Mayor Marco Invited to Complete Streets Champions Institute

In support of the Active People, Healthy Nation Initiative, Smart Growth America (SGA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity announced today that Elkins Mayor Jerry Marco will be part of the second class of the Champions Institute. The Champions Institute is a program created to help motivated local elected officials equitably define, design, build, and evaluate Complete Streets in their communities. Mayor Marco was selected as one of the many local elected officials from across the United States (and its territories).

“We are pleased to welcome Mayor Marco to the second class of the Champions Institute,” said John Robert Smith, a senior policy advisor at Smart Growth America, and the former mayor of Meridian, Mississippi. “Marco’s commitment to position their hometown to become a more accessible, equitable, and economically viable community for all residents was compelling. Experts in their field will provide the mayor with valuable skills throughout the program and share their own insights in developing more activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations.”

Over the next six months, participants in the Champions Institute will attend virtual learning sessions that will make them experts in equity-based principles and train them on the fundamental steps to take to achieve Complete Streets in their community, from envisioning to implementation. Participants will also learn about best practices and challenges from across the country, as they grapple with different strategies in a collaborative and supportive peer-learning environment.

Local leaders who are selected for the Champions Institute will have the opportunity to learn from a broad array of national experts and former local elected officials in the areas of public health, policy, street design, and project implementation. At the completion of the institute’s program champions will be experts in promoting community reforms to create safer streets for all users including pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, and motorists. Champions will be prepared to support plans, policies, and funding that promote the CDC’s Active People, Healthy Nation℠ Initiative of expanding activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations, in their communities.

After participants complete their work in the Champions Institute, SGA will provide continuing support to the local champions as they serve their communities. Newly minted Complete Streets Champions will act as emissaries to other local leaders, sharing their expertise and ideas to grow a network of more Complete Streets Champions across the country who will build and expand activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations across the country.

“It’s really exciting to be selected for the Champions program, because it connects directly to so many things that I’m really passionate about,” says Marco. “We want Elkins to be as walkable as possible and to be a city where pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists share the streets safely. That’s key to getting people moving more and enjoying the health and mental benefits of an active lifestyle. I can’t wait to bring what I learn back to Elkins.”

This program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. This program is designed to support the Active People, Healthy Nation initiative through developing more activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations.

Smart Growth America envisions a country where no matter where you live, or who you are, you can enjoy living in a place that is healthy, prosperous, and resilient. We empower communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to realize our vision of livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity. For more information visit www.smartgrowthamerica.org.

Active People, Healthy Nation Initiative is a national initiative led by CDC to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027. Increased physical activity can improve health, quality of life, and reduce health care costs. These improvements can help reduce the risk of at least 20 chronic diseases and conditions and provide effective treatment for many of these conditions. Other potential benefits include better school performance and improved military readiness. Building active and walkable communities can help support local economies, result in less air pollution, and create more cohesive communities. Learn more here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity protects the health of Americans at every stage of life by encouraging regular physical activity, good nutrition, and healthy weight. Through support of state and community partners, they provide data, programs that work, and practical tools so that Americans have the best possible chance to achieve healthier lives and avoid chronic diseases.


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Smart Growth America Contact: Devin Willis, dwillis@smartgrowthamerica.org

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

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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Main Street Survey About New Parking Signs and Markings

Elkins is testing new parking signs and parking-space markings on one block of Third Street, and the public is invited to provide feedback through an online survey.

The purpose of this “test block,” which lies on Third Street between Davis Avenue and Kerens Avenue, is to enable city officials, residents, business owners and employees, and other stakeholders to see and comment on proposed new signs and markings before plans are finalized for implementation throughout the downtown area.

Elkins Main Street, a downtown revitalization organization that frequently partners with City of Elkins on improvements in the city’s Central Business District, is coordinating the survey and will collect and report on results.

“We want to hear what people think,” says Madalyn Higgins, the executive director of Elkins Main Street. “If any of the signs are hard to see or confusing, or if the markings on the ground could be tweaked to make them more helpful, that’s exactly the sort of thing we’re hoping to hear. We want any new signs and other visual aids to be as helpful as possible.”

The proposed signage and markings currently on display on the test block are the latest step in the multi-phase Elkins Streetscape Vision created by Elkins Main Street and City of Elkins and adopted by city council in 2016. The overall goals of the parking-related action steps in this plan are to reduce visual clutter, make the downtown even more inviting, and encourage visitors and locals alike to get out of their cars, visit local businesses, and explore the area.

Past steps included the removal of all downtown parking-meter heads and the change from 2-hour paid parking to 3-hour free parking 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Future steps include removal of all meter posts throughout downtown. The new parking signposts will include brackets for the American Legion’s flag displays on national flag holidays. Meter posts will be temporarily left in place on Davis Avenue and Third Street so that these displays can continue uninterrupted in the meantime.

After the survey responses and other feedback have been analyzed and incorporated, Elkins Main Street and the city will plan for implementation of new signage and markings throughout the downtown.

“This has been a collaborative project all along,” says Higgins. “We’ve had great support from the city’s Street Department, and Randolph WORC students assisted with painting the new markings. Now it’s the public’s turn to weigh in and let us know how we can make the new signage and markings as helpful and successful as possible.”

The survey is here: www.bit.ly/ElkinsParkingSurvey

The Elkins Streetscape Vision is here: www.bit.ly/Elkins-Streetscape

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

 

Week of 9/13: Street Closures

As part of the sewer/stormwater separation project, Bear Contracting will be working on the following streets during the week of September 13:

  • Monday-Wednesday: 14th Street from Lavalette Avenue toward Taylor Avenue
  • Wednesday-Thursday: Lavalette Avenue from 15th Street toward 16th Street

Sections of 14th Street and and Lavalette Avenue will be closed during the above work as shown on the below map.

Paving on South Davis Avenue, 15th Street, and South Henry Ave is complete.

Water Outage Monday Night in D&E Area

City of Elkins Water System employees will be replacing fire hydrants on the campus of Davis & Elkins College on Monday night, starting at 8 p.m. The fire hydrants being replaced are near Halliehurst and Gribble Hall.

Water will be off or low pressure for customers on the D&E campus, Patricia Avenue, Grandview Avenue, Spruce Street, Sycamore Street, and Harpertown Road.

New Glendale Pollinator Garden Interpretive Sign

If you’re out and about this weekend, why not check out the new Pollinator Garden (with interpretive sign) on the Toumayan Trail (the walking trail that circles Glendale Park)?

The creation of the Glendale Pollinator Garden project was an AFNHA collaborative effort led by recent AmeriCorps member Dayla Woller.

Other key players included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which assisted in site preparation; the WVU Extension Service, which provided the necessary biochar ); Elkins Parks and Recreation, which provided the site and installed the interpretive sign; and the Elkins Tree Board, which assisted in sign design. This new garden adds more environmental interpretation to the trail, which features several additional interpretive signs and outdoor rock spaces.

It’s on the section of trail closest to the playground. Bring the kids!

9/10 Street Closure: 4th and Randolph

On Friday, Mountaineer Gas plans to repair an underground gas line near the intersection of Randolph Avenue and Fourth Street in Elkins. The company is dividing the work into a daytime and a nighttime phase. Work under Fourth Street will take place during the day on Friday, and work under Randolph Avenue will take place Friday night.

Mountaineer Gas is coordinating with the Elkins Fire Department to avoid obstructing EFD vehicles.

If you have questions about outages or other aspects of this work beyond the road closures, please direct them to Mountaineer Gas.

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.

Yard Waste Recycling Closed

City of Elkins must temporarily pause accepting yard-waste at the city recycling drop-off site on Jones Drive.

A high volume of yard waste was received today, and the container is full. We have contacted our contractor and will provide an update once we know when they will be able to come pick it up.

Please don’t leave yard waste on the ground next to the container.

For more information about recycling in Elkins, click here.

RESCHEDULED: 9/2 South Elkins Water Outage

On Thursday (9/2), starting at 4 p.m., water will be off for customers in the area outlined in red on the belowmap and bounded by:
  • Livingston Avenue
  • 12th St./railroad tracks
  • South Gate/South Davis Ave.
  • Scott Ford Road
The outage also includes Jennings Randolph Elementary School, which is why the outage has been delayed until after 4 p.m.
 
The primary affected area described above and shown in the map at the bottom of this post can expect to experience a water outage. Nearby areas may see lower pressure or intermittent outages as well. Barring complications, the water-line relocation is projected to take 2-3 hours.
 
The purpose of this outage is to enable Bear Contracting to relocate a water-line as part of the sewer/stormwater separation project.
 
Read more about the sewer/stormwater separation project here: https://cityofelkinswv.com/government/current-projects-initiatives/sewer-project/
Primary affected area is inside the red line:
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