By Leah Deitz
White Sulphur Springs City Council met Oct. 14 to discuss property issues, bids for the proposed Phase I Archeological study, and the possibility of bringing the WV Veterans’ Reunion Rolling Thunder event to White Sulphur Springs.
Ray Erskine, of the Vietnam Veterans of America chapter from White Sulphur Springs, spoke to the council regarding the Ride to Wall event that happens each year in Rainelle. According to Erskine, riders from the group Rolling Thunder participate each year in the ride to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, where veterans from across the United States ride motorcycles to Washington, D.C., to remind congress of the prisoners of war and soldiers still missing in action. The annual ride takes place the Thursday prior to Memorial Day each May. As riders make their way to D.C., they stop for the night in Rainelle, where they are met by crowds of people that gather each year to celebrate the veterans.
“This is really something special,” Erskine said.
According to Erskine, the event will not be held in Rainelle moving forward and he asked council to consider hosting a similar event in White Sulphur Springs. “If we could get them here and show them our support; show them the hospitality of White Sulphur Springs it would benefit everyone here.”
According to Rainelle Mayor Andy Pendleton, the event will continue to be held in Rainelle. However, many of the veterans are no longer choosing to spend the night in Rainelle because they prefer to seek out hotel accommodations.
“We are looking forward to the riders coming to town. Our kids would be disappointed if this didn’t happen again next year,” she said. “We are here for them.”
Pendleton explained that the veterans have become a part of the Rainelle community. Each year they meet at the local school and interact with the children in Rainelle. As the riders get older many of them opt to stay in hotels instead of camping as they have in the previous years. However, they still participate in the event that kicks-off the holiday weekend.
White Sulphur Springs Council decided to investigate the event further.
In other council news, three property issues were discussed. Chrissy McMillion has been trying to get council to deed over an abandoned alley on McCloud Road to her so that she can purchase the property on the other side of the alley. She said her family has maintained the alley for several decades. McMillion has already paid to have the area surveyed and deeds drawn up. Council asked her to submit that information and a decision will be made at the next council meeting.
Paul Burdette spoke to council asking them to revise a previous decision to award him and neighbor Lindsey Wolford 7.5 feet each of a shared driveway. Wolford was not in attendance but she sent in a letter explaining that she too was opposed to the solution offered by council. Burdette and Wolford are trying to come to an agreement regarding a right of way from Burdette’s property onto Wolford’s property. Council decided that a meeting between the city attorney and attorneys representing both Burdette and Woldford would need to be scheduled.
Andrew Lassak spoke to council to try and purchase a piece of property at the corner of Greenbrier Avenue and Patterson Street. He claims the property is a private drive to access his property. He wants to be able to landscape the property and he wants to prevent city workers from using his driveway as a turnaround point. In addition, Lassak was concerned about people using the area to illegally dump their trash. Council decided they needed to investigate this issue more before addressing it.
Council also received three bids for the Phase I Archeological Study that is being conducted for a prospective maintenance building project. Council said they needed time to look at the bids and discuss before moving forward.