Elkins Council Returns to Virtual Meetings
Elkins, W. Va., December 9, 2020: In response to high coronavirus infection rates in Randolph County and statewide, as well as Governor Jim Justice’s recommendation on Monday that West Virginians 65 and older should self-isolate for the next several weeks, Elkins Mayor Van Broughton has ordered a return to virtual council and committee meetings for at least the month of December.
In addition, the Elkins Fire Department building is closed to the public until further notice. Elkins Municipal Court will be operating on a limited schedule for the remainder of the month. Elkins City Hall remains open to the public.
According to W. Va. DHHR, Randolph County’s coronavirus infection rate has been above 40 cases per 100,000 for about the last two weeks and currently stands at 46.3 per 100,000. At the governor’s Monday coronavirus briefing, W. Va. DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch advised people in counties with low positive test rates but high infection rates, such as Randolph County, to consider that they are at “high risk” of infection and to take appropriate precautions.
On Monday, exercising his authority under the citywide State of Emergency declared in the spring, Elkins Mayor Van Broughton ordered an indefinite return to virtual meetings for city council and its committees. Virtual-meeting login information will be posted on the city website at least two days before each meeting. (See: www.cityofelkinswv.com/council-and-committee-meetings.)
Municipal court personnel advise that individuals needing to set up payment schedules, submit plea documents, or meet with the judge should request an appointment by leaving a message at 304-636-1414, ext. 1529. Court-related payments may be mailed to city hall, to the attention of the municipal court clerk, or left in the payment drop box behind city hall. Online payment of court-related fees and fines is also available: www.municipalonlinepayments.com/elkinswv.
In Monday’s emergency order, Broughton noted that his action suspending in-person meetings was motivated by multiple worrying signs and developments, including not only the high local infection rate but also the governor’s request that senior citizens self-isolate, because they are “most prone to dying from COVID-19.”
Although several of the city’s virtual meetings were affected by technical issues during the summer, elected officials were recently issued new laptops that it is hoped will reduce such problems now.
“I believe that [meeting virtually] is a small sacrifice to make to ensure that we all—elected officials, appointed officials, staff, and members of the public—can spend the holidays with our loved ones,” said Broughton, in the order he issued. “Please remember that we are all in this together and only by working together will we succeed.”