White Sulphur prepares for community barbecue

The White Sulphur Springs City Council heard updates on the upcoming community barbecue at their last meeting on June 11.

The barbecue, set for June 23, is a free event that will take place at Dick Gunnoe Memorial Park from noon to 4 p.m. At 1 p.m., there will be a dedication of the park, with members of the Gunnoe family in attendance. There will be free food, and Main Street White Sulphur Springs is looking for grill masters to help prepare the meat, as well as two or three grills for cooking. They are also in search of local bands interested in performing, volunteers for activities, and volunteers to help with setting up and tearing down booths. Those interested can contact Main Street White Sulphur Springs on Facebook for more information.

White Sulphur Spring’s wastewater treatment plant was recognized earlier this month for substantial improvements made in the reduction of phosphorus levels coming from the plant. A press release from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) said in part, “In 2007, the WVDEP received numerous complaints of algae in the Greenbrier River. The resulting investigation determined the algae resulted primarily from dissolved phosphorus from point source discharges. The WVDEP determined that the discharges of phosphorus from wastewater treatment plants on the Greenbrier River needed to be reduced. In 2014, the wastewater treatment system in operation was unable to remove phosphorus to meet new lower effluent limitations. In response to these new requirements, White Sulphur Springs installed a sand filtration system for nutrient removal, which began operating in the summer of 2017.” The wastewater treatment plant has been completely compliant to WVDEP regulations since the upgrades.

Jim Craft took the floor to commend the White Sulphur Springs Police Department on their prompt response time after his grandson, Liam Craft, fell into Howard’s Creek in May, and subsequently passed away. Craft spoke about his time spent as a DNR officer, and inquired about the therapy and aftercare that the responding officers received after the incident, saying he understands that it is a difficult situation to deal with.

“I’ve pulled bodies out of the water working for the DNR,” said Craft. “It does bother you.”

Chief Jake Dowdy assured that both officers had counseling and other resources available to them that they are taking advantage of.

Pat Harper of White Sulphur Springs Main Street updated the council on the successful White Sulphur Springs Home Tour, held June 9, saying there was quite a bit of activity in town for the event.

In 2017, the city of La Grange, Texas suffered severe flooding due to Hurricane Harvey, and they built their own version of Hope Village as a result and called it Hope Hill. On May 29, the city council of the city of La Grange signed a resolution honoring the city of White Suphur Springs, and declared Hope Village and Hope Hill “sister cities.” White Sulphur sent a ground breaking shovel to La Grange in a gesture of hope and goodwill.

Doug Hylton had his contract renewed, and will continue to be the grant writer for the city of White Sulphur Springs.

White Sulphur Springs City Hall will be closed on June 20 for West Virginia Day.