Ronceverte City Council approved the first reading of an abandonment of property ordinance for a Clay Street property during the May 7 meeting.
The second reading and public hearing of the ordinance will be read at the June 4 council meeting, which will permit the homeowner at that time to sell the property. The issue arose when it was determined that the front lawn and porch of the residence was within the city’s right-of-way. Last month, the city council approved deeding the 0.37 acres to the property owner, who paid the surveying and ordinance fees.
The Clay Street residence was built in the 1930s, as were a number of other residences in the city, which may also have portions of their properties within the city’s right-of-way. The question of how many other properties are in a similar situation is unknown came under discussion by council. It was determined to consider them on a case-by-case basis.
In other business:
- Dunn Engineering consultant Eric Hartwell reported that the waste water treatment plant held a construction meeting and made a punch list of remaining jobs to finalize by the middle of June, which included paving and reseeding the embankment after the recent heavy rain.
- Police Chief J.R. Byer requested the council approve the police department’s use of a fenced lot near the old Armory building as an impound lot for vehicles awaiting owners’ removal. The town of Alderson, Byer said, has used this option to store wrecked vehicles. Alderson reports that the town has benefited from the impound and auction fees from vehicles not claimed within 30 days.
Byer also said the month of April had 290 calls and 20 arrests. He said the city lost an officer to the Lewisburg police department.
- The request from the Ronceverte Volunteer Fire Department to hold bucket drives during Memorial Day weekend and during the State Fair on the affected Fridays and Saturdays was stalled when the motion to approve died for lack of a second. Several council members noted that the fire chief Mike Campbell has not attended a council meeting in a long time to update them with the business of the department. The vote to approve will have to wait until next month, Mayor David Smith said.
- Grant consultant Doug Hylton said the city will receive a matching $100,000 grant to add more improvements to Island Park. Among the improvements are a walking trail to the picnic shelter, a new roof for shelter #2, repairs to the stone porch, an added 2-plus acres for a soccer field, and, later, reserve an area for an RV park. The time frame to get these projects done, he said, is a year and a half, enough time to gather funds from other grant applications Hylton is seeking to help the city meet the required matching funds.
- Family Refuge Center Executive Director Kenosha Davenport was approved to the Library Board.
- Council member Barbara Morgan said the Ronceverte River Festival needs all of Ronceverte to support and back the festival. She urged people to call City Hall for more information.
- Smith said the Mountain Transit Authority (MTA) now has new signage at the bus stops with schedules and map routes. He said Governor Jim Justice recognized the city’s public works crews for their flood efforts. Smith also gave thanks to the Ronceverte Woman’s Club for their flower pots that brighten the downtown area, and the Make It Shine volunteers who gave their time to clean up the city.