Avoid Frozen Pipes

We are receiving calls about frozen pipes. Unfortunately, there is little that Water Department personnel can do to help this situation while the freeze is ongoing.

To reduce the chances your pipes will freeze:

• Leave COLD water dripping from a faucet served by pipes on an exterior wall. Even a slow drip is enough.
• Ensure exterior vents on crawlspaces/basements are closed or covered. (Bricks and newspapers if nothing else.)
• Open under sink cabinet doors against exterior walls.
• Keep furnace at constant temperature (i.e., don’t decrease overnight).

If your pipes freeze, DO NOT attempt to thaw using open flame. Water damage is preferable to burning your house down. A hair dryer is a better choice.

If your pipes show signs of bursting, attempt to shut off water at the nearest valve or secure the main cutoff.

Monitoring Leak at S. Davis and Ward

Elkins Water System employees are monitoring a leak on a 4-inch line near the intersection of South Davis Avenue and Ward Avenue. At this time, the plan is to allow the leak to flow and delay repairs for the following reasons:

  • The leak is flowing directly into a catch basin and is not causing ice to form on the roadway or flooding anyone’s basement or other property.
  • Fixing this leak would require closing the valve to this line.
  • Given current and projected temperatures, securing the valve could lead to frozen meters for hundreds of customers.

We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as warranted.

For information about avoiding frozen pipes, click here.

Elkins Awarded $30,000 for Trail Planning

Like an early Christmas present, City of Elkins was just notified of a Trail Accelerator grant award in the amount of $30,000 from the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

The city’s grant award is in support of the Elkins Area Shared Trail Plan. This project, a partnership between Elkins Area Shared Trails, West Virginia University’s Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative, and the Monongahela National Forest, will examine U.S. Forest Service properties in the western part of the Cheat-Potomac District.

The team will start with large landscape trail planning with the goal of locating a site for 8-10 miles of flagged trail. West Virginia is known for its challenging, natural trails (already a great asset), but this effort will introduce purpose-built, multi-use, and bike-optimized trails to the area, while providing more progressive entry to the sport for new riders, particularly the local NICA team and West Virginia’s only collegiate MTB team.

Additionally, new trails will improve public health, resident recruitment and retention and tourism spending for Elkins and other nearby communities.

The IMBA grant award, which requires a 100-percent local match, comes close on the heels of a $50,000 ARC Power Grant the city was awarded for trail planning in November.

IMBA’s Trail Accelerator grant fund is a competitive grant offering for communities with visions of transformational model trail systems that need extra support to realize that vision. Projects must show strong partnerships between local leaders, government entities, land managers, property owners, community groups and mountain bike or trail organizations such as IMBA Local partners. Grant recipients partner with IMBA Trail Solutions for professional trail planning and consultation—having a professional trail plan can help a community generate more interest and investment for trail projects.

Read more here.

Winter Storm Elliott: Warming Centers and Other Information

Our area is facing severe cold, strong winds, and snow over the next 48 hours. Please review the below information and stay safe.

Warming Centers

Inside Elkins, if you need a warming center, please report to the Elkins Fire Department at 216 4th St. (Map link.)

Outside the city, fire stations will also be used as warming centers. However, because many outlying fire stations are run by volunteer departments, they are not always staffed 24 hours. The Randolph County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will facilitate activating these and other locations with volunteer assistance as needed.

If you cannot get to the Elkins Fire Department, you can reach OEM at the following number to learn of other options for getting warm: 304-636-2000. (In an emergency, dial 911.)

It is imperative that you call first before reporting to these locations to ensure they are open or to learn of alternatives.

Volunteers Needed

In case of additional need for warming centers, volunteers may be needed to assist at various locations in Elkins and around the county. If you are able to volunteer, especially overnight Friday and Saturday, please call the OEM non-emergency number: 304-636-2000.

Power Outages

Given forecast of high winds, we can expect power outages in our area. OEM will be collecting information about outages to guide response and report to the power company. To notify OEM of an outage, call the 911 center’s non-emergency number: 304-636-2000. Stay well clear of downed power lines.

Check on Neighbors

In the event of a power outage, please remember to check on neighbors who may be medically vulnerable or who might otherwise need assistance.


2022 Holiday Schedule Changes

Last modified on December 22nd, 2022 at 04:29 pm

Here are the holiday-related schedule changes over the next two weeks.

City Hall Hours

During the holidays, city hall will be:

  • Closed on Friday, December 23 due to Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency.
  • Closed Monday, December 26.
  • Open 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. on Friday, December 30.
  • Closed Monday, January 2.

Trash Pickup

Trash will not be collected on Monday, December 26. Trash normally collected Mondays will be collected on Tuesday, December 27.

There are no other changes to the trash schedule. Trash will be collected as usual on Monday, January 2.


The city’s glass and yard-waste dropoff site (at 31 Jones Drive, near the Flood Control Road) will be closed on Saturday, December 24 and Saturday, December 31.


City Hall News: Week of December 19, 2022

The only governing body scheduled to meet this week is the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission. Utility bills are due Monday. City hall closes at noon Friday.

Monday is also the last day donations can be accepted for the 2022 Elkins area Toys for Tots campaign. There are drop-off boxes at the Phil Gainer Community Center, Elkins City Hall, and many businesses throughout Randolph County.

The Parks and Recreation Commission meets Wednesday at 5 p.m. The agenda includes City Park horseshoe pits, endorsement of alcohol service for 2023 events, and an MOU with Randolph County Public Schools to make the Phil Gainer Community Center an emergency reunification site.

City Councilor Clint Higgins (Third Ward) has resigned. Applications will be accepted until Friday from Third Ward residents interested in being appointed to fill his seat until the 2023 election.

Elkins City Hall will close at noon Friday. Trash will be collected on the usual schedule all week. Trash will not be collected on Monday, December 26. Trash normally collected Mondays will be collected on Tuesday, December 27.

Starting January 1, City of Elkins will no longer accept phone payments for any city bills or services, including utility bills, building permits, business licenses, special trash pickups, etc. This change has been strongly recommended by the West Virginia State Auditor as a best practice to further reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud. More: www.cityofelkinswv.com/no-longer-accepting-phone-payments.

All meetings are open to the public and, unless otherwise stated, held at Elkins City Call (401 Davis Avenue). Find agendas and other meeting information here: www.cityofelkinswv.com/council-and-committee-meetings.

No Longer Accepting Phone Payments

Starting Jan. 1, City of Elkins will no longer accept phone payments for any city bills or services, including utility bills, building permits, business licenses, special trash pickups, etc. This change has been strongly recommended by the West Virginia State Auditor as a best practice to further reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud.

Online Payments

During the first half of 2023, City of Elkins will deploy a new online payments platform that can be used for all city bills and services. We will announce this new service as soon as it is available.

In the meantime, utility bills and municipal court fees and fines may still be paid online. Find links on this page.

Phone Payments for Utility Bills

In addition to paying utility bills online, utility customers have the option to make payments by phone using the automated phone payment system provided by Payment Service Network (PSN), the company that runs our online utility bill payment platform.

The number for the PSN automated phone payment system is 877-885-7968.

If you experience difficulty with PSN’s system, please contact PSN customer support at 866-917-7368.

Sanitary Board Purchases New Truck

The Elkins Sanitary Board recently took delivery of a new truck that will further strengthen the Wastewater Collection Department’s ability to maintain the city sewer system, reduce the risk of environmental mishaps, and save money in the long term.

One crucial component of the city’s sewer system is the eleven lift stations in various locations around town. These small brick buildings, such as the one near the entrance to Glendale Park, contain pumps that help move raw sewage toward the Wastewater Treatment Plant. These pumps sit in deep wells and must be hoisted up for maintenance and repairs.

The truck that the department was using for this purpose, a 2011 F-550 Utility/Crane Truck, would soon have required major repairs. Instead of sinking significant funds into such an old vehicle, the Elkins Sanitary Board used ARPA funds to purchase a new truck.

The new truck is a 2021 5500 Dodge Ram Pickup, which was bought from Elkins Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. That was only the starting point, however, as the truck needed extensive outfitting in order to meet the department’s needs. Specifically, the truck needed what’s known as a utility service body, an insert for the truck bed that consists of compartments, power sources, and–in this case–a crane for lifting those pumps out. (The crane is not yet installed; this is tentatively scheduled for March.)

“We looked intensively for the best location to purchase the utility/crane bed and found that Big Chimney Auto & Diesel Repair/DBA BC Truck Bodies in Charleston provided the best price and availability,” said Whitney Hymes, the chief operator of the Elkins wastewater system and treatment plant. “Big Chimney replaced the flat bed with a Venturo Crane Body. To help eliminate unnecessary cost we reused the generator and pump and had them installed on the new truck.”

Hymes says that this kind of truck is crucial to her department.

“Without this truck to replace our old one, we would have had to contract this work out and potentially cause environmental concerns if raw sewage could not be pumped for treatment,” she explained. “We also use this truck for maintenance at the treatment plant. We have pumps and equipment in pits, some over 30feet deep. This truck will help us when maintenance needs performed in such areas.With proper maintenance and care this truck should provide long and valuable usage for the City of Elkins.”




Candidates Sought for Peer Recovery Support Specialists

The Addiction and Homeless Resources Task Force is looking for candidates to assist community members who need help recovering from addiction. Although these are not full-time positions, it appears there may be some funding available to provide some compensation to individuals who complete the required training and serve in this capacity.

The Addiction and Homeless Resources Task Force has been working since 2021 to devise strategies for addressing these issues in the Elkins area. The task force includes Elkins Mayor Jerry Marco, Randolph County Sheriff Rob Elbon, and City Councilor Dave Parker (Fifth Ward).

One strategy the task force identified is peer-supported recovery, in which people who are already in recovery are trained to help others access the services and support necessary for their own long-term recovery. These people are known as peer recovery support specialists, and the task force is seeking candidates interested in serving in this role.

Candidates need a high school diploma/GED. They must have been in recovery for at least two years and not have received treatment for a substance use disorder in the previous six months, except for medication assisted treatment (e.g., opioid dependency medications such as buprenorphine).

Candidates who are selected by the task force will receive training and work toward the PRSS certification issued by the West Virginia DHHR. Initial training includes first aid, CPR, and Naloxone administration.

Once trained, specialists would work in teams of two, in coordination with emergency health services, law enforcement, the court system, treatment and recovery programs, and harm reduction programs. These teams will primarily respond with medics or law enforcement to the scenes of overdoses or other substance-abuse related situations. They might also talk with people who have been hospitalized for substance use disorder or collaborate with mental health providers who help people recover from addiction.

Markie Jeffries, who is already a certified peer recovery support specialist, will lead the program and supervise the specialists. According to Jeffries, these specialists play a crucial role in the community response to addiction.

“Because of the stigma so many people place on addiction, it can be hard for people who need help to open up to someone in law enforcement or health care,” Jeffries says. “When I tell people my backstory and they see I’ve been in the exact same situation they’re in, they start opening up.”

Jeffries’s backstory includes an opioid addiction that grew out of what was at first only “social” use but eventually led to overdose and incarceration. She has been in recovery since 2017.

In addition to the satisfaction of helping others, working as a peer recovery support specialist has helped Jeffries in her own recovery.

“Doing this work helps keep me humble,” she says. “Throughout my recovery, I was so appreciative of the people who helped me, and I always hoped I could pay that forward by helping others. People suffering from addiction often feel there is no hope for them, and I’m able to show them that’s not true, there is hope for everyone—just look at me. It’s very rewarding work.”

To apply, please send a letter of interest to Markie Jeffries: markieleeann13@gmail.com. Your email should include your own recovery history, your reasons for wishing to serve as a peer recovery support specialist, and any other relevant information you wish to include.

City Hall News: Week of December 12, 2022

Meeting this week are council’s Public Safety Committee, ad hoc Organizational Audit Committee, Rules & Ordinances Committee, and Municipal Properties Committee. Council meets Thursday.

The Public Safety Committee meets Monday at 10 a.m. to continue prioritization of demolitions to be performed using DEP RADPP grant funding. The committee will also consider conditions of appointment for police and fire chiefs.

The Treasurer’s Department, including Utility Billing, will be closed Tuesday 12-1:30 p.m. Bills may be paid online here: www.cityofelkinswv.com/online-payments.

On Tuesday at 1 p.m., the Organizational Audit Committee continues work on the structure of the new building inspector/code enforcement/zoning officer position, as well as the position descriptions for the operations assistant and the operations administrative assistant.

Meeting Wednesday at 9 a.m., the Rules & Ordinances Committee will consider changes to city election code necessitated by the new charter adopted in 2021. The committee will also continue its analysis of city code regulating animals.

On Wednesday at 11 a.m., the Municipal Properties Committee continues its work on various matters related to the Darden House, including leases for offices and guidelines for use of the property by outside parties for events and other purposes.

Council meets Thursday at 7 p.m. The agenda has not yet been posted and may be updated through Tuesday. Current items include the final reading of an ordinance adopting a new cable-television franchise agreement, consideration of a contract with Invoice Cloud for online payments, and appointments to various boards and commissions. There will be a presentation from a representative of Tygart Valley United Way.

All meetings are open to the public and, unless otherwise stated, held at Elkins City Call (401 Davis Avenue). Find agendas and other meeting information here: www.cityofelkinswv.com/council-and-committee-meetings.

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