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Buckhannon City Council listens to reports

June 26, 2012
By John Clise - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

Members of Buckhannon City Council were briefed on a number of issues recently, ranging from repayment for repairs to the city's fire equipment to the status of upcoming pool parties through the Stockert Youth Center.

City Treasurer Michael Doss reported it is a very busy time of year with annual reports from multiple departments coming due. Doss said that while he had nothing to report now, he will have a detailed report to present at the next meeting.

Doss also reported that the city received a $15,000 check for repairs from the state after one year of waiting on the funds.

Buckhannon Chief of Police Matt Gregory reported his department is busy with routine events and activities in the city. Gregory updated council on the upcoming National Night Out event tentatively planned for 6-10 p.m. on Aug.7. About 300-plus people were in attendance last year, Gregory said. The recurring theme of the nationally celebrated event is getting law enforcement officials and the community together to get to know one another and forge a relationship outside of what is normally expected.

"We are also working with UCARE for a number of pool parties this summer," Gregory said. "There's always a good turnout. They are good community events."

City Engineer Sam Ludlow reported the 2012-13 budget for Sanitary Board has been approved. Ludlow said he is currently protesting a Department of Environmental Protection permit denial and will have an opportunity to negotiate the permit. The denial, which stems from low-water flow in the Buckhannon River during some of the summer months, could have major impact on city. The river is used as part of the water treatment facility operations.

Ludlow said it could involve a significant cost to upgrade sewer facilities. The same kind of upgrades cost the city of Elkins in the neighborhood of $8 million to $10 million.

"We could be looking at that here," Ludlow said. "We are arguing our case to the DEP."

In other news, Ludlow reported the Ritchie Street storm drain project is complete.

Tom Landis reported that the water board is closing out this year's budget and has approved the 2012-13 budget. In work projects, Landis said crews are busy with a number of projects. The moving of fire plugs for new sidewalks is 80-90 percent complete. Landis said a preliminary look is being taken at aging concerns at the water plant.

"We are looking at putting to a 10-to-15-year plan in place," Landis said. "We are evaluating the facility internally to see what can be done in house."

Landis said 50 percent of the plant has been reviewed.

"We want to be prepared for what's coming up," Jay Hollen, city engineer, said of the review of the plant.

It was also noted the Buckhannon water plant has received two awards recently. The plant has been recognized for the quality of its water treatment process as being in top 10 percent in state. Landis was also recently selected West Virginia Section of the American Waterworks Association Operator of the Year.

Debora Brockleman, representing the Stockert Youth Center, reported that Camp Buccaneer started this month and will run through Aug. 2. More than 100 youth are participating in this year's camp. Other events ongoing include UCARE pool parties and summer basketball programs.

Brockleman also said a grant will be utilized for anti-bullying education and promotions. The grant also will be used to provide money for field trips for students.

City attorney David McCauley said council may be looking at as many as four ordinances on first reading at the first meeting in July.



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