separating the General Fund from other funds: www.cityofelkinswv.com/government/treasurer/explainer-governmental-vs-proprietary-funds.

For more about the city’s budget process: www.cityofelkinswv.com/government/treasurer/budget.


Footnotes:

[1] Starting July 1, Elkins Fire Department revenues/expenditures will be accounted for in a separate fund and so are not included in the FY 2023 General Fund budget amount shown above. For comparison, FY 2022 EFD revenues/expenditures have been subtracted from the shown FY 2022 amount. EFD revenues/expenditures were $913,000 in FY 2022 and are projected to remain flat for FY 2023. With EFD included, the FY 2023 budget total would be $6,293,724. The FY 2022 General Fund, including EFD, was $6,228,307.

RCDA Latest Organization to Choose Annexation

The Elkins council last night approved the annexation of several dozen acres of Randolph County Development Authority property into the city’s corporate limits. The annexation will not become final until the Randolph County Commission takes required action to acknowledge the change.

This annexation was requested by the RCDA after it purchased land straddling the city boundary from the International Order of Odd Fellows last fall. The tract in question, about 70 acres, lies across the road from the old IOOF lodge and adjacent to the Elkins Industrial Park.

The RCDA, which plans to use the property to expand the industrial park, requested annexation to ensure consistency and predictability for all park tenants, present and future.

“Without this annexation, part of the new property would have been inside the city and part would have been outside,” says Robbie Morris, the RCDA’s executive director.  “We felt it would be best to develop our industrial park completely within the corporate limits so that the entire park operates under the same set of rules and laws.”

By seeking annexation for this property, RCDA is helping Elkins avoid increased development just outside of its boundaries, which can cause headaches and heartburn for a city’s residents and business owners.

“When you have too many businesses or residential neighborhoods springing up just outside of a city, you get all of the same problems that can happen inside a city but with fewer resources that can be used to help,” says Jessica Sutton, the Elkins city clerk. “These ‘fringe’ developments can increase traffic congestion inside city limits but don’t contribute to the tax base necessary to improve and expand our streets, for example.”

Another problem facing businesses and residences located just outside city limits is the lack of planning and zoning laws in unincorporated parts of Randolph County.

“Right now, in Randolph County, there are no laws requiring separation between residences and businesses and virtually no restrictions on what kind of business a property owner can put in,” says Sutton. “This can lead to conflicts between neighboring property owners, unpredictability regarding property values, and decreased customer traffic to businesses that find themselves next to less appealing properties.”

By contrast, properties inside Elkins city limits—such as the RCDA’s newly annexed property—are regulated by city zoning laws, which are currently being updated to better support economic development and protect neighborhood character. The RCDA property will also be under the 24-hour protection of the Elkins Police Department even as it remains inside the jurisdiction of the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office and the West Virginia State police. EPD recently expanded its force to 15 full-time officers and is looking to add more.

The RCDA sought this annexation by petition, which is when a property’s owner voluntarily requests to bring that property into the city’s corporate limits. In addition to a letter signed by the property owner or owner’s agent requesting annexation, a surveyor’s plat and a legal description of the property must also be submitted to the city clerk’s office. After city council approves the annexation via ordinance, the Randolph County Commission must enter an order ceding the annexed property to the city.

Other businesses and organizations that have sought voluntary annexation to Elkins in recent years include the Elkins Rehabilitation and Care Center, Elkins High School, Midland Elementary School, North Elementary School, Third Ward Elementary School, Allegheny Power, Randolph County Housing Authority, Davis Trust Company, Save-a-Lot, Family Dollar, and Davis Health Systems DirectCare.

Annexation by petition has also been used several times in the last decade by another area organization, Woodlands Development Group, a nonprofit community development organization. Woodlands recently petitioned for annexation of its Northview Apartments complex and the site of its planned Firefly Commons project, both near Wilson Lane.

“We always consider annexation with any project located close enough to a city’s boundary,” says Dave Clark, the organization’s executive director. “For one thing, when our projects are located inside a city, it gives our funders and lenders an added sense of comfort knowing there is that extra level of regulation, protection, and support. And in our experience, Elkins has been a very responsive partner on everything from infrastructure to snow removal.”

In addition to these practical considerations, Clark sees annexation as a matter of principle.

“Elkins is the commercial hub of this region, and most of the commerce that goes on both inside and outside of the city is a direct result of the city being where it is,” he explains. “At Woodlands, we see it as something of an ethical obligation to get our projects inside the city boundary and do our small part to help the city we all benefit from continue to grow and flourish.”

Morris says that, although this is the first time that the RCDA has sought to annex property into Elkins, the organization is open to more annexations when appropriate.

“We support the growth of the city of Elkins,” says Morris. “When you look at the strongest cities within West Virginia, they all have their major commercial centers incorporated into their corporate limits.”

According to Clark, annexation and the benefits it brings to Elkins are key to the city’s ongoing success.

“The old proverb says that, if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together,” he says. “That absolutely describes what annexation can do for a city like this one. The more businesses and commercial properties that come into Elkins, the better it is for everyone.”

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest news and alerts by signing up for our newsletter!

You have Successfully Subscribed!