By Peggy Mackenzie
The Lewisburg City Council agreed Tuesday evening to a piano painting contest proposed by the Cultural Arts Round Table, presented by Amy McEntire. Mayor John Manchester suggested the contest could be pitched to Greenbrier County school students, but anyone is allowed to enter the fray. Of course, we’re talking about the anonymously donated piano that resides in a niche by City Hall, which appeared one morning about a year ago. The city will cover the cost of the paint and will provide a painting location. Applicants have until mid January to present their design, which, according to Manchester, could even include the wall behind the piano and the piano bench as part of the design. There is no theme – anything goes, McEntire said. Three members of the Cultural Arts Round Table will serve as judges to decide the best design. The winner will receive a$100 prize offered by the Greenbrier Valley Foundation. The newly painted piano will be unveiled in the Spring. Watch for press releases for more specific details.
More typically city council business follows:
Two Lewisburg citizens were approved to serve on the Board of Zoning Appeals to replace longtime member Ross Perry, and Tia Bouman, who left the board to take a position on the Historic Landmarks Commission, replacing former member Ed Roach. New members to the BZA are Tom Isaac and Sam Argabright.
Also announced, the council approved Frank Tuckwiller to represent the western region of Lewisburg’s first due area in serving on the Fire Service Fee Appeals Board. Tuckwiller was one of eight named by the county commission and presented to the city for representation on the board. The mayor said unfortunately not all qualified because they did not live within the district. It is up to the commission to gather more applicants for the board.
Steven and Susan Yeager are this year’s annual recycling award recipients. Each year, the city’s recycling crew watch carefully when collecting for recycling in the city’s neighborhoods for the most diligent recyclers. The Yeagers were not on hand to receive their plaque, but they were congratulated for their efforts.
Council approved the mayor’s plan to reapply for Home Rule.
The council approved Manchester’s request to consider drafting a nondiscrimination ordinance for the city, following the lead of six other West Virginia towns which have taken action to address the discrimination against the LGBT community. The state legislature’s nonaction on the issue prompted the six towns spur to action. Several members of the audience spoke in behalf of the ordinance, expressing shock, in the words of one speaker, that members of the LGBT community were not covered by nondiscriminatory legislature.
There was a second reading of an ordinance to provide for an additional fee for persons commencing work prior to obtaining a building permit. Without the proper permit, they will be subject to a fee of double the amount of the original required permit, or $100, whichever is greater. Building inspector Ray Still stated the fee will help recoup the costs to patrol the town looking for noncomplying construction projects.
Zoning officer Chuck Smith, reporting from the planning commission, announced that the comprehensive plan is ready to be presented for a public hearing on December 5.
Council member Josh Baldwin presented a bike route stencil design to be placed on the route’s designated roadways. The council suggested using the recommendations of the uniform traffic standards to determine the best size for the stencil on city streets. Baldwin also said public works director Roger L. Pence is working on a parks use application for a more coordinated use of the playing fields at Hollowell and Dorie Miller parks. Competition for field use is stiff and the parks commission is looking for simple operating procedure to resolve the issue.
With the help of traffic volume and speed detection equipment, as well as signs posted in the yards of residents on Court Street, Police Chief Tim Stover said traffic in the area over the Halloween weekend was quite heavy, but there were no incidents or excessive speeding. Court and Church streets are prime neighborhoods for trick or treating. Stover said the Rolling Hills and Crowfields neighborhoods were also heavily populated with trick or treaters.
Fire Chief Wayne Pennington presented the incident activity report for October, which, at 60 incidents, was one of the lowest for the year. Out of a total of 754 incidents so far this year, 57.8 percent were within the city limits and 42.2 percents were in the first due area.
By Peggy Mackenzie
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