As of this Sunday, July 24, there will be no restriction within the city of Lewisburg to restaurants and hotels and other hospitality venues in serving alcoholic beverages beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays. With the unanimous vote on second reading at the council meeting Tuesday night, Lewisburg became the second city in the state to allow the early Sunday sales of alcohol service.
Shepherdstown was the first to establish the allowance. Earlier this month, the West Virginia Municipal Home Rule Board approved six more cities to sell alcohol at restaurants, wineries, distilleries, and private clubs on Sundays before 1 p.m. Charleston, South Charleston, Bluefield, Martinsburg, Clarksburg, and Lewisburg were all approved to pass city laws on what’s commonly referred to as the brunch bill. The ordinance enabling restaurants and hotels to be fully operational on Sundays enhances the Lewisburg’s image in the eyes of business and leisure travelers.
In other business:
• Mayor John Manchester said the city has established a fund of up to $50,000 to be used as an arts and humanities grant resource for qualified applicants. This year, Carnegie Hall has applied for funding assistance in the repair and repointing of the stone wall which borders Church Street. The city had granted the organization $20,000 to support that project.
• The owner of Irish Pub stated she had eight feet of water in the basement of that establishment, as did many others throughout the city. She expressed disappointment that no city council member came to see how they were faring. Although the mayor said he’d visited the pub on the day of the flooding, he offered his apologies for not having checked in with affected property owners. Both Beverly White and Shannon Beatty offered their regrets as well.
Manchester said the June 23 disaster which affected Lewisburg was not a flood event but a storm water event, two classifications insurance policies may define differently. He urged all businesses to check with their insurance carriers to be sure that storm water coverage is included in their policies.
The mayor went on to laud the rescue efforts city employees participated in the aftermath relief efforts of the June 23 downpour. There were 76 swift water rescues in three locations in the Caldwell area, Manchester said. “Without question, city workers, police and firemen did what they were asked to do and and what needed to be done, putting their own lives in danger to save others. It is an amazing calling. My hat is off to them,” he said.
• West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine second year student Ryan Grant, as head of the WVSOM Student/Community Relations Committee, offered a report on the flood relief efforts of the WVSOM students over the past few weeks. Going door to door in White Sulphur Springs, Rainelle and Rupert, many groups of students provided relief information and aid with clearing and cleaning flood-damaged homes. Grant stated that WVSOM students are available for community service in a variety of ways and he urged the council to put them to use.
• Parks commission chair Josh Baldwin reported that a feasibility study by public works director Roger Pence to address design and layout changes is planned for Dorie Miller Park. The park has long been a focal point of activity for the city’s youth and is fully utilized all year long. Under consideration is the removal of the shelter and parking area adjacent to Maple Street. Plans are in place to relocate another shelter at a safer distance from the road. Other alterations are to be announced as plans develop.
• Reappointments to various commissions include four members of the planning commission who will retain their seats for another three years: Mike Dotson, Jim Simpson, Dylan Boone and Lydia Hicks. Gary Roper and Tia Bouman also signed on for another three year term on the historic landmarks commission, as did Laura Lee Haddad in her reappointment to the board of zoning appeals. The mayor said the building commission and the library board need slots to be filled and he will announce those appointments in the near future.
• City Recorder Shannon Beatty announced the arrival of two America in Bloom judges this week who will soon tour the city. She said volunteers have been hard at work beautifying the town. She invited locals to weigh in and vote on their favorite flower container on the city of Lewisburg Facebook page.