By Sarah Mansheim
White Sulphur Springs’ lack of a uniform property maintenance code has lost the town a new business. According to City Councilman Mark G. Gillespie, a hotelier decided to not build a hotel in city limits after the council failed to vote to establish the International Property Maintenance Code in October.
At Monday’s council meeting, Gillespie, reporting on Planning and Zoning committee matters, said that he has been approached by a restaurant looking to open its doors in the city, and that the committee is still seeking a hotel or motel to open in town.
The lack of an enforceable maintenance code has dogged the city for years; every month citizens use the public comment period to post their complaints about dilapidated buildings in town.
Another issue that the city has faced over the past couple of years is the shuttered municipal pool. The pool has not been open since summer of 2013 due to irreparable leaks. City council member Audrey Van Buren, who chairs the Parks and Recreation Committee, presented council with a seven-person committee who would oversee the fundraising and refurbishing/or construction of a new pool.
Committee members presented to council were Ed Robinson, an engineer and Greenbrier Sporting Club member; area building contractor Rob Vass; White Sulphur Springs landscaper Bobby Sams; Grand Home Furnishings Executive Vice President Rob Bennett; Sporting Club member and financial analyst Libby Cherrington; White Sulphur resident Holly Gillespie; and grant writer Doug Hylton.
When an audience member griped that not all of the people on the committee were White Sulphur residents, Van Buren replied that many of the people on the proposed committee have the financial and practical know-how to finally get the project rolling. Further, she said, these were people who expressed interest in getting the pool back up and running. Renovating or building a new pool will cost anywhere in the area of $650,000 to $2 million, she said.
Council approved the proposed pool committee, who will report to them every month.
In other business, council approved the two-year lease of two new police department vehicles and the replacement of weapons used by the department.